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How Expensive Is It to Own An Old English Sheepdog?

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By Leslie Ingraham

Published: 02/26/2022, edited: 02/26/2022

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Overview

The Old English Sheepdog (OES) is a large, fluffy breed that can weigh up to 90 pounds. Originally bred to herd livestock, they’re currently more likely to be family pets. They’re furtastic with children and get along well with other fur and purr babies too.  

These dogs need exercise in a fenced backyard where they can romp, long, daily walks, and active playtime. If they get bored, they’ll find something to do, like dig a hole or eat a piece of furniture. A daily outing with a professional walker can help keep these active pups busy when their parents aren't able to take them.

Costs of raising an OES average about the same as with other dogs their size. Food will be a major expense, and while they don’t seem to experience a lot of ailments, the cost of veterinary care for hip dysplasia or eye disease can be significant. The costs included here are annual estimates and actual totals may vary depending on the pup's location.


How much does it cost to own an Old English Sheepdog?

Some of the expenses associated with owning an adorable Old English Sheepdog will be for basic needs like food, veterinary care, and supplies such as collars and leashes. But a budget should also include services like grooming, care while you're away, and obedience training which can drive the annual costs higher. To get you started, we've compiled a list of the common items you'll need for a year.

  • Buying or adopting an OES puppy: $300 to $1,500
  • Vet care: $705
  • Supplies: $225-$560
  • Grooming: $390-$500
  • Training: $500
  • Food: $547-$693
  • Grand total: $2,667-$4,458
old english sheepdog puppy laying on floor - how expensive is it to own a sheepdog

Buying or adopting an Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog puppies are not as easy to find as some other breeds. OES breeders often have a waiting list that may stretch into months. Responsible breeders will space out litters to ensure the mom and pups are healthy. 

Since the supply of OES puppies is small, a deposit of $300 or more is typically required to hold one. The breeder’s website should outline their deposit rules, such as whether the money can be applied to the final price. If the buyer changes their mind, deposits might be non-refundable. In some cases, they may transfer their deposit to a dog from a later litter. 

The average cost of a purebred Old English Sheepdog puppy can range from $1,200 to $1,500, depending on the kennel and location. Many breeders include microchipping, preventative care, and spaying/neutering.

However, adopting an Old English Sheepdog from a shelter or rescue group could be quite a bit less, averaging around $300, with possible adjustments related to a dog’s age or special needs. Shelters may supply preventative care and microchipping as well.


Adult old english sheepdog being examined by a vet

Vet care

Old English Sheepdogs are relatively healthy and can be expected to live 10-12 years. They are genetically susceptible to hip dysplasia and some OESs may develop eye or other conditions. 

Common health conditions

Vet care costs can vary widely depending on whether your own veterinarian is treating a condition, or a specialist is needed. Here are some average costs for common conditions affecting Old English Sheepdogs:

Preventative care costs

Average preventative care expenses for Old English Sheepdogs mimic costs for other large breeds. During the pup’s first year, expenses will be higher because of the need to deworm and vaccinate more often than in adult dogs.

Information about preventative care is provided by Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS, who is a member of the Wag! Licensed Veterinarian Team.

Preventative care for Old English Sheepdogs can be expensive, and pet insurance plans don’t cover items like vaccinations and parasite prevention. Wellness packages can reimburse up to 100% of the cost of routine exams and diagnostic tests within 24 hours. To find the right option for your pet and budget, check out our wellness plans.


Vet care costs for Old English Sheepdogs can be expensive.

Use Wag!'s pet insurance comparison tool to find the right plan for your pup and save over $270 a year.

Supplies

Some of the items you should have on hand when you bring your pup home will vary in cost based on the OES’s large size, even as a puppy. From bedding to collars, these pooches require larger, more expensive supplies, with replacements as the dog grows.

  • Toys: $30-$150
  • Walking supplies: $50-$100
  • Grooming supplies (brush/shampoo/nail clippers): $15-35
  • Food/water bowls: $30-$50
  • Bedding: $25-$150
  • Crate: $75

Groomed Old English Sheepdog laying on ground

Grooming

Grooming an Old English Sheepdog is necessary for their long and dense coat. OESs require daily brushing to prevent that fur from becoming matted. Brushing also helps control heavy shedding, which occurs about twice a year. Some pet parents have the hair above the dog’s eyes trimmed to expose their face and help them see. Others may choose to have their pupster sheared twice a year, especially in warmer months. 

OESs tend to keep their coats clean, but will still need a bath every 6 weeks or when needed. While their easy-going personality usually allows for trauma-free bathing and nail clipping, some home tubs may be inadequate for this dog’s size and a trip to the groomer may be in order. Grooming for an Old English Sheepdog by a professional will cost from $150-$200 a year. Frequent nail trimming between full grooming sessions can average $20-$25, totaling about $240-$300 per year. These prices are estimates and may change depending on location.


Old English Sheepdog running during a training session

Training

Old English Sheepdogs are friendly, laid-back doggos that are intelligent and easily trained. They enjoy contact with people and other dogs and exhibit few problem behaviors like reactivity or aggression. But their size alone requires they be trained to be polite and follow simple commands like sit, stay, and come. 

OESs don’t like being left alone for long periods and can be destructive if they get bored or suffer from separation anxiety. They also have an ear-splitting bark and may need to learn to curb their vocalizing. Their training should begin when they're young puppies to prevent ingrained bad habits.

Training can be private in-home or facility classes, which range from $90 - $400 a session depending on the dog's age and location of the trainer. These are best for an OES who resists one-on-one pet parent training, or who has specific training needs. Group classes are less expensive, as four to six-week classes can range from $125 - $300. Online virtual courses can cost as much as $90 - $350. 

In-home dog training through the Wag! platform costs on average about $60 an hour. Digital training with Wag! can give you the guidance and support of a virtual professional trainer while staying put in your own home, and average $29 - $33 for a thirty-minute session.


Food

While these dogs tend to stay at a normal weight for their age and breed, their coats can hide a few extra pounds, so it’s important to feed them a healthy diet and monitor their weight by occasionally feeling their ribs or weighing them.

Old English Sheepdogs eat about three cups of dry food a day. At a cost of around $1.50-$1.90 a day, the estimated total for food will be $547-$693 per year. Quality and ingredients can affect the actual cost.

Some vet-recommended brands of dry and canned food for these big fluff balls include:

Four Old English Sheepdogs standing in a row outside

Other costs

There are optional dog care services that some pet parents may need for their Old English Sheepdog, including daycare, walking, boarding, and sitting. Costs will vary depending on where the dog lives, so these are estimates.

Average costs of these services are:

  • Doggy daycare (1 full day per month): $16
  • Dog sitting (1 week per year): $210
  • Dog boarding (1 week per year): $280
  • Dog walking (1 week per year): $280

You can save money and time by booking on-demand or scheduled professionals who provide these services through Wag! Whether you need a dog walker, dog sitter, or dog boarder, you’ll find them at Wag! at an affordable cost. Just download the Wag! app to get started!


Tips for saving money

Annual expenses to care for an Old English Sheepdog can put a dent in anyone’s budget, particularly if you live in one of the larger metropolitan areas of the U.S. We have some tips for ways pet parents can trim these costs so they pay less and enjoy their fluffy fur baby more!

#1. Invest in pet insurance.  

High-priced injury and illness care can make the costs of owning an Old English Sheepdog seem insurmountable. Your OES may inherit hip dysplasia or an eye condition that may require expensive surgery and aftercare. A good pet insurance plan can help alleviate the costs of treatment so you have more money to spend on things like toys and fun activities. Start comparing pet insurance plans today and save more than $270 a year on vet care.

#2. Groom at home. 

Providing at-home grooming will save on the cost of a professional groomer. You'll need nail clippers, brushes, trimmers, an undercoat stripping comb, and dog shampoo. This is also a great activity to reinforce your bond with your pup!

#3. Create your own dog toys and puzzles. 

OESs need a lot of mental stimulation, but these big dogs can go through toys fast. Keep up with their active, working brains by giving them new and fun toys to keep them busy! You can find a lot of variety on sale in stores and online, but you can cut your costs by making DIY toys and puzzle games at home using simple and cheap materials. 

#4. Adopt your Old English Sheepdog. 

Not only are purebred Old English Sheepdog puppies sometimes hard to find, they’re pricey, too. To avoid the expense, consider adopting. There are shelters nationwide that specialize in these fluff balls, where you can find puppies from an unplanned breeder litter, or adult dogs whose pet parents simply couldn’t care for them anymore. You’ll be saving money and providing a furever home for a deserving Old English Sheepdog!

#5. Provide preventative care.

Don't forget to arrange regular preventative care visits for your pup. Keeping up with vaccine schedules and routine exams can prevent costly illnesses or detect them when they're treatable for less money. While the cost of vaccinations is higher during the first year of life, pups will "graduate" into fewer visits as they grow. Investing in a good wellness plan that pays for essential preventative care such as vaccines, tests, and parasite protection that aren’t covered by pet health insurance can save hundreds of dollars a year too!


Loving an Old English Sheepdog is easy and doesn’t cost a penny, but ensuring your pup will be happy and healthy for life involves paying for food, medical care, and other necessities. The cost of caring for these gentle giants can be significant and a responsible pet parent will take these expenses into account when they’re considering adding this big, shaggy dog to their lives.

If you still have questions about owning an Old English Sheepdog, you chat with a vet professional today!


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