The Old English Sheepdog is one of the most regal presences at any conformation even; he is truly a dog that stands out. He is a strong dog, with a compact, balanced body that is square in shape. Though he is quite muscular and thickset with a profuse coat, he is very agile. He must give the impression of being a capable shepherd's or drover's dog and of even disposition. The typical bark of the Old English Sheepdog is loud and has a "pot-casse" (broken pot) ring to it.
Typical males are at least 22 inches in height, while females are at least 21 inches in height. The height of the dog should be roughly the same as its length and the dog must have a good amount of bone and muscle. Judges will especially be looking for proportion and balance, rather than absolute dimensions. The dog must have an expression that is intelligent, with eyes that are blue or brown; dogs with one eye brown and one eye blue are also accepted. If the eyes are blue, judges prefer to see a "pearl" or "china" color, while if they are brown, they should be a very dark brown. Yellow eyes are also seen in the dog, though these are not preferred and could be faulted.
Ears are medium in size and lie flat on the side of the head, while the skull is large and square in shape; the supra-orbital ridges (the area above the eyes) have a well-defined arch. The entire head is covered with long hair. The jaw of the Old English Sheepdog is somewhat long, blunt and square, and the nose is large and black. The teeth meet in a level or tight scissors bite. The dog has a moderately long neck that is characterized by a graceful arch. The dog's topline is higher in the rear compared to the anterior part and any sign of weakness or softness is absent. As mentioned, it has a compact, short body that is somewhat broader at the back of the dog; he has a loin characterized by a gentle arch.
The tail must be almost completely docked, leaving a bob; some dogs are actually naturally bob-tailed. These dogs should have laid back, narrow shoulders with extremely straight forelegs; the distance between the shoulders and the elbow should be roughly the same as that between the elbow and the ground. The feet have arched toes and are round and small, with thick pads that are hard; they point straight ahead. One of the defining characteristics of the breed is its profuse coat, that should not make the dog seem fat; it should be shaggy, not straight, and should not show any curling. It must be hard in texture, with a soft and/or flat coat being penalized. These dogs also have an undercoat, which is waterproof. The only trimming allowed is in the region of the feet and rear, for hygienic purposes. The coat color can be gray (any shade), blue, grizzle, blue merle and may or may not have white patches; occasionally, brown or fawn coats are seen, but these are highly unwanted.