The overwhelming opinion of most dog fanciers is that Old English Sheepdogs make wonderful companions. They love to be with their humans, curling up on the couch or taking a walk; they are full of energy but are not obnoxious. They are very intelligent and easily trained, but they have a strong will so they keep you on your toes. As with any breed, if you properly research the needs and temperament of the Old English Sheepdog and know what you're getting yourself into, living with this big teddy bear can be quite a positive experience.
To live with an Old English Sheepdog, you must be ready to dedicate a great deal of time to two of this breed's essential requirements: grooming and exercise. Because of his profuse coat, this dog will need to be groomed extensively and regularly; you should thoroughly brush it at least once a week and you will most likely spend at least an hour, often more, to do it. You should start grooming your puppy or dog as soon as you bring him home, so that he gets used to being handled for coat care. You have to make sure that the dog doesn't matt, and you must be careful enough to trim areas like the toes, in front of the eyes and check the ear canal. If your dog is not a show dog, it might be a good idea to trim the coat down to 1/4 or 1/2 inches around springtime. There are many people, especially in the Old English Sheepdog's original lands, that have collected the dog's hair to spin it into yarn.
The other requirement for this dog is exercise. The Old English Sheepdog does not necessarily need long, strenuous walks or hikes outdoors, but should remain active; a yard of average size fits them quite well. They may even do well inside the house, as they can be active indoors; regular walks around the neighborhood, though, should definitely be part of their exercise regimen. More than simply a walk or a playful romp, Old English Sheepdogs are most happy when they feel they are "working." Incorporating herding exercises into play time will not only keep your Bobtail physically healthy, but it will keep him mentally stimulated and satisfied with life. Owners of Old English Sheepdogs should seriously consider participating in some of the kennel-sponsored herding events and competitions given year round; even if you care nothing about winning, or if your dog is not all that good, these events are a fantastic way to both exercise your dog and spend some quality time together.
Lastly, because of the breed's stubborn streak, you need to maintain a firm, consistent hand during training; you need to show the Old English Sheepdog that you're the boss and that what you say needs to be done. If not, this breed will almost always convince itself that it knows better and may decide that what its owner wants is not worth doing. Besides this strong-willed character, though, this breed needs human companionship; you should never tie him outside or leave him alone for extended periods of time. He is a wonderful dog, but living with him takes dedication and effort; if you're not up to the job, consider another breed.