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A long bad hair day for Old English sheepdogs page 2

 The canine star of 'The Shaggy Dog' and Robert Downey Jr. mug for the camera in this remake of the 1959 film.
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Date published: 1/7/2013


But, Johnson pointed out, the Morgans, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Harrisons and Guggenheims all had kennel managers and staff to care for the dogs. Sheepdog hair can grow up to 10 inches, which meant grooming could take hours.

Sheepdogs later entered popular culture through Hollywood, which featured them in movies such as 1959's "The Shaggy Dog," and on TV in "My Three Sons" (1960-1972) and "Please Don't Eat the Daisies" (1965-1967). Looney Tunes paired one--Sam Sheepdog--with a wolf (Ralph Wolf) in cartoons depicting them clocking in and on duty as predator and guard: "Mornin', Sam." "Mornin', Ralph."

When Jere Marder started breeding sheepdogs 35 years ago, the Valparaiso, Ind., resident said there were 40 instantly recognizable sheepdog breeding kennels across the country. Only about 20 remain, and specialty clubs in cities such as Dallas and Detroit have closed, she said.

Marder, who keeps three show sheepdogs at home, understands the breed can be a burden.

"Breeders that are really dedicated are getting older and we don't have as many young breeders coming into the game," she said. Her business, Lambluv OES, breeds only one litter every couple of years, but she co-owns about 100 sheepdogs around the country.

"The breed is a labor of love. You have to love the breed to labor so much," Johnson joked.

oldenglishsheepdogclubofamerica .org akc.org thekennelclub.org.uk

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