Meet Our Cover Dog Rocco
The key to Instagram success? A fluffy butt!
29-year-old Chicago-based art school student Erin Einbender and her Old English Sheepdog Rocco are winning hearts on Instagram one super-fluffy photo at a time!
In 2014, Erin Einbender got an eight-week-old Old English Sheepdog. Enamoured of her new best friend—“He looked like a stuffed animal,” she jokes—Erin took a lot of photos. One Instagram account, @rocco_roni and 16 months later, and the duo have amassed 25,000 followers and counting.
“People are starting to recognize him on the street. I have strangers come up to me and say, “Is this Rocco? I follow him on Instagram!”
Their most popular posts are “usually slow motion videos of his fluff in the wind, videos of Rocco getting stuck on chairs, puppy pictures, and photos of his fluffy butt,” with Erin adding, “You can’t help but smile when you look at him. He will trample everyone’s picnic in the park and sit on people’s laps, but no one cares because he’s so fluffy! He is such a clown and makes me laugh all of the time.”
If you love your dog, photography, and social networking, Erin suggests you create an Instagram account: “Go for it! It’s really fun. I’ve made a lot of new friends—humans and dogs—and I’ve received free pet products. I like interacting with my followers. After all, we have at least one thing in common: loving Rocco. I can’t imagine life without him.”
Is the Old English Sheepdog Right For You?
Erin gives us the low-down on this loveable breed
Q: Describe the Old English Sheepdog in three words.
Goofy, playful, loyal.
Q: What makes the breed unique?
One of the most obvious unique traits of the breed is their fur. When kept at full fluff, the breed looks like a panda/polar bear. They are comedians and have a playful, puppy-like personality for most of their life. Although Rocco doesn’t always act like it, they are actually an intelligent breed and are very quick learners. Like their name suggests, Old English Sheepdogs were originally bred to herd sheep. I’m planning to take Rocco to a farm for a herding instinct test this summer to see if his instinct kicks in.
Q: Who would this breed be a good fit for?
Old English Sheepdogs are amazing dogs, but they are not for everyone. They are extremely high maintenance in the grooming department, especially if you want to keep them in full coat. Rocco collects sticks, leaves, sometimes a bug or two, every time we go on a walk. Old English Sheepdog’s have a double coat that mats really easily so you have to brush them on a regular basis. If Rocco plays in the mud or swims in the lake, it’s hours and hours of bathing, drying, and brushing afterwards. I cringe when he runs into an unexpected mud puddle, but then I just laugh because he is a dog after all and I want him to be able to do dog things, even if it takes half a day to clean him. Brushing Rocco has now become a bonding experience for us. I started doing it when he was really young so he would get used to it. I have a glass of wine or three, watch a movie, and brush my dog.
When looking for a puppy/dog from a breeder make sure they do the necessary testing. Old English sheepdogs are prone to hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and progressive retinal atrophy. If you decide that the OES is the right breed for you don’t forget, you can always rescue! There are so many amazing Old English sheepdog rescue groups out there including Midwest Old English Sheepdog rescue, Chicagoland OES, and Texas Old English Sheepdog Rescue Inc.!