SHEEPDOG OLD ENGLISH
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
SETTING PRIORITIES AND EVALUATING THE OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG AS YOU JUDGE by MARY ANNE BROCIOUS W hen judges enter the ring a fresh thought process begins for each
neck, front legs and thighs, and he must have a shaggy appear- ance the methods used to arrange and present the coat varies from dog to dog. From this first look you will have to determine which dogs have a shaggy appearance and appear strong, compact, square and balanced. The next step will have your class circle the ring to get your first glimpse of their movement. You are watching for the motion of an agile dog with movement that is free, powerful and effortless. The dogs should have “good reach and drive and cover maximum ground with minimum steps”. Be aware that the coat can distort your impression of the movement. You must watch for the exten- sion of the front and rear legs for balanced reachanddrive.Watch to see that the body stays square and that the topline is visible when the dog is in motion. Yes, these assessments have to be done with a dog that is covered in a blan- ket of coat and in about 20 sec- onds! You will watch the legs, body and topline as you would any other breed and learn, with time, to see through the coat. No, you won’t acquire x-ray vision, but you will begin to see how the dog will push from his rear feet and extend forward with his front legs using correct front angles. You will be able to determine if the dogs tend to get longer and lower as they move and lose squareness. In addition you will want to see the gentle rise over the loin as the dogs trot.
breed. Of course there is a dif- ferent breed standard with each breed and different functional- ity for the respective breeds. We think differently with each breed. What are the primary Hallmarks of the breed in front of us that make it what it is and which dog is most compliant to those characteristics. How do we get there with each class of dogs? Many judges often wait to add the Old English Sheep- dog to their credentials after they have had more judging experi- ence. The coat and certain char- acteristics seem more challenging than most breeds. The OES is still a dog with the usual canine anat- omy and breed specific features that we look for in every breed we judge. The AKC has approved you to judge the Old English Sheepdog, you know the breed standard, you know canine anatomy, you know ring procedure and I will help you organize your thoughts when judg- ing the OES. Percy Roberts once said, “The Breed Standard is the Blueprint, The Breeder is the Builder, and the Judge is the Building Inspec- tor.” So, let’s get down to inspect- ing what the breeder has built! When your class enters the ring the first thing you will realize is that the OES is not a silhouette breed. Each exhibit looks differ- ent by virtue of various styles of grooming. While the breed stan- dard calls for coat on the head,
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“THE ENTIRE TIME THAT YOU ARE EXAMINING AN OES YOU MUST THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE FEELING AND PLACE IT IN YOUR “MIND’S EYE”. BOTH GOOD AND BAD QUALITIES MAY BE HIDDEN IN THE COAT.”
Now the individual examination is where the “rubber-meets-the-road”! You cannot just feel the surface of an OES when you examine the dogs. You must go through the hair to feel the actual structure of each dog. The entire time that you are examining an OES you must think about what you are feeling and place it in your “mind’s eye”. Both good and bad qualities may be hidden in the coat. Everything will be simpli- fied when you get past the coat. When examining each dog roll a checklist through your mind. From your training and experience you know what each of the features of the dog should be and you will know from your examination if you can check off these features as being correct or incorrect. Some coun- tries, such as Canada, use a point scale that accompanies the standard, and judges will often calculate the points per feature on each exhibit as they examine and observe movement. EXAMINATION CHECKLIST
• Fit of Neck into the Shoulders • Shoulder layback and angles • Depth of Chest and Spring of Rib • Straightness of Front Legs and Feet • Topline • Length of Loin • Croup • Rear Stifle Angulation • Well let-down hocks • Not Cow Hocked • Bone and Substance • Double Coat • Texture of Coat and Overall Condi- tion of the Coat • Balance, Proportion and Squareness While this checklist may appear lengthy, as your hands move through the dog’s coat each feature is seen with your hands, and you will move quickly as you examine every component. This check list should roll through your mind as you examine each dog and you must remember which dogs complied most closely with the breed standard and correct canine anatomy and which dogs did not. Following your examination you will have each dog go down the mat and back to you. From this view coat may inf luence your perception of the
way an OES is moving. A lot of coat on the front may make a dog look out at the elbows or even a little sloppy. Otherwise don’t be fooled by all of the hair on an overly wide front that does not converge. An untrimmed hind- quarter can look close and markings on the legs may give a false impres- sion of movement. When the dog goes away watch the pads coming up and when you see the bottom of the feet watch how the feet fall with each step. When the dog completes the down and back he will then circle the ring to the end of the line. When watching each dog move to the end of the line you will watch the front to see that it reaches easily and smoothly without hitching, rolling, waddling or hack- ney movement. Watch for the rear to drive straight back without any wasted motion such as kicking up. Watch that the dog remains square and the topline is visible in motion. The final look at the lineup of the class will have you review the checklist in your mind and recall the movement of each dog. After this review you will eliminate dogs from a placement and determine which dogs you will use for S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018 • 259
• Nose, Bite and Eye Color • Muzzle Shape and Fit and Head Shape • Neck Length and Arch
“PLEASE ENJOY THIS AGILE, ATHLETIC HERDING DOG WHEN JUDGING. WHEN TRAINED AND PRESENTED AT THEIR BEST YOU WILL FIND THE OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG TO BE A PLEASURE TO HAVE IN YOUR RING.”
your placements. Set your priorities. Which dog has the best Balance and Proportion, Head, Topline, Coat and Movement and select your placements and determine what trade-offs you will make in selecting your four placements. You will now rank the dogs from the one that most closely matches the breed standard and canine anatomy through to the dogs that may not comply as closely as your first choice. All of this has to be done in 2 min- utes per dog. While 2 minutes per dog may not seem to be enough time, we must be prepared to evaluate them in the time the AKC requires. The Old Eng- lish Sheepdog is not a difficult breed to evaluate if you follow the steps that I have outlined. Each time you judge the OES it will become easier to evaluate and find the dogs that are most compli- ant with the Breed Standard. OES exhibitors appreciate judges that thoroughly examine the dogs and get into the coat. Don’t worry about messing up a grooming job, you have to dig in and examine each dog. Please enjoy this agile, athletic Herd- ing dog when judging. When trained and presented at their best you will find
the Old English Sheepdog to be a plea- sure to have in your ring. Author’s Note —In an effort to include helpful information and useful tips to the readers I asked other OES specialist judges to share their approaches and thought processes for the benefit of the readers. Information from Terry Carter, Some Buddy OES; Martin Doherty, Auriga OES; Davor Javor, Reata OES; and Chris Moore, Perfu OES; and Marilyn O’Cuilinn, Merryrogue was included in this article. A special note of thanks to Dennis Maier for his photo contributions and content management of OESCA Judges Education materials.
wins and placements at AKC events and many have championships in foreign countries. At the 2012 OES- CA National Specialty Qubic OES were Winners Dog, Winners Bitch, Best of Winners and Best of Breed. Qubic OES have received awards for Top Producing Sires and Dams and Register of Merit awards from the Old English Sheepdog Dog Club of America. While the breeding pro- gram has remained small, she is proud to have maintained high stan- dards of health and temperament in her dogs. Mary Anne has served as a club officer, AKC Delegate and is a Life Member of the Ann Arbor Kennel Club where she is currently Show Chair. Mary Anne serves as Judges Education Chair for the Old English Sheepdog Club of Amer- ica. In 2013 Mary Anne was selected as Herding Breeder of the Year by the Santa Barbara Kennel Club. She is approved by the AKC to judge all Work- ing and Herding Breeds, PBGVs and Best In Show. In addition to judging in the US, Mary Anne has judged in Aus- tralia, China, South Africa, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Denmark and Finland.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Anne has experi- ence as an e x h i b i t o r , breeder, dog club official and judge. Mary Anne b e g a n b r e e d i n g and exhib- iting Old
English Sheepdogs in 1973 and has bred and owned over 100 OES Cham- pions under the Qubic prefix. Qubic OES have won BIS, BISS, many group
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OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG INTERVIEW JERE MARDER
I t’s been my pleasure to know the subject of this spotlight for over thirty years. It’s also been my privilege to learn from here every time we were together, for she remains a teacher in all situations. Not that the didactic aspect of her personality ever overshadows her smile; Jere is one of the most enjoyable and inter- esting people it is my pleasure to know. Few people in the sport don’t recognize Jere as she’s been in the Winner’s Circle for many years. However, I felt it would be a treat for us all to get to know her—and her breed—a little better. Ladies and Gentlemen: Mrs. Jere Marder. —ed.
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Top Photo: Ch. Bahlambs Beachboy was from Veteran class 1983 | Bottom Photo: Ch. Rholenwood’s Taylor Maid 1985
1. Tell us a bit about your background, where you live and your interests/hobbies outside of dogs. For 40 years I lived in a condo on the near northside of Chicago rais- ingmany litter of OES. We moved to Valparaiso, Indiana on five acres and the dogs have a great time. I am still learning about the country (kind of like <the tv show> Green Acres and Eva Gabor!). My interests are with the theatre and dance. As a past dancer and choreog- rapher, I love to attend the theatre,
musicals and dance concerts. I also love all sports. I have a B.S. in Educa- tion where I taught high school and had my own dance studio with over 100 students each year averaging from two-years-old to 80-years-old. 2. Why Old English Sheepdogs? My husband gave me an OES puppy as a surprise Christmas present and that was the beginning of my life in Dogdom. After seven years my pet passed away and I couldn’t live with- out another sheepdog. We were led
to a great breeder, Caj Haakansson who sold me a show dog and that was the beginning of my desire to show and succeed. My life with OES evolved over the 40 years, loving them and their great personalities and temperaments. 3. Few have accomplished what you have in our Sport. Can you express the impor- tance of mentors and your experience as both student and teacher? I learned from the best, Caj Haakans- son, Bahlamb Farms. He moved from
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Top Left Photo: Ch. Lambluv’s Winning Maid Easy 1993 | Top Right Photo: Ch. Lambluv’s Last Tango in B.A. 2001 | Bottom Left Photo: Ch. Lambluv’s Gambol on Diamond Diva 1999 | Bottom Right Photo: Ch. Lambluv’s Desert Dancer 1996
“WE ARE NOT HERE TO CHANGE THE BREED,
BUT TO REFLECT THE STANDARD.”
Sweden, to England, to the U.S. I would drive 12 hours one way and spend many days with him learn- ing about this breed. He taught me the essence of grooming this breed correctly and the correct structure of the breed and not to be fooled by false grooming. I wanted to learn and I listened care- fully. First and foremost our stan- dard is our guide, not fads or our
own opinions. We are not here to change the breed, but to reflect the standard. I try to teach the people that buy my puppies these values. I could not have made Lambluv OES so successful if it weren’t for the Lambluv family that listened to me and learned from my mentoring. They represented the breed standard and followed through showing to the best of their abilities. All of this
dedication has produced over 100 Lambluv Champions.
4. What is your biggest health concern facing the breed today? Careful breeding and learning from other past breeders’ mistakes has helped me make my decisions on breeding the best I can. Being honest with yourself about your dogs is very important. OES now
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Top Photo: Ch. Lambluv’s Desdemona 2003 | Bottom Photo: Ch. Lambluv’s The Devine Miss M 2004
have numerous markers which helps immensely. If breeders are hon- est with each other, we can lessen the health problems. My line has had a problem here and there but nothing in great numbers. CA was somewhat of an issue but now we have a marker so it should never be produced. Autoimmune issues from allergies to thrombocytope- nia are in some lines. Deafness now has the BAER test which also helps in a breeding program. Breeding is percentages and if you have great
percentages of healthy dogs, you are doing well. We don’t know what recessive genes could pop up but low percentages of any problem is going in the right direction in my eyes. 5. Do all Old English Sheepdogs Pas de deux? Yours are certainly famous for it. I have always danced with my dogs. They are my partners at home and in the ring. The OES thrives on human companionship and love. They are not kennel dogs and I would never
sell one of my puppies to a ken- nel situation. Loving homes are very important. 6. What 3 words best describe the Old English sheepdog? Affectionate, loyal and humorous.
7. What is the biggest mistake new judges make?
I feel the biggest mistake is that judg- es don't use their hands to assess a dog’s conformation, they only look at the grooming of it, or don’t know
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GCHP. Lambluv Gambol on Blue Thunder 2013
9. Docking is very controversial. What are your feelings about OES tails?
what they are feeling. Going over the dog and stopping at the hips and not feeling the hindquarters for a long sweeping second thigh and bend of stifle, down to the low let down hock which is the correct hindquar- ters on an OES. 8. How has this amazing working breed adapted to urban Living? We must remember they were the Drover dog that ambled and paced driving the flock to market. They had to go long distances and preserve energy. We don’t want them to race around the ring. Keeping this in mind, urban living was very easy for me. I walked them to the park at least 4 times a day. I could roadwork them when I showed them. They were easily socialized in the city with people, sounds etc. I find in the country they lay around and sleep a lot. I have to still take them out for a good walk or run.
to make the effort. We are not a breed that you just look at; you must feel with your hands and use your brain.
The OES is the Bobtail. I hope we never have to leave a tail on our OES. We do have a standard. I am not sure how this started in Europe but I don't feel the government should be making all these laws telling us what to do with our dogs pertaining to our breed standards. 10. What is the best way for a judge to learn to look through the coat to see the body within? I think the more judges go over an OES the more they will feel the differences. I think they must ask questions from reputable breeders that have been in the breed a long time. Go to seminars and listen and then apply this knowledge when going over a dog. I don’t expect anyone to understand my breed in the beginning. It is a hard breed to understand but, a judge can learn what is right if they want
11. What was your most exciting win?
My most exciting win was winning the Group 1 at Westminster, not once, but twice. I still remember every thought I had in the group from 1991 and 1998.
12. And, for a bit of spice…what was your funniest experience at a show?
My funniest experience was in the group. I was doing the individual and going around my skirt started to fall down. As it was going down, my legs were bending lower and lower until I was sitting on the floor with my skirt in a heap around me. Thank goodness I wear a slip. The judge never saw this sight and everyone around was laughing hysterically. HAHA!
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OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG
like just throwing in the towel, but we pick ourselves up and persevere! Young breeders need to understand the huge responsibility they undertake in preserving this wonderful breed. As required by the Breed Standard, the breed is a thick- set compact looking breed-I see dogs winning at times that are tubular, which is not a bobtail! The Old English Sheepdog is a wonderful gregarious out- going breed. They are not for everyone due to their coat care and their over the top loving nature. 3. The biggest problem facing you as a breeder. JM: No problems with being a breeder—and I live in California. AS: The biggest problem is dealing with the public’s percep- tion of breeders who have been vilified by the extremists. Families that want lovingly raised family pet are misin- formed about breeders. As in all, aspects of life,there are good and bad people. Their tentacles have also have extended all the way down into the minds of children in schools and all the way up into the Veterinary Schools as well. A friend was asked by a vet tech, why would she do a fro- zen insemination of one of the greatest dogs in her breed, when so many dogs need homes? This was said in front of the vet doing the insemination, who said nothing! The mere thought that the vet tech thought this was appropri- ate to even ask this of a client is breathaking! “THERE IS SUCH JOY IN STUDYING PUPPIES AND WATCH THEM DEVELOP, BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN ONE FEELS LIKE JUST THROWING IN THE TOWEL, BUT WE PICK OURSELVES UP AND PERSEVERE!”
I live in Southern California and currently have a whole- sale ceramic business. I’m a breed of Old English Sheepdogs, a judge for two plus groups. ANGELA STEIN After my stroke eight years ago, I retired. My husband and I have had a Medical and Veterinarian Illustrating business for 45 years. 1. Your opinion of the current quality of purebred dogs in general, and your breed in particular. JM: The quality of dogs in general that I judge are average to good quality; with a hand full of exceptional quality. OES overrall are average to good. AS: The current quality in general is good, but the sport is in decline due to a variety of reasons. I don’t see people wanting to commit to the discipline and commitment required. In our “instant” society today, reading books and learning the history and purpose of a breed is pretty much non existent. It is very discouraging, when after a presentation at a National Specialty, a new young person asked me ,“Why they should care what a bunch of old guys decided in 1905 in establishing the Breed Stan- dard?” This cultural shift demonstrated in this statement makes it clear to me, that those of that want to preserve our breeds have our work cut out! The creeping incremental assault from the extremists painting us all with a very broad brush has also had a chilling impact. 2. The biggest concern you have about your breed, be it medical, structural, temperament-wise, or what. JM: Exhibitors are more concerned with winning and not concerned with the structure. They forget they are herding dogs. AS: My biggest concern is the steep decline in numbers of people totally dedicated to being a lifelong student of my breed along with the discipline required for a very labor intensive breed. Medically, we have made great strides. Back in the 60s and 70s the rates of Hip Dysplasia were much higher and now we have tools for genetic issues to breed without flying blind. At the same time, if one is not a student of the breed and willing to spend many hours of research, reading and talking to long time breeders, then one should not breed! Breeding requires a very thick skin. There is such joy in studying puppies and watch them develop, but there are times when one feels
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WITH JANCE MCCLARY & ANGELA STE IN
They have also incrementally made their way into policy positions, giving them in roads which affect all of us try- ing preserve our breeds, while they seek to eradicate us. The other problem I see now is the new flank of the extremists into “rescue” The rescue folks in my own breed thankfully, do a wonderful job and do not engage in some of the blatant tactics being witnessed today. 4. Advice to a new breeder? Advice to a new judge of your breed? JM: Breeders should not just breed without some knowledge of genetics. As a new judge: speak to as many breeders as possible, study the standard. Judge the whole dog—not parts nor advertisments. Every breed has specific things that make that breed. In OES: square, rise over loin, pear shaped, narrower in front than in rear, good coat texture, shaggy and not excessively trimmed. May amble, pace or trot with a roll. AS: Read everything about the breed’s history and it’s pur- pose! Form follows function—it does not follow a “pretty picture”! Talk to many breeders who have had 30-50 years involvement in the breed! Learn to understand the hard work and dedication required to breed! As a judge, exhibitors need to remember—one can only judge what is in the ring on a given day. Understanding structure and anatomy is essential. It is very discouraging to have a long time breeder shows to
a judge several dogs with the same faults demonstrated by their movement and then comment the judge did not “like” their dogs instead of asking the judge. A confident judge will answer their questions. Exhibitors should also bring in dogs that have breed type demonstrating hallmarks of the breed. An Old English Sheepdog, that does not have breed type is just a blue and white dog with hair! 5. Anything else you’d like to share—something you’ve learned as a breeder, exhibitor or judge or a par- ticular point you’d like to make JM: I’ve been a breeder of OES for 50 years. A good breeder of any coated breed should be able to evaluate the struc- ture of that dog and see through the coat. AS: As a breeder, I am still learning after 50 years. One of my biggest let downs, as a breeder, is mentoring some- one, who then decides they know everything and are ungrateful for sharing one’s knowledge with them. I will always mentor regardless, because it carries the breed forward in years to come hopefully. As an exhibitor, I have learned that, when I go in the ring, it is just one judge’s opinion. On the other hand, just as an exhibitor should be willing to hear what a judge has to say, judges should be receptive to what exhibitors and Breed Men- tors have to say about their judging. It is very discourag- ing to see a judge put up an Old English Sheepdog with a level topline, without a long gracefully arched neck and lacking pear shape—three major breed characteristics! The Breed Standard requires the Old English Sheepdog to “cover maximum ground with minimum footsteps, so they are required to have good shoulder layback and upper forearms equal in length to the scapula to reach along with good bend of stifle and a long second thigh with strong low set hocks to drive. As a Breed Mentor, I am often asked, “Is the Old English Sheepdog a ‘head breed’” Yes! it is. The breed uses it’s head as a tool for it’s job. Besides being alert and focused, they use their mouths to nip at the stock. They must have a strong square head, with a good stop and a strong truncated muzzle with a long powerful underjaw and a level or scissor bite. Level is listed first, because it is the preferred bite, because it does not tear the wool when they nip. Lastly-the breed is an Old English Sheepdog or a Bobtail-it is never a “sheepie” or worse, a “fur baby”. 6. And for a bit of humor, what’s the funniest thing that you ever experienced at a dog show? AS: I won’t mention any names(they know who they are), but my husbnd went into a porta potty. While in there, a friend decided to take their truck and come up to the door and start sliding the porta potty on the grass. My husband is in there with this sliding action and the “stuff” sloshing back and forth. We all had a good laugh. Thankfully, he has a great sense of humor!
“A GOOD BREEDER OF ANY COATED BREED SHOULD BE ABLE TO
EVALUATE THE STRUCTURE OF THAT DOG AND SEE THROUGH THE COAT.”
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SPOTLIGHT ON THE OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG
DIANE ANDERSON I am licensed by AKC for Best In Show, the Working Group and part of the Herd- ing Group and am provisional for the Non-Sporting Group. Since my first judg- ing assignment in 1975, I have judged at championship level around the world: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Den-
(OES) when I was eight years old. That dog was meant to be a family pet, but we took her to a match; about 70 OES were there. She went Best of Opposite and my mom was hooked. CHRIS
GABURRI I live near Pittsburgh, Pennsylva- nia. I had to laugh about what I do outside of dogs because the answer is that there is not much I do outside of the dogs except spend time with my husband, Al, cooking and garden-
mark, England, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Iceland, India, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nor- way, Scotland, Sweden, Switzerland and the US, including the honor of judging OES at the Melbourne Royal Show and World Shows (the most recent in Finland in 2014). I have owned Old English Sheepdogs since 1969 and bred under the prefix Likeabear. My lines continue to produce champions in America, Australia, Canada and Europe. CATHY DRUMMONDS I live in Monroe, Michigan and spend time with my hus- band, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. If in town on a Sunday, I attend church with my husband and family. I’ve had OES for 35 years and have been showing in conformation for 31 years. LIZ
ing. I groom dogs for income and am on the board of three dog clubs: the Old English Sheepdog Club of America, Beaver County KC and the Western Reserve Old English Sheepdog Club. I bought my first pet OES in 1974. My exposure to the local breed club, the Greater Pittsburgh OES Club, and the friends I made there got me interested in showing and breed- ing. I bred my first litter in 1978 and my first Champion, bred under the Rosebery prefix, came from that litter. I have gone on to finish and breed approximately 40 Champions. ANN LAPP I live in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. I am a retired faculty mem- ber from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire. Along with my husband, Robert, I have exhibited and bred OES since 1974. JERE MARDER I lived in Chicago, Illinois in a Victorian condo for 35 years and then moved to Valparaiso, Indiana. I love to attend theatre, opera and musicals. I also love to travel all over the world. I have been in dogs for about 40 years. I started with Jack Funk showing my dogs and then I started to show my own dogs. I have judged the OES National Sweepstakes.
FUJIKAWA I live in Wellington, Florida after moving from a Chicago suburb about six years ago. I am a licensed profes- sional engineer and work for a consult- ing firm specializing in the design and construction management of water
and wastewater treatment plants. I’ve been in the dog world for many years. My mom got our first Old English Sheepdog
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MARILYN & KRISTI MARSHALL
1. Describe the breed in three words. DA: It is difficult to describe the breed in three words, but I believe that the words thickset, pear-shaped and square describe the essence of the breed. The challenge being to get under the coat to evaluate these and other breed characteristics specific to the Old English Sheepdog. It is easy to be fooled by clever grooming. To elaborate on these three characteristics, the OES should be thickset, but agile with plenty of substance, good bone and spring/ depth of rib. He should be pear-shaped with a noticeably wide rear. He should be square bodied with the proper angulation to allow reach of neck, forechest, well bent stifles and low hocks. CD: Big, hairy clown. LF: Lovable, clown like and addictive (like potato chips). CG: Compact, complicated and hairy.
We live in Southern California. As we are both retired we keep busy around the house and with friends. We have been showing and breeding dogs since the mid 1970s. DALE MEYER dogs all my life. I purchased my first Old English in 1978 and I started showing about six months later. My first litter was born in 1980 under the Wynsilot prefix and I started judging in 1995. JOYCE WETZLER I live in the center of Wisconsin, deep in farming country. Dorchester is a vil- lage of 800 people. I own and operate a building supply center there. I have had
AL: Gentle, responsive clowns. JM: Comical, wooly and joyful. M&KM: Fun loving, affectionate and too smart. DM: Sound, square and pear shaped. JW: Loyal, smart and a clown.
2. Do you have a mentor you’d like to thank? What was the most valuable lesson you learned from a veteran breeder? DA: I have been blessed to have mentors around the world, many of whom are legends in our breed. They taught me to recognize balance and to know when a dog stands naturally “four square” with correct proportion and angu- lation. Correct balance is evident when the dog moves. As a breeder, I believe that the future of a breed is gener- ally in the slow maturing puppy. However, as a judge, one must reward the best puppy in the ring on the day. CD: I would like to thank Mary Anne Brocious and Paula Coffman for taking me under their wings. They taught me how important pedigrees and having a good breeding program are. LF: I’ve had many mentors who had—and still do have—an influence on me. There are too many to thank and I don’t want to risk leaving someone out. I’m continually studying, discussing and learning the OES and Norwich Terrier, my other breed, as well as other friends’ breeds. Learning about all aspects of dogs will never end for me. What was the most valuable lesson you learned from a veteran breeder? That’s a difficult question, there are so many things. Today I’d say that evaluating carriage on an eight-week-old puppy, or even an adult dog, is so impor- tant. It really tells the story on structure. Wheel bar- rowing movement, when a dog has to drop its head way down to allow the front to reach because of unbalanced structure is a huge pet peeve of mine. I try and find those dogs that can maintain their profile on the move. CG: I have always done my own thing so there are many people, breeders and experiences that have made up my education of the breed and dogs. I attended some great structure and movement seminars with Babs Krumpe, London Fog OES and Ann Garrett, Sweetwater when
I live in Reisterstown, Maryland with my husband, Bob. I used to, when I was working, buy ladies fashions for the fam- ily’s’ chain of ladies stores. I had my first old English (Homer) in 1964. I started
showing in the early 70s. I finished the dogs in the classes and then I turned the dog over to Bob Forsyth to campaign. Jane and Bob were my handlers until they started to judge. Jane called one day to tell me they were going to start judg- ing. She asked me, when he was giving up handling, if I had a dog for Bob, she said he wanted to go out showing a Whis- perwood Old English Sheepdog. That’s what he did. He got what he wanted.
“FUN LOVING, AFFECTIONATE AND TOO SMART.”
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WITH DIANE ANDERSON, CATHY DRUMMONDS, LIZ FUJIKAWA, CHRIS GABURRI, ANN LAPP, JERE MARDER, MARILYN & KRISTI MARSHALL, DALE MEYER & JOYCE WETZLER
I was just starting out. The Quentin Laham and Racheal Page Elliot seminars we attended together gave me knowledge of structure and movement. This provided a great building block. Incorporating the knowledge of “type” for the OES came a little slower. I think I am a good student and have learned that type and soundness in equal parts are needed to make a great OES. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned from a veteran breeder came from Caj Haakanson of Bahlambs OES. He taught me not to fault judge. It was during an early encounter exhibiting my first show OES, Caj was judging. I asked him about my dog after judging and he told me the things he liked and never spoke a negative word. Through the years I got to know Caj better and this was not his type of dog and yet he kept it positive. This has become a valuable lesson. AL: My mentor was Cass Moulton Arble. Cass taught me the importance of preserving the health of the breed. She stressed the need to complete a health profile for each breeding animal along with an analysis of a 12-genera- tion pedigree for each breeding partner. As we selected breeding pairs, her guidance was invaluable. Even today, Cass continues to serve as a fountain of knowledge and a steadfast sounding board. JM: Yes, there are two mentors in my life that I am most grateful to for the knowledge that they have shared with me. Caj Haakansson, Bahlambs Farms OES. He taught me what a true OES should be as far as temperament, structure, movement and most of all type. Also, Gerardo Paulucci, from Buenos Aires, taught me concepts of grooming and relating the OES to other breeds. M&KM: In the beginning we had several mentors who taught us to listen and learn; over the years we have applied that concept and are still learning today. DM: Vinita Smith of Warwyck kennels was my mentor. Most valuable lesson was to learn about and recognize cor- rect fronts and understand what the standard meant by, “Soundness is of the utmost importance.” Soundness is front and rear legs converging, balanced angles allow- ing the dogs to cover ground equally front and rear and mentally not being shy or aggressive. Judges and breeders need to be able to recognize this in a coated breed. It’s not the biggest and hairiest dog with one amazing attri- bute that should be rewarded. Consider it, but reward the soundest dogs with the best attributes. JW: I never had a mentor back in the 1960s. I went to shows to learn—that was my classroom, along with the standard. 3. What is the number one thing that flashes through your mind when you evaluate the breed? DA: When judging any breed, I find it invaluable to have in mind a simple catch phrase that describes the essence of the breed. For OES, I use the catch phrase, “A pear and a square.” With that simple descriptive phrase in mind, specific breed characteristics should then be assessed with a hands-on evaluation. Remembering that the OES
should be thick-set, pear-shaped and square, look for a big black nose on a truncated muzzle. This does not mean a short muzzle, but a truncated strong muzzle. If the incisors in the lower jaw are straight across, that usu- ally results in a proper muzzle. The eyes are dark and set wide apart to give an intelligent expression. There should be a slight stop but the expression is largely determined by correct eyes and noticeable eyebrows. It is also vital with low hocks and a rise over the loin which flows into a wide, rounded and muscular croup. Finally, the coat is double with a harsh topcoat. When you rub the outer coat between your fingers you should feel the harshness. CD: Top line! This is important because it is the hallmark of our breed. They use it to be able to pivot quickly when they are used for what they are bred for. LF: When I evaluate a dog, there are two things I look for: type and soundness. Does the dog look like an OES— square, free from legginess or an overly long back, substantial in bone and body and an arched neck with a pretty expression? And also, I’ll never have an OES that isn’t sound. I want true and balanced movement in all directions as well as being even tempered—aggressive or shy dogs should not be bred. CG: The key points of the General Appearance in the stan- dard; compact, thick-set, muscular and sound. It’s not a good OES without this, however it is important to get your hands on the dog to confirm this is what is under all that hair and not just a created picture. AL: Balance and function (is that two?). A Herding dog requires correct structure and stamina to perform their function. JM: Going over the dog correctly. Too many people don’t know how to effectively go over an OES in order to feel what is expected of our breed according to our standard. You can’t just look at an OES and know if it is correct or not; if it has a rise over the loin for a good topline, a cor- rect head, good spring of ribs or if the hindquarters are built correctly. M&KM: We feel that the overall balance and structure of the dog is very important. If the dog is not balanced they can- not do the job they were bred for. “DOES THE DOG LOOK LIKE AN OES— SQUARE, FREE FROM LEGGINESS OR AN OVERLY LONG BACK, SUBSTANTIAL IN BONE AND BODY AND AN ARCHED NECK WITH A PRETTY EXPRESSION?”
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WITH DIANE ANDERSON, CATHY DRUMMONDS, LIZ FUJIKAWA, CHRIS GABURRI, ANN LAPP, JERE MARDER, MARILYN & KRISTI MARSHALL, DALE MEYER & JOYCE WETZLER
predict what will be the makeup of the puppy. As a breeder, I would prefer a show developing puppy. In my line it usually turns out to be the better special. M&KM: We evaluate the puppies at birth, again at eight weeks and then at six months and by that time we are fairly confidant that the puppy has a promising future. DM: I can recognize a puppy’s merit at 8-12 weeks, but don’t feel confident until they are about 8-12 months old. JW: With my own stock, I could feel confident between six to nine months. They all seem to grow all together and they held their type. What you saw was what you got only it was a larger picture. 5. Judges: Does a mature-looking puppy catch your eye more than those growing up more slowly? LF: Of course that substantial puppy with bone/body and coat always catches my eye. But one has to remember that OES go through so many growth stages and some lines mature faster than others. At eight weeks, pup- pies are balanced looking, then they go through growth spurts. I actually want to see a leggy looking puppy at four months, if they still look balanced, they usually end up too long in body as adults. And then at eight months— many times, I just have to look away and make myself remember what I saw at eight weeks. JM: Whether it is a puppy or not, you want it to be balanced and square. The puppy should be free from legginess, but should not be free from leg. The standard still applies to a puppy when judging. The only thing is a puppy may carry a dead brown puppy coat in which brown is not acceptable in an adult coat. Yes, puppies go through dif- ferent stages, but we must evaluate and judge them on the day. M&KM: I have judged sweepstakes and I look at the overall quality of the puppy, not the maturity. DM: A structurally sound dog will look that way at eight weeks. Hair hides a lot, so many times one might think their dog is better than he was at a younger age, but in reality it is the same dog with more coat. Things that I notice change in our dogs are head, body and bone. Most often you can take a picture of an eight-week old puppy and again as an adult dog and it really is just a blown up version of that puppy. If you are a good groomer/trim- mer, you can even fool yourself into believing the dog is better than it is and vice versa. JW: No. A mature puppy does not catch my eye more than one that grows more slowly. I would be looking for breed “THE STANDARD STILL APPLIES TO A PUPPY WHEN JUDGING.”
“THERE ARE MANY LINES IN OUR BREED THAT TAKE AS LONG AS ONE YEAR OR LONGER TO FULLY MATURE.”
DM: Breed type. Without breed type, it is not an Old English. The standard describes a sound dog with a capacious head, fairly long neck, rather square dog with a rise over the loin and well coated all around, with an elastic move- ment that covers ground. Knowing what is grooming and what is real comes only from experience. JW: The first thing in my mind when I am judging the old English would be breed type. They need to be a square compact dog free from legginess. 4. Breeders: At what age do you feel confident in a puppy’s future? CD: Six months. LF: I’m pretty sure about my choices at 8 weeks and the adults usually end up better than what I predicted. I’m continually analyzing from birth until my decision day. CG: When your litter is born you evaluate every day but at six to eight weeks you begin to pick the ones off the bottom to place. By 12 weeks you feel pretty solid about having a really good prospect for championship quality, a good time to look hard at structure and soundness. After that age sometimes you have to stop looking as they go through some growth that can throw their balance and head structure off for a while. I also like a dog to not look like a miniature adult as a young dog. These dogs usually end up too “stuffy” for me. I like my dogs to have some elegance to them with a fairly long neck and a well laid back shoulder. I usually start to get excited as they get closer to one year of age and I see it all coming back together. It can be a fun process. AL: There are many lines in our breed that take as long as one year or longer to fully mature. Other lines in our breed can be confidently judged earlier. Since we cannot keep them all, the first puppy evaluation is around 12 weeks, then at six months and 12 months. Generally, the final evaluation with confidence is not until 18 months to 24 months. Note: evaluations include health clearances that often cannot be completed until the dog is 24 months. JM: I like Pat Hastings’ Puppy Puzzle and evaluate my litters at eight weeks of age. There are a few unpredictable qualities that are unknown like height, coat color and texture. But, if you know the pedigree it certainly helps
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type first, four good legs, nice layback in shoulders and a muzzle that’s not snipey. It does not come with maturity.
healthy puppies. On the negative side, we feel that some exhibitors are trying to sculpture in structure instead of breeding for it. It makes a pretty picture but it’s not correct. DM: I think movement has improved, but we still have a way to go. Over trimming is one I would like to see stop. The Old English Sheepdog is a shaggy dog. The coat is described as being profuse, therefore should not be body trimmed to two inches or less. It might be a tidy look, but it is not correct. Some body trimming is necessary to avoid looking like a tumbleweed. The standard says profuse, but not to the point of looking fat. JW: The trend that I have seen since the 60s are our rears. We had a lot of cow-hocked dogs back then and we have improved this problem. Now lets start on the fronts.
6. Any trends you see in the breed that you hope con- tinue? Any that you’d like to see stop? DA: Here in America breeders have produced wonderfully sound rears and in general overall soundness. However many OES in the ring today are short on leg and rectan- gular. One of my pet peeves is the excess sculpturing of the coat. The coat needs only to be neatened in a natural shaggy trim. CD: Breeding correct heads. LF: I think people are showing cleaner dogs, good coat care is more prevalent. I’d like to see breeders and judges stop gravitating towards generic dogs that lack type or the dogs with unbalanced gait. The generic flashy dogs with big open side gaits, but lacking in bone, body and substance are not true to our breed. And the unbalanced, wheel barrowing dogs that cross in the middle cannot function as herding dogs. Those aren’t true OES and I wish they weren’t rewarded in the ring because many breeders tend to breed on winning records. Those poor breeding choices are just reducing the size of our gene pool for everyone. CG: The breed appears squarer than it has in the recent past. Dogs are cleaner in their movement com- ing and going. However, in achieving this they have lost the effortless and powerful movement called for in the stan- dard. Exhibitors need to understand structure and learn that a good dog is more than grooming and presentation. AL: Our National Breed Club is establishing
“THE OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG IS A SHAGGY DOG.”
strong commitment to breed health by working with the CHF and CHIC. I am proud of the fact that we are actively working to educate members and owners. As health and research advances explode, keeping members informed is an exciting and formidable task for all breed clubs. JM: I am happy that there are tests available for breeders to use in making responsible decisions for breeding, not just picking Tom, Dick or Harry. I would like to see extreme scissoring and sculpting of the OES stop. We are not supposed to be extreme like a Bichon or Poodle. M&KM: The breeders are more concerned over health issues and we testing our breeding stock to produce
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WITH DIANE ANDERSON, CATHY DRUMMONDS, LIZ FUJIKAWA, CHRIS GABURRI, ANN LAPP, JERE MARDER, MARILYN & KRISTI MARSHALL, DALE MEYER & JOYCE WETZLER
7. Anything else you’d like to share about your breed? DA: I fell in love with this breed because of their tempera- ment. They are the ultimate companions—loyal and intelligent, always happy and ready to please. I wish exhibitors would allow them to relax in the ring so that their happy personalities show through. There is nothing more OES than a bottom that wiggles as an expression of joy. As it was once said, “God put hair over the eyes of the Old English Sheepdog so that they could not see the faults of others.” CD: I would like to see better bites. People need to learn what a correct bite is. I’m tired of being told their dog has a reverse scissors bite. There is no such thing, they are undershot and that is incorrect. LF: OES are wonderful dogs and deserve to have more true “caretakers”. Those who want to preserve the breed by improving type, soundness and health. CG: We have a hard time showing the true character of our breed in the show ring. That is probably because we want them to behave and not mess up their grooming. Many think that our breed is not smart. That is not true; they are often smarter than their owners. Trainers do not appreciate that they need new things to keep them motivated. They are loving, sweet and always testing the rules and boundaries, kind of like most teenagers. Put your homework into your young dog and you will have a friend and companion for life. AL: I continue to be in awe of the bond that exists among people in the dog fancy. JM: As a breeder and doing this for many years, I feel no one has the right to change our standard for personal prefer- ence. The standard is the foundation of our breed and we should respect it. M&KM: Old English Sheepdogs are very vestibule, they are happy living in an apartment or a 40 acre ranch as long as they are with their family. They are good in the show ring, performance events and as a family pet. DM: We are losing our square back skulls, thick muzzles and good under jaws. OES should be thickset, well sprung in the rib with a thickly muscled loin which gives it the correct topline or rise over the loin. This is the bridge between the front and rear quarters. It needs to be strong and stout. Watch for those things and award them as breeders and as judges. Don’t ever say that you can’t find good shoulders, so therefore, you ignore them. They are “THEY ARE THE ULTIMATE COMPANIONS—LOYAL AND INTELLIGENT, ALWAYS HAPPY AND READY TO PLEASE.”
out there and should be rewarded. Over angulated rears are wrong; don’t reward those. Balance and soundness is of the utmost importance. The standard says, “Their movement is free and powerful, seemingly effortless, with good reach and drive and covering maximum ground with minimum steps.” Learn to evaluate good reach. Does the dog carry its head forward while moving, is its neck fairly long and can it reach to at least its nose? These are all important things to know in this herding breed. Breed to the best dog for your bitch, not the dog down the road because it is the easiest. JW: I want to share something that has bothered me over the past five years. Making our shaggy dog into topiaries. The sculpturing must stop! The judges must stop award- ing dogs that are over trimmed. 8. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? CD: I was showing my second OES. It had rained very hard the night before and there was water standing in one corner of the ring. When the judge sent me on the down and back, my dog stopped before he hit the puddle but I didn’t. I slipped, landed on my back in the puddle. My skirt went up to my hips and my left leg was resting on top of the fencing while my dog was standing there look- ing down at me, smiling. LF: Years ago I had an OES named Mikey who loved to be in the ring. We lost the group and I was packing up while Mikey was sitting in the front seat of my van with the window open. Best in Show was going on and there was lots of applause, Mikey jumped out the window, ran across the field, veered through the ring opening, did his own circle and ran back. How embarrassing! JM: I was at a show watching groups and it was raining cats and dogs so to speak. In the distance I saw an OES running around in the rain thinking, what nut would let their OES in full coat run around in the rain. Oh my, it was my special that needed to go into the group. Four wonderful friends took a leg each and helped blow dry the dog before getting to the Group ring. The laugh was on me. M&KM: When you have friends helping you show dogs, as you have entered way too many, and the friend hands you a bitch instead of the dog that should be going into the ring and the judge asked you if you are sure that this was the correct dog that should be in the ring; it wasn’t! DM: There are so many funny things that happen at dog shows I can’t begin to tell. It’s always great to get togeth- er with friends with similar interests. JW: The one thing I never saw at a dog show before wasn’t funny to the person it happened to, but you couldn’t stop to laugh at what happened. A judge, after Best in Show, was running to the port-a-john placed on an incline and an exhibitor was backing out, but he went back too far and tipped the judge and the port-a-potty over the incline. The judge was fine, but the suit was thrown away.
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