Old English Sheepdog Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.
SHEEPDOG OLD ENGLISH
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
Page 1 of 2
Official Standard of the Old English Sheepdog General Appearance: A strong, compact, square, balanced dog. Taking him all around, he is profusely, but not excessively coated , thickset, muscular and able-bodied. These qualities, combined with his agility, fit him for the demanding tasks required of a shepherd's or drover's dog. Therefore, soundness is of the greatest importance . His bark is loud with a distinctive "pot- casse" ring in it. Size, Proportion, Substance: Type, character and balance are of greater importance and are on no account to be sacrificed to size alone. Size - Height (measured from top of withers to the ground), Dogs: 22 inches (55.8 centimeters) and upward. Bitches: 21 inches (53.3 centimeters) and upward. Proportion - Length (measured from point of shoulder to point of ischium (tuberosity) practically the same as the height. Absolutely free from legginess or weaselness. Substance - Well muscled with plenty of bone. Head - A most intelligent expression. Eyes - Brown, blue or one of each. If brown, very dark is preferred. If blue, a pearl, china or wall-eye is considered typical. An amber or yellow eye is most objectionable. Ears - Medium sized and carried flat to the side of the head. Skull - Capacious and rather squarely formed giving plenty of room for brain power. The parts over the eyes (supra-orbital ridges) are well arched. The whole well covered with hair. Stop - Well defined. Jaw - Fairly long, strong, square and truncated. Attention is particularly called to the above properties as a long, narrow head or snipy muzzle is a deformity. Nose - Always black, large and capacious. Teeth - Strong, large and evenly placed. The bite is level or tight scissors. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - Fairly long and arched gracefully. Topline - Stands lower at the withers than at the loin with no indication of softness or weakness. Attention is particularly called to this topline as it is a distinguishing characteristic of the breed. Body - Rather short and very compact, broader at the rump than at the shoulders, ribs well sprung and brisket deep and capacious. Neither slab-sided nor barrel-chested. The loin is very stout and gently arched. Tail - Docked close to the body, when not naturally bob tailed. Forequarters: Shoulders well laid back and narrow at the points. The forelegs dead straight with plenty of bone. The measurements from the withers to the elbow and from the elbow to the ground are practically the same. Hindquarters: Round and muscular with well let down hocks. When standing, the metatarsus are perpendicular to the ground when viewed from any angle. Feet: Small and round, toes well arched, pads thick and hard, feet pointing straight ahead. Coat: Profuse, but not so excessive as to give the impression of the dog being overly fat, and of a good hard texture; not straight, but shaggy and free from curl. Quality and texture of coat to be considered above mere profuseness. Softness or flatness of coat to be considered a fault. The undercoat is a waterproof pile when not removed by grooming or season. Ears coated moderately. The whole skull well covered with hair. The neck well coated with hair. The forelegs well coated all around. The hams densely coated with a thick, long jacket in excess of any other part. Neither the natural outline nor the natural texture of the coat may be changed by any artificial means except that the feet and rear may be trimmed for cleanliness. Color: Any shade of gray, grizzle, blue or blue merle with or without white markings or in reverse. Any shade of brown or fawn to be considered distinctly objectionable and not to be encouraged .
Page 2 of 2
Gait: When trotting, movement is free and powerful, seemingly effortless, with good reach and drive, and covering maximum ground with minimum steps. Very elastic at a gallop. May amble or pace at slower speeds. Temperament: An adaptable, intelligent dog of even disposition, with no sign of aggression, shyness or nervousness.
Approved February 10, 1990 Effective March 28, 1990
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 reach and drive. 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,
258 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018
“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 influence 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 exhibitor, breeder, dog club official and judge. Mary Anne b e g a n b r e ed i ng 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
260 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018
Judging the OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG
T his breed has been called di ffi cult to judge but by identifying the key ana- tomical points you will become a “Gold Stan- dard Judge”. Please read our Standard and judge the breed based solely upon that and do not add your per- sonal likes or dislikes nor anything not expressly described in the Standard. You are evaluating the future continuation of our breed. You must match your gen- eral appearance evaluation with what your hands find under the coat. Th is is a thick- set and muscular breed. Above all be con- sistent in your examination of each entry. You are demonstrating your knowledge of our breed and its purpose.
By Dianne McKee-Rowland
Key Points As you judge the Old English Sheep- dog, here are a few key points to keep in mind. 1. Approach confidently and place your hands under and around the muzzle. Look for truncation of a fairly long, strong and square muzzle. 2. Check the bite. A truncated muzzle will show a bite that is straight across not round. 3. Place the heel of one hand just
4. Check all the dimensions of the skull (capacious, width, length and depth combined) and check the ear for size and placement. 5. Move your hands to the neck (fair- ly long and gracefully arched). 6. Examine the shoulders, upper arms, points of shoulders (join- ing of scapula and humerus) and forelegs. 7. Our standard describes the feet and pads, please examine them. 8. Run your hands over the thickset body. Th is is vital to the breed. 9. Place the heel of one hand on the withers and move it toward the rump feeling for the “very stout
behind the nose and move it toward the skull checking for a well defined stop continuing to move toward the back of the skull checking for an arch over the eye and the eye color.
“ABOVE ALL BE CONSISTENT in your examination of each entry.”
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6-:
and gently arched loin”. Please pay attention to this feature as it is dis- tinctive to the breed. Th e dog will stand higher at the loin than at the withers. (Not a case of more is bet- ter, slightly higher is just fine.) 10. Move your hands over the rump and check for muscular hindquar- ters. Th is includes the thighs. 11. Examine the well let down hocks. 12. Check to see if the dog is pear shaped. Wider at the rump than the shoulders. 13. Run some of the coat between your thumb and fingers and check for correct hard texture with a waterproof undercoat. Please give your full attention to the description of trimming. (Only feet and rear may be trimmed for cleanliness.) 14. Evaluate the gait. When trotting, movement can best be determined if the dog is shown on a loose lead at a moderate speed. Good reach and drive, MAY amble or pace at a slower speed. It is not required
that a dog move around the ring at either an amble or pace.
BIO I began breeding with my mother and Pekes in 1952 and got my first AKC OES in 1963. My love a ff air with dogs
Markings are not to be considered. But, markings may distort your per- ception of the actual dimensions of the dog. Check for practically square by comparing the distance from the point of shoulder to the ischium against that of the withers to the ground. It is impossible to judge this breed correctly without going about it in a businesslike manner of examination to find the key points mentioned above. Please do the breed the honor of not petting the top of the dog and pass- ing judgment based upon the picture it presents. By using your hands correctly you will tell the exhibitors and specta- tors that you found the dog under the coat. Exhibitors do not complain about Judges messing up their grooming but they do complain about not getting an all-over examination so dig deep. Please consider only the dog and not the han- dling ability of the exhibitor.
has lasted over 60 years and shows no signs of ending any time soon. With my daughter I have had well over 100 Champions which were awarded over 275 titles and awards. As a Breeder, Judge, writer and artist I enjoy the whole world of dogs. It has been my good for- tune to have achieved a Breeder of Merit sta- tus. I am currently the President of the Greater Portland OES Club and have been a member of the parent club for OES (OESCA) for over 30 years. I hope that by my endeavors I will be able to inspire others to do the same. As one of the most successful breeders of OES who can do it all, I find that I continue to learn from breeders and exhibitors who begin under my mentorship. Our dogs have enjoyed showing and competing in conformation, obedience, lure coursing, herding and agility. Several were skijoring partners as well as being great dogs for sled pulling during my many years in Alaska. It is an honor to be invited to write this article for “ShowSight Magazine”.
“BY USING YOUR HANDS CORRECTLY you will tell the exhibitors and spectators that you found the dog under the coat.”
t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6-:
GETTING AWAY FROM Generic
THE HALLMARKS OF THE OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG BY ELIZABETH FUJIKAWA, JUDGES EDUCATION CHAIR, OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG CLUB OF AMERICA W hat are the essential differentiators of an Old English Sheepdog (OES)? Proper evaluation of the OES should seek out the hallmarks of the breed. It is important to realize that the OES is not a “profile” breed; the eye can be tricked with clever grooming. A thorough examina- tion must be done with the hands to verify the actual structure of what’s under the coat. SOUNDNESS The OES breed standard says that soundness is of the greatest importance. The OES should have effortless, balanced movement, meaning efficient and equal reach in the front and drive in the rear. Bicycling, or kicking up in the rear to make up for lack of reach, is not correct. Equally important is the evaluation of the OES coming and going. The OES should converge to a center line with increased speed. The OES should not sidewind or show hockiness. Soundness of mind is also important. The OES is an intelligent dog of even disposition and should never show signs of aggression, The OES is square and balanced, free from legginess and not short of leg. From the side of the dog, measure from the withers to the ground, and from the point of shoulder to the ischium, looking for measurements that are practically the same. Pull aside the coat to confirm the true location of the elbow. Check to see that measurements from the withers to the elbow and from the elbow to the ground are practically the same. A long- backed and short-legged dog as well as the reverse (a dog that is too high on leg and too short-backed) are both incorrect. shyness or nervousness. SQUARE IN PROFILE
The OES has balanced reach and drive.
The OES converges to a center line with increased speed.
The OES is square: Free from legginess and not short of leg.
218 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2021
GETTING AWAY FROM GENERIC
The correct OES topline has a gentle rise over the loin.
Feel for the correct double coat with a crisp texture.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Elizabeth grew up with Old English Sheepdogs. Grace, her mother, purchased the family’s first OES in 1968. Breeding on a limited basis under the Wynward prefix, their dogs have won Best of Breed, Best of Opposite Sex, and Best of Winners at Old English Sheepdog Club of America (OESCA) National Specialties; Best of Breed at Westminster; Best in Regional Specialties; all-breed Bests in Show; and the OESCA Top Twenty. She has twice been elected to judge the OESCA National Specialty Sweepstakes, has served as Vice President and Regional Director for the OESCA, was a member of the OESCA Illustrated Guide committee, and currently serves as the OESCA Judges Education Chair. In addition to OES, she also breeds and exhibits Norwich Terriers. Elizabeth and her significant other, Bob Glickman, currently reside in Wellington, Florida, with seven OES and one Norwich Terrier. TOPLINE The OES should have a gentle rise over the loin. Start at the withers, lay your hand flat and feel for a firm back that then rises gently over the broad, muscular loin. A level topline, and sway or roach backs, are not acceptable, as are “false toplines” that start at the withers and continually rise to the rear. HEAD Pull the coat down and feel for a fairly wide and deep muzzle, and a fairly long, strong, truncated underjaw. Next, find a well-defined stop, good fill under the eyes, and well-defined supra-orbital ridges over the eyes. Spread your hand across the flat and squarely formed capacious skull, reaching from temporal bone to temporal bone. Width, length, and depth of the skull are approximately equal or block-like. A long, narrow head or a snipy muzzle are considered deformities. SUBSTANCE The OES has a thickset body. Feel to check that the dog is broader at the rump than at the shoulders, with well-sprung ribs and a brisket that is deep and capacious, and not slab-sided or barrel-chested. The loin is stout, short, and gently arched. COAT The OES coat is profuse with a hard texture; shaggy and not straight. Look for a natural outline. Check the texture of the coat by feeling for a crisp, coarse texture of the outer coat. Separate the guard hairs to see the dense, softer undercoat below. The soft, single-coated OES puppy is the exception. The OES should appear square and balanced, free from legginess and not short of leg. The coat is profuse but not excessive; overall a thickset, muscular, and able-bodied dog. When moving, the OES should cover maximum ground with minimum steps, with balanced reach and drive, and no excess movement. OES may amble or pace at slower speeds.
The OES skull has approximately equal width, length, and depth.
SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, AUGUST 2021 | 219
as a Working Dog THE OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG Photo © k9 images
by kristine B. LoLanD with gaLe Fitzsimmons
P lease don’t be fooled by the cute, fuzzy look. Th is is a working— speci fi cally, a herding—breed and an immensely physical one at that. Th ey have no reservations about get- ting up close and personal. Very personal. Th e body slam is their trademark, be it stock, other dogs or—unless persuaded otherwise, also known as training—their people. I’m a little surprised this characteristic is not mentioned in our breed standard and still shudder recalling one of my puppies pick- ing up speed on the “back” part of a down and back in the breed ring, aiming directly for the digni fi ed, very mature judge whom she was convinced was her new best friend and whom would no doubt appreciate her special brand of a ff ection, also known as the quick stop, turn of body and hind-quarter slam into the recipient’s knees. Disaster nar- rowly averted by reading her intentions and taking countermeasures. Th e truth is that many OES have an almost deliberate disre- gard for their body—and yours. Th at said, by no means is this breed all brawn and no brains. To the contrary, this is a thinking breed. And what they think is that they know everything better than their handler. Most of the time, they are probably right. By herding breed standards —their typically in fi nite love of humanity
notwithstanding—they are nonetheless probably more independent minded than most and inherently intelligent enough to carry it o ff . Th is may have served them well as an all-around, dependable, take-care- of-basic-business farm dog. But in the modern world, with few job openings for excessively shaggy farm dogs, most fi nd employment as pets and the occasional companion/performance competitor. I’ll be honest... their independent, know-it-all outlook on life adds an additional degree of challenge when competing in perfor- mance and companion events. For one thing, few, if any, have ever read the organizing body’s regulations. Th is in no way dissuades them from believing to the core of their being that they know better and from adding their own inter- pretations to performance standards and requirements. As an Old English Sheepdog handler, you must quickly learn basic sur- vival skills, such as humility and instant improvisational skills, or you are bet- ter served going with a more predictable breed. A prerequisite well-developed sense of humor goes without saying. If you’re exceptionally lucky, the judges in your venue of choice are similarly well-endowed in the humor department.
I don’t mean to imply that you will not observe Old English Sheepdog perfor- mances that will take your breath away. I’ve competed in multiple venues with OES that could do no wrong one moment, yet look like they had never been trained a day in their lives the next, sometimes only minutes later. Better OES trainers and handlers than I—and there are many— inevitably concede that even when you have the best trained OES, with the most exquisite aptitude, you can never be com- pletely complacent about what they may do one moment to the next. Attending my fi rst AKC agility invi- tational my usually dependable (if not fl ashy by Old English standards) OES bitch refused to start round three until she had thoroughly thanked the timer for volunteering his time, kisses and all. Once she had fi nished her lovefest with the kind volunteer, she responded to my request to start our run—you ask an Old English; you demand at your peril—and turned in a near fl awless run on a highly technical course, which thrilled me to no end. Especially as this is a breed not thought to excel on this type of challenge and under an English judge at that, which I felt was especially fi tting. With many thanks to our instructor, a Terv breeder/
176 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2015
spring sunshine. Th e goats and I drifted towards her in disbelief. I retired her from herding shortly thereafter. Th e goats were relieved. As was I. It goes without saying that obedience is its own special challenge for this breed. Agility may allow for some creativity. Th ings like herding and nose work and tracking, relying as they do on inherent instincts, give the dog some creative free- dom. But obedience, here, the breadth of acceptable performance standards is nar- row. Very narrow. Especially according to your average creative OES. An OES generally doesn’t mind doing something the same way maybe twice. After that, it gets old and the onus is on the handler to keep it fresh. Very few of us are truly up to the challenge. I fi nd this the most challenging venue of all. I recall argu- ing vehemently with one of my girls about sitting at the start of the o ff -lead heeling in novice. Th e bitch is one of the smartest OES I have ever known. But every title in every venue with her has been hard-earned and then some. She fi nally sat—I was all but begging the judge to dismiss us long before then. When the judge said “Forward” on the pattern, I obeyed, OES proudly stayed put. I gave her an extra command, to no avail. And then performed the o ff -lead pattern near perfectly, if you must know, sans dog. Th ankfully, the judge was of the well-endowed variety, humorously speaking and could laugh at my near fl awless footwork—much easier, without the dog, I confess—and my bitch’s admi- rable ability to, as we had argued for at least two minutes, SIT. I love the breed. I hope I never, ever fi nd myself without an Old English Sheepdog. But easy? Never. About the Author Kristine B. Loland
Photos © k9 images
agility judge, who, through repeated expo- sure, has developed her own a ffi nity for the breed and who refuses to believe that the OES’s greatest performance handicap is anything other than their handlers. I never argue with her. I’ve learned the hard way that she is always right. Instructors like her are worth their weight in gold for all of us in the OES performance community. Still, there’s nothing like being sur- rounded by hundreds of your all-breed peers, not to mention John Q. Public and his children—the latter almost always an OES favorite—with an almost nine-year- old Old English Sheepdog that looks for all the world like she’s never been in pub- lic before, that then turns around and pulls out all the stops. Minutes after her run she was working the OESCA Meet-the-Breeds booth, o ff lead, mingling, in great company and working the crowd as only an Old Eng- lish can. You learn to go with the fl ow. And you learn to enjoy and appreciate both the highs and the high jinx of this breed equally. In the herding context, it’s a mixed bag. I know I go against conventional wisdom here, but, quite honestly, as breeders, we have not selected for herding aptitude to any signi fi cant degree. Th e pressure to try to maintain soundness, physical type and acceptable temperament is probably challenging enough.
True, our breed is by its original design not likely to excel in competition fl avored by and favoring strong eye breeds, like the Border Collie. We’ve already established that subtly is not the Old English Sheep- dog’s forte. Light stock will often quickly feel overpowered by our breeds in your face approach, adding to the competitive challenges at the trial level, especially. And sometimes we accept enthusiasm and strong prey drive as proof of herding instinct, if not ability. Every so often, an individual OES will excel in herding and give us all hope that the ability is still there. More frequently— and, again, hampered by their handler’s ability—we see overly enthusiastic dogs, or, perhaps, like one of mine, the play- fulness aspect takes over. I had one bitch that would work enthusiastically until she felt she was being micromanaged and by an idiot, at that. I’ll grant her the latter. I don’t know about most of you, but a feel for stock is not in my personal pedigree. Still, one day, her sense of fun got the bet- ter of her and she play-bowed to the wrong cranky, cornered goat. He head-butted her. I took him to task, but she still took it per- sonally. On another notable occasion, in the midst of a beautiful, rare drive with a larger fl ock of goats, she got carried away and dropped and rolled in the beautiful
acquired her fi rst Old English Sheepdog in 1986. She made her agility debut at the Old English Sheep- dog Club of America’s 2001 National Spe- cialty, and has been competing in agility, obedience, and, more recently, rally and occasionally herding
with assorted Old English Sheepdogs since then. She has also served OESCA in various capacities, currently as Performance Chair.
178 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , M ARCH 2015
THE OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG
By Angela & Larry Stein
he early pioneers of the Old English Sheepdog in the US were wealthy Americans, who trav- elled to England. Th ey were very educated
Th e Breed Standard calls for “When trot- ting, movement is free and powerful, seem- ingly e ff ortless, with good reach and drive, and covering maximum ground with mini- mum steps” therefore, they MUST have good layback of shoulder, with a long upper forearm and good bend of sti fl e. In order to see above the stock, they are required by the Breed Standard to have a neck that is “Fairly long and arched gracefully.” Th e fi rst English Standard was written in 1888 and the fi rst US Standard in 1904. Two English dog men, Henry Arthur Til- ley and Freeman Lloyd wrote the fi rst US Standard and helped to found the Old English Sheepdog Club of America in 1904, which was accepted in 1905 by the American Kennel Club. One of the HALLMARKS of the OES is their fabulous outgoing happy tempera- ments, making them great with children. Th ey live to please their owners, mak- ing them versatile in all manner of per- formance events, but they can be total clowns. Although my fi rst OES came from a puppy mill in Kansas, I fi gured out early on that he was not a good specimen. He did have a gregarious nature, which hooked me on the breed. OES have magni fi cent shaggy coats that are any shade of blue or grey. Th e coat is a double coat of a very soft underpile that is waterproof along with the very strong wiry guard hairs that shed the water & dirt. Th e hair shaft is banded with breaks the one can feel, if run between one’s fi ngers. Th is break creates the shaggy look of the coat. Grooming the OES is a labor of love to maintain their wonderful coat, but as pets can be kept in a short puppy trim easily. BIOS Tolkien Kennels was founded in 1974 by Larry and Angela Stein. Larry has been in OES since 1970 and Angela has had OES since 1967.
Larry’s first showdog was Some Buddy’s Magic Morn & Angela’s first OES was a pet, “Bonzo” (she did not name him!). Although he was from a puppy mill and was not a very good specimen, she was hooked by his wonderful temperament. Angela went to a specialty match where Ser- ena Van Rensselaer was judging, to watch the match and learn about showing. After speaking to her, Serena invited her to come work at Fez- ziwig Kennels to learn to about OES and how to groom them. She purchased her first show dog from Serena, Hendrik-Can. Ch. Fezziwig Dig- gory Chuzzlewit. After marrying in 1974, the couple purchased Bahlambs Bawdy Broad ROM “Belba” bred by Caj Haakansson and in 1980, they purchased Ch. Sniflik’s Warwyck Forecast- er ROM “Yoda” from his breeder Linda Burns. Yoda finished owner/handled from the Puppy Class at 10 months of age, setting a record for the youngest owner/handled OES dog champion to date. Together, Angela and Larry have bred 50 OES champions, of which 31 have carried the Tolkien prefix and have bred/owned 8 ROM producers. All of their dogs have been breeder/ owner/handled to their championships, most notably Ch. Tolkien Star of Erandil, Ch. Tolk- ien Witch King ROM and Ch. Tolkien Bilbo Barune ROM. Tolkien has also bred Bearded Collies since 1984, having bred 9 champions and 4 ROM producers, including Gold GCh. Tolkien Raintree Mister Baggins ROMX, that is the all-time top-winning Bearded Col- lie world wide and the Top Sire for 2012. Roy was handled to his first Best in Show by myself and was campaigned professionally to 75 Bests in Show, setting a new record worldwide. He wrapped up his career by going Best of Breed at the 2011 Bearded Collie Club of America National Specialty. Larry is an AKC judge and has judged the OES National Specialties in the US and Austra- lia. Being fans of “ Th e Hobbit” and “ Th e Ring” Trilogy, Larry and Angela named the kennel after its author J.R.R. Tolkien and have named several dogs from the books. 4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& + 6-: t
about the Bobtail and his working abilities along with the farming and climatic envi- ronment he worked in. Th ey originated in the Southwestern Counties, hence one of the fi rst names they were called was “Sussex Sheepdogs” and they were also known as “Smith fi elds” because they helped take New Forest Ponies to the Smith fi eld Market. Th e working conditions of a cold damp climate required a dog that was hardy with a weather resistant coat. As a drover’s dog, they were required to have strength and stamina to go at a steady pace for long peri- ods of time. To meet these requirements, the OES needed lungpower, so they must have a deep chest with good spring of rib- slab sidedness was highly undesirable. Along with good legs, the OES uses its head as a tool. Broad and square, the skull backs up the strong truncated muz- zle. Th e eyes are covered with fall of hair to protect them from the climate. Th ey will nip at the stock to move them along, therefore they must have a strong truncat- ed muzzle with a long powerful underjaw. Th e Breed Standard calls for strong large teeth with a bite that is level or tight scis- sors, the level bite was preferred because it did not tear the wool on sheep. Anything resembling a deerhound or poodle expres- sion is undesirable. Th e OES has a very unique body shape and gait. Th e Breed Standard allows for a trot or pace. OES pace to save energy. Th e body is pear shaped, strong and com- pact, with a rise over the loin and with low set hocks, in order to pivot easily when handling stock.
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.
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018 • 249
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
250 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018
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
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018 • 251
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
254 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018
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!
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018 • 255
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
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018 • 261
WITH JANCE MCCLARY & ANGELA STEIN
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.”
262 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2018Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44
Powered by FlippingBook