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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
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