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
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