Old English Sheepdog Breed Magazine - Showsight



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.

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