Old English Sheepdog Breed Magazine - Showsight



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.



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