WITH DIANE ANDERSON, CATHY DRUMMONDS, LIZ FUJIKAWA, CHRIS GABURRI, ANN LAPP, JERE MARDER, MARILYN & KRISTI MARSHALL, DALE MEYER & JOYCE WETZLER
7. Anything else you’d like to share about your breed? DA: I fell in love with this breed because of their tempera- ment. They are the ultimate companions—loyal and intelligent, always happy and ready to please. I wish exhibitors would allow them to relax in the ring so that their happy personalities show through. There is nothing more OES than a bottom that wiggles as an expression of joy. As it was once said, “God put hair over the eyes of the Old English Sheepdog so that they could not see the faults of others.” CD: I would like to see better bites. People need to learn what a correct bite is. I’m tired of being told their dog has a reverse scissors bite. There is no such thing, they are undershot and that is incorrect. LF: OES are wonderful dogs and deserve to have more true “caretakers”. Those who want to preserve the breed by improving type, soundness and health. CG: We have a hard time showing the true character of our breed in the show ring. That is probably because we want them to behave and not mess up their grooming. Many think that our breed is not smart. That is not true; they are often smarter than their owners. Trainers do not appreciate that they need new things to keep them motivated. They are loving, sweet and always testing the rules and boundaries, kind of like most teenagers. Put your homework into your young dog and you will have a friend and companion for life. AL: I continue to be in awe of the bond that exists among people in the dog fancy. JM: As a breeder and doing this for many years, I feel no one has the right to change our standard for personal prefer- ence. The standard is the foundation of our breed and we should respect it. M&KM: Old English Sheepdogs are very vestibule, they are happy living in an apartment or a 40 acre ranch as long as they are with their family. They are good in the show ring, performance events and as a family pet. DM: We are losing our square back skulls, thick muzzles and good under jaws. OES should be thickset, well sprung in the rib with a thickly muscled loin which gives it the correct topline or rise over the loin. This is the bridge between the front and rear quarters. It needs to be strong and stout. Watch for those things and award them as breeders and as judges. Don’t ever say that you can’t find good shoulders, so therefore, you ignore them. They are “THEY ARE THE ULTIMATE COMPANIONS—LOYAL AND INTELLIGENT, ALWAYS HAPPY AND READY TO PLEASE.”
out there and should be rewarded. Over angulated rears are wrong; don’t reward those. Balance and soundness is of the utmost importance. The standard says, “Their movement is free and powerful, seemingly effortless, with good reach and drive and covering maximum ground with minimum steps.” Learn to evaluate good reach. Does the dog carry its head forward while moving, is its neck fairly long and can it reach to at least its nose? These are all important things to know in this herding breed. Breed to the best dog for your bitch, not the dog down the road because it is the easiest. JW: I want to share something that has bothered me over the past five years. Making our shaggy dog into topiaries. The sculpturing must stop! The judges must stop award- ing dogs that are over trimmed. 8. And, for a bit of humor: what’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? CD: I was showing my second OES. It had rained very hard the night before and there was water standing in one corner of the ring. When the judge sent me on the down and back, my dog stopped before he hit the puddle but I didn’t. I slipped, landed on my back in the puddle. My skirt went up to my hips and my left leg was resting on top of the fencing while my dog was standing there look- ing down at me, smiling. LF: Years ago I had an OES named Mikey who loved to be in the ring. We lost the group and I was packing up while Mikey was sitting in the front seat of my van with the window open. Best in Show was going on and there was lots of applause, Mikey jumped out the window, ran across the field, veered through the ring opening, did his own circle and ran back. How embarrassing! JM: I was at a show watching groups and it was raining cats and dogs so to speak. In the distance I saw an OES running around in the rain thinking, what nut would let their OES in full coat run around in the rain. Oh my, it was my special that needed to go into the group. Four wonderful friends took a leg each and helped blow dry the dog before getting to the Group ring. The laugh was on me. M&KM: When you have friends helping you show dogs, as you have entered way too many, and the friend hands you a bitch instead of the dog that should be going into the ring and the judge asked you if you are sure that this was the correct dog that should be in the ring; it wasn’t! DM: There are so many funny things that happen at dog shows I can’t begin to tell. It’s always great to get togeth- er with friends with similar interests. JW: The one thing I never saw at a dog show before wasn’t funny to the person it happened to, but you couldn’t stop to laugh at what happened. A judge, after Best in Show, was running to the port-a-john placed on an incline and an exhibitor was backing out, but he went back too far and tipped the judge and the port-a-potty over the incline. The judge was fine, but the suit was thrown away.
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A PRIL 2017 • 219
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