Video: Examination Of The Old English Shepherd Dog (Bobtail)
Try, ignoring the luxurious coat, to give a preliminary estimate of the four bobtails presented in profile. Even without probing, it is easy to understand that two of them are very similar, the third has poor angles of the limbs, and the fourth is too high (due to the straightened angles of the limbs).
Place them roughly in their places - first, second, third and fourth - but be prepared to make adjustments to the placement after probing the dogs. Because of the fluffy coat, such a “viewing” is a must. A detailed description of each exhibit will replace your palpation. Hopefully, my "manual inspection" will show whether the articles of the evaluated animals meet the requirements for them as shepherds and shepherds of sheep flocks, for which the breed was bred. Getting to know each dog individually will help you make sure that your preselection is correct, or force you to change something about the previous setup.
By Svenska Mässan from Sweden - Grupp 1, OLD ENGLISH SHEEPDOG, CIB FI JV-11 NO UCH NORD V-13
Basic requirements for the breed. In profile, the Old English Sheepdog should fit into a square; the length of the body is equal to its height. When viewed from the front, the forelimbs are straight, the paws "look" straight ahead. The nose is large, black, with wide nostrils. The muzzle is strong, broad and well-defined. The skull is voluminous, rather wide. Long narrow head or sharp muzzle-ugliness, otherwise I cannot estimate such defects in this breed.
Feel the transition from the skull to the muzzle with your thumb. It should be clear with well defined brow ridges. Representatives of this breed have disagreement (one eye brown, the other blue), watery, narrow eyes, a thorn. Amber and yellow eyes are highly undesirable. Pigmented eyelids are preferred. Let's examine the ears; they should be small and tightly pressed against the sides of the skull.
It is necessary to feel for the front shoulder of the dog's chest and move a hand from it between the front legs to the lower part of the chest to make sure that it reaches the level of the elbows in depth. Feel for the scruff of the neck (the neck should be of medium length) and the backward shoulder blades. The space between them should be narrow.
Press your hand to the withers and slide it along the dog's back to the rump. You should feel that your lower back is slightly raised. Due to this rise, the bobtail's height at the withers is less than the height at the loin. This rise is small, only 2-3 cm or even less, but it must certainly be noticeable (see the picture depicting the silhouette of a dog without fur. This is one of the specific features of the breed.
Another peculiarity of the breed is that the back is wider than the shoulders. Feeling the ribcage, it is easy to make sure that the ribs are noticeably rounded, the chest is not flat, but not barrel-shaped either. The tail is usually very shortly docked or missing from birth. The distance from the withers to the elbows and from the elbows to the ground is practically the same (the chest reaches the level of the elbows in depth).
The paws are small, round, the toes are arched, the pads are hard and thick. The coat is well developed, but not enough to make the dog look fat. The coat should be rather coarse, not straight, shaggy, but without curls. The quality and texture of the coat is more important than its splendor, and the splendor of the coat, its density, is more important than its length. The undercoat is water-repellent if not removed by combing or shedding.
The head is covered with long hair, the ears are of medium length, and the neck is well furred. The front legs are covered with long hair on all sides. Most of the hair on the back of the dog. The owner has no right to change either the natural appearance of the dog or the texture of its coat. You can only slightly correct the hair on the limbs to emphasize their shape. The dog can be painted in any shade of gray, gray or blue. The hull with rear section must be solid color with or without white socks. In other places of the zone of solid color there should be no white spots and marks. The head, neck, front (including the forelegs), lower chest are completely white or spotted. Any brown mushroom is undesirable. Males are 22 inches and taller, bitches at least 21 inches. These are the parameters for the USA and Canada.In England and other countries, males must be at least 24 inches at the withers and females at least 22. Weight is not specified in the breed standard, but according to the height of the dogs, it ranges from 55 pounds for small bitches to 120 pounds for very large males. (For reference: 1 inch equals 2.54 cm; 1 lb = 0.45 kg - ed.)
Dog A. This square, robust specimen meets most of the breed standard requirements. He has straight forelimbs with strong bones, slightly sloping pasterns. The hindquarters are round, muscular, with good angulation of the knee and hock joints, correct position of the metatarsus. As a disadvantage, I note the straight top line - the lower back is not raised.
Dog B. This exhibit is not as large as its rivals, but meets the requirements of the standard. It is short because it has short forelimbs. The height at the elbows should be about half the height at the withers, the chest should be dropped to the elbows. The topline rises correctly towards the lower back. The sacral part is wider than the shoulders, but the legs are long, which is why the metatarsus are too far back and not perpendicular to the ground.
Dog C. Strong muzzle of desired length, ie half the length of the head. The eyes are set wide apart. This dog reflects my idea of a good breed type. But she has a sun-bleached coat that should not be confused with an unacceptable brown or fawn color. Now is a good time to mention that when puppies are shedding too late, their coats temporarily turn reddish-brown at the ends of their hair, which confuses inexperienced owners.
Dog D. As soon as you see this shape and size of a nose, do not doubt that a narrow muzzle is hidden under the coat of this dog. The nose should be large, black, reminiscent of prunes. The small and rounded nose of this breed is due to its narrow head, sharp snout, weak chin and sharp lower jaw. A long and narrow head or sharp muzzle should be taken as a deviation from the norm for this breed. Discard the fur from the eyes and check what color they are. The eyes can be brown, blue, or one eye brown, the other blue. Dark eyes are preferred. Blue, mother-of-pearl, squinted or thorny eyes are common in this breed. Dogs with one eye amber and the other yellow are rejected as both colors are unacceptable.Instance D, unlike the others, has a stretched body format. But the dog looks square due to the elongated limbs, which are not at all welcomed by the breed standard. The scapula and humerus are vertical. The withers are below the loins, which is good, but just behind the withers the back is soft. The loin is long and not wide enough. The whole backside is straight due to the straight angles of the knees and hocks. The fore and hind limbs thus have the same defect.thus have the same defect.thus have the same defect.
Arrangement. Dogs A and C claim the first place. The only significant difference between them is the topline. A correct topline, with the loin above the withers, is an important characteristic of the breed. Dog A has a straight topline. This is a deviation from the norm. Dog C has the correct top - the withers below the loin. In the first place I put dog C, in the second - A. The third place I give to dog B with short front legs and excessively pronounced hind corners. In fourth place is dog D.
Robert Cole, "Dog's World" newspaper
translated from English by Eugene Rosenberg, "Friend" magazine (dogs)