Old German Owl Club

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The Old German Owl is the originator of the short faced German Shield Owl. It was the first breed in Germany to be called Mavchen (Little Gull) due to the resemblance of color and markings of the Silver Gull. The breed was again formally recognized in Germany in 1956. The first official standard was not adopted in Europe until 1960. The American Old German Owl Club adopted this interpretation of the standard in 1998. It was subsequently adopted by the National Pigeon Association of America in 1999. A color class revision was adopted in 2017. The current revision of the Standard was adopted in 2019.


1)     Overall Impression   25 POINTS

2)     Body Form   20

3)     Head and Beak   15

4)     Crest   10

5)     Neck and Frill   10

6)     Color   10

7)     Markings   10



The overall impression of the of the Old German Owl is of a medium sized bird with a proud and distinguished appearance and weighing between 10 and 13 oz. Cocks would be closer to 13 oz. while hens would be closer to the 10 oz range. An Old German Owl should command attention with unique distinctive owl - like characteristics.  The pigeon should be compact and display a charming friendly personality. However, it should be active enough to show off itís best qualities.  The most important key to overall impression is balance and the optical appearance of the complete bird. The effective composite of all features of the bird must be taken into consideration. Each section of the bird should be as close to its standard description as possible.  No section should be so over exaggerated as to disrupt the over all balance of the bird. Each section should flow in harmony with the next.  The Bird should readily display breed type. When exhibited, birds should appear in natural condition and display rich color.


The body of an Old German Owl should be relatively short and compact with a somewhat cobby appearance. The body should feel solid and healthy in the hand. The station of the bird should be approximately at a forty degree angle. The line starting at the bottom of the tail through the slope of the back and finishing at the base of the beak. This gives the bird more of an upright station with the head held up and slightly back providing a protruding appearance to the chest. The head should not be so far back that the tail touches the ground. The breast should be broad. well rounded and held forward prominently.  The back should be broad at the shoulders becoming narrower toward the tail and sloping downward.  Feathers should be well developed, lying tightly against the body. Short legs and shanks. Feet and toes are never feathered. Wings should be strong, lying close to the body, covering the back and resting on the tail. Tail held tightly together, as short as possible.

Undesirable Elements:  Long narrow body. Long tail feathers. Narrow Breast. Drooping wings.


The head should be nearly round, broad, with a well arched forehead.  Eyes should be large, bull eyed, bright and lively. The eyes should be about equidistant between the wattle and beginning of the crest line. Cere is light and delicate. Small refined eye ceres are preferred even if the larger eye cere is lighter in color.  The beak is one of the distinctive characteristics of the Old German Owl. The beak is what provides the pleasant looking face of the bird. The beak does not lie in a smooth arch with the head, but rather shows a distinctive, though shallow angle. It is short in appearance, which is partly caused by the broad width of the beak in relation to its length. The Old German owl can feed their young readily.  The wattle is small and undeveloped.

Undesirable Elements: Narrow, flat, long or angular head, long thin beak, coarse or dark eye ceres.


The perfect crest is symmetrical with a smooth arch ending with small rosettes on both sides. The crest should not be too large or too small but, should display adequate development. The crest feather should be smooth and substantial.  Not loose feathered or sloppy in appearance. The highest part of the crest will be above the head. This precludes the crest from sitting too far back on the head. When viewed from the side, the rosettes should be approximately level with the bottom edge of the eye. The crest line should not be so far forward as to crowd the eyes.

Undesirable Elements: Skimpy, crooked, or too low set crest. Missing rosettes. Excessively large or loose crest.


Stout, full, short and stocky. Held proudly, slanting slightly backwards and upright.  A small but distinctive dewlap should be present. The neck frill should be as pronounced as possible with feathers going equally to both sides. A shorter frill going equally to both sides is preferred to a longer frill where feathers point in only one direction.

Undesirable Elements: Longer skinnier appearing necks. Missing frill. Any degree of frill qualifies even though it may not be fully developed.


All colors are to be as smooth, even, bright, clear, and saturated as possible. In barred, checked, and other marked varieties, the marking should be as distinct as possible. Current available colors are:

Patterns in Bar, Check & T-Pattern. Colors include blue, Silver, Brown, Khaki, Ash Red, and Ash Yellow.

Solids to include Black, Dun, Brown, Khaki, Red & Yellow, Spread Ash Red & Spread Ash Yellow. (Note: reds and Yellows are actually saturated T-Pattern. Any indication of a pattern on the wing shield would be moved to the check or T-Pattern class.)  Spread Ash Red & Spread Ash Yellow include Lavender, Strawberry Laced and their Dilutes.

AOC: Any colors not listed above, i.e. Bar less, Opal, Andalusian, etc.

Grizzle: Grizzle is a factor that can be applied to any of the above colors and is shown as a separate class.

Self: White and Recessive Red only.

Tail Marks: In any of the above colors.

Undesirable Elements: Poor (unsaturated) color. Heavy, smudged, uneven bars or checks.


Shield Mark: The body color is pure White. First and foremost, the shield is the most important feature. Regardless of whether a bird has thumb feathers or not, the shield should appear full of color and no white showing except the flight feathers. While not perfectly round, it should be short and symmetrical. There are 7 to 10 white primaries. There is a preference in shield marked varieties for an even number of white flights. Ten by 10 white flights, with colored thumb feathers is ideal and is desired over 10 by 9. Even 9 by 9 is preferred over 10 by 9. However, colored thumb feathers are more important than an even number of flights because they make the shield marking more perfect in appearance.  A 9 by 10 white flighted bird with colored thumb feathers is preferred over a 10 by 10 without colored thumb feathers on even one side.

Undesirable Elements: Noticeably colored thighs. (Color behind the leg is tolerated), colored feathers on the head or the body, white feathers in the shield, unsymmetrical or incomplete shields and less than two colored thumb feathers. Less than 7 white primaries. Skipped flights or white feathers in the secondaries.

TAIL MARKS: The tail marked variety is pure white except for the colored tail feathers which include a wedge-shaped portion of the back and body under the tail. The preference for tail marked varieties is for an even line of demarcation between color and white about half way between the area where the wings first separate from the back and the actual beginning of the tail feathers. An even line, both top and bottom, is more important than the actual location of the line on the back.

Undesirable Elements: Colored feathers on the head or the body, white or faulty tail feathers and white plumage under the tail.


These notes are to assist in making decisions and are intended to clarify and not modify the Standard. The drawing is a reasonable representation of the breed. The written standard is the final authority when placing the birds. The order of rating is the priority in which birds should be judged. Since Markings are last in the Order of Rating undesirable elements in that section would be less weighted as would undesirable elements in the Body and Form Section. For example, missing thumbs would not be as serious an undesirable as would a long narrow body.  Birds would lose points up to the points allowed in the section for which the undesirable element falls. Using the same example, missing thumbs could lose up to 10 points maximum since that is the amount of points allocated for that section. Ideally the Champion Old German Owl would not have any undesirable elements. Since this is not likely based on the quality of birds in a class or show the judge, uses his/her discretion to pick the birds based on the Order of Rating.

Trimming is allowed but, should be discreet. Obvious manual alterations should be considered a serious undesirable element. The judge should not lift feathers on the head to determine if the crest has been trimmed.


Any and all entries that are sick, parasite infested or excessively soiled shall be disqualified from competition. No other single element shall be considered grounds for disqualification but, rather judged according to the Order of Rating. 

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