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  1. #1
    madigan11 is offline Junior Member
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    Defaultpuppy evaluation question

    I was looking through the posts about evaluating young puppies conformation and was curious about some posts about puppy toplines. I am a novice and I'm trying to understand what the breed standard is and the lingo. I've seen some puppy pictures where the puppies have sloping toplines (from the shoulders down to the tail) and the critiques have said nice topline. The puppies were around 7-8 weeks. Is the slope ok at this age? The tailsets were all even with the back.

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    Eresh is offline Senior Member
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    The tail should come right off the croup and be carried that way when moving. A topline that slopes from withers to tail (like a pointer) is incorrect for a lab. It could have just been that the pup's legs were too far back, making it appear sloping. This illustrated breed standard is helpful. http://www.thelabradorclub.com/uploa...oStand2002.pdf
    Are you looking for a pup for show?

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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    A sloping topline could indicate that the rear angles are more extreme than the front angles (such as is common w/ a pointer). OR in a pup at 7-8 wks, it may just be that way the day of photos due to the front legs growing ahead of the rear legs in time. I tend to watch my pups 2x a week those last few, just to note things like that.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    madigan11 is offline Junior Member
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    Eresh
    Thank you for the illustrated breed standard, it was very helpful. I've owned labs for over 25 years, but have never shown. I've been looking for a lab puppy for about a year and i'm currently on a waiting list with a breeder in Georgia. Hopefully all works out. I've come across a lot of puppy photos under the conformation section of this forum, and although they appear to be stacked correctly, they have sloping toplines. The puppies were between 7-8 weeks in the photos and most of them were the "pick puppy". How do you know that their topline will even out just by looking at the puppy and not end up with a sloped topline as an adult?

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    madigan11 is offline Junior Member
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    I don't plan to show in conformation, but will be doing obedience and therapy work.

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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by madigan11 View Post
    Eresh
    Thank you for the illustrated breed standard, it was very helpful. I've owned labs for over 25 years, but have never shown. I've been looking for a lab puppy for about a year and i'm currently on a waiting list with a breeder in Georgia. Hopefully all works out. I've come across a lot of puppy photos under the conformation section of this forum, and although they appear to be stacked correctly, they have sloping toplines. The puppies were between 7-8 weeks in the photos and most of them were the "pick puppy". How do you know that their topline will even out just by looking at the puppy and not end up with a sloped topline as an adult?
    Just my opinion, but I've seen the same thing, and I think this "look" may be the flavor of the month type breeding. No, it's not correct if they end up that way as adults. That's why I mentioned above watching puppies at regular intervals (as a breeder) to determine whether that topline is due to a growth phase or if it "is what it is". Too much rear angulation (and some are to the point of having sickle hocks) in comparison to front angles is NOT correct. It will affect movement, stamina and how the dog holds up over the longer term if in an intense working / competition home. Not as big of a deal for a pet home, but for breeders it's something that should be a priority. It's referred to as balance.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

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    madigan11 is offline Junior Member
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    Windycanyon

    Thanks again for clarifying things for me. I'm glad I found this forum, it's been both informative and fun to look at all the posts.

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