The fronts thread
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Thread: The fronts thread

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    Luvmydog2much's Avatar
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    DefaultThe fronts thread

    So fronts are my bone of contention. While I believe Gin has a better front than Ruby, I can't place WHY...what makes them different.

    I'll be the first to admit, on dogs that people say have great fronts, they look a bit 'odd' to me. Maybe my preference is short upper arms because of ignorance? I was always told that a dog's legs should fall beneath the shoulder, but it rarely looks to me like that on a dog who is 'correct' they always look a bit wonky to me.

    So I know Gin is narrow between her front legs (which is LOTS better, but still has a way to go). But tell me what you see about her layback, upper arm etc.

    Here's some progressive pictures, be harsh, I can take it:

    9 weeks not the best I know


    16 weeks


    6.5 months
    'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
    ~ Michelle Held


    Rhys, Ruby and Nola

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    Luvmydog2much's Avatar
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    And thanks to Laura/Labby, at 7.5 months


    This was taken the same day as Laura's picture...just running in t he yard...


    She looks monumentally better when her head is down, I think the reasoning is that her keel is less stretched and presents a picture of a nice front.

    I THINK she has a short upper arm, but a nice layback.

    Here's mom at 6 monthsfor comparison, short upper arm for sure, but she's moderately angled front and rear, so balanced. A lot of judges really like that.
    Last edited by Luvmydog2much; 04-02-2009 at 06:47 PM.
    'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
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    Rhys, Ruby and Nola

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    Fallriver's Avatar
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    Well, here is what I see (remember you get what you paid for when you ask for free advice.

    FROM THE PICTURES, I think you have improved fronts in this generation. I think Gin's front is very similar to Audrey's. Ruby's front, there is a short upper arm (what else is new), and she is somewhat steep in the shoulders.
    Gin has the same short upper arm but has better layback and so I would say a better front overall. Ruby's elbows are under her shoulders pretty much, but the steeper angle of the scapula is what creates that. I would like to see a dog standing well under itself, but at the same time, I would like the entire front assembly to be further back on the dog so it is standing over itself. If you look at Ruby, like my Audrey, you can see there is a little too much space underneath her from her rear legs to her front legs. Gin is also cleaner over the shoulders.

    Gin has that same amount of space but her shoulders are placed further back. So although she does not have her elbows placed under the tips of her scapulae like Ruby does, she has better layback and that helps her to carry the weight of a bird on her shoulders instead of on her elbows.

    Correct fronts are hard to recognize and even harder to get. Living out here on the west coast, there are some lines that have that short upper arm pretty much set in. Beautiful shoulders but those short upper arms and forward front assemblies: like Audrey and Gin. Certainly doesn't hold those dogs back in the ring but the longer upper arm is certainly something to aim for. I think the dogs on the 'other' coast in general have better upper arms (and hocks which are a whole nuther story).
    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

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    Thanks Dana, well, she's not half as hocky as she was, egads, thats something I hope I never ever see again! Fronts, yes, for the most part, they are monumentally better in her pups, but like I said, I can't say why, but looking at them, I can see it.
    'Don't grow up too quickly, lest you forget how much you love the beach.'
    ~ Michelle Held


    Rhys, Ruby and Nola

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    So all this talk about fronts makes me look at Jack critically.



    I do think he has improved a bit on Grace. Although he was about 8 months old and high in the rear, plus not standing well.



    Most of the time I don't think I have a clue.

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    Jenn, judging by the dog you used for Grace, I wouldn't expect that you would improve fronts. Don't get me wrong, there is lots to like about the boy but I'm not sure he could be counted on to improve fronts.

    I think when they are really downhill, it can wreck the front coupling, especially the shoulder lay. I think the front is fairly similar to his dam, just not as much keel. He does stand under himself better than his dam but I'm not sure he has her layback. That may change slightly if he settles on his rear. He might not as he has more angulation up front than behind.

    Hard to keep boys, they can sure go through some uglies. My Aaron lived in the closet for two years
    Dana


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    I think he's looking better already, he's 13 months now.

    What's keel? Is that the same as prosternum?

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    Yes it is.
    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

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    Shelley is offline Senior Member
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    Melissa, sometimes I think a good front on a young dog looks over exaggerated, even if the rear matches. The keel is really far out there, and that's what I think looks wonky. Once the dog grows up, the chest drops, and the ribs spring, and they fill out, that exaggerated front looks right again, just like it may have at 6-7-8 weeks of age.

    I do think that Gin has a nicer front than her mom, but her forearm is not necessarily short, but I do think it is upright. Her layback is good, but her front angle is tilted, imagine the < (let's pretend that that is the front angle) tip of the triangle is pointing more upwards than forward, which gives her that pretty layback, but an upright forearm. Most people mistake this for a short upper arm, but if you measure it, it's (usually) not.

    I went to a great seminar, and we measured front angles with pipe cleaners. (Some people brought their dogs, so we could do it with different breeds, and sizes of dog, I brought Truffle) You take two pipe cleaners, measure and kink it, then you can compare length of shoulder and forearm, they should match or be close in length. The trick is knowing where to measure to-from, hands on. They also had large cardboard template angles, (90 degrees etc...) that you could place on the dog, to see visually how close, or far apart you were to the standard of that breed.
    Last edited by Shelley; 04-05-2009 at 11:38 AM.

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    KMA24 is offline Junior Member
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    In my opinion, there's a lot more to a dog than a "front". How about the rear? How about the topline? How about the head? How about balance? How about coat? How about an overall pleasing picture? I would not accept an east/west dog anymore than I would accept a cowhocked dog, or a freight-train long dog with teeny-tiny Corgi legs (yes, like the ones we see at Specialties, and at all All-Breed Shows -- and winning too). I think we're all trying to improve with each breeding, but we cannot get hung up on just one aspect of a dog.
    I would MUCH rather have a shorter upper arm and a moderate keel, than I would a long backed dog, or a dog with no legs under him/her, or a dog with no rear angulation, or a dog with a saggy topline, or a cowhocked dog, or a dog with Sharpei wrinkles on her/his shoulders that have been fluffed up by expert grooming of a downy coat, or a dog with a puny head. I see them all the time and many call them great.
    And by the way there is NOTHING wrong with a moderate dog that fits the standard. Being moderate does not equate being a poor specimen of the breed. I don't believe anywhere in our standard there is mention that our dogs must be overdone and must weight 90 lbs. by the time they're 6 months old.
    Inasmuch as I DO NOT like the dog that was the subject of the original post that gave rise to this one, and while it is my opinion that he is a lovely pet and nothing more, it is not his being moderate that bothers me. It is everything else.
    I'm not getting hung up on the "front" whirlwind. I am striving for a dog that I can live with and look at in my home and in the show ring. I am striving for that overall "pleasing picture". No dog is perfect and we have to learn to take the good with the bad and also not to "throw out the baby with the bath water". And no, breeder judge placements don't sway me in the least. A crappy judge is a crappy judge -- breeder or all-breed. I am a breeder. I think I know Labs just as well as the rest of them.

    Kristen
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    Max Eastman

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