Can someone explain?
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Thread: Can someone explain?

  1. #1
    YellowLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultCan someone explain?

    What precisely is meant by the phrase, "well balanced," as it pertains to labs. Ive heard the term thrown around a bit; but I still am not sure what being a balanced lab entails. Also, I have heard it mentioned elsewhere that there is a difference between european bench labs and american bench labs. Does anyone know if this is true, and if so what are the differences. Pictures to compare would also go a long way. Thanks.

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    windycanyon is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Maybe nwlabs will repost her photo of the ylw w/ the angles drawn on it that she posted midway thru the "perfect" post. Basically, the way I look at it, is that the pieces all "fit" together. The front blends in w/ the rear, the rear fits the front, the angulation matches (ie, not a straight front w/ a overangulated rear). The head is in proportion to the body, the body isn't long and low or too tall/leggy. The tail is appropriate length-- too short throwing the picture off as much as too long, etc.

    WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014

  4. #3
    YellowLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    ok, I was under the assumption that "well balanced" had something to do with the actual balance of the dog in the way a gymnist might be balanced.

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    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
    CaliforniaLabLover is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Well-balanced in the conformation ring usually seems to refer to the visual appearance of "balance" in the dog, even just standing there.

    A dog may not have a lot of substance, and may be lacking angles, but as long as the front and the rear look like they belong to the same dog, the dog is thought to be well-balanced. There are many well-balanced show dogs out there without much angle in the front or rear. That doesn't make them correct, but it does make them extremely well-balanced, and often they'll do great in the show ring because of it. A poorly-balanced dog, in example, would be one with a huge, bulky front and weedy, scrawny rear, or one whose angles are straight as a pin in the rear, but with great front angles. Or even a dog with a long back and very short neck.

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Yep it means simply that the front matches the rear.


    for eg. Some dogs have a deep heavily set chest and a weak back end. The back end looks worse because it's emphasised by the heaviness of the front end. The same back end might be much more acceptable on a dog who was lighter boned in the front.

  8. #6
    JP
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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Ah, balance! An elusive quality, a word that conjures up so much... yet loses so much in the very attempt to explain! It may seem more tangible than "type" or "quality", since elementary geometry plays an important role in the concept but, without finish, even the best designed chassis will lack balance.

    Perfect balance is a thing of beauty: matching angles fore and aft are only part of the equation. A tail that is too short or held badly, a neck that doesn't "fit" its body, legs that are not in proportion with the trunk all can mar balance. Even then, centre of gravity comes into play. When looking at a dog free standing, I often project the scenario of what would happen if I gave it a tap on the rump. Ideally, it is standing well over its forelegs and would move forward with a solid thrust of strong hock. Here is what often comes to mind: "rocking horse" posting and hyper-extending will sway backwards and forwards before sinking into a heap in the middle like a broken mattress, "sickle hock" will slip under and sit down, "setter-stifle" will crouch and crawl, "bantam cock" will fall forward on its beak, etc.. etc..

    Now, I've probably made a mess of that but, in my defence, some concepts fare better with the eye than with the pen...

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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Wow JP thanks for that! You've made me realise how much it really does mean! ;D

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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Actually JP I think you nailed it.

  11. #9
    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
    CaliforniaLabLover is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Great description, as always, JP!

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    DefaultRe: Can someone explain?

    Balance in the way we look at a dog would be front to back or front to rear( if they match) and also balance of movement front assembly to rear movement asembly.Here is they way we assess our dogs for good balance and movement. we measure distance like the one picture. also centre of gravity has a lot to do with balance.





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