Question for the show experts. My dog (Homero) is now 8 months old, got him when he was three and the breeder told me she saw very good potential for showing at that time. At this age I notice his head looks small compared to the rest of his body (he´s out of proportion). Is it normal for them to grow disporportionately? My other dog - female is from the same breeder, she´s a year and a half and had the same "problem" but caught up in time...
I also want to ask how do you prepare and condition the dogs for showing. I just got Homero back after a month and a half away at training school and he returned very overweight (he´s almost the same size as my 60 pound girl but feels and looks considerably heavier when I carry them). I immediately started him on a diet and began exercising.
If he goes to his first show it will be at the end of march (will see the breeder/handler in two weeks for an evaluation first to see if he´s material for show). You think he can be ready "weight wise" by then? I estimate he´s probably around 70 pounds and considering he´s the same size as the girl he should probably weigh the same or just a little bit more...
I really don´t mind if he ends up not showing, but will be helpful to determine if I rather proceed and neuter him
I'm in the intermediate stages of breeding and don't take me for an expert . . . but I find this one of the hardest parts of breeding. We call the stage from say, four to eight . . . sometimes more . .. months "the uglies". The hind legs grow faster than the front, the body grows faster than the head, the front doesn't keep up . . . all sorts of disproportionate things happen . . . and I don't find it's the same with every dog. Some heads don't seem to reach their full size until about three years. Other dogs seem to keep big heads (relative to body size) all the way through. I'm going through a four month old who is crabbing . . . but seems to be growing out of it . . . never seen that before. Sometimes I think you just have to hold your breath and hope that the potential you see at eight weeks shows up in the mature dog.
This age *can* be a gawky period for pups. Can you post a picture of him? It would be hard to comment on weight without seeing the dog. For example, my male pup was a lean 70 lbs when he turned 7 months and his sister was 60 lbs at 7 months.
I´ll post pics of both dogs soon (i took them during the weekend but forgot the camera usb cable at my parent´s so I can´t download them).
I´ll take the dogs to the breeder this weekend for his evaluation so they´ll determine if they will show in three more weeks. without being an expert in judging labs, I really don´t see the boy in the ring at this stage.
You think a second (more definite) evaluation should be done at what age?
You may also want to talk with the breeder . . . some lines are slow to mature. If you've bought from a good breeder, they should be able to tell you what to expect. Btw, I don't think there's such a thing as a definitive evaluation . . . if there was, there would be no reason for dog shows. My body has changed throughout my life . . . so too my dogs.
Both of my dogs come originally from Rocheby lines (british) but are the fourth generation bred in Mexico. They also have french blood from a breeder called De la Foret des Dianes.
In general the other males from the breeder look heavy, with deep chests and round ribs, but with larger heads. I do know dogs from his line are slow to mature because my vet has a cousin from the same bloodlines that took forever to catch my previous girl (she was already 12 two years ago..) in terms of size, but now looks really nice
Good point about our bodies changing all our lives...
Promise to post some pics for your opinions as soon I can download them from the camera (lost the usb cable...doughh)
Just an update... took him to the breeder on saturday and decided not to show, indeed she did not like his in proportion to body, but thanks to the strict diet I put him through in the last 15 days he now has a waist line again...
She recommended to have a new evaluation when he reaches a year in july.
On the other side I was positively surprised because she loved my girl, said she had grown really well and could be an excellent breeder. I got her as pet but two of her litter brothers already have won points so now she´s having thoughts...