I am looking for honest opinions. I am by no means an expert in this department, that is why I have chosen to come here. I am looking to get my feet wet in the conformation department. I understand it isn't going to be an easy road. I know I don't have the best dog to be doing this with, but I am just looking to get out there, and try my hand at this. Can you give me your honest opinions on my boy. He is 2 1/2 yrs of age. I am not the best at stacking him, but did my best to get a pic of him not looking like a beaten lab. Thoughts?
Bits and pieces seem OK, but honestly, the photo does him no justice whatsoever, and I couldn't really venture a guess. Any breeders in your area that you can take him to for an unbiased evaluation? Any matches you can go to to give it a shot? By all means, find some handling classes and go have fun with him.
We were at a Dog Show about a year ago. That is how I got to hear about our Kennel club that I belong too. One of the people that saw him, tuned right into him, asking us a bunch of questions on him. He took him for a walk around the building, and showed a few other "Lab People". The only bad comment that they said, was he seemed a bit long. From looking at others pics on here, I would say he is lacking some in his back end. His Belly doesn't drop low from his ribs...does that make sense? He has a pretty head in my eyes, and has a nice otterlike tail I think he needs a bit more bulk to him, but that is my opinion.
your picture is from above which is doing weird things to his angles get right down to his level to take his pictures
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
As far as long, you can do a quick little test, put your flat hand on his loin between the last rib and his back leg. Ideally, no wider than 4 fingers.
The thing is, if you are interested in getting into showing, do what you can with your boy as far as learning handling, even consider obedience and rally. Then if you get a hankering for a nice dog to really show, the breeders will be more apt to trust you with a nice dog.
The first piece of advice is to contact his breeder. She may or may not want him out but should be happy.
I see quality in the dog definitely. From the pics he appears to have a nice head (although it looks like he is sleep walking)
Good length and shape of neck, nice shoulders, decent front, could use a tad more bone, good top line, yes, he is long cast and that can be problematic for a boy, seems to have decent coat and tail, nice feet. His rear I am not in love with. Croup is low and I don't like the way he sets it naturally, with his rear feet underneath him. He could also use more second thigh but has a good turn of stifle. For myself, I love a dog who just pops his rear right into position like this young bitch does:
If you look at her second thigh, that is what we like to see. She's not perfect but she has a very good rear for you to see. Now there are some very nice dogs out there winning without a lot of second thigh, like Paradocs Delian Scrubbing In and Tabatha's Autumn Rustle for example, so you have to look at the whole dog and not get hung up on one part.
Overall, if you just want to get him out and have fun, you might pick up some points on him. You could also try UKC to get your feet wet until he matures out a bit (he seems to be slow to mature and if you share his pedigree, that would help).
If you do intend to show him I have some advice for you. I dont' know what you are doing to stack him, but you must change that. You need to teach him to stand by throwing cookies at him and making it loads of fun. Avoid hand stacking him for some time so that he learns the ring is fun. He has that 'beaten' look that some labs like to put on when getting their pictures taking but a happy, wagging labrador is a pleasure to show and will get put up over 'poop faced' dogs. Hand stacking and fussing over a dog can ruin him if you do it too much in the early stages. He will need his rear set later on but you can teach him to stretch out by himself as well.
I would also get films done on his hips and elbows. I'm really not in love with how he sets that rear...
Last edited by Fallriver; 08-14-2009 at 09:45 AM.
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
We have talked to his breeder. He was sold on limited registration, but after talking to people in our kennel club, some see potential in him. Before we contacted the breeder, we had his eyes done first. When they came back normal, we did his hips and elbows. His hips were Good, and elbows were normal. We called the breeder the other night, and she was pleased on what we have done with the dog. We have played a bit with Rally with him. We also have gotten him his CGC, and TDI. She told us the pros and cons of the Conformation world, (costs, politics etc). She seemed quite happy that we were willing to go through so much to show him. Within our kennel club, the president offers handling classes. I will be contacting them to see what they have to offer. I would rather not go the route of a handler yet. I really want to learn the ins and outs with him first. Someone mentioned looking into match shows....I think that would be a smart move first. Get his feet wet, and see if this is what we both can do.
After talking to the breeder, she is ammending our contract so we have full registration on the dog now.
Been too long without Pitch pictures, Shannon! (It is Shannon, right? Sorry if I screwed up! )
I think with better pictures he would look way, way better. He is sitting funny on his rear in those shots, but the angle and what he was doing at the time could easily throw him off. Every time I've tried to take a "stacked" shot of Baloo I have Dan put him in a "stand" and bait him with food. But, because I often throw food for him, he'll spread his back feet way wide to be able to be in better jumping position should Dan toss the food.
He does NOT stand like that naturally, so goes to show how they can stand wonky and really throw themselves off sturcture wise.
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
hello Kate, yes, you have a good memory, it is Shannon. I will try to get some pics of Pitch with my husbands help. God knows doing it alone, there is a struggle.
*Pitch waves Hello to Baloo and Peanut*
When you are training him, remember to train in pieces. Stand for cookies, the stand stay for cookies, then stand stay making sure the feet are in the right place for cookies, then stand stay with feet right and head positioned down so he's not craning his neck up for cookies. You get the idea.
Just as comparison, this is Jack at 6 months when he wasn't fully trained to 17 months where he's learning what he's supposed to do...