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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What is Reach and Drive supposed to look like on a Lab?

I learned that only a Brittney and a GSD are allowed to over-reach. About where should a lab be to look good in the ring? Are there ways to improve it? Any one have any pics or literature on it?
 

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I have good pics of dogs in motion with good reach and drive, but will have to post them later as I am getting ready to leave for a show in a little bit.

I am a bit concerned that you have a 7 month old *puppy* on a treadmill. :eek: :eek: Why on earth do you have him running on a treadmill? How long have you been doing this? He is a baby and should be getting his exercise from playing, etc. which allows him to go at his own pace and take breaks when he wants. Do not take this the wrong way. I am only concerned about his welfare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't put him on a treadmill! I mean I did this day but I don't do it as exersice for him.I was just wanting to see him move for a bit since I am always the one handling him. Thanks for the concern. I guess it does look kinda hard core.
 

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Yup...kinda did. Glad to hear that you don't do that. I just watch the dog move on his own across the backyard to see how they move.
 

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I know that people tend to over-stride when on a treadmill and I suspect dogs do too.
As Peggy suggested, watch him in your yard and that will give you a better picture of what his gait is like.
If you look at the illustrated lab standard from the AKC, there are very good drawings of reach and drive in that. In a very small nutshell, what you are looking for in side gait is that the rear feet hit the ground where the front feet were (put cornstarch on your dog's feet and gait him to see if he over-reaches or move him on ground where you can see his footfalls), and that the amount of reach and drive are equal and of course adequate. Labs don't need to cover a lot of ground like a spaniel or setter...we are basically looking for ease of effort and economy of motion...the dog should move with a purpose.
Here is a pic of Mary Wiest's Study who I think has excellent side gait



And one of my little brown girl who is out of coat but also has good side gait (IMHO) ...not as angulated as Study but reach and drive still match fairly well.



Notice the 'purpose' to the movement...it is effortless economy and you can see with each dog that the rear foot is about to hit the same spot where the front foot has just left off. Reach and drive are roughly equal
Head is carried low, topline remains level and the tail is right off the back...not flashy but there is definite beauty in correct labrador movement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So basically the back foot will go in the front foot's pawprint, more or less. Those pictures help a lot. My handling class is great but the trainer, who is a really nice woman, breeds and I think favors little dogs. So I don't always feel like her thoughts about lab stuff is 100% correct. She told me front foot should be equal to the tip of the nose and back legs should reach out to the tip of the tail. It seemed physically impossible. But when I look closely at the photos she was really not far off. So when I go around the ring I want my dog to go fast enough to be able to really "step out" without dragging him or letting him break stride.
I am bidding on some lab books right now on Ebay. Then I will have more reference materials. Thanks for the info!!! :laugh:
 

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modelmom said:
So when I go around the ring I want my dog to go fast enough to be able to really "step out" without dragging him or letting him break stride.
One of the things I've learned this past year in my labs-only handling class (with "guest" speakers/instructors including several well-known breeder-judges) is that there is DEFINITELY such a thing as moving too fast, too. You don't want them moving like a German shepherd around the ring...obviously not too slow, either, but each dog has its own gait that it shows the best at, and this doesn't always involve "really stepping out." It is sure difficult to tell what that *perfect* gait is for each dog, as a newbie, without people telling you when you've reached it, over and over, so you kindof get the "feeling" for it. :)
 

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Here are a couple pics from yesterday's show. Both have very good movement.

Here is Jarrett on the move...



and Miss Skye...

 

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The only way to know what gait is best for your dog is to get somebody to videotape his side gait and experiment with different speeds and see which one is best for him. Better yet, find somebody who knows a good dog and have them watch you and give feedback.
You are also limited by the dogs around you...my Aaron really likes to move out and I make sure I leave some room between me and the dog in front of me so he can look his best. I try to find venues that are either outdoors or have larger rings for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks...Anyone know of a "lab only" handling class in the Riverside/San Bernardino Area of Southern California?
 

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You won't typically find a breed specific handling class. You can learn alot going to shows and watching how people move their dogs.
 

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I went to a nice handling class in Yorba Linda when we lived in So Cal. The place was called Jump Start. I don't know if that's too far if you are on the farther side of Riverside.
 
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