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Old 11-09-2006, 06:41 PM
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Default Show stances/stacking

How do you know just where to put your dogs feet? Dobes, Rotties, Dalmations, even Goldens to a degree, they all have a stretched out stack...GSD's are over exaggerated...how do you learn exactly how to stand your puppy? Aussies are supposed to stacked pretty much square. But I keep thinking of that stacking pan that Redyre uses and I just can't quite "get" how you know when your pup is standing just right, unless it's a super exaggerated pose.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:11 PM
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A lot of it comes from learning from your mentors, and studying good examples of your breed, as well as your own dogs. Often times you can temporarily mask a "problem point" in conformation by the way you stack your dog. For example, you might "overstretch" a dog with a weaker topline to temporarily hide that flaw. (Of course a good judge will be able to pick it out in the movement).

The other thing a lot of us do is set our dogs up in front of mirrors. It's instant feedback- you'll know IMMEDIATELY what looks crappy, and what looks good.

To get my dogs to stand in the "exaggerated" show stack, I teach them on a table. If you notice, most show dogs lean forward into the show lead, which is generally placed right up underneath their chin. Generally a dog leaning back and AWAY from the handler doesn't present as pretty or "alert" looking a picture.

To teach my dogs to lean forward I place their back feet right at the edge of the table. One step backwards and it's into thin air (I always keep a good hand on them so they don't fall, but the illusion of a lack of safety is all that's needed to keep them from "posting.) Do this enough times and they will naturally lean forward. To get the lovely arch of neck that's desired in my breed (as well as to showcase good ear pitch), I'll hold or throw a piece of bait right in front of my dog's nose.

Finally, well put-together dogs will stand naturally in a good show stack. If your dog has nice conformation, a good way to showcase it is by "free-stacking." You stand in front of the dog and allow the dog to self-stack. In a few breeds this is the ONLY way the dogs are shown.
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:26 PM
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A good dog will naturally fall into a passable stack. It just takes practive and patience. Some people stack puppies on cans or cinder blocks to teach them where to put their feet, but my breeder just uses a grooming table.

"Posting" is when the dog leans back - this can be corrected with baiting or gently tugging backward on the dog's tail (which causes the dog to pull forward more to regain balance... only works on dogs that know to keep their feet firmly planted!)

Dobes are handstacked AND freestacked. Poor Ronin has a toe that never healed correctly when he was in his previous home, so he doesn't like to freestack with that foot fully extended behind him. Tell him he looks like a GSD, and he'll self-correct!
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Old 11-09-2006, 07:36 PM
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Beau is usually freestacked nowadays, but sometimes we have to move his back feet a bit. He used to stack with them REALLY far apart. Front were fine, but back were always way apart. Weird guy. lol
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Old 11-09-2006, 09:45 PM
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Beau and that Shiba are lovely!! To put my two cents worth in... when stacking your dog, all breeds are different, but you'll want to present a nice balanced picture, level topline, clean throat latch and a dog whose up on his toes by appearance verses rocking back/flat footed This is taught as a puppy. Generally on a grooming table for most. You want to feel the lay back of the shoulder going left front, hand sliding down to feel where your placement should be. Dogs feet being well under him. You place left, then right teaching them "stand" then slide hand down topline and over left hip placing back leg, then right, giving command "stand" once in a stand or stack they're taught "stay". This transfers to the ground where the pup then understands that he's to position himself in this stand-stay in order to receive that bait. Some dogs are quite good at balancing up on their toes making it appear as if the majority of their weight is primarily on their front end. (That very exaggerated stack you talked about.) Most will stack in a manner that's natural for their conformation making them feel balanced on the ground. Often that's when you'll see handlers quickly reposition foot placement, if that free stack isn't the prettiest. Some breeds need to look very square, as if they could be picked up and fit down into a box, others are stacked at different degrees of angulation. Whatever breed I happen to be handling, an alert, toned, balanced, happy looking dog is a must!
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:16 PM
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Back in my old Golden show days , it wasn't as extended as today . It was placing a dog at a stand...raising at their groin area and letting them down . If rear back legs weren't in line , move one into proper position . To me it should be a natural stance .
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:03 PM
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We hand stack pugs on the table, but the rest of the time they are shown "free stacked" so they just walk into the natural standing position. Alice loves to free stack. It's actually quite easy to figure out where you place your dogs feet. You want them to be balanced. No breed should ever be over-extended, if they are, that is incorrect. You want balance, not a rocking horse. Front legs need to be UNDER the dog, not stretched out in front. Rear legs need to be behind the dog enough that from the hock to the ground is a straight verticle line. Look at these pictures of Alice free stacking. See her rear legs? From the hock to the floor is a straight line. If you can do that, you are stacking correctly.



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Old 11-09-2006, 11:08 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone! I'm trying to train Sawyer to do a good stack so I can take some pictures for his ILP...and I just want to see if I can train to stack...
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Old 11-10-2006, 01:14 AM
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Belgians are supposed to free stack, but I usually end up moving Riots front feet a tiny bit before judges examination so she can feel his proprtions properly.

Riot free stacks nicely after the up and back though lol
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Old 11-10-2006, 04:05 AM
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Okay I can't say much about other breeds as I only show Chihuahuas, but even with Chis it all depends on an individual dog. You have to find out which are your dog's `weak points` and try to cover that up. That doesn't mean that you can get away with it, as any good judge will be able to see it, but you can still point out dogs good points and focus on that.
With Chis we usually just hold their tail in the right position and try to make their bodies look relatively short and stocky with level topline.
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