In my last post, I included several pictures of dogs taken more or less at random. They show the weak, over-angulated hindquarters that are so common. These dogs were not simply posed badly. They were standing on their own, and I waited for them to walk themselves into a decent stance. They didn’t. They couldn’t. Many of these dogs went Select.
I was beginning to think I was wasting my time, when I spotted a very nice female who turned out to be the Winners Female. Whatever position she took, she looked good. I’ve always thought that it is hard to take a bad picture of a good dog, and this bitch proved it. She was clean from every direction. She didn’t sag to the ground while standing informally. She moved beautifully with a strong, clean, suspended gait. Remember suspension? That feature of the breed that the over-angulated dog is incapable of achieving? She didn’t overextend, or pop her head in the effort to throw her forehand a mile beyond her nose. She didn’t drag her feet, or flat foot her way around the ring. She was absolutely the most correct dog in the ring. I think she was last place Select. She should have been Grand Victrix.
Unfortunately, a really good dog will always look underdone when in the ring with extreme dogs. They don’t have the exaggerated stride length, so they appear short-strided by comparison. They don’t have the extremely sloping topline or steep croup, so they look higher in the rear. Judges hate that, at least some do. Plus so many specialty dogs are over-sized; the bigger the dog, the longer the legs and the longer the stride. And because the over-done dogs cannot suspend, they resort to speed. The result is all the flash that so many judges reward, and audiences love. It takes a really brave judge to put up a correct dog. It’s too bad judges don’t have the six to eight hours of gaiting that would leave the extreme dogs struggling and the correct dogs still working.
Fortunately I was able to spend time in the ring with this female, getting reference photos of her standing and gaiting. Informal or posed, she always looked good.