Thursday, July 15, 2010


I am very new to conformation, but I love a well-built, sound dog. Structure, movement, and soundness is one of my very favorite topics.

Unfortunately, I suck at seeing it. I know, generally, what I'm supposed to look for, I just can't get my brain to process what my eyes are seeing in comparison to basic bio-mechanical principles. Ruffly Speaking has a very nice post today about evaluating structure, and this blog has a derth of pictures of the Gatz, so let's go.

This is Gatsby's ILP picture. Could be a better picture, but it's fairly representational. He's roughly 17.5' tall and weighs twenty pounds.

Horizontal red line is topline, vertical red line runs from his elbow up and down.
Um, yikes. This leads me to believe that his front is a lot straighter than I had thought. I really want a nicely angled front for an agility dog since they spend so much time slamming down on their front paws. It looks like his head and neck are nicely forward, but it's so low and that's whats worrying me. I think if his shoulder was better laid back, that would bring his head up. His topline isn't great to boot, I could do with less rise over the loin and a gentler croup.

This really isn't terrible. If he had more angulation, no that's not right, he needs more length in his upper arm. That would shift his leg further back and more under him.

Rib cage is nice, in my opinion. He could maybe use a little bit more, but I like a little extra loin for the flexibility. A nice tuck up, even though it isn't really Schnauzer-y. He does need more chest, it's very shallow. Even though he's angled away from the camera you should be able to see some of the posternum. The depth isn't too bad, but there isn't a lot of muscle in his front chest area thing. Brisket? I don't really know. Look at the front shot at the end, you can see it really clearly there.

These lines are really just a total guess. I have no idea how to eyeball shoulder and stifle angles. It doesn't help that his front leg is forward. Hands on I don't think his rear is as straight as it looks here, but I suspect his front might be a little worse.

Here you can see how little chest he has - practically none. He does have nice straight legs, nice rear ones too. His elbows are nice and tight. He toes out a little, but it bothers me less than it used to. I think he has nice feet. They could stand to be a little tighter and I need to be better about nails (gotta getta Dremel), but over all they're nice.

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