It is a great compliment when your puppy looks great at 6 months. A few of mine have looked like coyotes! Just kidding, but some pups do go through awkward stages and might not even look good at 12 months, but be fantastic at 24 months. Have a great handler take a look at the pup and give feedback.
I absolutely think that you are right that movement is important. Certain judges prize a dog's movement( as they should). Other judges might prize something else more. However, the springer breeder's 3 flaw or 4 flaw rule applies in theory. Nothing can make up for a lack of bone, a weedy chest, a huge roll , a gay tail, and missing teeth all in the same puppy.
That puppy can still do the most important thing: be the best pet ever.
There are so many beautiful dogs, and none are perfect. The dog who moves beautifully but is missing teeth? The dog( mine, lol) who moves beautifully but swims in the ocean and has a less that shimmering coat that day? The dog who is near the top of the standard heightwise, but moves well(mine!)? Some judges will take a dog who moves wide, but is impeccably turned out with a ball gown of a coat, but most do know the standard.
There is much debate about goldens who move properly( which is a ground covering movement with good reach and drive, as well as a good sense of foot timing) versus those who have relatively short legs and thus look very showy & flashy, but in reality cover little ground with each step.
However, it is a different thing to debate these nuances, and to truly have a dog in the ring who is not show quality.
The worst thing as a novice is to have that dog who is close but no cigar bc you get in limbo- can't give up, can't finish the dog.
Your eye will start to understand what to look for if you look and look and look at many goldens along with a mentor or judge etc. When you watch these goldens, you see many that make the impression or first impression of a golden, but then as your eye takes in the pieces, you will see some weakness like one of the goldens is so straight in the stifle it is really glaring, one is way overweight, and one is sloped like a GSD bc of overangulation in the rear end. http://www.dogchannel.com/akc-eukanu...eed-video.aspx
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