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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-05-2019, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Attempt at Stacking! Tips/Advice?

Hey guys! I attempted to stack my GR pup. He's 13 weeks old here. I know I didn't do a great job, but it was a lot better than the first time I did it. I'm really looking forward to start training him for the show ring. If you guys have any advice/tips, let me know He's my first show dog. I think 13 weeks is a pretty gangly stage

I definitely struggled to get his front end in the right place and it was tough getting him to keep his hind legs angled right, but overall it wasn't a terrible experience
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 12:05 PM
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I am still a novice. Realistically I SUCK at stacking my bitch. Luckily she can free stack really nicely from gaiting. But things I learned while learning is this:

-control the head, you control the dog. I struggle with this, but I see pro handlers do this ALL the time and it's literally like magic. They have the head and the dog just STAYS there. So when I control the head, I'm using a slip chain, right under the jaw line, and I hook a finger through the loop at the back of the head so I can keep it taut. The leash is bundled in the palm of that hand so I'm using only my thumb and pointer finger to keep the chain secure and to keep the dog's head under control.
-to reposition the hind legs, it is infinitely easier to literally scoop the dog up by their bottom and let it drop naturally. I place my left hand between her legs, lift up so her entire hind end is OFF the ground. And bring it back down. It allows her body to reset naturally and 95% of the time results in proper alignment.

-You might not be able to SEE what it looks like, so it's easier to go off feel. You know the elbows should be under the shoulders, so when you are positioning the front legs, feel the shoulder, and picture the line from the shoulder down. Then grip the elbow and align it with that line. Do the same with the hips. Knees should be under hips.

-Teach your dog "step". This will be handy as heck when you are stacking on the down and back. You gait down and present your dog to the judge. The dog should be able to free stack here but if a foot is out of alignment, you can nudge the dog into a stack by telling it to step. You can use leash pressure to communicate this to an extent. I never thought it was possible, but my own girl has done it with just leash pressure alone.

This might be a helpful resource: Conformation Stacking

I hope this helps!

Hecate's Hellhound, Gypsy Magic - "Gypsy"
2/15 - Present
Hi-Tide's Danger Scone, CGC - "Lana"
6/18 - Present
-----------------------------------------------
Waiting at the bridge:
Hecate's Hellhound, Bearer of Mischief, CGC - "Bear"
8/12 - 7/17
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 02:36 PM
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I am terrible at stacking. Pilot will kind of crouch if I try to do it. In fact, I thought he had a sloped top line until the CCA! He stood up nice and tall. (Which isn't real tall LOL) The judges commented on his strong, level topline! To me, it looks like he's doing Pilot's thing in the back and kind of crouching. Maybe it's just him trying to get the food. I am not an expert....I do not show conformation!


Pilot - UCD URO3 Twincreek's Black Tie Affair CDX BN RN CGC TKN
Winx - UCDX URO2 Twincreek's Sweet Tiddlywinks Rose CDX BN RN CCA CGC TKP
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave View Post
I am still a novice. Realistically I SUCK at stacking my bitch. Luckily she can free stack really nicely from gaiting. But things I learned while learning is this:

-control the head, you control the dog. I struggle with this, but I see pro handlers do this ALL the time and it's literally like magic. They have the head and the dog just STAYS there. So when I control the head, I'm using a slip chain, right under the jaw line, and I hook a finger through the loop at the back of the head so I can keep it taut. The leash is bundled in the palm of that hand so I'm using only my thumb and pointer finger to keep the chain secure and to keep the dog's head under control.
-to reposition the hind legs, it is infinitely easier to literally scoop the dog up by their bottom and let it drop naturally. I place my left hand between her legs, lift up so her entire hind end is OFF the ground. And bring it back down. It allows her body to reset naturally and 95% of the time results in proper alignment.

-You might not be able to SEE what it looks like, so it's easier to go off feel. You know the elbows should be under the shoulders, so when you are positioning the front legs, feel the shoulder, and picture the line from the shoulder down. Then grip the elbow and align it with that line. Do the same with the hips. Knees should be under hips.

-Teach your dog "step". This will be handy as heck when you are stacking on the down and back. You gait down and present your dog to the judge. The dog should be able to free stack here but if a foot is out of alignment, you can nudge the dog into a stack by telling it to step. You can use leash pressure to communicate this to an extent. I never thought it was possible, but my own girl has done it with just leash pressure alone.

This might be a helpful resource: Conformation Stacking
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IQ6kuSSi1A

I hope this helps!
Thank you so much! That's a a great video! I thought about having him where his sleep lead but for now I'm still working on touching his legs without him instantly sitting down lol. Would it be worth it to clicker train a stack?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abeille View Post
I am terrible at stacking. Pilot will kind of crouch if I try to do it. In fact, I thought he had a sloped top line until the CCA! He stood up nice and tall. (Which isn't real tall LOL) The judges commented on his strong, level topline! To me, it looks like he's doing Pilot's thing in the back and kind of crouching. Maybe it's just him trying to get the food. I am not an expert....I do not show conformation!
For sure! He usually has a nice level back when he stands properly, usually after gaiting a bit. But he's also so lanky right now and his legs are growing at different rates so who knows lol.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 03:07 PM
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The curving of the back/topline is cause the knees are not under the hips. It's under extended. His feet need to come back a smidge and I think the top line will straighten out.

I'm trying to teach Lana "reach"
https://dpca.org/BreedEd/conformation-training-tips/

Where she sticks her neck out instead of leaning her WHOLE body out. But idk. We're all just sitting around and having fun.

Hopefully other conformation handlers swing by and chip in.

Hecate's Hellhound, Gypsy Magic - "Gypsy"
2/15 - Present
Hi-Tide's Danger Scone, CGC - "Lana"
6/18 - Present
-----------------------------------------------
Waiting at the bridge:
Hecate's Hellhound, Bearer of Mischief, CGC - "Bear"
8/12 - 7/17
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tagrenine View Post
Thank you so much! That's a a great video! I thought about having him where his sleep lead but for now I'm still working on touching his legs without him instantly sitting down lol. Would it be worth it to clicker train a stack?
I'm literally the WORST at this cause Lana doesn't even have a legit "stand" command down yet. She has a STAY though which I have mercilessly exploited to my advantage. Instead of teaching "place" for when she is in stack, I just do some gaiting and then slow down, bring her in front (but don't say front, cause that is a whole other can of worms in obedience where she sits with her face in my stomach/legs basically), and then give her a stay command. She stops moving and if she is out of sync, I'll give her the step command and pull on the side she needs to step. If she messes up, no worries, I just release her stay and we reset by doing a circle (which I use in obedience training for sloppy sits, so she knows if we're resetting something was off and we're trying again).

When we started, I thought about doing platform training to get her used to where her legs need to be and then just do it until it becomes muscle memory. You can buy a stack box (https://happylegs.com/) or make your own (So Fly: Stacking Box) or even just use freestanding platforms like these (https://fitpawsusa.com/product/fitpaws-paw-pods/) but I instead focused on rewarding when she freestacks nicely to increase the odds of her doing that by choice.

Hecate's Hellhound, Gypsy Magic - "Gypsy"
2/15 - Present
Hi-Tide's Danger Scone, CGC - "Lana"
6/18 - Present
-----------------------------------------------
Waiting at the bridge:
Hecate's Hellhound, Bearer of Mischief, CGC - "Bear"
8/12 - 7/17
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave View Post
The curving of the back/topline is cause the knees are not under the hips. It's under extended. His feet need to come back a smidge and I think the top line will straighten out.

I'm trying to teach Lana "reach"
https://dpca.org/BreedEd/conformation-training-tips/

Where she sticks her neck out instead of leaning her WHOLE body out. But idk. We're all just sitting around and having fun.

Hopefully other conformation handlers swing by and chip in.
We're trying! It's so hard to get him to stretch and keep his hind legs in place. I also worry a bit that he still doesn't have the muscle to support that position for long so I'm hoping it comes more naturally as he gets older
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brave View Post
I'm literally the WORST at this cause Lana doesn't even have a legit "stand" command down yet. She has a STAY though which I have mercilessly exploited to my advantage. Instead of teaching "place" for when she is in stack, I just do some gaiting and then slow down, bring her in front (but don't say front, cause that is a whole other can of worms in obedience where she sits with her face in my stomach/legs basically), and then give her a stay command. She stops moving and if she is out of sync, I'll give her the step command and pull on the side she needs to step. If she messes up, no worries, I just release her stay and we reset by doing a circle (which I use in obedience training for sloppy sits, so she knows if we're resetting something was off and we're trying again).

When we started, I thought about doing platform training to get her used to where her legs need to be and then just do it until it becomes muscle memory. You can buy a stack box (https://happylegs.com/) or make your own (So Fly: Stacking Box) or even just use freestanding platforms like these (https://fitpawsusa.com/product/fitpaws-paw-pods/) but I instead focused on rewarding when she freestacks nicely to increase the odds of her doing that by choice.
I'm also a bit worried about mixing up commands or inadvertantly teaching something I don't want him to do after he's done with conformation. My girlfriend really wants to do rally obedience and agility with him. I really want to clicker train him though. Have you heard anything about puppy culture's Show Stack training?
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