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the party's crashing us
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Much better. Just adjust his front legs back an inch after you set the back legs. I end up setting front legs twice on every hand stack. Leave the tail alone. Every judge knows a golden retriever has a tail.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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When I was learning from a pro handler, I remember one thing I was told that stood out above pretty much everything else. It was this principle: Control the head, control the dog. Which means that if you make sure to control the dog's head, then everything else becomes easy to control.

Of course, controlling the head isn't easy. It takes practice. But you do it by putting the dog's head exactly where you want it, and then holding it right there without moving it, as you then futz with the dog's feet. You can control the position of the head either by holding his collar or, if the dog is squirmy, by holding the dog's lower jaw on the non-show side so that he can't move his head.

Once you do that, you can put all four of his feet where you want them, and you'll have a great stack. He won't easily be able to move them, and he for sure won't be able to post because that's a function of head position as related to front feet, and you're controlling where that head is.

This handler was pretty demanding in her teaching. She would only give me 8 seconds to stack my dog, and I could only move each foot once. Learning to hold the head perfectly still while I moved the feet was the only way I could do it in 8 seconds.

So, FWIW (probably not much), that would be my suggestion.

Has anyone else heard this principle?
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
When I was learning from a pro handler, I remember one thing I was told that stood out above pretty much everything else. It was this principle: Control the head, control the dog. Which means that if you make sure to control the dog's head, then everything else becomes easy to control.

Of course, controlling the head isn't easy. It takes practice. But you do it by putting the dog's head exactly where you want it, and then holding it right there without moving it, as you then futz with the dog's feet. You can control the position of the head either by holding his collar or, if the dog is squirmy, by holding the dog's lower jaw on the non-show side so that he can't move his head.

Once you do that, you can put all four of his feet where you want them, and you'll have a great stack. He won't easily be able to move them, and he for sure won't be able to post because that's a function of head position as related to front feet, and you're controlling where that head is.

This handler was pretty demanding in her teaching. She would only give me 8 seconds to stack my dog, and I could only move each foot once. Learning to hold the head perfectly still while I moved the feet was the only way I could do it in 8 seconds.

So, FWIW (probably not much), that would be my suggestion.

Has anyone else heard this principle?
I’ve been trying to hold my hand very steady when stacking him (you mentioned this concept on the first page and I’ve tried to work on it) but I find that I struggle with keeping my arm that’s holding his head still, as well as switching hands smoothly. Should I just keep practicing?
 

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Kate
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I’ve been trying to hold my hand very steady when stacking him (you mentioned this concept on the first page and I’ve tried to work on it) but I find that I struggle with keeping my arm that’s holding his head still, as well as switching hands smoothly. Should I just keep practicing?
Keep practicing + teach your dog to STAY.
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
885250

am I correct that he’s still posting a bit here?
Also, to get your dog to look down, do you bait down a lot and it’s habit?
 

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the party's crashing us
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Much better! LEAVE THE TAIL ALONE!!!! Hold the collar with your left hand and bait forward with your right hand.
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Much better! LEAVE THE TAIL ALONE!!!! Hold the collar with your left hand and bait forward with your right hand.
Thank you!
My hand was there because I had been gently tugging on the tail as suggested to get him to lean forward.
Will do.
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
I've started doing a bit of the thing with him where you stack him with his back feet on the edge of a curb, so that he can't lean back. I'd do that today but SOMEONE spilled orange juice on my treat bag (I'm very unhappy about this)
 

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View attachment 885250
am I correct that he’s still posting a bit here?
Also, to get your dog to look down, do you bait down a lot and it’s habit?
That one is much better. But we can all tell you had your hand back @the tail lol! Leave that alone- it is one of his least correct parts, the tail set/croup are just not good but no need to draw attention to how 'not good' they are. Use your left hand to keep his head where you want it, and your right hand to move his inside feet, your left to move outside feet and then right back to head holding. Once he's got his feet where you want them say STAY and lure that head down a little- you don't want his head to give his neck an incorrect appearance or to cause his front feet to be in wrong position.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Quit pulling on his tail. Most newbies do this incorrectly and make their dogs worse.
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #52 ·

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I'm going to a handling class tonight, so I can ask for some help.
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I'm going to a handling class tonight, so I can ask for some help.
This will also be a good test for him- he does great with everything (stacking,gaiting, etc) (all stacking issues are my fault) at home, but we haven’t been able to practice with other dogs for a long time. I’m hoping that he does ok, so that I can start getting some experience with him in the ring like next month. Even if it goes horribly, it’s still practice.
 
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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Is the first stack passable or is he still back a significant amount?
 

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if his head were lowered a bit, bet he'd look more passable.
I know- it probably feels like we're all giving you tidbits and you're trying to remember them all, but if you'd study correct head placement for instance, and imprint that on what you see when you stack him, then you'd be able to use that mental photo with ANY dog you stack. Since we've been using Geode, here's a recent pic of him- if you notice, his head is tipped down more than Finn's.
Sky Dog Cloud Dog breed Carnivore
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Is there a way to get his head down other than baiting him to look that way, and it becoming habit for him?
 

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some of it is muscle memory- I vote to do whatever it takes to get head there when he is stacked, treats or turning the collar to side and tug down a bit, or whatever- and keep aiming for head to be where it should, til he auto puts it there. Geode could show himself - he doesn't need a handler but he has a good one nonetheless!
 
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