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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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Good head position elongates the neck and looks elegant. Geode's is pretty perfect in the above photo.

I'm going to against the grain and encourage you not to work too hard at this. I think it's a nit-picking thing, and there is a wide range of head positions where dogs look great. Pro handlers will use a particular technique to hide a fault or show off a particularly good trait. But unless you're trying to hide something or show something off, I wouldn't get into the weeds with head position. But that's just me, so take it with a grain of salt.

As to how to do it, yes, many handlers inspire the dog to look down by putting bait on the floor a few feet in front of the dog. But that can be done in training it to become a "good habit" where the bait is later abandoned. Here is my boy Deuce as a puppy. His handler baited his head down to the point where it was habit. But then he stopped using bait and just pointed with his finger. See how his handler now gets his head in the right position with an index finger that he just brings down to the ground, and the dog's gaze follows, with what was a crutch now becoming a good habit.

Dog Vertebrate Dog breed Carnivore Mammal


Still, there's a wide range of acceptable head positions. We can get a little too caught up in technicalities. One of my favorite photos of Deuce is with his head too high. I personally love it.

Dog Water Carnivore Sky Gesture


Just be aware that you can solve one problem and create another. Using my same dog, here the handler gets him to lower his head and the result is that he gets too far forward over his feet. This makes the neck look lovely, but destroys top line and the overall silhouette.

Dog Carnivore Dog breed Chair Fawn


And here's me practicing with Deuce and completely screwing up his head, but IMHO he still looks good. This is with bait on the ground and me holding his head up too high and too far back.

Dog Plant Dog breed Carnivore Fence


The lesson I'd take is to not work too hard at any one thing at the expense of a good, natural, balanced stance. I think you're doing fantastic! Don't over-think it, just keep doing what you're doing. :)
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Good head position elongates the neck and looks elegant. Geode's is pretty perfect in the above photo.

I'm going to against the grain and encourage you not to work too hard at this. I think it's a nit-picking thing, and there is a wide range of head positions where dogs look great. Pro handlers will use a particular technique to hide a fault or show off a particularly good trait. But unless you're trying to hide something or show something off, I wouldn't get into the weeds with head position. But that's just me, so take it with a grain of salt.
I know that I'd like to draw attention away from his rear in basically any way possible, and also look like I know how to show goldens. Because of the latter, I think that I should probably make it a goal to get correct head position. However, am I correct in thinking that correcting his posting issue is more important?
As to how to do it, yes, many handlers inspire the dog to look down by putting bait on the floor a few feet in front of the dog. But that can be done in training it to become a "good habit" where the bait is later abandoned. Here is my boy Deuce as a puppy. His handler baited his head down to the point where it was habit. But then he stopped using bait and just pointed with his finger. See how his handler now gets his head in the right position with an index finger that he just brings down to the ground, and the dog's gaze follows, with what was a crutch now becoming a good habit.

View attachment 885645
Thank you! I can try that!
Good head position elongates the neck and looks elegant. Geode's is pretty perfect in the above photo.

I'm going to against the grain and encourage you not to work too hard at this. I think it's a nit-picking thing, and there is a wide range of head positions where dogs look great. Pro handlers will use a particular technique to hide a fault or show off a particularly good trait. But unless you're trying to hide something or show something off, I wouldn't get into the weeds with head position. But that's just me, so take it with a grain of salt.

As to how to do it, yes, many handlers inspire the dog to look down by putting bait on the floor a few feet in front of the dog. But that can be done in training it to become a "good habit" where the bait is later abandoned. Here is my boy Deuce as a puppy. His handler baited his head down to the point where it was habit. But then he stopped using bait and just pointed with his finger. See how his handler now gets his head in the right position with an index finger that he just brings down to the ground, and the dog's gaze follows, with what was a crutch now becoming a good habit.

View attachment 885645

Still, there's a wide range of acceptable head positions. We can get a little too caught up in technicalities. One of my favorite photos of Deuce is with his head too high. I personally love it.

View attachment 885644
I love that photo as well! I think he looks lovely!
Good head position elongates the neck and looks elegant. Geode's is pretty perfect in the above photo.

I'm going to against the grain and encourage you not to work too hard at this. I think it's a nit-picking thing, and there is a wide range of head positions where dogs look great. Pro handlers will use a particular technique to hide a fault or show off a particularly good trait. But unless you're trying to hide something or show something off, I wouldn't get into the weeds with head position. But that's just me, so take it with a grain of salt.

As to how to do it, yes, many handlers inspire the dog to look down by putting bait on the floor a few feet in front of the dog. But that can be done in training it to become a "good habit" where the bait is later abandoned. Here is my boy Deuce as a puppy. His handler baited his head down to the point where it was habit. But then he stopped using bait and just pointed with his finger. See how his handler now gets his head in the right position with an index finger that he just brings down to the ground, and the dog's gaze follows, with what was a crutch now becoming a good habit.

View attachment 885645

Still, there's a wide range of acceptable head positions. We can get a little too caught up in technicalities. One of my favorite photos of Deuce is with his head too high. I personally love it.

View attachment 885644

Just be aware that you can solve one problem and create another. Using my same dog, here the handler gets him to lower his head and the result is that he gets too far forward over his feet. This makes the neck look lovely, but destroys top line and the overall silhouette.

View attachment 885646

The lesson I'd take is to not work too hard at any one thing at the expense of a good, natural, balanced stance. I think you're doing fantastic! Don't over-think it, just keep doing what you're doing. :)
Thank you!
 

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Finn
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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
I couldn’t get a single non posting stack today. Am I setting his legs too far forward?
Dog Plant Dog breed Carnivore Tree

this is with front legs set, but not rear.
Also, is my “armband” in the right place? Should it be higher?

Side question: does this look like ok movement?
Dog Dog breed Window Carnivore Fawn

Dog Plant Carnivore Dog breed Collar
 

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Discussion Starter · #64 ·

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I think even though you weren't able to get a good pic today, you are moving him at the right speed and yes, your armband is in the right place!
I know things are falling into place for you, and I admire your willingness to work and make that relationship with Finn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
I think even though you weren't able to get a good pic today, you are moving him at the right speed and yes, your armband is in the right place!
Great!
I know things are falling into place for you, and I admire your willingness to work and make that relationship with Finn.
Thank you! I'm trying really hard to do a lot with him because I don't think I'll be able to get my own dog before going to college n stuff. This may or may not have caused me to be going in like 6 different directions with him at once and confusing myself but y'know what
 
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Discussion Starter · #67 ·
Great!

Thank you! I'm trying really hard to do a lot with him because I don't think I'll be able to get my own dog before going to college n stuff. This may or may not have caused me to be going in like 6 different directions with him at once and confusing myself but y'know what
No seriously I'm simultaneously thinking about his CGC (I'd like him to get both his CGC and CGCA), trick dog, juniors, obedience, agility, and rally 😅
I need to pick a direction and go in it but it's difficult when you've got basically one chance to do everything you want until like 10 years later
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Even though hand stacking didn't go well yesterday, free stacking was great!
Dog Plant Dog breed Carnivore Tree

(don't ask about that lead please lol)
Are goldens usually free stacked front toward the judge with the handler stepping out of the way, or turned to the side for a profile? Or does it depend on the dog?
 

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He is benefitting so much from all your work!
If you're talking about at end of down/back, park yourself where ever you believe it'll go best, and stay there- judge will walk around. In Juniors, you may want to pivot a bit @ that point, to give a nod to the junior dance but I don't think judge would expect you in full dance mode after a down/back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
He is benefitting so much from all your work!
If you're talking about at end of down/back, park yourself where ever you believe it'll go best, and stay there- judge will walk around. In Juniors, you may want to pivot a bit @ that point, to give a nod to the junior dance but I don't think judge would expect you in full dance mode after a down/back.
Yep, at the end of a pattern.
In Juniors, you may want to pivot a bit @ that point, to give a nod to the junior dance but I don't think judge would expect you in full dance mode after a down/back.
🤣
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 · (Edited)
I really don't want to give up with him, but I may have to find a dog to co own. He cannot currently be shown, and there's only so much that I can improve on my own. He needs to learn to control himself in a ring full of other dogs, and I almost definitely won't be able to go to handling class with him. It is an hour away, making it a three hour endeavor, at the end of a long work day for my parents and a school day for me. The only class closer us one where I learned many of my mistakes where I and someone else that's helping me don't really like the teacher. I'll have to do homework in the car and it won't work. I can't find anyone local with a ring trained dog (found someone on facebook willing to help but they haven't gotten back to us) to practice with. I'm really worried that I won't be able to finish training him and won't be able to find a co own without having shown in juniors at all. I'm not sure what to do.
 

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I'm not sure how feasible it is, but there is a few resources for retired show dogs? What part of the US are you located in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
I'm not sure how feasible it is, but there is a few resources for retired show dogs? What part of the US are you located in?
I'm CT.
 

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Back in history when I taught JS classes for my kennel club, I found all my juniors finished boys to co-own. Back then there was a site called BestJunior.com that's no longer available (takes a mama whose kids involvement keeps her abreast of latest I suppose). But ask Maddie next week- she may know someone. And email whoever's on the BestJunior.com doing stats- it is still up but no longer the go-to for dogs, etc, but that person may know of another resource.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
I tried again today and it just did not work. All of the distraction training we've been doing went absolutely out the window when other dogs would walk past. I've been working on this for weeks and it's like it never happened and all went in one ear and out the other. He still has no concept of focus, no concept of staying put, no concept of standing with his body over his front. Nothing. I've never felt worse about his training. I think that I'm just going to try to find a dog to co own. If I can't teach him how to stack properly, and I can't go to classes, and I can't teach him to ignore other dogs, then there's no point. I'm looking at goldens, berners, collies, and clumbers for co owns.
 

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Even if you do a co-own, you still typically need to do classes. It's learning how to handle in a more dog-show type environment. Your parents need to be more on board and willing to take you to classes.

Classes I attend off and on... there is a junior whose parents bring her to handling classes every week so she can work with the dog she competes with. I think the dog is owned by her grandparents. The girl is very good as a result because she has her grandparents helping her, her parents bringing her to classes, instructor teaching her (And really being hands on and extra corrective with her - to help her "get good").
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
Even if you do a co-own, you still typically need to do classes. It's learning how to handle in a more dog-show type environment. Your parents need to be more on board and willing to take you to classes.

Classes I attend off and on... there is a junior whose parents bring her to handling classes every week so she can work with the dog she competes with. I think the dog is owned by her grandparents. The girl is very good as a result because she has her grandparents helping her, her parents bringing her to classes, instructor teaching her (And really being hands on and extra corrective with her - to help her "get good").
I can't do classes because I can't drive and my parents are both too burnt out at the end of long work days to make a three hour commitment for something they have no interest in (2 hours of which are driving). If there were classes on the weekends or closer to home they'd be happy to take me, but there just aren't.
 

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I can't do classes because I can't drive and my parents are both too burnt out at the end of long work days to make a three hour commitment for something they have no interest in (2 hours of which are driving). If there were classes on the weekends or closer to home they'd be happy to take me, but there just aren't.
Are there no training locations closer to home?
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Are there no training locations closer to home?
There's one very slightly closer, but everyone else that I've talked to has told me to avoid the instructor. I went to two classes there, did what she told me, and everyone else (including people on GRC) told me that I was doing the same things wrong. However, it's still about 40 mins of driving on a good day.
 
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