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Talk to me about conformation

I am a horse person and know very little about dog conformation, like what is/isn't desirable. Any one willing to teach me? To start off I have a pic of Kyra. She is standing uphill and I know she isn't square but is there anything you can tell me about her conformation? Just about any comments would be appreciated. In this pic she was 5 years old in the pic I believe.

 

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I can't help you much, but maybe some others will jump in here, we've got some real experts on board.
And welcome to the forum!
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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Hey Katie there is a great booklet sold by the Golden Retriever Club of America.
It is a GReat place to start learning....
I'm learning too and find that I keep going back to that booklet!
It is only $10.00!


http://www.grcasales.org/a-study-of-the-golden-retriever.html

"Known as 'The Blue Book', this 60 page book is essential for understanding the breed standard. Illustrations by noted artist, Marcia Schlehr."
 

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They get it
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She is a very cute girl, but unfortunatly not what they are looking for in the breed ring (and there is nothing wrong with that, neither are any of mine). I would say she has some field lines from looking at her head. There are several show dog photos posted on the forum, if you look through some of the past threads, you can see their pictures.

Where in Oregon are you?
 

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the party's crashing us
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She is a very cute girl, but unfortunatly not what they are looking for in the breed ring (and there is nothing wrong with that, neither are any of mine). I would say she has some field lines from looking at her head. There are several show dog photos posted on the forum, if you look through some of the past threads, you can see their pictures.

Where in Oregon are you?

Ahh -- don't sell your field dogs short. Just because they don't look like show dogs doesn't make them field lines. Sorry, a pet peeve of mine. I have a friend with a red, light boned golden who he swore was from "field lines" -- well we finally got a copy of his pedigree and there is nary a field dog in there.
The flip side is the same, I see rescue goldens marketed as "obviously show backgrounds" when all they are is lighter colored.

To the original poster, admittedly that is a poor picture, as far as how she is standing. About the only thing you can tell is she needs to be groomed big time! Decent profile of skull.
 

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Magica Goldens
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If you know horses in general you should be able to recognize a well put together dog - you may not know why - but you'll know....

The same things you see in horses, under-angulation or over-angulation front or rear is a problem - structurally and functionally. You want complementary angles in the front and rear - I'm personally more forgiving of a dog that is balanced even if she/he could use more angles. How the neck flows into the shoulder and topline - obviously ewe necks are faulted and structurally incorrect. Topline should be level.

You see a lot of this when the dog is moving - same as in horses. Horses with not enough angulation tend to either move in shorter steps or higher steps - same thing in dogs. A straight shouldered/straight reared dog is going to move more up and down than covering ground. He/She could not work all day in the field - their gait is too inefficient. An over angulated dog probably won't have the ability to reach and cover ground - in that case probably not fully putting his rear feet under him as he moves - probably more inclined to gallop or lope than gait as trotting requires more self carriage from the rear...

As far as horses go - Morgans and Tennessee walkers tend to be very straight front and rear - contrast that with the more angulated warmbloods...a Morgan no matter how athletic - could never extend their stride as much as a warmblood...I could go on and on - but the best recommendation I can give you is to go purchase Pagey Elliott's book on movement - and the video if you can find a copy (I believe they're still out of publication)....

Erica
 

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I am a horse person and know very little about dog conformation, like what is/isn't desirable. Any one willing to teach me? To start off I have a pic of Kyra. She is standing uphill and I know she isn't square but is there anything you can tell me about her conformation? Just about any comments would be appreciated. In this pic she was 5 years old in the pic I believe.

Do you know horse conformation? I am not a horse person, but I did go through a 4H packet once on horse structure and many of the basics look the same. Namely the faults such as cowhocks, bowing legs, roachbacks, east westy (toed out), pigeon-toed.
 

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They get it
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Ahh -- don't sell your field dogs short. Just because they don't look like show dogs doesn't make them field lines. Sorry, a pet peeve of mine. I have a friend with a red, light boned golden who he swore was from "field lines" -- well we finally got a copy of his pedigree and there is nary a field dog in there.
The flip side is the same, I see rescue goldens marketed as "obviously show backgrounds" when all they are is lighter colored.

To the original poster, admittedly that is a poor picture, as far as how she is standing. About the only thing you can tell is she needs to be groomed big time! Decent profile of skull.
I'm not selling field dogs short, she does look to have a head like my dogs which leads me to believe there is some field stuff back there. I love the looks of my dogs (love the looks of show dogs, too, they are just different). I know what you mean about the stereotyping field and breed, but she really does look more field lines and not just her darker coat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
She is a very cute girl, but unfortunatly not what they are looking for in the breed ring (and there is nothing wrong with that, neither are any of mine). I would say she has some field lines from looking at her head. There are several show dog photos posted on the forum, if you look through some of the past threads, you can see their pictures.

Where in Oregon are you?
Thanks. She was supposed to be papered but they couldn't find the sire's papers so I have no idea about her lines. I actually didn't know there were separate showing and field lines. I am from about an hour south of Portland.

If you know horses in general you should be able to recognize a well put together dog - you may not know why - but you'll know....

The same things you see in horses, under-angulation or over-angulation front or rear is a problem - structurally and functionally. You want complementary angles in the front and rear - I'm personally more forgiving of a dog that is balanced even if she/he could use more angles. How the neck flows into the shoulder and topline - obviously ewe necks are faulted and structurally incorrect. Topline should be level.

You see a lot of this when the dog is moving - same as in horses. Horses with not enough angulation tend to either move in shorter steps or higher steps - same thing in dogs. A straight shouldered/straight reared dog is going to move more up and down than covering ground. He/She could not work all day in the field - their gait is too inefficient. An over angulated dog probably won't have the ability to reach and cover ground - in that case probably not fully putting his rear feet under him as he moves - probably more inclined to gallop or lope than gait as trotting requires more self carriage from the rear...

As far as horses go - Morgans and Tennessee walkers tend to be very straight front and rear - contrast that with the more angulated warmbloods...a Morgan no matter how athletic - could never extend their stride as much as a warmblood...I could go on and on - but the best recommendation I can give you is to go purchase Pagey Elliott's book on movement - and the video if you can find a copy (I believe they're still out of publication)....

Erica
Yay! Someone speaks horse. I was asking because I didn't know what was desirable for Goldens. Kind of like correct conformation for a stock horse is not the same as a TWH or a draft.

Do you know horse conformation? I am not a horse person, but I did go through a 4H packet once on horse structure and many of the basics look the same. Namely the faults such as cowhocks, bowing legs, roachbacks, east westy (toed out), pigeon-toed.
Those I can recognize.

Thanks everyone for your help and book suggestions. If I can get them would anyone be willing to critique video of her trotting? If so do you want just straight to and away from the camera? Are there any other angles I should get?
 

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You might consider joining the social group Conformation Connection to learn more. There is already much discussion about structure and movement that can be referred to.
 

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Magica Goldens
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Yay! Someone speaks horse. I was asking because I didn't know what was desirable for Goldens. Kind of like correct conformation for a stock horse is not the same as a TWH or a draft.
IMO, Goldens should be more warmblood than morgan, thoroughbred or draft....even though I own a golden that is very morgan like :)
E
 

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Enzo's mom
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Hey Katie there is a great booklet sold by the Golden Retriever Club of America.
It is a GReat place to start learning....
I'm learning too and find that I keep going back to that booklet!
It is only $10.00!


http://www.grcasales.org/a-study-of-the-golden-retriever.html

"Known as 'The Blue Book', this 60 page book is essential for understanding the breed standard. Illustrations by noted artist, Marcia Schlehr."
i bout the book before,very useful
 
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