Stacking Practice

Doberman Gang

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Good info, thank you! I have taught "stand" for obedience the "stand-stay" for judge to come touch the dog. So use the verbal word stand. I was debating adding the command "stack" to placing feet in position, or just continuing to add position to the stand command? The Doggie Push-ups are a fun exercise to do on occasion: Sit-Down-Sit-Stand, Sit-Down-Sit-Stand, Sit-Down-Sit-Stand. Agree about the happy dog in the ring, always looks better!
For me I need a difference from one thing to another. It is like when i want my dog sitting in basic position, the command is always fuss. If you ask for sit and the dog sits crooked, does the dog understand the difference but fuss is taught with clarity in position. Same goes for sh-tay (stand), I just want you to show a standing position and hold until I ask for something else. Stack is now taught with clarity of position including the feet position. So on the down and back in conformation the end is a feee stack in front of the judge. Handler moves out and away to bait dog, but with the stack command the dog now knows muscle memory and gives a better position than dogs not taught the command.
 

Rits

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Practice from this week. She's 3.5months old now. I started telling her "step" for the front feet and "place" for the rear as I positioned them by hand. Then said "wait" to hold the stack and rewarded her for holding. I started working on tickling the tail too with a word and rewarded for that but it's a lot all at once to do haha. Every week she gets better at one thing that we can focus on the next thing to bring it all together! Been teaching her to flex that head and neck too which she did really well this week! She's such a good girl, even if we don't show it's fun to work her brain on something new. I do hope maybe there is a handling class offered at one of the places nearby. I suppose I could look for a fun show but the thought scares me since I don't know what I'm doing lol!

She's looking a bit awkward right now. I know for sure she's long in body and she probably always will be. I also do these weekly stacks to keep track of her body condition better and she's getting her food upped again by another 1/4c. Again we have been keeping her light for her legs which I think we finally are over that hill!!! That was worrisome and stressful.

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@Ravenbird How's it going with Asha? Did you try out some stacking with her?
 

Ravenbird

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Ripley is looking great!!! We've been practicing with a few things, a little at the time and she is getting better. I really wish I'd started at 3 - 4 months, if for nothing else but comparative growth pictures! Most of my photos are at angles, not side-on. I also started a different "signal" and cue to trot, sliding the choke chain up under her ears, starting from a stand to immediate trot in a big circle, then as I stop I say stand with voice & hand signal and move in front of her, so it's nothing like an obedience halt/instant sit. She's doing great on that. One day I'll get photos... I notice one thing about Ripley, that Asha has/does: those back toes: sometimes the pad goes up in front! It weirds me out - I thought when she was a puppy she'd just eventually grow into her feet, but I still see it sometimes when we're standing on concrete or another hard surface and she rocks back just so. Is this a Doberman thing because such thick pads or what?
 

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Ripley is looking great!!! We've been practicing with a few things, a little at the time and she is getting better. I really wish I'd started at 3 - 4 months, if for nothing else but comparative growth pictures! Most of my photos are at angles, not side-on. I also started a different "signal" and cue to trot, sliding the choke chain up under her ears, starting from a stand to immediate trot in a big circle, then as I stop I say stand with voice & hand signal and move in front of her, so it's nothing like an obedience halt/instant sit. She's doing great on that. One day I'll get photos... I notice one thing about Ripley, that Asha has/does: those back toes: sometimes the pad goes up in front! It weirds me out - I thought when she was a puppy she'd just eventually grow into her feet, but I still see it sometimes when we're standing on concrete or another hard surface and she rocks back just so. Is this a Doberman thing because such thick pads or what?
Aw yes! Great to hear y'all are doing it and having fun with something new.

The rear pad thing, I noticed that too. I think some of it is my poor placement and maybe some her rocking back. If you see, I could have put her rear outside leg back some more and that probably would have fixed it. I'd be curious the knowledge of those that show may have an answer. @Panama ?
 

Panama

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Aw yes! Great to hear y'all are doing it and having fun with something new.

The rear pad thing, I noticed that too. I think some of it is my poor placement and maybe some her rocking back. If you see, I could have put her rear outside leg back some more and that probably would have fixed it. I'd be curious the knowledge of those that show may have an answer. @Panama ?

That larger pad should not be completely on the ground/floor. It can be typical for the age sometimes. You shouldn't be able to see the toe pads like you do in the back feet. When you place the back feet, put them on the toe pad. And yes, if they rock back, that will happen. Try to make them reach forward (that way they're pulling themself up and forward).

This pup is 16 wks... nice tight feet/toes and you can see that large pad higher on the back of the foot.

feet.jpg
 

Rits

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That larger pad should not be completely on the ground/floor. It can be typical for the age sometimes. You shouldn't be able to see the toe pads like you do in the back feet. When you place the back feet, put them on the toe pad. And yes, if they rock back, that will happen. Try to make them reach forward (that way they're pulling themself up and forward).

This pup is 16 wks... nice tight feet/toes and you can see that large pad higher on the back of the foot.

View attachment 112023
Thank you so much for the helpful info! I'll be much more conscious of the foot placement. When she walks I see her on her toes so it's probably my doing. Two weeks ago her feet were much more tighter.

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GennyB

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The rear pad thing



I have heard from a couple of breeders to run them on sand to fix that. Obviously no forced running but something about the sand develops muscles to correct that, kind of pull them up off the ground. Maybe ask your breeder about it.
 

Rits

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I have heard from a couple of breeders to run them on sand to fix that. Obviously no forced running but something about the sand develops muscles to correct that, kind of pull them up off the ground. Maybe ask your breeder about it.
I really think it's from me when stacking her so I'm not too concerned about it. I realize that now when placing her feet I never really picked them up completely off the ground so the toes most definitely were grabbed by the concrete and splayed out... Another thing learned! I'll check next stack. :) I did run her through sand in the dry lot for strengthening her tendons when she was knuckling. She loved that.
 

Ravenbird

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Asha has lots of free exercise over all kinds of terrain and is about as fit as she can be, but I still see this occasionally: if she's standing on concrete and leans back to look up without moving her back legs - i.e. leans her weight back - the back toe pads just kinda roll upward. My personal opinion is that this boxy cat foot has reached its peak of looking good and is bordering on "too much". This is where I draw lines on conformation that becomes faddish by the judges and not practical for real life. One shouldn't have to stretch the dog forward to avoid showing a flaw that appears when just dinking around in everyday life. Yes?
 

Panama

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If you're considering showing, you need to find a way to either correct it or make it appear correct. When it comes down to 2 entries that the judge keeps going back and forth between, it will come down to the nit-picky things. No dog is perfect.
 

Rits

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Appreciate the conversation going on here! I find there's not much talk about showing on discussion boards... Other than brags! Very helpful knowledge, and questions.
 

Ravenbird

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I totally agree @Panama. Showing a dog, or horse, is an art and there is no perfect animal. I love the idea of conformation showing, but I found out in the horse world that halter horses were nothing but fads and judges opinions and "types" evolved into extremes to the point that 10-20-30 years later you no longer have the same animal. This cat foot is just an example, that when you breed for the biggest boxiest cat foot, the pad gets too big to stay under the foot. If the judge never sees the dog rock back on it then it just looks like a beautiful example of cat foot.... and into the breeding pool it goes. Please don't take this as criticizing showing. I want to do it too, for fun and learning, and I DO have a lot to learn.

you need to find a way to either correct it or make it appear correct

The whole thing about conformation is that it is what the dog is born with, you can't correct it and it will pass on to future generations. My thought is that getting a title in conformation is all well and good, but adding titles in sports like obedience, agility etc proves that what ever minor flaws you may (or may not) have in conformation, the dog is trainable and athletic.
 

Kaiser2016

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The rear pad thing, I noticed that too. I think some of it is my poor placement and maybe some her rocking back.
I call it 'long toes' and I noticed that Kaiser gets this and chiro sorts him out. I never noticed if he had it as a puppy, but it started with any form of harness wearing - pulling and lunging activities, impact to shoulder (that giant Jolly Ball he was obsessed with). Though this is probably not the issue or the solution for puppies. I kinda agree with the cat/boxy feet comment from Ravenbird. If form should follow function, then the thick pads seem a bit much, but don't they also serve as a shock absorber for their crazy running (and paw slapping), yet other fast-running dogs don't have the thick pads (I only googled Greyhound feet).
 

Ravenbird

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Maybe try using Fit-paws.
Just found the website, will read about it, sounds interesting.

I only googled Greyhound feet
google "cat foot or hare foot in dogs" for comparisons - vastly different feet! Doberman feet were used a lot for examples of cat feet. Also, I would look at NGA greyhound feet for form-to-function, as they are serious running dogs. Show/pet greyhounds (not including retired racers) are not bred to run and are pale compared to track or coursing greyhounds.
 

Panama

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The whole thing about conformation is that it is what the dog is born with, you can't correct it and it will pass on to future generations.

TRUTH!!!
Joker doesn't have great back feet and when he's bored, they look worse.... At a International show where they give written & verbal critiques, one of the judges commented 'Gorgeous dog, I love everything about this boy, but I'm not crazy about his back feet. He needs better feet'... just the way she said it, I couldn't help but laugh at her. All I could think of was.... I'll see if I can find him a new pair! :paw::paw:

Joker was a HUGE pup. at 8 wks when he had his ears cropped, he was 21 lbs. I'm sure there are some genetic factors, but I think because of how big he was, certainly didn't help.
 

Ravenbird

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Joker doesn't have great back feet and when he's bored, they look worse.
But if everything else about him is wonderful, don't throw this baby out with the bathwater! I'm assuming he's intact, and as much as I've gone on & on about feet here, I know the Doberman breed has much more worrisome traits.
 

Panama

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But if everything else about him is wonderful, don't throw this baby out with the bathwater! I'm assuming he's intact, and as much as I've gone on & on about feet here, I know the Doberman breed has much more worrisome traits.

Oh heck no... he was my pick from the time they were 4-5 wks old. He's just a big dog and some judges love him & some won't even give him a second glance.
 

Rits

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Probably not the best location to stack her inside...so camera angles may be off and ignore the basement backdrop lol! But we were changing posts and it's dark outside so figured may as well get some practice in. As you can see, with her feet, it was my novice stacking. :thumbsup2: Picked them up then placed them down instead of dragging them back like last two weeks on the driveway. Much better!

Getting that tail up more and more. Next time I'll work on her leaning in. Hard to ask such a young puppy to stand there for a long period with so much to work on, so we keep it short. Any advice to teach her to lean into her stack yet not encourage her to step forward? I could pull back on the lead but she looks like she's choking herself when she leans into that. :confused-alt:

I think if she was leaning/reaching she would look really good here.
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I liked this one because it showed her expression but her rear legs should be back more so they are perpendicular to the ground I believe.
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At what age is a good age to critique her? I know some of her imperfections but would love to learn more but I know certain ages it may be unfair. I did ask my breeder these same questions but we are learning together here so I'm asking them here too!
 

Panama

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BEAUTIFUL!!! And she's doing so good.

Some go through some wonky stages and some lines mature slower then others. I look pretty hard at 8,12 & 16 wks. After that I try not to be too harsh between 5 & 9 mo (a little longer for males) because crazy thing can really start to happen.

As far as the forward lean (push).... you could try a low platform (just a few inches off the floor) and stack her with her front toes at the very front edge, collar up and try to bait her forward a little. Just enough to get that weight shift forward. If she happens to step off.. 'Oooops, fix it' (place her foot back).
 

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