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Remember Max? #27775
01/17/10 02:09 PM
01/17/10 02:09 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline OP
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Jim Garvie  Offline OP
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Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
A few months ago, I introduced this group to Max, Beachwalker Rowdy To The Max, a 4-year-old Rowdy kid who we were trying to get into the ring and to get health clearances for because he's perhaps the most beautiful boy Rowdy ever produced. We would love to have him in our long-term breeding program. Well, Max got his clearances (Hips Excellent, Elbows Clear, Heart Clear need to get his eyes CERFd) and we finally were able to convince his owners to let us show him. We chose the Florida Circuit of Dog Shows for his debut, one of the largest cluster of dog shows in the country and a cluster that brings in all the dogs from all over the country that their handlers want to finish because it gets large entries, makes majors and dogs need majors to finish their championships.

Max walked onto the show grounds on Thursday with no prior show experience at all and no more than an hour's worth of show training. He was a bit overwhelmed by all the activity, noise, and all those dogs with fluffy coats, short coats, curly coats, tall, small, nice and not so nice. When they played the National Anthem over the loudspeakers, he thought he was hearing the word of God! We entered him in the Open Dog class despite the fact that those dogs are all between 2 and 3 years of age and have been showing since they were 6 months old. But Max is a big boy at 27 inches tall (right at the top of the standard) so we really had no choice. Nor did we have any big expectations: it was an opportunity to get him in the ring with our handler Kimm from Michigan and see if he could compete.

This is a shot from the Friday show of Max on the down & back. Having never seen him move before, I was impressed with both his reach (front extension) and drive (rear extension).



And a shot of him free-baiting (standing without being hand-stacked) something he knew nothing about on Thursday.



On Saturday, he had figured the game out a little better and was more comfortable in the ring. Here's a head shot.



Max being looked over by the judge during the individual exam. I love the way he's comfortable looking the judge directly in the eyes.



And standing while the judge checks rears: Max has an outstanding rear.



So, how did he do? He finished 2nd on Thursday, 2nd on Friday and 2nd on Saturday. The judges on both Thursday and Saturday wanted to give him the class but his free-baiting was not good enough for them to do that. So they basically told Kimm with their placement "bring that dog back to me when he's better trained." Linda and I are absolutely delighted. We didn't expect a placement let alone a 2nd place and 3 of them was beyond our wildest dreams. Kimm's comment was, "give me that dog for a month and I'll have him finished". As much as his ring performance, his overall demeanor at the shows was really impressive. After he showed yesterday, we sat outside the ring and watched Best Of Breed with Max laying on the ground next to me wearing my hat sideways and getting petted by every passing kid. Did I mention that he has Rowdy's temperament?

More on Max as his "career" progresses. Thanks for letting me share.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Remember Max? [Re: Jim Garvie] #27776
01/18/10 04:31 PM
01/18/10 04:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
James Morrissey Offline
I
James Morrissey  Offline
I
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Feb 2005
Manhattan, New York, New York
Hey Jim,

I love these articles because I learn so much besides seeing the photographs. You used a couple of terms that I am ignorant of. The term free-baiting, which you partially defined. Can you talk a bit more about this? The second is called, "hand stacked." Why are they important? Thanks, in advance, for the education.

Thanks
James

PS Congrats to Max for his 2nd place finish!

Re: Remember Max? [Re: James Morrissey] #27777
01/18/10 06:03 PM
01/18/10 06:03 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline OP
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Jim Garvie  Offline OP
Addict

Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
James,
stacking is the process of having a dog stand so that they show off their conformation, i.e. their structure. Almost every dog in the show ring is stacked the same way although many breeds look completely different when viewed from the side. Hand-stacking is just what the name implies: you place the dog's legs in the position you want using your hands. We train our show prospects to accept hand-stacking from the time they are 5 weeks old. Here's an example:



The good news about hand-stacking is that all the dogs are set up identically and you can compare them when they are standing all in a row. The bad news is that good handlers can hand-stack a dog to disguise many faults mostly in terms of fronts or rears.

So, many judges will also want to see how the dog sets up on it's own without the handler placing the legs. That's called free-baiting where the handler uses the bait to encourage the dog to place it's legs properly. It usually takes a while to teach a dog to free-bait properly and most judges will want to see it with seasoned show dogs showing the the more mature classes such as AmBred or Open and with the Champions competing in Best Of Breed and Group competition.

Max, despite being 4 years old, has never shown. When he's stayed with us, I've hand-stacked him and taught him to accept the mouth/teeth exam and I've taught him the basic movements such as down & back, triangle and going around. But I've never really worked with him on his free-baiting. On Thursday, his first trip into the ring, he had no idea what to do when Kimm tried to bait him into position so he sat a lot. But on Friday, he had a better idea of what was expected and on Saturday, he free-baited very well. Because Max is structurally correct, he stands the same when hand-stacked or free-baited and that's what the judges are looking for. As you can see in this image, the judge is looking at his rear which is very straight and not collapsing toward the middle (cow-hocked). That's correct rear structure.



As Max gets more ring experience, he'll be a better show dog. He has the structure. He just needs to learn how to perform in a way that says to the judge "pick me".

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz
Re: Remember Max? [Re: Jim Garvie] #27778
02/12/10 02:45 AM
02/12/10 02:45 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
San Francisco, Ca
julie Weisberg Offline
Wanderer
julie Weisberg  Offline
Wanderer

Joined: Feb 2010
San Francisco, Ca
Wow second and never did a show! He's a beautiful dog. Rotty's are my all time favorite breed! I love the pic of him looking at the judge. He's very expressive and you really caught that moment.

Re: Remember Max? [Re: julie Weisberg] #27779
02/12/10 02:22 PM
02/12/10 02:22 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Jim Garvie Offline OP
Addict
Jim Garvie  Offline OP
Addict

Joined: Mar 2005
Florida
Julie,
sometimes these guys just surprise the heck out of you. I've stacked Max a few times when he's stayed with us when his owners were on vacation but since they said they did not want to show him, I didn't really work with him. Then Rowdy was diagnosed with cancer. And Max's owners realized how much we valued him both conformationally and in terms of temperament -- he's incredibly sweet and gentle. So they agreed to let us breed to him either live or collected. To do that, we told them, he'd have to have all his health clearances and we'd like him to get his Championship if at all possible. So, they agreed to let us show him.

He may actually come with us to the American Rottweiler Club's National Specialty in Greeley Colorado in April which I'm shooting. For us, that would be awesome. Not that he'd win but he would get a chance to participate in the largest show of his career. And to spend 10 days with Linda and me including a few days running around in the Rockies. We might bring Sundance, too. Let's see, how would it be to walk 270 lbs of Rottweiler on two Flexis? Pray for no rabbits .

Full report to come.

Jim


Jim Garvie
www.jagphoto.biz

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