Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Joys of Evaluating Puppies

So, Elli's 6-month birthday came and went on Monday. Ash helped me get some good pictures of Ell on the grooming table. Since she's now eligible to be shown, I need to decide whether to scrap showing her altogether, show her this summer out of the 6-9 mo. puppy class, or wait for her to mature a little more and then see how she looks before deciding whether to show her.

Complicating the decision is the feedback I've gotten: Elli's breeder thinks she looks very good and balanced, though agrees that her chest needs to drop some more. Two other breeders who have looked at Ell haven't liked her at all. Two others thought she was very pretty and emphasized that puppies who look big and impressive at 6 months are often overdone when they mature (a sentiment I kinda share). I'm waiting for comments from two other breeders to whom I've sent Elli's pics.

Elli's front:

Elli's front is probably her worst feature, and since fronts are a big part of Cardigan breed type, this isn't great news. However, her legs are put together correctly, and I do think I see her chest dropping a little from where it has been. The biggest negative I see here as that looking front-on, you can really see the rounded rib-caged, rather than the ideal egg-shaped rib cage.

Show side:

Elli looks decent from the side. She has good rear angulation, and again I can see where the chest is starting to drop. She has a nice length of neck and a decent topline -- not ruler straight at the moment, but it WAS ruler-straight at 8 weeks of age and I believe it will be again once she's done growing.

Right (non-show) side:

This photo shows the slight rise over the loin but, again, I think that will level back out as she finishes growing. I wish the white markings were on the show side instead of this side!!


Nice rear end. I had her feet placed a little wide which I didn't realize at the time I stacked the photo, but she should look decent going.

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