Thursday, August 26, 2010

Move Over, Darling

In dogs it's all the rage to talk about side gait and to post photos of how amazing a particular dog's movement might be. You're looking for a solid and level topline, reach in the front, drive from the rear, tail carriage, head carriage, flexion through the elbow and shoulder, extension through the rear assembly, efficiency of movement and balance, balance, balance. Tremendous reach and drive are the big sellers in the show ring these days although I see a lot of wasted movement with too much flash and not enough substance, typical for people who don't know what good movement really is. It's not speed and grand standing that makes a sound working dog; it's an effortless gait that requires the least amount of energy to cover the greatest distance of ground per stride. I've seen lots photos of Ridgebacks in ridiculous suspended trots moving at an unrealistic speed to attain that flashy effect - inefficiency at it's height. I'd never say that my dogs are perfect but sometimes I catch a nice photos of them showing me exactly what I like to see in side gait. Unfortunately, sometimes things get in the way.

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