How A Winner Is Made
At the most recent
dog show at Arcadia Fl. the little old lady approaches me to
congratulate me on yet another Chambray dog winning points and finishes
off the congratulatory spiel with "You all are so lucky with all these
I smile and thank
her and continue walking one of our Labradors and think to myself
"how clueless can you get if you think that luck has anything to do with
building a winner.............winner after winner!"
Aslan, the 10-month
old Labrador puppy has just won his 2nd Winners Dog points in
as many weekends of dog
shows, he then joins the tail end of the competition in the Best Of
Breed roster against a couple of nationally ranked Labradors, all vying
for the top prize in the breed ring for the day, the coveted Best Of
In fact, one of
those champions competing for Best Of Breed is the #3 Top Ranked
Labrador Retriever special’s champion in the country, a son of Ch
Chambrays Mad About Maddie (a daughter of Am/Int Ch Chambrays Chisholm
Chancey), this Top Ranked Labrador happens to be Aslan’s 1st-cousin-once-removed,
both going back to Chancey!
Plus there is also
the #12 ranked Labrador champion in the country, Ch Signal Hills Joey,
handled by our good buddy, professional handler Joe Napolitano.
How can a puppy
compete against these seemingly heavy weight champions, mature, primed
and honed to
perform in the ring by top professional handlers?
What does any judge
see that would make them even look at the little whippersnapper and
consider him to be
in the same league as those statuesque and polished show dogs?
As the saying goes,
“A picture is worth a thousand words!”, so you be the judge with the
In the standing
position let's see some critical points that are essential in the
building process of a potential winner!
Look at Point A
(point of shoulder), Point B (point of withers) and Point C
(mid point of elbow). These 3
points form the front assembly triangle. AB should equal AC. BC
should be the longer side of the triangle
and should be perpendicular to the ground and in a straight line
with Point D. VOILA!
should be the same as distance CD. VOILA
The standard calls
for the front legs to be well under the dog. VOILA!
Angle AC is the
front angulation and IK is the rear angulation..................they
should be equal. VOILA!
Point I forms
the turn of stifle...there should be a turn of stifle. VOILA!
Points J & K
form the hock and it should be 1/3 the length created by the length
of the upper thigh. VOILA!
Point H is the
length of the tail to the point of hock. VOILA!
Point G forms
the croup and the tail set. VOILA!
Points E to F
form the topline and the standard calls for a level topline. VOILA!
1) In Movement let’s look at points A & C: A
represents the footfall of the dog’s front “reach”. C represents
the dog’s extension of rear “drive”. If all is where it should be and
for the dog to move as perfect as it should
then front reach and rear drive should be equal. If A & C work out as it
should then point B will be where the
opposite side legs converge right under the ribcage of the dog.
Look at the
following points and see if the preceding fits the bill?
Do the angles created by FA equal
FC (as they should be) or is one greater than the other?
Do F, D and B create a vertical
line, one on top of the other (where they should be) or are they out
and not in line with each other?
Is the rear hock cocked (as it
should be) or has it straightened out to form a 180 with the leg
(hyperextension and severe fault)
2) Let’s look at
Points E, F and G!
Can the dog gait properly as
mentioned above and still be able to keep it’s head above the
Is F, the topline level as the dog
Is G, the tail carried straight
behind the dog to act as a rudder in water and a counter balance
gaiting on land?
If you were able to
answer all of the above correctly from your observations of the
illustration provided then
you will have the answer to the title of this rendering and the rest of
the questions posed above!
Although I have used
one dog (Aslan) to prove my points for my examples for this
evaluated as show quality and placed as such by Chambray Labradors must
meet all of the points above to be
considered show quality.
In the last 5 years
the percentage rate of show puppy versus pet quality in any given litter
that we have bred
has risen to 80% versus 20%. 25 years ago I would have been happy to
have had 1 puppy out of any litter that
would be considered show quality. In that same time span we have raised
the bar as to what constitutes
show quality and yet the percentages have risen dramatically to an 80/20
"Raising the bar
one generation at a time".....................................as the
beer commercial states "brilliant"!
The old “if you
build it they will come” with a little modification
“if you build it right, the awards will come!!!!!”
UPDATE: Aslan wins his 3rd weekend in a row at Lake City Fl 10/16/201
after posting wins at Deland Fl 09/26 and Arcadia 10/07.
Keeping this article and Aslan's development up to date:
09/26 Deland ~ Winners Dog
10/07 Arcadia ~ Winners Dog/BOW & BEST OF BREED & Group IV
10/16 Lake City ~ Winners Dog/BOW
11/14 Brooksville ~ Winners Dog/BOW BEST OF BREED, made the cut in
Aslan is the youngest Chambray dog to ever
win a Sporting Group placement after being awarded
2 Best Of Breeds over
nationally ranked, professionally handled Labrador champions as a puppy!
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