Thank you :–)

 

Thank you for the positive comments on the last post.

I just want to re-iterate that I don’t consider myself the SME (subject matter expert) on picking puppies!!  I am just sharing some personal observations, and there are many breeders who have been at this much longer than me, that I am sure could do a better job 🙂   If any of them would like to do a “guest blog” post – I would consider putting it up.

Some of you have asked for pictures of the fronts of these dogs as adults.  I have written privately to their owners to ask if they would provide a picture (unfortunately I DO sell the good ones).  If they will I will add them to another post.  If they don’t, then we have to respect their wishes.

As for other posts – well I really only considered the post to be a one time piece.    I do not feel confident enough in my own judgements that I want novice breeders pointing to my posts and saying “But Shelley said…”.     Shelley is still a student of the breed, and Shelley still has a lot to learn herself!!

 

FWIW & YMMV

Lately I am perplexed by some of the pictures that I see posted on forums.   I know that I now look at picture I took 20 years ago of dogs that I was very proud of and wonder how I could have shared those pictures.  It took many years before I found myself mentors who spent time to teach my eye to understand what I was seeing, and how all the pieces fit together to make a functioning machine.  I am sure that somewhere down the line, if some of the posters are still in the breed they will do the same.

For many years I loved to sit beside some of the pioneers in the breed at specialties, and not comment, just listen to the information that was freely shared, if anyone would take the time to listen to them.   Some of my most treasured moments were spent sitting and soaking in information from Helen Jones at the Western Reserve and National Specialties.   When I doubted myself, and where I was going with my own breeding program, I am thankful for Helen and Bob, who convinced me to stay true to my vision. Without their guidance I was so discouraged that I considered placing Dolly.

I bred my first litter 21 years ago.   While I have finished dogs from each and every litter (except the “oops” where Megan raped her nephew) there are some that I wouldn’t show today, and some that I would love to be able to show again.   I would like to think that I have improved the quality of my lines overall, and that what I am placing as pets today, far surpasses what I showed a decade ago.

Last night I had a long discussion with someone who has a young show puppy from me.   We ended up having a long and involved discussion on fronts, as she was hearing different comments from breeders, and wanted my opinion.

Most of you know, I like to evaluate my puppies at 7 weeks.  In my experience, what I see then, is what I see at 6 months, and what I see at maturity.   Not every one agrees with that, and every breeder has their own opinion, and their own experience of what has worked for them.    I have a vision of what I want to see at 7 weeks, and that has not failed me.  So I thought, that I would share some photos of what I am looking for, and what I won’t continue to run on at that age, for what its worth.  Others, may agree or disagree, your mileage may vary,  – but maybe we can spark some interesting discussion.

 

 

The Front of the Bus

 

Here are some examples of puppy fronts taken at 7 weeks

 

 Puppy #1

 Puppy #2

 Puppy #3

 Puppy #4

   

 Puppy #5

 Puppy #6

   

 

These are puppies from different litters – some good, some bad, some in pet homes, some in show homes.    You will noticed that NONE are pigeon-toed, that is that on none of the puppies do the front feet point at each other!!  I have seen several pictures lately of puppies where that is the case.   In fact at this age, I want the front feet point as straight forward as possble.

I have said many times that what I want to see in the front of a Cardigan is a “Y” not an “H”.   Here are two of the pictures from above marked up to show what I mean.

 

 

 

 

The puppy on the left is wide in the front.   He resembles the letter H.   It makes me think of football goalposts, or a garage that you could park a Mack truck in.  This is enhanced by the flat bottomed brisket.   As well because there is no wrap, there is daylight showing between the brisket and the upper arm.

The puppy on the right, has the Y front that I love.  His shoulders are smooth, and the upper arms wrap tightly around the brisket.  The brisket itself has the correct egg shape, and drops nearly to the wrist..

Using this as a guide, now lets evaluate the six puppies.

Puppy #1 is obviously Puppy Y.   I would have liked to see the brisket maybe come a little bit lower, but it is more than adequate.  Adequate enough that this is the 2013 Crufts and World Dog show winner at 7 weeks 🙂

Puppy #2 again has more than adequate wrap, but the point of the brisket was, at 7 weeks, still a bit higher than I like.  However, I ran him on, and he has again developed into a beautiful top winning dog, and successful stud dog himself.

Puppy #3, I would say has almost an ideal front.   Lovely bone, a nice deep brisket, proper wrap with no daylight showing.   Unfortunately he was unshowable due to other factors.

Puppy #4, I would have kept as showable even a decade ago.  However, as my eye has developed, I think he needs more wrap (see the daylight showing again).   He also needed a bit more bone.

Puppy #5 is our H puppy.  Definitely not a show puppy.  Yet I have seen many pictures of puppies with exactly this front being posted!!

And puppy #6 – is an interesting mix.  He has wonderful bone and wrap.  I would have liked to see more “egg” to the brisket, but its adequate.

So for what its worth, that is my opinion on puppy fronts.   Your experience as a breeder may be different and any and all tasteful comments are welcome – even dissenting opinions as long as they are worded maturely and in a discussion and not accusatory tone.  My blog is fully monitored and I will not allow this post, or any future ones, should I decide to do others, to become personal battlegrounds.

 

The Olympic challengers & overseas news

It feels like forever since I have been to a local show.   My life as it is at the moment doesn’t really allow for time to bathe and groom, and during the week I don’t have the facilities for it.   But there was a show close to Minden this weekend in Orono, so I entered Cara, Zeus and Dolly just to get out in the ring, and Athena was entered as well.

On Saturday Zeus was RWD, Cara was WB/BOW, and Athena was RWB.  Dolly won the breed but got no love in the group.

Sunday was the type of day that makes you doubt your sanity for participating in this sport.   This photo, taken with my phone, is what we arrived to:

That’s Becki trying to keep Corgis semi-dry!!  And if it was “light rain” I would hate to think what it classifies as heavy!!  In front of the tree line you can see the rain bouncing off the ground!!

 

In the ring, however, despite the mud, and losing a boot on the “go-around” to the suction from the mud, it was a better day and the two Olympians each won their first points.  Athena (Yasashiikuma Athena’s Inspiration) was Winners Bitch

 

Matt and Athena

 

And then Zeus (Yasashiikuma Olympic Pride) went on to Best of Winners getting the crossover points.  I’m glad his family was there to get to see the win.   I’m afraid I am the eyesore in this photo – but the rain was torrential, therefore the “drowned rat” look 🙂

 

Zeus - 10 months - Best of Winners

Congratulations to the families of these two puppies, and I look forward to seeing them grow up!!

Hot on the tail of this news came a text from the UK, that Darren (Yasashiikuma Telltail Dbledare) has made history as the first North American bred Cardigan to win the group at a championship show across the pond.  Congratulations also go out to Lisa, Paula and Carrie on this tremendous win!