How to stack a dog:
First of all, when you take the picture, you want to be on the same level as the dog. Not below them, not above them. We're just talking general "let's see what the dog looks like!" Photography. This is not about making a dog look longer bodied, shorter bodied, taller, lower stationed, etc. It's JUST to view the dog.
You want both forelegs perpendicular to the ground, coming straight down from the shoulder blade. When viewed from the side, it should seem as though the dog only has one leg. This means you don't have one foot farther in front of the other.
If your dog has legs that are doing this--> / the dog is posting (some people call it bridging). Posting is bad. Posting completely distorts the front assembly and can make a good topline look....not good
When setting the rear, the general rule of thumb is for the tips of the toes on the inside foot (always the right foot) to line up with the tip of the sheath on males. With females, you just pretend they have a penis to get positioning right.
The outside leg (always the left) should be drawn back gently, and the hock should be perpendicular to the ground. You do not want to see any tilted hocks, and if the hock IS tilted, it should be minor.
It is common to try and over stretch a dog. When you do this, you lose the rear angles the dog has. The dog ends up looking unbalanced and weak. It can also distort the croup and the rest of the topline.
Head of the dog should be facing forward. I do not double my dogs to get ears up and the head forward. I just throw a piece of bait or another object (this is for pics only, not in the show ring). The head also needs to be UP! If you allow the dog to drop its head, a dog with a high wither ends up with an "ok" wither or a flat wither. A dog with a flat wither ends up with a dip in the wither.
Do NOT put your hands on the dog's chest or stick your feet behind the hock to keep the dog in place. You hide the dog's forechest when you do the former, and the latter is #1 unnecessary and #2 looks ridiculous
Your hands should be on the dog's collar, or holding the dog's jaw (on the right side), so you are as unobtrusive as possible. You want people to see your dog, not your body parts.
When you begin to set up a dog, the first thing you want control of is the dog's head. If the head can move around, the front can move around, and that's no good. You'll end up with a dog that is toeing out, has one foot too far forward, is posting, etc.
Take your hand and grab the dog gently but firmly by the jawline, up near the cheek. If your dog will not accept this (and some dogs just won't, and that's ok) hold the dog gently by the muzzle. The head must remain facing straight forward, in line with the dog's spine, or again, your front will set funky.
When setting the front, keep hold of the dog's head, with your right hand, and reach down with your left hand to set the left foreleg. Grab the dog by the *elbow* NOT the pastern (wrist)! If you grab by the pastern, you have no control over foot placement. It's like holding a slimy flopping fish. By grabbing the elbow, you have control of the entire leg and can place the foot where you want.
When the left side of the dog is set, repeat the action, but take your left hand and grab the dog by the jaw, using your right hand to set the right foreleg. Remember to be sure that your dog's legs are perpendicular to the ground, coming straight down from the shoulder blade.
Now comes the part that is tricky for many people. Setting the rear! Why is it tricky? Because you still have to hold on to your dog's face
Continue to hold the dog's jawline/muzzle. Reach back and grab the right rear leg by the hock. Gently place it back, making sure to keep the hock perpendicular to the ground. Then grab the inside foot and set it forward, in line with the [pretend] penis. Be sure you don't over stretch your dog!
Be sure to flick the tail after setting the rear, to make sure it is not flipped over a hock, or tucked too far under the dog.
Once the rear feet are positioned, move back to the front of the dog, set your hands behind the ears, and pull up and forward gently but firmly. This forces the dog to lean forward and come up on its toes, eliminating the possibility of posting. If the dog moves any feet, just reposition.
Hold the dog by the collar or jaw, and keep yourself as much out of the way as possible!