I really need to make a video of how I stack my dogs.
When you position a dog's front, you need to hold at the elbow, NOT the pastern (wrist)! Holding the leg at the pastern gives you no control over where the foot goes, and when you set the dog up, it will likely be posting AND toeing out (standing east west).
When I stack the dog, I either hold the collar up (a signal to stay) and stack, or I hold the muzzle and stack. If I'm holding the muzzle to stack, it's generally because I've got a dog that toes out a bit, and so by holding the muzzle and turning the head while setting the feet (I rotate each foot in towards the center line), when the dog relaxes and the muscles try to make it toe out again, you end up with a good front set.
When setting the rear, I always set the foot closest to me first (offers better balance for the dog, IMO). I set the dog up based on what makes the dog look best. Different angulation requires different rear sets. I grab at the top of the hock, near the point of the "ankle". I do not grab the whole midsection of the hock as, like with grabbing a pastern, it offers me very little control of where the foot is going. I also do not care to "slide" a dog's foot, particularly if the surface is a bit rough. I lift and place, and adjust accordingly.
Once the rear is set, I always "flip" the tail, to make sure it's hanging properly, and not draped over the hock.
I always try and keep the dog looking balanced, which means no hocks tipping in and no hocks doing this /. If I want a dog to look a little more extreme, I generally ask the dog to do it themselves, by teaching them to lean into a stack (I control the movement of the dog with my own body language, as well as using a verbal cue).
All of my dogs are taught to free stack, and many of the photos I share on here are of them set up on their own, with no intervention from me other than telling them to stand.
Jackie and the
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(and one cat)
Strauss: The Patriarch
Wesson: The Grand Champion
Mikasa: The Hellbeast
Soul Eater: The Moon and Stars Dog