Balance Of The American Pit Bull Terrier
For those who are serious about producing showing the APBT, time spent studying the document entitled “basis for Conformation of the APBT” will increase their knowledge and ability to apply it in practical ways.
The Winter issue of the APBT Gazette indicated “we will try to present one portion of the ADBA standard in each issue” Early on I had a tendency to put undue emphasis on the head. I especially liked a big head with the clean look obatined from a good ear trim. I don’t believe this is unusual. From a human standpoint. It is a natural thing to be led astray by a beautiful and shapely head and to overlook faults that likely have more to do with performance. I also know it is not unusual to try and make the standard fit the dog(waht we like) rather than objectively judging the dog by the standard. In view of the above and the “must be balanced in all directions” of the standard. I believe the excerpts and examples set forth below will help us be more objective regarding overall balance (fit and function) as we study each portion of the standard when they appear in the Gazette
- The standard states “above all the American Pit Bull Terrier is an all around athlete. His body is called on for speed, power, agility and stamina. he must be balanced in all directions. Too much of one thing robs him from another. Too big a head simply carries more weight and increases the chances of having …………
- The Standard states: “The gait of the dog should be light and springy.” All good movement is dependent on the inclined shoulder(scapula 45 degrees is best) without which the front lake operate to its best advantage and you can’t put power and drive from behind, unless the front can take it without loss of coordination(fit and function). A balanced gait is one in which the two halves of the body are synchronized to result in perfect coordination between the front and rear legs. The length of the stride of each leg should result in the foot contacting the ground at the exact moment required for the dog to carry his body in a straight line. The body should also be carried parallel to the ground. A properly balanced dog is as light on his feet as a professional figure skater when compared with the dog that moves as though it had it’s weight on its back.
- The standard states: “His body is called on for speed, power, agility and stamina.” Each of these is affected to some degree by the overall (fit and function) of all the parts. Therefore the best way to evaluate a dog for these qualities in the show ring is by moving the dog. Many dogs meet the requirements of the standard until they are asked to move. When a dog is moved the gait would be be smooth, effortless, with good reach, powerful drive and free from roll or pace. When the dog is going away you should be able to see the pads on all four feet. a sign that the pasterns and hocks are being properly flexed, feet should be close to the ground. The dog should always move in a straight line (without crabbing) whether being viewed from the side, coming or going.
by Don Humes