Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Lake Gaston, N.C.
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There are certain ages when proportions equal out close to what they will be as adults. With horses it's said to be 3 weeks, 3 months, and 3 years. I've found that old adage to work pretty good with horses.
With Havanese I've heard a number of people say that it's 8 weeks. We have found this to be pretty good too. You can tell length of neck, shoulder layback, upper arm ratio, hock percentage, femur length, back length, and those sorts of proportions. We measure all our puppies at this age.
Movement can be seen at 8 weeks too as well as sometimes even earlier. At 8 weeks the hocks should be moving straight if they are going to and the pup should show you a lot in the free stack.
In order for us to consider keeping a puppy it has to be spectacular at 8 weeks.
A lot of people, including a lot of judges, think that the dogs in the ring are just judged on a cute face, overall look, and movement. Really, the whole picture should be judged. When horses are in conformation shows they tell you right up front that they are judged 30 percent on conformation (angles and proportions), 60 percent movement, and 10 percent overall impression. I have found that the really good dog show judges follow about the same ratings without it ever being listed or mentioned anywhere.