Now, I’m pretty picky when it comes to what I will refer to as a canine athlete. I have a life long history of loving and admiring sigthhounds, and over two decades owning performance sighthounds. I have even worked professionally with racing Greyhounds at two different facilities. The average dog running about is not going to impress me a lot.
That said, my little out of coat mama dog, Flirt, is a true canine athlete. She is built for it. Here she is this past week, out of coat, free stacked and holding a stay in my driveway. Because she lacks coat right now after her recent litter, you can see every inch of her.
Today on our lovely walk in the woods and through the park, she demonstrated impressive athletic ability, and the brains to back it up.
In this move, she is leaping over her daughter to avoid a collision at full speed:
Here she is simply racing full speed towards me as I called, but about to go around me:
I frequently say that drive without brains is meaningless, and I truly believe that. All the speed, desire, and athletic agility in the world is not any use if you’re injured or dead because, to be frank, you’re a fool. I love that Flirt is so agile and fast, but also smart and bodily aware. Her daughter Fontana is no slouch, and is still young, but is built just a touch more like a show Golden. This isn’t shocking, since her father is half American show lines. She has a touch more bone than her mother, a slightly longer body, and a bit less leg. She is still far more athletic than the majority of Golden Retrievers I have encountered, and only time will tell if she catches up to her mother at maturity. What Fontana definitely does have is bodily awareness and a lot of intelligence and desire to do what you ask her to do.
Although it’s a shame it’s blurry, here she is trying hard to catch up with her mother:
Fontana will be bred to a very athletic field trial bred male, and I am very excited to see the results. Her show type sire improved shoulder layback, and gave her a touch more “type” than her mother has. This makes me question if that “good front” is really actually better in the end. Flirt’s is more typical of actual fast and agile working dogs of almost any breed.
Here is another photo of Flirt, also taken in the last few days, standing naturally and watching my room-mate pull into the driveway.
At any rate, I am very proud of these girls!