There are two crucial elements when showing in the conformation ring. One is the stack and the other is movement. Today we will concentrate on the stack. This article is about the breeder laying the foundation with the puppy and teaching your new puppy to stack.
Let's start with the importance of the stack. It is often the first impression the judge has of your dog. The dog will need to stand still to let the judge examine them. There are two types of stacks: the hard stack (the handler places the feet) and the free stack (the dog walks into a stack). With smaller dogs they are placed on a table for examination (small dogs such as the Pequeno should never be examined on the floor).
For most dogs stacking begins in early puppyhood. A good breeder will begin with the puppies around three weeks of age. Once a day place the puppy on a sturdy grooming table for a few seconds. I like to do this just prior to feeding by taking a small amount of the puppy's food in a small bowl and feeding them while I place them in a stack. By doing this the puppy learns to accept handling and becomes comfortable on the table. For those that take weekly stacked pictures follow the above technique except do it on the floor with your photographer laying on their stomach. The puppy will be much more relaxed and you will get nice photos.