The Dachshund on the Move2013
"Dream Chasers - Best of Breed"
At the most recent 2013 DCA National Specialty in St. Louis, Dawn-Renée Watters (née Mack) spotted these Dachshund sculptures, and she made sure that we looked at them together, as she thought they illustrated the exposure of forechest on the move that I and others have been emphasizing. Created by scupltor Joy Kroeger Beckner, these bronzes are of several moving Dachshunds; one of each coat. They show such correct conformation and structure, we thought they should be featured to assist breeders who really want to master how, why and where correct structure is needed in the Dachshund. This is very hard to explain in mere words, but you should be able to see how these muscles and structural attributes are put to effect in a most natural way.
"Dream Chaser" Smooth
This first creation, called “Dream Chaser” Smooth, shows off so much of what we want to see in this effortless, simple way of trotting. In looking, see these shoulders are placed in exactly the area that we want them. Look at the layback (angle) of shoulder and see where that angled shoulder falls back so gracefully into the withers. Note that the correctly-angled, 45 degree shoulder blade makes almost no ripple on that smooth blend into withers; no lumps or bumps on the shoulder. Be sure to look at the length of upper arm that is pushing off so gracefully and so effortlessly. Watch as the rear leg on the far side is just as nicely pushing off the rear with that beautiful drive for which we are all looking. Look at that beautiful topline, starting at the withers and going over that level back, back to the gorgeous slope of the croup over the rear. On the other side, again, there is that wonderful crest of neck going up from the withers to that beautifully placed head, looking assuredly to what he is chasing.
"Dream Chaser" Long
The next bronze is “Dream Chaser” Long, again showing the same outline and the same characteristics as the “Smooth” one above. This one also has that so-correct shoulder placement. These shoulders, placed far back on the thorax of the dog, illustrate the way the dog can carry the weight of all the heavy front easily and effortlessly, using the body as it was created to be used. Mrs. Beckner learned these critical elements of Dachshund structure by talking to and discussing Dachshund conformation with Weldon Long, a long-time breeder and judge who truly understood WHY these dogs needed to be built in this way. She then watched dogs move and use their structure to maintain this wonderful profile in motion. The outline is the same whether for miniatures or standards, and is just the way they should be built so that they can move correctly.
"Dream Chaser" Wire
This final sculpture is called “Dream Chaser” Wire and is, again, a trotting Dachshund. In this photograph, the reaching foreleg is on the viewer’s side of the Dachshund so you can see the foreleg reaching out and covering the ground; so effortlessly and so beautifully. The shoulder blade is also tight and close to the rib cage and withers. The upper arm is in a gorgeous swing forward, reaching to cover ground, so tight to the body there is no view of air between the upper arm and the thorax. The flawless movement is there for all the world to see. Look at that neck set and that flowing topline, with that forechest so prominent in profile, all working together to make a great outline. The underline is beautiful to behold as well, and it pulls the dog together to make the outstanding profile for which we should all be striving.
I certainly hope that these pictures help you all understand exactly what we are looking for when watching our Dachshunds move from the side. It is so critical to have the hallmark of the Dachshund breed–that lovely forechest–exposed on the move as well as on the stack. As you can see from this last photo, that great movement is out there, and it is easy to see when it is present. This miniature smooth, owned by TaeHwan Kim of Kurzebeine Kennel in South Korea, presents exactly what we are hoping to see as we send them around the ring, using that front so effortlessly and trotting as if he were floating over the ground, while keeping one of the most important hallmarks of our breed while he moves. What a sight to see!! We are so grateful to and thankful for Mrs. Beckner and her skill—giving us all the ability to see what we need to see in a beautifully moving Dachshund, even if we don’t have all of those attributes in front of us in a living, breathing dog.
—Dan Harrison, June 2013
[Editor's Note: You can see more of Joy Kroeger Beckner's beautiful sculpture (it's more than Dachshunds!) and learn about the fine art "lost wax" method of casting bronze on her website at joybeckner.com. "Dream Chaser" Smooth, "Dream Chaser" Long, "Dream Chaser" Wire and "Dream Chasers-Best of Breed" ©1999 by Joy Kroeger Beckner. All sculpture photographs taken and copyrighted by Mel Schockner.]