|Greetings from the critique club :)
Well this is a pretty nice shot but still, in a free study this would have gotten a 5 vote from me, I am a little bit more demanding on pictures in free studies even when they are speed challenges. I think this shot is far from bad but there are a couple of things I would personally want to see different about it.
First of all, I don´t really like the framing of this shot. I would either have wanted to see it framed/cropped more closely or a little wider. If you had gone for closer, I would basically just have wanted to see a "headshot". When I say wider I mean mostly that you cut off the "toes" or front tip of the paws, and that doesn´t sit right with me, even though it´s not bothering me much. I think if this is how it came out of the camera in regards to framing, I would have cropped it to a more square format and taken off the bottom part of the face, cutting off the part just a little lower than the tounge reaches, I tried putting my hand over the screen and I like it much better that way cause it seems like he/she is ready to pounce in a crop like that.
Also, this shot seems to have been taken in very flat lighting, was it very cloudy? I personally would have gone a little bit further with increasing contrast, but just a little. I also would have added a little vignetting or a frame as the even lighting across the frame tends to not draw attention to the face, a little vignetting would have taken care of that "problem".
I do like the color tones in the image and you did a nice job on the eyes, photo is also sharp enough so those parts are all good. DOF is also good, I think personally I would have wanted to see a bit shallower DOF but that´s just me and my taste, the DOF is good as it is.
Kind regards from Iceland, Lárus.