An "articulation angles" act main role for
the exterior and staying power for all the dogs. They determine
the proportion of the dog's structure and freedom of motions.
The correct articulation angles allow for the long and easy step
and smooth and straight motions. The improper articulation
angles usually reduce the step and make the dog's movements
An articulation angles assume the dimensions of angles, created
by bones in the certain joints. An articulation angles of
humeroscapular and hip joints, created by the largest and strong
bones of the skeleton, place the greatest role in the dog's
structure and motions. These joints functioning as the
open-closing hinges, since the humeral bone and thigh-bone move
legs ahead and behind. The more correct an articulation angles,
the larger the span of finiteness, and, consequently, easier the
motion. The hip joint represents the ball and socket joint and
therefore has an enlarged rotary ability, than other joints.
However for it proper function the correct articulation angle is
Usually for each form and figure the ideal dimensions exist, and
famous specialists-synologists have adopted the standards of
ideal articulation angles for coupling of humeroscapular и hip
joints for the dogs. In simple words, ideally the shoulder-blade
should stay at angle of 45' to the horizon, creating
approximately a right angle with the shoulder bone in the
humeroscapular joint. The hip bone should have a slope of 30' to
the horizon, creating a right angle with a thigh-bone in the hip
joint. These dimensions are supported by convincing arguments,
although different versions of the front and behind finiteness
exist depending on the purpose and type of dogs. Thus, there are
substantial breed's differences in the volume and depth of
breast, the length and features of shoulder. However,
considering these differences, you should not compromise to the
right slope of shoulder-blade. One of my friends once said: "The
shoulder-blade should have the right position regardless of what
is attached to it".
The measure of the articulation
angles of the hip joints together with the relative length of the leg's bones
impact the flexion of the knee and jump joints. These joints play an important
role, determining the force and pushing ability of the back finiteness.
THE CORRECT ARTICULATION ANGLE
increases the span of finiteness. The proportionality allows for the accurate
rhythm of the leg's movements. The joints, managing the motion should bend and
unbend easy and smoothly, allowing for the relevant push of the back finiteness,
and springiness and flexibility in the front part of the body when contact the
ground. The size of the stroke and length of steps of the front finiteness
should be coordinated with the work of the back finiteness in order they would
not be transferred far ahead and not confused the front legs. Usually the legs
should be carried low from the ground to avoid the unnecessary flexion of joints,
which would be unpractical and tiresomely.
BAD ARTICULATION ANGLE reduces the
step since the bones, attached in humeroscapular and hip joints are placed
almost plumb and form the joints with the obtuse angles. This restrain the
forward movement of the humeral and hip bones, shortening the transfer ahead of
the front finiteness and weakening the push from behind. The dogs of such
structure have shorter step and they have to make more steps to cover the same
distance. As a result, their movement turns to be more uneven, than smooth. The
dog in the middle of the below picture has obtuse angles both in front and
behind. However, in spite of this deficiency and short stilts step, the dog
looks quite proportionate.
"The force of the push of the
behind finiteness is practically depend on the ability of the dog to straighten
the leg completely with the required force and speed. The latest is fully
depends on the muscular force and well-developed shank".
Smite: The dog's exterior
"Padding" and "Running Downhill"
"PADDING" - is the form of the
compensating movement, allowing for the amortization of the constant pushes when
the push from behind is very strong. The front pads turn up slowing down the
movement for second, in order to better coordinate the step of the front legs
with the longer step of those behind. This allows to avoid the sharp kick of the
front legs against the ground and reduce the shaking of humeral bones which are
momentary movement is almost invisible since the front pads are landing
carefully, rather far off the heel and the thickest part of pad acts as a buffer
when landing. The burden on the front legs increase at dogs, which have lower
withers than the croup, as shown on the below picture. Such build gives the
appearance of "running downhill".
RUNNING DOWNHILL /deficiency/.
Earlier age has own problems. The puppies often growing faster in the back side
than in the front, which give the appearance of "running downhill", although
they stay on the even surface. The tall dogs with the short legs are not subject
to this deficiency, when the back legs are transferred ahead of the front legs.
However the lack of proportionality impairs the harmony and spoils the exterior.
"POUNDING" - is another movement deficiency, arising from the shortening of the
step of the front legs compared to the back legs. The front legs touch the
ground before the step is completed by the back legs. If the dog with such
deficiency does not try to defend itself via "padding", "passage" or amble, the
push of the back legs leads to the strong kick against the ground of the front
legs. This happens when the person was pushed and he has to make a quick step
until his joints and ligaments will be ready to smooth the kick against the
ground. Such kick of dogs against the ground transfers on humeral bones,
effecting on the sharp push in the withers. The permanent pushes in combination
with "pounding" usually lead to the damage of cartilages of the joints and at
last may disable the front part of the dog's body..
"BROKEN PASTERNS" and "SINGLE
The straightened front body
combined with the low withers forces the dog to step heavy, as demonstrated on
this picture. Permanent heavy step weakened the ligaments and tendons in the way
that these turned to bend down significantly when the weight of the dog shifts
on the front legs. This deficiency is known as the "broken pasterns".
THE IMPACT OF THE ARTICULATION ANGLES ON THE MUSCULAR STRUCTURE
On the prior pages we have reviewed
the impact of the articulation angles on the length of the step and general
proportionality of the structure. The next important question is their impact on
the muscular structure.
On the schemes presented in the next page 3 pictures of two different dogs are
shown: "А" - with correct articulation angles and "B" - with incorrect
On the example "A" is shown, that the correct articulation angles assist in the
formation of the larger muscular system because of the bones of humeroscapular
and hip joints are properly bended. This bend assists in the larger area of
muscular attachments therefore the dog logs more strong and powerful. Besides
this, proper articulation angles assume strong back and deep breast.
The correct disposition of shoulder-blade, called "the long slanting shoulder",
is favorably impact the length of the neck and good-looking seat of head of the
dog "A" and gives the neck the good-looking and smooth turn to the withers and
top line of dog's body. Under the exterior terminology this is called as a "strong
Straightened construction of the front and back legs of the dog "B" illustrates
that the incorrect articulation angles lead to the reduction of the bone's
dimensions and slope and area of the muscular fastening. The dog of such types
generally has worth bones, the muscular system is badly developed. It can be
said that the dog "lacks the durability". In addition, bad shoulders spoil the
exterior, since the neck's line sharply turns to the withers and the neck looks
The dotted lines on these two pictures indicate the wideness of space, occupied
by the front and back legs by both dogs. They show that the dog possessing
better articulation angles has wider space.
The proper disposition of the shoulder and hip bones always widening the space,
occupied by the legs (if look half face) from humeroscapular joint until the
vertical line, disposed right after the shovel and from the front end of the hip
bone until the back. Such construction allows recognize the dogs with good pace
regardless of their breed, since the principles and advantages of the correct
articulation angles are the same for all.
THE DOG "A" - showing that the
correct articulation angles create the basis for the well-developed muscular
system, supplying the required wideness of the front and back legs and strength
of the construction.
THE DOG "B" - showing that the incorrect articulation angles limit the base of
the well-developed muscular system, reducing the wideness of the front and back
legs and supplies the dog with an incompletely healthy appearance.
NORMAL POSITION OF LEGS UNDER TROT
the dog turns into trot, its body is supported simultaneously by only two legs,
which are putted in pairs bias. Therefore for the light and comfortable move the
dog should keep the balance and group as close to the central axis as possible.
Otherwise it will roll over from side to side. To maintain the balance the legs
are put under the angle inwards the direction of the long axis of the body.
higher the speed, the greater their movement approaches the movement at direct
line, similar to the running of a person putting of one leg in front of the
other to avoid swinging.
The differences of dogs at tall, wideness of the body and length of legs
determine the level of slope of legs inwards. But all the dogs regardless of the
nature, aim at this.
The angle slope should start from the shovel or hip joint, and the finiteness
itself from these points to the pads should be kept relatively straight, even
when the legs are bend down and up during the stroke and push. This natural law
of balance is one of the most important factors for the understanding and
evaluation of the movement when the dog moves bias on the ring in the direction
of an expert or from him. .