Page 130 - ShowSight - August 2019
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                Form Follows Function:
   Figure 4.2.
Figure 5.2.
  propulsion of the drive. The follow through of the dog’s right rear leg can be seen in Fig- ures 4–7, repeated here.
This completes one full stride, where each leg has made contact with the ground. The speed at which the body is propelled forward by the legs remains constant. Now that you understand the sequence of the foot fall for one full stride you will better know what to look for when you are watch- ing the dog from the side. Faults in move- ment most often occur when the dog is unbalanced in angulation fore and aft–usu- ally with a more upright shoulder assembly (a scapula that is not very well laid back or a short scapula or a short upper arm, etc.) as compared to the angle formed by the articulation of the hip and the femur (upper thigh). Since 60% of the weight of the dog is concentrated on the front (due to the head and neck) the front assembly of the dog is of vital importance to the function
Figure 6.2.
of the dog as a whole. Most of this weight is flexibly carried by the forelimbs, using muscles and tendons and ligaments ONLY. The shoulder blade has NO JOINT CON- NECTION with the upper chest and spine, but lies between and is fused to flat muscle (trapezius muscle) attached at the 3rd–9th vertebrae. This is why there is so much more range of motion in the front limbs than in the rear (flipping, padding, paddling, cross- ing over, etc.). There are many reasons why a dog takes evasive action with his feet and it is not always due to differences in angula- tion as other influences can come into play.
When observing the dog in motion, start by concentrating on the motion of the foot. As your eye gets accustomed to fol- lowing the foot, you will be able to discern irregularities of movement. Once you are comfortable interpreting the action of the foot, only then should you follow the leg up to the elbow and beyond to the shoulder
Figure 7.2.
to observe the action in the rest of the fore assembly. Follow the same procedure with the rear, first concentrating on the action of the foot and then following the leg up to the hock and on to the hip. When observing side gait, you will again first concentrate on the action of the feet. First watch the front feet for several steps looking to see how far forward they reach and how close to the ground they stay. Next, check underneath the center of the dog to see if the back feet interfere with the front feet while trotting. You also want to observe the motion of the topline. Then switch your attention to the rear feet to check for forward reach under the body and follow through behind. You will learn to take all of this in very quickly in order to assess the dog in motion.
As always, if you have any ques- tions or comments or to book a semi- nar you may contact me via email:
 128 • ShowSight Magazine, auguSt 2019

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