Main > Breed Standard re. gait (76 replies)
Breed Standard re. gait
by Sunsilver on 27 May 2008 - 12:57
"The correct proportions of height to length and corresponding length of the leg bones results in a ground-eating gait that is low to the ground and imparts an impression of effortless progression."
So, why is it we see so many show dogs, both German and American, with the sort of gait pictured above? I don't think I've seen a discussion of this before.
by oso on 27 May 2008 - 13:39
|You are correct, the feet should not be lifted high off the ground like this. I have heard judges comment on this a few times and praise the correct low to the ground movement you describe. One judge mentioned that the sort of gait in the photo can happen when the upperarm is too short, but I have even heard some people (not judges) praise this kind of movement! It would be interesting to hear anyone else¿s comments on this.|
by sonora on 27 May 2008 - 14:26
One of the reasons the dog lifts the front legs during gaiting is
because it is compansating for the powerful hind drive.
This happens when a dog has very good ,(as in correct hind angulations,
correct placement and length of a muscular croup) powerfull hind quarters,
which transmits a powerful drive.
And a not so good fore quarters,(forward placed shoulders,a short and steep upper arm,
a short fore leg) which restricts the forward reach. The dog will lift the front,in order to compansate
for the powerfull hind drive.
Hope this is helpfull.
by oso on 27 May 2008 - 15:56
|That makes sense, many dogs have better hind anguation than front.|
by jc.carroll on 27 May 2008 - 22:02
This might help: it's an entry regarding gate, with excepts from Linda Shaw's article (c. 2003; L. Shaw) and a video of a GSD in motion.
by Sunsilver on 27 May 2008 - 23:16
Great article, JC, but this was even better!
The Truth About Dog Shows: http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=153334285&blogID=390463971
by Blitzen on 28 May 2008 - 02:13
Dogs that move this way do so because they are not able to fully open their shoulder joints. In the AKC world, it's called pounding. The foreleg should make a straight line from the point of the shoulder blade to the foot when fully extended. The pad should touch the ground directly under the tip of the muzzle when the dog is moving with it's neck extended. Look at the U-Tube video of Dingo v Haus Gero, considered by many breed experts to be a perfect moving GSD. GSD's should never pound, it is not correct for the breed although many seem to think it is. Otherwise they wouldn't use such faulty movement photos to advertise their dogs.
by Blitzen on 28 May 2008 - 02:18
Link to Dingo's movement vid
by Preston on 28 May 2008 - 05:42
Here is the actual cause: force vector of the rear drive is directed upward too much, can be a byproduct of steep croup or abnormal ratio between rear upper and lower leg and rear hock. The reason this is abnormal is that it is inefficient. Good slow motion analysis at 1/1000 sec per frame will easily show this abnormal force vectoring of the rear drive and any shockwaves or rumba generated by imbalance between the front and rear.
by Sunsilver on 28 May 2008 - 06:00
I was hoping to hear your comments on this, Preston! Thank you, that makes good sense.
by AandA on 28 May 2008 - 09:23
Thanks for that really great article JC.
I've got involved in plenty of threads on here regarding gait & structure & always tried to convince myself I was keeping up but come the next time I'd forget stuff & get confused again. It's always tough when only using the written word & despite the sterling efforts of guys like Preston, who's comments & descriptions I've always found indispensible, having an article with diagrams does make understanding so much easier.
This is going to prove really useful now the show season is in full swing & I'll have the opportunity to put my 'knowledge' to pratical use.
by Blitzen on 28 May 2008 - 10:20
Rear structure and the resulting movement has an huge effect on the way the dog moves in front. However, IMO in the end it still comes down to - can a dog open it's shoulder and elbow joints fully or not. If not, then the best rear, croup, and rear movement is never going to compensate and the dog is still going to pound or pad or hackney whichever you want to call it. That foreleg must make a straight line at full extension, no bending at the elbow, and that can only be achieved if the dog can fully open and extend from the shoulder joint and if it has a flexible elbow joint. This stresses the importance of clean elbow joints free of joint mice, UAP and ED. The degree of shoulder layback and the length and degree of slope of the humerus determines how far the dog can reach; the flexiblity and construction of the shoulder and elbow joints determine how much the dog can open those joints in order to straighten the foreleg as it reaches full extension. There is also conditioning to consider and some dogs just use themselves better than others. Still a dog without this flexibilty will never be a great moving dog in front.
Correct fronts are very, very difficult to breed and most working dogs will break down in front a lot sooner and more frequently than they will break down behind.
by Preston on 28 May 2008 - 19:27
Good post Blitzen. Of course anyone who views the Dingo sidegair video is impressed with the hard driving rear, its correct force vectoring and the awesome front opening with no padding. Keep in mind when you watch this exceptional GSD moving that he was probably the best moving Canto Wienerau grandson. He was linebred of of Canto 2-3, which was very close. This was done to double up on Canto's extreme sidegait. Now you know why Walter Martin thought so much of Canto, kept him around, used him often and insisted on frequent mixing of his blood with Quanto blood, even though Canto could transmit some serious health issues through to some of his descendents, alleged to include a bleeding disorder. Walter Martin was a very smart breeder and he knew just how difficult it was to produce extreme sidegait. Because of the way Canto just happened to be constructed (extremely powerful and flexible ligamentation) he could reach and extend at both ends better than any other GSD and could transmit that trait to many of his progeny. He actually moved much better than he looked like he should have, which goes to show that there is more to sidegait than just angulation (and he wasn't really very angulated, although he outmoved everything else, even those with more correct structure). Of course Walter Martin, being a very knowledgeable breeder, knew immediately what he had even when Canto was a young dog because of his profound sidegait with no sickle hocks, or paddling in front.
by Blitzen on 28 May 2008 - 21:02
Preston, the thing I love the most about that video is watching how flexible Dingo's ligaments are. It really illustrates for me how vital it is for a GSD to be athletic and agile. I regret I never had the opportunity to see Dingo in the flesh.
by Sunsilver on 28 May 2008 - 22:25
HIs private parts are pretty flexible, too! I had no idea a male dog's parts bounced around so much when they're really moving! I hope nature has equipped them with good shock absorbers, to keep them from getting sore!
by sonora on 30 May 2008 - 09:47
I 'm a little confused , please help me out.
In Linda Shaw's written and Illustrated article (fig. 7 ) and Dingo"s side gate video,I noticed that the upper arm is almost perpendicular to the ground when the dog is in full stride. And I believe that the foot of the extended leg, will hit the ground ,at the point where the projected centre line of the shoulder blade meets the ground.Unless there is short comings in the forehand assembly. I read with interest Blitzen's imput , It's great , execpt for this line,'The foreleg must make a strait line from the point of shoulder blade to the foot without bending at the elbow.' Please can anyone clarify this. Thank You .
by ecs on 30 May 2008 - 20:51
Senora, many times the rear has more power than the front can accept due to a number of things. One example might be a slightly steep shoulder blade thereby not allowing the shoulder not to open enough. If the front foot therefore touches the ground before the froce from the rear is disapated, it will cause him to stumble. You can experience this if you will walk at a normal pace and then intentionally shorten your step considerably. You will experience a stumble. Same way in the dog. In order for the dog not to stumble, he will raise his foot a little to compensate for the inadequate layback of the shoulder. A lot of times the break will be at the pasterns thereby breaking the straight line from the upperarm to the foot. Does this help? ecs
by Sam1427 on 30 May 2008 - 21:14
Thank you Preston and Blitzen for those explanations.
I have seen GSDs in the AKC show ring highstepping like hackney ponies because their handlers had them strung up with their heads unnaturally high on short, tight leads while gaiting. This destroys the dog's natural gait and you can't tell what they might look like in a normal gait but perhaps that is the purpose with some of them. Or maybe it's some new handling fad in AKC. I much prefer the German style of showing gait and in any case, the gait of the GSD should be judged from a purely practical standpoint: can the dog maintain this gait for hours with the least energy expended?
Dingo was a very well muscled and well conditioned dog in that gaiting video. You see his shoulder extension best in the first part when looking at the total dog. Sonora, ignore the pointy part of Dingo's elbow and watch how his leg extends from the foot all the way up his leg to his shoulder. At his maximum outreach, the line formed is as straight as bone, muscle and ligament get. He looks like he had good pasterns too.
by ecs on 31 May 2008 - 05:43
Preston, would you amplify your first post re: ratio of upper and lower theigh and hock and steep croup. Would you go into the different results with the changes in each of the components (upper, lower theighs, hock, and croup). I would not mind a new thread or a continuation of this one. This is the kind of thread that all new people need to be familiar with and even a lot of older heads who think they know more than they really do. Well done. ecs
by Preston on 31 May 2008 - 10:19
First, the initial photo of the GSD with his front up means nothing except that the handler had him strung up, and proves nothing wrong with the dog.
Second, GSDs do not lift their front up to compenesate for a better rear drive than the front can handle (they may hold the paws up but they cannot lift their back upwards at the shoulder any further than the rear drives it up by its own geometric, muscling and ligamnetation in relation to the force vectoring of the rear action). As far as ratios of croup angle, length, upper leg to lower thigh to hock length in the rear, there are many possible combos, too many to describe here. Generally however, a very steep croup tends to cause the dog to propel his whole body upward if the length of the dog is not too long. If the dog is roached in back, the force vectoring forward will be curvilinear resulting in the front dropping in response to the withers being rolled downward. A long body helps transmit faulty rear drive that's force vectoring is upward too much but creates a huge waste of energy and is very inefficient. Linda Shaw's stuff is incorrect on many fronts and she doesn't appear to understand GSD movement much. The length of hock determines the location of the origin of the force vectoring, but this is very complicated and is affected by length of upper & lower leg and croup length and angle. GSDs with a small hock move different than obne's with a long hocks which push off at the rear knee differently.
Best way to learn is to analyze GSDs moving in slow motion at 1/1000 of a second. Blitzen's comment about a GSD being athletic and agile (due to strong, flexible ligamentation) is a very important point. So many folks though Walter Martin was unwise to keep and breed Canto, but he knew that only one dog in 10,000 had ligamentation and coordinated movement like that and could produce it. He just figured effective ways to bury the bad genes far enough back for him to get the very top GSDs of his day which dominated the sport.