Main > Cow hocks how to tell true or acquired? (19 replies)
Cow hocks how to tell true or acquired?
by wolf1 on 30 December 2004 - 22:33
|Good topic brought up by "is it true" thread... Big issue of concern for show and breeding also for evaluation of soundness of dog planned for trials or heavy training. Any judges or vets out there care to expand on this? Anyone with experience about its genetic transmission? Good or bad results? Example that makes me interested more is one dog I see regularly looks quite cowhocked untill in motion, but then travels straight and is incredibly agile, and also powerful, hits well on target, but like a locomotive. No point giving novice helpers. Dog makes clean contact and good bite, but has knocked over all so far..... thinks this is part of the game, experienced ones get just winded or stagger backwards. Hip Xrays are as perfect as they come! I have placed my own research results in answer to the aforementioned thread... would really like to hear other input! Thanks.|
by Olddog on 30 December 2004 - 22:50
|Any definite research on possible connection to HD?|
by Sue B on 31 December 2004 - 01:07
|When assessing 'away' movement for soundness of hocks, if in doubt to hockiness or Cow Hock, request animal should be taken 'away' on the walk, not gaited. When gaiting the hocks can look more true than they actually are, Walking away shows more the true extent of any hock problem. Experienced handlers should or will know this, hence judges again need to be vigilant to judge the dogs and not the expertise of the handler. Regards Sue B|
by Olddog on 31 December 2004 - 02:23
|Sue, Two questions - no, three! How widespread is existence of hockiness? How would you decide or define what degree thereof is acceptable breeding or judging-wise? What, in your experience, is its relationship to HD. Nice to have you back.|
by Makosh on 31 December 2004 - 03:09
|Hi guys, I had a pup that at 5 month old was extremely Cow Hocked, but then I did a lot of phisycal conditioning/training with her, and at about year and a half she was totally normal in her hocks. I think proper phisycal development of muscles is very important in this case. She has never been X-raid, but at 11 years old was as agile as any young playful dog.|
by Lenny on 31 December 2004 - 05:17
|Cow hocks are the result of a misalignment of the knee joint. If the tibia aligns slightly to the outside of the femur in the knee joint the dog will be cowhocked. If the the tibia aligns to the inside the dog will toe in going away. Dr. Reiser of the OFA showed this to me on an xray of my dog in 1970 at the University of Pennsylvania. He also explained that physical conditioning can sometimes correct the condition.|
by wolf1 on 31 December 2004 - 05:44
|Assessment coming and going at walk and preferrably without tension on leash is definitely the gold standard for evaluating hockiness. Problem is getting concerned handlers and eager dogs to do that. At least off leash may get it but if dog walks in fus turned to face up at handler then is never travelling true. Video cameras with a healthy zoom are helpful too to catch "candid" unstructured poses and movement for later review. Out of the ring is often best environment to assess in.|
by HOWDEDO on 31 December 2004 - 06:04
|Why do judges pardon east west fronts and cow hocks? The explanation is typically, "the dog is otherwise excellent". Does this mean these two faults are really minor? Is it proven to be heriditary?|
by Sue B on 31 December 2004 - 06:35
The term Hockiness can be used for other incorrect conditions of hocks i.e looseness etc therefore a generalised term which in itself does not describe the condition of Cow Hocked. A dog described as being Hocky would not lead me to thinking he was Cow Hocked.
So, in answer to your question I would say that Hockiness is a much wider spread problem than that of being Cow Hocked and personally consider the latter to be more serious a fault than just a general looseness, or lack of strength in the ligaments of the hocks (of course depending upon the degree of looseness) simply because loose hocks can be almost tightened up with excersise designed to tighten up the ligaments.
Many pups at young age can look slightly Cow Hocked due to the different growing stages of bones, along with lack of young muscle tone and strength of young ligaments.
I will answer your third question next, as your second will take longer to answer and I have need for sleep, I will try remember to reply tomorrow if that's ok with you, but even if it isnt, it will have to be |
by Olddog on 31 December 2004 - 07:15
|Hi again Sue, I mistook the more wider-defined hockiness as being same as cow-hocked - by default beneficially so as I read your informative reply. I think that, coming from a Judge and Breeder, I and many others would be interested to learn how widespread problem of cow-hocked state really is and, at what degree you start to take serious note thereof where Showing and any breeding is concerned. If still awake, very best in New Year.|
by redcap on 01 January 2005 - 00:39
|I have had 2 puppies in the past year who were very cown hocked at 4 months of age. One of them, with appropriate exercise, grew out of it completely by one year of age. The other is 10 months now and has improved significantly, but I'm not sure she'll grow out of it completely. I doubt it. Both puppies have done extremely well in the show ring and both are otherwise excellent. I think proper exercise is imporant for cow-hocked puppies, ie, free and rowdy exercise like puppies naturally do when in a large exercise pen with other puppies, is very important for their physical development. It is not necessary for them to be with other puppies, but an owner can be the "other puppy", but they must be encouraged to play and jump around freely to get a natural physical development.|
by Sue B on 01 January 2005 - 05:07
|Redcap, I agree. I feel I must add to an earlier comment I made when refering to road work. There is a tendancy, I feel, that in rush to get pups ready for ring some do far too much early training of their pups, especially those who insist on training them to PULL against the lead. Whilst pups bones, ligaments and muscles are still in their infancy the position of the hocks can vary according to growth and looseness. IMO to put extra strain, by teaching to pull, those which are slightly Cow hocked can possibly increase tightness & thereby tension on tendons already acting to pull back feet outwards and hock inwards. This is all apart from preventing pup learning how to use correct forward reach. All looks good in the ring until animal asked to gait on loose lead, suddenly dog then displays just how much he has never been allowed to learn about free movement. Regards Sue B|
by Sue B on 01 January 2005 - 06:01
|Olddog, Yesterday you asked me the following question;- "..how widespread problem of cow-hocked state really is and, at what degree you start to take serious note thereof where Showing and any breeding is concerned." Obviously I can only speak of what I see hear in the Uk. In my opinion from the animals I see around the rings at this present time Cow Hocked is not a widespread problem, though looseness, causing what we describe as 'unsoundness' is increasing. Whereas there is no measurement for a dog which is cow hocked, i.e it either is or it is not, unsoundness on the other hand can be measured in degree's. Terminology when judging is very important but as not all judges use the same terminology to describe what they see it can also be very confusing. For example if I was to say 'The upper arm sould be slightly longer', I mean this to be quite different from saying, 'The upper arm is short'. A centimetre could be all I am talking about but a centimetre can make all the difference. One centimetre more than what I see and it could be the correct length, one centimetre less and it would be short. I could go on with other things but that would be to disrupt this thread. To go back to the thread, saying, 'Hocks could be sounder' or 'moves close behind', shows I have noted fact that dog is not 'completely sound' but is a term describing a fault of lesser degree than that of 'unsound behind' 'Toes in'/'out' or even 'Throws hock'. All of the latter I consider to be more serious than the former and at same time expect action of latter would also effect overall movement or appearance of dog on the move. Lack of drive for one, rolling from side to side or even inability to co-ordinate steps at fast gait. Not sure if any of this is answering your question but then of course this is just my opinion, others will inevitably differ and that is their perogative and it is not for me to say they are wrong, just that we differ. We all have use our own judgement in a way we believe to be fair and honest. As for breeding. I am happy to say I do not and have never had an unsoundness problem in my stock. I say it now with fingers & toes tightly crossed. I would never use a dog that was Cow Hocked, I have used a very unsound dog. It was one of the German Imports I mentioned yesterday. Had he not been unsound I would have used him asap, as it was I waited over 2yrs to use him and until I had seen sufficient progeny in the ring to assess the hereditory prepotency of his condition. Pleased to say early indication of some hockiness in young some young progeny of 4mths, had vastly improved by reaching 6-7mths of age and totally dissapeared by 10-11mths. And some of these were from dams whose own hocks could be firmer. I used dog, litter of 9, all sound from early age. Five of 9 were hip scored lowest of these was 0:2, and highest 5:5. My current show male is three generation decendant of that mating and soundness has remained within each generation. Still not sure if answered your question, but can only answere what I would and have done and not what others would or could do. Best Regards Sue B|
by Olddog on 01 January 2005 - 07:41
|Thanks for above reply, Sue, It reflects your usual expert thoroughness. Just one thing though. In judges' summations, you often find subjective terms like 'slightly cow-hocked' etc. With animal standing still, what criteria would you go by in deciding what degree of bend, crookedness or divergence from straight, represents badly, slightly or only vaguely cow-hocked? At what point do you say, no, not fit for breeding or, relegate animal straight to bottom of Ring ranking?|
by Sue B on 01 January 2005 - 14:34
|Good Question Olddog, Again one not so easy to give direct answer to. Sure you do not think up such questions, not for own benefit but rather for others whose knowledgable may not be as extensive as your own? As this is what I suspect! lol. Without the benefit of living animals infront of us to show you what I personally would consider a difference in the degree of Cow Hocked, I unfortunately find this too difficult to explain in the written word. Perhaps once again it can only be related to 'within the eye of the beholder'. Having said that Cow Hocked is still Cow Hocked and before I would ever consider using a dog which was even slightly Cow Hocked, I would need to not only to admire him for the rest of his excellent construction, I would need to see condition had no adverse effect on his movement (could be a way of simulating the degree), consider that his bloodline was also a desirable comodity and then would keep careful eye on hereditory condition of progeny, that's providing he has any of course, before considering using him myself. As it is (as always) just a matter of opinion, Again I am not sure my answer is of any use to you or indeed anybody else! Sue|
by Olddog on 01 January 2005 - 23:41
|Thanks Sue, You are very astute, of course. I do like to pose questions in such manner that they may be of a more universal use to others as well - in forum like this I presumptuously think we all should actually! You do at times over-rate my knowledge though - which I, as humble as I naturally am, may only accept with grace! as a compliment. Thanks again for your explanation.|
by Petnanny on 06 September 2008 - 16:09
Our 6 month old puppy is very cow hocked, and we have just started hydrotherapy with him, which he hates.
Our vet has told us no lead exercise, yet I keep reading that on the contrary, exercise is really important for cow hocked puppies!!! Should this be off lead exercise? Also, is there anything else that can help?
by justcurious on 06 September 2008 - 16:40
i heard running up hill can help develop the musculature to improve function
by missbeeb on 06 September 2008 - 17:05
Petnanny, at six months, puppies are often loose limbed. Don't worry so much. Average free excercise on sand should help.
by Petnanny on 08 September 2008 - 17:43
Missbeeb, he really is pretty bad. His back feet are almost quarter to three and he has very poor muscle tone in his back hind quarters.
We really are trying to find out as much as possible about this problem. There does however, seem very little information on the internet, such as treatments, causes etc. My knowledge has been really from forums such as these.