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Canine Structure and Movement from a Functional Standpoint

"Everyone involved in the sport of purebred dogs is to some degree a judge, whether they be breeder, owner, judge or exhibitor in field, obedience, or show. They all need to be able to evaluate structure to determine their dog's ability to function. This evaluation should be based on knowledge."

~ Thelma R. Brown and Edward M. Gilbert, Jr.

In order to accomplish the ability to evaluate structure, one needs to study, study, and study some more! Books, videos, seminars, mentorships with respected breeders and judges, observing the breed working and playing-- all are educational tools. The list of references for this seminar contains all the basic texts for learning about canine structure and movement.

What adjectives come to mind when you look at the three photos below? Fearlessness, certainly, but think in terms of physical attributes. I think of compact, strong, agile, muscular, sturdy, quick, fast, and so on.

The sport of agility also reveals the same physical structural needs as working stock, as you can see in the photos at the bottom of this page.
Beginning at the front, let's look at the structural needs of an Australian shepherd:

All these factors contribute to the soundness of a working Aussie, and allow him to perform a multitude of amazing feats, whether working livestock, or running an agility course, or playing frisbee, or just playing with each other in the backyard.

~ Gail N. Karamalegos


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