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Dog Leg Terminology

By Paige

When it comes to the dog world, there is a lot of terminology to learn & understand. Everything from head & face terms, dog coat types, & ear shape is subject to a long list of types & terminology.

Here are some basic definitions to dog leg terminology, we’ve separated them by front & hind end & provided the cheatsheet (click the image for a larger view) to the right for quick visual reference.

Forequarter Terms

The terms below refer to the front end of the dog or forequarters.

Bowed Front
When the forelegs curve out between the elbows & pasterns.

Down in Pastern
When the pastern is weak & overly sloped.

East-West Front
When the feet point out and away from each other.

Fiddle Front
When an animal with an east-west front also has bowed feet, giving the impression of a fiddle.

Lay Back
The angle that the shoulders are set on the animal’s body.

Knuckled Over
When pastern is steep or has a reverse slope.

Loaded Shoulders
When the forequarters are overly lumpy or muscled.

Out at Elbow
When the elbow joint sticks out further than the ribcage.

When the upper arm is set back under the animal’s body.

Shoulder Angulation
The angle formed between the humerus & the scapula.

Toed-in Front
When the feet point inward, towards each other.

Hindquarter Terms

The following terms refer to the rear end of the dog or hindquarter.

When the hindquarters are wide & bowed.

When the hocks point towards each other (which generally results in the feet pointing outward).

Lower Thigh
The area from the stifle to the hock – sometimes called the second thigh.

An over-angulation of the hock joint which makes it difficult for the animal to straighten the joint while moving.

Well Let-Down
When an animal has short hocks.

Probably More To Come

We have yet to do a final check in the vaults for more canine terminology ideas & we’re pretty sure there will be more to share. As we find them we’ll let you know, but until then be sure to learn more about dog basics, hair types & tail types.

One Response to “Dog Leg Terminology”

  1. Is there a formal definition for “leggy” and if so, what is it?

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