Responsible Breeding

On structure


If you can draw a straight line from the ears to the front feet, it doesn’t matter how good a layback you have or how nice a return of upper arm. The dog’s front is seriously faulty, and it’s both a functional fault and a breed type fault. We can’t create length or reach by pushing the front up under the neck. A line drawn up from the middle of the front leg should go through the body and into the air. The more it goes into the neck, the more forward and therefore faulty the set of the front is.


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  • Reply anne parsons June 2, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    How can a good return of upper arm put the front legs under the ears? Even with a perfectly straight shoulder? If the shoulder has good layback and the upper arm is straight that would put the legs under the ears. And isn’t that how some terriers are supposed to be?

    • Reply Joanna Kimball June 3, 2015 at 1:13 am

      I am not talking about drawing a line up the bones – I am saying drop a plumb line down the front leg. You can have a really nice front set way too far forward, and a lot of breeders LOVE it.

  • Reply Vicki July 20, 2015 at 4:28 am

    Hello Joanna I have left a message on FB but thought I would do here as well. I am hoping for a full version including all original photos of the article on Sound Dog.
    I enjoyed reading it when I saw it some time ago but when I searched & found it recently some pics were not in the post. I would very much like the complete article. I liked the ability to test our knowledge on the Pics of the dogs that were included at the end.
    I am a professional groomer with a salon in Australia, and I am always looking to improve my ability.
    Thank you
    Hoping to hear back from you soon

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