Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles
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Thread: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

  1. #1
    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
    CaliforniaLabLover is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultJust for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    This is a topic that I think is kind of interesting, and I am personally not sure what my take is about rear-angles: too much vs. not enough.

    I have heard several people lately discussing how the breed in general is going down a scary path toward "too much rear angle" (like the GSD), yet it seems like the majority of dogs I see seem to have relatively straight rear angles. Neither seems to be more prone to joint injuries from what I've seen and researched as far as pedigrees, etc. in this breed, nor does either group seem to have any more difficulty with passing those final OFA's. Mechanically-speaking, I would have thought that straighter angles would have meant more impact on the bones forming the stifle joint, rather than allowing as much flexion or "spring" during compression of the joint. That doesn't appear to be the case, however.

    I have to admit that, while I personally really like a lot of angle in the rear (at least moderate rear angles...but only if they have the "mass" in the rear to support those angles- I like big butts, LOL), I have noticed that many of the dogs pictured in historical photos of our breed seem to be pretty straight in the rear (and front, but that is beside the point), as are many of the most athletic dogs I know.

    Do you feel like we are taking this breed down a dangerous road by emphasizing a lot of angles in the show ring and in breeding animals? Have you seen any significant differences in joint health (even CCL ruptures, etc.) between dogs you know who are very straight in the rear vs. those who have a lot of rear angle?

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    YellowLab is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    When I see a dog that is overly angulated in the rear, I get the sense that the dog lacks power, and that the rear is flimsy. I definitely prefer moderation, especially in this aspect. The picture below shows my personal preference for rear angulation. Jewel pictured below.

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    meandclint is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    I have heard the "weak rear prone to cruciate tears" theory on both straight and over-angulated rears as well Julie and I agree with you that a really straight rear is one that is prone to more orthopedic issues, however there is a difference between the angle of the stifle and the angle of the hock. A straight stifle is one that is weaker in terms of support and a dog can have a straight stifle in combination with an average amount of hock angle thus giving the appearance to someone who doesn't know the difference that the dog has "enough" angle.

    I don't like an over-angulated rear and think it's just as bad as an under-angulated rear. Typically when a dog is over-angulated the hocks are close together either/and when they stand square or when they move. Ironically a dog that is straight in the stifle and hock will typically move really well - other breeds that have this conformation really float around the ring.

    I just love love love my Clint's rear. He's not perfect but that is one part of him that I think is just right. He may have a tad too much for some people and I see that but for me I love it.








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    nwlabs is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    I think when emphasis is put on any one area of the dog, then yes it can lead to problems. The key is balance. The dog should be balanced front to rear and if there is too much in the back then the dog will not move effortlessly.

    Don't get me wrong, I want nice angulation, *moderate* angulation and I want it balanced front to rear.

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    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    I do like having some nice angles, but it's not the only part of the dog that's important.

    I know when I bred my litter, there were some other issues I was more keen on improving such as coat and topline. Which I THINK I got.


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    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    Has anyone seen any more injuries in "over-angulated" vs. "under-angulated" dogs, in their opinion?

    Quote Originally Posted by CYNLABS
    I do like having some nice angles, but it's not the only part of the dog that's important.

    I know when I bred my litter, there were some other issues I was more keen on improving such as coat and topline. Which I THINK I got.
    Of course...and I would guess that we all know that. But this discussion wasn't started to talk about all of the other issues...it was (as listed in the title) started to discuss angles.



    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliforniaLabLover
    Has anyone seen any more injuries in "over-angulated" vs. "under-angulated" dogs, in their opinion?
    Another question...I have seen a number of straight rears in contrast to well-angled fronts (going back to balance), but how often do you see a dog with a ton of angle in the rear and virtually none in the front? I guess around here I see more "lacking" (in overall substance and angle) rears than fronts, but fronts have really seemed to be something every breeder I've talked to in the past couple of years is trying to improve on with each litter. What I've noticed may also have to do with the fact that I attend more specialty shows than all-breed shows, where there really is a different type of showdog winning most of the points.

    It is fun learning what everyone's take is on such subjects...both new and well-established breeders alike. Thanks for your sharing your thoughts and experience! It has seemed so quiet around here lately, I thought it would be fun to start up a thread that everyone could participate in. Any other ideas for educational/learning-types of threads?

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    meandclint is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    Julie my first Labrador Cuffy is straight in the rear - he has straight stifles and straight hock angulation. He developed OCD in a hock at 6 months old and then a cruciate tear in the opposite leg at just under 2 years old. So I have experienced a good amount of orthopedic issues in the rear with a dog who is under-angulated. Of course this is only one individual. I have a friend who has had her fair share of OCD in the stifle and knees of dogs and all are under-angulated however I wonder if it's because of the problems that arise early on (4 - 6 months)? Some of the puppies had good angulation at 8 weeks say and go on to be straight in the rear by 6 months - straighter on the "bad" side for sure but still straight on the other side as well.

    FWIW - when Clint was around 5 years old he slipped on some ice and fell hard and came up gimpy on a rear leg. The following day the hitch was still there. After three days I feared a partial cruciate tear since I had been through it with Cuffy. I skipped my regular vet and made an appointment at Tuft's to see the orthopedic specialists. I walked him in and saw an older gentleman vet who first had me move Clint up and down a hallway. He immediately said "It's not a cruciate." I asked him how he knew that quickly and he said "A dog with this angulation of the stifle and hock along with the muscling of the thigh has the strongest knee possible." He stayed and was knocked out and examined and had x-rays taken and a soft tissue injury was diagnosed and with rest and massage therapy in three weeks he was sound.

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    CaliforniaLabLover's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    Interesting to hear, Sharon...thanks for sharing your experiences. Come to think of it, there aren't too many dogs I know who have a lot of rear angles who have had cruciate injuries and the like. Many of the cruciate surgeries now are based so much on altering the angles of the stifle joint anyhow...even the much newer TTA procedure.

    ~Julie, Rogue, Monty, and Eddy~

    "The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue." -Anon

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    kimberjac is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultRe: Just for the sake of hopefully a fun discussion....Rear angles

    This is what fellow Lab breeders have taught me to look for and also what was described by Pat Hastings at a seminar I attended.
    I did the best I could with the arrow (the line should start a smidge lower), but it was my first attempt at this - it's supposed to be from the point of buttocks to the tip of the toes when the hock is vertical.
    Not to mention that this just looks right to me, any more or any less doesn't appeal to me.

    Must include my disclaimer: Of course, this is JUST MY OPINION and yes, I am a newbie.
    Kim Teall<br /><br />Kimberjac Exclusive Engagement &quot;Gage&quot; <br />

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