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Discussion Starter #1
Is it common for puppies to be 'down on their pasterns" sometimes?

Cooper walks on his back pasterns at times. The orthopedic vet mentioned it. I was there for an elbow injury. I had not given his back end much worry. Sometimes he is "better" than others. I <u>THOUGHT </u> it was a normal development of the breed?!?
 

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Yes. The ligaments of puppies are much looser than in adults (just as with human children) and that can cause them to go down in the pastern a bit, especially during some phases of physical growth, when they're tired, etc....

A puppy who is really down in the pasterns, or stays that way for a significant amount of time, probably is always going to be a bit down in the pasterns as an adult. But it's not uncommon for them to go down a little bit and then improve as the dog matures.

Pasters are on the front legs though. There are no pasterns on the back legs. When you say he "walks on his back pasterns" do you mean his hocks? That's a different matter altogether...
 

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Is Cooper from AKC showlines? I'm pretty sure you are talking about his hocks. If he is from European lines, then a puppy walking on his hocks is definitely abnormal. I have never seen or known of puppies from European lines that walk on their hocks. Everyone would consider that as abnormal and a cause for medical concern.
If he is from AKC showlines, I have seen many puppies from these lines that walk on their hocks. They do grow out of it somewhat but they will always stand and move with an extreme angulation. This is one reason why GSD people with European line dogs consider AKC showline GSDs to be funny looking or funny movers. I personally feel sorry for the dog because it will never be as athletic as a "more normal" GSD and I consider it born crippled for the sake of a certain look or style. Won't be able to run as fast, turn as quickly, jump as high, etc. but it will stack and trot in the style desired by some AKC show fanciers.
 

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That's not entirely true, there are known American lines that are both Champions and also are in agility and/or herding. IF they are soooo crippled then how do they do this??? I agree some American lines have gone to the extreme..... but you can't lump ALL American showlines into just "Showdogs", there are many still out there that do title on both ends.... and they wouldn't be able to do that with CRIPPLED dogs.....

And I would be worried of an orthopedic vet that says he's down in the "rear pasterns"........
 

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I think to say they're "crippled" is over the top.

However, American lines are bred for more rear angulation which makes "hock walking" far more common in those lines than any other.

Unlike being down in the pasterns, being down in the hocks is caused by the length and angle of the stifle bones, not ligamenture. Thus, while it may improve slightly with maturity, it is unlikely to change significantly.

I agree though... I'd have to question a vet who doesn't know the difference between hocks and pasterns.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks.
I did mean hocks.
He MAY have european bloodlines way back. I know his sire and dam are both multiple titled. The father is canadian and does SAR and some kind of protection titles (SchH111) . THe dam is herding, agility and obedience. Both have OFA elbows and hips, temperment tested. Two year health garantee. The breeder gives back purchase price and will eiether let you keep the pup or take him back.

I guess as I type all that I am silly to worry but there is always one in every family. LOL
 

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Puppy down in the hocks question?

I wouldn't necessarily worry BUT I would contact the breeder and send some photos.

Responsible breeders know their dogs, and all the puppies coming from their litters and will be keeping track of every one of them. So they should be able to tell right away if this is normal, or not and if all the puppies have this, or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Originally Posted By: Chris WildI agree though... I'd have to question a vet who doesn't know the difference between hocks and pasterns.
I am almost positive he said pasterns? Hmm. I am sure it was my mistake.

I have been in contact with my breeder regading his elbow injury but never thought to ask about the hocks. Like I said until the vet mentioned it, I thought it was normal GSD development.
 

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Originally Posted By: Gypsyrose04I agree some American lines have gone to the extreme..... but you can't lump ALL American showlines
I never said ALL, I agree with you, some have. But I still think there's too many of them abnormal crippled hock walkers out there. If a pup has it as a medical problem that's one thing, and that's sad, but for people to be deliberately breeding hock walkers with abnormally long stifle bones is unethical. People have done unethical things to dogs for centuries for the sake of a look. The Chinese Shar-pei dog for example is abnormal and has many medical problems but was bred deliberately to have all those folds in its skin for the look. Hock walking GSDs are not any different.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Will the "hock walker" have shorter life span? health issues or just look bizzar?
I have not noticed much in Cooper but I did see him do it at the vet. Sometimes when he pees he rocks back on his hocks. Kind of looks like a kangaroo?!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank. I have been on a high protein kibble plus raw and then just switched to raw. I hope that helps.
 

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Originally Posted By: mjb03Will the "hock walker" have shorter life span? health issues or just look bizzar?
I have not noticed much in Cooper but I did see him do it at the vet. Sometimes when he pees he rocks back on his hocks. Kind of looks like a kangaroo?!
Why would they have a different life span?
 
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