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I'm hoping to turn this into a educational thread that will assist in the Critique Forum as well as in observing and evaluating dogs in the real world. Please bear with my many questions; explanations are appreciated in words but picture examples are even more desired.


1) What is the difference between a short croup and high tail set or a long croup and a low tail set or a long croup with a high tail set? I hope I am clear there.

2) How does one define a short upper arm or a steep one or a long upper arm? Does a steep upper arm mean the shoulder angle is too obtuse? What about "layback of shoulder," what is ideal, too much, too little?

3) What would a high wither look like against a good wither and a low wither?

I understand the definitions but I'm mostly looking for nitty gritty explanations, photographic examples, etc. Thank you.
 

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High withers (the withers should be higher than the back, not level with the back). He also is a good example of a dog that is stretched (long through the loin). He has a good angle of croup, but with his long back it looks short. IMO he also shows an excellent shoulder and pasterns. I picture this dog having a very balanced and ground covering gait.

 

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This dog has a good whithers and an excellent long croup that is well positioned. He is masculine and also has an excellent shoulder. He looks like he stands splayed a bit in front.

 

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Good withers, nice top-line, Very good angulation front and good in rear, upper-arm could be a bit longer.
The croup is of the appropriate angle, but short, could be just a tad longer (the tail set is a bit high).

 

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Brian, good example. Here we have a dog with a slightly short croup but also with slightly high tail set. If the tail set were lower, would that equate to a slightly longer croup? Do both go hand-in-hand?

Lisa, so the first dog has good withers or a big TOO high? I know withers are supposed to be taller than the back, just trying to picture in my mind what a dog with high withers would look like. I agree that the second dog does have a nicer wither than the first and definitely much better loin length.

This board is extremely helpful!
 

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What I got out of reading The Illustrated Standard.

The degree of slope in the CROUP is what is critical for good movement,
and the length of CROUP really has little or no effect on gait.
The tail set will determine the CROUP length, if set at the correct degree.
The requirement of a long, CROUP and low tail set is more aesthetic than practical.
It will show a beautiful gait, but will not be quite as powerful in jumping or galloping.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:The tail set will determine the CROUP length, if set at the correct degree.
An lo, a lightbulb flickers on. So a high tail set cannot associate with a long croup, if I understand correctly?
 

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Diana

Slow down, you missed the most important part "set at the correct degree"!
You could have a high tail set with a long croup the angle would be steep.
 

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I was looking for an Example, but was to late to edit.

The tail set would stick out like a FROG back with a bump out for the tail set.
 

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High withers flowing smoothly into a very good and firm back. Slightly steep croup with a high tail set. Long upper arm and excellent shoulder. In his day this was considered excellent rear angulation. This was a very correct dog with balanced and powerful movement.



You can tell these two dogs are littermates. Very good withers, excellent topline, again a slightly steep croup that could be longer. His upper arm could be longer and is a bit more upright than Bodo's.

 

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This photo isn't as good as the one on my site, but this is an example of a long, but flat croup. Also a VERY strong head and lower jaw on this male. Excellent front and rear angulation. Another VA dog.

 

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One of the things that I learned while studying structure over the years is an interesting way to evaluate the front reach of a GSD. You want the front reaching foot to be just above the ground and out to the end of the dog's nose. I will show you some examples.

Most dogs with a "high wither" have an upright or open shoulder caused by the angle of the shoulder being greater than 90 degrees. For example I will use my own dog, Ch. Natty.



Now, forget all of the other things that are wrong with her (soft feet and pasterns, standing on her hock, overly long stifle) and just look at her shoulder. She has a high wither and a nice long upper arm, but her angle good be better.



See that her front foot would touch under her chin instead of under her nose.

Now let's look at another dog. This is Ch. Kizzy.



See how her wither is slightly higher than her back, but it flows smoothly into it. She has a nice long upper arm, and a good angle in her shoulder.



Notice where her foot would land. Better reach than Natty, right??

I am also of the opinion, for whatever that is worth ;), that I would rather have a dog with a long upper arm and a less than ideal shoulder angle, than a dog with a short upper arm and a better angle. A dog with a short upper arm seems to be carrying more of his weight on his front end than the other dog would. But, of course, a correct front is best yet!


I was also taught that a correct topline would allow a single drop of water placed between the dog's ears to roll slowly down to the dog's tail. I'll have to try that sometime.
 

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Daphne, can you make the stacked photos larger?
 

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It's the best I can do tonight.
 

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Actually Daphne's first dog is a good example of a dog that lacks balance. She has far more angulation in the rear than in the front. You can see when moving that she is fully extended in front, but not in the rear. Dogs like this have a tendency to fall onto their forehands while moving. Compare her to the second bitch that is very balanced.
 

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Thank you. That is much better.
 

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Over the years some of the best working dogs I have met usually had less than ideal croups per the experts/standard. Could somebody post a picture of a moving GS actually herding sheep on a real sheep farm. Not interested in herding in a trial, but more in looking at the dimensions of a GS with a real herd of sheep. I would like to see these same things in a true working dog...Thanks
 

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