A Few Comments about
Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement

The Practical Canine Anatomy seminar was originally developed at the request of the Dog Judges’ Association of America (DJAA) and is presented throughout the country as part of the ABC’s of Dog Breeding all day seminar (typically 7 hours).

Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement is also presented as a stand alone seminar at various venues, including judges institutes, independent dog clubs and numerous National Specialties as part of their education program during Nationals week.  The Anatomy seminar is typically 2 to 3 hours in length. More and more National Specialties are requesting the seminar to include their Illustrated Standard of a particular breed, which serves to make the presentation all the more breed specific.  Aside from hotel and travel expenses, there is no charge for the seminar itself or for doing a specialized presentation which includes a Parent Club’s breed illustrated standard.

 Anatomy Made Easy

The anatomy seminar is designed to be an introduction for novices and experienced judges and breeders. Successful breeding and judging draw upon talents that are both science and art.  The science of breeding and judging is a working knowledge of canine structure and movement; the art of breeding and judging is having an “eye for a dog,” or the ability to correctly and easily evaluate the dog as one piece when it is both standing and in motion. Our goal is to discuss individual parts in terms of the whole dog, always relating each part to form and function.

The seminar discusses key skeletal and surface parts of the dog that judges and breeders should know and approaches the topic of anatomy from the point of view of evaluating the dog’s structural balance or correctness based on 4 important elements, which include (1) size, (2) substance, (3) stance and (4) proportions.

Evaluating the Dog as One Piece

By discussing the standing and moving dog’s individual parts and how they relate to its structural balance or correctness, the goal is to reinforce the important judging and breeding principles of never losing sight of the whole dog and the idea that no one feature is ever more important than the sum of a dog’s parts. Learning to evaluate the dog as “one piece” is one of the unifying themes of the seminar because it goes hand in hand with learning to develop an eye for a dog.