Stop! Where is it?


stop,structure,head,muzzleDo you know where the “stop” is on your dog?

And if you do, do you appreciate how much it impacts “type” on your dog?

The ‘stop’ is that place on your dog’s head between her muzzle and forehead (the dividing “line” between the muzzle and the skull). Sometimes the “stop” is “indented,” but sometimes it’s almost nonexistent. There are varying degrees of changes in angle in that one area, and if all you could see of a dog is it’s stop, chances are good you could identify its breed. Try it for yourself in the images below (and do your best to ignore the obvious coat clues – concentrate on the stop, itself).


We threw in a “ringer” because assessing “stop” in some coated breeds is all but impossible. For that reason, you have to feel a dog’s stop to evaluate it. In our view, you should be feeling a dog’s stop with your hands, anyway. Heck, you should feel as many of them as you can, especially in your own breed, because while there are obvious differences in the “stop” between breeds, there are differences between dogs in the same breed. Read your breed standard, educate yourself as to what the standard calls for, then learn for yourself what you find pleasing and correct. The “headpiece” is the first thing we usually notice about a dog, but in addition to being a marvelous place on which to place to kiss, a dog’s “stop” impacts its type. A lot.

For grins, can you name the breeds whose “stops” we show in the grid?

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