The Dog Whose Parts Float

Did you know that dogs have no collar bone?

A dog’s front end essentially floats on muscular and ligamentous attachments. Why? Because being built this way gives a dog the most cushioning and flexibility that they need to run,  jump, and leap, especially if it’s in the course of catching their prey.  These disconnected shoulder bones also allow for greater stride length, a plus in the field.

You’re kidding yourself – and cheating your dog –  if you think that structure and soundness don’t matter in a dog that isn’t in a dog show. Every dog deserves to be as healthy as he or she can be, and if your dog was bred in a way that didn’t put soundness first as a goal, here’s what you do:

You love your dog. A lot.
You give your dog the best life you can give him or her, and that probably means that you don’t take 5 miles runs with the dog. Instead, you go on nice easy walks for a few blocks. Your dog will do whatever you ask of it, but in return, please learn how your dog is built and learn to recognize signs of pain or limited mobility. Knowing this doesn’t make you a snob. It makes you a caring dog owner. 
If you are a caring dog owner and a dog geek, you’ll want to check this out for a little light reading: “Anatomic and radiologic observations of the clavicle of adult dogs.” If you’re new to National Purebred Dog Day’s website, you may have missed this piece. 

Image: Irish Terrier by Eve Holoran/verybestdog


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