The Three Finger Rule

Not long ago, we explained, “inside baseball” (knowledge specific to a topic that people outside the topic may not understand) because it’s something we use here a lot. Why? Because it’s cool information, and we think you’re curious enough, and smart enough to care about how our dogs work.


Here’s the Three Finger Rule:

three finger rule, structure,

Oh wait, our bad. You will be greatly relieved to learn that this diagram is of a different Three Finger Rule, this one having to do with gyroscope motion and Quartz Accelerometers. We know you want to learn more about Intertial Navigation, but it will have to wait for another day. Sorry.

Our Three Finger Rule pertains to something that “old” hound and sporting dogmen used to evaluate their dogs. These men thought that the width between the tops of the dog’s shoulder blades should be the width of two or three man-size fingers. If it was, it told them that the distance was enough to allow a dog to lower her head to pick up a bird. See, as a dog’s head is lowered, the separation of her shoulder blades decreases, and if the distance is too narrow to begin with, the tops of her shoulder blades will meet and keep the dog’s head from lowering any further.

Illustration by Maud Earl

One thought on “The Three Finger Rule”

  1. The Belgian Tervuren standard calls for the top of the shoulder blades to be roughly the width of two thumbs apart.

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