shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

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shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:02 pm

So, I'm reading along in my book: "The Dog in Action" and there's a whole chapter about the shoulder.

There are two angles a shoulder blade can have (in most cases) a 45 degree angle shoulder blade and a 60 degree angle shoulder blade. The 45 degree angle is specifically listed as a physical advantage for ground coverage, while the 60 degree angle shoulder covers less ground. The angle of the shoulder blade affects the reach the rest of the front assembly can have.

The book lists ways how to evaluate a shoulder's angle--and now this is of concern to me. (And yet another reason I want to have someone evaluate our puppies. Not just for temper, but also for confirmation.) To maintain and propagate that beautiful, fluid, massive ground coverage movement I hope we all consider the shoulder set when evaluating which pups go to breeding homes. I found this utterly fascinating.
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Nino » Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:01 pm

The Dog in Action wrote: One of the most important factors involved here is the difference in the ability to lift. The 45-degree blade is approximately 2½ times more effective in this mission than the 60-degree blade
shoulderblade.png
The Dog in Action wrote:As noted in the illustration the 45-degree blade describes a much longer arc with its point than does the 60-degree blade. There is far more advantage to this than the increased distance of travel. Thrust to the front and lift derived from the entire leg action is derived when the leg entirely straightens. In the short arc of the 60-degree blade this thrust is directed far more vertically than it is in the 45-degree blade, where the thrust is more along the line of body travel. This factor perhaps more than anything else accounts for the fact that dogs with "upright" shoulders resemble rocking horses going across the field - traveling upward as much as forward
I do indeed find this very interesting!
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Ryphen » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:46 pm

Amazing how everything can be broken down into mathematics.

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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:58 am

Nino--did you buy this book too? What do you think?
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Tiantai » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:22 am

I'll go look in the Indigo bookstore next week for it
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Nino » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:56 am

Hawthorne wrote:Nino--did you buy this book too? What do you think?
Yep, bought the book 4-5 months ago, and I am slowly reading myself through it.
I love the book a lot!
It is written in a great language and the author is very good at not over complicating things, although I have to say it is quite "heavy" with a lot of words that I do not normally use or know and that makes it a slow read, I have actually considered that since I will have to re-read it anyway for at least one more time if it would be worth it translating it into Danish :lol:
Also the last 4 months or so have been with a lot to do so I have been reading only around half of the book by now.

But the book have SO much information and even though it is 8 years older than I am (the print I have anyway, which is only a fifteenth edition) there is no doubt that almost, if not all, that I have read so far is just as true today!
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by akaye531 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:15 am

As a math teacher and dog lover, I appreciate this quite a bit!

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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by TerriHolt » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:30 am

Ryphen wrote:Amazing how everything can be broken down into mathematics.
I thought the same thing... makes me wish i was better at math... (adds book to the 'future read' list anyway).
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Tiantai » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:36 am

TerriHolt wrote: I thought the same thing... makes me wish i was better at math... (adds book to the 'future read' list anyway).
Same here, I SUCK in math, it's my worst enemy that's got me repeating courses back in highschool and in my undergrads.

I'm going to read the book anyways since it's worth knowing more no matter how hard it may take for me to decipher this and that.
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Ryphen » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:11 am

I was pretty good at math and anatomy back in the day, but through disuse I'm afraid I've forgotten most of the details. :lol: But next time I order something from Amazon, maybe I'll pick up this book as well and see if I can get through it.

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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:04 pm

I bought my copy used on Amazon for $5 :D
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Nino » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:26 pm

Hawthorne wrote:I bought my copy used on Amazon for $5 :D
Bought my copy used and online too (I think it was Amazon too).. but I'm afraid it was not that cheap, plus the shipping expenses was on top of that too..
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Shadowgate » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:12 am

Speaking of shoulders...I don't see any reference to shoulder angle or shoulder assembly in the breed standard listed on the TDR site. Is there another breed standard that addresses this?
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by AZDehlin » Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:23 am

Shadowgate wrote:Speaking of shoulders...I don't see any reference to shoulder angle or shoulder assembly in the breed standard listed on the TDR site. Is there another breed standard that addresses this?
There isn't (yet), but as a breed tamaskan should have a 45 degree shoulder.

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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:45 pm

I would say that if / when we are ready to make amendments to the breed standard that it should clearly state "45 degree shoulder." Just my vote ;)
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by firleymj » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:55 pm

OK, I'm waiting for the arrival of my pup, and am reading through this forum as an indirect way of getting my "vitamin Tamaskan" for the day.

Qualification to comment: Done mathematical modelling and applied statistics for most of the last 35 years.

Observation: When setting goals for quality control (which is what a breed standard is, after all), there's a significant difference between setting goals done in conditions of statistical sampling (polling, computer programs) and conditions of mechanical sampling (real measurements are involved).

In the case of a breed standard, we'd be taking mechanical sampling (making measurements and recording data). So you have to deal not only with the target, but allow for an appropriate variation, due to errors that must creep into the process due to the nature of the process. In statistical terms, you wind up with:

1) The desired value
2) Upper and lower control limits

The control limits are markers that divide values that are "significantly" outside the desired range from those which cannot be mathematically proven to be within the normal range of data. (It's hard to do this without an equation editor, but it's forcing me to be a little more clear in my writing :shock:)

The control limits are in part a function, not only of the intrinsic variation of measurements, but also of the size of the population being measured. Below eight samples, you can't say very much at all, although you can make estimates. As the number of samples rises, the control limits (typically) narrow slightly, 8 is a good starting quantity, but 64 would allow a much better start.

In the end, what you get is a value and a range for a given metric - in our case, the breed standard might read:

45 degree shoulder angle, with an allowable range of 48 to 43.5 degrees. (I'm making up the range [which doesn't have to be symmetric, by the way] as I have no data with which to work).

However, should somebody want to take a bunch of measurements (anything from shoulder angle to stop angle, or whatever else,) I'd be happy to run the calculations.

Hey, there's got to be some good to having a math geek in the pack :lol:

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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by balto13 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 1:00 pm

yea, that was pretty neat how you broke it down :D

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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by firleymj » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:01 am

Thanks. Once again, this community is so refreshing. People want to learn, as opposed to indulge in flame wars. It makes me happy to help :D
My goal in life is to be as good of a person as my dog already thinks I am. ~Author Unknown
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by darazan » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:27 am

I've heard that the Tamaskan breed standard is pretty sparse in comparison to other breed standards, so I was wondering how true this was and how the format and density of the Tamaskan breed standard actually does compare to other (especially recognized) breeds and is that something to keep in mind when considering changing/updating/adding to the Tamaskan breed standard?
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Wed May 15, 2013 1:27 pm

Darazan,
Yes! You are correct. Our breed standard is sparse. It does need work and I think a few of us want to work on it. The breed standard is the ultimate goal--not meant to be more strict and then eliminate more dogs from the breeding pool--but more of what we should be working towards.
We have had difficulty here in the US finding a judge because the standard is too vague. That's part of the reason for all of my posts in this section called "Breed Standard"
I have looked at the standards for the breeds which comprise the Tam: husky, malamute, GSD, CSV, etc. I think I am mostly focusing on structure--we all know what temperament we want in our dogs: outgoing and friendly with strangers.
The judges comments last year were that most, if not all, of the dogs present had a good shoulder set. That's great! Because it's the most difficult thing to correct in a dog's structure.
So by saying we would like a 45 degree shoulder, it wouldn't eliminate dogs because they have a 60 degree shoulder--but you would then find a potential mate for your dog that had proper layback of shoulder.
All of these dogs have "faults" -- it's just the nature of dog breeding. Freyja has too soft a coat and too long a tail, Raven is probably too long in the loin and also has too long a tail. The ideal would be that we would breed them to dogs with the correct length of tail and hope for the correct tail length in some of the pups. Tail length is just an example--it's not high on my list of priorities but you can understand the illustration clearly.
I have a whole list of items that need to be defined or beefed up in our standard. I was hoping to write it all up and make a submission for opinions from other breeders, make a revision based on the comments and then submit it to the TDR. Some of these things I don't know the answer to at all--and will look to the expertise of my mentor, and other dog breeders.
The standard may seem like a silly thing at face value--but if we don't breed for the best structure, the look of the Tam could be lost rather quickly and we could introduce physical defects that will be extremely difficult to correct down the road. An ounce of prevention...
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by darazan » Thu May 16, 2013 3:25 am

I totally agree. The breed standard is something I'm very interested in, as I think it's the backbone of any breed. I was actually helping Reggie with the illustrations for the Aatu Tamaskan Illustrated Breed Standard before the TBA rejoined the TDR, so I ended up having to learn a lot of dog structural terminology very quickly. Though I think if I were to restart that project, I would go about it differently. I think I would learn as much as I could about all the terms and what they mean and how they should apply to a breed before I start and use less reference photographs so that the illustrations were more truly "ideal" and less influenced by existing dogs. Or even take an example of an existing dog and work "on top of" that to correct faults and make the ideal structure. I would also probably draw out the illustrations by hand first, then vectorize them in Photoshop, rather than trying to work directly in Photoshop and not having vector images. Infinitely scale-able artwork for the win!
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by balto13 » Thu May 16, 2013 5:23 am

darazan wrote:I totally agree. The breed standard is something I'm very interested in, as I think it's the backbone of any breed. I was actually helping Reggie with the illustrations for the Aatu Tamaskan Illustrated Breed Standard before the TBA rejoined the TDR!
wow! that's neat :D and I am pretty interested in it too. I can't exactly say why, it just intrigues me :)

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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by darazan » Thu May 16, 2013 7:11 am

I know. I'm the same way. I don't really know why it interests me so much, it just does. Maybe it's because I've researched a lot of different dog breeds and learned the histories of them and why they look and act a certain way. It's given me so much more respect for the breeds and dogs as a whole and I've learned to like and appreciate certain breeds that I just couldn't see the point in before. For example, I never really liked Dachshunds until I learned that they were badger dogs (go figure with a name like that, huh? :P ).
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Thu May 16, 2013 8:18 pm

Yes, I agree. I've been looking at this from the standpoint of basically reverse engineering. Looking at the parts that make up the Tamaskan and trying to figure out the reason or purpose for the part to be that way.
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Nino » Fri May 24, 2013 8:15 pm

I found this the other day and found it interesting.
It is of the German Shepherd Dog, which I was looking for as we have a GSD young that we would like to have approved for breeding in our national Kennel Club (DKK).
But I did find it had some interesting points in it that could be applied to the Tam too

http://workingdogs.com/lshaw1.htm
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Wed May 29, 2013 3:04 pm

Nino wrote:I found this the other day and found it interesting.
It is of the German Shepherd Dog, which I was looking for as we have a GSD young that we would like to have approved for breeding in our national Kennel Club (DKK).
But I did find it had some interesting points in it that could be applied to the Tam too

http://workingdogs.com/lshaw1.htm
This dog shows correct proportions of 10:8.75; slightly longer than tall. This is measured from the top of the scapula (including muscling) to the floor, and from the tip of the breast bone to the rear projection of the pelvis. This dog shows a strong head with parallel planes, a deep skull (measured from the top of the head to the underline of the jaw), and a muzzle no longer than the length of the skull (from the back of the skull to the corner of the eye).
Yes! Brenda and I were just talking about this--what are our breeds desired proportions??? What is the Tamaskan ratio?
Should our Tam heads have parallel planes? Freyja's head does--and it looks very nice. I donno.
What about skull proportions (muzzle compared to the back skull?) I can tell you that the gray wolf skull here in my office has a 1:1 ratio, that is: the muzzle is as long as the back skull (excluding the sagittal crest which overhangs the back skull on a wolf--we probably won't have much of a sagittal crest in a domestic dog)

Just my thoughts...
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by Hawthorne » Wed May 29, 2013 4:02 pm

The pelvis is set at about 30 to 35 degrees, measured from a plane laid across its top. I find this more accurate than trying to eyeball a line through it. This angle is common to most big predators, and is the most efficient angle to channel the upwards energy from each stride, forward horizontally along the spine. The croup will generally follow the line of the pelvis, but its length will depend on the lay of the caudal vertebrae at the root of the tail. Whether the tail is high or low set has no effect on gait, so a long croup is really more esthetic than practical. On the other hand, a pelvis that is too steep or flat will result in a shortened stride as well as a faulty croup. A flat pelvis hampers reach while a steep pelvis restricts follow-through, and a dog will tend not to reach ahead any more than he can follow-through (this is true for the forehand as well as the rearhand). A long, smooth croup that flows into a beautiful saber tail is certainly the most visually appealing finish to a fine moving dog. However, it should be remembered that a very strong minded, dominant dog will often carry its tail high, shortening the croup somewhat. Given a choice between a weak minded dog with low tail carriage and a strong dog who flags his tail, the choice should always be the latter.
I think we should also define the croup angle. Certainly 30 to 35 is way too steep for our breed. What is "slightly sloping?" -- which is what our standard says. 10 degrees? 15? We have had too steap a croup at our last show and while not something we would "throw the dog out" for, a good breeder would note this and watch for it in the whelps and especially when choosing pups going to breeding homes. You wouldn't want to perpetuate a steep croup. Or any other structural fault, if you could help it. Worst of all are shoulders, I am told. The shoulder set is, apparently, the most difficult to "correct".

On another note--it must be that all of our dogs are strong minded because it seemed all of them carried their tails up at our last show. LOL

Also, in watching wolves move, they hold their head straight out from the body. Should we define "head carriage"?
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Re: shoulder angle / "massive ground coverage"

Post by darazan » Thu May 30, 2013 8:28 pm

This is really interesting and I'm very intrigued to see how it continues. :)
-Crystal

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