“The Rear and Rear Movement”

 

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The next part of Dachshund construction is the Rear and it seems to be one of the hardest parts of the dog to understand, since so many exhibitors have things added to their Dachshunds in their mind which are not really mentioned in the Standard as it is written. Let’s look at the Standard (in bold print) and then I will give my interpretation of what the writers are describing.

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Hindquarters – Strong and cleanly muscled.

The rear is easy to get a good look at and should be easy to see if it is “strong and cleanly muscled”. By that, it means there should be a layer of strong and clean muscles on the rear legs and those smooth muscles should make the dog really use the rear to cover ground and move around the ring in a smooth, effortless fashion. The muscles should not be all lumpy and bumpy, but should be smooth and flowing and strong without being too ‘out there’ and out of proportion. The rear is the source of the clean-moving Dachshund that we all want to see.

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The pelvis, the thigh, the second thigh, and the rear pastern are ideally the same length and give the appearance of a series of right angles. From the rear, the thighs are strong and powerful.

This is the hardest part of the Standard and mistakes are often made when these sentences are used by many people in talking about their dog’s angulation. This phrasing starts out with the pelvis, which slopes downward and is never in a parallel line with the ground, and the thigh which together form a ninety degree angle between the pelvis and that thigh. From the thigh, the second thigh comes out and forms another ninety degree angle . This is an angle that needs watched and should NEVER go higher as it goes behind the body, but should always be making that ninety degree angle and should be sloping downwards from the set on with the thigh. At the end of the second thigh, the rear pastern comes out and again makes a ninety degree angle. Remember, this is not a ninety degree angle from the ground, but from the second thigh. That is a huge difference. While I do not often criticize dogs whose pasterns are at a ninety degree angle from the ground, it really is not correct and anyone can read this description and see the difference that the Standard calls for.

The hard thing is to have a nice natural set of angles coming down from the pelvis (which is ALWAYS tilted downwards) and ending in a natural ninety degree angle between the second thigh and the rear pastern. I hate to be too demanding here, but no right angle between the rear pastern and the ground is even hinted at in our Standard. If you do have a right angle, then perhaps you need to read and re-read our Standard and see whether the pastern/ground angle is mentioned or even hinted at. Many with short hocks can be shown and look normal  posing in this fashion, but many times that rear angle just shows how long the second thigh is and how out of balance the animal looks being posed in such a manner.

In looking at the rear, we have to watch a second thigh which is way too long and which goes up in the air from its hook up with the thigh. It should never in any fashion be too long and never should go up in the air, instead flowing down towards its meeting with the rear pastern. Often here, you get that long second thigh which makes the pastern far behind the body joining onto the rear pastern which also is a little too long. When a dog tries to move with the long second thigh and the long rear pastern, the rear has nowhere it can reach forward and bring that rear to keep up with the front motion and most seem to leave the rear trailing behind instead of reaching up under the body as it should.

Many people look at the dogs that I have pictured here and would call them ‘sickle-hocked’ because they are not the ‘perfect’ ninety degree angle that many people want to see. These dogs, who do not have perfect angles, are the ones who really used their hocks, bringing them far forward under the body and pushing with a lot of strength when moving. They used their hocks as the Standard calls for and were entries who really were well-liked by the Dachshund public. They had great side movement and were quite popular . Again, I would have to see pictures of actual ‘sickle-hocked’ dogs to see where they did not move their rears correctly and I mean actual photos of these dogs, not cartoons drawn by artists.

kim's puppy

This is a miniature owned by TaeHwan Kim of South Korea and exemplifies what we want to see in a moving Dachshund

Often, people look at moving Dachshunds and say they are gaiting badly because their rear reaches far forward under the body, but remember, by doing this, the rear is trying to move  ahead and cover the ground very efficiently. The rear pastern never lies down on the ground,but, instead, stays above the ground and really does reach under and move the body forward.This rear movement is not at fault as it never lies down on the ground, but does reach forward and move the body cleanly and smoothly.That is the motion we want to see in a great-moving dog and which is shown in this picture. That profile movement is what I want to see in a great moving Dachshund.

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The legs turn neither in nor out.

The legs should be pointed straight ahead and be ready to gait true, having the body go forward without weaving or rolling or in any way deviating from correct movement. This should be an easy part to judge and should not really take long. We just want the Dachshund to cover ground very easily and with little effort.

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Rear pasterns – Short and strong, perpendicular to the second thigh bone. When viewed from behind, they are upright and parallel.

The rear pastern, as stated, is short and is strong. The bone is perpendicular, which means forming a right angle with, to the second thigh bone. These bones (the rear pastern and the second thigh) are upright and parallel, meaning they are upright and parallel to each other. These should both move with great reach and drive, neither turning in nor out, but should both stay parallel when going away from you. This movement with the rear legs going away in a parallel motion makes the body move without any rolling or moving from side to side.

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FeetHind Paws – Smaller than the front paws with four compactly closed and arched toes with tough, thick pads. The entire foot points straight ahead and is balanced equally on the ball and not merely on the toes. Rear dewclaws should be removed.

These rear paws are very nice cat feet with arched toes and standing on the ball and toes of the feet. The foot points straight ahead and keeps the body moving in a nice straight line. This section also means that the dog moves straight ahead and does not roll or do anything except be a nice straight body when moving. We always look for a smooth mover going away from us and the angles should always make the rear look nice and smooth when looking at the hind end.

The rear dew claws were removed whenever I came across them, but that was very few and far-between during all my years breeding Dachshunds.

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Croup – Long, rounded and full, sinking slightly toward the tail. Tail – Set in continuation of the spine, extending without kinks, twists, or pronounced curvature, and not carried too gaily.a

The croup has a lower tail set, being long and rounded and full in the croup department. The tail is in continuation with the spine with no kinks, twist or any curvature and is not carried gaily when in motion- gaily, means standing at a ninety degree angle from the croup. A highly carried tail would not make me assess it any differently and a tail carried low would also be quite acceptable. A wagging tail would also be wonderful to find, but, again, it is not mentioned in the Standard, so, when we notice it, we certainly do not require that in any dog shown to me, although I do not like a spooky dog shown under me at any time.

The croup itself is part of the topline and should blend in with the overall look of that rear, the rear legs and the tail. It should all blend together and the angles and bones would all work with each other to make that smooth-moving Dachshund the best it can be.

I hope that these words help you understand the Rear and how it is used by the Dachshund to move in a nice manor and what you want the Rear to look like, standing still or in motion.

 

Dan Harrison

January 2014