V Falk vom Mons Tabor SchH3 KKL-1a
21 Times First Place in Conformation
Multiple Landesgrueppen Sieger in Germany
1983 German Sieger Show Youth Class: 26th Place with 265 entries
We have collected many hours of analog videos of dogs over the years. Converting these to digital is a stroll down memory lane – and an excellent project for long winter days. Being old analog videos, the quality doesn’t come close to current digital movies but these have value as illustrative of their era.
Our Falk vom Mons Tabor was born in 1982. He was typical in structure, especially in his angulation and top-line, for dogs of this era in Germany. Thinking back, Dingo Haus Gero who was VA in 1983 and born in 1978 and widely acknowledged as one of the great movers had moderate angulation. Dogs of that era generally had strong and straight backs flowing from long, high withers to a slightly sloping and long croup – without a noticeable break.
Indeed, the photos below of Dingo show this correctly balanced anatomy with moderate angulation.
What is angulation? The angles of the front and rear assemblies are largely determined by the length of the running bones. Short running bones equal strength. Long running bones equal reach and speed. For a breed known for its trotting, it is a balance of strength and speed that gives efficiency and endurance. The German Shepherd Dog is not meant to be a sprinter. In its capacity as a tending dog, a German shepherd can easily cover many miles each and every day. For this work, the trot is the most efficient.
Very short running bones may be strong but they are also stodgy. (Cute – but still stodgy!) Not going to keep up with sheep, for sure!
Very long running bones lose strength – and endurance – through instability. The German Shepherd Dogs in the American specialty rings of the 1980’s being prime examples of very, very long running bones.
So – here is a converted video of our Falk gaiting on our front road. He moves efficiently and would have moved even better had he not had me as an anchor attached to him. I have copied and slowed a portion of the video to better see his movement. Click on this link to watch the video on youtube:
I will not write a treatise on angulation, structure and trotting because there are already excellent articles covering the subject. What I am reminded as I convert analog video from decades ago, is there were excellent trotting dogs who could cover ground swiftly, efficiently and go great distances – all with moderate – and harmoniously balanced – angulation.
One reason why the trot is such an efficient gait is that moment of suspension where the feet are off the ground. That is why one often hears of the ‘flying trot’. Reach, extension and that moment of being ‘air-born’ all create this economical gait.
You can see this well in the video of VA Dingo Haus Gero. Watch closely, and you will see that suspension.
Below is a snapshot from the video of our Falk. Not quite the perfect photo but it almost captures the moment of suspension. A split second later (and a better camera) would show that suspension. You can see this suspension occurring especially at the letter ‘F’ – which I sadly cannot remove from the converted movie.
Of course, movement is influenced by more than ‘angles’ and running bones. Fluid, ground-covering movement is created by a harmonious structure where all parts support each other. If even one structural component is unbalanced, the overall gait lacks efficiency since other parts of the anatomy strive to fill in the deficiency.
Other sources that are interesting on movement and structure:
And the best book on structure and movement in dogs: The Dog in Action by McDowell Lyon – written ages ago and absolutely great.