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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
(pics at bottom of post)
My 1 year old NSDTR show pup has, over the last month, gotten VERY east-west in both his front and back legs (I think the term for pointing out back feet is cow hocked?) He had been east west in his front before, but it was very mild and not that noticeable. Let me briefly explain:

When I first looked at my pup when he was 6 weeks old, his legs looked nice and straight. They also did when I brought him home at 10 weeks. Around 4 months old, i saw that his front feet looked a bit east west. I asked my conformation trainer (who has experience with showing/judging sporting breeds) if I should be worried. He told me it was normal that pups go through a "gawky stage" and this should clear up as he gets older and his chest drops in. I also asked a few other sporting dog people and they all gave me the same answer. (I asked the same people a few more times over the next couple of months and they kept assuring me it was nothing serious).

Around 7 months old, I took him to a show and the breeder was there. I told her about it and she said it was odd, but that it'll most likely fix itself with time. Around 9/10 months, I noticed his back legs were getting harder to stack straight and I soon noticed his back feet were also slightly pointing out. But it wasn't too noticeable and he usually stood with his feet ok. Both front and back feet stayed pretty much the same until last month.

Over the previous 30 days, his feet seem to have a taken a turn for the worse! Now every time he stands, all 4 of his feet point very outwards! (sometimes one foot will be perpendicular to the other) I'm taking weekly training classes and no one has mentioned it, but its really noticeable. Now stacking him takes a really long time. Even though I walk him into a stack, I still need to adjust all 4 feet because they are all pointing outwards! Stacking his back feet takes the longest, I can't seem to get his hocks straight up (for more than 5 seconds at least).

It's noticeable when he's leisurely walking, but not noticeable when gaiting/running (actually, his movement is very good and one of his good points).

The only time he doesn't stand all easty-westy is when he is outside and sees a bird or stray cat: He'll be on high alert and will stand in a perfect stack with feet nice and forward and hocks nice and straight (he'll sometimes even go into the "westminster pointer" pose!) He also stands nice when he hears someone at the door. Other than those "really excited times", he's east-west.

I don't want to ask the same people I asked before about this problem, but I am going to email the breeder about it. My family says it seems like "no big deal", that I'm over reacting, and it should fix itself like the others said, but he is already 1 year old and instead of getting better it has gotten worse.

Here are some pics I took: sorry, some are really blurry, my pup won't stay still! xP


front while standing




while sitting




back legs during stand




stacked front




stacked hid legs



So does this seem serious or am I "just over reacting"?
Is there a way to tell if this is permanent or just a phase? I heard it can be caused by poor nutrition, but he has actually been eating well these last few months. Although this probably doesn't matter, None of his family has a east west problem (I've seen his parents and a few of his siblings).

Any advice? :confused:
 

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My opinion is that you are over-reacting. I don't see it as that big a deal to be honest, unless there is a lameness involved. Often times dogs adjust how they hold their feet or legs or even sit if there is discomfort but if your vet has given a once-over and found nothing wrong, then not sure I'd be worried. If you want to be extra cautious, have full leg X-rays done.
 

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I use to show, I don't see cow hocks.
Is there a way you can show your dog moving? If he/she is cow hocked it will show up then.

But in all honesty, I agree with Holly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick replies :)

@holly
I did forget to mention that when the vet last saw him in march, he said everything was alright. His legs are quite strong and he hasn't shown signs of being in discomfort.

The reason I was so worried was that the east west took a sudden turn for the worse. I was also worried that it would be too apparent in the ring, as I see it as something real noticeable.

@harley
Yeah, it probably isn't cow hocks then (not really familiar with leg terms), but I'll try to get a pic of him moving.

Should I still contact the breeder about this then?
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Thanks for the quick replies :)

@holly
I did forget to mention that when the vet last saw him in march, he said everything was alright. His legs are quite strong and he hasn't shown signs of being in discomfort.

The reason I was so worried was that the east west took a sudden turn for the worse. I was also worried that it would be too apparent in the ring, as I see it as something real noticeable.

@harley
Yeah, it probably isn't cow hocks then (not really familiar with leg terms), but I'll try to get a pic of him moving.

Should I still contact the breeder about this then?
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I think you are worrying about nothing right now.
But like I said I agree with Holly, you are worrying needlessly.

Oh BTW, did you get a health guarantee from the breeder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think you are worrying about nothing right now.
But like I said I agree with Holly, you are worrying needlessly.

Oh BTW, did you get a health guarantee from the breeder?
I did get a health guarantee from the breeder.

So will this affect his showing? That was one of my questions because east west is a fault in pretty much any sporting breed :/ now that I think about it, I should've put this thread in the show section since it seems nothing is wrong health wise, mostly show wise, but I did want to be sure.
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what does NSDTR stand for?
 

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novia scotia duck tolling retriever
 

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I did get a health guarantee from the breeder.

So will this affect his showing? That was one of my questions because east west is a fault in pretty much any sporting breed :/ now that I think about it, I should've put this thread in the show section since it seems nothing is wrong health wise, mostly show wise, but I did want to be sure.
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Cow hocks is a major fault. You are still worrying too much.
Do you have fun matches where you are?
Would be a good place to start getting your dog use to the ring.
No points given or anything but a place to start to get you pup use to the ring. And if you ask, they will tell you if your pup is cow hocked.
These fun match dogs are not official judges, but they have experience when it comes to gait, and faults.
About showing, you should PM Lynnemarie, I think she still shows.;)

And again, please stop worrying.:thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Cow hocks is a major fault. You are still worrying too much.
Do you have fun matches where you are?
Would be a good place to start getting your dog use to the ring.
No points given or anything but a place to start to get you pup use to the ring. And if you ask, they will tell you if your pup is cow hocked.
These fun match dogs are not official judges, but they have experience when it comes to gait, and faults.
About showing, you should PM Lynnemarie, I think she still shows.;)

And again, please stop worrying.:thumbsup:
I've already taken my dog to many shows (matches too, I know what they are i'm not that new to dog shows^^). I mentioned in the original post that it was at a show that I asked the breeder about the east west.

He's actually been doing good in the ring so far (he has 8 points), but I have not been to a show since his east west got worse and more noticeable.

and I didn't know wether this would appear as a fault now that out was more apparent.

Is there a way to tell if it's perminant?
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If he had cow hocks, his movement would be with cow hocks.

Congrats on your 8 points, any with majors? 3 points?

I showed in the 80's, so things may have changed for achieving you CH title.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
If he had cow hocks, his movement would be with cow hocks.

Congrats on your 8 points, any with majors? 3 points?

I showed in the 80's, so things may have changed for achieving you CH title.
yup, he's got his two majors already :) and in the same weekend too.

Oh, and how does cow hocks look during movement? What should I look out for?

@readmeli
Hello! :)
I guess I will contact the breeder and see what she thinks.
 

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If have your 2 majors, and 2 more 4 eight, please don't worry about it.
You will be heading towards your CH soon.

Just stop worrying!
 

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Welcome to the forum

Since he is almost finished I would not worry about it. He is more then likely being lazy when self stacking...I see nothing wrong with his rear...In the first rear shot he is set wide and far back throwing off his balance. The second rear shot is set to wide. One way to get a nice rear self stack is to teach the dog to back up. Make him back up a few steps and then step forward. Most will self set the rear. If he is cow hocked you will be able to see toeing out in his movement.

The set front shot is perfect...no elbow out when legs set straight. To be sure when stacking the front turn the toes in and set the foot down..the dog will shift his weight and slightly rotate into the correct position.

Can you post a video of his moving down and back? That can show if he is paddling.

Are you planning on specialing him?
 

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I just remembered he has not sprung chest yet so even if he toes out a little now it will more then likely be fine once he drops/springs chest...Normally by the time he is 18 months old..:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
@Lynne
About specialing him, it depends how he turns out. I was going to finish him first and see if he'd be capable of a GCH title, but I might now wait more time until he's grown up some more (see if his feet get better too).

I just remembered he has not sprung chest yet so even if he toes out a little now it will more then likely be fine once he drops/springs chest...Normally by the time he is 18 months old..:)
Yeah, that's what ever one said that once his chest drops he'll be fine, but I wasn't sure exactly when that would be (my guess was around 1-1.5yrs). He's actually been growing a bit these last few months, especially around his chest area so I was worried that the east west got worse cause of it.
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He is just going through body changes. A dog is fully bodied out at 18 months if not a little longer. I will bet once his chest drops you will no longer see the toeing out in the front..:) I had a male that was all legs...his hocks were really long setting his gait and stance off. Once he got older it all straightened out. Keep working with him once he finishes. 2 years old is a good age to start specialing since a dog is full body by then. The female (Giant Schnauzer) I just purchased to special is 4 years old. Sound all the way around.

Maybe I will see you at show. Entering at least 4 days at the Reliant show in July..:)
 

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My opinion is that you are over-reacting. I don't see it as that big a deal to be honest, unless there is a lameness involved. Often times dogs adjust how they hold their feet or legs or even sit if there is discomfort but if your vet has given a once-over and found nothing wrong, then not sure I'd be worried. If you want to be extra cautious, have full leg X-rays done.
 

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It is a very big deal , if he wants his dog to be a show dog than he will be sad to inform him that his dog will never be a show dog , so yes that is a big deal
 
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