balanced proportions, noble in it’s carriage, courageous by nature, keenly
intelligent and SOUND of mind, body and joints.
If you should be so fortunate as to find two Dobermans possessing these
ten traits then, by all means, break the tie with any of your personal
preferences” . . . Bill Garnett
Sound of body vs. sound of joints. First let me discuss what being sound of joints means. For example. let’s take the point where the upper arm fits into the shoulder blade … would you not agree that forms a joint? Would you not also agree that where the upper arm meets the lower leg a joint of union is made? Would it not follow that where the lower leg joins with the pastern another joint is formed?
Having agreed to those premises one could safely say that scenario is repeated numerous times though out the entire structural make up of the Doberman. The soundness of those joint connections contributes a great deal to whether a dog flips, pops, flops, single tracks, reaches or drives when moving. One of the contributing factors to how well these joints union is how well the ball and socket or the two bones of each factor fit together.
Sound fitting ball and socket joints have a great deal of influence on the sound make up of the Doberman’s structure. Now, if we agree to that premise it would be safe to say that all joint unions are vital in the make up of a Doberman’s sound structure.
Let me give you an example just how delicately and how beautifully nature has dictated these joint unions and the results of them being sound:
“The front assembly is founded on the shoulder blade (scapula), of flat, triangular shape with a spine or ridge down the outer surface to provide muscle attachment. An oval cavity in the lower end receives the ball-like head of the upper arm at the point of the shoulder joint.
The upper arm (humerus) is a slender bone with a slight spiral twist, extending from the shoulder joint downward and backward in various degrees and lengths depending on the breed. In all, the general shape remains the same and the union of the shoulder joint is such that the opening of the angle between them is limited by a knob-like protrusion on the head of the upper arm. This has a definite influence on the function of the upper arm in movement.
The forearm consist of two bones (the radius in front and the ulna behind) and enters the structure at the elbow. The lower end of the upper arm which is round and rests in a depression atop the radius bone; it’s round head has a groove in the back side into which the ulna fits and slides to provide the leverage action of the joint. The pastern joint, at the lower end of the forearm, is made up of a number of small bones (carpal). the radius rests on a large radio-carpal in front of the group.
The most important bone here is the pisiform, L-shaped, with the short arm resting atop a metacarpal and the long arm extending backward. Near the mid point of the latter rests the tip of the ulna so that the muscular action applied to the end of the pisiform manipulates both bones and puts the zip in pad action.
Below the pastern there are three metacarpal bones, long and slender, like those in the back of our hand between wrist and fingers. there is a fifth but it is not active in the support.
The Doberman’s foot is made up of three small bones to each digit, corresponding to those that make up our fingers.” (McDowell Lyon’s ‘Dog In Action’, pages 102 – 104)
There is one more compelling observation that one can make regarding sound bones that make up sound joints. “they are the framework of the dogs body and the instruments or tools with which his muscles must work in moving him about. THEY must be considered when judging the dog.” (‘Dog In Action’ page. 112)
After saying all of that, I would hope that you now concur that bone forming joints have a life of their own and the proper fit, shape and length of those bones go a long way in the make up of sound joints thus contributing to a structurally sound Doberman.
Now to those sound joints and bones we add a “sound body” that is properly conditioned, strong muscles, tendons, ligaments, hard coat, depth, tuck and balance and to that we add a sound mind, a square and compact body, a dog of medium size that is noble, courageous and keenly intelligent and presto, with have a sound and standard conforming Doberman Pinscher.