TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION: Correct Cardigan Front Legs
from “Welsh Corgi Cardigan Purebred Information”
This topic was given to me by one of our members who asked why Cardigan legs are crooked and wanted to know if breeders are addressing this to make them straighter like those of a Pembroke. (Please keep those questions coming!)
So let’s talk about those beautifully, curvy Cardigan legs and why they are the way they are.
To begin, I have attached a stock photo of a Cardigan from the front, as well as a photo of one of the less ideally constructed bully sub breeds. One could argue that both breeds carry a lot of chest. In the Cardigan, the chest is deep and wide to provide for plenty of lung and heart space. Dogs carry approximately 70% of their weight on their front legs. In the Cardigan, the legs curve around the chest (called the wrap) and settle well beneath the shoulders so that the dog’s weight is supported by two pillars, the legs.
In the bully type, the shoulders are wide and set apart like an apex. The chest is suspended between them, causing the weight of the body to be supported primarily by muscle and ligament. Without the leg bones acting as a structural support, this dog would be prone to soft tissue injuries were it asked to conduct strenuous labor.
I have also posted two diagrams that illustrate the same principle on the Cardigan. A correctly built Cardigan has a scaffold supporting its weight. An incorrect one resembles a bridge with no arch to dissipate weight.
Here is an excellent article describing it further: http://www.cwcorgi.com/Aragorn/Judging.htm
This brings us to turnout. The Cardigan’s front feet should turn out SLIGHTLY, no more than 30% or, if standing above the dog, the feet should aim to be no wider than clockhands at 5 minutes to 1, with the head at 12:00. Too much turnout, and structural weakness occurs, usually in the primary shock absorbers between feet and wrist, called the pasterns. Arthritis and strains might become an issue.
But we should not be aiming for straight front feet like the Pembroke. The Pembroke standard requires the feet to be neither in nor out. It is important to remember that although both breeds carry the generic Welsh word for common or cur dog (Corgi), these dogs are not the same breed, and they are not two types of the same breed. They were erroneously considered two sides of one breed for 7 years almost 100 years ago, and a very small handful of breeders did cross the two during that time, but most breed fanciers recognized that these were two breeds even at that time and did not cross them.
The Pembroke just plain is not built the same as the Cardigan. Its legs do not wrap around the chest like a Cardigan’s do. The Pembroke is built more like its Spitz ancestors, breeds that include everything from the Samoyed reindeer herder, with shoulders similar to the other Spitz drafting breeds, including Huskies, to breeds like the Schipperke and Pomeranian.
The Cardigan is a Teckel breed. Its family includes the Basset hounds (many different types still in Europe) and the Dachshund. Notice that if we straighten the legs and move them outward, as in the incorrect Cardigan diagram, the feet straighten. When the legs are under the shoulders, supporting the dog’s weight, the feet balance slightly outward. The dog would lost stability if the feet were straight or turned inward.
The Basset Hound breed standard requires a front end very similar in structure to the Cardigan, also recognizing that those front feet need to turn out slightly for balance. http://www.basset-bhca.org/index.php…
The Dachshund breed standard also requires a greatly similar front to the Cardigan and also mentions that the front feet may turn out slightly. http://www.dachshundclubofamerica.org/breed-standard/
Here are some other articles that may help explain why the Cardigan’s front legs are just right the way they are. And I look forward to seeing the input from others, as well.
ONE PERSON’S OPINION:
by Patrick Ormos, Phi-Vestavia Cardigans, USA
Perhaps one of the most difficult things for breeders to do is to find a balance between all the different things which they are looking for in trying to produce a “perfect” Cardigan Corgi. In fact, finding that balance in any breed is very difficult. There are certain things about a breed which we, the breeders look at and value above anything else. We often characterise these things as “type”.
We will say something about the beautiful head type, or how the ears are so typically Cardigan, or how wonderful it is to see that extraordinary length of back on the dog. Or perhaps we will rhapsodize over the wonderful round feet, or whatever it is that we feel really makes a difference.
But, let’s just stop for a minute and think about things. What does this do to the breed which we all love? How do our Corgis turn out?
If most of us are honest, we will note that many of our dogs do not look markedly different than they did a few years back. In some ways we have not progressed a great deal. I believe that we have lost sight of the whole for looking at the parts. If we also look closely at our dogs we will note a disturbing trend, one which mirrors what has happened in German Shepherds, that is, that the extreme looking dog has begun to win…at the expense of the balanced dog.
I believe that we are forgetting that the Cardigan is not an extreme aesthetic dog, but a balanced moderate functional one.If the Cardigan is truly a moderate, balanced and functional herding dog, then what should his structure be like? That is the primary question for all of us who are breeders, and for those of us who judge the breed as well.Let me share with you some questions. I will try to express my opinions about them in future articles. You may not agree. In fact, I hope that some of you do not, and that we can get a real dialogue of articles going on this breed. Only in this way can we begin to learn more about it. The Cardigan front consists of more than the radius and ulna bones. Granted that those are understood as unique by many people, just how unique should they really be? What functional difference does it make?
What has happened to the scapular and the humerus. In most breeds the ideal relationship between these two is that they are almost equal in length. Check your Cardigans out and notice how many of them are very short in upper arm. What kind of shoulder layback do we want in this breed? Why?Toplines are easily seen, and quite obviously very controversial. There are some very different interpretations on what the Cardigan topline (backline) should look like. What do you think?What kind of ribbing should the Cardigan have? I have seen everything from slab-sided dogs to barrel-ribbed dogs, and their owners claim that each one of them is correct. I am not prepared to accept that both are correct interpretations of the Standard.How do the ribs interact with the front legs, the shoulder blade and the upper arm to influence movement in the Cardigan?
A good answer to this kind of question would go a long way to convince people, judges and breeders, as to the correctness of a certain kind of ribbing.How wide is too wide in front? How narrow is too narrow? How does that affect the working ability of the dog. It is not just all aesthetics, it is also practical working ability that we are breeding for.How long is too long? I have noticed some Cardigans coming into the ring looking as if they should be in the Dachshund ring. Can a Cardigan get too long?
Certainly they can be too short-coupled – but what exactly are we talking about? Is it a loin that is too short? Is it the impression that is too short? Is it that the vertebrae are too short, thus actually causing a shorter back (this is indeed a real possibility)? Is it just that when the dog looks too much like a Pembroke the first thing that we say is that it’s too short?Rear assemblies are a bone of contention. We run the gamut from under-angulated and straight to over-angulated like a German Shepherd.
The old UK breeders suggest that the hind leg should look “like a ham”. What does that mean? How long a hock do we want, and how does that affect movement?These are just a few questions. There are others. We all need to look at our dogs with clear and critical eyes. Malicious rumours are not the way to educate and improve a breed. Free and open discussion is.
Sent to Corgi Quarterly (June 29, 1989)
Dogs with compromised health are at even greater risk.
Common sense strategies to protect your pup during a heat wave:
There are no statistics on how many dogs die every year from heat exposure, because the majority of cases go unreported. But estimates are several hundred pets suffer this slow, agonizing and unnecessary fate every summer.
|The loss of a dearly loved pet is difficult enough when death is expected and the passing is painless. But losing a canine member of the family to an avoidable case of heatstroke is an event many pet owners never forgive themselves for.|
On an 85-degree day it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of your parked car to climb to 102 degrees. In a half hour, it can reach 120 degrees.
Leaving windows partially open doesn’t help to cool things down inside the vehicle.
To make matters worse, dogs have a higher body temp than people and they don’t cool down as efficiently as we do. Your canine buddy is designed more for insulation from the cold than for cooling down.
You have sweat glands all over your body, but your dog’s are confined to her nose and the pads of her feet. A dog that is heating up can only normalize her body temperature through panting, which just doesn’t get the job done under extreme conditions.
In a very short period of time, an overheated dog can suffer critical damage to her brain, heart, liver and nervous system.
Symptoms of overheating include:
- Heavy panting
- Excessive thirst
- Glazed eyes
- Vomiting and bloody diarrhea
- Bright or dark red tongue, gums
- Elevated body temperature (104ºF and up)
- Weakness, collapse
- Increased pulse and heartbeat
- Excessive drooling
If your dog’s body temperature gets to 109ºF or higher, heatstroke is the result. The cells of the body rapidly start to die. The brain swells, causing seizures. Lack of blood supply to the GI tract creates ulcers. Dehydration leads to irreversible kidney damage. All these catastrophic events take place within a matter of minutes.
In the early stages of a heat-related illness it can be difficult to assess your dog’s condition, since it’s normal for him to pant when he’s warm or while exerting himself.
I recommend you learn from your dog’s vet how to take his temperature (rectally – I’m sorry), and invest in a digital thermometer that you designate for doggie use only. It could come in handy if you’re ever concerned your dog is overheated and need to know his body temperature.
I can’t stress enough how important it is for dog owners to take every precaution to keep their pets from getting overheated.
By the time a dog is exhibiting symptoms of heatstroke, it’s often too late to save him.
Police say the man feigned ignorance, saying he didn’t know leaving his dog in the van could be harmful to the animal.
If your dog is one of the following, you’ll need to be extra vigilant about keeping her safe from heat-related illness:
- Dogs with flat faces and short noses, also known as brachycephalic, like Pugs, Boston Terriers, Pekinese, Boxers, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus – these breeds don’t pant as efficiently as breeds with longer noses
- Older dogs
- Sick dogs and those with chronic health conditions like heart disease
- Dogs not acclimated to warm weather
- Any healthy dog left outside in hot weather
- Dogs that are over-exercised or are allowed to overexert themselves in the heat
Two Nanaimo dog owners were lucky to avoid charges after their German shepherds were found in stifling hot vehicles in mall parking lots.
If you think your dog (or any dog) is suffering from heatstroke, you need to take immediate action:
- Move him immediately to a cool area – either into the shade or preferably into air conditioning.
- Assess his condition – is he able to stand? Is he conscious and panting? If so, offer him small amounts of water to drink and take his temperature if possible.
- If he’s at 104ºF or lower, remain with him in a cool environment, watch him carefully and keep offering small drinks of water. A large volume of water all at once might cause him to vomit, which will add to the risk of dehydration.
- When he seems more comfortable, call your veterinarian for next steps. The doctor may want to evaluate your dog even if he seems fully recovered.
- If your pet is unable to stand on her own, is unresponsive to your voice, touch or the sight of you, or is having seizures, check for breathing and a heartbeat.
- At the same time, have someone contact a veterinary hospital (or make the call yourself if you’re alone with your pet) to let them know you’ll be bringing her in right away. It’s important to alert the clinic you’re on the way so they can prepare for your arrival.
- Begin cooling procedures by soaking her body with cool water – cool, but not cold. Use a hose, wet towels or any other source of cool water that is handy. Take her temperature if possible.
- Concentrate the cooling water on her head, neck and in the areas underneath her front and back legs. Carefully cool her tongue if possible, but don’t let water run into her throat as it could get into her lungs. Never put water in a dog’s mouth that can’t swallow on its own. Put a fan on her if possible – it will speed up the cooling process.
- After a few minutes, re-check her temperature. If her temp is at or below 104 degrees, stop the cooling process. Further cooling could lead to blood clotting or a too-low body temperature. Get her to a veterinary clinic right away, even if she seems to be recovering.
Two charges of animal cruelty have been filed against a woman who let her dogs out early this morning, and fell asleep while they died in the sun.
Dogs can dehydrate very quickly, so make sure yours has plenty of fresh, clean water available at all times. If he’ll be outside on warm days for any length of time, he should have access to complete shade.
Give your dog a shorter summer ‘do. A long-coated dog can be shaved to a one-inch length to help him weather the hot temperatures. Don’t go any shorter than an inch, though, because his fur protects him from the sun. If you don’t want to cut your dog’s coat, regular brushing, bathing and grooming will help prevent problems caused by excessive heat.
Exercise your pup early in the morning or after the sun goes down, during the coolest parts of the day. Stay in the shade if possible, and if it’s 90 degrees or hotter, your dog should be kept indoors.
Play in the sprinkler with your dog or hose him down with cool water if he must stay outside and can’t avoid temperatures over 90 degrees.
Don’t overdo exercise or play sessions, regardless of the time of day. Over exertion in hot weather — even after dark — can bring on heat-related health problems.
Don’t allow your dog on the hot pavement – it can burn his paws and the heat rising from the concrete or asphalt can quickly overheat your low-to-the-ground pet.
And, of course, never leave your dog alone in a parked car on a warm day. Leave him where he’s cool, hydrated, and eagerly awaiting your return.
Animal found passed out in afternoon heat
There should be a clear punishment by FCI for a handler or owner who let dogs die in a hot, overheated car.Instead of it, this man is going to judge Junior handlers this same summer here.. What an example for young dogloving girls and boys! Especially as it did not happen the first time – altogether more than 20 dogs, who were not his own ones.
Margaret Korsakova Doris, sorry, but you describe wrong this terrific situation with Italian dogs and well-known handler. He has never left this pure dogs in the hot car. That was special car for traveling with dogs for long distance with air condition system, that works…See more
Doris Margret Duewel Margaret, I am in dogs since fifty years and never happened that to me before. Even, if this handler had all machines nicely working, it would have been his HUMAN DUTY to be with his dogs. Especially as they were not his own ones. If your description w…See more
TWELVE dogs being transported to a show in Italy by a professional handler have died in the vehicle while it was parked outside a hotel.
Fabrizio Manni had completed the six-hour drive from his home to Rende, and had checked the dogs twice, exercising them and replenishing their water. He returned three hours later and found all but two had died, including his own Whippet. Of the two still alive, one died later.
Mr Manni and his daughter left his home in Teverina at 10am on Friday delaying his start to allow them to exercise so he would not have to stop en route; there were roadworks which, he said, made it difficult to do so in addition to a lack of suitable spots.
He reached the hotel at 4.15pm where he met some friends and let the dogs out of the vehicle. He changed their water, reloaded the vehicle and looked for a space to park it at the hotel.
“I found a cool place almost in front of my room,” he said in a statement on Facebook. “We checked in, put our bags in the room and went down to take the French Bulldog from the van and put him in the room, due to the breed’s breathing problems.
“That was the last time I saw the dogs alive and in perfect health.”
In his room, he said, he received a call from someone who wanted him to have a look at his dog, and arranged to meet him in the car park at 6.15pm
“We did so and he had parked his car next to my truck,” Mr Manni said. “We talked for about 20 minutes about 50 meters from the van under the eyes of all.
“Neither I nor the many people who were in the parking lot noticed anything strange. Some people I know well were half a metre from my truck and they did not hear or notice anything.”
But after dinner, at 7.50pm, he opened the vehicle and found that all but two of the dogs had died and the other two – a Bedlington Terrier and a Weimaraner – were having breathing difficulties.
Put to sleep
“I immediately asked the staff at the front desk to call the police,” Mr Manni said. “They said that without a health authority request they could not intervene.
“We called three different vets but no one was available to come.”
Then he said he remembered that a judge who is also a vet, Dr Ferdinand Asnaghi, was to be at the show. He phoned him and he arrived quickly. The Weimaraner was taken to the vets but had to be put to sleep.
Mr Manni said the water containers in the truck were still full and that subsequent tests showed a loss of blood from the mouth which, he said, did not suggest heatstroke or suffocation. He added that although it was 27 degrees Celsius that evening, the ventilation system was working correctly.
He began to contact the dogs’ owners to tell them what had happened, and the following morning gave a statement to the authorities. Post-mortem examinations on ten of the dogs were due to take place. Blood taken from the dogs showed they may have eaten something poisonous, he said, and that they were not the victims of heatstroke. The air conditioning in the truck had been working, he said. A police investigation is continuing.
He said he had decided to ‘make public’ what happened out of respect for the dogs’ owners and for all those who had supported him.
Mr Manni said he was doing all he could to help the authorities.
“I send my condolences to all the owners of the dogs who died,” he said.
He told DOG WORLD he was unable to comment further at this stage.