• AKC Judges

Rear angulation on the Doberman Pinscher

- by Vicki Seiler-Cushman


When Judging the Doberman Pinscher from the DPCA JEC. We should never lose sight of the whole dog as we discuss individual parts. Structural balance is influenced by what the breed was originally intended to perform as their purpose.


The standard calls for the hindquarters to be in balance with the forequarters. This statement can be taken to mean that the forequarters and hindquarter must be similarly angulated. However, given the standard’s overall emphasis on the ideal Doberman, the statement’s intent more accurately means that the hindquarters and forequarters should both be correctly angulated. The two must be judged in relation to each other but always with the ideal in mind.


The upper thigh and lower thigh should be of equal length. The upper thigh is the bone between the hip joint and the knee: the lower thigh are the ones between the knee and the hock. The lengths of the upper and lower thighs should also be equal to the lengths of the shoulder blade and the upper arm. If you take a plumb line from the point of the buttocks to the ground, rear feet stand slightly behind the line, if it runs through the back of the hock, the rear is too straight, if the line falls too far forward of the rear foot, it is over angulated due to a long lower thigh.


Today we see a lot of dogs with long lower thighs that cannot extend their hock joint in motion. It is a result of the long lower thigh taking too much time in extension, so there is no time left for the hock to extend out at the peak of drive. The hock should reach back the same amount as the front leg on the opposite side extends forward. At the peak both front and rear leg should extend fully, close to the ground, showing good reach and drive.

Dogs with a long lower thigh may also stand with their hocks under them. They are unable to hold them perpendicular to the ground as described in our standard.


Muscling on the upper and lower thighs is very important. You should be able to feel the well-defined muscling on both the inside and outside of the leg when running your hands over the hindquarters. Remember the muscle attaches to bone, so if the angulation is short, there is less area for muscle to attach. Inadequate or unbalanced muscling on the upper and lower thighs creates some measure of instability in the hindquarters and therefore is a significant deviation from the standard. Movement faults are more apparent when the front and rear angles are not equal.






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