Welcome to my world – smooth shoulders

Julkaistu 6.2.2011 15.07, kirjoittanut Juha Kares

I had to write few lines in English as so many friends from overseas asked me to tell what this blog is about. This is about everyday life of a dog breeder. This is not about glitter and shine but spicy everyday life and some thoughts around it. It gives an idea to people what is it like to be a dog breeder. There is also few tips and words of wisdom.

Do not pay too much attention to my written English as if I would concentrate that properly I would never write anything. So main thing is that people interested get a clue what I have in mind.

There is so much snow out there around our property that I had to find out something else to do so that I would not have to work with that snow. You do not have any idea how hard is to get rid of that snow with your own physical power…. No thanks I rather wait the spring and I m sure sun will take care of the snow sooner or later. If the snow is there still in July I promise to do something about it. I m so lucky that my car is a 4-wheel Jeep so I ´ll manage.

Smooth shoulders and reach

I talk about loaded shoulders. That is something I hate in life. As a dog breeder people should understand the importance of nice smooth shoulders. I can live with snow storm and with all kind of nature disasters but loaded shoulders is something I can´t live with. If you do not know what loaded shoulders are about start to find out.

Loaded shoulders are every dog breeders enemy number one. Too many people do not have a clue about it. My determination with shoulders is because three great lhasa ladies opened my eyes with this issue. They are Marianne Nixon (San Jo), Susan Giles (Ta Sen) and Joan Kendall (Orlane). They all point out different aspects of front. Marianne helped me to understand the importance in the length of reach in front. Susan again pointed out the touch and importance of the smooth shoulders as you feel the dog. Joan loves the nice silhouette of the lhasa and she helped me to understand the importance of the withers and their placement. In my philosophy I put together all these three models and hope to get all in one package with the ultimate reach, ultimate feeling and with ultimate silhouette/look.


Here is a photo of a lowchen with perfect front. This is very rarely seen with lowchens.

It is very important that shoulder-blades are well laid back with most breeds like it is the case with lhasas and lowchens.  If the shoulder-blades are well laid back you can usually see nice tight withers. First there is back, then smooth nice withers and after that a neck is set smoothly and softly to the back via perfect withers (unfortuantely that is rarely seen now-a-days)..

Nice laid back shoulder-blades with correct withers.

So many lhasas and lowchens just have back and then neck stands right up and fore legs are under the head just like that. If you want to see a lhasa with arch it is a must that there is laid-back shoulders and that shoulders are smooth.

Smooth shoulder comes if shoulders are long enough. Even more important is that upper-arm is equally in length with the shoulder or as near the length of shoulder as possible. Both sides of the shoulder there is muscles. If the shoulder is long there is more place for the muscles to set well. Long and smooth. If the shoulder is shorter muscle do no have chance to set smoothly but it swell out. Then this swell out muscle push the shoulder out of the body.

This is even more so with the upper arm. If the upper arm is short the muscle push the upper arm out. Then the dog is out of elbow and loose in front. Or if the elbow is very short the fore leg is high and hackney like and there is not really reach out there.

Here is lhasa photo that indicate movement of a bitch that has 100 % equal in lenght with shoulder and upper-arm…and shoulders are smooth so the dog moves with superior reach and yet she carry herself for perfection which is always a rare combination.

The maximum length of front movement is seen in this photo. Length of reach of the forequarter assemply is determined by the lay of the shoulder blade, the relative lengths of the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (upper arm), the length of foreleg, and the arc of movement that the foreleg moves through.

So keep in mind the smooth shoulders and life as a breeder will be so much easier.

That´s all this time.