Illustrated Standard
Detail drawing of forequarter angulation.

The keystone of the forequarter assembly is the Scapula (shoulder blade) although it has no skeletal linkage with the Vertebrae (back-bone) but is held in its flexible position by sheets of muscles and a few ligaments. (The dog has no collar bone.)

Approximately 67 to 70% of a Collie's weight is supported by and distributed equally between his forequarters-being directed to and concentrated on the "Vertical Center of Gravity" (shown on drawing by a solid line which intersects the axis of the shoulder and the center of the heel pad as it touches the ground when the dog is standing at ease.) When the dog moves, the blade rotates through a small arc upon an imaginary pivot or axis. (The blade does not have an actual pin upon which to rotate: the axis being that point which remains stationary when the pull of the muscles controlling the forward and backward movement is equalized.)

The Scapula should be set on the Collie at an angle of 45 degrees (X) to the Horizontal when viewed from the side, and should slope downward from the highest elevation (d) to the shoulder joint (a) which is the junction of the shoulder blade with the upper arm, or Humerus. All that is meant by the expressions, "a good layback" or "Shoulders well laid back," is the slope of the shoulders should not be less than 45 or more than 50 degrees with reference to the Horizontal line. (Imaginary) An imaginary line extended from the top of the shoulder (d) and continuing through, or passing over, the Olecranon (elbow) should intersect the plane of the shoulder at 90 degrees to form angle "Y". This line is theoretical because the Humerus (upper arm) is not a straight bone, but the axis are parallel to each other and therefore parallel to the line shown.

The length of the Scapula (a-b) should equal the length of the Humerus (a-c). The angle of the attachment of the Radius-ulna (lower arm) is not important, provided the bones are straight and stand vertically as observed from either side or front. The pastern is sloped in order to place the heel pad directly under the center of gravity and to provide additional length of reach of foreleg and increase the gripping power and leverage of the foot.

It is difficult to measure the value of forequarter angulation when neither the bones or angles can be seen, so the "Visional Approximation of the Center of Gravity" can be judged along the dotted line (d-e). The highest point of the shoulder should be in line with the rear section of the elbow joint and the line should strike the ground behind the heel pad as shown on the drawing.

In action, Collies conforming to these basic principles of forequarter angulation when observed from the side move correctly. (Assuming, of course, that the rear assembly is also correctly put together.) The reach, or stride, is long; the feet are lifted only far enough to clear the ground; and the gait smooth and even; and the ground covered with a minimum of muscular effort.

Basic Forequarter | Detailed Forequarter | Actual Forequarter 
Basic Hindquarter | Detailed Hindquarter | Actual Hindquarter | Correct Front Superficial Muscles of Front | Skeleton of Front | Correct Rear
 Superficial Muscles of Rear | Skeleton of Rear | Narrow Front 
Front Too Wide | Out At Elbows | "East-West" | "Fiddle-Front" 
Bowed Hocks | "Cow-Hocks" | Weak Rear | Superficial Muscles | Skeleton

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