BALANCE AND MODERATION IN THE ENGLISH COCKER SPANIEL
“IN THE FIELD, THE PRESENCE OF FORECHEST IS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY FOR PROTECTION WHEN THE DOG IS PUSHING THROUGH THE DENSE COVER HE WAS DEVELOPED TO HUNT IN.”
Balanced and Moderate
Unbalanced and Extreme
In the illustrations shown above, we can see some of the skeletal structure. The dog on the left has a front in balance (same degree of angulation) with the rear. The legs are underneath the dog to support his substantial body. The dog on the right has an upright (straight) front assembly and an overly angulated rear, making it out of balance. The legs are not under the dog and are less supportive. This combination of upright shoulder and overdone rear is a common problem in the breed. CORRECT, WELL ANGLED FRONT ASSEMBLY Let’s investigate what constitutes a correctly made English Cocker Spaniel front assembly. The dog shown to the right exhibits the textbook ideal 90-degree shoulder, formed by the scapula and the upper arm. The correct front assembly has an equal length of both the shoulder (highest point of scapula or “withers” (A) to point of shoulder (B)) and the upper arm or “forearm” (point of shoulder (B) to elbow (C)). The point of the shoulder (B) is mid-way between the withers (A) and the elbow (C). The elbow is located directly beneath the withers and is mid-way between the withers and the ground. We talk about proper “layback of shoulder” (B to A), but if the layback is not combined with the correct angle and equal length of “return of upper arm” (B to C), it is not a good shoulder, no matter how well laid back it is. It is also not a good shoulder if the elbow is not directly beneath the withers. The English Cocker standard requires the forechest to be well developed and projecting moderately beyond the point of the shoulder. In the field, the presence of forechest is an absolute neces- sity for protection when the dog is pushing through the dense cover he was developed to hunt in. The protective forechest will be pres- ent with a properly made shoulder.
90 Degree Shoulder
290 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, JUNE 2021
Powered by FlippingBook