Structure In Action


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What is it about?

Winner of the DWAA Maxwell Award for 2011, Best General Interest or Reference book.

Animal League America Award. Many people probably think that all the fuss that breeders and fanciers make over their purebred dogs—how they look, how they move—is unnecessary. Why do the teeth need to be just so? Why does a judge do such a thorough hands-on evaluation of twenty dogs that to most of us look so much alike? The answer lies in the fact that purebred dogs are bred for a specific purpose and that the structure of the dog impacts its ability to do what it has been bred for be it retrieving game, guarding livestock, tracking lost people, or pulling sleds full of supplies to a snowed-in village. In her latest book, renowned judge and evaluator of dogs Pat Hastings explores the dog from head to tail and examines in great detail how a dog’s structure can enhance or inhibit its ability to perform. While many books explain how dogs are supposed to look, Structure in Action takes the next step to explain why it so important given the purpose the dog is designed to serve. This well illustrated book will become an instant classic.

  • Here are just a few of the many examples of how structure impacts action
  • Learn how to analyse what you see when observing dogs to prevent problems or improve behaviour.
  • Why a round bulging eye, a desired look in many lap dogs, is susceptible to injury.
  • Dogs whose backs have an extreme downward slope are very prone to breakdowns of the front quarters impacting their ability to run and jump.
  • A dog whose rear legs are too short and are set directly below the rear assembly will lack normal propulsive power and are subject to back and spinal injuries.

About the Authors

Pat has been involved in the dog world since 1959. She has run the gamat from pet owner to owner- handler, breeder and professional handler, educator and judge. Pat presented the highly acclaimed seminar, Tricks of the Trade, for over 15 years and continues to give her popular Puppy Puzzle presentation at national specialities. She is currently an AKC judge for the Non- Sporting and Herding Groups, half of the Working Group, Junior Showmanship and Best in Show.

Wendy has been involved in canine sports medicine for over 15 years and brings to the table both veterinary and competition experience. Her practice is about 90% traditional Chinese Medicine and Chiropractic.

Erin has been a professional writer for over 25 years, focusing on dogs and their people for the past several years. She has shared her life with several dogs- from a sweet natured Schnauzer- Poodle mix and TV watching Cocker Spaniel to a rescued Vizsla, demure Norfolk Terrier and champion Border Terrier

When was it published? 2011

Who published it?  Dogwise Publishing

Illustrations- Black and white photographs

“In “Structure In Action: The Making Of A Durable Dog”, canine judge and evaluator Pat Hastings, with the assistance of veterinarian Wendy E. Wallace and author Erin Ann Rouse, has compiled a profusely illustrated, 162-page compendium of information focused specifically on how a dog’s physical structure can enhance or inhibit its performance and explains in cogent detail the importance of the animal’s physiological design. Dog owners and breeders will learn how to analyze their observations of dogs for the prevention of problems and the improvement of canine behavior; the susceptibility to injury of ‘bulging eyes’ in lap dogs; that an extreme downward slope of a dog’s back can be prone to breakdowns of the front quarters resulting in eroding an ability to run and jump; and so much more. Thoroughly reader friendly, informed and informative, “Structure In Action” is a core addition to professional, personal, academic, and community library instructional reference collections on canine development and health”. James A. Cox


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