The hindquarters are the drive train of the
Australian Shepherd and require strength and balanced angulation to
propel the dog forward. They should be strong and
well-muscled and the approximate width of the shoulders.
The pelvis and the femur meet an an approximate right angle matching
that of the shoulder blade to humerus angle of the forequarters.
stifle should carry a moderate angle whose bend is clearly
visible without being overly
The forequarters and hindquarters must be in
balance with each
other for the purpose of correct gait. Although correct angulation is
balanced angulation, either over or under is preferable to lack of
front to rear balance. Lack of balance in angulation from front to rear
is faulted because it interferes with proper, effortless gait and
quickly tires the dog.
Lack of rear angulation
results in a stiff, pendulum action lacking in the powerful drive
necessary to propel the Australian Shepherd forward effortlessly. This
the more common fault in the breed ring today.
The greater the
rear angulation, the further back the dog's rear paw will be when
hocks perpendicular to the ground. A dog with excessive rear angulation
will have greater difficulty
supporting its weight and will exhibit a reduction in drive and power.
The hocks joint shows a moderate, well defined
and the metatarsi, (portions of the hind leg, from hock to heel), are
short, straight and perpendicular to the ground when viewed from the
side or rear.
When viewed from the rear, the legs and hocks
are parallel to each other. Hind
feet should toe neither in nor out but point directly forward. Hocks
that converge inward (cowhocks) or deviate outward (open hocks) are
incorrect and should be faulted.
The feet are oval shaped, tight fitting with
well arched toes for additional shock absorption. Nails should be short.
Rear dewclaws are to be removed.