The Rear

The hindquarters are broad, strong and muscular. The croup is rather long and sloping, thighs long, broad and well developed, the stifles well turned and the hocks well let down. When viewed from behind, the hind legs, from the hock to the feet, are straight and placed parallel, neither close nor to far apart.

The standard calls for strength and illustrates the need for powerful, muscular hindquarters to match the strong front. The hindquarters are the driving force of the dog, and weak, narrow or tapering hindquarters would not provide the strength required for the dog to work the long hours necessary when driving cattle. The most common problem in the hindquarter would be the insufficient turn of stifle.

The standard calls for well turned stifle but we do not want the angulation of a German Shepherd. Remember the Australian Cattle Dog is moderate in every respect. We can not therefore excuse the many straight stifles that are being exhibited today which unfortunately leads to higher than required tail sets and incorrect angle of the croup. This will cause lack of drive and stilted rear movement. The length of hock should be approximately 1/3 the height of the dog, for preference the shorter the better.

Kaleski writes, “The hindquarters are strong and muscular because they are the “engine” or propelling power of the dog. Some dogs are perfect in front but fail lamentably here; such dogs tire very quickly, and do not earn their salt for a drover. Back thighs well let down for speed, because the lower the hockjoint the longer the stride; hence more speed. No dew-claws on feet, because they catch in the long grass or mud and tear the sinew, crippling the dog. Good loins, for the reason that they are the hinge of the body, and if weak the body is useless. The loin should arch slightly, for the reason that the dog’s hindquarters are then of the Greyhound shape, giving him more speed and activity than a straight-backed dog”.