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Functional Anatomy for the Performance Dog


Just over 45 minutes in length

Anatomy is a field of veterinary science that goes virtually unnoticed after graduation from Veterinary College.  In reality the information does not necessarily change over time.  That does not lessen the need for today‚Äôs veterinary practitioner, dog handler or dog trainer to review this information, especially as it relates to musculoskeletal evaluation and canine performance.  Locomotion is a complex interaction of nerves, muscles, tendons, bones and the other associated tissues.  It is amazing how the body continually functions in a way that we always take anatomical movement for granted.  Any action or non-action involves conscious and unconscious multi-tissue activity.  It is a continuous series of intricate actions combined together producing whole body movement.

It is the intent of this course to introduce the musculoskeletal anatomy to the student in a functional manner. This is very helpful when the professional is designing a training regiment, developing a conditioning program or making decisions related to a rehabilitative program.

Course Presentation Handout

There is a copy of the presentation used for this course available to download. The handout can be found by clicking on the Materials tab above. Then click on the link after “Click this link to view presentation handout:”. It is only available to those who have enrolled in the course.

Functional Anatomy Lessons

Lesson 1 provides and introduction to functional anatomy and and review of the tissues involved, including skin, bone, muscle, tendon, ligaments and nerves. Video is approximately 9 1/2 minutes long.

Lesson 2 continues the review of tissues including joint articulations, synovial joints and skin. It includes a quick introduction to the joints of the axial and the appendicular skeleton. It then covers the bones, muscles and innervation of the axial skeleton or vertebral column. Video is approximately 8 1/2 minutes long.

Lesson 3 covers the bones, joints, muscles and innervation of the front limb from the shoulder to the carpus. Video is just over 9 minutes long.

Lesson 4 finishes the anatomy of the front leg by covering the bones, joints, muscles and innervation of the distal limb, the metacarpal region and the digits (toes). It then begins to cover anatomy of the rear limb and the hip. Video is approximately 8 1/2 minutes long.

Lesson 5 covers the bones, joints, muscles and innervation of the rest of the rear limb and then provides a summary of the functional anatomy of the dog. Video is just under 11 minutes long.


Suggested Text for this course: Athletic and Working Dog: Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics, Robert L. Gillette, RMG Enterprises, Incorporated, 2019, ISBN: 978-1733024419

The Athletic and Working Dog: Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics
The Athletic and Working Dog: Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics



Materials are only available to enrolled students.