By Claudia Waller Orlandi, Ph.D.

Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement is designed to be used as a primer for new judges and breeders and a review of basic canine anatomy for the experienced.

It’s not uncommon for breeders and judges to approach the topic of canine anatomy with a certain amount of resistance and a less than eager attitude. To realize the importance of understanding canine anatomy we need only to turn to our breed standards, which are the written expressions of the ideal specimen in each breed. What most do not realize is that each breed standard was written based on the assumption that the reader has a sound working knowledge of canine structure.

The American Kennel Club is at the forefront in providing a educational programs for judges and breeders. To this end, she has granted exclusive rights to the American Kennel Club to create educational programs based on her Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement seminar.


To order a copy of the Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement Home Study Program go to the below link:

Home Study or Online Program for Breeders & Judges Contents and Course Design

The Practical Canine Anatomy Home Toolkit includes a textbook portion, a series of workbook exercises and a set of flashcards.

The Practical Canine Anatomy Home Study Program summarizes many anatomy concepts that judges and breeders should know and focuses on surface and skeletal parts of the dog within the context of structural balance. Key points are indicated in a bold type and are underlined.  Discussions of anatomy are reader friendly and extra large print and illustrative drawings make the topic fun and easy to understand.

The Practical Canine Anatomy includes True and False, Matching and Multiple Choice workbook exercises that are designed to help breeders and judges learn the materials. The enclosed set of Flashcards helps judges and breeders review their knowledge of basic canine anatomy.

A Seminar for Judges & Breeders

The goal of Practical Canine Anatomy and Movement Seminar is to take a practical, step-by-step-approach to give the participants a greater understanding of both Structure and Movement.
The Practical Canine Anatomy and Movement Seminar is presented at dozens of dog clubs and National Specialties throughout the country.

The Practical Canine Anatomy seminar was developed at the request of the Dog Judges Association of America (DJAA) and is presented throughout the country as part of the ABC’s of Dog Breeding all day seminar (typically 7 hours).

Because all breeds of dogs have the same bones and muscles, The Practical Canine Anatomy seminar can be a stand alone presentation that relates to any breed or it can be designed to include images and text taken directly from any Parent Club’s Illustrated Standard, which personalizes the presentation for attendees with regard to specific breed knowledge.

Practical Canine Anatomy is also presented as a stand alone seminar at various venues, including judges institutes, independent dog clubs and numerous National Specialties as part of their education program during Nationals week. The Anatomy seminar is typically 2 to 3 hours in length.

Hands-On Workshop

An optional part of the seminar is a hands-on workshop with live dogs where attendees learn how to correctly evaluate angulation in dogs. Measuring tools are provided as part of the seminar. The typical length of the anatomy seminar and workshop is between 2 to 3 hours.

For more information regarding the Practical Canine Anatomy & Movement Home Study Program or Seminar, go to