I’ve recently embarked on learning the anatomy of the dog both inside and out. The task is pretty daunting but will serve me well in the future. I have a few study aids that I absolutely love and wanted to share in case anyone else out there is looking for something to help them learn more about their own dog’s anatomy.
You may ask yourself, ‘why should I learn’? Well… there are several good reasons for every layman to know about dog anatomy:
- Helps you be better educated to your dog’s overall health and well being.
- Integral to properly grooming a dog; knowing structure makes you a better groomer.
- Allows you to identify problems before they become severe.
- If you’re a breeder, trainer or judge, this helps you understand, type, movement and the best ways to target training, warm-ups and workouts.
While the task may be intimidating I have found that the best way to study is through a variety of different study aids.
- Flash cards. You can make them yourself or purchase a great set on Amazon.
I have found this set to be a really good bargain at around $11 and if you scan the cards in you’ll be able to have a never ending set of worksheets. Each card has information on one side and a blank worksheet side for you to use. You can find the set: HERE.
Dog Anatomy Model. Great for having a visual representation that you can touch, turn over, stare at, and take apart (while your actual dog can be useful for this you might not get them to cooperate for as long as you’d like or need). Tedco makes both a great anatomy model as well as a more detailed skeleton one. I own the anatomy one and find it to be helpful for learning both external and internal parts of the dog. Again, you can purchase these on Amazon. The more detailed anatomy model will set you back $26 and the skeleton model will cost around $17. The one thing I will say is that these are not toys and should be handled carefully so as to not break any of the parts you might take in and out while studying.
Lastly, coloring atlas are another great tool. I have been on the prowl for an in-expensive one but have yet to snag one. These tend to be used in vet school so come with a hefty ‘college textbook price’. I’ve found a few sheets to start using and have found them to be instrumental in remembering the various structures and placement. There is no substitute for making that mental connection by doing.
As you can see, there are tons of great tools out there! No better way than to dive right in. There’s also a good deal of fantastic books, richly detailed and easy to read. I currently have several in my library and will update once I have had a chance to read through them better to give a thorough review.