Back, Shoulders, and Rear Legs

The entire body of a wolf dog, much more massive than a domestic dog


WOLVES: Wolves have longer backs that appear to be very straight though they do have a slight taper from the shoulders to the base of their tail. Wolves also tend to be more narrow when viewed from the front and top. Their shoulders are close together and well angled from their top line/withers and down towards the front of their chest which allows for better mobility. Wolves have longer and more angled stifles and slightly more angled rear pasterns that turn out slightly, giving them a minor cow-hock.


Hocking of a wolf, their tail ends roughly at the back of their knees or hocksExample of cow-hocking and a tail ending at/slightly above the hocks with a distinct black tip


The smaller and more slender frame of domesticated dogs


DOGS:  Most dogs in comparison will have shorter backs with a more defined slope though some dogs, like Alaskan Malamutes, can also have a very straight back when viewed from the side.  Northern breeds, such as Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes tend to have shorter and wider backs, wider and straighter set shoulder and straighter stifles/thighs.  German Shepherds often have longer backs with a very noticeable downward slope from the shoulders to the base of the tail.  German Shepherds can also have more angled shoulders and stifles though are still usually wider set.