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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! My ~5mo pup has a very roached back, and I think some over-angulation in her rear. She had a slight roach as a tiny puppy so I expect this trait is not something she will grow out of, though I understand that structure can change somewhat as a dog matures. I already have plans to X-ray her when she is mature and she has no health concerns at the moment. My vet may actually proactively X-ray her when I have her spayed soon, just to see what we can see while she will already be sedated. She has no issues with movement and moves like she has springs in her feet. IE, she moves effortlessly; she doesn't have an odd gait. In general, very high drive, high energy, and coordinated.

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I know that structure leads to function and that structural... extremes? abnormalities?... can lead to, or suggest, medical concerns or it could be nothing. I'd be curious to hear anecdotes if you've had a dog with similar structure and if you've had to deal with any structure related challenges.
 

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I haven't had one, but I have friends who had a male Rottie with that much roach. I can't remember how much hind end angulation he had. I think less than your girl or I'd remember it. Anyway, the dog lived almost to 13, which is old for a Rottie. I never heard anything about Deuce having back problems, and since I'm plugged in to local Rottweiler club gossip, I think I would have. He was at a Rottweiler carting test and looking pretty good at, best guess, 10, which would say to me his back was fine then.
 

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IMO slight roaching like with your pup does not effect performance/function. Some breeds are more prone to it and it is even included as acceptable in some breed standards because there isn't really much evidence that a SLIGHT roach really impacts health or ability.

How old is your pup? If under 18 months then spaying could/will negatively impact skeletal growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for sharing your experiences! Yes, 13 is old for a rottie! One of my favorite breeds and I hope to have one some day :D
Unfortunately due to an agreement I need to get her spayed around 5-6 months of age. I generally would wait until ~2 years. But also, I work closely with some vets and the evidence for negative impact for earlier spay for females and not-large dogs is less definitive than early neuter for males, and large males. I still would wait if I had the chance. But Paya is likely going to be ~50 lb so I am less bothered by it overall.
 

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She kind of reminds me of my Ilka.

The girls, a mockingbird, and Connor 035 by Rosemary Elwell, on Flickr

Ridiculously athletic dog, could run nearly as fast as a greyhound, turn on a dime and give you nine cents change, and clear my 6' fence in basically one jump. She was 22" tall and weighed just under 50 pounds. She was spayed at nine months, and never had a heat cycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow! They do look very similar! Though I think Ilka's topline looks better than Paya's... less exaggerated. I love her body condition, head shape, and collar too!!!
Do you know what breeds Ilka is?
 

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Sam's always had a bit of a roach - exaggerated by a weirdly low tailset - and never had any problems. He did have one back injury a few years ago and a less severe neck injury more recently, but both were directly related to physical trauma (being run over by a teenage Leonberger and running headlong into a ditch). He recovered from both fine with no obvious continuing issues.
 

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I don't know a lot about structure and conformation so I don't know how much help I'll be, but our boxer/pointer mix had that look when he was young. I was a little concerned, but he seemed to grow out of it as he matured. He has had some issues with pain/tweaking things after hard play (especially tug and shaking toys) but I'm not sure if it's related. It seems to be more his neck and shoulders that give him trouble sometimes. His front legs have never been quite right structurally either, so I'm pretty convinced that's the source of his occasional pain. As far as I can tell, he's never had trouble with his back.

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The first picture is him at 2yrs (he was a SLOW grower...put on 15lbs after his second birthday), second picture is today, at nearly 8yrs...his back is a lot less noticeable now. Might just take time for her to mature. I agree with the comment about waiting to spay until she's fully developed if possible. Rigg was neutered before 8wks at the rescue 😬 which could have negatively impacted his development.
 

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Wow! They do look very similar! Though I think Ilka's topline looks better than Paya's... less exaggerated. I love her body condition, head shape, and collar too!!!
Do you know what breeds Ilka is?
According to the cheapie "guess the breeds" test I had run on her, she was 37-74% Bulldog, 20-36% Italian Greyhound, 10-19% American Staffordshire Terrier and 10-19% Collie. 🤣 She could have actually been a coated Standard Xoloitzcuintle, but I'll never know, because I lost her before any tests came out with Xolo on their breed list.

The collar was from CaliGirlCollars, on Etsy. If she doesn't have anything there, check her FB page. It was butter soft from day one, and held up beautifully. She wore it pretty much 24/7 for five years, and it still looked good (a few scuffs and slight fading on the leather, and wear on the conchos, but nothing major).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
arcouillard, what a face on your boy! I am not a conformation expert either. But what I do know is a dog should be standing in a particular way when you evaluate structure. The hock (their heel to their toes) should be straight and their front legs should be perpendicular to the ground too. In your photos, your boy actually doesn't look as roachy as Paya; he is just standing with his hind feed under him more, which curves his back.

Here is an example of a photo I wouldn't use to evaluate her structure (even though the roached back is still evident) since she is very slightly leaning forward and her hock and front legs are not perpendicular. And she is slightly turning her head to her left. In fact, in my first photo her hind right foot can come forward just a hair; but that was the best photo I got. Also the shot should be taken at their level (not sure what the photography term is) and not from above. So what I'm trying to say is, your pup's structure is probably better than what those photos show! But he is super cute!!! and I'm sad that he has some joint issues!

IMG_7383.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
LeoRose I could believe that mix! She was gone too soon :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Aww, I love that facial expression! You can really see how deep her chest is in that photo too!

I have a tangential structure musing... Another abnormality I see with Paya is her tail doesn't ever go high. She absolutely has high arousal moments and her tail is not low due to behavior, fear, etc. I see her do low appeasing wags, sweeping neutral and happy wags, circle wag... But the height of her wag is never greater than... 9 or 10 o'clock, so nearly parallel to the ground. It's very noodly in movement, not strong. If you've ever had a dog with limp tail or swimmers tail, hers is not that bad but it almost looks like an in between from limp tail and a normal tail. I talked to my vets and they have never heard of it before. I am not overly concerned since everything else about her is fine, but it's one of a few reasons I will do Xrays to see if there's anything going on in there.

You can see the maximum extent of her wag here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update -
Paya wags her tail like a normal dog now. She still has a slightly roached back but it has marginally improved. The vet Xrayed her while she was under for her spay and it showed a slight curve in her spine but no abnormalities otherwise. So I have no reason yet to believe this is a concerning thing. I will still get full body Xrays done when she's about 2 years of age.

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