Dog’s skeleton differs from humans in many ways, which explains the different movements that a dog is able to make. Although the essentials of every part remain the same from breed to breed the sizes vary. E.g. Skull
of a bull dog is large and wide compared to that of a borzoi. The dog’s neck contains seven vertebrae called the Cervical Vertebrae
. Each of these seven vertebrae is responsible for all the movements that a dog performs with his/her neck. E.g. nodding the head up and down, rotating the neck, bend the neck or look behind.
There are 13 pairs of ribs. Those at the front of the chest are joined at their lower ends to the Sternum
or breast bone, but the final pair is not. Thoracic vertebrae
, the ribs and the
sternum form what is called the rib cage
. The rib cage encloses the heart and the lungs and allows a significant amount of movement between the ribs so that the lungs can expand and contact to permit breathing.
At the upper end of each front leg is a triangular bone called Scapula
or shoulder blade. This is attached to the chest by muscles that allow the greatest freedom of movement backwards and forward. The lower end of the scapula is connected with a cup to the top end of Humerus
to give maximum mobility to the shoulder joints. The hind leg is attached to the skeleton by the means of the bony Pelvis
. It is also referred to as a pelvic girdle. On either side of this girdle is a small depression called the acetabulum, which forms the cup for the Femur
or thigh bone. This is the hip joint. The femur forms the knee or stifle joint with the Tibia
and its smaller partner, the Fibula
Ligaments and muscles control the working of the joints, and nerve cells carry impulses from the dog’s brain to the muscles and body organs. Different muscles have different functions but all act in the same manner by contracting or relaxing.
Every part of the dog’s body is controlled by the brain. The message transmitted by the nerve cells of the brain is first received by the Spinal cord, and then gets transferred to different organs and muscles. The message is transmitted in both directions, thus the brain gets information of every activity that is happening in a dog’s body.