Breed Standards

TOPLINES 101 — A Short-course Introduction

There are several misconceptions about toplines and the terms used to describe them as well as how they look different when trotting vs standing. First, we have different definitions of “roach”—a very common term used by GSD detractors, but erroneously. A roached topline is one that (seen in a standing dog) rises from the withers to some point in the thorax-lumbar region, before falling off again in the vicinity of the pelvis. Look at some “overdone” Borzois and, less-commonly, some Greyhounds—if you can still find any. Think of a camel when you talk about a roach in canine toplines. In a true roach, there is a region in the topline between shoulder and pelvis that is actually higher. My challenge remains: with that definition, show me a picture of a free-standing dog with a roach!

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