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Tutorial - Canine Anatomy by Bonz847 Tutorial - Canine Anatomy by Bonz847
Rather than teaching this to individuals all of the time, I'm providing this basic guide for the public to use as a reference. I'm no expert, and I strongly encourage you to study real pictures of dogs to see for yourself their range of movement and structure.

This is, of course, a much simpler version of actual dog anatomy. As long as you know this much, you'll be fine. This isn't meant to be a scientific study. I haven't even used proper names because most of you would scratch your head if I told you to remember the 'os calcis' when drawing a hind leg.

The first image is the structure itself. I then roughly sketched in the shape of the body, and finally, added a bunch of extra fluff (which is probably a bit exaggerated).

Blue is where the main bones would be located.
Green indicates muscle.
Pink helps in pointing things out.

I've also shown common dog ears. For more realistic ear shapes, study photographs. Hope this helps some :]

Art © myself (Bonz847)
Do not take, alter, etc. without my permission. This is to be used as a reference only.
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:iconlizz-elric:
lizz-elric Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, I'm always looking to improve my abilities!
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:iconapril19971997:
April19971997 Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012
good =)
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:iconqueenegirl:
Queenegirl Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Cool, hey u know of any other tutorials that r easy like this but r human or cats
Reply
:iconqueenegirl:
Queenegirl Featured By Owner Jun 23, 2012  Student Digital Artist
U got any other tutorial?
Reply
:iconkorinoky:
korinoky Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
thanks a lot :D
Reply
:iconsvennemi:
Svennemi Featured By Owner May 18, 2011  Student General Artist
Really great! Studied that or do you only knew that?? O.O
GREAT!! :clap::clap::clap:
Reply
:iconbiggestartfan347:
biggestartfan347 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2011   Photographer
thanku!!!! ^^

this was really helpful :D
Reply
:iconoxxeerathewolfxxo:
oxXEeratheWolfXxo Featured By Owner Aug 11, 2010
Ah, very nice. This helps alot :D :+favlove:
Reply
:iconzoyaaxd:
ZoyaaxD Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2009
cool too!
Reply
:iconwhipscorpion:
whipscorpion Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Hmm, I really like your reference tutorial based more off the domestic canine rather than all of the wolf references I run into, certainly will come handy in the future, and well done too! :)
Reply
:icon1kittymew2:
1kittymew2 Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2009  Student Digital Artist
Really helpful ^^
Reply
:iconmarijosdesign:
MariJoSDesign Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Very Helpful, Thx!
Reply
:iconcheetahsi:
Cheetahsi Featured By Owner May 24, 2009  Student Digital Artist
THANK YOU!! Ohgod, this helped me sooo much! I swear, I fail at Anatomy so badly, but this actually helped one of my drawing not look deformed <3
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner May 24, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad to hear it :)
Reply
:iconpuppyloveimani:
PuppyloveImani Featured By Owner May 9, 2009
Oh how helpful! Thanks for posting it! :D
Reply
:iconinternalpoison:
InternalPoison Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2009
This has helped me out so much; thank you.
Reply
:iconkiko987149:
kiko987149 Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2009
Very helpful! I've been having a lot of trouble drawing canines >-<
Reply
:iconchalk-kekeke:
ChAlK-kekeke Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2008
This will help me with my drawing if i used it.
Reply
:iconshimmer-dragon:
shimmer-dragon Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2008
I remember this from a while ago ~ tought I'd faved it :| It sure was helpful ^^
Reply
:iconkeap1794:
Keap1794 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2008  Student General Artist
Extremely helpful ear section. ^^ Thanks for making this! :+fav:
Reply
:iconpearl-i:
Pearl-i Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2008
very help full!
and very good.
Reply
:iconomnipsionic:
omnipsionic Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2008
Dude, you said 3 - 24 tail vertabe, is that just incase you're drawing a dog with a docked tail?
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
mmhm, yes c:

This tutorial is so outdated though x] I can't believe people are still finding this. lol.
Reply
:iconomnipsionic:
omnipsionic Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2008
I wuv it XD
Reply
:iconmystiique:
Mystiique Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2008
This is very helpful~ Maybe now I can draw canines for once~ <333 Thanks!
Reply
:iconoashisu:
oashisu Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2008  Student Filmographer
Very good visual, this is very helpful!
Reply
:iconlupine-lupus:
lupine-lupus Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
8D
I'm so gonna use this!
My wolf anatomy sucks so this should help!
Reply
:iconyakoffury:
YakOfFury Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2008
I like this! I had no idea or the slightest clue how to draw dogs. But because i searched and found this, you have saved my ass. :D
Reply
:iconmuai:
Muai Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2007
whoa, thanks! This helped me a great deal <3
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Good to hear :)
Reply
:iconfreohr7:
Freohr7 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks, I really needed this for a game I'm working on; I really suck at spriting. The ears were especially helpful.
Reply
:iconkemonofangs:
KemonoFangs Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2007
Awesome! This really helps! :D
Reply
:iconcutedoggeh:
CuteDoggeh Featured By Owner Oct 21, 2007
Thats great! I wily this once i get my piles of homework done. 8O (uh-oh...)
;D :p ;)
Reply
:iconbernicie:
Bernicie Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2007
So very helpful! This is just what I needed to get started on canines. Thanks so much!
Reply
:iconk9krazy94:
k9krazy94 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2007
Oh gawsh, this is helpfull! I always struggle with dog anatomy!
Reply
:iconnannu901:
nannu901 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2007
thank you! i've been trying to find some tutorials about anatomy <:
Reply
:iconlivexlaughxlaugh:
livexlaughxlaugh Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2007   Digital Artist
I owe you my life
You are a life saver!
You don't know how much this helped.
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad it helped :)
Reply
:iconlivexlaughxlaugh:
livexlaughxlaugh Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2007   Digital Artist
Oh noes! I cant draw any other poses! Uh-oh...
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Aug 30, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm guessing maybe it's because you're trying to draw the full skeleton all the time? You don't have to do that P: I only have it there to help you understand how everything is placed.

Try drawing some simple circles and lines to help you with other poses. Draw a circle for the head, another for the chest area, and another for the rear / hindquarters. Then connect the circles with a curved line, which represents the spine. Now add in some simple lines to indicate where you want the legs. From there you can begin to flesh out the dog, and move around the circles and such until you come up with something you're satisfied with :] Don't be afraid to try more difficult poses, such as front views and various perspectives. The circles can be used for more than just a basic side view.
Reply
:iconlivexlaughxlaugh:
livexlaughxlaugh Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2007   Digital Artist
But my problem is, I don't knwo HOW. Like, I can make the basics you explained, but I am not sure how to make it look. Like as if it was facing you, or sitting.
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Try studying a few pictures of real canines. While looking at the photos, visualize where the circles and legs should be placed (keeping in mind the areas I mentioned previously). The circles may overlap if you're looking at a front / semi-front view (depending on the pose).

Maybe this will help some? I don't have any better examples handy right now. Sorry P:
[link]

If you're just starting out, don't expect wonders right away. Most of the great canine artists on dA have been drawing seriously for 3+ years at least. Just keep practicing and studying photos and possibly a real life pet. It'll become easier over time :]
Reply
:iconlivexlaughxlaugh:
livexlaughxlaugh Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2007   Digital Artist
Thanks. I'll try ^,^
Reply
:iconsha-chan69:
Sha-chan69 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2007
helped me alot :):)
Reply
:iconsoshi-kakyoku:
Soshi-Kakyoku Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
I used your tut kinda, but it turned out differently.
I'm a lazy drawer. e_e

[link]
But look there. I drew. 8D
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome :]
Glad it helped some c:
Reply
:iconsoshi-kakyoku:
Soshi-Kakyoku Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
c:!
Reply
:icondarkned-sky:
Darkned-Sky Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007
thats helped me loads!!!
ill have to show you the end product of what this has helped me do ,that is when i finish it!
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome. I'd love to see :]
Reply
:icondarkned-sky:
Darkned-Sky Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2007
plus i cant get the rear legs right so im starting over and over and over again! :p
Reply
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