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Tutorial - Canine Leg Anatomy by Bonz847 Tutorial - Canine Leg Anatomy by Bonz847
I see a lot of people struggle with drawing canine legs and finally after seeing a post on furry paws asking for a tutorial, I figured.. why not? 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.

Hope this helps some :)

Edit: Redrew this with slightly better anatomy. It's much cleaner too!


Do not take, alter, etc. without my permission. This is to be used as a reference only.
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:iconthealbinocheetah:
TheAlbinoCheetah Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2014   Traditional Artist
Thank u. U just saved this sketch I am drawing right now.
Reply
:iconwhitewolf0798:
WhiteWolf0798 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
This helped, I draw a lot of mixes but this just channeled everything.
Every think you could try a horse?
Reply
:icondragonknight575:
Dragonknight575 Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful, thanks! ^^
Reply
:icondirtystarfish:
DirtyStarfish Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
I can never get the front legs right for some reason >.>
Thanks for this!
Reply
:icontorynka:
Torynka Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Forever Thank for you!
It's very helpful for me...
Reply
:iconalvringer:
alvringer Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2012
Thank you! I need help with my back legs :/
Reply
:iconhorncartoons:
HornCartoons Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks for this. It's very helpful!
Reply
:iconblackheart453:
BlackHeart453 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconpengirl389265:
pengirl389265 Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
THIS WAS INCREDIBLY HELPFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:icontigershake:
TigerShake Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
best leg tutorial i found ♥ thank you so much
Reply
:iconbtrfan8312:
Btrfan8312 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012
oh my god thank you!!! I always needed a bit help on doing the legs! I try to watch my dogs but they dont listen to me when I want them to stand up
Reply
:iconpsycho-owl:
Psycho-Owl Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you thank you thank you <3
Reply
:iconkadcherry:
kadcherry Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This was very helpful!
Reply
:iconrontaire:
Rontaire Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2012  Student
these are pretty and cool
Reply
:icondiffany:
Diffany Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2012
this helped more than you can imagine...
Reply
:iconooroyalwolvesoo:
oORoyalWolvesOo Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Haha i really SUCK at drawing the legs! xD this helped a lot, thanks!
Reply
:iconwhite-wolf100:
White-Wolf100 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow... good help:D
Reply
:iconkaleidoscopic-nymph:
Kaleidoscopic-Nymph Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
this will help me greatly
Reply
:iconthe-psycho-umbrecuno:
The-Psycho-Umbrecuno Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2012
I searched canine anatomy specificly to find a tutorial on legs, and didnt expect to find one.
And guess what I see first :D
Reply
:iconnerdyseraph:
NerdySeraph Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2011
I always have trouble with the legs. Hopefully this will help me out.
Reply
:icongairlochan:
Gairlochan Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Assuming the straight blue lines to be straight, long bones and the blue ovals to be the scapula ( shoulder blade ) and pelvis respectively, you seem to have missed out the upper long bone on the rear leg, i.e. the femur, equivalent to the thigh bone of the same Latin name in a human skeleton.

In the rear leg, your lower straight blue line is the equivalent of the human ankle and foot bones ( tarsals and metatarsals, which in a dog act as the lower part of the leg), the pastern and the toes, often mistaken for the equivalent of the calf in humans. Your upper straight blue line is the tibia and fibula, as in the human calf. Above that, and angling up and to the right, should be another straight line/long bone; the femur. It should attach to the dog's pelvis towards the tail region. Above that, and angling upward and to the left, should be your oval, representing the dog's pelvic bones.

Google for 'canine skeleton' or 'dog skeleton' to get a visual picture of what I mean.
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you :) I don't use this method anymore (I actually do use guidelines as you've described), nor do I understand why it still gets so many views lol. This is about 5 years outdated now and really needs to be redone. Which I will do if I get a chance!
Reply
:iconsunnylunar:
SunnyLunar Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Can I use this to draw a puppy?
Reply
:iconravenglaceon:
RavenGlaceon Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011
Thank you! This really helped on my wolf anatomy ^^
Reply
:iconmeeshabishy:
Meeshabishy Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2011
Thanks! ;D
Reply
:icontearsofablackwolf:
TearsOfABlackWolf Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you! :D This will really help! I tend to have trouble with the legs...especially back legs. ^^;
Reply
:iconvixehn:
Vixehn Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
iheartyouforeverbby<3
Reply
:iconkittkatt74:
KittKatt74 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
i love this TUT
Reply
:icondesaff:
DeSaff Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you soo much, I found this helpful in the way the paw moves in relation on to the ankle joint. Thank you I shall use this for further use (:
Reply
:iconkaikulee23:
Kaikulee23 Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
this is helpful alot :D thanks
Reply
:iconartpupil4:
ArtPupil4 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for! Thanks so much! ^^ :D
Reply
:iconsilverblood101:
SilverBlood101 Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you! :3
Reply
:iconsunnylunar:
SunnyLunar Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool, really helpful...
I did a sketch of a dog, and now I'm drawing an improvement on that, do I need to ask to use this...?
Reply
:iconintelligent-zombie:
intelligent-zombie Featured By Owner May 31, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Lovely, just lovely. This should come in handy for future reference when I'm drawing my dogs =)
Reply
:iconhangover2010:
Hangover2010 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for being here, dude
Reply
:iconwhitefang45:
Whitefang45 Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very helpful! Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconcheshire-wolfie:
Cheshire-Wolfie Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2011  Student General Artist
Very Helpfull! Thanks!
Reply
:iconmagik-rat:
Magik-Rat Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
This tutorial is VERY helpful! THANK YOU!
Reply
:iconsammyhell:
SammyHell Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
oh this will help me animate my darn Wolves when they are walking
Reply
:iconclandestein:
Clandestein Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Very nice! I'll consider the muscle when shading
Reply
:iconzarin-arovail:
Zarin-Arovail Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OOOOOOoooooh, lol. I have always made my wolf knees to square, thanks, this really helped. ^-^
Reply
:iconkudomeya:
Kudomeya Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Fantastic tutorial! Thanks for posting!
Reply
:iconnorthboundfox:
NorthboundFox Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG! Thank you so much! :iconfoxyloveplz:
Reply
:iconnorthboundfox:
NorthboundFox Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
OMG! Thank you so much! :iconfoxyloveplz:
Reply
:iconkiara-the-wolf:
Kiara-The-Wolf Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010
Thanks sooo much! This really helps meh X3 MUCH more than you would know...o.O
lol I have been doing the legs wrong for a g e s, and now I am doin a pretty good pic of my newest OC, Rapid, and now his legs look perfect :D Thankz!!
Reply
:iconlunast:
lunast Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this helped me alot :D thank you! :hug:
Reply
:icontrinacobrajet:
trinacobrajet Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2010   Traditional Artist
I needed this so bad. <3
Reply
:iconchive-sword:
Chive-sword Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2010   Photographer
Very nice and a lot more presentable. However for some reason I likes the way you drew the slightly lifted front leg in the old one better. Maybe they're the same. It's probably just me.
Reply
:iconbonz847:
Bonz847 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Should be about the same. I didn't change too much c: Do you think it's the top or bottom portion of that leg that looks off?
Reply
:iconchive-sword:
Chive-sword Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2010   Photographer
Some where on the top area...But as I said it's probably just me. :lmao:
Reply
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