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Do Dogs Have Knees and Elbows?

By Aviram K.
Updated at June 15, 2021
1 min read
Do Dogs Have Knees and Elbows?
🏥 The information in this article is not a substitute for professional help.

If you’ve never studied dog anatomy, a dog’s leg may seem a bit weird.

Their legs look like they are structured a bit differently. Do they even have knees and elbows?

Well, in fact, dogs’ are very similar to humans in this regard.

Dogs have two knees and two elbows. The knees are located at the back legs, and the elbows are located at the front legs. It may seem like dogs have their knee backward, but that is just a hock joint (equivalent to a human ankle).

In fact, all four-legged animals have two knees at their back legs and two elbows at their front legs. There is a common misconception that elephants are the only animal with four knees, but it is a myth.

An annotated labrador example skeleton. Credit to the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy (FMVZ USP). Licensed under BY-SA 4.0.
An annotated labrador example skeleton. Credit to the Museum of Veterinary Anatomy (FMVZ USP). Licensed under BY-SA 4.0.

Do Dogs Have Kneecaps?

image1

As can be seen in the images above, dogs indeed have kneecaps. Kneecaps are also called patellas.

In small breeds, the patella may sometimes slip out, causing the dog to skip or hold one of their legs up. Usually, it gets resolved on its own, though.

Fun fact: Humans walk on their hocks, but dogs do not. Dogs, as well as cats and horses, actually walk on their toes.

Do Dogs Have Armpits?

Since dogs have two front legs, corresponding to human arms, they have two armpits. The back legs are not considered arms.


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Dog Anatomy

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Table Of Contents

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Do Dogs Have Kneecaps?

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Do Dogs Have Armpits?

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