Paired ribs are attached to each
thoracic vertebra against which they move in breathing. Each rib is
attached ventrally either to the sternum or to the
rib in front by cartilage to form the rib cage that protects the heart
and lungs. In dogs one pair of ribs is not attached ventrally at all.
They are called floating ribs.
Sometimes these floating ribs do not lay in line with the
rest of the ribs and they "stick out". While not desirable, they cause
no real harm to the health of the dog. They are just unsightly.