Canine locomotion can be compared to a symphony orchestra playing a composition.
“All parts must blend into a harmonious pattern, from gentle sway of the head and tail for balance to the coordinated efforts of each limb and body muscle to accomplish its special function. Conversely, also like an orchestra, if all movements are not attuned to the whole, a major fault should be evident” (William E.Roy D.V.M, 1971).
Dogs are Quadrupeds (four legged) and we humans are Bipeds (two legged). Lets just for a second think if in our normal life we actually distribute our weight equally on the two legs… Not necessarily, as we tend to shift our weight to and from one leg to another depending on many factors.
Back to our four legged friends 🙂
Dogs carry about 60% of body weight on their forelimbs and 40% on their hindlimbs. Dogs don’t have natural rear end awareness (they don’t place their hind legs consciously, they just follow the front ones), which, if not taught, can cause them to be out of balance when performing certain exercises, functions and/or basic body movements.
If you check your dog’s pace gait (click to see more) you can check how well they coordinate their limbs. Dogs have different pace gaits depending on how fast they move. The video shows how healthy dogs place their limbs in different paces. Pet parents who have dogs with possible orthopedic issues like hip/elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, ligament damage, spinal discs etc. could check their dogs’ pace gait (click to see more) to spot differences. Dogs that have problems will display a different rhythm and placement. However, be aware that not every pacing dog has an orthopedic problem!
To evaluate balanced body movement we can analyze canine locomotion, the common name for analysis of canine locomotion is “Gait analysis”. During your visit at our sessions you may have heard or will hear us saying more about the movement of your doggo.