Skip to main content Skip to footer
Post header Skip post header

Canine gaits – Getting going

Dogs are known for their speed and agility, but have you ever wondered how they’re like this? From their ambling around or a little trot, to that extreme burst when they spot a rabbit on the other side of the field! We all know their movements so well on the surface, but under their fluffy coats their anatomy explains everything!

There are many advantages in learning more about your dog’s gaits. For instance, familiarising yourself with the way your dog moves can help you notice quickly when something doesn’t look right. When you exercise your dog, looking at their gait can help you detect the first signs of tiredness and fatigue.

It’s also helpful if you ever plan to enrol your dog in some doggy sports or if you’re a breeder interested in showing. Or if you might just be interested to learn more stuff about your loving companion.

So what is your dog’s gait? Simply, a dog’s gait is the way your dog moves. To get more technical, it’s canine locomotion at its best, a pattern of footsteps taking place at various speeds. These are, walk, pace, amble, trot, canter and gallop. Whichever gait your dog is using they’re helped by their very flexible back, which has only 13 ribs, and their short digestive system with lower volume that allows them to steer and make short and accurate turns.

The Walk

This is the least tiring of all gaits. It’s the only gait where 3 legs can be found on the ground at the same time. It’s a four-beat gait where each leg is lifted sequentially. The dog’s head and neck lower when the forelimb swings and are kept raised when it’s put down.

The Amble

This is a symmetrical gait mostly used when the dog is transitioning from a walk to a trot. It’s similar to pace, only it’s slower. It’s characterised by the alternate use of opposite legs with the left front and left back leg moving as a pair, and the right front and right back leg moving as a pair, and the two legs on the same side are always on the ground.

The Pace

This gait is considered a fault in the show ring. There’s only a few breeds that are allowed to pace by the Kennel Club, the Old English Sheepdog being one of them. This relaxed gait is shock absorbing and see the two right feet on the ground and two left feet in the air, afterwards, two left feet are on the ground and two right feet in the air.

Whatever your dog likes to do on their walks, make sure they’re doing it with PitPat for even more insight into your dog’s day. With our PitPat Dog GPS Tracker you can track your dog’s location along with all the running, walking, playing and even pottering that they do all day. It’s the perfect way to make sure you’re getting the exercise balance just right.

© 2019 Pitpatpet Ltd

You might like