How do dogs move?

April 13, 2012

Although some breeds of dogs like the Poodle or a terrier can be such a clown and would play up and amuse its audience by walking on its hind legs. Different breeds, different dogs would have different styles of walking and running. A Saluki has an effortless gallop. Because of a rather heavy body a Bulldog has a constrained gait. A Clumber Spaniel is expected to have a rolling gait because of its short legs and long body. Puppies are known to bunny hop because they are still clumsy and the movements are as yet uncoordinated. Dogs like any other four legged mammal would move the legs beneath the body in a forward and backward motion. There are actually several types of dog locomotions and it would not be unusual to see a sedately walking dog instantly sprint and gallop after a prey, leap fences and then amble and regally walk again. Walking is considered to be the most ordinary and common movement of a dog. A dog’s walk is at times called the diagonal walk. This is because diagonal legs move simultaneously in the same direction. For instance the left foreleg and the right hind leg will move forward and then the movement of the right foreleg and the left hind leg will follow.

A walking dog can increase its speed to cover more ground. The walk now turns into a trot. A dog enthusiastic to meet its master at the gate will trot. Movements of the legs in a trot are almost the same as walking. The only difference is that the movements are faster. Both the length and the speed of the stride are increased. When a dog trots it is possible that all four legs will be off the ground. Some dogs would move the legs on one side of the body at the same time in the same direction. This type of movement is called pacing. Coordination wise, trotting is considered to be more efficient as there is less rolling of the body unlike when the dog is pacing. However, there some breeds of dogs that are known to move faster when pacing.

Watching Greyhounds galloping after a lure is a one of a kind experience that would give an owner a different kind of high. The dog would harmoniously and effortlessly move in a series of leaps. Both front legs would hit the ground and then it would be the hind legs’ turn to hit the ground. These movements are done very fast so much so the dog would seem to be flying with the feet hardly touching the ground.

Understanding dog locomotion may not turn your luck in dog races, but it will surely make you understand your furry friend better. For instance you will appreciate the fact that although your pet can run faster, it is slowing its trot to be able to match your jogging pace. Isn’t that wonderful?

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