Kinematic analysis of the gait of pedigree working and show dogs

Toni Manders, Alison Wills

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Showing dogs is a popular discipline worldwide with animals from a range of backgrounds participating. Working dogs may be required to perform more physical work and training than dogs kept purely for showing and it is hypothesised that this may result in changes to their gait and musculature that may be disadvantageous within the show ring. The aim of this study was to identify whether the gait of the pedigree working dog differs from that of a pedigree show dog of the same breed. Kinematic data were recorded from n = 15 clinically sound Belgian Shepherd dogs (n=8 working; n=7 showing). Reflective markers were placed at defined anatomical landmarks and dogs were filmed moving at walk, trot and gallop. Stride parameters and range of motion were analysed and compared for the two groups using the Mann- Whitney U test for non-parametric unrelated samples. There was no significant difference in range of motion between the two groups. At walk, the show dogs had a longer stride time (p<0.001) and lower stride frequency (p<0.001) than the working group. Stride length was not significantly different at walk and trot, but was longer in the working group at gallop (p<0.01). No differences in stride time or frequency were detected at trot but at gallop, stride time was longer in the show dogs (p<0.05) and stride frequency was lower (p<0.05). In conclusion, some kinematic differences were observed between working and show dogs but whether these would be detectable by a show judge requires further research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
EventSociety for Experimental Biology Conference 2016 - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20167 Jul 2016


ConferenceSociety for Experimental Biology Conference 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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