Locomotion and Athletic Performance

Chris Zink, Brittany Jean Carr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


It is critical for the canine sports medicine and rehabilitation professional to under stand canine gait and to recognize the differences in gait between different breeds of dogs to be able to recognize subtle lamenesses, which are quite common in canine athletes and working dogs. Structurally, dogs are quite different from horses. Their flexible spine (13 ribs as compared with the 17 or 18 of horses), relatively empty gastrointesti nal tract, separate radius/ulna and tibia/fibula, and feet that can grip mean that canine locomotion is quite different from that of horses. Dogs use six basic gaits: walk, trot, transverse canter, rotary canter, transverse gallop and rotary gallop. The walk and trot use the same order of footfall as the horse. However, whereas horses almost exclu sively use the transverse canter and gallop, dogs prefer the rotatory canter and gallop. There are several tools that can be used to accurately analyze and quantify gait abnor malities, including high-speed digital video cameras and kinematic, kinetic, and tem- porospatial analysis systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCanine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781119380627
ISBN (Print)9781119380382
StatePublished - Mar 28 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Canine athletes
  • Canter
  • Gait analysis
  • Gallop
  • Lameness
  • Trot
  • Walk
  • Working dogs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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