It is not often something we think about, the movement of a dog, especially for the pet owner. But sometimes we notice something different in the way our dog moves.
Firstly you must understand all dogs move differently and various breeds have different types of movement. So we can not put a say Vizsla or Weimaraner in the same box as a Bracco Italiano, or a bracco italiano to a French bulldog.
The Hungarian Vizsla movement is described as:
Graceful, elegant with a lively trot and ground-covering gallop.
The French bulldog movement is described as:
Free and flowing. Soundness of movement of the utmost importance.
The Bracco Italiano movement is described as:
True moving with powerful drive from hindquarters. Capable of untiring, extended fast trot. Head carried raised above topline.
The above is from the breed standard.
But understanding movement is quite complicated. Much more to movement than the comments above.
We have a saying in the show world. "If it moves right, it is constructed right"! That is very true.
Faults we see in dogs movements are crabbing, which is where the back legs swing left or right and dont follow the front feet. Toeing in, which is where a dog coming towards you flips its feet and criss crosses over. Over reaching in breeds such as Vizsla is a fault, but not in Braccos. I could go on and on.......
Lazy movement is called Pacing, they can almost waddle. But pacers is just lazy movement. Cant be bothered to put the effort in.
The Vizsla front foot should meet in the middle where the back foot places, but the Bracco over reaches past in this very fast gait.
Other movement things we are looking at is top line, has the dog got a level top line when moving. Where as some breeds do not have a level top line. So each and every single dog is actually very different. A whippet for example has an arched back as does the Beddlington terrier.
So the lesson today is it doesn't matter when breeds are so very different in movement as most likely what your seeing is exactly what your supposed to see for that particular breed. If you went to a vet, he wouldn't know. They aren't breed specialists, so if you have concerns with the breed you own, ring your breeder for advice.
If their is injury however then a vet is able to deal with it for you. If joints are weak you can go to a physiotherapist Galen therapists are great. Or hydro therapy for dogs with weaker joints. Also canine massage is another excellent way of keeping the dog working properly. One Silvestre Vizsla works very hard all night long and she has regular spa treatments as I call it, she has massages and all sorts. She doesn't have any health problems, but to keep her in peak fitness for the job she has to do, her owner recognises that the dog needs to be in the utmost fitness.
Mrs Rachel Savage