Determination of the center of mass in a heterogeneous population of dogs

Tiffany A. Johnson, Wanda J. Gordon-Evans, B. Duncan, Michael G. Conzemius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The center of mass (CoM) is the location in a body where mass distribution is balanced. It has a fundamental role in balance and motion which has been poorly described in the dog. The objective of this study was to estimate the variance of the center of mass (CoM) in a heterogeneous population of client-owned dogs and to describe the relationship between CoM, subject morphometrics and an inertial measurement unit (IMU) box positioned ventrally on a neck collar. A single force platform and a reaction board were used to determine CoM in the transverse, sagittal and dorsal planes in thirty-one healthy adult dogs. A series of morphometric measurements were acquired with each dog standing, including distances relative to an IMU box positioned ventrally on a neck collar. Mean transverse plane CoM was 48% the distance from ischium to the IMU box, near the xiphoid process. Mean sagittal place CoM was 59% the width of the chest on the left side. Mean dorsal plane CoM was 41% the distance from the most dorsal to the most ventral aspect of the body. Dog length was the primary variable required to maximize the relationship between three-dimensional CoM and identifiable variables measured. A CoM based normalization procedure should be considered to normalize mass or motion based outcome measure output (e.g., ground reaction forces, vector acceleration) in a heterogeneous population of dogs. Future research will be needed to determine if CoM-based normalization procedures reduce variance in outcome measures affected by subject morphometrics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0267361
JournalPloS one
Issue number4 April
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Johnson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Acceleration
  • Animals
  • Back
  • Dogs

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Journal Article


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