Incidence of Normal versus Support Trot in the Healthy Adult German Shepherd Dog

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1 Scopus citations


Introduction Current sports medicine textbooks suggest German Shepherd dogs leave a forelimb on the ground longer than other breeds for support because of angulated joints eliminating a true suspension phase (support trot). The objective of this study was to characterize the trot of healthy, adult German Shepherd dogs and describe morphometric relationships. The hypothesis was that all German Shepherd dogs have a standard trot that does not correlate with morphometric measurements. Materials and Methods Forty healthy, adult German Shepherd dogs with no history of musculoskeletal disease or visible lameness were enrolled in this study. Height, weight, body length, standing limb distance and standing joint angles were measured. Dogs were trotted over a pressure walkway collecting five valid trials. Each trial was categorized by the presence or absence of the suspension phase and the percent of standard trot trials was calculated. Mean and standard deviations were calculated for all data. A Spearman's rank sum test was performed for each of the morphometric measurements to assess correlation with the percent of standard trot trials. Results Of the dogs analysed, 37.5% demonstrated a standard trot in all five trials, 60% of dogs utilized a support trot intermittently, and one dog (2.5%) solely utilized a support trot in all trials. There was no correlation between combinations of morphometric measurements and percentage of standard trot statistically or visually. Discussion/Conclusion This prospective clinical study showed that the use of the support trot was not correlated with morphometric measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-120
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • German Shepherd dog
  • gait analysis
  • sports medicine
  • standard trot
  • support trot

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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