Monday, December 1, 2008

Goofy Gait

Riley has a goofy gait or a funny way of going. Ideally, an agility dog should travel freely and cover a lot of ground with each stride. The trot should appear natural, forward, smooth, and straight. Doing so, suggests that the dog will be less prone to injury, jump better, turn tighter, and get around an agility course quicker and more efficiently. Having a nice mover like Travis or Reagan is an asset for long-term soundness.
In the rear, Riley moves like a sewing machine wearing a diaper (there's a visual for you). The movement is rather up and down (instead of reaching forward) and she travels very wide when you watch her trot away from you. I did not give it much thought initially since she appeared to be sound otherwise.

After watching her move, I have had 2 vets suggest having her hips x-rayed. There is probably nothing to worry about since the movement is symmetrical and even on both sides. But slightly concerning because she does not seem to have any major conformation flaws that would produce this type of movement. She is cow-hocked a little. So to play it safe, I am going to have her hips and knees x-rayed today.

If we find a problem, I would probably switch her focus to obedience since that activity is lower impact than agility. If the x-rays are clean, then I will know that her gait is just as goofy as her lovable personality. I'm confident that everything will be fine.