Objective: To compare the trotting gaits of Labrador Retrievers and Greyhounds to determine whether differences in locomotion are attributable to differences in their manner of moving or to body size and shape differences between these 2 breeds.
Animals: 8 healthy 5-month-old Greyhounds and 5 healthy Labrador Retrievers between 6 and 18 months old.
Procedure: A series of 4 force platforms was used to record independent ground reaction forces on the forelimbs and hind limbs during trotting. Values of stride parameters were compared between breeds before and after normalization for size differences. Standard values of absolute and normalized stride period and stride length were determined from linear regressions of these parameters on relative (normalized) velocity. Forces were normalized to body weight and compared at the same relative velocity.
Results: Greyhounds used fewer, longer strides than the Labrador Retrievers to travel at the same absolute speed. After normalization for body size differences, most measurable differences between breeds were eliminated. Subtle differences that did persist related to proportion of the stride that the forefoot was in contact with the ground, timing of initial hind foot contact relative to initial forefoot contact, and distribution of vertical force between the forelimbs and hind limbs.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggest that apparent differences in the trotting gait between Labrador Retrievers and Greyhounds are mainly attributable to differences in size, and that dogs of these 2 breeds move in a dynamically similar manner at the trot.