Quantitative Comparison of the Walk and Trot of Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers, Breeds with Different Performance Requirements

PLoS One. 2015 Dec 21;10(12):e0145396. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0145396. eCollection 2015.


Introduction: We hypothesized that breed differences of Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers would be reflected in the temporospatial characteristics of the walk and trot.

Materials and methods: Twenty healthy Border Collies and 20 healthy Labrador Retrievers made three passes across a pressure sensing walkway system that recorded quantitative temporospatial information at a walk and a trot. The following variables were measured for each dog: velocity, total pressure index percentage (TPI%), ratio of weight borne on the thoracic vs. pelvic limbs (T/P TPI%), stance time percentage (ST%), and thoracic limb stride length (TSrL).

Results: The mean T/P TPI% for Border Collies at a walk and at a trot were significantly lower than for Labrador Retrievers (p = 0.0007 and p = 0.0003). Border Collies had a significantly lower ST% than Labrador Retrievers for the thoracic limbs and pelvic limbs at a walk (p = 0.0058 and 0.0003) and the trot (p = 0.0280 and 0.0448). There was no relationship between ST% and TSrL in Border Collies and an inverse correlation between ST% and TSrL in Labrador Retrievers (p = 0.0002).

Discussion: Key quantitative gait differences were identified in Border Collies and Labrador Retrievers, which could potentially provide each breed with an advantage for their working function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Extremities
  • Female
  • Gait
  • Male
  • Species Specificity
  • Walking*

Grant support

The authors have no support or funding to report.