Force Plate Analysis of the Walking Gait in Healthy Dogs

Am J Vet Res. 1987 Jun;48(6):915-8.


Ground reaction forces, impulses, and their relationships to morphometric measurements were evaluated for walking gait in 17 healthy dogs. A force plate was used to record forces at 1-ms intervals. Vertical, craniocaudal, and mediolateral forces were measured and normalized by body weight. Impulses, defined as the total force applied over time, were calculated in vertical and craniocaudal directions. Craniocaudal impulses were further divided into braking and propulsion phases. Braking impulses were significantly greater in the forelimbs (P less than or equal to 0.001), whereas propulsion impulses were generally greater in the hind limbs. Impulses and peak forces were then compared with morphometric measurements (body weight, humeral and femoral lengths, and paw length). All relationships were linear, with correlation coefficients significant (P less than or equal to 0.001). As the size of the dog increased, braking, propulsion and vertical impulses increased. Conversely, as morphometric measurements increased, peak vertical forces decreased. Thus, larger dogs had a lower peak force on each limb, but had a higher total impulse applied during stance phase. As stance phase time increased, peak vertical forces decreased. The results indicated that healthy dogs had significant correlations between ground reaction forces, impulses, and morphometric measurements.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight
  • Computers
  • Dogs / anatomy & histology
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Extremities / anatomy & histology
  • Gait*