Gait training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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Gait training

So after reading and contemplating the "Gangly and Awkward" thread, I feel my 8mos old GSD has an awkward gait. I'm a first time GSD owner, so I have no prior experience to draw on. I've watched a few YouTube video's of other GSD's trotting/gait training and conclude that my boy is out of synch. He doesn't have that smooth, synchronized stride I watched in 5mos old pups. Even smoother in older, more mature GSD's (obviously). Zeus is all front legs. At a fast walking pace, his front end bob's up and down vs. a smooth, shoulder level stride. Almost resembles a limp.

He is an active player. Jumps willingly. Up and down steps. Loves to go down slides! Jumps in and out of my 4Runner - no problem. Full sprints when we play - much prettier stride. I've had his hips checked on two previous vet visits - last one over 3 months ago - and everything checked out. Breeder hasn't had any prior hip issues with offspring.

Am I frettting over nothing? Will he grow out of this or do I need to "gait train" him? Thanks for the feedback.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:29 AM
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No you don't need to gait train him. Gait training is for show dogs trotting around in circles. Your dog will move how he moves when at free play - you can't "train" him to move in a more coordinated fashion.

Are you sure he isn't limping? Has he been watched by a vet?
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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No you don't need to gait train him. Gait training is for show dogs trotting around in circles. Your dog will move how he moves when at free play - you can't "train" him to move in a more coordinated fashion.

Are you sure he isn't limping? Has he been watched by a vet?

He hasn't been watched. I've checked paws, feet joints, toe joints and nails. Everything seems normal. Applying pressure doesn't bother him. Nothing seems to be unusual.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 11:43 AM
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He is only 8 months old. Still growing. The front end and back end dont usually grow at the same time. So you end up with the awkward movement. Dont worry about it, unless it gets worse. I would also be VERY careful with how much jumping he is doing. He can injure himself to the point of having a deformity later in life. His body is still growing and developing, you dont want to injure any of the growths plates in his joints. Jumping in and out of vehicles, on and off furniture, up in the air to catch a toy, landing hard on the ground, all not good for a growing puppy. Not saying all four have to stay on the ground at all times, just use your better judgement on what activities have a high impact on his joints.

Dawn Brogan

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 11:48 AM
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It could be an awkward stage, if there are no physical problems.

At 8 months old our show puppy was looking pretty uncoordinated. It really was bad...poor foot timing, stumbly. But, she grew out of it and gaits smoothly now.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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The front and rear growing at different paces definitely makes since. His front end definitely trots out of synch from the rear. Very awkward. Anyway, I'm not taking any chances. I have a vet appointment this afternoon. I'm going to have him looked over and "watched" by the vet. I'm sure it's nothing more than developmental.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-26-2011, 03:54 PM
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Are you talking about pacing? My dog walks at a pace (front and rear on same side move together) a lot when we are walking. That is because we are walking too slow for a trot. If we walk 'briskly' or jog she breaks into a smooth trot. If you want to develop that you have to walk pretty fast or jog for a distance to build those muscles.
However, he should just grow into it naturally without any special exercises.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-27-2011, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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Growing pains

Went to the vet. He pushed, pulled, and bent each leg and joint. Nothing structurally wrong. He saw Zeus trot and noticed the same bobbing, limp-like motion and concluded it must be inflammation. His best guesstimate is growing pain. My dog trainer said he's experienced the same with other large breed dogs. How each dog responds differs.

He gave me an anti-inflammatory/pain relief pill to hopefully provide some relief. I started him on the pill and no change yet. Next step would be ex-rays. I'll try to video Zeus and post a link so you can see what I'm talking about.
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