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Adult run vs. Puppy frolic

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My FIL and I had an interesting conversation over Thanksgiving weekend. We were out playing with the dogs and he asked me why Sita doesn't run like the other dogs. At first I almost said "because she is a puppy," but then I remembered she is 18 months old. :blink: Yes she is a puppy, but every other dog we have had here has run before 18 months. It would seem that there may be one of two or both factors at play. Chris and I have always just chalked it up to her age and mind set. She isn't very active, super snugglie, silly and rarely focused or serious. (Unless you have food and then her attention is unwavering.) Yet, while answering my FIL's questions I remembered all of the problems she had with her back legs as a pup. The poor girl would try and run and hit the wall within ten feet of starting. We have built up her strength and they don't seem to hurt her, but now I wonder if her Bambi like sprints and lazy attitude may be due to those curious leg problems she came to our home with.


Has anyone had a dog that just likes to frolic or a late bloomer to serious running? She gets down, but it is almost frog like in the back end.


Here are some "running" pictures of my goofy little girl.








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Frankie, currently 4 years old. At 3 weeks old he was crushed by his dam. The end of his femur that forms the knee was shattered and he was paralyzed (back legs only). He recovered about 80% to 90% nerve function to his back legs. His right femur is several cm shorter than the left, the knee is quite malformed and the leg sticks out at a bit of an angle. Most people don't notice a problem until he starts to get tired and his legs quiver, but his gait is funny at any speed.





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I do think that if a pup is injured and is not treated immediately, the pup is apt to develop behaviors to protect itself from pain. If it lasts long enough, they will hold on to those behaviors even after treatment and becoming pain free. Our Molly was seriously injured as a very young pup, and wasn't given vet care and surgery until she made it into rescue at the age of 11 months. To this day she is VERY cautious when meeting new dogs, and it takes her a long time to run and play with them. She runs at a distance. She is now 4 years old. She had to do it for so long that it became part of her regular behavior.


Kathy Robbins

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Are you sure she is not cantering like the poodle in the video below? I thought Daisy ran strange until I did a search on youtube and found this video. lol. Daisy is about 2 to 3 months younger than Sita and canters often. Especially when she is just kind of sniffing the grass and looking for things to pick up. She will run when she is chasing after the ball or something else. But she canters on the way back or when she gets distracted.



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I think if it's obvious enough for someone outside your immediate family to remark on, and you don't absolutely know the reason for the strange gait, I'd get an orthopedist to look at her.


Dogs can go a long time with chronic pain and us relatively wussy humans can't tell. If she does have something out of whack, there's a big chance it will get worse as she ages. Has she ever had her rear legs/hips x-rayed?


Hope you can find some answers.



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That is my dog, when he sees a dog he loves and decides to play. I have been unable to describe this motion to other people - it's like his back legs are cartoon-dog legs, and his butt is almost on the ground. It's his truest equivalent to guffawing laughter. His other, normal, squirrel-chasing run is much more elegant, but this one is my favorite because it so clearly indicates joy. :)



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Oh, I know that run - I call it the "silly run!" Sometimes when Duncan is outside playing with his "imaginary friend" he'll go into this one - zooming around in circles, with a grin on his face and his tail/rear end tucked, as if the imaginary friend is going to grab his tail! At other times, though, his run is more "flat out". (And the vet tech is always commenting on how gorgeous his gait is at a trot when he's doing underwater treadmill).


I second the opinion to have Sita (what a cutie!!) checked out. She's plenty old enough that "puppy gait" isn't an answer. It's not "borrowing trouble" - early intervention could certainly help with a lot of things.

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Her run does look most similar to Frankie's. When she was 8-10 weeks old the vet checked her out and thought that she hadn't used her muscles much and that her back end was higher than the front. Other than that there was nothing she noticed. I am thinking I'll have them take a look at her again. She's never had any type of x-ray.


John, she kind of does that silly squat, but while the dog you posted has their front legs beneath them Sita's are a little bit more in front of her body.


Daisy, it is possible that it is just a canter. She just hasn't shown us her elegant side yet.

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post-8416-058259400 1292168553_thumb.jpg


Looks a lot like this:


post-8416-094738300 1292169055_thumb.jpg


All four feet have the exact same placement. I call it happy prance. Lewie was still a youngster. He hadn't sprouted his feathers or "fluffy butt" yet. :lol:


Can anybody tell me why my pics appear so small? I resized them before posting but I alway seem to have this problem. They post as thumbnails, which is annoying.

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