Is this profile-trotting gait in the ring what is needed for coursing speed in the field? After living in both worlds, (show and field) for the past 43 years, and at times breeding exclusively for either world, I have found with my sighthounds and countless other cases, the more you breed for TRAD, (Tremendous Reach And Drive) in the ring, the slower the dogs are in the field. A racing Whippet or Greyhound has no TRAD, but they run fast. Some show dogs with tons of TRAD have a great elasticity in their joints to perform a hesitated gait while their limbs extend fore and aft, and while this may look flashy to that show judge with the eye, it doesnâ€™t work in the field. Yes, how the dog trots is an indicator of how the dog runs. Sighthounds run with the double suspension gallop, (DSG) and twice in a full galloping stride, they are airborne in one complete stride. The hound is first airborne in the collected position and again airborne in the extended position. The first airborne position is the collected phase of the DSG as in the yellow Greyhound pictured. The second phase is the extended position of the blue dog. Sighthounds have 4 jump joints, 2 in the pasterns of the front limbs and 2 in the hocks of the hind limbs. To simplify this explanation it takes power to run fast, and believe it or not, the pastern on the front limb of a sighthound lays down flat on the running surface, and itâ€™s like loading a spring for that pastern to propel the dog forward and it provides airtime in the collected phase of the DSG. Most other breeds of dogs cannot double suspend in this collected phase of the DSG. Too much elasticity in the jump joint saps the power of the spring, and a consequence is less speed. The power in the hocks propels the dog into the extended position of the DSG. In both the extended position and the collected position, all 4 feet are off the ground, and the sighthounds are the only dogs that can consistently run with the DSG. Hares and cheetahs also use the DSG.
The yellow blanketed Greyhound is in the collected phase of the double suspension gallop. (DSG) The Blue Greyhound is in the extended phase of the DSG. The hare is just starting into the extended phase of the DSG. NOFCA records show that 90 % of hares escape the hounds. The hares live in their own habitat and are never planted or moved and can run at speeds up to 40 mph. This hare escaped into the greasewood brush in the background. Photo by Herb Wells.
The first limb of this Saluki touches down after the extended phase of the DSG. Note the pastern is down flat and is loading the first of 2 springs in the front that will catapult the dog into the collected phase of the double suspension gallop. Photo by Herb Wells.
This Greyhound Pup appears to be jet propelled as his rear jump joints, known as his hocks, launch him into the extended position of the DSG.
TRAD with the profile gait in the ring is not power, but is overstepping, where the hind leg sets down up to 12 inches farther forward than the vacating front limb has left the surface of the ground. I find still pictures of a dog in trotting action amusing as the front and back limb seem rather close to each other as the dog is airborne, but if you moved the dogs on wet beach sand with TRAD, you can measure prints of the hind paw overstepping the front paw and they are not close at all. While the dog pictured in profile action is airborne it shows nothing about where the front paw left the surContinued on page 112
Dog News 53