Comparative Kinematic Analysis of Hurdle Clearance Technique in Dogs: A Preliminary Report
Department Comparative Anatomy and Pathology, University of Córdoba, 14071 Córdoba, Spain
Veterinary Teaching Hospital, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Trasmontaña S/N, 35416 Arucas, Spain
Maimonides Biomedical Research Institute (IMIBIC), 1404 Córdoba, Spain
Animal Medicine and Surgery Department, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 November 2020
Revised: 12 December 2020
Accepted: 14 December 2020
Published: 16 December 2020
Hurdle jumping is part of the increasingly popular canine agility competition. Although the jumping characteristics of agility dogs have been examined in recent years, there is currently a lack of data related to the suspension phase. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the biomechanics of the suspension phase of the agility jump and to analyze the kinematic differences in dogs with different jumping abilities. Two groups of dogs competing at different skill levels and assessed as excellent jumpers and less-skilled jumpers, respectively, were analyzed and compared. Excellent jumpers showed longer and faster jumps with flatter jump trajectories than less-skilled jumpers. In less-skilled jumpers, the distance in front of the hurdle was notably greater than the distance behind it, while the difference between these two distances was less in excellent jumpers. Length and duration of the jump, maximal height of the jumping trajectory, take-off and landing distances to the hurdle, time of occurrence of maximal jump height, and time of change in back orientation essentially defines the suspension phase of the agility jump. This study presents preliminary evidence that the kinematic characteristics of hurdle clearance are different in excellent jumper dogs and in less-skilled jumper dogs.