Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Analysis of Risk Factors for Agility Dogs Completing a Dog Walk Agility Exercise

Version 1 : Received: 12 September 2019 / Approved: 16 September 2019 / Online: 16 September 2019 (04:08:13 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


The injury rate in agility dogs is relatively high compared to the general population. No study to date has considered the biomechanical effects of the dog walk obstacle in agility trials, highlighting a research need. The aim of this study was to test for correlation between dog age, weight, speed, contact training method and agility experience and forelimb joint angulation and peak ground reaction forces (GRFs) over this obstacle. Dogs were filmed running across a Kennel Club (KC) standard dog walk whilst wearing reflective markers attached to specific anatomical points. A Tekscan Comformat and a Tekscan Walkway pressure mat were secured to the dog walk contact area and the ground at the end of the dog walk respectively. Joint angulation and peak forelimb GRFs were recorded and analysed. A key finding is that the way a dog will move across the obstacle changes depending on their level of experience, with experienced dogs showing increased flexion of the elbow joints and decreased extension of the carpus compared to inexperienced competitors. Higher speeds over the dog walk also resulted in significantly increased elbow joint flexion. Increased joint angulation and higher GRF’s are associated with a higher risk of injury.


biomechanics; kinetics; kinematics; angulation; movement


Biology and Life Sciences, Animal Science, Veterinary Science and Zoology

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