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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am confused. My dog when it goes from normal walking to speeding up will sometime start to run with it back two legs together. Is this a normal 'canter' type gait or is it a sign of bunny hoping and all that flags up? She is a four year old Lab bitch, very energetic and athletic, loves jumping over walls. She will occasionally do a slight hop with one of her back legs when walking on hard ground but doesn't display any of the symptoms of HD as detailed online. I have had her checked by a vet who could find nothing wrong although not X rayed.
 

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Oh dear! This is flagged up all over the internet as a danger sign! And yes, everybody worries about it when their pup does it, including me. Even though I KNOW its not really anything of the sort. As you say, it's just really an in between pace. It's the same as pacing, walking by moving both legs on the same side forward at the same time. Either can be a sign, but just as likely either can be nothing of the kind.

As a little aside, at the time when I was working competitive obedience a friend was working his GSD, who was renowned for pacing. No problem until the ring steward told him to turn during heelwork. As you can imagine, both legs on one side in the air at the same time was no problem when going in a straight line, but turning was interesting to say the least!!!!!!!! That dog's hips were fine. But the other side of the coin, occasionally I was called upon to show a Japanese Spitz for an elderly lady. He had luxating patella's, (Slipping knee caps) and occasionally a patella would slip while I was moving him in the ring and he would bunny hop. So as I said, these things can be something, but usually are nothing. I would want to see more than one sign before I'd take it further. But even then, combined with a limp could be a simple sprain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
First off, many thanks for coming back to me so quickly. I should be old enough and wise enough not to worry but as you say the internet is a great breeding ground for creating problems. I am treasured by what you say. The patella problem has been ruled out and in any event the slight hop (which probably no one but her worrying Dad would even notice) only occurs very occasionally. Am i right in saying that one of characteristics of the bunny hop are the back legs extending under the body? My girl doesn't do that, just pushes off with the back legs together. Anyway thanks again. That's me kinda stopped worrying (until the next time!)
 

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Yes. What happens, particularly with a small puppy, is that we walk just a little too fast for them to walk beside us, but not fast enough to break into a run. It's not so often that an adult Labrador will do that because it's legs are longer so covering more ground per leg movement. (In fact their normal walking speed is really faster than ours, one reason why dogs start pulling on the lead. "Come on dad, try to keep up!" So it's up to us to teach them that they walk at our pace, not us at theirs.) But all dogs are different. My Amy never moved like that as an adult. With her it was either a walk or run. Chloe, left to her own devices never ever walks. Everything is 100mph. Beth was the bunny hopper. That loping gait, between a walk and a run was her favourite pace. And she was still out with me demonstrating gundog work to my puppy class at 13 years old. One thing you will find about dogs. There are no rules! They make their own!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes. What happens, particularly with a small puppy, is that we walk just a little too fast for them to walk beside us, but not fast enough to break into a run. It's not so often that an adult Labrador will do that because it's legs are longer so covering more ground per leg movement. (In fact their normal walking speed is really faster than ours, one reason why dogs start pulling on the lead. "Come on dad, try to keep up!" So it's up to us to teach them that they walk at our pace, not us at theirs.) But all dogs are different. My Amy never moved like that as an adult. With her it was either a walk or run. Chloe, left to her own devices never ever walks. Everything is 100mph. Beth was the bunny hopper. That loping gait, between a walk and a run was her favourite pace. And she was still out with me demonstrating gundog work to my puppy class at 13 years old. One thing you will find about dogs. There are no rules! They make their own!
You people are the best. These little stories are hugely reassuring to an old man. I got Emily when I was in my 70s having vowed that I would 'never ever go through that again' after I took my 14 year old yellow Lab to the vet for the final time. I lasted 16 months and then got a pup. Problem is that although I am still physically very fit thanks in no small measure to Emily with whom I walk 5/6 miles a day mentally I seem to worry about her a lot more than I ever did with any of my other canine pals. Anyway thanks again.
 

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I was 72 when Chloe arrived. And the week after she arrived I developed prostate cancer. So for her first year she barely went out of the garden. Not the ideal start for a puppy, but we overcame it between us. I no longer take classes , show dogs or compete in any form of competition. But I am (unpaid) underkeeper on a shoot and pick up with my dogs all season. That gives me private woods and farmland where I can train and walk with my dogs. Pack a picnic and spend a pleasant time with my dogs.


Dog Dog breed Carnivore Plant Fawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was 72 when Chloe arrived. And the week after she arrived I developed prostate cancer. So for her first year she barely went out of the garden. Not the ideal start for a puppy, but we overcame it between us. I no longer take classes , show dogs or compete in any form of competition. But I am (unpaid) underkeeper on a shoot and pick up with my dogs all season. That gives me private woods and farmland where I can train and walk with my dogs. Pack a picnic and spend a pleasant time with my dogs.


View attachment 27473
So I am not the only mad old man that gets a pup! They are both lovely. Hope you are keeping better and again thanks for your advice.
 
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