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Shiba Inu’s gait 1

When Japanese dogs walk, they have four ways of walking if they are walking naturally.

Walk (常足:Nami-ashi)

Trot (速足:Haya-ashi)

Canter (駈足:Kake-ashi)

Gallop (襲歩:Shu-ho)

They may also walk in a special way called Pace/Amble (側対歩:Soku-tai-ho).

This post will discuss three of them

Walk (Nami-ashi)

The slowest of the four ways of walking

They walk in the order of

"left front leg"→"right hind leg"→"right front leg"→"left hind leg", which is a four-beat gait. Since 2-3 feet are always on the ground, it is stable and consumes little energy.

Trot (Haya-ashi)

The left front leg and right hind leg (called 右斜対肢 "Usha-taishi:right diagonal pair" in Japanese) and the right front leg and left hind leg (左斜対肢"Sasha-taishi:left diagonal pair) move together, alternating between gait and landing. It is a two-beat gait. It is the most frequent way of walking for dogs, and it is fairly fast but not very tiring. Basically, they do not float (all four legs leave the ground) in a trot, but some types of dogs with large strides or speeds may float and land repeatedly in a trot (flying trot).

Canter (Kake-ashi)

They move both front legs in a hopping motion from right to left, and then move both hind legs in a slightly delayed timing. One front leg and the opposite hind leg move at the same time. For example, in a left canter, it is a three-beat gait composed of

"right hind leg"→"left hind leg and right front leg"→"left front leg", which is asymmetric from left to right. There is a moment when up to three legs are on the ground.


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