How does your dog Jump? The Biomechanics of the Canine Athlete’s Jump

canine jumping Nov 16, 2017

Agility, dock diving, obedience, IPO/Schutzhund/French Ring, flyball - all these sports require the dogs participating in them to execute at least one jump while training and competing in their sport.

Understanding the biomechanics of the canine jump is crucial to training proper jumping form. Jumping is a complicated sequence of movements. The front assembly, consisting of the shoulders and the front legs, provides the lift, and takes the landing. The rear assembly, consisting of the back legs and pelvic area, provide the forward propulsion.

The jump, broken down into its most basic components, looks like this:

Phase 1 - Take Off:

1.  Your dog must approach the jump at a canter or gallop.

2.  Your dog plants the front feet, one slightly ahead of the other, at the calculated take off spot.

3.  The head lowers and the front legs slightly flex.

4.  The spine flexes as the hind legs are brought forward and the back feet are planted slightly ahead of the front...

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