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Peak forelimb ground reaction forces experienced by dogs jumping from a simulated car boot
  1. David Pardey1,
  2. Gillian Tabor1,
  3. James Andrew Oxley2 and
  4. Alison P Wills1
  1. 1 Animal Welfare Research and Knowledge Exchange Arena, Department of Animal and Agriculture, Hartpury University Centre, Gloucester, UK
  2. 2 Independent Researcher, Measham, Swadlincote, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence; alison.wills{at}


Many dog owners allow their pets to jump out of a car boot; however, to date, there has been no study that has investigated whether this places dogs at risk of injury. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between height and peak vertical ground reaction force (vGRF) in static start jumps. Fifteen healthy adult dogs performed three jumps from a platform that represented common vehicle boot sill heights (0.55, 0.65, 0.75 m), landing on a single force platform. Kinetic data (mediolateral (Fx), craniocaudal (Fy) and vertical (Fz)) were normalised for body weight and analysed via a one-way repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) and pairwise post hoc tests with a Bonferroni correction applied. There was a significant difference in peak forelimb vGRF between both the 0.55 m (27.35±4.14 N/kg) and the 0.65 m (30.84±3.66 N/kg) platform (P=0.001) and between the 0.65 and 0.75 m (34.12±3.63 N/kg) platform (P=0.001). There was no significant difference in mediolateral or craniocaudal forces between the heights examined. These results suggest that allowing dogs to jump from bigger cars with a higher boot sill may result in augmented levels of loading on anatomical structures. Further research is required to investigate the kinematic effects of height on static jump-down and how peak forelimb vGRF relates to anatomical loading and subsequent injury risk.

  • biomechanics
  • dogs
  • musculoskeletal
  • racing and training injuries
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  • Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval This study was approved by the ethics committee at Hartpury University Centre, Gloucester, UK.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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