Did you know that one of the first things we assess in our patients is something that you can, and probably should be doing at home? How your dog sits gives us valuable information about their comfort, flexibility and strength. Inability to sit well might indicate that there is pain or weakness.
We, as a society, ask our dogs to sit regularly – before going through doors, before mealtime and often get a special “treat.” This makes it a pretty accessible method for nearly everyone to make quick assessments at home.
At Stride, our veterinarians, technicians and physical therapists look not only at the final posture, but also closely monitor the transition preference. In a young to middle aged dog, the transition from standing to sitting should be easily accomplished, without hesitation and should show good control.
Squat Sit versus Tuck Sit
The most common way for the pet dog population to move into a sit is what we, at Stride, call the squat sit. The dog plants the rear feet and the front feet move back as the dog plants their behind on the floor. The other version is more common among sporting dogs and is often called a “tuck sit.” The tuck sit happens when the dog plants the front feet and steps the rear feet forward as they lower their behind to the ground.
Once a dog is seated, we assess their posture. Ideal posture shows a nice straight spine, both rear legs tucked neatly in to the waist and both front limbs perfectly upright and evenly weighted. Deviations from this perfectly symmetrical sit might indicate pain, lack of flexibility, lack of strength, poor structure or simply not having learned how. A healthy, fit dog should be able to maintain a strong sit posture for 15 seconds.