Sheltie Movement: See the horse trot
Shelties, like all dogs, have a variety or choice of gaits ( walk, pace, amble gallop, trot, etc.) which they do at different times for different reasons.
Gait refers to a sequence of leg movements. The gait that will be discussed below is the trot. In the show ring, the exhibitor is asked to trot their dog because this gait shows the virtues and faults of structure better than any other gait. It is not that other gaits are bad. It should be done on a loose lead because a tight lead changes the gait for better or worse.
The Trot is a simple 2 beat gait where diagonal paws move nearly in cadence. That is the right front paw and the left rear paw fall to the ground at almost the same time and vise a versa. The front foot lifts slightly before the coordinating rear foot ( center ) touches the ground. The legs on one side will be extended while the legs one the other side are in the middle.
The trot viewed from the side.
The function of the Sheltie, Collie, Belgian breeds and others demands the ideal endurance trot but the majority of breeds ( bull breeds, galloping breeds, short legged dogs, toys, etc.) deviate from this ideal.
Our Ideal Sheltie and one of ours
The endurance trot enables the dog to keep on going at a reasonable speed over irregular and rough ground. It is the natural gait of most wild animals. No one leg does more work than another and the body is always supported by one foot ( There is a flying trot where all feet are off the ground. ) . There is only minimal lift of the feet with the pastern quickly flipping up parallel to the ground. A well laid-back shoulder is needed so that shock passes with minimum effect and is absorbed by muscles resulting in little up and down movement of the back line.