A round and efficient movement is essential to the Australian Shepherd who must be capable of both endurance and agility while working long hours over rough terrain.
The Australian Shepherd should be evaluated at a trot of moderate speed on a loose lead. Movement from the side should be balanced, free, and smooth with good forward reach in front and the equivalent drive behind. The Australian Shepherd should not exhibit extreme extension nor mincing, restricted motion.
The front step is the same length as the rear step when the front and rear angulation are correct and in balance.The forequarters should work in harmony with the rear. One end should never be out moving the other. The legs and feet should move in line with the body. The dog should not throw the feet sideways, prance or drag toes along the ground.
The topline should remain level while the dog is in motion without evidence of bouncing or rolling from side to side. The back should not sag, sway, or be roached (arched).
While moving at a walk, the Australian Shepherd does not single track,but as the dog speeds up it may single track or nearly single track at a trot.
When moving away at a trot, the rear feet and legs of the dog should converge towards the centerline of gravity. Imagine a straight line drawn from the hip joint to foot pad. As the dog increases speed, these lines form a V shape with the widest points at the hips and narrowing towards the pads of the feet. Hocks should not swivel, bow outward (open hock) or turn inward (cow hocks).
When moving towards the viewer at a trot, the legs converge in a straight column towards the central point of gravity. Again, imagine a V formed from the shoulders to the foot pad. Elbows should turn neither in nor out. The pads should not flip to the side, and movementshould not appear to be parallel.