The gallop is a jumping, rocking, diagonal and asymetric gait, with four (or three) beats.
It is the fastest gait and hence the most omportant one for a Field trial dog, who must cover the maximum space in a minimum time. As it is an asymetric, one speaks of "right" gallop or "left" gallop, depending on whether the right or left foreleg hits the ground first.
One can distinguish three types of gallop:
Transverse gallop (right):
Rotatory gallop (right):
1st step: support right hindlimb
Here we are only speaking about the rotatory gallop, the fastest, which is used by the Field trial dogs.
I have heard a lot of people commenting the gallop style of the Bourbonnais, seing in the stride style the traces of outcrossing with different breeds.
There is probably some Brittany Spaniel in today Bourbonnais, one only has to look atRasteau/Pyrrhus
whose genes are dominant in every Bourbonnais today to be convinced. There is also some English Pointer genes, which continental breed doesn't have some?
But trying to deduct a dog origin from its gallop style is is really an illusion. I am pretty sure that the gallop style mainly depends on the dog morphology.
Then, when one selects the Bourbonnais to be built like Brittany Spaniels, their gallop starts to look like the gallop of the Brittany.
But if one selects dogs built like english Pointers, their gallop will look like the Pointers one. No need to outcross for that.
So it is interresting to see how the morphological differences have an effect on the gallop style. And here the main differences will be the lenght of the loin and the hight of the rump.
It has a short loin and a slightly low rump.
So, the momentum of the force put on the hindlimbs being smaller, the impulse given at the second and third steps is reduced, and the dog jumps during a smaller time in the fourth step.
It lands soon on its forelimbs, and its low rump and short loin enable its hindlimbs to follow soon, reducing the duration of the second suspension (eighth step).
So we have to small and fast strides which are characteristic of the "rolling gallop" (or "pig gallop") of the Brittany.
The advantage of those small strides is that they enable the dog to rapidly change direction and require less energy, giving the dog better endurance. The disavantage is that this is not the fastest gallop style.
Here it is the opposite, the morphology of this breed is partly inherited from its sighthounds ancesters, which gives it a more aerial gallop.
The loin is long, giving a maximum impulse at the second and third steps, it can jump a longer time at the fourth step when its hight rump enables it to set its hindlimbs as horizontally as possible,
and when the forelimbs give another impulse for the second suspension (eighth step), this latter must be long to enable the hindlimbs to comeback under the body.
Then we have the long strides which are characteristics of the Englsih Pointer's aerial gallop.
In terms of pure speed, this style of gallop outmatches every otherone, but the long suspension phases make the dog, it cannot make short turns. And the spending of energy is maximum, the dog is less endurant.
Not surprisingly,the gallop of the Bourbonnais lies in my opinion between those two extremes, with less aerial strides than the English Pointer, but less fast than the Brittany. One has to add that the Bourbonnais is a more thickset dog than those two other breeds, and it has an impact on his gallop, it is a little bit heavier, more hoocked to the ground.