Dancing Doberman disease is a progressive degenerative disease found only in Doberman Pinschers. The disease impacts the interaction between the nerves and muscles of the hind legs. The affected dog bends and extends the limbs alternatively, as in a dancing motion. A combined reaction to sensory stimulus and automatic neurological impulses is suspected in the behavior.
It occurs only in Doberman pinschers, with an age of onset from six months to seven years. It occurs in both males and females. It is therefore strongly believed to be an inherited disease and the prevalence of this problem can most likely be kept at bay with stringent breeding programs that aims to breed only dogs free of the disease.
Dancing Doberman Disease (DDD) is a form of myopathy that chiefly affects the dog’s gastrocnemius muscle.
Symptoms may begin as early as four months. The primary symptom is the constant shifting of weight from one rear leg to the other by flexing and stiffening the hip muscle. The constant shifting will look a bit like the affected dog is dancing. The disease will generally also cause dog's feet to roll over forwards while walking. However, this will not prevent the dog from being able to run at normal speeds. Finally, in some dogs, the disease progresses to the front legs.