When lameness occurs in a load-bearing limb, compensatory load adjustments are made in the other supporting limbs. The vertical component of the ground reaction force, as measured by force platform analysis, reflects these adjustments. This study describes the pattern of vertical ground reaction force redistribution during experimental, chronic hindlimb lameness in dogs. The peak and impulse of the vertical ground reaction force were measured and described in 13 dogs before, and at 2, 6, and 12 weeks after transection of the cranial cruciate ligament. These variables were compared among limbs. The vertical ground reaction force in the forelimbs did not change significantly during the course of the study. At 2, 6, and 12 weeks after surgery, means of peak vertical force in the limb that underwent surgery were 18.9%, 44.0%, and 61.3% respectively, of presurgical values. In the contralateral limb, corresponding values were 131.7%, 112.8% and 112.9% respectively. If one accepts the relationship of mechanical loading to musculoskeletal architecture and the now certain relationship between lameness and compensatory loading of other limbs, then the use of another limb of the same animal as a control is a potential study design flaw.