Canine Terminology

Almond eye Almond-shaped eye rim.

Angulation The angle formed by joints; particularly at the shoulder, upper arm, elbow, stifle, and hock.

Anus The outlet of the rectum.

Apple head A skull that is unusually domed or rounded.

Apron Long chest hair beneath the neck. Frill.

Arched loin Prominent musculature at loin.

Badger A fine blend of brown, black, gray, and white hair.

Bad mouth any incorrect bite, depending on the breed standard.

Barrel chest Rounded rib cage.

Barrel hocks Outward-turning hocks, causing the feet to turn in.

Basset A low-set hound (from French bas set)

Bat ear An erect ear with a broad base; rounded at the top and facing forward.

Belton A mixture of white and colored hair.

Benched show A dog show at which the dogs are restrained to sitting on the benches.

Berger French for sheepdog.

Best in Show Top award at dog shows.

Best of Breed Award at dog shows given to the best specimen of each breed in competition.

Best of Group Award at dog shows given to the winner of a group competition.

Bird dog a dog that tracks birds by air scent.

Bite The way upper and lower teeth meet.

Blaze White marking between the eyes and down the nose.

Blue Nearly black.

Blue merle A mixture of blue, gray, and black hairs.

Bobtail A dog that has either no tail or one that is docked very short.

Bodied up Well developed.

Bouvier French for cattle dog.

Brace A pair of dogs.

Bracelets Flings of hair on a dog's leg left after trimming.

Braque French for pointer.

Breastbone Chest bone at front of dog. Sternum.

Breeching Tan hair on the inner thighs.

Brindle An even mixture of black hair in lines or bands, covering a tan, brown, or tan coat.

Brisket Breastbone or sternum. Often used synonymously with chest.

Broken color Solid color intersected with another color.

Broken-up face Foreface characterized by a receding nose, deep stop, and wrinkles.

Brush a bushy tail.

Bull neck Short, thick neck.

Burr The inside of the ear.

Butterfly nose A dark nose with some light pigmentation.

Button ear A short ear that folds forward to cover the burr.

Camel back Arched back. Humped or roached.

Canines Pointed molars in the upper and lower jaw.

Carpus Bone just above the foot.

Cat-footed Having short, round, arched foot.

Champion A title awarded to a show dog which has accumulated a certain amount of points at several dog shows.

Cheeky Round, prominent cheeks that appear thick and protruding.

China eye A clear blue eye.

Chiselled A head that is particularly clean-cut between the eyes.

Chops Jowls.

Cloddy Heavy, low, thick-set.

Cobby Comparatively short between the withers and the hips.

Collar A marking around the neck.

Conformation show A show at which Championship certificates or champion points are awarded.

Corky Lively and active.

Couplings The body from the withers to the hips.

Coursing Hunting, usually of hare.

Cow hocks Hocks that turn inwards.

Crank tail Tail carried down, slightly bending upwards.

Crest The upper neck where it arches.

Cropping The trimming of ears.

Cross-breed A mixed breed. Mongrel.

Croup The back, from the loin to the hind legs.

Dam The female parent.

Dappled Colored, mottled markings.

Deadgrass Tan.

Dentition Number and arrangement of teeth.

Dew-claw extra toe on the inside of the leg; virtually useless; it is often removed.

Dewlap Loose, pendulous skin beneath the throat.

Digits Toes.

Dish-faced A type of face characterized by an upward-slanting or concave nasal bone.

Dock To shorten a tail by cutting.

Dogue French for mastiff.

Domed A rounded, convex skull.

Down-faced Foreface with down-curved nasal bone from the stop to the nose.

Drop ear A folded, drooping ear; the opposite of an erect ear.

Dry neck Taut neck skin.

Dudley nose Flesh-colored nose.

East-west feetFeet that toe out. Slew feet.

Ectropion An ailment resulting in outward-turning eyelids.

Entropion An ailment resulting in inward-turning eyelids.

Epagneul French for spaniel.

Estrus The mating period for bitches.

Even bite When upper and lower teeth meet without overlap.

Ewe neck Concave curvature of the neckline.

Expression The impression created by the color, size and positioning of the eyes.

Eyeteeth The upper canines.

Fall Hair that falls over the face.

Fallow Pale color, varying from cream to light fawn.

Fangs The canine teeth.

An Airedale terrier puppy named Teddy with his Christmas toy

Fault any trait that conflicts with the breed standard.

Fawn red-yellow with a brownish cast, of medium brilliance.

Feathering fringe.

Femur The thigh bone, from the hips to the stifle.

Fiddle front Stance resulting from poor angulation at elbows whereby forefeet turn out, creating violin-like outline. French front. Chippendale front.

Field trial Outdoors competition for hunting dogs in which dogs are judged for their tracking, pointing, or retrieving abilities.

Flag A long tail, carried vertically.

Flare A blaze that widens towards the skull.

Flat bone an elliptical rather than round leg bone.

Flat-sided Ribs that are too flat.

Flecked Lightly ticked coat.

Flews Pendulous upper lips.

Flush To drive birds or other game from cover and force them to take fligt.

Flying ears Any type of ear that sticks out wing-like from the face.

Forearm The foreleg between the elbow and pastern.

Foreface Front of the face. Muzzle.

Forefoot Front foot.

Foreleg Front leg from elbow to foot.

Forequarters Front part of the dog, excluding head and neck.

Foxy Alert, keen expression. Pointed nose on short foreface and erect ears.

Frontal bone Bone over the eyes. Forehead.

Furrow An indentation along the center of the skull to the stop. Median line.

Gait The manner and rhythm of forward motion - walking, trotting, or running.

Game Hunted wild birds or animals. spirited: a game dog is an enthusiastic hunter.

Gazehound A hound that tracks game by sight. Sight-hound. Sighthound.

Gestation Period from conception to birth; usually about 60 days.

Griffon A coarse-haired, terrier-like type of dog.

Grizzle A mixture of colored hair with a gray coat.

Guard hairs Stiff, long hairs which extend beyond the undercoat.

Hackney action Forefeet that lift high.

Hare-footed Having a long, narrow foot with tight toes.

Hare-pied a predominantly tan pied coat, resembling the color of a hare.

Harlequin Patched or pied coat, usually black on white color.

Haunches Buttocks. Croup.

Haw The membrane in the inside corner of the eye. Third eyelid. Inner eye.

Haw-eyes Drooping lower eyelid that exposes conjunctiva or third eyelid.

Hazel Light brown.

Heat Estrus.

Heel Hock.

High-standing Tall, long-legged.

Hind foot Rear foot.

Hock The joint between the second thigh and the pastern. Heel.

Hocks well let down Relatively short hocks that are close to the ground.

Hound-marked white, tan, and black color.

Inbreeding The mating of close relatives.

Incisors Upper and lower front teeth.

Interbreeding The cross breeding of dogs of different varieties.

Isabella Fawn.

Kink tail A tail that is sharply bent.

Layback The angle of the shoulder blade when seen from the side. A face with a receding nose.

Leather Lobe of the outer ear.

Leggy Legs that are too long.

Level bite When the upper front teeth meet the lower, edge to edge. Pincer bite.

Level gait Movement whereby the wither neither rise nor fall.

Linty Soft-textured coat.

Lion Tawny.

Lippy Pendulous or ill-fitting lips.

Liver Deep brown.

Loaded shoulders Shoulders that project from the body because of over-developed muscles.

Loin The portion of the body that straddles the spine between the ribs and the hindquarters.

Long coupled A long loin.

Lower thigh Second thigh.

Lumber Superfluous flesh.

Lumbering A ponderous gait.

Mane Long, profuse neck hair.

Mantle Dark hair on the shoulders, back, and sides.

Marking Coloring on the coat.

Mask Dark shading onthe face.

Median line Furrow.

Merle Blue-gray with black flecks.

Merle eyes Brown and blue eyes with a black iris.

Metacarpus Pastern.

Metatarsus see Pastern.

Milk teeth First teeth.

Miscellaneous class A group of dogs where no regular classification is provided.

Mismarks Coat markings that do not conform to the colors of the breed.

Moulting Seasonal shedding of the coat.

Oblique shoulders Shoulders that slope rearwards; well laid back.

Occipital protruberance A prominent occiput.

Occiput top of the skull, located towards the back.

Otter tail A round tail coated with short, thick hair that tapers toward the tip from a thick root.

Out at shoulders When shoulder blades are pronounced and jut from the body.

Oval chest A chest more deep than wide.

Overhang A pronounced brow.

Overshot A jaw whose upper incisors overlap the bottom incisors. Pig jaw.

Pads Soles of the feet.

Paper foot A flat foor with thin pads.

Parti-color. Patches of at least two colors.

Pastern The region between the carpus and the foot; metacarpus. rear pastern is the region between the hock and foot; metatarsus.

Pedigree The written record of a purebred dog's lineage.

Pencilling Black lines.

Pied Patches of white and another color.

Pigeon-breast Protruding breastbone in a narrow chest.

Pig-eye Small, steely eye.

Pig jaw Overshot.

Pile dense, soft undercoat.

Pincer bite Level bite.

Pluck Strip.

Plume Long fringe on the tail.

Point The immobile stance taken by a hunting dog to indicate the location of the game.

Pointer A hunting dog that points.

Points of the dog Body parts and joints.

Prick ears An erect, pointed ear.

Prognathism Undershot or overshot jaws.

Purebred A dog whose sire and dam are of the same breed.

Racy Tall, lightly built.

Rat tail A tail that has a thick root covered with curls and bare tip.

Retriever A hunting dog that can be trained to pick up shot game.

Ribbed up Long, angular ribs.

Ridge A streak of hair growing in reverse direction to the main coat.

Ring tail A tail that is carried up and around.

Roach back Back with a convex curve.

Roan Colored hair finely mixed with white.

Roman nose A nose with a high bridge.

Rose ear A small, drop ear that folds back to expose the burr.

Ruff Long, thick hair around the neck.

Rump Croup.

Sable Black hair over a sandy background. Golden to mahogany brown.

Sabre tail curved, sabre-like tail.

Saddle Contrasting hair (color, texture, or length) that forms a saddle-like shape over the back.

Saddle back A back that is long and dips behind the withers.

Scapula Shoulder blade.

Scissor bite When the upper teeth closely overlap the lower teeth.

Screw tail Short, twisted tail.

Second thigh Hindquarters from stifle to hock. Lower thigh.

Sedge Deadgrass.

Self color One (whole) color, and maybe lighter shadings.

Semi-prick ears Erect ears with tips breaking forwards.

Septum Vertical line between nostrils.

Service use of a stud dog.

Setter A type of long-haired dog that "freezes" in the presence of a game and flushes the game upon command.

Sheepdog A dog trained to guard and herd the sheep.

Shelly Weak, narrow, insubstantial body.

Sickle hocks When the hock joints are underextended, resulting in a sharp hock angle.

Sickle tail A tail that is carried out and up in a sickle shape (semi-circle).

Single tracking When footprints fall on a single line.

Sire The male parent.

Skully Thick and coarse through skull.

Slab-sided Flattened ribs.

Slew feet Feet turned out.

Sloping shoulders Shoulder blades set obliquely.

Smooth coat Short, close hair.

Snipy A pointed, weak muzzle.

Snowshoe feet Slightly webbed toes.

Spectacles Dark markings around the eyes.

Spike tail Short, straight, tapering tail.

Spitz A type of northern dog, distinguished by a wedge-shaped head, erect ears, thick coat, and a powerful build. The spitz family comprises several breeds.

Splay foot A flat foot with spreading toes.

Spring of ribs A reference to the rib contours.

Squirrel tail A tail that is carried up and back over the topline.

Stern The tail of a sporting dog.

Sternum Breastbone. Brisket.

Stifle The hind leg joint located between the thigh and the second thigh. Knee.

Stop The depression beneath the eyes at the junction of the nasal bone and the skull.

Straight-hocked Hocks that are insufficiently bent.

Straight shoulders Shoulder blades that are truly straight up and down, rather than sloping.

Strip To remove hair on a wire-coated dog. Pluck.

Stud book A registry of the breeding particulars of pedigreed dogs.

Swayback A topline that is concave between the withers and hips.

Sword tail A tail that hangs straight down.

Tail set The way the tail is positioned on the croup.

Team A group of at least three dogs.

Terrier front Straight, narrow front.

Texture Feel (nature) of the coat.

Thigh The region between the hip and the stifle.

Thorax Chest.

Thumb marks Black spots on the pasterns or on the head.

Ticked flecks of black or colored hair interspersed on a white coat.

Tied at the elbows elbows that are too close together beneath the body.

Timber Bone.

Topknot A tuft of hair on the head.

Topline The top of the back.

Tuck up A reference to the body depth at the loin.

Tulip ears Wide, stiffly upright ears whose outer edges curve slightly forward to resemble a tulip petal.

Tricolor Three colors. Frequently the black, white, and tan colors on hounds.

Undercoat A dense second coat that is hidden by a longer topcoat.

Undershot A kaw whose lower incisors overlap the upper incisors.

Waist A narrowing of the body at the loin.

Wall-eye Light blue eye.

Weedy Light in bone; unsubstantial.

Well laid back shoulders Oblique shoulders.

Well let down short, upright metatarsals.

Wet neck a neck with dewlap.

Wheaten Pale yellow or fawn.

Wheel back A topline that arches over the loin.

Whelping The act of giving birth to puppies.

Whip tail Pointed, stiff, straight tail.

Whiskers Long hair on the muzzle and the jaw.

Whole color Solid color. Self color.

Withers The highest point of the body, excluding the head; located behind the neck.

Wrinkle Folded skin.

Wrist Carpus.

Wry mouth A mouth whose lower and upper jaws are not aligned.



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