Category Archives: Canine Terminology

Canine Terminology – U W

UNBALANCED Parts do not fit one another; not symmetrical. UNDERSHOT The upper jaw does not extend out as far as the lower jaw; lower jaw projects beyond the upper jaw. UNSOUND A derogatory remark about a dog which indicates one or a number of faults. UPPER ARM The part of the front leg from the elbow to the shoulder blade. WALLEYE Eye with whitish iris; associated with merle coat colour in Collies, Shelties and also found with Harlequin Danes. WEAVING As the dog travels the free foot is swung round the support foot. WEEDY Light-boned. WHEATEN Fawn-coloured coat; pale yellow coat. WHELPS Unweaned puppies. WHIP TAIL Carried straight, stiff and pointed. WIRE-HAIR A hard, wiry coat as the Wire-haired Fox Terrier. WITHERS The bony projection of vertebrae in the vicinity of the shoulder blades; the highest point of the shoulder below the neck; first eight dorsal vertebrae. WRINKLE Wrinkled skin on foreface and forehead as on a Basenji or Bloodhound. WRY-FACED Upper jaw area of the foreface noticeably out of level. Read more […]

Canine Terminology – T

TAIL SET How the base of the tail sets on the rump. TEAM More than two dogs, matched in appearance and shown as a team. TERRIER A group of dogs, the origin of which was to hunt vermin. TERRIER FRONT Straight front, as found on Fox Terriers; a fault in some breeds and desirable in others. THIGH In dogs the area from the pelvis to the hock joint; upper thigh is from the pelvis to the stifle. lower thigh is from the stifle to the hock joint. THROATINESS Excessive skin under the throat. TICKED Small spots of coloured hair on a background colour (usually white background). A pattern that has variable colours. TOPKNOT A tuft of hair on top of the head, as on a Poodle. TOPLINE Line from withers to tail as seen in silhouette. TOY DOGS A group of dogs, small in size. TRIANGULAR EYE A somewhat three-cornered appearing eye; the tissue surrounding the eye has a triangular shape . TRICOLOUR A dog with black, white and tan coat colours. TRIM To clip a dog’s coat; to shape a coat by removing part of the hair. TROT Diagonal Read more […]

Canine Terminology – S

SABRE TAIL Tail carried like a sabre; semi-circle; German Shepherd Dog tail at rest is carried like a sabre. SABLE Black outer hairs over a light-coloured coat. (Usually brown to light brown.) SADDLE A dark (usually black) marking over the back; from the location of a saddle as placed on a horse. SCAPULA The shoulder blade. SCREW TAIL A naturally occurring short tail that twists. SECOND THIGH Lower thigh; from stifle to hock joint. SEPTUM Line between nostrils. SHALLOW BRISKET Lack of depth of ribs. SHORT-BODIED Short between front of chest and rear of dog. SHORT-COUPLED Short space between last rib and pelvis. SHOULDERS Shoulder blade and supporting muscles. SHOULDER HEIGHT Height of a dog measured from the withers to the ground. SICKLE-HOCKED Inability to straighten the hock joint on the back reach of the hind leg; dog moves with a permanent angle in hock joint. SICKLE TAIL Tip of tail vertically above root, but tail bent as a semi-circle; tail carried out and up in a semi-circle (shaped like a sickle). Read more […]

Canine Terminology – R

RACY Tall and thin as a Greyhound; too light in structure. REACH The distance the front or rear legs can reach (forward reach or back reach). RETRIEVE The act of bringing back game (or dumbbell in obedience ring) to handler; bringing back an object. RIBBED-UP Well ribbed-up; long ribs that angle back from the spinal column (45 degrees is ideal) and the last rib is long (the loin is short). RIBS WELL-SPRUNG Ribs spring out from the back nearly level and form an angle with the spinal column (a 45 degrees angle between spinal column and rib is best). Well-sprung refers more to the way the ribs spring out from the spine and should not be confused with ‘barrel-chested’. An oval-chested Greyhound can have well-sprung ribs. RING TAIL Tail carried over back almost in a circle. ROACH Usually a roached back; an upward-curved backline; a hump over ribs and loin; convex curvature of backline. ROMAN NOSE Bridge of nose bends outward; convex curvature of nose. ROSEEAR Drop ear (usually small) that folds back and over so as to show the internal folds. RUDDER Tail. RUFF Read more […]

Canine Terminology – P Q

PACE A gait; two right feet on the ground and two left feet in the air followed by two left feet on the ground and two right feet in the air; in some breeds the ‘pace’ is acceptable. PADDING Flapping; the front feet flap up (opposite of hackney action where the toe points downward); more common in short legged breeds, such as Dachshunds. Also hitting the pad on the ground prior to the normal full forward swing of the front leg. PADDLING Moving the front legs like a canoe paddle motion; a rotary motion; when the front feet move forward they have a somewhat circular motion. PADS Tough soft material on underside of dog’s feet; pads absorb shock. PARTI-COLOUR A coat with patches of two or more colours; three colours are usually designated as tricoloured. PASTERN The region between the wrist and toes on forelegs; pastern joint is at the wrist (carpus); down in pasterns is an excessive forward sloping pastern for the breed; knuckled over occurs when pastern joint bends forwards and the pastern slopes backwards. PATELLA Kneecap. PEAR-SHAPED Shaped like a pear; body of a Bulldog is pear shaped. PELVIS Read more […]

Canine Terminology – N O

N.A.F Name applied for registration with the Kennel Club. NECK The area between the head and the shoulders; included are the first seven vertebrae of the spinal column. NECK WELL SET-ON Good neckline, merging gradually with strong withers, forming a pleasing transition into topline. NOSE Organ of smell; also, the ability to detect by means of scent. NOSTRIL Nasal opening admitting air and scent. OBLIQUE SHOULDERS Shoulders well laid back. OCCIPUT Upper, back point of skull. OCCIPITAL PROTUBERANCE A prominently raised occiput characteristic of some breeds. OESTRUS The period during which a bitch will accept mating. Heat season. OFFICERS Persons elected to office within a Society. OPEN COAT Sparse, at king in density. OTTER TAIL Thick, the root, tapering to blunt end with short thick hair growing round tail, not extending below hock, OUT AT SHOULDER With shoulder blades loosely attached to the body, leaving the shoulders jumping out in relief and increasing the breadth of the front. OUT AT WALK To lease or lend a puppy Read more […]

Canine Terminology – M

MASK Dark shading on the muzzle. MEDIAN LINE Indentation causing line in the skull extending from stop to occiput. MERLE A pattern of coat colouration; mottled blue colour pattern found in Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs; sometimes with flecks of black; merle is a pattern and the colour is specified as for example, blue merle. METACARPUS Bones of front leg from pastern joint to foot. METATARSUS Bones of rear leg from hock joint to foot. MILK TEETH Baby teeth; first teeth. MOLARS The dog has four premolars on each side of the upper and lower jaw. There are two true molars on each side of the upper jaw and three on each side of the lower jaw. MONORCHID A male dog with one testicle in the scrotum (there may be one in the abdominal cavity) MUZZLE The protruding jaw and nose; the head in front of the eyes. Also a device fitting over a dog’s mouth to prevent biting or eating. MAIDEN Bitch that has not produced puppies. MANDIBLE Lower jaw bone. MANDIBULAR Relating to lower jaw. MANE Long and profuse hair on top and sides of the neck. Read more […]

Canine Terminology – I J K L

INCISORS Front teeth between canines; six front teeth in each jaw between the fangs (canines). JAWS The jaw bones carry the teeth; upper and lower jaws border the mouth. JOWLS Lips and flesh of the jaw. JUDGE At a dog show, one appointed to classify dogs in order of merit; one who gives a judgment on dogs. KNEE The stifle joint (not pastern joint on front leg). KNEE JOINT Stifle joint in rear leg. KNUCKLING OVER Pastern joint bent forward; instead of being vertical the front leg has a forward bend at the pastern joint. LATERAL DISPLACEMENT Lateral instability; the force that causes side away in a pacing dog (to a lesser degree in the trotting dog). LAYBACK There are two distinct meanings of ‘layback’. The first and most common is to describe ‘shoulder slope’ of the scapula from the point of shoulder to the withers. Some prefer to always refer to this as the ‘slope of shoulder’ and reserve ‘layback’ for convergence of the scapulae over the ribs towards the withers, i.e. the slope as seen from the front of the dog rather than the side. LEATHER The leather of a hound’s ear; Read more […]

Canine Terminology – H

HACKLES Raise hackles; in anger a dog that involuntarily raises the hair on his neck and top of back is said to have his hackles up HACKNEY ACTION High lifting of the front leg with pastern and paw pointed downward; named after the hackney horse; approved in Miniature Pinscher Standard. HARD-MOUTHED Retrievers should be soft-mouthed; a dog that leaves tooth marks on retrieved game is said to be hard-mouthed. HAREFOOT Foot as on a hare or rabbit; an elongated foot; a narrow long foot. HARLEQUIN A coat colour, patched or pied; Great Danes with black patches on white. HAW A membrane in the inside corner of the eye (a third eyelid). Bassets, Bloodhounds and Otterhounds should show haws; most other breeds consider showing the haw as a fault. HEAT Oestrus; breeding period of bitches. HEIGHT Height as measured from tip of shoulder blade to floor; height at withers. HERRING GUT Bottom line of dog sweeps up from brisket to loin; ribs rapidly slope upward from keel to floating rib; a fault that decreases heart room. HINDQUARTERS Rear assembly of dog (pelvis, thighs, hocks and paws) Read more […]

Canine Terminology – G

GAIT Manner in which a dog moves, as walking, trotting, pacing or galloping. GALLOP A fast, running gait; canter, normal gallop or the double suspension gallop. GUARD HAIRS The longer hairs on double-coated dogs; stiffer hairs that protect the undercoat. GAY TAIL A tail carried higher than desirable for the breed; usually the tail is held over the back. GAZEHOUND Hounds that hunt game by sight, such as Greyhounds, Whippets, Saluki, Borzoi or Afghan Hounds. GOOSE-RUMP Croup (pelvis) sloping too steeply toward the rear; low tail set. GROUP Dog breeds are divided into six groups to facilitate judging. Read more […]