|Doing some research or just trying to find out what something means? Using our Glossary of Dog Terms will help you out!
Achondroplasia: Improper development of cartilage at the ends of the long bones, resulting in a form of congenital dwarfism. A defect in most breeds and a requisite in others like Dachshunds and Basset Hounds.
Acquired Immunity: Immunity obtained either from the development of antibodies in response to exposure to an antigen, as from vaccination or an attack of an infectious disease, or from the transmission of antibodies, as from mother to fetus through the placenta or the injection of antiserum. Results in resistance to further infection.
Acute Disease: An illness that manifests rapidly.
Affenpinscher: A breed of small dogs of European origin, having wiry, shaggy hair and a tufted muzzle.
Afghan Hound: A large, slender hunting dog having long, thick hair, a pointed muzzle, and drooping ears.
Afterbirth: The placenta and fetal membranes expelled from the uterus following the birth of each newborn puppy.
Agent: See Handler
Agility Excellent (AX): A suffix title conferred on dogs for qualifying the requisite number of times in the Agility Excellent class at AKC agility trials.
Agility Trials: An organized competition at which dogs negotiate a series of obstacles and jumps in three classes of increasing difficulty. Suffix titles are earned at each level (Novice, Open, and Excellent) by qualifying a predetermined number of times.
Agouti: Used to describe Siberian Huskies, this color is the alternating bands of light and dark along each hair in the coat. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Akbash Dog: A breed of sheep dog native to Turkey possessing characteristics of both mastiffs and gazehounds.
Akita: Also known as the Akita Inu, a large breed dog of Japanese origin
Alaskan Malamute: A breed of sled dog developed in Alaska
Albino: A relatively rare, genetically recessive condition resulting in white hair and pink eyes.
All-Breed Show: Conformation show where all AKC-recognized breeds may be exhibited.
Allele: One member of a pair or series of genes that occupy a specific position on a specific chromosome.
Allergen: A substance, such as pollen or pet dander, that causes an allergy.
Allergy: An abnormally high sensitivity to certain substances, such as pollens, foods, or microorganisms. Common indications of allergy may include sneezing, itching, and skin rashes.
Almond Eyes: An elongated eye shape, rather than rounded.
Alpha: Term used to describe the highest ranked or most dominant individual of one's sex. Used of social animals: the alpha female of the wolf pack..
Alter: To castrate or spay (an animal, such as a cat or a dog).
Amateur Field Champion (AFC): A prefix title conferred on dogs that have earned the required number of placements and/or points in amateur stakes at field trials for pointing breeds, retrievers, and spaniels.
Amble: A relaxed, easy gait in which the legs on either side move almost, but not quite, as a pair. Often seen as the transition movement between the walk and other faster gaits.
American-Bred Class: A regular class for all dogs (except champions) six months of age whelped in the USA as a result of a mating that took place within the USA.
American Eskimo: Formerly called the Spitz, a small to medium size breed of companion dog originating in the U.S. in the twentieth century and characterized by its white, fluffy coat.
American Kennel Club: An organization, established under the laws of the State of New York, whose goals are to adopt and enforce uniform rules regulating and governing purebred dogs events; to regulate the conduct of persons interested in exhibiting, running, breeding, registering, purchasing, and selling dogs; to detect, prevent, and punish frauds in connection therewith; to protect the interest of its members; to maintain and publish an official stud book and an official gazette; and generally to do everything to advance the study, breeding, exhibiting, running, and maintenance of purebred dogs.
American Water Spaniel: A breed of medium-sized spaniels originating in America having chocolate or liver-colored curly coat.
Anal glands: Glands which secrete a substance that is used by a dog to mark its territory. Located near the anus.
Anestrus: An interval of sexual inactivity between two periods of estrus in female mammals that breed cyclically.
Angulation: Angles created by bones meeting at their given joints.
Ankle: See Hock
Ankylosis: Abnormal immobility and fusion of a joint. Noted as cause of faulty tails in the German Shepherd Dog standard.
Anterior: The front assembly of the body.
Appenzell Cattle Dog: Also known as the Appenzeller, the Appenzell Mountain Dog, and the Appenzeller Sennenhund. One of the four Swiss Sennenhunds, a muscular and hardy dog bred for herding.
Apple Head: A round-shaped or dome-like head as seen in the Chihuahua.
Apricot: Used to describe Afghans, Pugs, Mastiffs, and Poodles, this color is a dull, medium-saturated orange (like the fruit of the same name). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Apron: Longer hair below the neck on the chest; also called the frill.
Arm: The anatomical region between the shoulder and the elbow. Sometimes called the upper arm.
Articulation: Where two or more bones meet.
Artificial Insemination: The introduction of semen into the female reproductive tract by artificial means.
Asthma: A chronic respiratory disease, often arising from allergies, that is characterized by sudden recurring attacks of labored breathing, chest constriction, and coughing.
Asymptomatic: Neither causing nor exhibiting symptoms of disease.
Australian Cattle Dog: Also known as the Queensland Heeler or Blue Heeler, a herding dog developed in Australia. A medium-sized dog characterized by much energy and an independent streak.
Australian Kelpie: A medium-sized Australian breed of sheep dog that comes in a variety of colors including red and black with white tips.
Australian Silky Terrier: See Silky Terrier
Australian Terrier: A small dog of a breed originally bred in Australia, having a coarse blackish coat with tan markings.
Auto-immune disease: A disease resulting from an immune reaction produced by an individual's white blood cells or antibodies acting on the body's own tissues or extracellular proteins.
Awn hairs: A part of the undercoat that is coarse and longer than the downy undercoat yet shorter than the primary guard coat.
Babbler: A hound that gives ‘tongue' when not on the trail.
Back: The area of a dog's body extending from the withers to the croup.
Back crossing: A form of inbreeding in which a dog is mated to its parent.
Backyard breeder: A person who casually breeds purebred dogs with little or no regard to the breed standard, genetically linked defects or temperament.
Badger: A grayish-brown color that may be mixed with a few dark hairs (Great Pyrenees, Sealyham Terriers). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Bad Mouth: Crooked teeth; when the mouth is closed, upper and lower teeth do not line up according to the standard of the breed.
Balance: When all the parts of the dog, moving or standing, produce a harmonious image.
Bandy Legs: Legs that bend outward.
Barrel: A rib region that is round in cross section.
Barrel Hocks: Hocks that turn out, causing the feet to toe in. Also called spread hocks.
Barring: Striped markings.
Base coat: The primary color of the coat.
Basenji: A dog of a breed originally from Africa, having a short, smooth, reddish-brown coat and characterized by the absence of a bark.
Basset Hound: A smooth-haired breed of hound with short legs and long ears.
Bat Ear: An ear that stands up, with a broad base, rounded at the top, with opening facing forward.; An erect ear that is broad at the base and rounded on the top.
Bay: The prolonged bark or voice of a hunting hound.
Beady: Eyes that are small, round, and glittering, imparting an expression foreign to the breed.
Beard: Thick, long hair growth on the underjaw.
Bearded Collie: A breed of herding dogs originating in Scotland, having a long shaggy coat and drooping ears.
Beauty Spot: A distinct spot, usually round, of colored hair, surrounded by the white spot of the blaze, on the topskull between the ears (Blenheim Spaniel or Boston Terrier).
Beaver: A mixture of white, gray, brown, and black hairs. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Bea-Sting Tail: A relatively short, strong, straight tail that tapers to a point. Used to describe the characteristics of a Pointer's tail.
Bedlington Terrier: A terrier of a breed developed in England, having a woolly grayish or brownish coat.
Beefy: Over-heavy development of the hindquarters.
Behavior Modification: The use of basic learning techniques, such as conditioning, biofeedback, reinforcement, or aversion therapy, to teach simple skills or alter undesirable behavior.
Belge: Used to describe Brussels Griffon, this color is black and reddish-brown mixed. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Belgian Sheepdog: A hardy working dog developed in Belgium for herding sheep.
Belton: A color pattern in English Setters (named after a village in England) of light or dark ticking or roaning. Colors include: blue belton (black and white), orange belton (orange and white), lemon belton (lemon and white), and liver belton (liver and white). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Bernese Mountain Dog: A Swiss breed of large, muscular dogs having a soft, silky black coat with russet or tan markings on the forelegs, over each eye, and on both sides of a white chest. The dogs were formerly used for draft.
Best in Show: During a championship conformation show, the dog with the most points and wins earned.
Best of Breed: As deemed by the judge, the dog that comes closest to meeting the breed standard among the competing dogs of that breed.
Bi-color: Coloring of a dog who is mostly white but with large patches of one other solid color.
Bird Dog: A sporting dog bred and trained to hunt game birds.
Bird Dog Field Trials: See Field Trial
Bird of Prey Eyes: Light yellowish eyes, usually harsh in outlook.
Biscuit: Usually used to describe Pekingese and Samoyeds, this color is a combination of light gray, yellow, and brown hues with medium brilliance and saturation (perhaps a gray-yellow). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Bitch: A female canine.
Bite: The relative position of the upper and lower teeth when the jaws are closed. Bite positions include scissors, level, undershot, or overshot, depending on the breed.
Blanket: The color of the coat on the back and upper part of the sides, between the neck and the tail.
Blaze: A white stripe running up the center of the face usually between the eyes.
Blenheim: Used to define the color of markings of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (red and white). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Blinking: Briefly pointing a bird and then leaving it, or upon finding a bird, avoiding retrieving it.
Bloat: Also known as gastric dilation, a flatulent digestive disturbance of domestic animals and especially cattle marked by abdominal bloating. Most common in deep-chested dogs and can rapidly lead to death if untreated.
Blocky: Square or cube-like formation of the head.
Blocky head: A head with a squarish, cube-like appearance. Seen on the Boston Terrier.
Blooded: A dog of good breeding; pedigreed.
Bloodhound: One of a breed of hounds with a smooth coat, drooping ears, sagging jowls, and a keen sense of smell.
Bloodline: Direct line of descent; pedigree.
Blue Gray: Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Blue-cream: A coat color combining blue with cream.
Blue Merle: A color pattern of black blotches or streaks on a blue-gray background. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description. See Merle
Bluies: Colored portions of the coat have a distinctive bluish or smoky cast. This coloring is associated with extremely light or blue eyes and liver or gray eye rims, nose, and lip pigment. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Blunt Muzzle: A square muzzle typical of many breeds such as the Mastiff and Pointers.
Board: To feed, house, and care for a dog for a fee.
Bobtail: A dog born without a tail, or a dog with a tail docked very short. Often used as a name for the Old English Sheepdog.
Body Length: Distance from the prosternum (front portion of the breastbone) to the posterior portion of the pelvic girdle.
Booster Vaccination: Periodic injections given after a primary injection to continue immunity to a specific disease.
Border Collie: A British sheepdog that has a wavy, usually black coat with white markings and is used for herding.
Border Terrier: A small rough-coated terrier of British origin
Bordetellosis: A bacterial infection affecting the respiratory system.
Borreliosis: An infectious arthritis caused by a spirochete bacterium, more commonly known as Lyme disease.
Borzoi: Any of a breed of tall, slender dogs having a narrow, pointed head and a silky, predominantly white coat, originally developed in Russia for hunting wolves. Also called Russian wolfhound.
Bossy: Over-development of the shoulder muscles.
Bouvier des Flandres: A breed of large, strong dogs developed in Belgium, having a rough, fawn to black coat and originally used for herding and guarding cattle.
Boxer: A medium-sized, short-haired dog of a breed developed in Germany, having a brownish coat and a short, square-jawed muzzle.
Brace: (1) Two of the same breed presented together as a pair. (2) Performance: To run dogs together in certain types of field events.
Break: Term used to describe changing of coat color from puppies to adult stages.
Breastbone: See Sternum
Breech Birth: A birth of a puppy whose hind end comes out first rather than the head.
Breeches: The fringe-like hair on long-coated dogs that grows on the upper and sometimes lower thighs. Also known as culottes, pants and trousers.
Breed: A domestic race of dogs (selected and maintained by man) with a common gene pool and characterized appearance and function.
Breed club: An organization comprised of dog fanciers dedicated to the promotion and improvement of a particular breed of dog.
Breeder: A person who breeds dogs.
Breed rescue: An organization dedicated to finding good homes for unwanted or abandoned purebred dogs.
Breed Standard: The set of breed descriptions originally laid down by the various parent breed clubs and accepted officially by international bodies.
Breeder: A person who breeds dogs.
Breeding Particulars: Sire, dam, date of birth, sex, color, etc.
Briard: An ancient French breed of sturdily built, rough-coated dogs.
Brindle: A marking pattern used to describe many breeds, usually in conjunction with another color. Layering of black hairs in regions of lighter color (usually, fawn, brown, or gray) producing a tiger-striped pattern. Brindle is often used to describe Great Danes, Bulldogs, and Boxers. In Boxers, reverse brindle may occur; i.e., there is such a heavy concentration of black striping that the fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (appears black with fawn stripes). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Brisket: Usually refers to the sternum, but in some standards it refers to the entire thorax.
Brittany Spaniel: A large pointing spaniel of a breed originating in France.
Britches: Longer hair found on the upper rear area of the legs.
Broken Color: Self-color broken by white or another color. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Broken-haired: A rough, wiry coat.
Broken-Up Face: A receding nose, together with a deep stop, wrinkle, and undershot jaw, as in the Bulldog or Pekingese.
Bronze: Used to describe Newfoundlands, this color is usually a tinge in a black coat caused by the sun. It is like the color of the metal of the same name, which can be described as a moderately bright, yellowish brown. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Brood Bitch: Female dog (bitch) used for breeding.
Brows: The ridges formed above the eyes by frontal bone contours.
Brucellosis: A chronic disease caused by the bacterium Brucella canis and characterized by prolonged disorders of the genital tract, including infertility.
Brush: A bushy tail; a tail heavy with hair.
Brushing: A gaiting fault, when parallel pasterns are so close that the legs brush in passing.
Buff: Off-white to gold. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Bulldog: A breed of short-haired dog characterized by a large head, strong square jaws with dewlaps, and a stocky body. It was originally bred for bullbaiting.
Bullmastiff: A large, heavy-set, powerful dog of a breed developed from the bulldog and the mastiff.
Bull Neck: A heavy neck, well-muscled.
Bull Terrier: A breed of dog having a short, usually white coat and a tapering muzzle, developed in England by crossing a bulldog with a now extinct breed of terrier.
Burr: The inside of the ear; i.e., the irregular formation visible within the cup.
Butterfly: A partially unpigmented nose; i.e., dark, spotted with flesh color.
Buttocks: The rump or hips.
Button Ear: A small, neat ear with the flap folding forward, covering the opening of the ear.
By-Products: Animal products which are not of a sufficient quality to be used for human consumption
Cafe Au Lait: Usually used to describe Poodles, this color is the typical color of the French coffee of the same name, which is about equal parts of coffee and milk. It may be described as rich, well-saturated light brown. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Cairn Terrier: A small dog of a breed developed in Scotland, having a broad head and a rough shaggy coat.
Camel Back: An arched back.
Candle Flame Ears: A type of dog-ear that is large and erect with uneven edges.
Canid: A family (Canidae) of carnivorous animals including dogs, wolves, coyotes, foxes, and jackals.
Canine: An animal of the family Canidae, especially a dog.
Canine Distemper: The most important viral infectious disease in dogs, caused by canine distemper virus and characterized by acute upper respiratory disease symptoms and fever and later by more serious respiratory symptoms as well as fever, vomiting, diarrhea and neurological signs.
Canine Good Citizen® (CGC): Outreach program, put on by a club, which tests a dog's behavior.
Canine Teeth: The large, sharp, curved teeth that are located on each side of the mouth. Also referred to as eye teeth.
Canter: A gait with three beats to each stride, two legs moving separately and two as a diagonal pair. Slower than the gallop and not as tiring.
Cao de Agua: See Portuguese Water Dog
Cap: Darkly shaded color pattern on the skull of some breeds.
Cape: Long, thick hair covering the shoulders.
Cardiomyopathy: A disease or disorder of the heart muscle, especially of unknown or obscure cause.
Carnivore: A flesh-eating animal.
Carpals: Bones of the wrist.
Carrier: A dog who, though not showing any indication of being affected, carries a genetic defect or disease-causing organism that can be passed to other animals.
Castrate: To remove the testicles of a male dog.
Cataract: Opacity of the lens or capsule of the eye, causing impairment of vision or blindness
Cat Foot: Neat, round foot, with high-arched toes held closely together.
Caucasian Ovtcharka: A large, strong breed originating in Caucasia and bred to protect livestock.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: An English toy spaniel with a curly, black and tan coat and long ears
Ch: A title conferred on a dog by the AKC as a result of defeating a specified number of dogs in specified competition at a series of AKC-licensed or -member dog shows.
Champion: A title conferred on a dog by the AKC as a result of defeating a specified number of dogs in specified competition at a series of AKC-licensed or -member dog shows.
Cheeks: The region of the skin that lies below the eyes and begins at the lips, reaching back to the area in front of the ears.
Cheeky: Cheeks prominently rounded; thick, protruding.
Cherry Eye: Prolapsed gland of the third eyelid.
Chesapeake Bay Retriever: A hunting dog of a breed developed in the United States, having a thick short wavy coat ranging from dark brown to tan in color and known for its skill in retrieving game from water.
Chest: The part of the body or trunk that is enclosed by the ribs.
Chestnut: Usually used to describe Irish Setters and Pharaoh Hounds, the color may be described as deep, heavily saturated, reddish brown (like the nut of the same name). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Chihuahua: A very small dog of a breed originating in Mexico, having pointed ears and a smooth coat.
China Eye: A clear or spotted blue, light blue, or whitish eye.
Chippendale Front: Forelegs out at the elbows, pasterns close, and feet turned out. Named after the Chippendale chair. Also called fiddle front.
Chiseled: Clean-cut in head, as contrasted with bumpy or bulging outlines, particularly beneath the eyes.
Chocolate: A medium chocolate brown color of dog.
Choke Collar: A chain collar that tightens like a noose when the leash is pulled, used to train or control dogs or other animals. Also called choke chain.
Chops: Jowls or pendulous flesh of the lips and jaw.
Chorea: A nervous jerking caused by involuntary contractions of the muscles (may be caused by distemper or hepatitis).
Chow Chow: Any of a breed of heavyset dog originating in China, having a long, dense, reddish-brown or black coat and a blue-black tongue.
Chronic Disease: A disease lasting indefinitely.
Cinnamon: Usually used to describe Chow Chows. Like the color or the spice of the same name, this color is a lightly saturated, yellowish brown. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Circular Eye: A round eye. Seen in the Smooth Fox Terrier.
Cleft Palate: A birth defect in which the two halves of the mouth do not fuse together properly.
Clip: The method of trimming the coat in some breeds.
Clipping: When pertaining to gait, the back foot striking the front foot.
Cloddy: Low, thickset, comparatively heavy.
Close Mating: A condition where there is less than 4 months and 15 days between either (1) The date of mating of a previously registered litter and the date of mating of a newly submitted litter application for the same dam; or (2) The whelping date of a previously registered litter and the whelping date of a newly submitted litter application out of the same dam.
Close-Coupled: Comparatively short from the last rib to the commencement of the hindquarters; occasionally used to characterize a comparative shortness from withers to hipbones.
Clydesdale Terrier: A breed of small silky-haired terriers related to, but smaller than, the Skye terrier, having smaller and perfectly erect ears.
Coarse: Considered a negative term, a dog not refined or harmonious in conformation.
Coat: The dog's hair covering. Most breeds have two coats: an outer coat and an undercoat.
Cobby: Compact, with a short body.
Cocker Spaniel: A dog of a breed originally developed in England, having long drooping ears and a variously colored silky coat.
Collar: (1) The markings around the neck, usually white. (2) A leather, nylon, or chain neck band for restraining or leading a dog when the leash is attached.
Colitis: Inflammation of the colon.
Collie: A medium-to-large dog of a breed originating in Scotland as a sheepdog, having a long narrow muzzle and either a long thick straight coat or a short hard flat coat, depending on the variety.
Colostrum: The milk secreted by the mother during the first few days following birth that provides the puppies with immunity to some diseases.
Compact: Term used to describe the firmly joined union of various body parts. Also used to describe a short- to medium-length coat, very close lying, with a dense undercoat and giving a smooth outline.
Companion Animal Recovery(sm) (CAR): A national database in which any companion animal with a form of positive identification, such as a microchip or tattoo, can be enrolled.
Companion Dog (CD): A title conferred on a dog by the AKC as a result of having won certain minimum scores in Novice classes at a specified number of AKC-licensed or -member obedience trials.
Companion Dog Excellent (CDX): A title conferred on a dog by the AKC as a result of having won certain minimum scores in Open classes at a specified number of AKC-licensed or -member obedience trials.
Concaveation: Milk production in a spayed female dog in response to the suckling of a puppy.
Condition: Health as shown by the coat, skin, general appearance, and behavior.
Conformation: The form and structure, make and shape; arrangement of the parts in conformance with breed standards.
Congenital: Present at birth; may have genetic or environmental causes.
Copper: Usually used with white to describe Siberian Huskies. Like the color of the metal of the same name, this color is a bright, brownish red. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Corded: A type of coat as seen on the Komondor and Pulli breeds that grows in long cord-like strings.
Corky: Active, lively, alert.
Coronavirus: Disease characterized by vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration.
Couple: Two hounds.
Coupling: The part of the body between the ribs and the pelvis/hindquarters; the loin.
Coursing: The sport of chasing prey with sighthounds.
Covering Ground: The distance traveled by a dog with each stride as it gaits.
Cow-Hocked: Hocks turning in, accompanied by toeing out of rear feet.
Crabbing: Dog moves with its body at an angle to the line of travel. Also called sidewinding.
Crank Tail: A tail carried down and resembling a crank in shape.
Crate: Portable container used for shipping, transporting, or housing dogs. Also called cage or kennel.
Cream: Used to describe many breeds, this color is a lowly saturated, light-to-medium yellow. Often, it has just a little more color than white. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Crest: The upper, arched portion of the neck.
Cropping/Crop: The cutting or trimming of ear leather to encourage it to stand erect.
Crossbred: A dog whose sire and dam are representatives of two different breeds. A crossbred dog cannot be registered by the AKC.
Crossing Over: Unsound gaiting action that starts with twisting elbows and ends with crisscrossing and toeing out. Also called knitting and purling and weaving.
Croup: The region of the pelvic girdle, formed by the sacrum and surrounding tissue.
Crown: The top part of the head; the topskull.
Cruelty: Conscious action or inaction that may endanger life or cause serious health consequences to animals.
Cry: The baying or music of the hounds.
Cryptorchid: The adult whose testicles are abnormally retained in the abdominal cavity. Bilateral cryptorchidism involves both sides; i.e., neither testicle has descended into the scrotum. Unilateral cryptorchidism (also called monorchid) involves one side only; i.e., one testicle is retained or hidden, and one is descended.
Culotte: The longer hair on the back of the thighs.
Cur: See Crossbred
Curled Tail: A tail which is tightly curled and held close to the back.
Cushion: Fullness or thickness of the upper lips. (Pekingese)
Cynology: The study of canines.
Cyst: An abnormal membranous sac containing a gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substance.
Cystitis: Inflammation of the urinary bladder.
Dachshund: A small dog of a breed developed in Germany for hunting badgers and having a long body, a usually shorthaired brown or black and brown coat, drooping ears, and very short legs.
Dalmatian: A dog of a breed believed to have originated in Dalmatia, having a short, smooth white coat covered with black or dark brown spots.
Dam: The female parent.
Dander: Small scales from the skin, hair, or feathers of an animal, often causing an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier: A breed of small terrier with long wiry coat and drooping ears.
Dapple: A mottled or variegated coat color pattern. Single dapple is expressed as lighter color areas contrasting with the darker base color, which may be acceptable color. Looks like the merle effect in Shelties, Collies, etc., except that it is found in Dachshunds. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Date of Whelping: Date of birth.
Deadgrass: Tan or dull straw color. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Deep-Chested: Term describing the rib cage structure of dogs like German Shepherds, Great Danes and Irish Setters. Deep-chested dogs have a greater tendency to develop stomach dilatation, also referred to as bloat.
Dehydration: Excessive loss of water from the body or from an organ or body part, as from illness or fluid deprivation.
Demodex: A mite that causes mange.
Dentition: Forty-two adult teeth, including incisors, canines, premolars, and molars.
Depth of Chest: An indication of the volume of space for heart and lungs, and commonly referenced to the elbow (i.e., above, at the level of, or below).
Dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin.
Dewclaw: An extra claw on the inside of the leg; a rudimentary fifth toe, removed on most breeds.
Dewlap: Loose, pendulous skin under the throat and neck.
DHLPP: Vaccine to immunize a dog against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus
Diabetes: A disease in which the body is unable to utilize blood glucose because inadequate amounts of insulin are produced by the pancreas.
Diagonals: Right front and left rear legs constitute the right diagonal; left front and right rear legs constitute the left diagonal. In the trot, the diagonals move together.
Diehard: Nickname of the Scottish Terrier.
Dilute: Washed out color. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Dingo: A wild dog (Canis dingo) of Australia, having a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown coat.
Dish-faced: A slight concaveness of foreface when viewed in profile.
Distemper: An infectious viral disease occurring in dogs, characterized by loss of appetite, a catarrhal discharge from the eyes and nose, vomiting, fever, lethargy, partial paralysis caused by destruction of myelinated nerve tissue, and sometimes death. Also called canine distemper.
Distemper Teeth: Teeth discolored or pitted as a result of distemper or other disease or deficiency.
Divergent Hocks: Hocks that turn out. Barrel hocks.
DNA: A unique genetic makeup. DNA testing is done to prove the actual parentage and/or identity of an animal.
DNA Test: A test to determine identity and/or verify parentage. Results must be processed by an AKC-approved facility to be accepted by AKC.
Doberman Pinscher: A medium large breed of dog of German origin with a glossy black and tan coat; used as a watchdog.
Dock: To clip short or cut off an animal's tail.
Dog: A male canine or term used to refer generically to all canines, male or female.
Dog Fancy: Term describing the group of people interested in and active in the promotion of purebred dogs.
Dog Show: Also known as a conformation show, a show in which dogs are judged on how closely they adhere to the breeds standard.
Dogue de Bordeaux: Also called the French Mastiff and the Bordeaux Bulldog, a short, stocky mastiff with a large, heavy, broad and wrinkled head.
Domed Skull: Evenly rounded in topskull; curved, not flat.
Domesticated: A term used to describe an animal that has been tamed or reclaimed from a wild state.
Dominant: exerting forcefulness or having dominance in a social hierarchy.
Doming: As seen in Cocker Spaniels, the rounded portion of the head in between the ears.
Domino: Reverse facial mask pattern on some breeds. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Dorsal: The portion of the dog carried farthest from the substratum (i.e., away from the ground) during normal locomotion or side of the body furthest from the ground.
Double Coat: An outer coat resistant to weather and protective against brush and brambles, together with an undercoat of softer hair for warmth and waterproofing. A dog with this type of coat can also be referred to as a double coat.
Double Dapple: Varying amounts of white coloring occurring over the body in addition to the dapple pattern. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Down-Faced: The muzzle inclining downwards from the skull to the tip of the nose.
Down Hairs: A term referring to the shortest hair on the dog, which is usually found next to the skin beneath the top coat and is soft and downy in texture.
Drag: A trail prepared by dragging along the ground a bag impregnated (usually) with animal scent.
Drive: A solid thrusting of the hindquarters, denoting sound locomotion.
Drop Ear: The ear leather folds over; not erect or prick ears.; Ear in which the leather is folded over to some degree.
Dropper: A bird dog cross.
Dry Neck: The skin taut, neither loose nor wrinkled.
Dudley Nose: Flesh-colored.
Dutch Shepherd Dog: A large breed of dog similar to the German Shepherd Dog and originating from the Netherlands.
Ears: The auditory organ, consisting of three regions: inner ear, middle ear, and the most important pinna (or leather), which is supported by cartilage and which affects the expression of all breeds.
Ear Mites: Microscopic insects that survive by feeding on the lining of the ear canal.
Earthdog Events: Non competitive tests that gauge the trained and natural abilities of Dachshunds and small terriers to follow game to ground.
East-West Front: Incorrect positioning that causes the feet to turn outwards.
Eclampsia: Coma and convulsions during or immediately after pregnancy, characterized by edema, hypertension, and proteinuria.
Elbow: The posterior region of the articulation between the arm and forearm.
Elbows Out: Turning out or off from the body; not held close.
Electronic Collar: A collar that provides a warning sound and/or an electric stimulation to the dog upon receipt of an electronic signal given by the user. Used as a training device.
Embryo: An undeveloped fetus.
English Setter: A breed of medium-sized dog developed in England and having a long, silky white coat usually with black or brownish markings.
Enteritis: Inflammation of the intestinal tract, especially of the small intestine.
Entire: A dog whose reproductive system is complete.
Entlebucher Cattle Dog: Also known as the Entlebucher Sennehund and the Entelbuch Mountain Dog. A square, sturdy dog of medium to large size originating in Switzerland.
Entropion: A complex genetic condition that results in the turning in of the upper or lower eyelid, potentially resulting in corneal ulceration.
Estrus: The periodic state of sexual excitement in the female of most mammals, excluding humans, that immediately precedes ovulation and during which the female is most receptive to mating; heat.
Euthanasia: The act or practice of ending the life of an individual suffering from a terminal illness or an incurable condition, as by lethal injection or the suspension of extraordinary medical treatment.
Even Bite: Meeting of upper and lower incisors with no overlap. Also called level bite.
Ewe Neck: A neck in which the topline is concave rather than convex.
Expression: The general appearance of all the features of the head.
External Parasite: Organisms that affect the outside areas of the body, such as ticks and mites.
Eyeteeth: The upper canines.
Fall: Hair overhanging the face.
Fallow: Pale cream to light fawn color; pale yellow; yellow-red. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Fancier: A person especially interested and usually active in some phase of the sport of purebred dogs.
Fang: See Canines Teeth
Fawn: A brown, red-yellow with hue of medium brilliance. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Feathering: Longer fringe of hair on ears, legs, tail, or body.
Femur: Thigh bone. Extends from hip to stifle.
Fetch: (1) The retrieving of game by the dog. (2) The command to retrieve game.
Fetus: The unborn young of a viviparous vertebrate having a basic structural resemblance to the adult animal.
Fever: In dogs, a body temperature reading over 103ƒ.
Fibula: One of the two bones of the leg (i.e., the lower thigh, second thigh, or lower leg).
Fiddle Front: Forelegs out at elbows, pasterns close, and feet turned out. French front.
Field Trial: A competition for certain hound or sporting breeds in which dogs are judged on ability and style in tracking, finding, coursing, or retrieving game.
Filled-Up Face: Smooth facial contours, free of excessive muscular development.
Fillers: Meant to increase volume, chemicals and other indigestible material that are added to pet food.
Fixed: (1) See Neuter. (2) Surgical procedure that permanently changes the carriage of the tail or ears.
Flag: A long tail carried high. Feathering on the tail.
Flank: The side of the body between the last rib and the hip.
Flare: A blaze that widens as it approaches the topskull.
Flat-Sided: Ribs insufficiently rounded as they approach the sternum or breastbone.
Flews: Upper lip pendulous, particularly at their inner corners.
Floating Rib: The last (or 13th rib), which is unattached to the other ribs.
Fluffies: A coat of extreme length with exaggerated feathering on ears, chest, legs and feet, underparts, and hindquarters. Trimming such a coat does not make it any more acceptable.
Flush: To drive birds from cover, to force them to take flight; to spring.
Flushing Breeds: Term commonly applied to those spaniel breeds that typically flush or force a bird from cover.
Flyball: A dog sport in which teams of dogs race against each other from their handlers, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring loaded pad, then back to their handlers while carrying the ball.
Flying Ears: Any characteristic drop ears or semi-prick ears that stand or fly.
Flying Trot: A fast gait in which all four feet are off the ground for a brief second during each half stride. Because of the long reach, the oncoming hind feet step beyond the imprint left by the front. Also called suspension trot.
Folded Ears: As seen on the Fox Terrier, an ear which stands erect at the base and folds forward.
Follicle: A crypt or minute cul-de-sac or lacuna, such as the depression in the skin from which the hair emerges.
Forearm: The portion of the forelimb between the arm and the wrist.
Foreface: The front portion of the skull that articulates with the cranium.
Forequarters: The combined front assembly from its uppermost component, the shoulder blade, down to the feet.
Foster Mother: A bitch used to nurse puppies not her own.
Foul Color: A color or marking not characteristic for the breed. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Foxtail: Any of several grasses of the genus Alopecurus, having dense, silky or bristly flowering spikes. They represent the most common penetrating foreign body that affects dogs in North America.
Foxy: Sharp expression; pointed nose with short foreface.
Fracture: A break, rupture, or crack, especially in bone or cartilage.
French Choke/Martingale: Examples of choke collars. See Training Collar.
French Front: See Fiddle Front.
Fresh Extended (Chilled) Semen: Semen that is extracted and extended by a licensed veterinarian. The semen must be extracted from a dog within the USA and shipped to a point within the USA only. This type of semen must be used within a specified period of time.
Frill: See Apron.
Fringes: See Feathering
Frogface: Extending nose accompanied by a receding jaw, usually overshot.
Front: The forepart of the body as viewed head-on; i.e., forelegs, chest, brisket, and shoulder line.
Frontal Bones: The anterior bones of the cranium forming the forehead.
Frozen Semen: Semen that is extracted, frozen, and stored for future use by a licensed veterinarian. The collection must be reported to the AKC, and the collector/storer must be an AKC-approved facility and in compliance with AKC record keeping practices.
Fungicide: A chemical substance that destroys or inhibits the growth of fungi.
Fungus: A primitive form of plant life that can be parasitic (as in the case of ringworm).
Furnishings: The long hair on the extremities (including head and tail) of certain breeds.
Furrow: A slight indentation of median line down the center of the skull to the stop.
Gait: The pattern of footsteps at various rates of speed, each pattern distinguished by a particular rhythm and footfall.
Gallop: Fastest of dog gaits; has a four-beat rhythm and often an extra period of suspension during which the body is propelled through the air with all four feet off the ground.
Game: Hunted wild birds or animals.
Gaskin: The lower or second thigh.
Gastric: Of, relating to, or associated with the stomach.
Gay Tail: A tail carried above the horizontal level of the back.
Gazehound: See Sighthound
Genealogy: Recorded family descent. Pedigree.
Gene pool: The collective genetic information contained within a population of sexually reproducing organisms.
Genes: A hereditary unit consisting of a sequence of DNA that occupies a specific location on a chromosome and determines a particular characteristic in an organism. Genes undergo mutation when their DNA sequence changes.
Genetically Linked Defects: Problems with health or temperament that are passed to offspring by their ancestors.
Genetics: The science of heredity.
Genotype: The genetic makeup, as distinguished from the physical appearance, of an organism or a group of organisms.
German Shepherd Dog: A breed of large dog developed in Germany, having a dense grayish to brownish or black coat and often trained to assist the police and guide the blind.
German Shorthaired Pointer: A breed of medium to large sporting and hunting dog, developed in Germany and having a short smooth coat with white and reddish to tan markings.
German Wirehaired Pointer: A large breed of hunting dog developed in Germany, with a coarse, wiry coat.
Gestation Period: The time between mating and birth (it averages 63 days).
Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums, characterized by redness and swelling.
Golden Retriever: A retriever of a breed originating in Scotland, having a dense coat of golden hair with feathering at the neck, legs, and tail.
Goose Neck: An elongated, tubular-shaped neck. Also called swan neck.
Goose Rump: Too steep or sloping a croup.
Goose Step: Accentuated lift of the forelimbs.
Gordon Setter: A medium-sized hunting dog of a breed originating in Scotland, and having a silky black-and-tan coat.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog: A large, strong dog with a black coat with rust and white markings. Originally bred in Switzerland for drafting.
Great Pyrenees: A breed of large, heavy-boned dogs having a thick white coat and originally developed to guard sheep.
Greyhound: A breed of tall slender dog, having a smooth coat, a narrow head, and long legs and capable of running swiftly.
Grizzle: A mixture of black or red hairs with white hairs. Frequently, a bluish-gray or iron-gray color. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Groom: To brush, comb, trim, or otherwise make a dog's coat neat.
Grooming Powder: A talc-like powder meant to separate and give volume to the dog's hair.
Ground Color: The color of the hair at the point that is closest to the body.
Groups: The breeds as grouped into seven divisions by the AKC to facilitate judging. The seven groups are: sporting, hound, working, toy, terrier, non-sporting, and herding.
Guard Hairs: The longer, smoother, stiffer hairs that grow through and normally conceal the undercoat.
Gun Dog: A dog trained to find or pursue game.
Hackles: Hairs on neck and back raised involuntarily in fright or anger.
Hackney Action: A high lifting of the front feet accompanied by flexing of the wrist like that of a Hackney horse.
Half-Prick Ear: Also known as the semi-prick ear, ears carried erect with just the tips leaning forward.
Hallmark: A distinguishing characteristic.
Handler: One who trains or exhibits an animal, such as a dog.
Hard-Mouthed: A dog that crushes or renders game unfit for consumption.
Hare Foot: Foot on which the two center digits are appreciably longer than the outside and inside toes of the foot, and the arching of the toes is less marked, making the foot appear longer overall.
Harlequin: Patched or pied coloration, usually black or gray on white. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Harness: A leather, nylon or cloth strap shaped around the shoulders and chest, with a ring at its top for the lead.
Haunch Bones: The hip bones.
Havanese: A small breed of dog with a soft coat originating in Cuba.
Haw: A third eyelid or membrane on the inside corner of the eye.
Head: The front portion of the dog, including the muzzle and the cranium.
Head Planes: Viewed in profile, the contours of the top portion of the skull from occiput to stop, and the foreface from stop to tip of the nose.
Heartworm: A filarial worm (Dirofilaria immitis) transmitted by mosquitoes and parasitic in the heart and associated blood vessels of dogs and other canids.
Heat: (1) Seasonal period of the female. Estrus, in season. (2) Performance: A competitive running of dogs.
Heel: Command to a dog to keep close beside its handler.
Height: Vertical measurement from the withers to the ground; usually called shoulder height.
Hemorrhage: Excessive discharge of blood from the blood vessels; profuse bleeding.
Hepatitis: Inflammation of the liver, caused by infectious or toxic agents and characterized by jaundice, fever, liver enlargement, and abdominal pain.
Herding Group: Group of dogs bred to help shepherds and ranchers herd or work livestock.
Hie On: A command to urge the dog on; used in hunting or in field trials.
High Standing: Tall and upstanding, with plenty of leg.
Hindquarters: Rear assembly of the dog (pelvis, thighs, hocks, and paws).
Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal formation of the hip joint.
Histamine: A physiologically active amine, C5H9N3, found in plant and animal tissue and released from mast cells as part of an allergic reaction in humans. It stimulates gastric secretion and causes dilation of capillaries, constriction of bronchial smooth muscle, and decreased blood pressure.
Hock: The collection of bones of the hind leg forming the joint between the second thigh and the metatarsus; the dog's true heel.
Hocking Out: Spread hocks.
Hocks Well Let Down: Hock joints close to the ground.
Holt: The lair of the fox or other animal in tree roots, banks, drains, or similar hideouts. Lodge.
HomeAgain: Brand name for microchips sold by Schering Plough to veterinarians for permanent identification of companion animals.
Homeopathic: A system of veterinary practice that treats a disease by the administration of very minute doses of a remedy that in a healthy animal would produce the symptoms of the disease that is being treated.
Honorable Scars: Scars from injuries suffered as a result of work.
Hook Tail: A tail that is carried down, but with the tip curled upwards.
Hormone: A substance, usually a peptide or steroid, produced by one tissue and conveyed by the bloodstream to another to effect physiological activity, such as growth or metabolism.
Hound: A dog of any of various breeds commonly used for hunting mammals by sight or by scent.
Hound Group: Group of dogs used for hunting game by scent or sight.
Hound-Marked: A coloration composed of white, tan, or black. The ground color, usually white, may be marked with tan and/or black patches on the head, back, legs, and tail. The extent and the exact location of such markings, however, differ in breeds and individual dogs. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Housebreak: To train a pet to live cleanly in a house.
Hucklebones: Top of the hipbones.
Humane Societies: Groups that aims to stop animal and human suffering due to cruelty or other reasons.
Humerus: The bone of the arm (i.e., the upper arm).
Identification: On-dog system whereby a dog may be identified to a record (i.e., microchip, tattoo or DNA).
Hypertension: Abnormally elevated blood pressure.
Hyperthermia: Unusually high body temperature that can result from heat stroke.
Hypothermia: Abnormally low body temperature, typically resulting from exposure to cold environmental conditions.
Immune Response: The body's reaction to infection.
Immunization: To produce immunity in, as by inoculation.
Imported Semen: Frozen semen that is imported from another country.
In Whelp: Pregnant.
Inbreeding: The mating of two closely related dogs of the same breed.
Incisors: The six upper and six lower front teeth between the canines. The point of contact forms the bite.
Incontinence: The inability to control excretory functions.
Incubation Period: The period between infection and the appearance of symptoms of a disease.
Inflammation: A localized protective reaction of tissue to irritation, injury, or infection, characterized by pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes loss of function.
Inherited: To receive (a characteristic) from one's parents by genetic transmission.
Injection: Something that is injected, especially a dose of liquid medicine injected into the body.
Interbreeding: The breeding of dogs of different breeds.
Internal Parasites: One celled protozoan, larvae and worms that survive by living off the host animal's meals or blood.
Iris: The colored membrane surrounding the pupil of the eye.
Irish Setter: Any of a breed of setters having a silky reddish-brown or red and white coat.
Isabella: Usually used to describe Doberman Pinschers, this color is similar to fawn or light bay, but has more saturation and brilliance (similar to a bay-colored horse). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Jabot: The apron of the Schipperke; the part situated between the front legs.
Jack Russell Terrier: A terrier originating in England, having a small sturdy body, straight legs, and a smooth, mostly white coat that has brown or black markings.
Jacobsens Organ: A sense organ located in the roof of the dog's mouth that functions somewhere between smell and taste.
Jowls: Flesh of the lips and jaws.
Keel: The rounded outline of the lower chest.
Kennel: Building or enclosure where dogs are kept.
Kennel Cough: Tracheobronchitis of dogs or cats.
Kerry Blue Terrier: A breed of terrier of Irish origin, having a dense, wavy bluish-gray coat.
Killed Virus Vaccine (KV): A vaccine containing dead viruses which cannot multiply when administered in an animal, but can stimulate an immune response to prevent future infection by the virus.
Kink Tail: A deformity of the caudal vertebrae producing a bent tail.
Kiss Marks: Tan spots on the cheeks and over the eyes. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Knee: See Stifle
Knee Joint: See Stifle
Kneecap: The stifle, with the bone known as the patella.
Knuckling Over: Faulty structure of wrist joint allowing it to flex forward under the weight of the standing dog.
Kuvasz: A long-established Hungarian breed of tall, light-footed but sturdy white dog; used also as a hunting dog.
Labrador Retriever: A breed of dog originating in Newfoundland, having a short, yellow, black, or brown coat and a tapering tail and used in hunting to retrieve felled game.
Lactation: Secretion or formation of milk by the mammary glands.
Lame: Irregularity or impairment of locomotion.
Landseer: Newfoundlands that are white dogs with black markings, named in honor of Sir Edward Landseer, the 19th Century artist who used these dogs as models
Lateral: Pertaining to the side.
Layback: The angle of the shoulder blade as compared with the vertical plane viewed from the side.
Layon: The angle of the shoulder blade as compared with the vertical plane viewed from the front.
Lead: A strap, cord, or chain attached to the collar or harness, or sometimes simply around the neck, for the purpose of restraining or leading the dog. Also called leash.
Leash: A chain, rope, or strap attached to the collar or harness of an animal, especially a dog, and used to lead it or hold it in check.
Leather: The flap of the ear; the outer ear supported by cartilage and surrounding tissue.
Lemon: Used to describe pointers, this color is a brilliant, medium-saturated yellow. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Leptospirosis: An infectious disease of domestic animals, especially cattle, swine, and dogs, caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira and characterized by jaundice and fever.
Level Bite: When the front teeth (incisors) of the upper and lower jaws meet exactly edge to edge. Also called pincer bite, equal bite, or even bite.
Level Gait: Dog moves without rise or fall of withers.
Lhasa Apso: A breed of small dog originating in Tibet and having a long, straight coat.
Lick Granuloma: A skin condition caused by prolonged licking at a specific area, in most cases, a leg or a paw.
Line Breeding: The practice of mating a dog to a member of an earlier generation of the dog's bloodline.
Lippy: Pendulous lips or lips that do not fit tightly.
Litter: The puppy or puppies of one whelping.
Litter Complement: The number of puppies of each sex in a litter.
Litter Registration: Recording a litter of puppies with a dog association.
Liver: Used to describe many breeds, this deep, reddish brown color includes various shades of chocolate brown, from light to very dark. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Livestock: Domestic animals, such as cattle or horses, raised for home use or for profit, especially on a farm.
Loaded Shoulders: Excessive development of the muscles associated with the shoulder blades.
Lobe Ear: Ears which are lightly folded and set at the back of the head.
Loin: The region of the body associated with the lumbar portions of the vertebrae column (i.e., behind the ribs and in front of the pelvic girdle).
Loose Slung: Construction in which the attachment of the muscles at the shoulders is looser than desirable.
Lower Thigh: See Second Thigh
Lumbar Vertebrae: The seven vertebrae of the loin region.
Lumbering: An awkward gait.
Lurcher: A crossbred hound.
Lure Coursing: Organized performance event for sighthounds which demonstrates those breeds' ability to perform their historical work by chasing an artificial lure over a course.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH): A hormone produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland that stimulates ovulation and the development of the corpus luteum in the female and the production of testosterone by the interstitial cells of the testis in the male.
Luxating Patella: A problem that causes the kneecap to slip when the joint is moved. Transmitted genetically and can lead to lameness.
Luxation: Dislocation of an anatomical structure.
Lyme Borreliosis: More commonly known as Lyme disease, an infectious arthritis caused by spirochete bacteria.
Mad Dog: A rabid dog.
Mahogany: Used to describe several breeds, this color is a medium-saturated, dull, reddish brown. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Marking: An instinctual behavior in which male dogs urinate in certain locations to establish their territory.
Making a Wheel: Term given to the circling of the tail over the back.
Mandible: The bone of the lower jaw.
Mane: Long, thick hair on top and sides of neck.
Mantle: Dark-shaded portion of the coat on shoulders, back, and sides.
Manubrium: The first sternabra of the chest.
Marcel Effect: Regular continuous waves (specified in the American Water Spaniel standard).
Markings: Contrasting color or pattern in a dog's coat.
Mask: Dark shading on the foreface.
Mastiff: An ancient breed of large strong dogs, probably originating in Asia and having a short, often fawn-colored coat.
Mastitis: Inflammation of the breast or udder.
Mate: To breed a dog and bitch.
Maternal Immunity: A form of temporary immunity passed from a mother to her offspring while in the uterus and after birth in the colostrum and milk.
Measles: An acute, contagious viral disease, usually occurring in childhood and characterized by eruption of red spots on the skin, fever, and catarrhal symptoms. Also called rubeola.
Measure Out: Measured height at withers was determined to be outside the limits for that breed as set forth in the breed standard.
Medial: Toward the mid line of the dog.
Median Line: See Furrow
Merle: A marking pattern, used in conjunction with another color, to describe Shetland Sheepdogs, Collies, Great Danes, and Australian Shepherds. The color is characterized by a marbling effect of dark patches against a lighter background of the same color. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Metatarsus: The corresponding part of the hind foot in quadrupeds or of the foot in birds.
Microchip: A rice-sized device encoded with a unique and unalterable number. The chip is implanted just under the skin in the scruff of the neck and is read by a scanner.
Milk Teeth: The first, temporary teeth. Also called baby teeth.
Miniature Pinscher: A breed of small dogs resembling the Doberman pinscher but typically reaching a height of only 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches).
Miscellaneous Class: Transitory class for breeds attempting to advance to full recognition by a breed association.
Mismark: (1) Coat or color. (2) A dog that has coat coloration or markings not conforming to that which is acceptable for the breed.
Mites: Any of various small or minute arachnids of the order Acarina that are often parasitic on animals and plants, infest stored food products, and in some species transmit disease.
Modified-Live Virus: A virus which has been modified to no longer produce a disease but still retain the ability to induce a protective immune response so that it can be used as a vaccine.
Molars: The posterior teeth of the dental arcade, with two on each side in the upper jaw and three on each side in the lower jaw in an adult with correct dentition.
Molera: Incomplete, imperfect, or abnormal ossification of the skull.
Mongrel: See Crossbred
Monorchid: A dog that has one testicle retained or hidden in its abdominal cavity. See Cryptorchid
Mottled: Pattern of dark roundish blotches on a lighter background. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Move: To gait a dog in a pattern prescribed by the judge.
Moving Close: When the hocks turn in and pasterns drop straight to the ground and move parallel to one another, the dog is moving close in the rear.
Moving Straight: Term descriptive of balanced gaiting in which angle of inclination begins at the shoulder, or hip joint, and limbs remain relatively straight from these points to the pads of the feet, even as legs flex or extend in reaching or thrusting.
Music: The baying of the hounds.
Mustard: Usually used to describe Dandie Dinmont Terriers, this color is like the color of the spice; i.e., a dull, highly saturated, brown-yellow. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Mutation: A change of the DNA sequence within a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the creation of a new character or trait not found in the parental type.
Mute: To run mute, to be silent on the trail; i.e., to trail without baying or barking.
Muzzle: (1)The forward, projecting part of the head of certain animals, such as dogs, including the mouth, nose, and jaws; the snout; (2)A leather or wire restraining appliance that, when fitted over an animal's snout, prevents biting and eating.
Muzzle Band: White marking around the muzzle.
Myiasis: Infestation of tissue by fly larvae.
Natural Breed: A breed of dog which occurred naturally without the interference of much selective breeding. This is usually a result of geographical and environmental conditions.
Natural Mutation: A genetic accident which permanently alters certain genetic characteristics.
Natural Selection: The process in nature by which, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, only the organisms best adapted to their environment tend to survive and transmit their genetic characteristics in increasing numbers to succeeding generations while those less adapted tend to be eliminated.
Nausea: A feeling of sickness in the stomach characterized by an urge to vomit.
Neapolitan Mastiff: A large, powerful breed of dog characterized by it's massive head and wrinkled face.
Neck Well Set-On: Good neckline, merging gradually with withers, forming a pleasing transition into topline.
Nesting Behavior: Behavior of a pregnant female who prepares a place to give birth and nurture young.
Neuter: To castrate or spay.
Newfoundland: A breed of large, strong dog developed in Newfoundland and having a thick, usually black coat
Nick: A breeding that produces desirable puppies.
Nictitating Membrane: A transparent inner eyelid in birds, reptiles, and some mammals that closes to protect and moisten the eye. Also called third eyelid.
Nite Hunt: Performance competition for coonhounds.
Non-Sporting Group: Group of dogs that may share attributes, but don't fit into the mold of other groups.
Norwegian Elkhound: A Scandinavian breed of hunting dog, having a compact body, heavy grayish coat, and a tail that curls over the back.
Nose: (1) Organ of olfaction. (2) The ability to detect by means of scent.
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever: A breed of dog somewhat similar in appearance to a small Golden Retriever and originating in Canada. Bred originally to toll or lure ducks in the manner of a fox.
Obedience Trial: An event held under AKC rules at which a leg toward an obedience degree can be earned.
Obesity: The condition of being obese; increased body weight caused by excessive accumulation of fat.
Oblique Shoulders: Shoulders well laid back.
Obliquely Placed Eyes: Eyes with outer corners higher than their inner ones.
Occipital Protuberance: A prominently raised occiput characteristic of some sporting and hound breeds.
Occiput: Dorsal, posterior point of the skull.
Odd-Eyed: Eyes of different color, such as one brown eye and one blue eye.
Old English Sheepdog: An English breed of sturdy dog having a docked tail and a thick, shaggy, bluish-gray and white coat with fur that hangs over the eyes.
Omnivore: A person or animal that feeds on both animal and vegetable substances
On-Dog Identification: A system of tagging, tattooing, or microchipping used to uniquely identify a dog.
Ophthalmic: Of or relating to the eye; ocular.
Orange Belton: See Belton. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA): Organization, established in 1966, that developed and maintains a registry of hip dysplasia in dogs. Dogs with OFA numbers are rated and certified free of canine hip dysplasia. This rating applies for the life of the dog. In order to have OFA on AKC records, a dog must have permanent ID.
Otter Tail: Thick at the root, round, and tapering, with the hair parted or divided at the underside.
Out At The Elbows: Elbows turning out from the body as opposed to being held close.
Out At The Shoulders: With shoulder blades loosely attached to the body, leaving the shoulders jutting out in relief and increasing the breadth of the front.
Outcrossing: The mating of unrelated individuals of the same breed.
Oval Chest: Chest deeper than wide.
Oval Eye: As seen in Poodles, an eye with an egg shape.
Ovaries: The usually paired female or hermaphroditic reproductive organ that produces ova and, in vertebrates, estrogen and progesterone.
Overage Dam: A dam over 12 years of age on the date of mating.
Overage Sire: A sire over 12 years of age on the date of mating.
Overhang: A heavy or pronounced brow.
Overreaching: Fault in the trot caused by more angulation and drive from behind than in front so that the rear feet are forced to step to one side of the forefeet to avoid interfering or clipping.
Overshot: The incisors of the upper jaw projecting beyond the incisors of the lower jaw, thus resulting in a space between the respective inner and outer surfaces.
Ovulate: To produce ova; discharge eggs from the ovary.
Pace: A lateral gait that tends to promote a rolling motion of the body. The left foreleg and left hind leg advance in unison, then the right foreleg and right hind leg.
Pack: Multiple hounds cast at one time.
Padding: A compensating action to offset constant concussion when a straight front is subjected to overdrive from the rear; the front feet flip upward in a split-second delaying action to coordinate the stride of the forelegs with the longer stride from behind.
Paddling: A gaiting fault, so named for its similarity to the swing and dip of a canoeists paddle. Pinching in at the elbows and shoulder joints causes the front legs to swing forward on a stiff outward arc. Also called tied at the elbows.
Pads: Tough, shock-absorbing projections on the underside of the feet. Soles.
Pants: See Breeches
Paper Foot: A flat foot devoid of arch to the toes.
Papillon: A breed of small dog related to the spaniel, having a long silky coat, a bushy tail that curves over its back, and large ears shaped like the wings of a butterfly.
Parainfluenza: In canines, a disease characterized by fever, vomiting and diarrhea.
Parasite: An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.
Parti-Color: Two or more definite, well-broken colors, one of which must be white. For example, black parti-color would be black and white. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Parvovirus: A highly contagious febrile disease of canines and especially dogs that is caused by a parvovirus (genus Parvovirus), is spread especially by contact with infected feces, and is marked by loss of appetite, lethargy, often bloody diarrhea and vomiting, and sometimes death called also parvo.
Pathogen: An agent that causes disease, especially a living microorganism such as a bacterium or fungus.
Pedigree: The written record of a dog's genealogy of three generations or more.
Pekingese: A breed of small dog developed in China, having a flat nose, a long-haired coat, short bowed forelegs, and a tail that curls over its back.
Pelvis: Hip bones, each consisting of three fused bones: an anterior ilium, a ventral pubis, and a posterior ischium; combined with the sacrum forming the pelvic girdle.
Pen Breeding: Unwitnessed mating that occurred because the sire and dam were confined to the same area.
Penciling: Black lines dividing the tan on the toes.
Pendant Ears: As seen in the Basset Hound, an ear with a long, hanging ear leather.
PennHIP: A method, established in 1993, of evaluating hip dysplasia in dogs by calculating hip laxity; within-breed ratings are provided, permitting breeders to select dogs with the best (smallest laxity) hips for breeding future generations.
Pepper: Used to describe several breeds, this color is a lowly saturated, medium brilliant black. When coupled with Salt, it describes the alternating black and white hairs of the Schnauzer breeds. Also referred to as Peppering. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Pericarditis: An inflammation of the membrane covering the heart.
Periodontal Disease: A disease that attacks the gum and bone and around the teeth.
Peritonitis: An inflammation of the membrane covering the abdominal cavity.
Pet Shop: A commercial organization that buys and sells dogs. Is always listed as an intermediate in the chain of title for a dog.
Pharaoh Hound: A breed of sleek, swift-running hunting dog originating in Egypt and having a short, glossy, tan coat and large, pointed ears.
Phenotype: The observable physical or biochemical characteristics of an organism, as determined by both genetic makeup and environmental influences.
Pheromones: A chemical secreted by an animal, especially an insect, that influences the behavior or development of others of the same species, often functioning as an attractant of the opposite sex.
Piebald: Covered with patches of two colors, especially black and white. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Pied: Patches of white and another color. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Pig Eyes: Eyes set too close.
Pig Jaw: See Overshot
Pigeon-Breast: A narrow chest with a protruding breastbone.
Pigeon-Toed: Toes pointing in toward the mid line.
Pigment: A substance, such as chlorophyll or melanin, that produces a characteristic color in plant or animal tissue.
Pile: Dense undercoat of soft hair.
Pincer Bite: See Level Bite
Pinking Up: In a pregnant bitch, the changing of the color of the nipples to pink. Typically occurs 18 to 20 days after mating and is useful in determining if a dog is pregnant.
Pinto: Marked with white and some other color (usually patches of color on white). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Placenta: A membranous vascular organ that develops in female mammals during pregnancy, lining the uterine wall and partially enveloping the fetus, to which it is attached by the umbilical cord. Following birth, the placenta is expelled..
Plume: (1) A long fringe of hair on the tail. (2) Carrying the tail plume-like over the back.
Point: The intense, stylized stance of the hunting dog, taken to indicate the presence and position of game.
Pointer: Breed of hunting dogs that point game, typically having a smooth, short-haired coat that is usually white with black or brownish spots.
Pointing Breeds: Term commonly applied to those sporting breeds that typically point game.
Points: (1) Color on face, ears, legs, and tail when correlated; usually white, black, or tan. (2) In events, credits toward championship status.
Poke: To carry the neck stretched forward in an abnormally low, ungainly position, usually when moving.
Police Dog: Any dog trained for police work.
Pomeranian: A breed of small dogs having long silky hair, a foxlike face, pointed ears, and a hairy tail curling over the back.
Pompon: A rounded tuft of hair left on the end of the tail when the coat is clipped.
Poodle: A breed of dogs originally developed in Europe as hunting dogs, having thick curly hair of varying color, and classified by shoulder height into standard, miniature, and toy varieties.
Portuguese Water Dog: A breed of strong, medium-sized dog developed in Portugal that is able to swim long distances and is characterized by webbed feet and a curved tail.
Posterior: The portion of the dog carried toward the rear during normal locomotion.
Pounding: Gaiting fault resultant of a dog's stride being shorter in the front than in the rear; forefeet strike the ground hard before the rear stride is expended.
Prick Ear: Ear carried erect, usually pointed at the tip.
Primary Coat: Also known as guard hair, the longer, smoother, stiffer hairs that grow through and normally conceal the undercoat, protecting the skin from superficial injuries.
Proestrus: The period immediately before estrus in most female mammals, characterized by development of the endometrium and ovarian follicles.
Professional Handler: A person who conditions, trains and exhibits dogs for a fee.
Professional Trainer: A person who trains hunting dogs and who handles dogs in field events.
Progesterone: A steroid hormone, C21H30O2, secreted by the corpus luteum of the ovary and by the placenta, that acts to prepare the uterus for implantation of the fertilized ovum, to maintain pregnancy, and to promote development of the mammary glands.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A progressive degeneration of the retina that is inherited.
Prominent Eyes: As seen on Pugs, a big, round projecting eye.
Prong Collar: Collar used for training dogs. It has metal pieces on it that pinch a dog. It is against AKC rules to use this type of collar on the show grounds. Also called pinch collar.
Pug: A small sturdy dog of an ancient breed originating in China, having a snub nose, wrinkled face, squarish body, short smooth hair, and curled tail.
Pump Handle: Long tail, carried high.
Puppy: A dog under 12 months of age.
Puppy mills: Term used to describe a facility that breeds purebred dogs for profit with no regard for the breed standard, temperament, genetically linked defects, socialization or the dog's overall health and welfare.
Purebred: A dog whose sire and dam belong to the same breed and who are themselves of unmixed descent since recognition of the breed.
Put Down: (1) To prepare a dog for the show ring. (2) A dog unplaced in competition. (3) To euthenize a dog.
Pyometra: An accumulation of pus in the uterine cavity.
Quarantine: Enforced isolation or restriction of free movement imposed to prevent the spread of contagious disease.
Quick: The vein running through a dog's claw.
Rabies: An acute, infectious, often fatal viral disease of most warm-blooded animals, especially wolves, cats, and dogs, that attacks the central nervous system and is transmitted by the bite of infected animals.
Racy: Tall, of comparatively slight build.
Radius: One of the two bones of the forearm.
Ragged: Muscles appear ragged rather than smooth.
Rangy: Tall, long in body, high on leg, light-framed; gangly.
Rat Tail: The root thick and covered with soft curls; at the tip devoid of hair, or having the appearance of being clipped.
Reach of Front: Length of forward stride taken by forelegs.
Rear Pastern: The metatarsus; the region of the hindquarters between the hock and the foot.
Recessive Gene: A gene that is phenotypically expressed in the homozygous state but has its expression masked in the presence of a dominant gene.
Red: A reddish orange color of dog.
Red Sesame: Red with a sparse black overlay (Shiba Inu). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Registration Papers: Documents showing proof of registration, date of birth, parents, breeder and owner issued by a dog association for a particular dog.
Register: The act of enlisting a dog, puppy or litter with a dog association.
Registries: Organizations that keep official records on specific subjects. With respect to dogs, there are registries of purebred dogs for tracking lineage and health registries for rating certain health conditions (e.g., Canine Eye Registry Foundation, Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, etc.).
Renal: Of, relating to, or in the region of the kidneys.
Retrieve: Performance: A hunting term. The act of bringing game back to the handler. Obedience: An exercise in some obedience classes.
Retrieving Breeds: Term commonly applied to those sporting breeds that typically return birds to hand from water or over land.
Reward: Anything positive, such as treats or praise, that can be used as a motivating factor to induce desired behavior.
Rhodesian Ridgeback: A breed of large dog developed in Africa, having short, reddish-brown hair that forms a ridge along the back.
Rib Cage: The collection of paired ribs, cartilage, sternum, and associated tissue that define the thoracic region.
Ribbed Up: Long ribs that angle back from the spinal column. A reference to a long rib cage.
Ring Tail: Carried up and around almost in a circle.
Roach Back: A convex curvature of the back involving thoracic and lumbar regions.
Roan: Frequently a blue-gray or iron-gray, this color is the fine mixing of colored hairs with white hairs. For example, a blue roan is a coat comprised of black and white hairs. (Note: This is the same definition as the Belton color in English Setters.) Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Rocking Horse: Both front and rear legs extended out from the body as on an old-fashioned rocking horse.
Rolling Gait: Swaying, ambling action of the hindquarters when moving.
Roman Nose: A nose whose bridge is so comparatively high as to form a slightly convex line from forehead to nose tip. Ram's nose.
Rose Ear: A small drop ear that folds over and back so as to reveal the burr.
Rottweiler: A German breed of dog having a stocky body, short black fur, and tan face markings.
Rounding: Cutting or trimming the ends of the ear leather.
Ruby: A rich, mahogany red (English Toy Spaniel). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Rudder: The tail or stern.
Ruddy: A dark ginger red color.
Ruff: Thick, longer hair growing around the neck.
Rust: Used to describe several breeds, this color is a medium-brilliant reddish brown. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Saber Tail: Carried in a semicircle.
Sable: Coat color produced by black-tipped hairs on a background of silver, gold, gray, fawn, or brown.
Sacrum: The region of the vertebral column that consists of three fused vertebrae that articulate the pelvic girdle.
Saddle: Markings in the shape of a saddle over the back. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Saddle Back: Overlong back, with a dip behind the withers.
Saint Bernard: A breed of large strong dog developed in Switzerland, having a thick brown and white coat, originally used by monks of the hospice of Saint Bernard in the Swiss Alps to help patrol the snow-covered region.
Saline: A saline solution, especially one that is isotonic with blood and is used in medicine and surgery.
Saluki: An ancient breed of tall slender dog developed in Arabia and Egypt and having a smooth, silky, variously colored coat.
Samoyed: A breed of medium-sized dog originally developed in northern Eurasia, having a thick, long, white or cream-colored coat.
Sandy: Used to describe several breeds, this color is a dull, yellowish gray of medium saturation. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Scent: The odor left by an animal or bird on the trail (ground-scent) or wafted through the air (air-borne scent).
Scent Hound: A breed of hunting dog that tracks animals by smell.
Schipperke: A small stocky dog of a breed developed in Belgium, having dense long black fur and small pointed ears.
Scissors Bite: A bite in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors.
Sclera: The tough white fibrous outer envelope of tissue covering all of the eyeball except the cornea.
Screw Tail: A naturally short tail twisted in more or less spiral formation
Seal: Used to describe Boston Terriers, this color appears black except that it has a red cast when viewed in the sun or bright light. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Season: The cyclical period in which a female dog becomes interested in mating and capable of becoming pregnant.
Secondary Coat: The fine hairs which make up the undercoat.
Second Thigh: That part of the hindquarters from the stifle to the hock, corresponding to the human shin and calf. Lower thigh, including the tibia and fibula.
Sedge: Used to describe Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, this color is similar to deadgrass, but it is more accurately a lightening of the chocolate hue. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Seeing Eye Dog: A dog trained as a guide dog for the blind.
Selective Breeding: Intentional mating two dogs in order to achieve or eliminate a specific trait.
Self Color: One color or whole color except for lighter shadings. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Semi-Prick Ears: Ears carried erect with just the tips leaning forward.
Senile Cataracts: Occurring in elderly animals, a lens opacity in the eye that does not interfere with vision.
Septum: The line extending vertically between the nostrils.
Service Dog: A dog trained to assist a person with a disability.
Setters: Any of several breeds of longhaired hunting dogs originally trained to indicate the presence of game by crouching in a set position.
Shar-Pei: A Chinese breed of medium-sized dog having loose wrinkled skin, a short rough coat, and a blue-black mouth and tongue. Also called Chinese Shar-Pei.
Shelly: A shallow, narrow body, lacking the correct amount of bone.
Shetland Sheepdog: A herding dog of a breed developed in the Shetland Islands, having a rough coat and resembling a small collie.
Shock: A generally temporary massive physiological reaction to severe physical or emotional trauma, usually characterized by marked loss of blood pressure and depression of vital processes.
Short Back: See Close-Coupled
Show Quality: A pedigreed dog meeting the official breed standard and thus able to compete in dog shows.
Siberian Husky: A breed of sled dog developed in northeastern Siberia and resembling the larger Alaskan malamutes.
Sickle Hocked: Inability to straighten the hock joint on the back reach of the hind leg.
Sickle Tail: A tail which is carried up and out in a semi-circle.
Sighthound: A hound that runs or courses game by sight rather than scent.
Silent Heat: An unnoticed heat period that can be due to little swelling of the vulva, little bleeding, no attraction of males or no behavior change.
Silky Coat: A topcoat composed of long, fine and soft hair.
Silky Terrier: A toy terrier of a breed developed from a cross between the Australian terrier and the Yorkshire terrier, characterized by long, silky, bluish-gray hair, tan markings, and erect ears.
Single Coat: A dog with only one type of coat, typically the topcoat or guard hairs, without the downy undercoat.
Single Tracking: All footprints falling on a single line of travel. When a dog breaks into a trot, his body is supported by only two legs at a time, which move as alternating diagonal pairs. To achieve balance, his legs angle inward toward a center line beneath his body, and the greater the speed, the closer they come to tracking on a single line.
Sire: The male parent.
Skeleton: Descriptively divided into axial (skull, vertebrae column, chest) and appendicular (forequarters, hindquarters) portions or the hard framework of the body; the bones of the body collectively.
Skull: The bony or cartilaginous framework of the head of vertebrates, made up of the bones of the braincase and face; cranium.
Skully: Thick and course through the skull.
Slab-Sided: Flat ribs with too little spring from the spinal column.
Sled Dogs: Dogs worked, usually in teams, to pull sleds.
Slew Feet: Feet turned out.
Sloping Shoulder: The shoulder blade set obliquely or laid back.
Smooth Coat: Short, close-lying hair.
Snatching Hocks: A gait fault indicated by a quick outward snatching of the hock as it passes the supporting leg and twists the rear pastern far in beneath the body. The action causes noticeable rocking in the rear quarters.
Snippy: A pointed, weak muzzle, lacking breadth and depth.
Snow Nose: Nose normally solid black, but acquires pink streak in winter. Also called winter nose.
Solid: A dog of only one color.
Soundness: The state of mental and physical health when all organs and faculties are complete and functioning normally, each in its rightful relation to the other.
Spaniels: Any of several breeds of small-sized to medium-sized dogs, usually having drooping ears, short legs, and a wavy, silky coat.
Spay: To remove a bitch's ovaries to prevent conception.
Speak: To bark.
Spectacles: Shadings or dark markings over or around the eyes or from eyes to ears.
Spike Tail: Straight, short tail that tapers rapidly along its length.
Splashed: Irregularly patched, color on white or white on color.
Splayfoot: A flat foot with toes spreading. Open foot, open-toed.
Spontaneous Mutation: A genetic accident which permanently alters certain genetic characteristics.
Sporting Group: Group of dogs who were originally bred to assist the hunter to hunt game birds, both on land and in the water.
Spread: Width between the forelegs when accentuated.
Spread Hocks: Hocks pointing outward.
Spring: See Flush
Spring of Ribs: Curvature of ribs for heart and lung capacity.
Square Body: A dog whose measurements from withers to ground equals that from forechest to rump.
Squirrel Tail: Carried up and curving more or less forward.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier: A small, stocky, powerful dog of a breed developed in England by crossing bulldogs and terriers, having a short, variously colored coat, a broad head with dropped ears, a short muscular neck, and widely set forelegs.
Stag Red: Deep red (almost brown) with intermingling of black hairs (Miniature Pinscher). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Stance: Manner of standing.
Standard: See Breed Standard
Stand Away Coat: See Standoff Coat
Standing Heat: The point during which a female in heat will accept breeding and can become pregnant.
Standoff Coat: A long or heavy coat that stands off from the body. Also called stand away coat.
Staring Coat: The hair dry, harsh, and sometimes curling at the tips.
Station: Comparative height from the ground, as high-stationed, low-stationed.
Steep: Used to denote incorrect angles of articulation. For example, a steep front describes a more upright shoulder placement than is preferred.
Stern Tail: A tail found in a sporting dog or hound that is generally carried straight out.
Sternum: A row of eight bones that form the floor of the chest.
Stifle: The joint of the hind leg between the thigh and the second thigh. The dog's knee.
Stilted: The choppy, up-and-down gait of the straight-hocked dog.
Stop: The step up from muzzle to back skull; indentation between the eyes where the nasal bones and cranium meet.
Straight In Pastern: Little or no bend at the wrist.
Straight Shoulders: The shoulder blades rather straight up and down, as opposed to sloping or well laid back.
Straight-Hocked: Lacking appreciable angulation at the hock joints.
Stud Book: Monthly publication of the AKC. A listing of dogs that have sired or whelped a litter for the first time that has been registered with the AKC. With this information, a person can use Stud Book volumes to trace a dog's lineage and to produce pedigrees.
Stud Dog: A male dog used for breeding purposes.
Stud Fee: Payment made for the services of a stud dog.
Superciliary Arches: The ridge, projection, or prominence of the frontal bones of the skull over the eyes; the brow; supraorbital ridges.
Suspension Trot: See Flying Trot
Swayback: Concave curvature of the vertebrae column between the withers and the hipbones.
Symmetry: Pleasing balance between all parts of the dog.
Tail-Set: How the base of the tail is set on the rump.
Tapetum Lucidum: The highly reflective portion of the interior of the canine eyeball that aids in night vision.
Tattoo: A method of on-dog identification.
Tawny: Used, along with white, to describe Ibizan Hounds, this color is the color of lions (sandy yellow). Also referred to as Lion Tawny. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Teat: The nipple of an animal
Terrier Front: Straight front as found on fox terriers.
Terrier Group: A group of dogs used originally for hunting vermin.
Testicles: The male gonads, which produce spermatoza. AKC regulations specify that a male that does not have two normal testicles normally located in the scrotum may not compete at any show and will be disqualified, except that a castrated male may be entered in obedience trials, tracking tests, field trials (except Beagles), as a stud dog in a Stud Dog class, and Veterans class at an independent specialty.
Testosterone: A potent androgenic hormone produced chiefly by the testes; responsible for the development of male secondary sex characteristics.
Thigh: The hindquarter from hip to stifle.
Thoracic Vertebrae: The thirteen vertebrae of the chest with which thirteen pairs of ribs articulate.
Throatiness: An excess of loose skin under the throat.
Thumb Marks: Black spots on the region of the pastern.
Tibetan Mastiff: A very large powerful rough-coated dog native to central Asia.
Tibia: One of the two bones of the leg (i.e., the lower thigh, second thigh, or lower leg).
Ticked: Small, isolated areas (smaller than spots) of black or colored hairs on a white background. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Tied At The Elbows: See Paddling
Tongue: (1) The fleshy, moveable, muscular organ attached to the floor of the mouth; (2) or the barking or baying of hounds on the trail, as to give tongue, to open or speak.
Topcoat: On a dog's coat, the longer guard hairs.
Topical: Of or relating to a drug applied topically or on a localized area of the body or to the surface of a body part.
Topknot: A tuft of longer hair on top of the head.
Topline: The dog's outline from just behind the withers to the tail set.
Toy Group: Group of dogs bred to be companions or lap dogs.
Tracking Dog (TD): A title awarded to a dog that has been recorded a Tracking Dog as a result of having passed an AKC-licensed or -member tracking test. The title may be combined with the UD (Utility Dog) title and shown as UDT.
Trail: To hunt by following ground scent.
Training Collar: A collar made of nylon, leather, or chain, fitted to the dog's neck in such a manner that the degree of tension exerted by the hand tightens or loosens it. Also called choke collar or slip collar.
Triangular Eye: The eye set in surrounding tissue of triangular shape; three-cornered eye.
Tricolor: Three colors in the coat: white, black, and tan (Prince Charles in English Toy Spaniel breed). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Trim: To groom the coat by stripping, clipping or scissoring.
Trot: A rhythmic two-beat diagonal gait in which the feet at diagonal opposite ends of the body strike the ground together; i.e., right hind with left front and left hind with right front.
Trousers: Longish hair at the back of both upper and lower thighs.
Trumpet: The slight depression or hollow on either side of the skull just behind the orbit or eye socket; the region comparable with the temple in man.
Truncated: Cut off.
Tuck-Up: Characterized by markedly shallower body depth at the loin. Small-waisted.
Tulip Ear: An ear carried erect with edges curving in and forward.
Turn-Up: An up-tilted foreface.
Twisting Hocks: A gaiting fault in which the hock joints twist both ways as they flex or bear weight. Also called rubber hocks.
Type: Sum of qualities that distinguish dogs of one breed (breed type) or dogs from one kennel (kennel type) from others.
Ulna: One of the two bones of the forearm.
Umbilical Hernia: A usually self-correcting hernia of the intestines in which protrusion occurs through the abdominal wall in the region of the navel.
Underage Dam: Dam under eight months of age at the time of mating.
Underage Sire: Sire under seven months of age at the time of mating.
Undercoat: Dense, soft, short coat concealed by a longer top coat.
Underline: The combined contours of the brisket and the abdominal floor.
Undershot: The front teeth (incisors) of the lower jaw overlapping or projecting beyond the front teeth of the upper jaw when the mouth is closed.
Unilateral Cryptorchid: See Cryptorchid
United Kennel Club (UKC): An official registry in the United States for purebred dogs.
Unsound: A dog incapable of performing the functions for which it was bred.
Upper Arm: The humerus or bone of the foreleg, between the shoulder blade and the forearm and associated tissues.
Urethroliths: A general term referring to mineral deposits that form an obstruction in the urethra of male dogs.
Uterus: A hollow muscular organ located in the pelvic cavity of female mammals in which the fertilized egg implants and develops. Also called womb.
Utility Dog (UD): A title awarded to a dog that has been recorded a Utility Dog by the AKC as a result of having won certain minimum scores in Utility classes at a specified number of AKC licensed or member obedience trials. This title may be combined with the TD or TDX title and shown as UDT or UDTX, respectively.
Vaccine: A preparation of a weakened or killed pathogen, such as a bacterium or virus, or of a portion of the pathogen's structure that upon administration stimulates antibody production or cellular immunity against the pathogen but is incapable of causing severe infection.
Variety: A division of a breed approved by the AKC. There are nine breeds that are divided into varieties: Cockers, Beagles, Collies, Dachshunds, Bull Terriers, Manchester Terriers, Chihuahuas, English Toy Spaniels, and Poodles.
Varminty: A keen, very bright or piercing expression.
Vascular: Of, characterized by, or containing vessels that carry or circulate fluids, such as blood, lymph, or sap, through the body of an animal or plant.
Veil: The portion of the dog's forelock hanging straight down over the eyes or partially covering them.
Vent: The anal opening.
Vertebral Column: The bones of the central axis of the dog posterior to the skull, including cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and caudal vertebrae.
Virus: Any of various simple submicroscopic parasites of plants, animals, and bacteria that often cause disease and that consist essentially of a core of RNA or DNA surrounded by a protein coat. Unable to replicate without a host cell, viruses are typically not considered living organisms.
Walk: Gaiting pattern in which three legs are in support of the body at all times, each foot lifting from the ground one at a time in regular sequence.
Walleye: An eye with a whitish iris; a blue eye, fisheye, pearl eye.
Warrigal: A wolflike yellowish-brown wild dog of Australia.
Wean: The process of making a pup eat solid food instead of its mother's milk.
To accustom (the young of a mammal) to take nourishment other than by suckling.
Webbed: Connected by a membrane.
Webbed Toes: Toes connected by a skin membrane; important for water-retrieving dogs, providing help in swimming.
Weedy: An insufficient amount of bone; light boned.
Weimaraner: A large breed of hunting dog that originated in Germany, having a smooth grayish coat.
Well Let Down: Having short hocks; refers to short metatarsals.
Welsh Corgi: Either of two breeds of dog that originated in Wales, having a long body, short legs, and a foxlike head.
West Highland White Terrier: A small white terrier with upright ears and tail, developed in Scotland from Cairn, Scottish, and Skye terriers.
Wet Neck: Loose or superfluous skin; with dewlap.
Wheaten: Pale yellow or fawn color. The color of wheat. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Wheel Back: A marked arch of the thoracic and lumbar vertebrae.
Whelp Date: The date of birth of a litter.
Whelping: The act of birthing puppies.
Whip Tail: Carried out stiffly straight and pointed.
Whiskers: Vibrissae or sensory organs (hairs) on the sides of the muzzle.
White: The color of dog that lacks pigmentation.
Whitelies: Body color white with red or dark markings. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Wicket: Device used to measure the height of a dog at the withers.
Wild Boar: Usually used to describe Dachshunds, this color is dull gray hairs intermingled with black hairs. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Wind: To catch the scent of game.
Winging: A gaiting fault where one or both front feet twist outward as the limbs swing forward.
Winter Nose: See Snow Nose
Wirehair: A coat of hard, crisp, wiry texture.
Withers: Highest point of a dog's shoulders.
Wolf Sable: Used to describe Pomeranians. Silver or gray with black tips (no tan, white, or cream anywhere). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.
Working Group: Group of dogs used to pull carts, guard property, and for search and rescue.
Wrinkle: Loose, folding skin on forehead and foreface.
Wry Mouth: Asymmetrical alignment of upper and lower jaws; cross bite.
Xiphoid Process: Cartilage process of the sternum.
Yorkshire Terrier: A breed of toy terrier developed in Yorkshire and having a long, silky, bluish-gray coat.
Zoonosis: A disease of animals, such as rabies or psittacosis, that can be transmitted to humans.
Zygomatic Arch: A bony ridge extending posteriorly (and laterally) from beneath the eye orbit.