Abdomen: The portion of the dog’s body between the chest and the hindquarters.
Amyloidosis: A genetic disease, often resulting in renal (kidney) failure.
Angulation: The angles formed by a meeting of the bones; mainly the shoulder, upper arm, stifle, and hock.
Balanced: A consistent whole; symmetrical, typically proportioned as a whole or as regards its separate parts; i.e., balance of head, balance of body, or balance of head and body.
Bear Coat: A coat length in excess of one inch.
Bench Show: A dog show at which the dogs competing for prizes are required to remain during the entire show.
Best of Breed (BOB): A dog-show award to the dog adjudged best of all dogs/bitches present during a show. In the MSPCA Top Ten, this means the dog/bitch who received the most points during the showing season.
Best of Winners (BOW): A dog-show award to the dog adjudged best between the Winners Dog and Winners Bitch.
Best Opposite Sex (BOS): A dog-show award to the dog of the opposite sex of the BOB.
Best Opposite Sex Puppy (BOSP): A dog-show award to the puppy of the opposite sex of Best Puppy.
Best Puppy (BP): A dog-show award to a puppy adjudged best of all puppies present during a show.
Bitch: A female dog.
Bite: The relative position of the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed. The MSPCA standard requires a scissors bite.
Body: The anatomical section between the forequarters and the hindquarters.
Body Length: Distance from the point of the should to the rearmost projection of the upper thigh (point of the buttocks).
Bone: The relative size (girth) of a dog’s leg bones. Substance.
Brisket: The forepart of the body below the chest, between the forelegs, closest to the ribs.
Brood Bitch: A female used for breeding.
Brush Coat: Not to exceed one inch in length.
Canines: The two upper and two lower sharp-pointed teeth next to the incisors. Fangs.
Carpals: Bones of the pastern joints.
Castrate: To remove the testicles of the male dog.
Champion (CH): A prefix used with the name of a dog that has been recorded a Champion by the MSPCA as a result of defeating a specified number of dogs in specified competition at a series of MSPCA approved dog shows.
Choke Collar: A leather or chain collar fitted to the dog’s neck in suck a manner that the degree of tension exerted by the and tightens or loosens it.
Close-Coupled: Comparatively short from withers to hipbones.
Coat: The dog’s hair covering.
Cobby: Short-bodied, compact.
Compact: Term used to describe the firmly joined union of various body parts.
Conformation: The form and structure, make and shape; arrangement of the parts in conformance with breed-standard demands.
Congenital: An inherited feature present at birth.
Cow-Hocked: When the hocks turn toward each other.
Croup: The back part of the back, above the hind legs.
Cryptorchid: The adult whose testicles are abnormally retained in the abdominal cavity. Bilateral cryptorchidism involves both sides, that is, neither testicle has descended into the scrotum. Unilateral cryptorchidism involves one side only; that is, one testicle is retained or hidden, and one descended.
Dam: The female parent.
Dewclaw: An extra claw or functionless digit on the inside of the leg, a rudimentary fifth toe.
Dewlap: Loose, pendulous skin under the throat.
Dilute: A dog without any black pigment.
Disqualification: A decision made by a judge or by a bench show committee following a determination that a dog has a condition that makes it ineligible for any further completion under the dog show rules or under the standard for it’s breed.
Dog: A male dog; also used collectively to designate both male and female.
Dog Show: A competitive exhibition for dogs at which the dogs are judged in accordance with an established standard of perfection.
Dog Show, Conformation: An event held under MSPCA/AKC rules at which championship points are awarded.
Down in Pastern: Weak or faulty pastern (metacarpus) set at a pronounced angle from the vertical.
Drive: A solid thrusting of the hindquarters, denoting sound locomotion.
East-West Front: Incorrectly positioned pasterns that cause the feet to turn outwards, usually associated with a narrow front.
Elbows Out: Turning out or off from the body; not held close.
Expression: The general appearance of all features of the head as viewed from the front and as typical of the breed.
Femur: Thigh bone, extends from hip to stifle.
Fibula: The outer and smaller of the two bones of the lower thigh.
Fiddle Front: Forelegs out at elbows, pasterns close, and feet turned out.
Flank: The side of the body between the last rib and the hip.
Flews: Upper lips pendulous, particularly at their inner corners
Foreface: The front part of the head, before the eyes. Muzzle.
Forequarters: The combined front assembly from its uppermost component, the shoulder blade, down to the feet.
Front: The forepart of the body as viewed head on; i.e., forelegs, chest, brisket, and shoulder line.
Gait: The pattern of footsteps at various rates of speed, each pattern distinguished by a particular rhythm and footfall.
Hackles: Hair on neck and back raised involuntarily in fright or anger.
Handler: A person who handles a dog in the show ring.
Haw: A third eyelid or membrane in the inside corner of the eye.
Heat: Seasonal period of the female. Estrus.
Height: Vertical measurement from the withers to the ground; referred to usually as shoulder height.
Hindquarters: Rear assembly of dog (pelvis, thighs, hocks and paws).
Hock: The tarsus or collection of bones of the hind leg forming the joint between the second thigh and the metatarsus; the dog’s true heel.
Hocks Well Let Down: Hock joints close to the ground.
Horse Coat: A harsh coat not to exceeding Ľ inch in length.
Inbreeding: The mating of closely related dogs of the same breed.
Incisors: The six upper and six lower front teeth between the canines. Their point of contact forms the “bite”.
Iris: The colored membrane surrounding the pupil of the eye.
Judge: The arbiter in the dog show ring.
Knee Joint: Stifle joint.
Layback: The angle of the shoulder blade as compared with the vertical.
Lead: A strap, cord, or chain attached to the collar or harness for the purpose of restraining or leading the dog. Leash.
Level Gait: Dog moves without rise or fall of withers.
Line Breeding: The mating of related dogs of the same breed, within the line or family, to a common ancestor, as, for example, a dog to his granddam or a bitch to her grandsire.
Litter: A puppy or puppies of one whelping.
Loin: Region of the body on either side of the vertebral column between the last ribs and the hindquarters.
Mask: Dark shading on the foreface.
Mate: To breed a dog and bitch.
Metatarsus: Rear pastern.
Monorchid: A unilateral cryptorchid.
Moving Straight: Term descriptive of balance gaiting in which angle of inclination begins at the shoulder, or hip joint, and limbs remain relatively straight from these points to the pad of the feet, even as the legs flex or extend in reaching or thrusting.
Muzzle: The head in front of the eyes – nasal bone, nostrils, and jaws. Foreface.
Occiput: Upper, back point of the skull.
Open Class: A class at dog shows in which all dogs of a breed may compete.
Outcrossing: The mating of unrelated individuals of the same breed.
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 in one side of the forefeet to avoid interfering or clipping.
Pads: Tough, shock-absorbing projections on the underside of the feet. Soles.
Parent Club: National club for the breed.
Pastern: Commonly recognized as the region of the foreleg between the carpus or wrist and the digits.
Pedigree: The written record of a dog’s descent of three generations or more.
Prick Ear: Carried erect.
Professional Handler: A person who shows dogs for a fee
Puppy: A dog under twelve months of age.
Pure-Bred: A dog whose sire and dam belong to the same breed, and are themselves of unmixed descent since recognition of the breed.
Reach of Front: Length of forward stride taken by forelegs without wasted or excessive motion.
Register: To record a dog’s breeding particulars.
Reserve Winners Bitch: The runner up to Winners Bitch
Reserve Winners Dog: The runner up to Winners Dog
Roach Back: A convex curvature of the back toward the loin.
Sable: A lacing of black hairs over a lighter ground color.
Scissors Bite: A bite in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors.
Septum: The line extending vertically between the nostrils.
Sire: The male parent.
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.
Spay: To perform a surgical operation on the bitch’s reproductive organs to prevent conception.
Splayfoot: A flat foot with toes spreading. Open foot, open-toes.
Square Body: A dog whose measurements from withers to the ground equals that from point of shoulder to the rearmost projection of the upper thigh.
Stance: Manner of standing.
Standard: A description of the ideal dog of a breed, to serve as a word pattern by which dogs are judged at shows.
Stifle: The joint of the hind leg between the thigh and the second thigh. The dog’s knee.
Stop: The step up from muzzle to skull; indentation between the eyes where the nasal bone and skull meet.
Straight Hocked: Lacking appreciable angulation at the hock joints. Straight behind.
Straight In Pastern: Little or no bend between joint and foot.
Stud Book: A record of the breeding particulars of dogs of recognized breeds.
Stud Dog: A male dog used for breeding purposes.
Tail Set: How the base of the tail sets on the rump.
Testicles: The male gonad, gland which produces spermatozoa.
Topline: The dog’s outline from just behind the withers to the tail set.
Trot: A rhythmic two-beat diagonal gait in which the feet at diagonally opposite ends of the body strike the ground together; i.e., right hind with the left front and left hind with the right front.
Tuck-Up: Characterized by markedly shallower body depth at the loin. Small waisted.
Type: The charasteristic qualities distinguishing a breed, the embodiment of a standard’s essentials.
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.
Whelping: The act of giving birth.
Whipped Tail: Carried out stiffly straight.
Winners Bitch: An award given at dog shows to the best female competing in regular classes.
Winners Dog: An award given at dog shows to the best male competing in regular classes.