The Kennel Club Glossary of Canine Terms

This glossary of terms provides definitions of canine terminology used in the breed standards. It does not intend to define general anatomical terms.

A
  • Abdomen The body cavity between the chest and pelvis
  • Action Movement, the way a dog walks, trots or runs
  • Agouti Colour pattern comprising a mixture of grey, black and white hairs
  • Albino Lacking in pigmentation, usually with white coat, pink eyes and nose
  • Almond Eye Aperture basically of oval shape, bluntly pointed at both ends (see Eye)
  • Aloof Stand offish
  • Amble Fast rolling walk having an irregular, four-beat tempo, intermediate between a true walk and pacing. (e.g. Old English Sheepdog, Bouvier des Flandres) (see Gait)
  • Angulation The angles formed at a joint where bones meet e.g. shoulder or stifle, when dog is standing
  • Apple Head Very domed, rounded skull (e.g. Chihuahua) (see Head)
  • Apricot  Light to mid-orange coat colour. (e.g. Poodle)
  • Apron A ruff or frill of longer hair below the neck on the chest
  • Aquiline Nose: A nose which has a downward tilt at the end (see Nose)
  • Ash Light grey coat colour (e.g. Chesapeake Bay Retriever)
B
  • Back Region between withers and root of tail, but in some standards may refer to region between withers and loin
  • Badger Colour A mixture of white/grey/brown and black hairs of varying intensity (e.g. Bloodhound), often occurring in patches about the head and/or body on a basic white background, which is termed badger pied (e.g. Sealyham Terrier)
  • Balance A balanced dog is one whose proportions are harmonious, correct for the breed through lack of exaggeration of any part
  • Bandy Legs Outwardly bowed fore or hind limbs
  • Barrel Hocks Hocks placed far apart when viewed from behind, giving a bandy legged appearance (see Hock)
  • Barrel Ribs Markedly rounded ribs (e.g. Labrador Retriever)
  • Bat Ear Erect ear, rather broad at the base, rounded in outline at the top, and with opening directly to the front (e.g. French Bulldog) (see Ear)
  • Beard Growth of hair on muzzle and underjaw (e.g. Bearded Collie, German Wirehaired Pointer, Wire Haired Dachshund)
  • Beaver Mixture of white, grey, brown and black hairs (e.g. Pomeranian)
  • Belly Underpart of abdomen
  • Belton Intermingling of coloured and white hairs as blue belton, lemon, orange or liver belton (e.g. English Setter)
  • Bitchy Feminine looking male dog
  • Bite The relative position of the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed
    • Even
    • Incorrect [Irregular]
    • Level
    • Pincer
    • Overshot
    • Reverse Scissor
    • Scissor
    • Undershot  
  • Blanket Solid colour of coat on back and upper part of sides between neck and tail. (Term used frequently in Hound breeds)
  • Blaze White stripe running up the centre of the face (e.g. Bernese Mountain Dog)
  • Blenheim Rich chestnut markings on a pearly white background (e.g. Cavalier King Charles and King Charles Spaniels)
  • Blonde Shades of cream to pale gold coat colour (e.g. Hovawart)
  • Bloom The sheen of a coat in prime condition
  • Blown When the coat is moulting or casting
  • Bobtail
    • 1. Naturally tail-less dog or a dog born with a short tail. (e.g. Swedish Vallhund, Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)
    • 2. Alternative name for the Old English Sheepdog (see Tail)
  • Bodied Up Good substance, muscle and physical maturity
  • Body Anatomical section between fore and hind quarters
  • Body Length Generally taken as the distance from point of shoulder to point of buttock. In some breeds, taken from top of withers to set on of tail
  • Bone The thickness, quality and strength of bone
  • Bone Shape Shape cross-section of forearm. For example:
    • Bladed/Flat – narrow seen from the front (e.g. Borzoi, Gordon Setter)
    • Oval (e.g. Pointer)
    • Round (e.g. Australian Cattle Dog)
  • Bossy in Shoulder Over development of the shoulder muscles
  • Bowed Forelegs curved outward (e.g. Pekingese)
  • Bracelets Rings of hair left on the legs of some breeds in show trim (e.g. Poodle)
  • Breastbone Series of bones and cartilages which form the floor of the chest. Also known as sternum or keel (e.g. Dachshund)
  • Breeching 1.Hair on outside of thighs (e.g. Chow Chow). 2. Undesirable intermingling of tan amongst black hair on outside of hindlegs (e.g. Manchester Terrier)
  • Breed Standard A description of the ideal specimen in each breed approved by a governing body e.g. the Kennel Club, the FCI and the American Kennel Club
  • Breed Standard (Interim) As above, for a breed not granted Kennel Club Challenge Certificate status
  • Brindle Colour pattern caused by hairs forming a striped effect on differing background colours e.g. Whippet, Boxer, Cairn Terrier, Great Dane
  • Brisket  Forepart of body below the chest, between the forelegs (see Fill in)
  • Broad Hock Good width of hock joint when viewed from the side (see Hock)
  • Broken Coat A coat which lies between a wire coat and a smooth coat. Found most frequently in Terrier breeds. (e.g. Parson Russell Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier) (see Coat)
  • Broken Colour Self colour broken by white or another colour
  • Bronze Rust, tan or brown at tips of black hairs.(e.g. Japanese Shiba Inu; Newfoundland)
  • Brush A tail that is thick, rounded and well coated, resembling that of a fox. (e.g. Canaan Dog) (see Tail)
  • Burr Inside of the ear (e.g. Pug)
  • Bull Neck Short, thick, heavy neck. (see Neck)
  • Butterfly Nose Parti-coloured nose; dark, spotted with flesh colour. (e.g. Great Dane (Harlequin), Otterhound). (see Nose)
  • Button Ear The ear flap folding forward, the tip lying close to the skull so as to cover the opening, and pointing toward the eye. (see Ear)
C
  • Carriage
    • Deportment and style on the move
    • The manner in which the tail is carried
  • Candle Flame Erect, broad at the base narrowing to slightly pointed tips giving a candle flame appearance (e.g. English Toy Terrier (Black and Tan)) (see Ear)
  • Cat (like) Foot Short, round, compact foot like that of a cat (e.g. Spaniel (Cocker)). (see Feet)
  • Characteristics Combination of type, appearance, disposition and behaviour
  • Cheek Fleshy part of the head at the side of the skull
  • Cheeky Cheeks prominently rounded; thick, protruding
  • Chest The forepart of the body enclosed by the ribs
  • China Eye Iris clear blue. (see Eye Colour)
  • Chiselled Detailed lines and contours showing delicate structures in the foreface. (e.g. Fox Terrier (Smooth), Spaniel (Cocker) and Irish Terrier)
  • Chops Jowls or pendulous flesh of the lips and jaw
  • Clean A neck without loose skin. (see Neck)
  • Cloddy Thickset, comparatively heavy
  • Close Described movement which is narrow in front or rear. (see Gait)
  • Coarse Lacking quality and refinement
  • Coat The hairy outer covering of the skin. The majority of breeds have two coats (double-coated) comprising an outer coat and an undercoat. (e.g. Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd Dog). Example of single-coated breed: Coton de Tulear
    • Broken
    • Corded
    • Curly
    • Double
    • Flocked
    • Linty
    • Open
    • Rough
    • Ruff
    • Rustic
    • Smooth
    • Stand-off Coat
    • Undercoat 
    • Veiled
    • Wire Coat
  • Cobby Short bodied, compact with good spring of rib (e.g. Pug, Chow Chow, Cocker Spaniel)
  • Collar Marking around the neck, usually white (e.g. Boston Terrier)
  • Compact Short coupled; not rangy (e.g. Japanese Chin)
  • Condition Health as shown by the body, coat, general appearance and deportment. Denoting overall fitness
  • Conformation The form and structure, physique, make and shape. The natural form of the body
  • Conical Head Head that is shaped like a cone, i.e. head that is circular in section and tapers uniformly from skull to nose (e.g. Dachshund). (see Head)
  • Conjunctiva A thin membrane lining the inner surface of eyelids and reflected onto the eyeball
  • Convergence Footfall narrows when speed is increased. (see Gait)
  • Corded Coat Narrow or broad ribbons of felted hair or tight twisted cords formed by the intertwining of top coat and undercoat. Cords should always be distinctly separated from each other, down to the skin (e.g. Hungarian Puli, Komondor,). (see Coat)
  • Corkscrew curl Loose open curl of coat (e.g. Bichon Frise)
  • Corkscrew Tail Twisted tail, not straight. (see Tail)
  • Coupling The part of the body between the last rib and the start of the hindquarter section;
    • Short-Coupled/Close-Coupled Coupling relatively short         
    • Long-Coupled/Open-Coupled Coupling relatively long
  • Cow-Hocks Point of hocks pointed inwards, causing the feet to turn out. (see Hock)
  • Crabbing Dog moves with body at an angle to the line of travel
  • Crank Tail Sharply bent or angled tail (listed as a fault in Bullmastiff). (see Tail)
  • Crest
    • 1. Upper, arched portion of the neck. (see Neck)
    • 2. Hair starting at stop on head and tapering off down neck (e.g. Chinese Crested)
  • Croup (Rump) Part of the back from the front of the pelvis to root of the tail
  • Crown
    • 1. Highest part of the head
    • 2. Circular formations of hair at front of ridge as on the Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Cryptorchid Male dog with one (unilateral cryptorchid) or both (bilateral cryptorchid) testicle(s) not fully descended into the scrotum
  • Crysanthemum like Unusual growth direction of hair on face to give appearance of chrysanthemum. (Shih Tzu)
  • Culotte Longer hair on the back of the thighs (e.g. Chow Chow, Schipperke)
  • Curly Coat A mass of thick tight curls, which trap air, protecting the dog against water and cold (e.g. Retriever (Curly Coated), Spaniel (Irish Water)). (see Coat)
  • Cushioned
    • 1. Thick deep pads of feet
    • 2. Thickness of padding on muzzle or around head features
D
  • Daisy Cutting A trotting action where the forelimb moves forward close to the ground. (see Gait)
  • Dappled Mottled marking of different colours, no single colour predominant (e.g. Dachshund)
  • Daylight The light showing underneath the body
  • Dead Grass Straw to bracken colour. (e.g. Retriever (Chesapeake Bay))
  • Dentition Teeth including number, size and arrangement. The total number of teeth is forty two, made up of:-
    • Upper jaw; six incisors, two canines (eye teeth), eight premolars and four molars
    • Lower jaw; six incisors, two canines, eight premolars and six molars
  • Depth of chest The distance measured from the withers to the lowest point of the chest
  • Dewclaw Fifth digit on the inside of pastern. Most breeds do not have rear dewclaws but some breeds require double rear dew claws (e.g. Beauceron, Briard, Pyrenean Mountain Dog)
  • Dewlap Loose, pendulous skin under the throat
  • Dilute Reduced depth of colour
  • Dish-Faced A slight concavity in the foreface from the stop to the nose tip (e.g. Pointer)
  • Dock Surgical shortening of the tail
  • Doggy Masculine looking
  • Domed Evenly rounded in skull (e.g. King Charles Spaniel)
  • Double Coat Where the outer coat and undercoat are usually of different textures. (see Coat)
  • Double Curl Tail curled over back with additional tight curl at end. (see Tail)
  • Double dapple Varying amounts of white colouring occurring over the body in addition to the dapple pattern. Colour definitions may vary by breed
  • Down-Face Downward divergence of the plane of the foreface relative to that of the skull
  • Down on Pastern Weak or faulty pastern set at an exaggerated angle from the vertical
  • Drive Forward thrust provided by the hindquarters during locomotion
  • Drop pendant, pendulous (e.g Retrievers, Spaniels which include Lobular e.g. Spaniels (Cocker) and Spaniels (American Cocker)). (see Ear)
  • Dry Skin without wrinkle or looseness
  • Dudley Nose Nose lacking in pigment. (see Nose)
E
  • Ear Consists of three parts: the external ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Standards refer to the outer ear (ear lobe or leather). Types of ear shape and carriage:
    • Erect
    • Bat
    • Button
    • Candle Flame
    • Drop
    • Filbert
    • Flying
    • Hooded
    • Rose
    • Semi-drop or Tipped
  • Eastern/Oriental Expression Eyes set slanting
  • Ectropion Condition in which the eyelids are turned outwards
  • Elbow The joint between the upper arm and the forearm
  • Elbows, out at Elbows loose or turning out from the body. (see also Elbows, tied at)
  • Elbows, tied at Elbows set too tightly together into the body. (see also Elbows, out at)
  • Elbows, (well let down) Elbow positioned at the base of a long, sloping upper arm (See Setters)
  • Entire Dog Male with two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum
  • Entropion Condition in which the eyelids are turned inwards causing irritation
  • Erect Pricked (e.g. German Shepherd Dog, Pomeranian). (see Ear)
  • Even Bite The front teeth meet exactly edge to edge (e.g. Bullmastiff, Newfoundland). (see Bite)
  • Ewe Neck A neck in which the topline is concave. (see Neck)
  • Expression The general appearance of all features of the head as viewed from the front
  • Extended Trot A noticeably long far-reaching trot (e.g. English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan)). (see Gait)
  • Eye All standards include an eye clause which usually comments on shape, size and eye colour. Shape and size describe the shape of the eye apertures. Eye aperture types include:-
    • Almond
    • Obliquely Set
    • Oval
    • Round
    • Triangular
  • Eye Colour This is due to the presence of the pigment melanin in the iris. The more melanin the darker the eye
    • China
    • Merle
    • Ruby
    • Wall (Marbled)
  • Eyebrow The skin and hair above the eye covering the projecting superciliary ridge
F
  • Fako Hungarian term for any shade of fawn (see Hungarian Puli Standard)
  • Fall Long hair falling from the head and face (e.g. Lhasa Apso, Yorkshire Terrier)
  • Fallaway Marked slope of the croup
  • Fallow Light reddish or yellowish brown
  • Far Seeing Reference to the expression, giving the appearance of focusing into the distance (see Deerhound, Saluki)
  • Fawn A light brown or red-yellow colour with hue of medium brilliance. Colour definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive colour description
  • Feathering Longer fringe of hair on ears, legs, tail or body
  • Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) An international canine body based in Belgium to which many Kennel Clubs throughout the world are affiliated
  • Feet
    • Cat (like)
    • Hare
    • Oval
    • Pin Toed
    • Splayfoot
    • Spoon Shaped
    • Webbed
    • Well-Knuckled
  • Femur Thigh bone which extends from hip to stifle joint
  • Fiddle front Forelegs out at elbows, pasterns close, and feet turned out. French front
  • Filbert Ear Rounded off triangular shape as in a Filbert nut (e.g. Bedlington Terrier). (see Ear)
  • Fill in below the eyes / Well-filled in front of the eyes Well-padded on the muzzle under the eyes
  • Fill in of brisket The depth of development of chest between the forelegs
  • Flag Feathering on tail (e.g. English Setter, Gordon Setter)
  • Flange Outward projecting edge of rib(s) (e.g. Basset Hound)
  • Flank Fleshy side of the body below the loin between the last rib and the front of thigh
  • Flat Ribbed (Slab Sided) A chest shape, in cross section, in which the centre portion of the rib is flattened rather than rounded (see Bedlington Terrier), (see Slab Sided)
  • Flecked Coat or eye lightly ticked with another colour
  • Flesh-coloured Pale pigmentation in nose or lips
  • Flews Pendulous upper lips (sometimes referred to as chops e.g. Bulldog). Some standards include the lower lips as flews (see Chow Chow and Hungarian Puli)
  • Floating Rib The last (thirteenth) rib with skeletal attachment only to the spinal column sometimes found to project outwards at its tip
  • Flocked Coat A soft coat of loose open ringlets. (see Coat)
  • Fluffies (Woollies) Describes dogs with soft coats of excessive length with exaggerated feathering on ears, chest, legs and feet, underparts, and hindquarters. Considered undesirable
  • Flush To drive birds from cover, to force them to take flight
  • Flushing breeds Term commonly applied to those breeds that typically flush or force a bird from cover
  • Fluting A mid-line indentation of the skull from stop backwards. (e.g. Spaniel (English Springer)), (see also Furrow, Median Furrow, Median Line)
  • Flying Ears Ears held incorrectly either too high and / or away from the skull. (see Ear)
  • Flying trot A fast trot with a very long stride in which all four feet are briefly off the ground together during each half stride. (See also suspended trot). (see Gait)
  • Forearm The portion of the forelimb between the elbow and the wrist
  • Forechest Front part of the chest (e.g. Boxer, Miniature Pinscher)
  • Foreface The part of the head in front of the eyes. Muzzle
  • Forehand Front part of dog, including neck, shoulders, upper arm, front legs and feet
  • Foreign Expression Expression not typical of the breed
  • Foreleg Front leg from elbow to foot
  • Forequarters Front part of dog excluding head and neck
  • Foxy Expression Sharp expression; pointed foreface and upright ears as in head shape of a fox (e.g. Schipperke, Pomeranian, Welsh Corgi)
  • Frill Long hair hanging down from throat and chest (e.g Japanese Chin or Collie Rough, Australian Terrier). Sometimes used to describe a full mane around the neck
  • Fringes Longer hair on ears (e.g. Papillon) (see Feathering)
  • Front Forehand assembly including angulation, width of chest and front leg position. (see Forehand)
  • Frontal Bone Bone of the skull above the eyes
  • Frosting White or grey hairs intermingled with base colour mainly on head (e.g. Belgian Shepherd Dog, Griffon Bruxellois)
  • Frown Facial expression caused by slight skin wrinkles on the skull
  • Furnishings Long hair which may be on head, legs, breechings and/or tail
  • Furrow A mid-line indentation of the skull from stop backwards (e.g. Bulldog, Eurasier). (see also Fluting, Median Furrow, Median Line)
G
  • Gait The pattern of footsteps, each pattern distinguished by a particular rhythm and sequence of footfall
    • Amble
    • Daisy Cutting
    • Close
    • Convergence
    • Extended Trot
    • Flying Trot
    • Gallop
    • Goose Step
    • Hackney
    • High Stepping
    • Hover
    • Lame
    • Moving Close
    • Overreaching
    • Pacing
    • Paddling
    • Pinning
    • Plaiting
    • Pounding
    • Rolling
    • Single Tracking
    • Stilted
    • Suspended Trot
    • Trot
    • Walk
    • Weaving
  • Gallop Fastest of the dog gaits with a four beat rhythm and with one or more periods of suspension in each stride. (see Gait)
  • Gay Tail The tail carried very high or over dog’s back. Often indicates that the tail carriage is higher than approved in the breed standard. Some standards do ask for tails to be carried gaily (e.g. Fox Terrier (Smooth)). (see Tail)
  • Gazehound See Sighthound
  • Girth Measurement of the chest circumference taken just behind the withers
  • Goose Neck An elongated, tubular-shaped neck. Also called Swan Neck. (see Neck)
  • Goose Rump Too steep in pelvis: a sloping rump with the tail set very low
  • Goose Step A high stepping, straight-limbed, strutting action. (see Gait)
  • Grizzle Blueish-grey, red-grey or iron grey colour, due to a mixture of coloured hair with or without white. Colour definitions may vary breed from breed. Always check the specific breed standard
  • Gun Barrel Front Having straight, vertical and parallel forelimbs when viewed from the front
  • Guard Hairs Longer, harsher hairs which grow through the undercoat (e.g. Alaskan Malamute)
H
  • Hackney High stepping front action with exaggerated flexion of the wrist (e.g. Miniature Pinscher). (see Gait)
  • Haloes Dark pigmentation surrounding the eyes (e.g. Bichon Frise)
  • Hard Bitten Gives the impression of being tough, rugged, uncompromising, strong-willed
  • Hard Expression Harsh, staring expression
  • Hare Foot Foot with the two centre toes appreciably longer than the outside toes. (e.g. Borzoi, Tibetan Spaniel). (see Feet)
  • Harlequin
    • In Great Dane: Pure white background with irregular patches (black preferred but blue permitted) having the appearance of being torn
    • In Beauceron: Grey and black patches distributed over the body, black may predominate. Tan markings as in Black and Tan
  • Harness markings A characteristic pattern on coat consisting of lighter or darker hair over forequarters, suggesting the outline of a harness
  • Haw 1. The inside of the eyelid being visible caused by the looseness, sagging or drooping of the lower eyelid. 2. Third eyelid at the inner corner of the eye; more obvious in certain breeds (e.g. Spaniel (Clumber))
  • Head
    • Apple
    • Conical
    • Proud
  • Heart Room Volume of the lower half of the ribcage
  • Height The vertical measurement from the withers to the ground; often referred to as height at the withers
  • Heel The rear part of the paw
  • Herring Gutted Narrow, slab sided body lacking depth throughout
  • High Hocks Long in rear pastern. (see Hock)
  • High Set Ears Ears set high on the skull (e.g. Wire Fox Terrier, German Shepherd Dog)
  • High Set Tail Base of tail positioned at the end of a flat croup. (see Tail Set)
  • High Stepping Marked lifting of the foreleg at the trot. (See Italian Greyhound). (see Gait)
  • Hind Leg Leg from first thigh to foot
  • Hindquarters Rear part of dog from behind the loin
  • Hock The joint above the rear pastern
    • Barrel
    • Broad
    • Cow
    • High Hocks
    • Hocks well let down
    • Low Hocks
    • Sickle Hocks
    • Snatching Hocks
  • Hocks well let down Short rear pasterns. (see Hock)
  • Hollow back See Swayback
  • Hooded Ear Pricked ear which curves forward at the tip and on the sides, thus forming a hood. (see Ear)
  • Hound-Marked A colour pattern composed of white, black and tan, but sometimes lemon and/or blue. The ground colour, usually white, may be marked with coloured patches on the head, back, legs and tail. The extent and the exact location of such markings, however, differs in breeds and individuals. (e.g. Beagle)
  • Hover At the trot, a slight suspension of the front feet before placing foot to ground (See Ibizan Hound). (see Gait)
I
  • Incisors (see Dentition)
  • Incorrect [Irregular] Bite (see Bite) Dentition which is not as described in the breed standard. e.g.:
    • Some or all of the front teeth positioned abnormally
    • Canine teeth set too straight to jaw and running up into roof of mouth
    • Incomplete dentition - lacking one or more teeth
  • Interdigital Between the toes
  • Iris Flat, circular, coloured membrane within the eye. The inner boundary forms the pupil, which adjusts to control amount of light entering eye
  • Isabella Fawn colouration (e.g. Dobermann, Bergamasco)
J
  • Jabot Frill or ruffle on the breast. (see Schipperke)
  • Jaws The bones to which the teeth are attached forming the framework of the mouth
  • Jowls Flesh of lips and jaws
K
  • Keel Rounded outline of the lower chest, resembling the keel of a boat (e.g. Dachshund, Bloodhound)
  • Knee-cap see Patella
  • Knee Joint Stifle
  • Knuckling Over Faulty structure of the carpal (wrist) joint allowing it to protrude forwards when dog is standing
L
  • Lame Moving with irregular, uneven gait. (see Gait)
  • Landseer White and black coat colour pattern in Newfoundlands
  • Layback Angle of the shoulder blade, when viewed from the side
  • Lay back of face The alignment of chin, nose and skull, when viewed from the side. (see Bulldog)
  • Leather 
    • 1. The pendulous ear of certain breeds (e.g. Foxhound, Poodle, Spaniels)
    • 2. In certain breeds, the nasal area that is free of hair (e.g. Australian Terrier)
  • Leggy Long in the leg
  • Legs well under the body When viewed in profile, elbows set well back
  • Leonine Resembling a lion (e.g. Chow Chow, Pekingese)
  • Level
    • Bite The front teeth meet exactly edge to edge. (e.g. Bullmastiff, Newfoundland), (see Bite)
    • Of Topline/Back Approximately horizontal
  • Linty Characteristic soft texture of coat (e.g. Bedlington Terrier) or undercoat (e.g. Dandie Dinmont Terrier). (See Coat)
  • Lion Clip Style of coat presentation (e.g. Lowchen (Little Lion Dog), Poodle).
  • Lippy Pendulous lips that do not fit tightly.
  • Liver Light to dark shades of brown coat colour usually accompanied by a brown nose (e.g. Retriever (Curly Coated). Also referred to as chocolate in some breeds (e.g. Retriever (Labrador)).
  • Loaded Shoulders Bulky, excess muscle development in the shoulder area.
  • Loin Spine and surrounding muscles behind the last rib and the onset of the hindquarters.
  • Low Hocks Short in rear pastern. (see Hock)
  • Low Set
    • (Tail) 1. Base of tail positioned at the end of a sloping croup. (see Tail Set)
    • (Ears) 2. Ears set low on the skull. (e.g. Basset Hound)
  • Lozenge Mark Marking on the skull of Blenheim King Charles and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. (see breed standards)
  • Lumber Overdone, cloddy
  • Lumbering Heavy, ponderous stride
  • Lung room Capacity of the ribcage
M
  • Mane Long, profuse hair on top and sides of neck and chest. (e.g. Leonberger, Schipperke, Tibetan Spaniel, Pekingese.) Sometimes known as ‘cape’.
  • Mantle
    • 1. Dark-shaded portion of the coat on shoulders, back and sides (e.g. Alaskan Malamute)
    • 2. A black and white colour pattern in Great Danes
  • Marbled Eye See Wall Eye. (see Eye)
  • Markings Pattern of coat colours
  • Mask Dark shading on the face (e.g. Boxer, French Bulldog, Pug)
  • Median Furrow A mid-line indentation of the skull from stop backwards. (See also Fluting, Furrow, Median Line)
  • Median Line A mid-line indentation of the skull from stop backwards (e.g. Mastiff, Spaniel (American Cocker)). (See also Fluting, Furrow, Median Furrow)
  • Melon Pips Tan spots above eyes. (e.g. Basenji)
  • Merle Distinct colour pattern of splashed and marbled darker shades against a lighter background. (e.g. Collie (Rough and Smooth), Australian Shepherd) Referred to as dapple in some breeds. (e.g. Dachshunds)
    • An undesirable colour in some breeds due to health implications
  • Merle Eye Iris flecked with brown, blue or white in any combination. (see Eye Colour)
  • Mismarked Incorrectly marked
  • Monorchid A term commonly (but technically incorrectly) used to describe a dog with only one descended testicle (see Cryptorchid)
  • Mottle / Mottled A colour pattern found in some hounds (see Beagle), (see also Australian Cattle Dog)
  • Moustache Furnishings on the upper part of the lip
  • Mouth In Breed Standards, a term often used to describe dentition. (see Bite)
  • Movement see Gait
  • Moving Close Front and/or hind limbs moving close to each other. (e.g. Rough Collie).(see Gait)
  • Multum in Parvo “Much in little” meaning a lot of substance in a small frame. (see Pug standard)
  • Muzzle The head in front of the eyes; foreface
N
  • Nape of the Neck Top of the neck adjacent to the base of the skull
  • Nasal bone The bone which runs from the stop to the nose
  • Nose
    • Aquiline
    • Butterfly
    • Dudley
    • Roman
    • Snow
    • Winter
  • Neck
    • Bull
    • Clean
    • Crest
    • Ewe
    • Swan (Goose)
    • Well set on
  • Neck well set on Good neckline, merging gradually with withers, forming a pleasing transition into topline. (see Neck)
  • Nostrils External opening of the nasal cavity (nares)
O
  • Oblique Shoulders Shoulders well laid back (e.g. English Setter)
  • Obliquely Set Eye Eye aperture where the outer corners appear to be higher set in the skull than the inner corners. (see Eye)
  • Occiput Upper, back point of skull
  • Occipital Crest A midline ridge of bone extending forward from a pronounced occiput
  • Occipital Process/Protuberance A well-defined occiput (e.g. Borzoi, Irish Setter)
  • Open Coat A coat which is not close fitting and lacks density. (see Coat)
  • Otter Tail Tail which is very thick towards base, gradually tapering towards rounded tip, medium length, free from feathering, but clothed thickly all round with short, dense coat giving a rounded appearance (See Retriever (Labrador)). (see Tail)
  • Out at Shoulder Shoulders which appear loosely attached to the body, standing out from the ribs, increasing width of front. (e.g. Bulldog, Cesky Terrier)
  • Oval Eye The most common eye aperture shape. Referred to as ‘elliptical’ in Irish Wolfhound Breed Standard. (see Eye)
  • Oval Foot Foot that is slightly longer than wide (e.g Pointer, Welsh Corgi (Pembroke)). (see Feet)
  • Overlay Coat characteristically double-pigmented, wherein tip of each light coloured hair is darker. (see Sable)
  • Over nose wrinkle A fold of skin extending over the bridge of the nose. (e.g. Pekingese). If exaggerated, a highly undesirable feature, which may cause restricted breathing and/or irritation to the eyes.
  • Overreaching Hind feet passing the front feet at the trot. (see Gait)
  • Overshot Bite The upper front teeth overlap and do not touch the lower front teeth when the mouth is closed. A fault in all breeds. (see Bite)
P
  • Pacing Movement where fore and hind legs on the same side move in unison. Many dogs pace slowly as an energy conserving measure. Some breeds typically pace at slow speeds (e.g. Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Spaniel (English Springer)). (see Gait)
  • Padding / Cushioning Fleshy covering on the muzzle, cheeks or chin. (e.g. Shar Pei)
  • Paddling The front feet thrown out sideways on the move often in a loose, uncontrolled manner. (see Gait)
  • Pads Tough elastic pads of tissue covered with thickened skin on the underside of the feet
  • Pantaloons Longer, thick hair on rear of thighs. (See Pyrenean Mountain Dog) (see Trousers)
  • Particolour Colour pattern of two or more different colours (e.g. Spaniel (Cocker))
  • Pastern
    • (Front) The part of the foreleg between the wrist and the foot
    • (Rear) The part of the hind leg between the hock and the foot
  • Patchy/Patched Tongue Irregularly pigmented (e.g. Shar Pei)
  • Patella (Knee-cap) A small bone at lower end of femur which forms part of the stifle-joint
  • Pelvis Girdle of bones fused together, each half being composed of the ilium, ischium and pubis, the whole attached to the spine at the sacrum. On the lower sides are the hip-joints
  • Pencilled Appearance of coat caused by harder hair coming through softer undercoat (see Dandie Dinmont Terrier)
  • Pencilling Black lines on the toes (e.g. English Toy Terrier, Gordon Setter)
  • Pepper and Salt Coat of banded light and dark hairs (e.g. Schnauzer)
  • Pied Coat pattern consisting of white with another colour
    • Badger Pied (see Otterhound)
    • Fawn Pied (see French Bulldog)
    • Hare Pied (see Beagle)
    • Lemon Pied (see Beagle)
  • Pigeon-Chest An overdeveloped forechest
  • Pigmentation Natural colouring of skin and other tissues, especially of nose, eye rims and tongue in some breeds (e.g. Chow Chow)
  • Pin Bones Upper bony protuberances of pelvis
  • Pincer Bite The front teeth meet exactly edge to edge. (e.g. Bullmastiff, Newfoundland). (see Bite)
  • Pinched Nostrils Narrow openings which restrict breathing. Highly undesirable trait
  • Pinning Forefeet turned in when moving. (see Gait)
  • Pin Toed Forefeet turned in when standing. (see Feet)
  • Pinto Clearly defined, irregular body patches of colour superimposed upon a white background. (see Akita)
  • Plaiting Movement where front legs cross whilst walking or trotting. (see Gait)
  • Plume Long fringe of tail hair (e.g. Papillon)
  • Point of Buttock Rearmost projection of the pelvic bones
  • Point of Shoulder The front of the joint where upper arm and shoulder blade meet
  • Points Designated sites where contrasting colour and markings are found, usually on face, ears, legs and tail. (e.g. Cairn Terrier)
  • Pounding Gaiting fault where front feet strike the ground in a heavy footed manner. (see Gait)
  • Profile Outline of a dog when viewed from the side
  • Prosternum Forechest
  • Proud High carriage of head or tail. (e.g. Poodle)
  • Pump Handle tail which has a natural curve (See Staffordshire Bull Terrier). (see Tail)
  • Punishing Jaw Strong and powerful (e.g. Kerry Blue Terrier)
Q
  • Quality The indefinable attribute denoting refinement and the absence of coarseness. Excellence of type, conformation and bearing giving close adherence to the breed Standard
  • Queen Anne Front (Fiddle Front) Forelegs bowed and out at elbows, pasterns close and feet turned out
R
  • Racy Built on flowing lines, giving an impression of speed and athleticism
  • Rangy Tall, long in body often lightly framed and high on leg
  • Reach Functional length of the forward step of the front leg
  • Refined Containing quality and free from coarseness
  • Reverse Scissor Bite The upper front teeth close just inside the lower (e.g. Lhasa Apso, Tibetan Terrier). (see Bite)
  • Ridge Line of hair growing in reverse direction to the main coat. (see Rhodesian Ridgeback)
  • Ring Tail A long tail which curls to form a circle at the tip (e.g. Afghan Hound)
  • Roach Back Convex curvature of the back (e.g. Bulldog)
  • Roan Colour pattern where the main colour is interspersed with hairs of another colour. (see Spaniel (Cocker))
  • Rolling Gait Distinctive roll from side to side when moving (e.g. Pekingese, Spaniel (Clumber), Spaniel (Sussex)). (see Gait)
  • Roman Nose Where the upper line of muzzle to the nose forms a slightly convex curve (Bull Terrier). (see Nose)
  • Rose Ear Small drop ear which folds over and back thus revealing the upper part of the external ear canal (burr) (e.g. Bulldog, Greyhound, Whippet). (see Ear)
  • Rough Coat Harsh thick coat, with or without undercoat. (see Coat)
  • Round Eye Aperture basically of rounded shape. (see Eye)
  • Ruby Eye Iris of dark red colour (e.g. Chihuahua). (see Eye Colour)
  • Ruff Dense, harsher stand-off coat around the neck, framing the face (e.g. Keeshond, Norwich Terrier). (see Coat)
  • Rustic Rugged or workmanlike in build, natural appearance of coat, without excessive grooming. (see Coat)
S
  • Sable Commonly used description of coat colour. Definition varies with breed. Usually black-tipped hairs overlaid on a background of gold, silver, grey, fawn or tan basic coat (e.g. German Shepherd Dog), or each hair shaded with three or more colours (e.g. Pomeranian)
  • Sabre Tail Tail carried in a slightly curved fashion either upwards (e.g. Basset Hound) or downwards (e.g. German Shepherd Dog). (see Tail)
  • Saddle
    • 1. Variation in colour over back (e.g. German Shepherd Dog)
    • 2. Area of shorter coat over back (e.g. Afghan Hound)
  • Scimitar Tail As sabre tail (e.g. Bloodhound, Gordon Setter) (see Sabre Tail), (see Tail)
  • Scissor Bite The upper front teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws. (The most frequently required dentition). (see Bite)
  • Screw Tail A naturally short, twisted tail. (see Bulldog), (see Tail)
  • Second Thigh The part of the hind leg from stifle to hock.
  • Sedge Gold Red-gold colour (e.g. Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)).
  • Self Colour Of uniform colour.
  • Semi-drop or Tipped Semi-pricked (e.g. Collies, Fox Terriers). Top third falling forward. (see Ear)
  • Sesame Even overlay of black guard hairs usually on red coat (e.g. Japanese Shiba Inu).
  • Set On           
    • 1. Placement of tail on body
    • 2. Position of ears on skull
  • Set of Ear Placement of ears
    • High Set Ears
    • Low Set Ears
  • Shawl Longer hair around neck and shoulders (e.g. Tibetan Spaniel)
  • Shelly Lacking substance, shallow and narrow in body;
  • Short Coupled Short between last rib and the beginning of the hindquarters. (see Coupling)
  • Shoulder Joint Joint between the shoulder blade (scapula) and the upper arm (humerus)
  • Sickle Hocked Rear pasterns sloping inward under the body
  • Sickle Tail One which is carried out and up in an arc (e.g. Basset Fauve de Bretagne). (see Tail)
  • Sighthound A hound that hunts mainly by sight
  • Sinewy Lean and muscular
  • Single Tracking  Moving with all four feet placed along a single line (see Gait)
  • Skirt Exaggerated amount of skin on underline (e.g. Basset Hound)
  • Skull Bones of the head specifically that part from stop to occiput
  • Skully Thick and coarse through skull
  • Slab-Sided Flat ribs with little spring from spinal column. (see Flat Ribbed)
  • Sloping Shoulder The shoulder blade set obliquely or “laid back”. (see Lay back)
  • Smooth Coat Short smooth, close-lying hair (e.g. Bull Terrier, Dachshund (Smooth-Haired)). (see Coat)
  • Snatching Hocks An exaggerated gaiting fault caused by quick outward snatching of the hock as it passes the supporting leg and twists the rear pastern far in beneath the body. (see Hock)
  • Snipy (Pinched) Too pointed, narrow or weak in muzzle
  • Snow Nose Nose showing loss of pigment resulting in a pink streak on nose in winter (e.g. Siberian Husky). (see Nose)
  • Socks
    • 1. Hair from the feet to pasterns (e.g. Chinese Crested Dog)
    • 2. White colour on feet (e.g. Old English Sheepdog)
  • Sooty Black hairs intermingling with tan or base colour (e.g. Elkhound)
  • Soundness The normal state of temperamental and physical well-being, particularly applied to correct movement
  • Span To measure the circumference of the ribs immediately behind the shoulders with two hands (referenced in border terrier BSF. Also Parson Russell Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier)
  • Spectacles Light shadings around the eyes and dark marking from outer corner of eye to ear (e.g. Keeshond)
  • Spitz Group of breeds that have wedge shaped heads with prick ears, usually straight and rather harsh outer coats with dense undercoats, moderate turn of stifle and tails usually carried over back
  • Splayfoot Flat foot with toes spreading. (see Feet)
  • Spoon Shaped See Oval Foot (e.g. German Shorthaired Pointer), (see Feet)
  • Spring of Rib Degree of curvature of rib cage
  • Stand-off Coat Long, harsh textured coat with hair standing out from the body supported by shorter, soft, dense undercoat (e.g. Keeshond). (see Coat)
  • Steel Blue Desirable body colour of Yorkshire Terriers
  • Stern Tail of a sporting dog or hound
  • Sternum (currently defined under breastbone)
    • Breastbone Series of bones and cartilages which form the floor of the chest. Also known as sternum or keel
  • Stifle The joint of the hind leg between the thigh and second thigh equivalent to the knee
  • Stilted A short stepping gait, lacking reach. (see Gait)
  • Stop The indentation between the eyes where the nasal-bone and skull meet
  • Straight Shoulders Upright shoulder
  • Straight Stifle (straight behind) Lack of angulation in the hind leg at the stifle
  • Substance Mass of body and bone
  • Suspended Trot A fast trotting gait in which all four feet are off the ground for a brief moment during each stride. Because of the long reach, the oncoming hind feet step beyond the imprint left by the front. (see Gait)
  • Swayback Concave curvature of the back line between the withers and the hip bones.
  • Swan Neck An elongated, tubular-shaped neck. (see Neck)
  • Swirl A slight upward turn to the tip of the tail e.g. Collie. (see Tail)
  • Symmetry Overall balance
T
  • Tail
    • Bobtail
    • Brush
    • Corkscrew
    • Crank
    • Double Curl
    • Gay
    • Otter
    • Proud
    • Pump Handle
    • Sabre
    • Scimitar
    • Screw
    • Sickle
    • Stern
    • Swirl
    • Twist
    • Wheel
    • Whip
  • Tail Carriage Position in which the tail is held
  • Tail Set The position of the tail on the croup
    • High Set
    • Low Set
  • Temperament Mixture of natural qualities and traits that produce character
  • Tendon Tissue attaching muscle to bone
  • Texture of Coat Quality or feel of a coat
  • Thick Set Broad and solidly built
  • Thigh Hindquarter from hip to hock. First Thigh / Second Thigh
  • Third Eyelid see Haw
  • Throatiness Excess of loose skin in the throat region
  • Thumb Marks
    • 1. Distinctive marking on pasterns in some breeds (e.g. English Toy Terrier / Lancashire Heeler / Pug)
    • 2. Distinctive mark on forehead (e.g. Pug)
  • Ticked A coat containing small, black or coloured flecks on a white background
  • topknot Long, silky, fluffy or woolly hair on top of head
  • Topline Outline from withers to tail set
  • Trace Black line extending from occiput to twist (tail) on a Pug
  • Triangular Eye Aperture more angular in contours than oval eyes (e.g. Afghan Hound). (see Eye)
  • Tricolour Coat of three distinct colours.
  • Trot A gait in which the diagonally opposite limbs move together. (see Gait)
  • Trousers Breechings on rear legs. (see Pantaloons)
  • True Movement Accurate footfall
  • Tuck Up A marked upward curve of underline of belly
  • Turn Up Upturned under jaw
  • Twist Tightly curled tail (e.g. Pug). (see Tail)
  • Type Characteristic qualities distinguishing a breed
U
  • Undercoat Dense, soft coat concealed by longer top-coat
  • Underline Outline from elbow to flank. (see Tuck Up)
  • Undershot Bite The lower front teeth project beyond the upper front teeth and the lower jaw protrudes beyond the upper jaw. (e.g. Boxer). (see Bite)
  • Upper Arm The foreleg between the shoulder and elbow joints
  • Upright Shoulder Shoulder lacking layback
V
  • Varminty Game and spirited, usually applied to Terriers. (e.g. Cairn Terrier)
  • Veiled Coat Fine, long hair (e.g. Chinese Crested Dog). (see Coat)
  • Veining Veins visually evident under the skin (e.g. Borzoi)
W
  • Wall Eye Eye with blue, blue flecked or unpigmented iris. (Can be odd eyed). (see Eye Colour)
  • 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. (see Gait)
  • Weaving Feet crossing over, plaiting when moving. (see Gait)
  • Webbed Foot Foot with well-developed webs between toes (Newfoundland, Retriever (Chesapeake Bay)). (see Feet)
  • Weedy Light-bone structure, lacking substance
  • Well-filled in front of the eyes Well-padded on the muzzle under the eyes. (See also Fill)
  • Well Laid Shoulders Shoulders with good layback
  • Well-Knuckled foot A foot where the toes are tightly knuckled. (see Feet)
  • Well Ribbed Up Rib cage and sternum extending well back
  • Well Sprung Ribs See Spring of Rib
  • Wheaten Pale yellow or fawn colour
  • Wheel Back An excessively roached topline
  • Wheel Tail A tail which curves completely to make a full circle, usually when fully alert (e.g. Pyrenean Mountain Dog). (see Tail)
  • Whip Tail Relatively long, thin tail. (see Tail)
  • Whirl (Whorl) An irregularity in hair growth. Against the natural direction of the hair.
  • Winter Nose A nose which seasonally loses its natural pigmentation. (see Nose)
  • Wire Coat Consists of harsh and often wiry outer jacket with a softer dense undercoat (e.g. Wire Fox Terrier, Wirehaired Dachshund). (see Coat)
  • Withers The highest point of body immediately behind neck where height is measured.
  • Wrinkle Loose skin forming a crease, furrow or ridge
  • Wry Mouth Lower jaw which does not line up with upper jaw, i.e. twisted to one side
Z
  • Zygomatic arch The bony ridge forming the lower, border of the eye socket