Glossary of Dog Terms:
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.
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