Glossary of Dog Terms:
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.