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Dog Glossary – H

Glossary of Dog Terms:


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).

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.