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Dog Glossary – L

Glossary of Dog Terms:


LameLabrador Retriever: A breed of dog originating in Newfoundland, having a short, yellow, black, or brown coat and a tapering tail and used in hunting to retrieve felled game.

Lactation: Secretion or formation of milk by the mammary glands.: Irregularity or impairment of locomotion.

Landseer: Newfoundlands that are white dogs with black markings, named in honor of Sir Edward Landseer, the 19th Century artist who used these dogs as models

Lateral: Pertaining to the side.

Layback: The angle of the shoulder blade as compared with the vertical plane viewed from the side.

Layon: The angle of the shoulder blade as compared with the vertical plane viewed from the front.

Lead: A strap, cord, or chain attached to the collar or harness, or sometimes simply around the neck, for the purpose of restraining or leading the dog. Also called leash.

Leash: A chain, rope, or strap attached to the collar or harness of an animal, especially a dog, and used to lead it or hold it in check.

Leather: The flap of the ear; the outer ear supported by cartilage and surrounding tissue.

Lemon: Used to describe pointers, this color is a brilliant, medium-saturated yellow. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.

Leptospirosis: An infectious disease of domestic animals, especially cattle, swine, and dogs, caused by spirochetes of the genus Leptospira and characterized by jaundice and fever.

Level Bite: When the front teeth (incisors) of the upper and lower jaws meet exactly edge to edge. Also called pincer bite, equal bite, or even bite.

Level Gait: Dog moves without rise or fall of withers.

Lhasa Apso: A breed of small dog originating in Tibet and having a long, straight coat.

Lick Granuloma: A skin condition caused by prolonged licking at a specific area, in most cases, a leg or a paw.

Line Breeding: The practice of mating a dog to a member of an earlier generation of the dog’s bloodline.

Lippy: Pendulous lips or lips that do not fit tightly.

Litter: The puppy or puppies of one whelping.

Litter Complement: The number of puppies of each sex in a litter.

Litter Registration: Recording a litter of puppies with a dog association.

Liver: Used to describe many breeds, this deep, reddish brown color includes various shades of chocolate brown, from light to very dark. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.

Livestock: Domestic animals, such as cattle or horses, raised for home use or for profit, especially on a farm.

Loaded Shoulders: Excessive development of the muscles associated with the shoulder blades.

Lobe Ear: Ears which are lightly folded and set at the back of the head.

Loin: The region of the body associated with the lumbar portions of the vertebrae column (i.e., behind the ribs and in front of the pelvic girdle).

Loose Slung: Construction in which the attachment of the muscles at the shoulders is looser than desirable.

Lower Thigh: See Second Thigh

Lumbar Vertebrae: The seven vertebrae of the loin region.

Lumbering: An awkward gait.

Lurcher: A crossbred hound.

Lure Coursing: Organized performance event for sighthounds which demonstrates those breeds’ ability to perform their historical work by chasing an artificial lure over a course.

Luteinizing Hormone (LH): A hormone produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland that stimulates ovulation and the development of the corpus luteum in the female and the production of testosterone by the interstitial cells of the testis in the male.

Luxating Patella: A problem that causes the kneecap to slip when the joint is moved. Transmitted genetically and can lead to lameness.

Luxation: Dislocation of an anatomical structure.

Lyme Borreliosis: More commonly known as Lyme disease, an infectious arthritis caused by spirochete bacteria.