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Dog Glossary – T

Glossary of Dog Terms:


Tail-Set: How the base of the tail is set on the rump.

Tapetum Lucidum: The highly reflective portion of the interior of the canine eyeball that aids in night vision.

Tattoo: A method of on-dog identification.

Tawny: Used, along with white, to describe Ibizan Hounds, this color is the color of lions (sandy yellow). Also referred to as Lion Tawny. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.

Teat: The nipple of an animal

Terrier Front: Straight front as found on fox terriers.

Terrier Group: A group of dogs used originally for hunting vermin.

Testicles: The male gonads, which produce spermatoza. AKC regulations specify that a male that does not have two normal testicles normally located in the scrotum may not compete at any show and will be disqualified, except that a castrated male may be entered in obedience trials, tracking tests, field trials (except Beagles), as a stud dog in a Stud Dog class, and Veterans class at an independent specialty.

Testosterone: A potent androgenic hormone produced chiefly by the testes; responsible for the development of male secondary sex characteristics.

Thigh: The hindquarter from hip to stifle.

Thoracic Vertebrae: The thirteen vertebrae of the chest with which thirteen pairs of ribs articulate.

Throatiness: An excess of loose skin under the throat.

Thumb Marks: Black spots on the region of the pastern.

Tibetan Mastiff: A very large powerful rough-coated dog native to central Asia.

Tibia: One of the two bones of the leg (i.e., the lower thigh, second thigh, or lower leg).

Ticked: Small, isolated areas (smaller than spots) of black or colored hairs on a white background. Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.

Tied At The Elbows: See Paddling

Tongue: (1) The fleshy, moveable, muscular organ attached to the floor of the mouth; (2) or the barking or baying of hounds on the trail, as to give tongue, to open or speak.

Topcoat: On a dog’s coat, the longer guard hairs.

Topical: Of or relating to a drug applied topically or on a localized area of the body or to the surface of a body part.

Topknot: A tuft of longer hair on top of the head.

Topline: The dog’s outline from just behind the withers to the tail set.

Toy Group: Group of dogs bred to be companions or lap dogs.

Tracking Dog (TD): A title awarded to a dog that has been recorded a Tracking Dog as a result of having passed an AKC-licensed or -member tracking test. The title may be combined with the UD (Utility Dog) title and shown as UDT.

Trail: To hunt by following ground scent.

Training Collar: A collar made of nylon, leather, or chain, fitted to the dog’s neck in such a manner that the degree of tension exerted by the hand tightens or loosens it. Also called choke collar or slip collar.

Triangular Eye: The eye set in surrounding tissue of triangular shape; three-cornered eye.

Tricolor: Three colors in the coat: white, black, and tan (Prince Charles in English Toy Spaniel breed). Color definitions may vary by breed. Always check the breed standard for the definitive color description.

Trim: To groom the coat by stripping, clipping or scissoring.

Trot: A rhythmic two-beat diagonal gait in which the feet at diagonal opposite ends of the body strike the ground together; i.e., right hind with left front and left hind with right front.

Trousers: Longish hair at the back of both upper and lower thighs.

Trumpet: The slight depression or hollow on either side of the skull just behind the orbit or eye socket; the region comparable with the temple in man.

Truncated: Cut off.

Tuck-Up: Characterized by markedly shallower body depth at the loin. Small-waisted.

Tulip Ear: An ear carried erect with edges curving in and forward.

Turn-Up: An up-tilted foreface.

Twisting Hocks: A gaiting fault in which the hock joints twist both ways as they flex or bear weight. Also called rubber hocks.

Type: Sum of qualities that distinguish dogs of one breed (breed type) or dogs from one kennel (kennel type) from others.