Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L -- Lingo

As if things weren't confusing enough, the dog show world has it's own language. Use the wrong word and everybody knows you're a newbie. Here's a short list to help you fit in.
  • All-Breed Show -- a dog show where all (or almost all) the different purebred breeds are being shown and judged simultaneously.
  • Angulation -- the angle at which bones meet at the joints.
  • Bait -- small bits of food used to get a dog's attention and keep it interested.
  • Benched Show -- a show where all the dogs remain on the show grounds and are on display for the entirety of the show.
  • Bitch -- a female dog.
  • Catalog -- a booklet sold at shows which lists each entered dog's entry number, class entered, registered name and number, breeder, owner, sire, dam and date of birth.
  • Class Dog -- a dog that has not yet earned the title of champion.
  • Dam -- a dog's mother.
  • Dog -- a male dog.
  • Double Handling -- when someone outside the ring is intentionally getting a dog's attention to try to make the dog show better. This is prohibited, but people do it anyway.
  • Drive -- a strong thrust from the hind quarters.
  • Easty-Westy -- front feet turn outward away from each other.
  • Exercise -- a euphemism for a dog relieving itself, as in "designated exercise area."
  • Fancier -- a dog show person.
  • Gait -- a dog's movement.
  • Handler -- the person showing the dog in the ring.
  • Hock -- the bones that form the joint between the knee and the toes.
  • In Season -- the correct term to describe a dog in heat. And for goodness sake, NEVER refer to a dog as being "on her period." Just. Don't.
  • Lead -- a leash.
  • Loin -- the area between the last rib and the beginning of pelvis.
  • Lumbering -- a heavy, ungainly gait.
  • Major -- a show where a dog earns three, four or five points towards championship.
  • Match -- a practice dog show for new dogs and dog handlers.
  • Minor -- a show where a dog earns one or two points towards championship.
  • Pastern -- the area between dog’s paws and lower leg.
  • Premium -- a pamphlet created by the show superintendent or show secretary which is mailed to prospective exhibitors. It lists all the pertinent info: the club hosting the show, the date and location of the show, the judges, classes and awards offered, etc. The premium also contains required forms, specifies the fees for entering, and lists the closing date by which entries must be received.   
  • Purebred -- a dog from parents of the same breed. Not to be confused with "thoroughbred" which refers to horses. Don't say "full-blooded." (Seriously, all dogs are full of blood.)
  • Reach -- the length of a dog's forward stride.
  • Reserve -- essentially, the runner-up dog (or bitch). After a judge chooses the winners dog (or bitch) a reserve is chosen. If the winner is disqualified (usually the result of a paperwork error) then the reserve winner is awarded the points.
  • Ruff -- longer hair growing around the dogs neck much like a mane.
  • Side Gait -- a dog's movement as seen from the side.
  • Sire -- a dog's father.
  • Special -- a dog that has already earned the title of champion and is campaigning for the title of Grand Champion and breed rankings.
  • Specialty Show -- a dog show of only one breed or group hosted by a Specialty Club.
  • Stack -- the way a dog stands for presentation, a show stance.
  • Steward -- the person (usually a member of the hosting club) assisting the judge. The steward readies the entrants, organizes the ribbons, marks an official show catalog and ensures the judge is comfortable and has everything needed to perform her duties.
  • Stifle -- the curved area of a dog's rear leg that contains the thigh and knee.
  • Typey -- having the distinct characteristics of the breed.
  • Variety -- a subset of a breed based on coat, color or size.
  • Whelp -- to give birth.
  • Withers -- the point where shoulder blades meet (and where the actual height of dog is measured).
If you really want to learn the lingo, I suggest you get the book Canine Terminology by Harold R. Spira. Not only are hundreds of anatomy and movement terms explained clearly, but there are lots beautiful drawings and diagrams to help.

Feeling better? Good! -- K

Tomorrow's Topic: Mentors

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