Dog Terminology

Height at ShoulderHeight at Shoulder

This section explains dog jargon used in Breed Standards and doggie talk by vets and dog breeders. Unless otherwise stated, this section combines use of our own original computer graphics some of which are overlain on photos of actual dogs, giving this glossary a new and unique approach.

Skeleton Leg Bones

Dog Anatomy Terminology

Some knowledge of the anatomy of a dog is essential for any person who is interested in studying dogs. This section explains in simple terms some of the anatomical terms used by dog professionals and Breed Standards when referring to a dog's basic structure. »» Read more...

Pointer Head Exaggerated

Head Terminology

This section covers important head terminology including the basic construction of the head, different head shapes, mouths, teeth and ears. Although these components were originally bred for a purpose, today the essentials have been preserved to form the basis of breed type. »» Read more...

Eng Setter Orange Profile

Dog Body Terminology

The body of each breed of dog reflects very much what the dog was originally bred for. This section covers terminology related to general body proportions, different types of coat and variations in skin that are particular to some dog breeds. »» Read more...

Aus Shep taking off

Legs Terminology

Independent of the shoulder blade, two other major components of the front legs are discussed. Firstly the length of the upper arm, a feature of long-legged terriers that enables them to dig. Secondly the shortening of the main bones of the legs which is the basis of not only short-legged terriers but all short-legged breeds. »» Read more...

Foot underneath

Feet Terminology

This section discusses the different types of feet, and functional dewclaws with extra toes and pads. Underneath the dog's foot is a main central pad and four smaller pads, each with its own toe and claw. Above this again is the pastern which has an extra pad on its underside as seen on the dog on the right. This is ... »» Read more...

Bergamasco and Chinese Crested GIMP

Dog Coat Terminology

Dogs' coats vary from the two extremes of hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested Dog to the triple coated Bergamasco Shepherd Dog. Additionally, coat terminology varies as much as the coats themselves! For example, some technically double coats are called 'smooth' just to differentiate them from a longer coated variety of a particular breed. This page aims to clarify the ... »» Read more...

MinPin Correct Action

Dog Gait or Movement Terminology

Gait or movement is the crucial test of conformation. This section begins with a balanced trot and then describes two extremes. Then we have movement variations - the Miniature Pinscher with its hackney gait, the Old English Sheepdog with its amble or pace and the Afghan Hound with its style of high order. Lastly the double extension gallop of the ... »» Read more...