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Cynologic glossary

& Information

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PEDIGREE DEFINITION & ETYMOLOGY

A pedigree is a diagram that depicts the biological relationships between an organism and its ancestors. It comes from the French “pied de grue” (“crane’s foot”) because the branches and lines of a pedigree resemble a thin crane’s leg with its branching toes. A pedigree is used as a breeding tool, for lineage knowledge and to prevent the transmission of genetic disorders.

OCCIPUT

The occipital protuberance "Occiput" is the point where the measure is taken to determine the length of the skull to the tip of the nose. Then, the length of the nose is measured from the stop to the tip of the nose in proportion of the length of the skull.

STOP 

The stop is the degree of angle change between the skull and the nasal bone near the eyes. Also the indentation between the eyes where the nose and skull meet.

MEDIAN FURROW 

The median furrow is a deep line between the 2 eyes which extends from the stop towards the forehead and diminishes in depth. 

BUTTERFLY NOSE

 

The pattern is of pigmented and unpigmented skin. The pink areas are prone to sunburn, sunscreen cream on the nose is advised before a trip to the beach. Pigment can fill out op to 12-18 months of age. 

 

DUDLEY NOSE

Is a nose without any pigment, pink flesh-colored. It is a disqualification for adult dogs. The pink noses are prone to sunburn.

 

SNIPEY MUZZLE 

 

is one that is too pointed for good breed type.

STENOTIC NARES 

Means the nostrils are pinched or narrow and are part of the brachycephalic syndrome of short-nosed dogs.

EARS 

BAT EARS

Erect, broad next to the head and rounded at the tip, such as the ears on a French Bulldog.

 

BUTTON EARS

 

A smaller ear where the tip folds forward nearly to the skull, forming a V, as in the Jack Russell Terrier.

 

CROPPED EARS

 

Shaped by cutting: Battle crop, Short crop, Show crop, Long crop. In most of EU countries, ear cropping is prohibited. 

 

DROP EAR

 

An ear that folds and droops close to the head, such as the little known Blue Lacy. Also called a pendant ear.

PRICKED EARS

 

Erect and pointed; also called pricked or erect.

 

ROSE EARS

 

A very small drop ear that folds back; as in the English Bulldog.

 

SEMIPRICK EARS

Semiprick ear  where the tip just begins to fold forward, as in the Rough Collie.

 

HOUND EARS

 

Floppy ear that is long and droopy enough to collect air around the nostrils, as in scent hounds and spaniels.​

 

FLEWIES

Are a dog's upper lips, or the canine equivalent of upper lips

 

LIPS

Pendulous e.g. Napolitan Masstif, Semi pendulous e.g. Old English Bulldog, clean and tight e.g. Staffordshire Bull Terrier. 

CHEEKS

Cheeky refers to a dog with strongly defined cheeks.

BITE 

Describes how the dog's teeth meet when its mouth is closed (occlusion).

COBBY

The body may be described as "cobby" (short and square) or sometimes by a ratio of height to length. The body length is measured from the point of the shoulders to the point of the buttocks.

WITHERS

The ridge between the shoulder blades; often it is the tallest point of the body. The height of a body is measured from the withers to the ground.

TOPLINE 

The topline conformation is measured from the withers to the croup. 

ABDOMEN 

 

Is the body cavity between the chest and pelvis. "Belly line".

 

MOVEMENT

 

the way a dog walks, trots or runs.

ALBINO

Lacking in pigmentation, usually with white coat, pink eyes and nose.

ALMOND EYE 

Almond Eye Aperture basically of oval shape.

 

ALOOF

 

Stand offish, distant & cold. 

 

AMBLE

 

Fast rolling walk having an irregular, four-beat tempo, intermediate between a true walk and pacing. (e.g. Old English Sheepdog, Bouvier des Flandres). (See video below).

 

ANGULATION

 

The angles formed at a joint where bones meet e.g. shoulder "humero-dadial" or at the stifle "tibia-metatarsial", when dog is standing.

STACKING 

 

Stacking is how the dog stands naturally and when placed in position. This is something that the handler or trainer will teach the dog. Stacking helps the judges see all areas of the dog's structure to evaluate against the breed standard and to allow the judges to see the dogs bone structure and muscles. As can be seen in the illustration above, to show the angle of the hock, the femur and the metatarsus are perfectly vertical, the foreleg, the radius, is slightly leaning inward. 

APPLE HEAD

 

Very domed, rounded skull.

 

A balanced dog is one whose proportions are harmonious, correct for the breed through lack of exaggeration of any part.

What Does Raised Hackles mean? When the hair on a dog’s back goes up (technically called piloerection), it’s usually a sign that the dog is aroused, fearful, startled, stimulated or excited in some way

 

Bandy Legs Outwardly bowed fore or hind limbs.

 

Barrel Hocks, placed far apart when viewed from behind, giving a bandy legged appearance.

 

Barrel Ribs Markedly rounded rib.

 

Bat Ear Erect ear, rather broad at the base, rounded in outline at the top, and with opening directly to the front.

 

Bitchy Feminine looking male dog.

 

Bobtail 1. Naturally tail-less dog or a dog born with a short tail. 

 

Body Length Generally taken as the distance from point of shoulder to point of buttock.

COBBY

The body may be described as "cobby" (short and square) or sometimes by a ratio of height to length. The body length is measured from the point of the shoulders to the point of the buttocks.

WITHERS

The ridge between the shoulder blades; often it is the tallest point of the body. The height of a body is measured from the withers to the ground.

TOPLINE 

The topline conformation is measured from the withers to the croup. 

ABDOMEN 

 

Is the body cavity between the chest and pelvis. "Belly line".

ALBINO

Lacking in pigmentation, usually with white coat, pink eyes and nose.

ALMOND EYE 

Almond Eye Aperture basically of oval shape.

 

ALOOF

 

Stand offish, distant & cold. 

 

AMBLE

 

Fast rolling walk having an irregular, four-beat tempo, intermediate between a true walk and pacing. (e.g. Old English Sheepdog, Bouvier des Flandres). (See video below).

 

ANGULATION

 

The angles formed at a joint where bones meet e.g. shoulder "humero-dadial" or at the stifle "tibia-metatarsial", when dog is standing.

STACKING 

 

Stacking is how the dog stands naturally and when placed in position. This is something that the handler or trainer will teach the dog. Stacking helps the judges see all areas of the dog's structure to evaluate against the breed standard and to allow the judges to see the dogs bone structure and muscles. As can be seen in the illustration above, to show the angle of the hock, the femur and the metatarsus are perfectly vertical, the foreleg, the radius, is slightly leaning inward. 

APPLE HEAD

 

Very domed, rounded skull.

 

A balanced dog is one whose proportions are harmonious, correct for the breed through lack of exaggeration of any part.

What Does Raised Hackles mean? When the hair on a dog’s back goes up (technically called piloerection), it’s usually a sign that the dog is aroused, fearful, startled, stimulated or excited in some way

 

Bandy Legs Outwardly bowed fore or hind limbs.

 

Barrel Hocks, placed far apart when viewed from behind, giving a bandy legged appearance.

 

Barrel Ribs Markedly rounded rib.

 

Bat Ear Erect ear, rather broad at the base, rounded in outline at the top, and with opening directly to the front.

 

Bitchy Feminine looking male dog.

 

Bobtail 1. Naturally tail-less dog or a dog born with a short tail. 

 

Body Length Generally taken as the distance from point of shoulder to point of buttock.

 

FIDDLE FRONT "CHIPPENDALE"

Out at the elbows and out toeing, bowed front legs 

EAST/WEST 

Weak pasterns, feet out toeing

SPREAD STANCE "A-FRAME"

Fore or hind legs not parallel, leaning towards the exterior 

PIGEON TOED

In toeing front feet with elbows out or rear in toeing feet with hocks out 

COW-HOCKED

 Hocks  set inward, resulting in a splayed look in the back legs

DWARFISM

East/West feet out toeing and flat feet

FLEWIES

Are a dog's upper lips, or the canine equivalent of upper lips

​​​

LIPS

Pendulous e.g. Napolitan Masstif, Semi pendulous e.g. Old English Bulldog, clean and tight e.g. Staffordshire Bull Terrier. 

CHEEKS

Cheeky refers to a dog with strongly defined cheeks.

FEET

Cat (like)

 

Hare Oval

 

Pin Toed

 

Splayfoot

 

Spoon Shaped

 

Webbed

 

Well-Knuckled

MOVEMENT

 

the way a dog walks, trots or runs.

GAITS:

WALK

Gaiting pattern in which three legs are in support of the body at all times, each foot lifting from the ground one at a time in regular sequence

 

AMBLE

A relaxed, easy gait in which the legs on either side move almost, but not quite, as a pair. Often seen as the transition movement between the walk and other gaits

PACE

The pace is a two-beat gait with two lateral legs moving in unison. Example:

  • Left front and left hind (LF and LH)

  • Right front and right hind (RF and RH)

The pace is often used by puppies until their muscles develop more. When they do the puppies switch to the trot. It can also be used by overweight dogs or dogs that need to conserve energy.

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.

CANTER

The canter is a three-beat gait. The pattern is a hind foot, the opposite hind foot and its front diagonal, followed by the other front foot and suspension when present. This gait is often used to travel over long distances because it is smooth and energy conserving. The canter is usually slower than the trot, but can be easily shifted to the faster gallop. The canter is an asymmetrical gait; the limb pattern is different depending on which front leg leads. The dog is said to be in either "right lead" or "left lead" when the front right leg or front left leg is in the lead. The leading leg is not part of the diagonal. Example:

  • Left hind

  • Right hind and left front

  • Right front (leading leg)

SINGLE SUSPENSION GALLOP 

The single suspension gallop is a four-time gait. The dog supports its weight with its feet in the unsymmetrical sequence: RF, LF, RH, LH (it can happen that the two limbs LF and RH hit the ground simultaneously). Just after taking off from the front left foot the dog achieves suspension. Each front foot must be lifted off of the ground before its corresponding rear foot is set down. The rear foot may hit the corresponding front foot if the timing is wrong.

DOUBLE SUSPENSION GALLOP "ROTATORY GALLOP"

 

The rotatory gallop (double suspension gallop; jumping gallop) is a four-beat, double suspension gait. It is exhibited by carnivores and by rodents, swine, and small ungulates. The pattern of limb impact rotates, e.g., right hind, left hind, extended suspension, left fore, right fore, and collected suspension (as illustrated above). This rotatory pattern of limb impact and the double suspension per stride characterizes the rotatory gallop, in contrast to the.The rotatory gallop is the fastest but also the most fatiguing of all gaits.

FAULTY GAITS: 

ROLLING

PACING

The pace is a two-beat gait with two lateral legs moving in unison. Example:

  • Left front and left hind (LF and LH)

  • Right front and right hind (RF and RH)

The pace is often used by puppies until their muscles develop more. When they do the puppies switch to the trot. It can also be used by overweight dogs or dogs that need to conserve energy.

PADDLING

Paddling is incorrect and energy wasting movement of the forequarters in which the pasterns and feet perform circular, exaggerated motion, turning or flicking outwards at the end of each step.

SIDEWINDING "CRABBING"

Crabbing is a side-winding movement of a dog moving in a diagonal path; moving like a crab.  Without intervention, the dog cannot move in a straight line but rather in a diagonal path.  The professional handler will pull the dog forcing him to move in a straight line.  In turn, the dog will try to pull away from the handler in order to do his natural gait.  Another way that a professional handler will try to hide this fault is by not walking in a straight line hoping that the judge will not notice.

HACKNEY GAIT

Did you know? The hackney gait is a pronounced type of gait that is seen in the Hackney horse breed. It's characterized by a "high-stepping" gait with the head and tail carried high. There is one dog breed known for having a Hackney gait and that dog breed is the Miniature Pinscher. According to the AKC the Miniature Pinscher must show a "hackney-like action"."

POUNDING 

STACKING 

 

Stacking is how the dog stands naturally and when placed in position. This is something that the handler or trainer will teach the dog. Stacking helps the judges see all areas of the dog's structure to evaluate against the breed standard and to allow the judges to see the dogs bone structure and muscles. As can be seen in the illustration above, to show the angle of the hock, the femur and the metatarsus are perfectly vertical, the foreleg, the radius, is slightly leaning inward. 

 

 

BAT EARS
PRICKED EARS
SEMIPRICK EARS
ROSE EARS
BUTTON EARS
DROP EARS
HOUND EARS
LONG HOUND EARS
CROPPED EARS
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LEVEL BITE
SCISORS BITE
INVERSED SCISORS BITE
UNDERSHOT BITE
OVERSHOT BITE
CM MESURE OF UNDER/OVERSHOT
STRAIGHT SCISORS OR OVERSHOT
STRAIGHT UNDERSHOT
OFFSET TO LEFT
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OFFSET TO RIGHT
WRY TO RIGHT
WRY TO LEFT
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