Now You're Talkin' Dog

Learn dog terminology that any dog fancier should know.

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Dog Lovers' Yellow Pages

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We know that you'll do anything when it comes to taking care of your dog and we want to help. Use the Dog Lovers' Yellow Pages to find dog services, dog words and phrases, and helpful lists that will keep your dog safe and happy.


Excerpted from The Dog Dictionary: Canine Lingo From A to Z (BowTie Press, 2005).

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Agility trial: A performance event in which the handler directs his or her dog over a timed obstacle course. The scoring revolves around faults, similar to equestrian Grand Prix jumping.

All-breed dog show: Offers conformation competitions for more than 150 breeds and varieties of dogs recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


Best of breed: In a conformation dog show, the dog judged as the best in its breed category.

Bloat: Common name for gastric dilatation-volvulus. A recurring, often fatal condition in which the stomach swells with food, water and gas, then twists, cutting off the blood supply. Occurs primarily in large, deep-chested breeds, such as Great Danes and German Shepherd Dogs.

Breed standard: A written description listing the key physical and temperamental characteristics of the perfect specimen of each breed.


Champion: In conformation, a dog that has accumulated 15 points, including two majors (a win of three, four or five points) won under two different judges and at least one point won under a third judge.

Crate: Portable indoor kennel or cage, used as a sleeping den or for housetraining purposes. Made of wire mesh, fiberglass or sturdy plastic.


Dam: Mother dog.

Dewclaws: Functionless remnant of the first digit on each paw. Some dogs have missing dewclaws on front, back or both. Dewclaws are frequently removed in puppies.

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