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Angulation Angulation refers to the angles created by bones meeting at various joints (articulations), especially at the shoulder, stifle and hock; the pastern and pelvic areas may also be involved.
APT Aptitude Test
Almond eyes Basically of oval shape, bluntly pointed at both corners. 
BA Breed Assessment.
Back In anatomical terms, the back is that portion of the topline commencing from a point just behind the withers and ending at the loins/croup junction, i.e., the combined thoracic and lumbar vertebral regions of the spine.
Backline That portion of the entire topline of a dog, beginning at the rear end of the withers and ending at the tail.
Bitch A female of the canine species.
BST Breed Suitability Test
Bite The name given to the position of the upper and lower teeth in relation to each other when the mouth is closed. 
Breastbone syn. Sternum
Carpal joint The joint between the forearm and the pastern on the front leg
Character Used in reference to temperament. Dogs, mentally equipped to perform those functions for which they were designed originally, are referred to as being 'true in character' for that particular breed.
Cheeks The fleshy regions at the sides of the head, commencing at the lip junction, and extending backwards into the masseter muscles area, a little below the eyes.
Chest That section of the body between the neck in front and the abdomen behind. 
Coat The hairy outer covering of the skin. The majority of canine breeds possess two coats: an outer coat and an undercoat. The under coat is normally short, soft and dense. It assists as a support for the outer coat as well as acting as a weatherproofing blanket. The outer or top coat tends to be longer, harsher and often stand-offish. 
Conformation Overall appearance and structure determined by the physical development of an animal's individual parts as well as the combined relationship and outlines of such.
Croup The Muscular area just above and around the set-on of  the tail. It merges into the rump in front and technically overlies the lower half of the pelvic region, i.e., from the hip joints to the buttocks.
Cryptorchid A male dog in which one or both testicles has/have not descended properly into the scrotum.
Crabbing Forward movement in which the spinal column is not not pointed in the direction of travel, rather it deviates at an angle so that one rear leg passes on the inside of the front foot, while the other does so on the outside of its partner, instead of traveling in line with them. 
Cow hocks In a soundly constructed dog, standing naturally and viewed from the rear, an imaginary plumb line drawn through the pelvic tubers should bisect both the upper and lower thighs, pass through the point of the hock, and then continue along the center of the rear pastern into the foot. A hock turning inwards from such a line, depending upon the degree, may be taken as 'cow hocked'
Dip Hollow back
Depth of chest Depth of chest is measured from the withers to the lowest point of the sternum. 
Dewclaws The rather under-developed, degenerate first metacarpal bone and associated phalanges, located on the inner surface of the pastern region.
Dock To cut or adjust tail length, normally at between four to five days of age. 
Ectropion The scientific term for exceedingly loose lower eyelids or "Haw-eyedness"
Entropion An anatomical abnormality due to spasm and contraction of the muscles controlling the eye rims. This, in consequence, causes the affected eyelids to turn and roll in towards the eyeball. 
Entire A reference to testicular normality. A dog with two normal testes, fully descended into the scrotum, is said to be entire. 
East-West feet Front feet, the toes of which turn outwards, away from the center line; often associated with narrow fronts and/ or chests of inadequate depths.
Flying ears Terminology applied to normally drop ears, one or both of which, instead of hanging correctly close to the cheek as required by the breed standard, tend to stick out or "fly away" from the sides of the face. 
Flank The fleshy portion on the lower border of the couplings region, i.e., the fleshy area near the junction of abdominal floor and hindquarters
Flews The fleshy, sometimes pendulous, upper lips of some breeds.
Forequarters The combined front assembly from its uppermost component, the shoulder blade, right down to the feet. 
Gait syn. action, motion, movement. A most important consideration in dog appraisal, especially the evaluation of working and sporting breeds. Not only are some dog breeds required to move an a characteristic, individualistic fashion, but sound, balanced gait in all but the rarest instances, also indicates correct physical construction. Anatomically incorrect specimens are rarely, if ever, capable of sound movement. 
HD Hip Displasia
Hip Displasia A developmental disease of the canine hip joint, occurring primarily in larger breeds. It is caused by increased joint laxity, abnormal contours of one or both hip joint components, or a combination of both. 
Hackles The name given to the outer coat's guard hairs on the neck and back region when raised during fright or anger; basically, a protective mechanism to impress and/or scare away adversaries.
Height Correctly measured as the distance from the withers to the ground when the animal is standing normally.
Hindquarters These commence with the pelvic girdle, consisting of two fused halves attached to the sides of he sacral vertebrae of the spinal column. 
IPO Internazionale Profung Ordnung (the old IWT)
IWT International Working Trials (replaced by IPO)
ITT International Tracking Trials (replaced by TT)
KUSA Kennel Union of Southern Africa
Kink tail One that is sharply bent, acutely angled or broken somewhere along its length. 
Level bite The upper and lower jaws are of equal length. Similar to Pincer bite
Markings Generally used in reference to white areas distributed on a coloured background. Many such markings occur in dogs. 
Overshot A receding, often weakly constructed lower jaw. In this form of bite the lower incisors are situated some distance behind their upper counterparts.
Occiput syn. occipital bone, peak, apex. The occipital crest is the ridge formed by the occipital bone at the back of the skull where it joins with the parietal bones on either side. Its function is to serve as an area for muscle attachment.  
Oestrus syn. season, heat. That portion of the reproductive cycle during which a bitch exhibits sexual interest in male partners. 
Pincer bite One in which the horizontal or cutting surfaces of the upper and lower incisor teeth meet edge to edge when the mouth is shut.
Pace A two-time gait with a pattern of two right feet on the ground and two left feet in the air and two left feet on the ground and two right feet in the air, i.e., both right legs move forwards, simultaneously followed by both left legs. 
Pastern The metacarpus, i.e., the region between the carpus (wrist) above, and the digits (foot) below. 
Pure Bred A dog whose parents are of the same breed and who are themselves from parents of the same breed and so on. 
Reach Refers to the distance covered with each stride, i.e., a dog said to have plenty of reach or lots of reach is one with maximal stride length. 
Soft back A mild form of hollow back; one showing only a slight tendency to sag or bend
Scissors bite By far the most common arrangement, this is defined as one in which the outer surface of the lower incisor teeth engage with the inner surfaces of the upper incisors when the mouth is shut.
Splay feet Feet, irrespective of shape, with toes set rather far apart from one another, i.e., not tightly knit. The term 'splayed' is normally applied to indicate a defect.
Stifle syn. knee joint, stifle joint. A joint in the hind leg, formed by the articulation of upper and lower thighs. The canine stifle joint is an area of special importance to dog fanciers in that 'hindquarter angulation', often mention in breed standards, relates directly to the angle formed at this joint, determining such angulation or turn. 
Stop A depression or step down in the top-line of the head, situated almost centrally between the eyes, at the junction of the frontal bones of the skull with those of the upper jaw (maxilla) and nose (nasal bones) in front. Its shape, depth, width and extent vary according to the structure of the surrounding bones plus the size and position of the frontal sinuses. 
Throatiness; Throaty A reference to loose, pendulous folds of skin under the throat and underside of the neck. 
Topline Normally taken as a dog's entire upper outline seen in profile, starting at the ears and ending at the tail. 
TT Tracking Trials. 
Tuck-up The appearance produced by the abdomen's underline as it sweeps upwards into the flank and/or hindquarters region. 
Undershot An under jaw appreciably longer than the upper one and frequently turned up as well eg. British Bulldog
Under coat See coat
Underline The combined contours of the brisket and abdominal floor.
Wry mouth A type of mouth in which the lower jaw is twisted to one side, placing the upper and lower jaws out of line with another. 
Withers Anatomically, the region of union between the upper portion of the shoulder blade on the one hand and the spinous processes of the first and second thoracic vertebrae on the other. Topographically, the withers are located just behind the base of the neck at the neck / back junction; a significant area, as a dog's height is measured from this location.
Zygomatic arch The bony ridge forming the lower border of the eye socket

References: Canine Terminology (Harry Spira)




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