Glossary of Dog Show Lingo
Angulation: Angles created by bones meeting in joints.
Baiting: Using liver, cheese, hot dogs or other tempting dog treats to get a dog's attention and demonstrate expression.
Command: Verbal or hand-signal order from handler to dog.
Crooked: A dog that is not straight in line with the direction of the handler.
Crowding: A dog so close to the handler that it interferes with the handler's freedom of motion.
Directly: Immediately, without hesitation.
Drop completely: Down position that would be acceptable for a long down exercise.
Exhibitor: One who enters his or her dog in a show.
Fancier: One who becomes active in some phase of the sport of purebred dogs.
Gait: The way a dog moves. Placement of feet, head carriage, tail carriage, topline and fluidity are aspects of gait analysis.
Groom: To prepare a dog for exhibition. Dog grooming entails bathing, brushing and other manicuring tasks.
Handler: A person who takes a dog into the show ring to present it to the judge for consideration.
Lame: Irregularity or impairment of the function of locomotion irrespective of the cause or how slight or severe.
Major: A win in conformation showing, with 3, 4 or 5 points awarded toward a championship title.
Match show: A practice event that allows dogs to compete, as the dog would in a sanctioned show. However, no points are awarded toward titles or degrees.
Minor penalty: In obedience competition, 2.5 points or less.
Miscellaneous Breed Class: Class for breeds not fully recognized by the AKC.
Mouthing: When a dog chews or rolls the dumbbell in its mouth.
Pedigree: A written record of a dog's family tree of three generations or more, as recorded by the AKC.
Points: Credits earned toward a championship title.
Soundness: The mental and physical stability of a dog.
Stacking: Positioning the dog according to structure to emphasize a dog's physical qualities. Also called Set Up.
Substantial penalty: In obedience, 3 points or more.
Winners: Award given to the best dog (Winners Dog) and best bitch (Winners Bitch) competing in regular breed classes at a dog show.
Withers: Highest point of the dog's shoulder.