Show Lingo

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.

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