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A list of words, phrases and terms... all related to dogs.

There are 288 entries in the dog dictionary.
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Term Definition
Best of Winners

The Dog that is judged the better specimen between Winners Dog and Winners Bitch is awarded Best of Winners. (see Winners Class.)


Best in Show


Best in Specialty Show


Bloat, also known as Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or GDV occurs when there is an excessive amount of air, foam or fluid accumulating in the stomach. The swelling stomach can rotate or twist its position between the esophagus and the large intestine, trapping the air, fluids and anything else in the stomach. However, Bloat can occur without torsion of the stomach. The expanded stomach leads to a series of complications including the obstruction of the flow of blood to the abdomen, severe dehydration,shock, septicemia and internal organ failure. Bloat can kill a dog quickly and requires immediate emergency intervention. Symptoms include pacing, unsuccessful and persistent attempts to vomit, over salivation and tight abdomen. Early symptoms include restlessness, obvious discomfort, a restricted gait and a tight abdomen.

Borrelia Burgdorferi

A spirochete (which comes from a distinct group of bacteria) responsible for Lyme disease. This spirochete gets its name from Willy Burgdorferi, who in 1982 isolated The Borrelia bacteria from ticks. Borrelia burgdorferi invades the blood of rodents, birds and other mammals. Ticks transfer the bacteria when they feast on deer, humans, dogs and other warm blooded animals.(See Lyme.)

Boswellia Leaf

Extract of Boswellia leaf has been used for centuries to treat pain and inflamation resulting from arthritis. There is evidence that it can reduce inflamation to improve joint movement and control osteoarthritis.

Bouvier des Flandres

A member of the herding group, the breed originated in Belgium and was found in large numbers in Holland and France. They were originally used for farm work, such as herding, and cart pulling. They are a highly intelligent dog and today are used for police work, tracking, and obedience as well as found in the conformation ring or at home as a family member. The Bouvier is a powerful, short-backed dog with a firm level topline, and a broad substantial head piece magnified by a full beard and mustache. They are double coated and able to endure harsh weather conditions, but do require weekly management of the coat. Color ranges from fawn to black with greys and brindles in between.


Having a skull and muzzle that is wide and short as seen in Pugs or Pekingese for example.

Breed Standard

The Breed Standard is a description of the "perfect" specimen in a particular breed, if there could be one. It is written and updated by the National Breed Club and used by the American Kennel Club as the guide by which to measure each Dog. Conformation judges use the Standard when judging Dogs in the ring. Dogs are competing against how well they measure up to the breed standard as much as they are competing against each other.


A mixture of colors in a dog's coat such as Black and Tan, Black and Grey, or light and dark shades of grey, in a Zebra or tiger stripe pattern.


Bromelain is extracted from the juice and stems of pineapples and in essence is a combination of protein digesting enzymes; a property that has made it a primary ingredient in meat tenderizers and a useful digestive aid. Bromelain has long been used in alternative medicine as an anti-inflamatory. The results of clinical studies are mixed, but there is evidence that it can reduce inflamation from tendonitis and arthritis and may contain chemicals that limit the growth of certain cancer cells.


An infection caused by the bacteria Brucella canis, transmitted between dogs through breeding or through oral contact with vaginal fluid, urine, semen, placentas or aborted fetuses.It normally affects the genitals and lymphatic system. Symptoms include inflamation of the testes and scrotum in males and abortion in females and usually leads to sterility. Blood testing and screening before mating can prevent infection of the disease. There is no vaccine or reliable treatment for dogs with Brucellosis although an intensive regimen with a combination of antibiotics is suggested.

Bulbis glandis

The bulbis glandis is the part of the Dog's penis that swells to lock the penis inside the vagina during breeding. It is sometimes visible as 2 bulbs on either side of the penis, under the skin, when the Dog is excited or just awakening, or for no "apparent reason" (See tie.)


Cancer is an escalated growth of abnormal cells anywhere in the body. There are many different kinds of cancer affecting different organs, tissues, blood or bone. Cancer affects both humans, and the Dogs that live with us, in a similiar way. Breast cancer, prostate cancer, bone cancer, and other cancers affecting the brain, blood or organs plague us both. Losing a Dog to cancer is a sad and painful experience for everyone involved. Although we still do not know how a healthy cell mutates into a deadly cancerous cell and although there is still not a cure for cancer, there are some preventative measures we can take. Provide the cleanest water possible (invest in a water filter), feed high quality food without chemical additives, avoid exposure to herbicides and pesticides (especially on lawns), supplement with fresh fatty acids, use an intelligent and limited vaccine protocol, limit caloric intake, and provide adequate excercise, mental stimulation and human involvement. (see Carcinoma, Lymphoma.)

Canine Herpesvirus

Canine herpesvirus is a highly infectious virus, common in Dogs, that affects the reproductive tract. It is spread between Dogs through direct contact or contracted through airborne particles among Dogs in close proximity. Although few Dogs show symptoms, a herpes infection in a pregnant bitch can lead to abortion of the litter, stillborn puppies, or puppies reabsorbed at some time during the term. Healthy puppies can be infected with the virus as they pass through the birth canal. Surviving puppies infected with the virus may be weak, undersized and may die shortly after birth (1 to 3 days.) "Fading Puppy Syndrome" refers to puppies that languish and die for "no" apparent reason. If the puppies make it through the first 2 or 3 weeks, the prognosis for survival is much better.


Carcinomas are cancers that form from mutated epithileal cells. These are cells in the skin as well as cells that form the internal linings of the intestines, organs, and internal cavities. They differ from sarcomas that are cancers that form from altered cells in the mesenchymal group which are cells in connective tissue, bone, fat or muscle.

Carnassial Tooth

The 4th pre-molar in the upper jaw and the 1st molar in the lower jaw are known as the carnassials. They are pointed and used for shearing flesh. The other bottom molars are flat and used for grinding.


Cartenoids are compounds that give pigment to leafy plants and vegetables. Orange and red cartenoids are classified as carotenes and yellow pigment cartenoids are classified as xanthophylls. They are used by green plants in photosynthesis as well as to preserve clorophyll and help protect plants during periods of excessive sunlight. Animals cannot produce cartenoids on their own, and must either consume cartenoid rich vegetables or animal products that have accumulated cartenoids. In the past cartenoids were most commonly known as a source of vitamin A. This is because some cartenoids, especially beta-carotene and alpha-carotene are converted to vitamin A in the body. New research has shown that cartenoids are involved in many processes in the body as well as being powerful antioxidants. Two cartenoids, Lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the retina and in much the same way as they protect plants, they defend the retina from powerful sun rays. There is evidence that diets rich in cartenoids reduce the risk of macular degeneration and slow the development of age related cataracts. The highest concentration of cartenoids are found in the corpus luteum and so play an important role in female reproduction. Cartenoids influence colon health, cardiovascular health, diabetes and insulin levels, as well as defending against radiation, boosting the immune system, maintaining healthy mucous tissues, and aiding in the production of red and white blood cells. Foods rich in cartenoids include carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale and other leafy greens, and eggs. To supplement your Dog with cartenoids try using organic freeze dried kale powder, organic alfalfa powder, or kelp powder. Alternate them to get a well rounded assortment from different sources. They are fat soluble so when supplementing your Dog with cartenoids, it is good to mix them with fish oil, coconut oil or another healthy fat, then mix directly into their food. (See Lutein, zeaxanthin, alfalfa, kelp, corpus luteum.)


Catabolism is a division of metabolism which refers to enzymatic, catalytic and other chemical reactions that break down organic compounds to release energy for cellular activity, also known as cellular respiration. (See Metabolism.)


Any opaque layer on the lens of the eye is considered a cataract. A small cataract may have little effect on vision, but thicker, more prominent cataracts will affect the vision of your dog. You can see cataracts in your dog's eye as a milky blue cloud. Although cataracts can be the result of an injury, most are inherited.


CERF or Canine Eye Registration Foundation was started in 1974 to track and document congenital eye diseases in purebred dogs. Many illness do not start until later in life making regular CERF eye exams necessary for breeding animals.


The Cervix is the gateway from the vagina to the uterus and is comprised of muscle and connective tissue to create a muscular tube that is usually tightly closed to prevent foreign bacteria or infection from entering the uterus. During estrus, the cervix relaxes for fertilization. In this way the pressure from the engorged penis pushes the ejaculate through the cervix into the uterus.


To become a Champion of record a dog must win a total of 15 points. They must include at least 2 major shows and be judged the winner by at least 3 different judges. A major show is one in which there are larger numbers of competitors entered in the class. There are 3, 4, or 5 point majors depending on the number of dogs entered. Smaller entries are allotted 1 or 2 points.

Chondroitin Sulfate

(See Glucosamine.)


Chondrosarcoma is a cancerous tumor from mutated cartilage cells that can spread to adjacent tissues and organs. It is most often found in the bones of the ribcage, the upper jaw and the nasal passageway. Surgical removal of the tumor is the best treatment and if it is caught early; prognosis is good. (See sarcoma.)


The middle layer of the eyeball that contains the blood vessels.

Ciliary Body

The Ciliary body is right behind the Iris in the eye and produces aqueous humor, the fluid that fills the front (anterior) part of the eye. It also contracts and relaxes allowing the lens to focus. (see aqueous humor,tonometry,IOP)

Class, American Bred

The American Bred Class is a class in the conformation ring for Dogs that were both bred and whelped in the United States. American Bred for Dogs and American Bred for Bitches.

Class, Bred By Exhibitor

Bred By Exhibitor, is a class in the conformation ring for Dogs that have been bred by, and are owned by the exhibitor. There is Bred by Exhibitor for Dogs and Bred by Exhibitor for Bitches.

Class, Open

The Open class is a class in the conformation ring for a Dog over 6 months of age that has not yet achieved a championship. There is Open Dog and Open Bitch.

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