The Kurz Korner

Amusing Articles 

By Richard C. Kurz

      Realize it or not, my new friend. ... Like it or not, ... 
you are about to face a curious mystique that has been silently breeding its own complex, non-standard vocabulary. I pity you, the wretched dog show novice, who wanders onto our scene with pet in tow ... You, the naive, trusting, even smiling soul, who straightaway is assailed by a mystifying parlance that excites and shocks your pedestrian sensibilities ... What must you think when you hear the announcement, "NOVICE BITCHES TO THE READY RING!" ... and then see that cute young thing in the hot pants bolt up shouting to her sister exhibitors, "THAT'S US!"?

      In the interest of you soon-to-be-initiated clods, or, if you get hooked on this "dog show" thing, you soon-to-be poor clods, I have prepared a short list of terms commonly heard at ringside. I have also drawn upon my years of experience to provide working definitions for you, thereby easing the trauma of that first brush with the "doggy people". Study them well. ... Take notes. ... Show them to your dog.


ANGULATION  The distance in centimeters from the top of your dog's rear to the tip of his right hind foot divided by the number of times the judge has been to your house for dinner.

BALANCE Your animal's ability to walk and run without tripping  or falling down a lot.

BITE  That time when your dog closes his jaws about the 
judge's fingers. ... If the judge is able to continue without first-aid, your  dog's bite is said to be "poor".

BITCHY DOG  A male animal that is particularly irritable at breakfast .... Often carries a small  purse. ...  Might display a penchant for flashy


CROSSING OVER    Idiosyncrasy of some dogs causing them to leap continually from the back of the station wagon over into the rear seat.

CROUP  When your dog coughs and chokes as he moves, 
he is said to have "BAD CROUP".

DOGGY BITCH        Lady Breeder.

EAR SET   Each dog of show quality must have one .. consisting of two .. preferably to the right and left respectively.

HIP DYSPLASIA     A genetic fault peculiar to "swingers". .. See "PROFESSIONAL HANDLER".

HOCK JOINT  A commercial establishment sometimes used to provide funds for showing dogs.

LOOK OF EAGLES  An expression notable in the eyes of your dog, as if he were saying, "You touch me, you Schmuck, and I'll ...". See "BITE".

LOOSE LEAD Term cried out by the judge when the dog in the front escapes his handler.

NOVICE The word used to describe a dog that doesn't know what it's all about ... Sounds more civilized than, "STUPID BITCHES TO THE READY RING!" Don't you agree?

OPEN  This term is used to describe those dogs and
bitches  that are completely frank about their personal lives, breeding habits, etc.

OVER SHOT  Describes an obedience dog that has jumped six feet into the air attempting to clear a  two-foot obstacle.

SAW HORSED  An obedience dog that has cleared the high hurdle with his front, but has fallen short with his rear, is said to be "SAW HORSED".

SET UP  The term used to describe owners convinced by their "friends" to enter whole litters of puppies in order to inflate the number of points in a match.  You will hear, "Did you see how he/she was SET UP?".

SHORT COUPLED  A dog with peculiarly undersized co-owners is described as "SHORT COUPLED".

UNDER SHOT  An obedience dog that has jumped too soon and has landed still on the near side of the hurdle.

WHELP   The sound made by a show dog at ringside when a spectator treads on his tail.


           I sincerely hope that this brief glossary will somehow help. ... If not, don't be discouraged. ... Show your dog ... What? ... You remember "SET UP"? ... I guess you did learn something. 


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