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
BITCHY DOG A male animal that is particularly
irritable at breakfast .... Often carries a small purse. ...
Might display a penchant for flashy
BRED BY EXHIBITOR See "KINKY".
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,
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
OVER SHOT Describes an obedience dog
that has jumped six feet into the air attempting to clear a two-foot
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.