Interpreting the language of dog fanciers and Breed Standards
Have you ever been stumped trying to understand what a judge, breeder or dog fancier is saying about a dog? Or been utterly confused when reading a Breed Standard? What is meant by butterfly nose, fish hook front or crabbing? Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology to the rescue! Veteran AKC judges and breeders Ed Gilbert and his wife Pat Gilbert have pulled together every conceivable term applied to dogs to aid experts and amateurs alike to help all understand and correctly use the language of the sport. Ten years in the writing and richly illustrated with drawings by artist and purebred dog breeder, Dan Sayers, the Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology is an exhaustive reference tool for dog fanciers for generations to come. And weighing in at 4 pounds with over 800 pages you will have a lot of information at your fingertips!
You will learn
That the language and terminology of Breed Standards vary almost as much as the breeds they are describing. Thus the confusion over words like wrist, carpals and front pasterns.
Why some terms may be viewed as positive for some dogs but negative for others based on the original purpose of the breed.
About the large number of slang words and nicknames that you might be more apt to hear around the show ring than read in a book.
Many commonly used terms and phrases that are not technically or grammatically accurate, but if the words appear in an official Breed Standard, they are correct.
Praise for Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology from experts
One of the most inspiring and joyous aspects of the sport of purebred dogs is the community that has evolved among its participants. Over the years, the sheer diversity of our breeds has had the power to create an incredibly varied culture that we know simply and lovingly as the Fancy. While dog people truly come from all walks of life, we are all united through our passion for dogs and our commitment to the human-canine bond. Ours is undeniably a culture, with a rich history and even a vocabulary unto itself. The breadth and scope of terms captured, defined and illustrated so expertly here in the Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology proves that point. If ever there were a language of the dog fancy, Ed and Pat Gilbert are fluent in it. This book is a triumph in its detail and accuracy. In elucidating the meaning of so many terms and extracting greater understanding from the standards, the Gilberts' work will enhance the experience of everyone from the seasoned fancier to the newcomer to the sport.
Dennis B. Sprung is the President and CEO of the American Kennel Club, Inc., the nation's foremost not-for-profit dog registry and sports-governing body. During his twenty-three year tenure at the American Kennel Club, Mr. Sprung has led the organization in numerous initiatives including philanthropy, affinity brand-building and licensing.
...As students of all things dog for the better part of our lives, we often find that miscommunication results from a lack of understanding and agreement regarding the definitions for various descriptive words or terms relating to canine appearance and structure. In the veterinary, breeder, exhibitor and judging communities, accurate communication is vital in the decision making process for diagnosis, assessment of breeding stock and correct interpretations of breed standards in the conformation ring. Without complete knowledge of the terminology, it is as though we are speaking different languages.... We are now very fortunate to have a true compendium to expand and complete our knowledge of canine terminology. With 750 plus pages of definitions and excellent illustrations we are confident that the Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology will take it's place as one of the essentials in every library devoted to the understanding of the form and function of the dog.
Our thanks to Ed and Pat Gilbert for completing this monumental task and as we have often heard Ed say think, learn and be challenged.
John A. Hamil, DVM is the Past President, California Veterinary Medical Association, an AKC Judge, Director of American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation and co-author of Hands On Dog Care. Susan LaCroix Hamil, RVT is a Director of the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, a Director of the Orthopedic Foundation, Hound Group Breeder of the Year 2006
Ed and Patricia Gilbert have a keen power of observation and understanding of dog anatomy, structure and movement as well as coat colors, markings and behavior. The Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology takes on the complicated topic and explains it in terms that everyone can understand. The careful use of drawings and illustrations coupled with descriptive examples and information provides a good understanding of canine architecture. This is not just a reference guide, but the authoritative source for all terms used to describe any aspect of the dog.
Dr. Carmen L. Battaglia, author of Breeding Better Dogs and Breeding Dogs to Win. AKC Director, researcher and lecturer
Ed and Pat Gilbert share a lifetime of accumulated dog knowledge in Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology. The Gilberts bring their experiences as judges and breeders to the reader, utilizing fabulous illustrations to augment the written word. This is a must-own reference book for the serious dog fancier!
Patricia Craige Trotter, author of Born to Win, Breed to Succeed, AKC Judge, AKC Lifetime Achievement Award (Conformation), AKC Hound Group Breeder of the Year
The canine world is continuously expanding both in breeders and exhibitors and their quest for knowledge. All too often the material presented is in fragments and difficult to access both in location and clarity of language. The Gilberts' encyclopedia has effectively met these challenges and provides a ready access for the student. The fact that it is written by dog people who have both knowledge and experience makes it a valuable resource for the aficionado be they a handler, breeder or judge.
James G. Reynolds, CKC All-Breed Judge, permitted AKC All-Breed Judge, judges internationally
Ed and Pat Gilbert are multiple breed and group judges, lecturers, and writers. Ed's technical background and Pat's all-breed professional handling make them well-suited to the task of explaining canine structure and terminology. They share their life with a Saluki. Illustrator Dan Sayers is an artist, breeder of purebred dogs and regular contributor to canine publications.
What reviewers are saying...
DOGS IN REVIEW
Words like encyclopedia are tossed around pretty liberally by the publishing world to describe the next tome to hit the shelves. However, in the case of Ed and Pat Gilbert's reference book, it is absolutely fitting. On their Dedication and Acknowledgments page, the Gilberts' modestly state the reason for the book: Language is the means we use to communicate. We, in the dog world have developed a highly specialized language that is unique to our sport. The K-9 Encyclopedia is an attempt to record this language, so that those of us in the sport can more clearly communicate with each other. Their attempt has ultimately resulted in a comprehensive reference guide that achieves what no other terminology book has done before. Many dog books contain glossaries, defining a few dozen technical terms in a few sentences and organizing them in basic, alphabetical order. The Gilberts' with their varied and complementary background as breeders, judges, lecturers and writers recognized that the same terms are used in different ways by different breed standards. Organization is key in a project of this magnitude and here is where the book will impress beyond its mere physical presence (weighing in at more than four pounds and 827 pages). The Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology is divided by subject into 11 sections: Canine Body Systems; Overall Appearance; Skin, Hair and Coat; Anatomy Head to Tail; Coat Colors, Patterns and Markings; Temperament and Behavior; Gait; Dog Breeds; Genetics, Breeding, Reproduction, Whelping and Puppy Development; Diseases and Veterinary Care; and Grooming, Showing and Judging. Withers rates four pages. Front and rear dewclaws are dealt with in three pages, with lists of breeds that are required to have or not have, rear dewclaws and rear double dewclaws. Ed's technical background and Pat's experience as an all-breed professional handler, combined with their success as seminar presenters, enable them to break down structure and terminology into accessible language. Big, clear, beautiful illustrations by breeder, exhibitor, designer and artist Dan Sayers complement the text. Far too many dog books lack an index, a recurring frustration for readers. By contrast this volume concludes with an Index of Entries, an Index of Breeds and an Index of Illustrations and Figures. It's clear this book was a labor of love that should be warmly received by breeders, exhibitors and judges. For those who haven't read many breed standards beyond their own, the Gilberts' exhaustive research and organization will provide and education each time the book is opened. What a gift they have bestowed on the fancy.
Allan Reznik, Breeder, Author, Writer, Editor-in-Chief Dogs in Review
SEATTLE KENNEL CLUB
Wow! This is one of those rare volumes you receive for review and all you can do is simply marvel at the breadth of the content and presentation. With 800-plus pages of definitions, explanations and illustrations, the authors leave no stone unturned for the breeder, fancier and even the veterinarian. This isn't one of those elementary get-acquainted-with-the-dog books, rather a substantive resource for those whom dogs are a deeply engrained part of their lifestyle and culture. Because of the depth and complexity of this resource, Dogwise assists the reader with a three-part index at the back by entries, breed and illustrations allowing you to find your subject with ease. Chapter headings include Canine Body Systems; Overall Appearance of the Dog; Skin, Hair and Coat; Anatomy Head to Toe; Coat Colors, Patterns and Markings; Temperament and Behavior; Gait; Dog Breeds; Genetics, Breeding, Reproduction, Whelping and Puppy Development; Diseases and Veterinary Care; Grooming, Showing and Judging. And don't overlook the often ignored forewords and editor's note at the outset which deliver solid input about the need for this compendium that required two years to publish and details for how it is organized. A definitive guide to breed standards, it is packed a wide array of terms associated with many breeds. I'd be willing to bet you are unfamiliar with a good many.
Here are a few:
Sennenhund breeds: German mountain breeds.
Clean boot: A tracking term used for bloodhounds. It means natural scent of man, one that is not strengthened by artificial aids.
Sagaces: Those dogs which hunt together by scent.
Look of the eagle expression: This term is applied to both the Afghan hound and Doberman Pinscher.
Monkey-like facial expression: This description is directed toward the Affenpinscher.
Black Devil: Nickname for the Schipperke.
Diehard: No, we're not talking a battery here. This name is used to describe the Scottish terrier which exudes ruggedness and power.
Little Brushwood Dog: A name sometimes applied to the Shiba Inu.
Red Devil: We're not referring to a vacuum but an Irish terrier.
Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology frames the big picture of dog sport in a tableau of wide-ranging information, accented with brush strokes of colorful detail.
Ranny Green, former president of the DWAA
OUR DOGS SPEAKERS' CORNER
There are many others all of which have useful information but if you own the above titles all the basics are covered. This list does not change often but I'm going to add a recent publication to the advanced' recommendation. It is called the Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology and, given the use of the text K-9', you will not be surprised to learn that it is connected with K-9 Structure and Terminology' - already on the essential' list. One of the authors is the noted American judge and write Edward Gilbert and for this book he has co-opted his wife, Patricia, and the excellent illustrator, Dan Sayers, to bring together almost 900 pages of text and drawings in eleven sections: they are a mine of information and absolutely fascinating for judges and breeders.
A labor of love
There is no doubt this is an incredible and dedicated labor of love: it is difficult to imagine how much time and work has gone into it unless you browse its pages. It takes almost every aspect of show dogs and breaks them down into incredibly detailed but bite sized' elements so you can quickly track down the answers to your questions. The subtitle is Interpreting the Language of Dog Fanciers and Breed Standards' and herein lies a clue to the only shortcoming of the book from a UK perspective. When Our Dogs was first published back in 1895, the term fanciers' was common parlance for enthusiasts, but apart from its remaining in the full title of Paignton Championship Show (its full title is the Paignton and District Fanciers Association) it is a word which we seldom use in our English vocabulary. This is not the case in America and the only problem readers will have in this book are the inevitable Americanisms' which are embedded in the text. It is perhaps unfair to mention this first but it does enable me to emphasize that readers should not be put off by it, as George Bernard Shaw opined, our being separated by a common language'. The instances are few and do not detract from the immense value of the book which, if you have not already gathered it, is extraordinary.
The detail in both the text and the drawings is amazing. The 11 sections cover Canine Body Systems,; Overall Appearance of the Dog, Skin, Hair and Coat;, Anatomy; Coat Colors; Patterns and Markings; Temperament and Behavior: Gait; Dog Breed;, Genetics, Breeding Reproduction; Whelping and Puppy Development; Diseases and Veterinary Care and Grooming, Showing and Judging. As President and CEO of the American Kennel Club, Dennis Sprung, says in his introduction: this is an incomparable guide to the study and appreciation of the dog - a crowning achievement in the lives of two very special ambassadors of the dog fancy'.
What do we mean by square'
Just to give you an example of what I would term the general' information, there is a long paragraph on what is meant by a square' body. Not only do the Gilberts describe the different definitions of the term square' but say which each of the terms applies to each breed. In this country, we teach aspiring judges that the proportions of a dog's outline is measured from the withers to the ground compared to the distance between the point of shoulder to the point of buttock. This is the concept used in most standards but both here and across the Atlantic, several standards use the term in a slightly different way so two breeds, both of which are described as square', actually have a different outline. There is also a list of different expressions used in different breeds to describe proportions and what precisely they should mean. For instance do you know the difference between long cast', off square body', Slightly longer body' and slightly off square'? The Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology gives you the answers. Over 250 pages are devoted to the head: thirty-five to ears alone. For instance under triangular shaped ears' the differences between Alaskan Malamute, The Belgian Sheph rd, Cesky Terrier, Clumber Spaniel (ears to not have to be pricked' to be triangular'), Schipperke and Siberian Husky among others are carefully defined. What is also interesting is the number of slang words and phrases which we use, all of which are listed and linked to what is generally considered to be the correct' word and definition. I have always had a fairly simple series of concepts in my mind regarding feet but although different standards use different terms to describe very similar characteristics (say - cat like', round', arched toes' and knuckled up') they all meant approximately the same to me. However, when you go into the detail, these and other similar terms are applied to specific paw characteristics of different breeds in different ways.
Wide range of descriptive expressions
Despite the slight language differences which I have found fascinating because there appears to be a much wider range of descriptive expressions in the States, it does seem to me in looking at the drawings, that the details of the breeds illustrated are very much what I would expect. We often see dogs from abroad perhaps carrying too much coat and being overdone' in other respects but Dan Sayers does seem to have trodden a sensible, moderate and generic line. I was particularly impressed with the section on breed expressions and I know from past experience that many specialists will look at them and find fault. This is inevitable but, again in my experience, different specialists will find different faults in any given drawing just as they will when judging dogs in the ring. In the case of this book I think the drawings are pretty good and provide a sound guide for non-specialist judges. I remember the time I spent trying to obtain good drawings of the various tails exhibited by Spitz for my first book so I know how difficult is. I am also somewhat obsessive about tail set and carriage in my own breed so I am delighted to report Dan Sayers gets the Finnish Spitz tail just right. I believe this probably means that the rest of his drawings are pretty accurate too."
David Cavill, Proprietor and Éminence grise
THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology features black and white illustrations by Dan Sayers and is a weighty encyclopedia of information for any interested in the terminology of Breed Standards and the language of K-9. All terms applied to dogs will help experts and amateurs understand the language of the sport of breed standards, and represent some ten years of research and writing. Purebred owners will appreciate the inclusion of slang, nicknames, and common terms as well as technical terms, while chapter organizations by clear topic ( gait', working dogs', grooming') make for easy look-ups of any information. A must' for any dog reference library.
Diane Donovan, Editor
AKC News Pup Culture
Ain't it grand living in the 21st century, where everything worth knowing can be found in the time it takes to type a Google keyword?
That would be wonderful, if only it were true.
Fact is, digital technology is still in its infancy. Only a sliver of the world's accumulated wisdom resides online. The time will come when all useful knowledge is digitized. Until then, serious people seeking trustworthy information will still often rely on books musty, dusty, fuddy-duddy paper books. For this, research librarians hoping to be someday fully vested in their 401k plans are eternally grateful.
Consider the new Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology, by Edward Gilbert Jr. and Patricia Gilbert, and illustrated by Dan Sayers. The publication of such a whopping-big reference work raises a valid question: Does our Whippet-quick e-world really need a galumphing Newfoundland of a book that tips the scales at 3.7 pounds? Spend just a few minutes flipping through its 815 pages and you'll have to concede, the answer is yes.
There have been other such books. Harold Spira's classic Canine Terminology and Ed Gilbert's own K-9 Structure and Terminology come to mind. Both are authoritative, but neither is nearly as ambitious as the Gilberts' labor of love. The Encyclopedia defines not just anatomical terms which it does comprehensively but also the lingo of the show ring, whelping box, grooming table, genetics lab, and veterinary office.
My favorite chapters explain terms associated with the various breeds and breed types. As a longtime AKC Publications editor, I've often encountered references to quicksilver gait (Briards), varminty expression (Scotties), and intense birdiness (Duck Tollers) and I like to think I'd know these traits when I see them. But how helpful it is to have such hard-to-pin-down concepts defined with clarity and consummate dog sense.
A section on nicknames tells us the Keeshond is the Lazy Man's Glamour Dog, the Treeing Walker Coonhound is the People's Choice, and the Schnauzer is the Dog with the Human Brain.
No dog-related term, no matter how obscure or slangy, escapes the Gilberts' detection. They inform us that poi dog is Hawaiian slang for a mixed-breed (poi is a dish that requires lots of mixing) and Pigador is a rude way of saying your Labrador is fat and short of leg. But if your Lab's legs are too long, you might hear Put a saddle on it!, another ringside putdown defined with authority by the Gilberts.
To say there's nothing like it on the Internet is unfair to the Internet. In truth, there's nothing else like it between paper covers, either. The Encyclopedia of K-9 Terminology is a singular achievement.
When I'm this excited about something, I've been known to invoke the name of the Deity while singing its praises. Not wishing to offend the easily offended, I'll simply shout to the rooftops Dog Almighty, what a book!