Educational Information
Dog Glossary for New Dog Owners

Agility Trials: a competition where dogs negotiate obstacles and jumps.

Alpha Dog: the leader of a dog pack.

American Coton Club (ACC): a breed club for fanciers of the Coton de Tulear. (

American Rare Breed Association (ARBA): an association of fanciers of rare breed dogs.(

Backyard Breeder: a breeder who has little or no concern for a breed standard, temperament, socialization, health, or genetic defects. The backyard breeder’s primary motive is profit.

Best of Breed: the dog judged to be the closest to meeting the breed standard for its breed in a dog show.

Best in Show: the dog with the most points and wins earned in the dog show.

Bitch: a female dog.

Bloodline: a dog’s direct line of descent; pedigree.

Breed Club: an organization of dog fanciers dedicated to the promotion and improvement of a specific breed of dog.

Breeder: the person who breeds a dog.

Breed Standard: a written description of the ideal representation of a breed.

Campbell Test: a puppy personality test that is used to find the best match between a puppy and a new dog owner.

Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF): an organization that performs eye checks and eye clearances by a qualified veterinary opthamologist. (

Come: a command for your dog to stop everything and come to you.

Conformation: evaluating a dog (form and structure, make and shape, etc.) in conformance with breed standards.

Crate: cage or kennel that serves as a doggie bedroom or den. The crate is also used to transport or ship dogs.

Crate Training: use of a crate to facilitate the housetraining of a dog.

Coton de Tulear Club of America (CTCA): a breed club for fanciers of the Coton de Tulear. (

Dam: the female parent.

Date of Whelping: date of birth.

DHLPP: vaccine to immunize a dog against distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus.

DNA: a unique genetic makeup.

DNA Test: a test to determine the identity or parentage of a dog.

Dog Fancy: term describing the group of people interested in and active in the promotion of purebred dogs.

Dog Show: a show in which dogs are judged on how closely they adhere to the breed’s standard.

Dominance: level of hierarchy within the dog pack.

Fancier: a person who has a strong interest in purebred dogs.

Federation Cynologique International (FCI): the largest international purebred dog association. (

Foundation Stock Service- the American Kennel Club’s registry for rare breed dog’s.

Genotype: the specific genetic makeup of an organism.

Genealogy: Direct line of descent. Family Tree.  Pedigree.

Handler: dog trainer or exhibitor.

Heel: the position where a dog walks by your left side with its neck and shoulder even with your left leg.

Hip Dysplasia: Abnormal formation of the hip joint.

Identification: use of a microchip, DNA or tattoo to identify a dog.

Inbreeding: the mating of two closely related dogs of the same breed.

Luxating Patella: A genetically transmitted problem that causes the kneecap to slip when the joint is moved.

Mat: a knot or tangle of hair.

Microchip: a tiny chip or transponder, that a vet injects under the skin of a dog, near it’s shoulder, that provides a permanent means of identification..

Neuter: the removal of a male dog’s testicles.

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA): Organization that developed and maintains a database and registry of dogs that have been X-rayed for hip and elbow dysphasia, and other health concerns. (

Pedigree: The written record of a dog's direct line of descent of three generations or more. The pedigree will list the names as well as championships won by dog’s ancestors.

Penn HIP: a method of evaluating the degree of hip dysplasia in dogs where hip laxity is calculated by veterinarians and given a rating. (by breed). The name comes from the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. (

Pet Quality Pup- a puppy who in the best estimate of the breeder is not show quality, and should therefore not be bred.

Phenotype: the observable physical characteristics or traits of an organism such as size, eye color, or behavior.

Puppy: a dog under 12 months of age.

Puppy Mills: a facility that breeds dogs for profits with little or no concern for a breed’s standard, temperament, socialization, health, or genetic defects.

Purebred: a dog whose ancestors for several generations back were all of the same breed.

Registered Name: the official name of a dog when it is registered.  The name often includes the name of the breeder.

Registration Application: paperwork provided to you by the breeder that you need to send in to properly register your puppy.

Registries: organizations that keep official records in areas such as lineage, and health, etc. The CERF and OFA maintain databases and registries of dogs cleared of eye and/or hip dysplasia.

Show Quality Pup: a puppy who in the best estimate of the breeder appears to be of show quality, in close conformity to the breed standard.

Sit: the position where a dog has its front end up and hips down.

Socialization: process of introducing pups to humans as well as the sights, sounds, and smells of the world.

Spay: the removal of a female dogs ovaries and uterus to prevent breeding.

Stay: a command for a dog to hold its position and not move.

Temperament: a dog’s personality and character.

UCARE: a rescue organization for the Coton de Tulear.

United States of America Coton de Tulear Club (USACTC): a breed club for fanciers of the Coton de Tulear (

Vaccination: injections to protect a dog from disease.



Tom Rimmer & Young at Heart Cotons © 2015