Lingo and Terminology

April 6th, 2012



  • A-Bay–a field trial event where one Catahoula or a pair are in arena with a wild hog for which to demonstrate style and ability to work and control said hog.
  • Alpha–a dog or person that shows or attempts to show dominance over peers
  • Angulation–the angles formed at the meeting joint of two bones
  • Anterior–the portion carried foremost in normal locomotion


  • B-Bay– a field trial event where a wild hog is in a pen with one Catahoula or a pair demonstrating it’s style and ability to work and control said hog from outside the pen.
  • Balance–term used to describe the similar characteristics of the dog’s parts–proportions
  • Barrel chested–describes overly-sprung ribs–a very rounded rib cage
  • Basewide–wide footfall in gaiting
  • Baying–barking at a hog, raccoon, squirrel, cow, ect. (over simplified)
  • Baying loose–when a dog bays stands back from the hog and bays.
  • Bay off–and extra bay to determine who places when two or more dogs end up with the same score.
  • Baying tight– when a dogs bays very close to the head of the hog.
  • Beefy–over development of the hindquarter muscling
  • Bitch-female dog
  • Bitchy–usually used to define an overly-refined male
  • Bite–the position of the jaws and all teeth when the mouth is closed
  • Blocky–sqaurish in body
  • Bodied up–mature looking, well-developed, lacking puppyish conformational characteristic
  • Bone–pertaining to the substance and girth of the dog’s bones, usually referring to leg bones
  • Brindle–another coloration pattern, broken tiger striped
  • Brisket–thoracic area (inc. chest, rib cage)
  • Bull neck–a thick, stout, well muscled neck


  • Call Out–the ability to call a dog back to owner in a designated time limit after the event time limit is complete. Extra points are rewarded for this ability.
  • Camel back–general term used to describe an arched back
  • Carpal–largest bone in the pastern (wrist)
  • Catch Out–when the dog catches the hog for more than five(5) seconds. The dog is disqualified for this event.
  • Cat foot–describes a tight-knuckled foot in which the toes are well arched
  • Cervical vertebrae–the vertebrae that make up the neck
  • Cheeky–too much fill in the skull cavities, bulging sides of face
  • Chiseling–pertaining to head structure, the outline and smoothness of the facial region
  • Chops–jowls, thick, heavy flesh on the lips and jaws
  • Clipping–a gaiting fault in which the rear feet actually knick the pads of the front feet when in a full trot
  • Close-coupled–a short loin in comparison to other proportions
  • Coarse–lacking refinement
  • Conformation–term describing the physical structure of the entire dog
  • Coon trial–a trial in which a caged raccoon is raised to a specific height for which the dog to demonstrate it’s focus and drive in baying said raccoon.
  • Coupling–the loin
  • Cow-hocked–hocks bending inwards when in a natural stance
  • Crabbing–gaiting fault in which the front and rear legs do not line up when viewed from behind or in front
  • Crest–the arch on the top of the neck in some breeds
  • Cropped ear–an ear that had been surgically altered or trimmed to stand up erect
  • Croup–the region on the top of the dog between the hip bones, extending to were the tail is set on
  • Cut Board–a board used to protect yourself during and A-bay event.
  • Cut collar–a special collar to protect the dog from the tucks of a wild hog
  • Cutters– the tusks of a wild hog
  • Cut vest–a special vest to protect the body of the the dog from the tusks of a wild hog. Sometimes referred simply as a vest


  • Dentition–the number and placement of teeth in the mouth
  • Depth (of chest)–an indication of the volume of internal room for the heart, lungs, etc–referenced to the elbow
  • Dewclaws–extra toe or toes on the inside of the pasterns or hocks–may be present or removed in the Catahoula breed
  • Dewlap–loose hanging skin under the neck
  • Divergent hocks–hocks that turn outward when at a natural stance
  • Dock tail–a tail that has been surgically shortened or removed
  • Dog–usually refers to the male
  • Double coat–a two layered type of coat, the first thick and plush, the outer one consisting of coarser guard hairs
  • Down in the pastern–weak pasterns
  • Drifting hog–a hog that drifts around the arena during a bay. Often due to improper baying style.
  • Drive–referring to the amount of thrust from the rear when gaiting
  • Drive- referring also to the instinctive desire that dogs show in regards to game.
  • Drop ear–an ear folded or creases in at least one place


  • Ear Carriage: 1. Describing the way the ears are held, indicating the dog’s mood. 2. position of the ear’s attachment to the head.
  • East-west–front structural fault in which the legs and feet point outwards, away from each other
  • Elbowing out–the elbows outturned, away from body
  • Even bite–meeting of upper and lower incisors with no overlap
  • Ewe neck–a concave neck line
  • Expression–general appearance of the look in the eye
  • Eyeteeth–upper canine teeth


  • Feathering–fringe of hair on the underside of the tail, brisket, and backs of legs
  • Femur–main bone in the rear legs
  • Fibula–one of the bones that make up the lower thigh
  • Fiddle front–elbows turned outward, pasterns turned inward, toes pointed outward
  • Flag–a long feathered tail, carried high
  • Flat croup–a croup with insufficient slope or taper from the hip bones to the root of the tail
  • Flat sided–lacking proper spring of ribs
  • Flews–inner corners of the upper lips
  • Flewsy–too much flews
  • Fly away ears–semi erect/high set ears on a breed that should not have prick ears
  • Flying trot–a very fast gait where all four feet are off the ground for a brief moment
  • Foo Foo dog–this is a general term used to describe any small dog or Show Catahoula that is not used to hunt or work.
  • Free Stack–a show dog’s natural pose w/out being touched by the handler
  • Full dentition–refers to an adult dog with all its teeth in and fully developed


  • Gait–the pattern of footfall–when used in a show ring setting, it describes the dog’s movement at a trot
  • Gaskin–lower second thigh
  • Goose stepping–a gaiting fault with an accentuated and seemingly careless lift in the forelegs
  • Guard hairs–the coarse outer coat on a double coated breed 
  • Gyp– A term used to describe a female dog instead of bitch. Usually used describe a maiden female dog


  • Hackles–hairs on the back and the back of the neck that the dog raises when alerted
  • Hackney gait–a fault in which the front legs are lifted high with an arching wrist
  • Hard knuckled–a tight foot with prominent arches in each of the toes
  • Hare foot–an elongated foot with little arch in the toes also called coon footed
  • Height–measured from the ground to the point of the withers
  • Hock–the collection of tarsal bones on the rear legs–the true heel
  • Hocking out–see “divergent hocks”
  • Hucklebones–top of hip bones
  • Humerus–bone of the upper arm 


  • Incisors–the smaller row of teeth between the two canines; present on both upper and lower jaws


  • Jowls–flesh of the lips and jaws


  • Knuckling over –a universal fault wher the carpal (wrist) bones flex forward under the weight of the dogs standing 


  • Laid Back ears–ears that are folded back against the head
  • Layback–term used to describe the dog’s front or rear angulation
  • Layon–the angle of the shoulder blade from the nearest vertical axis
  • Leopard–merle coloring (red or blue) There are different terms to explain the degrees of intensity and color. i.e. black leopard, blue leopard, red leopard
  • Leather–outer flap of the ear
  • Level bite–see “even bite”
  • Level gait–no rise or fall of the withers or topline when at a standard show ring gait
  • Liver–a color; deep brown
  • Loaded–pertaining to over development of certain groups of muscles
  • Loin–sides of the dog in the lumbar vertebrae region
  • Long backed–a term used to describe a dog the is too long.
  • Look out–when the dog looks away from the focus (i.e. hog, raccoon, ect) in the course of a field trial. Usually a minor point deduction
  • Looping–a dog that turns out in a circle when baying. Significant point deduction in hog bays.
  • Loose front–loose attachment of muscles to the shoulder, producing a gait in which the front is slung all about
  • Lumbar vertebrae–the vertebrae between thoracic (over ribs) and coccygeal (tail)
  • Lumber–an awkward, uncoordinated looking gait


  • Mandible–lower jaw bone
  • Manubrium–frontal area of the chest
  • Mask–dark shading on the face
  • Merle–color pattern; dark patching upon a lighter background
  • Metatarsus–smaller bone that makes up the hock
  • Milk teeth–puppy teeth
  • Moving close–when viewed from the rear or front, the legs move toward the centerline of the body while gaiting
  • Moving straight–describes a dog with little reach and drive in gaiting
  • Muzzle–foreface; head in front of the eyes 



  • Occiput–point of the skull bone, back of head
  • Open Bay–a field trial event where one dog or a pair are in arena with a wild hog for which to demonstrate it’s style and ability to work and control said hog. An open trial is available to any breed of dog and cash prizes are rewarded. Often referred to a “money bay”
  • OFA–Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
  • OFA Certified– a dog’s hips have been x-rayed for hip dysplasia, a very common and debilitating genetic disease. also referred to as Hip Certified
  • Out at elbows–elbows turn outward, away from body, at a natural stance
  • Overdone–refers to a dog whose angulation is extreme; too much
  • Overhang–a heavily pronounced brow
  • Overreaching–a gaiting fault in which the rear legs must reach to one side or another to avoid clipping
  • Overshot–an overbite; upper incisors project beyond the lower ones 


  • Padding–a gaiting fault in which the front feet flip up and outward to avoid clipping with the rear
  • Paddling–caused by and east-west or in at the elbows front; front feet are slung stiffly outwards when gaiting
  • Pads–the thick leathery projections on the sole of the feet
  • Peak–see “occiput”
  • Pastern–region of the front leg between the carpus and the foot (the wrist)
  • Pelvis–hip bones
  • Pen dog–a dog that is used in competition open bays or sanctioned trial bays almost exclusively. More often than not the dog is not used for actual hunting (Comment: this is not good or bad, it’s just what these dogs are trained for)
  • Piebald– black and white or two other colors in patches.
  • Pigeon toed–feet (front or rear) pointing inwards, towards each other
  • Pig mouth–see “overshot”
  • Pincer bit–see “even bite”
  • Planes–referring to the head, the plane of the muzzle and the plane of the topskull
  • Planing–the comparison of the angles of the two planes of the head
  • Poke–neck carried low and outwards when gaiting
  • Popping hock–gaiting fault describing an accentuated lift of the hock portion just after full extension of the rear
  • Pounding–gaiting fault; front stride is shorter than the rear, front feet pound the ground in an ungainly manner
  • Pressuring–the act of baying too close and stressing the hog often enough to make it brake the set up.
  • Prick ear–an erect or upright ear
  • Puppyish–immature in overall conformation (i.e. no spring of ribs, or loose front action–typical traits of puppies)



  • Racy–tall and of a lithe, slight build
  • Ragged–muscling appears rough and ragged, instead of smooth
  • Rangy–unproportionally tall, long, and of a lighter build than is desired
  • Rat tail–thick root covered in curly hair, tapering to a sharp point w/ little to no hair
  • Reach–describes the length of forward stride taken by the forelegs when in motion
  • Refinement–pertaining to the amount of raciness
  • Restricted–a gaiting fault caused by under angulation where either the front or the rear appears painfully constricted
  • Ribbed up–a long rib cage
  • Ring tail–carried up and in a semi-circle over the croup
  • Roach back–a noticeable arch over the thoracic and lumbar regions
  • Rolling–a gait in which the rear seems to be swaying and ambling along
  • Rubber hocks–a gaiting fault in which the hocks flex and twist both ways to bear the weight of the rear
  • Rudder–another term for the tail
  • Ruff–the thick. lush hair growth around the neck in some breeds 


  • Sable–color pattern; silver, gold, tawny, or gray hairs tipped in black
  • Sacrum–vertebrae of the pelvic girdle
  • Saddle–large black marking over the back
  • Scissors bite–a bite type; the outer surfaces of the lower incisors touches the inner surfaces of the upper incisors
  • Set up–the act of settling into a bay.
  • Set up hog–a hog that backs up to the fence and waits out the bay.
  • Sickle hocks–straight, restricted hock joints resulting in inability to full straighten hocks while gaiting
  • Sickle tail–carried out an in a semi-circle
  • Single tracking–all footprints falling upon a single, central line of travel while gaiting
  • Slab sides–flat, under sprung ribs
  • Slew foot–general term for feet turned outwards
  • Smooth coat–a very short, tight fitting and slick single layer coat
  • Snipey–a pointed muzzle lacking proper fill and under jaw
  • Splay foot–a flat foot with toes spread apart from each other also called coon footed
  • Spring–refers to the amount of roundness to the rib cage
  • Spread–the distance between the front legs
  • Standard– the official blueprint for a breed.
  • Steep croup–a croup which makes a dramatic slope from the hip bones to the root of the tail
  • Stern–another term for the tail
  • Sternum–breastbone
  • Stifle–kneecap
  • Stilted–a gaiting style; very choppy with lots of up and down bounce due to straight angulation
  • Stop–the indentation between the eyes; the step up from the muzzle plane to the skull plane
  • Straight front–too little angulation in the front
  • Straight in the pastern–not enough give in the pastern area when in a natural stance
  • Stud dog–a male dog used for breeding purposes
  • Substance–pertaining the the amount of bone
  • Sway back–a noticeably concave topline 


  • Thoracic vertebrae–the vertebrae that make up the spine over the rib cage area
  • Tibia–the smaller of the two major bones in the hock
  • Tied at the elbows–see “paddling”
  • Topline–the horizontal made by the top of the withers through the bottom of the croup
  • Treeing–the act of barking at a raccoon in the tree or a trial in which a caged raccoon is raised to a specific height for which the dog to bay, demonstrating it’s focus and drive in baying said raccoon.
  • Tuck up–the shallower depth of body beneath the loin area
  • Twisting hocks–see “rubber hocks”
  • Type–the characteristic physical qualities that distinguish one breed from another
  • Typey–a specimen with outstanding breed type


  • Ulna–the smaller of two major bones in the forearm
  • Underline–the contour of the underside of the brisket and the abdominal floor
  • Undershot–an underbite, opposite of overshot
  • Unsound–a dog with one or more severe conformational or health faults that would render it incapable of working



  • Webbed–a thin but solid membrane between all toes
  • Well let down–having short hocks
  • Wheel back–see “roach back”
  • Whip tail–a long, straight, evenly tapering, smooth coated tail
  • Winging–a gaiting fault in which one or both front limbs twist outward
  • Win tag– the named affectionately given to the little brass tags awarded ad NALC events.
  • Win tag Gods– the gods of the win tags. They really don’t do too much, although, they have been known to cast bad luck on individuals who don’t mount their win tags in a timely manner on the plaques given out at the show for which to mount your win tags. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
  • Withers–the region between the neck and the back
  • Woods dog–a dog that is uses almost exclusively for hunting hogs in the woods or swamps. With a few exceptions these dogs do not usually perform well in A-bays or B-bays and other unnatural conditions. (Comment: it’s not good or bad it’s just what they are trained for)




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