A Dog for the Family
The Perfect Pet
Of Mutts and Men
The Terrible Ten
When Less is More
Glossary of Dog Terms
Types of Breeders
Dog Personality
Dog Behavior
Little Shop of Horrors
The AKC Pure Bred
Breeding Your Dog
The Top Ten
Frequently Asked Questions


Glossary of Dog Terms

As you read about choosing the perfect dog for your family, you'll probably find a lot of terms that are unfamiliar. Never fear!  Not only will we help decipher articles on the web, we'll also include key words and the real meaning behind them.

The True Meaning Behind Those Classifieds

Dog Terms to Know

If you're short on cash and want to feel really good about yourself, try rescuing a dog from the classifieds. Every day, purebred dogs are offered at bargain basement prices by families who either didn't research their choice of breed ("I didn't know a St. Bernard got so HUGE!") or didn't bother to train their puppy. 

Don't buy the "Little Johnny's allergic to the dog," excuse for getting rid of said dog either. Little Johnny is probably allergic to trees and flowers too, but you don't see the family living with no grass and a barren yard!!

Forewarned is forearmed.  Classified terms to know:

  • Needs a fenced yard

    This means either "Fido's way too full of energy to be kept inside the house,"  or "Fido's not housebroken."    

    It's also certain that Fido is lacking in training.  He may be a breed that's high energy and/or difficult to (house) train. In either case, training Fido must be a priority for you and your family or you'll be the next ones running this ad in the paper or on the internet.
  • Not good with children
    Fido bites.  
    He probably also has a dominant personality and/or a high prey drive.

    If you have children, run.  
    If you live near children, run.  
    If you have absolutely no contact with children or the elderly, beware.  

    Fido may have been taken from his litter before 8 weeks and isn't properly socialized.  (There is no cure for this.)  

    Fido may have been abused.  

    Fido may be timid and therefore a fear biter.  

    In any of the above cases, socialization and training should probably be done by a professional.
  • Great watchdog
    Fido barks, probably incessantly.  
    The neighbors have already prepared a vat of tar for aforementioned dog and owner.  
    Fido may also bite.  See above.
  • Searching for someone special to give him/her a home
    Fido is either an amputee or requires a vigorous schedule of medications to keep seizures, etc. under control.  Fido is probably the product of the dreaded puppy mill or uneducated breeder.
  •  Needs loving home
    This is because Fido sure doesn't have one right now.  Fido's currently owned by people who never really committed to him/her.  They don't see Fido as a member of the family, but as an object.  
    Can you imagine advertising your 13 year old for sale on the internet?  (Brief moment to revel in the thought.  Now...STOP!)  Of course 13 year olds are impossible, but most parents deal with them, faults and all.  Come to think of it, maybe these are the people raising the children who cause the rest of us so much trouble.
  • FREE
    This one should really make you nervous.  These people don't care who gets this dog as long as it's removed from their presence.  
    People value things they have to pay for in some fashion and frequently see things obtained without a fee as disposable.  Also, there's the concern about labs who acquire dogs for testing purposes.  It's possible that an unscrupulous person would take said "free" dog and sell it to a testing lab.  At least a trip to the pound would mean a gentle end for the animal.  Try to restrain yourself when dealing with this person.
  • We can't give him the attention he needs
    Loosely translated: "We should have gotten a cat."  Don't make this mistake!  Take a good hard look at your life before adding a dog to your family.  Even with a stay-at-home mom/dad, if you're not willing to take Fido with you everywhere, including ball games and practices, please get a cat or goldfish instead.  There are few breeds of dogs who do well isolated and alone all day, every day.  Dogs are pack animals.  They need companionship.   

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