McNeil Labradors


Terminology pertaining to Labradors
excerpted from: H. WARWICK, The New Complete Labrador Retriever, NY 1989/3, p. 313-14.

Apple-cheeked: round, protruding cheeks.
Angulation: referring to the angle of the hock, which in Labradors should be well bent. Opposite of "straight behind," where there is no angle.
Balance: symmetrical proportion; neither too high nor too low on leg, nor too short nor too long in body.
Beefy: over-development in the hindquarters, sometimes too much fat over muscles.
Bloom: prime condition of coat, weight; alert expression.
Brisket: the forepart of the body below the chest; In Labradors, of good breadth and depth.
Cat foot: Compact, well arched toes. Opposite of "splay" or open foot.
Chiseled: a clean-cut head, especially below the eyes.
Cobby: short-coupled, compact body.
Dew-claws: extra, superfluous claws, on the inside of fore and hind legs. Optional to remove fore-claws, within a few days of whelping, but hind claws should be removed. Hind claws not too prevalent in Labradors.
Down in pasterns: Weak or faulty pastern joints, letting the front feet down. Opposite of "knuckling over," in which faulty pastern joint may tremble, with a forward movement of the pastern itself, as the dog stands.
Elbows out: in which the elbows are not bend close enough to the body.
Feather: in
Labradors, may occasionally be seen in hair too long on the underpart of the tail.
Foreface: the front part of the head, before the eyes ń the muzzle.
Front: the forepart of the body, as viewed head-on ń forelegs, chest, brisket, and shoulders.
A good doer: a dog which relishes his food, put on weight easily, and stays in condition.
Gay tail: tall carried above the back line. Smart, if not overdone, for a show dog, but definitely not a "questing" tail of a worker.
Hard-mouth: a dog that injures game when delivered, due to a tight grip, so that it is unfit for consumption.
Hare-foot: a long, narrow foot, similar to that of a hare.
Height: vertical measure from withers to the ground.
Loaded shoulders: when the shoulder blades are apparently pushed out by overdevelopment of muscles or too much fat.
Leather: flap of the ear; in
Labrador the texture is not as fine as in a hound, nor overly thick.
Level bite: the upper teeth just meet over the tops of the lower.
Line-breeding: controlled inbreeding. The mating of related dogs of the same breed to a common ancestor; i.e., a dog to his granddam, or a bitch to her grandsire.
Lippy: pendulous or loose lips, especially at the inner corners.
Long cast: too long a body between withers and hips.
Non-slip Retriever: a dog that walks at heel, marks the fall, and retrieves the game on command. A non-slip Retriever is not expected to flush or hunt out.
Nose: scenting ability.
Occiput: the peak or top of the skull.
Otter tail: thick at the root, gradually tapering, no feather, but hair parted or divided on underside.
Outcrossing: the breeding of unrelated individuals of the same breed.
Pig-jaw: a term for an "overshot" mouth, where the front teeth of the upper jaw overlap the front teeth of the under jaw when the mouth is held shut.
Pads: the tough, shock-resisting undersides of the foot; the soles.
Racy: high on the leg, light of build, sometimes "tucked up."
Soundness: mental and physical state of health in which everything is functioning normally.
Snipey: a weak, pointed, narrow muzzle.
Spring of rib: the degree of rib roundness; with Labradors, well sprung and not flat or "slab-sided."
Sloping shoulders: the shoulder blade set "obliquely," or well laid back.
Stilted: a choppy gait, in front, from straight shoulders; behind, from straight stifles.
Stifles: the joint in front of the hind leg, joining the thigh and the leg bones.
Straight hocked: lack of angulation at hock.
Thigh: the hind quarter from the hip joint to the stifles.
Throatiness: excess loose skin under the throat.
Tuck-up: small waisted, or shallow bodied.
Weedy: lightly built, lacking bone on entire frame.
Withers: the highest part of the body behind the neck.



McNeil Labradors
Statesville, NC 28677
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Last Updated:  March 29, 2006

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