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Our Very Own Language

Doggie people like us have our own way of talking, a kind of language of our own. Well, at least that’s how it sounds to people who have no idea what we’re talking about!

Out and about in the “real world,” people overhear us talking about lots of dog-related topics like dog shows, dog wins, dog breeding, and the list goes on and on. Our conversations can seem so strange at times, it’s almost like we need to hand out a “dog language book” when we’re talking with non-doggie people. That way, they won’t think we’re crazy!

The majority of the time, people who don’t breed or show tend to get that, “Wait a second, what did they just say?” look on their face when they overhear us. Words like “bitch” and “opposite sex” are not very common in everyday conversation, but they sure are normal to dog fanciers!

Some of us might even admit that when we notice someone eavesdropping on our conversations, we like to take it “up a notch” to really get their ears burning. At least their reactions make us giggle, right? Little do they know that going Winners Bitch and Best of Opposite Sex are really good things!

Non-Doggie Friends

The word “bitch,” if used correctly, refers to a female dog. It is not a dirty word, and we say it a lot – so get used to it.

When someone tries to act like using the word is out of the ordinary, I simply explain to them that for dog show people, a male dog is referred to as a “dog” and a female as a “bitch.” I also let them know that there are many more terms that we can discuss if they’re interested. Most of the time they decline, although they still find the fact that we call our females dogs bitches kind of odd.

I guess when you grow up in a doggie family, certain words lose their other meanings.

Breeder to Breeder

How many times have you been out in public when you get that phone call from another breeder to talk about you know what? Well, before you have more than a few people staring at you while waiting in line at the grocery store, you might want to think carefully before using words like “chilled semen.” Of course, if you’re at the Fed-Ex office it can be a lot of fun. For some reason, most of the store clerks who work there just find it hilarious that you would be shipping semen in the first place.

Other Doggie Talk

Some other terms associated with dog shows that might grab an outsider’s attention are words like stud, road working and choke collar. To them, these terms might sound like something mean to be doing with our dogs.

Of course, roadwork is probably the most common way we keep our show dogs in tip-top condition. After working for a handler for many years, I’ve experienced first-hand how much the dogs enjoy it, even if they’re hesitant at first. It soon becomes part of their normal, everyday life, and most eventually look forward to it.

The word “stud” just makes other people laugh. They think we’re talking about “stud muffins” or something! I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but either way it makes everybody crack a smile!

I would love to hear about your very own “doggie language” stories. Whether you’ve gotten looks around town or in a restaurant after a show, leave a comment below and share some laughs, stud!

Don’t forget DFR’s own “language”… Dogs Freakin’ Rule!!!!!

Written by

Kayla Bertagnolli is a 23-year-old from Ogden, UT, who's been involved in the dog show world her whole life. A former junior handler who learned about breeding Beagles from her mother Leah, she assisted several professional handlers and is currently working to become a Junior Showmanship judge. Kayla is passionate about photography and writes the twice-weekly blog, DFR. She plans to continue breeding and showing, and expects to stay involved in dogs "for life!"
  • Godiva Sussex April 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    One of my favorites was at a restaurant following a lab club meeting. One of our diners started telling us that she was leasing a black bitch for her husband for his birthday. The non-dog people sitting at the tables near by were completely horrified. Still makes me smile after all these years

  • Chris Walkowicz April 12, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    We always went out to eat after training classes. One night our trainer complained “Look at my hands. Some of those males had dirty testicles.” We were asked to watch our speech or leave the restaurant .

    We have four kids and I received a phone call for each one horrified that the kids said “bitch” at school.

  • sue
    Sue Ingle April 15, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    I recently sent my list of show trophies I was offering for my breed to our show chairman, a financial planner for Wells Fargo. They were for winners dog and winners bitch. Her email was flagged and she was instructed to not forward it because of undesirable language in the content. Was going to try to refinance my home with them. Think I blew that resource!!

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