Just Don’t Call Me Shelly

“If you’ll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al….”

(You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon)

We won’t be calling any dog “Betty” or “Al” (unless that’s their name), and most fanciers would prefer that their dog not be called “Shelly,” either, because unless it’s their name, it’s a term that means a dog lacks substance for its breed. More specifically, it can mean a dog is “knifey” or “narrow” with no depth of chest, and inadequate rib spring.  Typically such dogs lack the correct amount of bone. Williams Haynes even used the term as a synonym for “weedy” in his book, Practical Dog Keeping, published in 1925.

And now you know.

The Azawakh in this photo is not “shelly,” his build is appropriate for his breed. He is Greboun de Garde-Epée, World Winner, and French Champion. Photo from Wikicommons under public domain

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