And then there are those words that sound like what they are: Snipy (or snipey) can refer to a head, but for this post, it also refers to a weak, pointed muzzle lacking in substance in a dog’s under jaw, or fill beneath its eyes. A snipey muzzle is considered too pointed for a dog’s breed type because it lacks depth or width. We’ve heard some people go so far as to describe a snipy muzzle as having the appearance of a dog that stuck its nose in a pencil sharpener, or one that could suck a peanut out of a bottle. Ouch.
The Havanese Canadian breed standard specifically mentions the word: Muzzle: level; narrowing slightly towards the nose but neither snipy nor truncated, as does the AKC breed standard for the Bearded Collie: A snipy muzzle is to be penalized. In fact, the Beardie’s Illustrated Breed Standard (one of the most gorgeous educational documents put out by a breed club) illustrates a muzzle being encircled by a hand to indicated that the thumb and forefinger should not meet. The Catahoula Owners, Breeders & Research Association considers it a fault: Faults: Snipey muzzle. A snipy muzzle can impact dentition as well as the strength needed to do one’s job as a working dog. Fanciers may say that a snipy muzzle is not pleasing to look at, but what they really mean is that a dog that can do its job efficiently is a beautiful sight. Anything less, not so much.
We don’t have consent to share this photo of different kinds of heads and muzzles, but you can look at it here
to get an idea of snipy. If you have a photograph of one of your own
dogs you consider to have a snipy muzzle, please do share it here!
Our image found on Pinterest (and happily credited upon receipt of information) is a bit of an exaggeration of a snipy muzzle.