An Unfinished Head

We use the expression, “inside baseball” a lot on National Purebred Dog Day®, and before we go any further, we should explain what the term means.  “Inside Baseball” is specific and detailed information used by “insiders” on a subject. Examples: Knitters know the meaning of a “dropped stitch,” “gaffer” is a familiar word to film critics, and people with a refined interest in food know that their nickname is “foodie.”

An “unfinished head” in the world of dogs doesn’t mean that a dog is missing a nose or an eye. It’s an “inside baseball” term used in some breeds to refer to a head in which there’s not much difference in length between the dog’s skull and his foreface.

Just to be clear, the skull is a dog’s “noggin,” the area surrounding the dog’s brain. A foreface is what most of us call the dog’s face, or the whole upper area of the dog’s head going from the eyes to the nose and including the lips.

A fine example of this appears in the breed standards for both the Wire Fox Terrier and the Smooth Fox Terrier.

From the Smooth Fox Terrier AKC standard: There should be apparent little difference in length between the skull and foreface of a well balanced head. From the Wire Fox Terrier AKC standard: In a well balanced head there should be little apparent difference in length between skull and foreface. 

Now you know.

Wire Fox Terrier by by Kathleen Sepulveda. This print is available here.


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