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Show Dog Information

The True Definition Of A Female Dog


There is a "dog definition" that we really should discuss, one that is somewhat taboo due to current day's language meanings. You see, in the world of dog shows you must learn to speak the word "bitch" without hesitation and to hear it without flinching. There is no other correct word to take its place in the dog world. You would not think of saying you were going out to milk the female bull; you say milk the cow. You do not get eggs from a female rooster; you get them from a hen, although the rooster and the hen are both chickens. Probably the main reason for the confusion is that the word "dog" has more than one meaning.

It is unfortunate that the word bitch has another meaning not so nice as its true definition - a female of the dog.

Below I will give you the dictionary definitions of two words, "dog" and "bitch," and since "dog" has two meanings I will place one meaning above the other and place the second usage where it belongs next to its counterpart "bitch":

Dog: any of a great variety of domesticated quadrupeds

Dog: a male of the dog.

Bitch: a female of the dog.

When speaking of the species you are correct in using the word "dog." When speaking of the sex of the species dog, you use either male and female or you use dog and bitch. Since the words male and female may pertain to anything cats, cattle, birds, dogs, fish, or people, we take the two words which definitely mean male or female dogs and use them entirely when speaking of the sex of the animals.

At shows we refer to the Puppy Bitch Class, never the Puppy Female Class. Puppy female what? Puppy female fox? No! We are speaking of dogs, so the correct word is bitch (denoting sex), and we refer to the class as the Puppy Bitch Class. The class for males is called Puppy Dog Class. If it were called Puppy Male, we could ask the same question - puppy male what? Since dog means male of the dog (species), we refer to the class as Puppy Dog Class.

In breeding we refer to our females as bitches. Correctly you say, "I will bring my bitch to be bred to your dog on Wednesday," or, "You own a very lovely bitch," or, "Yes, she is a wonderful brood bitch." However, do learn to speak the word bitch around dogs and dog people and know that when you do so you are correct. A word commonly misused is "thoroughbred." Thoroughbred is the name of a breed of horse. You should not say, "I have a thoroughbred dog" any more than you should say, "I have a Great Dane cat." The correct term is purebred. While speaking of purebred, it goes without saying that all dogs who are exhibited at shows must be purebred.

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