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Type: Anatomy

Commissures

The tissue that joins the upper and lower jaw.  Anxious dogs often exhibit long, or tight commissures, giving them the appearance of having a long mouth.  In contrast, the commissures of a snarling dog are very short.

Inguinal Region

The area on a dog’s body around the genitalia.  Exposing the inguinal region is considered part of submissive, or appeasement behavior in dogs.

Piloerection

Scientific term for when the hairs on the back of a dog’s neck are raised.

Scruff

The scruff is the loose skin on the back of a dog’s neck, which a mother will hold if she needs to carry her puppies.  Scruffing a dog is a kind of positive punishment, involving holding the dog by the scruff, making prolonged eye contact, and usually shaking him.

Whale Eye

When a dog is experiencing anxiety, his eyes become rounded and widened, so that the whites can be seen on one side. This makes them vaguely resemble the eyes of whales.