When you invite a dog into your life, you automatically get free membership to the inner circle of dog owners. With this membership you get to witness a side of people’s personalities that their non-dog owning friends and work colleagues don’t get to see.
Part of being a dog owner means you having to pick up brand new dog owner vocabulary terms. What are those terms and which ones should you be familiar with? Keep reading to find out more about the quirks of becoming a dog owner, and learn the words in a dog owner's vocabulary that let you communicate your dog’s special quirks to other dog lovers.
The Internet has played a huge part in shaping a dog owner’s vocabulary. With the ever-growing popularity of Instagram hashtags and terms in dog related Facebook Groups, pet owners have the pleasure of sharing photos and comments of their pets and animal memes. This have contributed to an ever growing vocabulary of word variations associated with dog behavior, appearance and, well, everything else dog related.
So whether you are a seasoned internet dog mom looking to learn a fun new word or two, or a new puppy owner wanting to get clued up on your dog owner vocab so that you can join in on the conversation, here are some of the most popular dog related words and phrases you should know about.
Dog Owner Vocabulary
“Doggo” is the popular term for all hounds that spiked in 2016, meaning that this isn’t a particularly new word in the dog owner vocabulary. Pretty much every internet-savvy dog owner knows and has overused this term – just look at the /r/aww subreddit.
In fact, by the end of 2017, doggo was listed as one of Merriam-Webster’s “words we’re watching”. The word isn’t necessarily limited to describing dogs either. You can use it, with a slight variation, to describe other dog-like creatures. For example, “water doggos” are seals, and “special doggos” are fennec foxes.
“Smol” – say it a few times and you might be able to work out what this one refers to. Smol is dog owner vernacular for “small”, but not just any old small. Smol is reserved for unbearably cute and adorable teeny tiny animals, where the proper English adjective simply doesn’t do justice to their tininess.
You will know when you see a smol pet because you are likely to involuntarily squeal with delight when you see it, such as these smol newborn Husky puppies (aw…) Your heart melts, and you will probably find your hands covering your mouth in order to stop people from seeing you drool over the extreme cuteness.
“Pupper” is a self-explanatory word in the dog owner dictionary. Like doggo, the term pupper refers to any hound, but is mostly reserved for puppies, or doggos that are especially smol and cute.
You may find yourself using it to describe your own puppy or even adult dog though, even if they are as big and butch as a bear. The simple reason for this is that our dogs, no matter what their age, size, breed or temperament, will always be our babies.
BORK & BOOF
Here's a more rare term. When you become an experienced dog owner, you'll understand and accept that dogs do not bark, they “bork“! You may need to listen carefully to a variety of different doggos and puppers to establish this understanding.
Once you make peace with the fact that there is no such thing as a dog barking, you will also begin to realize that dogs do not only bork, but they also “boof“! Boofing is that low sound a dog makes when he hasn’t quite decided whether or not a full-blown bork is required.
A dog boofing is a bit like them borking under their breath. A dog’s boof is often a warning that the real thing is coming, so brace yourself! Confused yet?
When your dog does a “sploot”, it is a sign that they are fully relaxed. They are lying down on their belly with their limbs spread out before them and behind them so that it looks as though they are doing the full doggie splits! Or, as someone has has put it, it's also known as a medical condition known as “being way too cute.”
Many dogs look like frogs when splooting. They are probably taking advantage of the cool floor on their belly on a warm day, or enjoying a satisfying stretch (even though it may look like they have dislocated their hips). Any flexible dog can do a sploot. If you have a Corgi, you will be very familiar with this funny-looking position – just looky here.
Apparently – and this isn't because of the Internet at all – dogs don’t have snouts, they have “snoots“. This word is actually an official dictionary synonym for a dog's nose, and has been around long before the Internet turned it into a crazy dog lady/person thing.
Nowadays, snoots are going viral with dog owners posting pictures of their doggos’ snoots peeking out from underneath duvet covers or through their owner’s hands. Need a good example of a funny snoot? Here's our favorite one!
“Derp” is a word that already has a common meaning in human slang, being a substitute word for expressions of stupidity, like “duh” or “der”. But the dog owning community has adopted the word to help us express our affection towards the silly appearance, clumsiness or clueless behavior that our dogs exhibit, keeping us entertained and loved up.
Derpy dogs include dogs that assume the most awkward sleeping positions, looking positively broken, and the cutest puppers whose missing teeth make their tongues hang out the side of their mouths, giving them the funniest dopey derpy dog look ever such as this one.
Speaking of tongues, have you ever witnessed your dog chilling out with just the tip of his tongue poking through his front teeth and showing through his mouth? The “blep” tongue is a much more subtle version on the derpy tongue, so subtle in fact that if you blink, you’ll miss it.
It's not really known why dogs and cats blep, but it has been suggested that it may have something to do with the way they use their tongues to “sniff” the air in order catch smells from the environment around them.
However, I’m not sure about the accuracy of this explanation, as I have often seen my dogs blepping whilst being fast asleep. I even saw a meme once of someone pulling a cat’s blep tongue right out of their mouth while the cat was still in the land of nod. But here's a better one!
If you have enjoyed reading this taster section of the dog owner vocabulary, you will be pleased to know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
In fact, the more involved you become with other dog owners in the online dog community, such as on Reddit, the more words and phrases you will discover. It is a weird and wonderful language that brings crazy dog-loving people together to enjoy and understand better the myriad of quirks that both dogs and dog owners have.