Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972
ИФ РИНЦ = 0,301


Poputnikiva L.A. 1 Pavlenko A.О. 1
1 Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Higher Education «Kostroma State Agricultural Academy»
This article is devoted to the study of German terminology, which provides professional communication in the field of dog breeding, keeping as well as sports with dogs in German. The structural and semantic analysis of the cynological terms were carried out in the article. It is noticed, that the formation of cynological terminology is closely related to the formation and development of the corresponding branch of science. Having analyzed the history of the development of cynology in Germany, the authers have identified the main formation stages of the cynological term system. The authors have considered such characteristics of terms as their model of formation and origin. The article illustrates the language expression of the frame «Kinologie», which is a complex mental structure structure that organizes all the accumulated cynological experience in a linguistic form. The frame is represented by terms and terminological combinations formed by the syntactic, semantic or morphological ways of term formation. The authors have studied forum communities of professional dog breeders and just dog lovers and have highlighted their speech cliches and stereotypical statements. The results of the research can be used not only by linguists, but also by dog experts for improving bilingual professional communication.
frame analysis
system of terms
historical and semantic features of terms
professional language of dog handlers
1. Poputnikova L.A. Tampei V.P. Analysis of the structure and features of the formation of cynological terminology in the German language (in Russian) // Vestnik Kostromskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. 2017. V. 23. № 3. P. 190–195.
2. Chronik des deutschen Hundewesens: Eckdaten zur Geschichte der VDH / Verband f?r das Deutsche Hundewesen e.V. Paderborn: Bonifatius GmbH, 2006. 20 p.
3. Sonstiger Talk rund um den Hund. [Electronic resource]. URL: ( accessed: 20.05.2020).
4. Zwergspitz / Pomeranian Schokob?rchen mit Papieren. [Electronic resource]. URL: 20.05.2020).
5. Holly From Hellertal. [Electronic resource]. URL: (accessed: 18.03.2020).
6. Hunde.Info: Regenbogenbr?cke. [Electronic resource]. URL: (accessed: 20.05.2020).

Germany is famous for its rich cynological traditions, outstanding success in the field of dog breeding and dog sports. All that has reflected on the terminological activity and on the formation peculiarities of the cynological terminology system and on the professional language of dog breeders.

But а comprehensive analysis of German cynological terminology, speech cliches, stereotypical statements in speech of professional dog breeders has not been carried out to date.

The research purpose is to conduct a comprehensive study of German cynological terminology and the professional language of dog breeders.

Materials and research methods

The following methods were used in this study:

1) comparative historical method (It has allowed to research the historical development of the language and to highlight the main formation stages of cynological terminology);

2) frame analysis (to analyze cynological terminology as a linguistic realization of cognitive structures)

3) language analysis (to study forum communities of dog breeders).

4) comparative analysis (to compare the socio-cultural situation in German and Russia)

In order to analyze German cynological terminology we have selected 1 500 terms and term combinations. As material for search we have used special dictionaries and reference books on cynology and veterinary medicine, popular science magazines («Hundeschau», «Partner Hund», «HundeWelt», «Mein Hund», «SitzPlatzFuss») and website, forums and online-magazines in dog sports, hunting and decorative dog breeding (,,,,, materials of German cynological organizations (Verband fur das Deutsche Hundewesen, Verein fur Deutsche Wachtelhunde e.V.) and etc.

Research results and discussion

The formation of cynological terminology is closely related to the formation and development of the corresponding branch of science. Having analyzed the history of the development of cynology in Germany, we have identified four main formation stages of the cynological term system.

The first stage (before the 18th century): there was an unconscious selection of dogs with more suitable qualities for certain purposes of use (herd protection, hunting, breeding dogs with guard and fighting qualities) [1, р. 192]. In this period was formed a common vocabulary that nominates basic concepts, for example: bellen -to bark, der Jagdhund – hunting dog, der Welpe – puppy, der Hirtenhund – shepherd dog, der Hund – dog, der Rude – male dog, der Wachhund – guard dog, and etc.

The second stage in the development of cynological terminology is associated with the emergence of cynology as a science (mid. 18th – late 19th centuries).

The selection of the necessary dog qualities became methodical according to pre-formulated requirements for the breeds. At this stage terms appeared, that describe the breeding work: die Ahnentafel – pedigree; das Zuchtbuch – studbook; das System der Hundekreuzungen – dog crossbreeding systems and etc.

The third stage is characterized by the formation of the main terminology array for dog breeding and dog breeding (late 19th century – 40 years of the 20th century). The end of the 19th century was marked by the rapid development of dog breeding as in Germany so and in Europe [1, р. 192]. The first steps have been taken towards self-organization, and the first dog shows are being held in order to control the quality of breeds [2, р. 5-8]. Along with the appearance of the first canine organizations appeared also a corresponding vocabulary describing their activities, for example: Ausstellungen von Rassenhunden – purebred dog shows; das Zuchtbuchamt – tribal book office; der Rassenhundezuchtverein – pedigree dog breeding society and etc.

The current stage in the terminology development (from the 40s of the XX century to the present) is characterized by the appearance of many Anglo-American borrowings. That is connected with the active work of international organizations, as well as the increasing role of the English language as an intermediary language in the professional communication of dog handlers and dog breeders from different countries [1, р. 192], for example: Agility, Flyball, Dog-Frisbee, Dog-Dancing, Obedience, Grooming and etc.

As the features of term formation in the cynological sublanguage we have highlighted the predominance of multicomponent terms – 675 complex terms (45 % of selected terms), for example: der Dienst|hunde|fuhrer – service dog handler; das Korallen|hals|band – parfors; der Wach|hunde|posten – guard dog post . You can see that complex terms have an economical and semantically capacious structure. That’s why composition is the most productive word-formation tool in the cynological terminological system.

In the second place in terms formation is the morphological method there: 315 cynological terms (21 %). Its feature is the creation of new word with word-building affixes: das Abzeichen- mark on the dog’s skin; das Gelaut – barkin; die Laufigkeit – lewdness.

Terminological combinations occupy the third place in productivity of thermal formation: we have counted 300 syntactic constructions (20 % of selected terms), for example: Vegetative Phase – vegetative phase (first weeks of puppy’s life); einfache Zucht – simple breeding (only one of the parents passed the standards); Anwartschaft fur den Nationalen Champion.

The principle of saving speech efforts was realized in the appearance of many abbreviations in the cynological terminology system: 150 abbreviations (10 % of terms): FCI (Die Federation Cynologique Internationale); VDH (Der Verband fur das Deutsche Hundewesen); BJS (Bundesjugendsieger); SchwHK (Schweisshundprufung auf kunstlicher Wundfahrte bestanden).

The group of simple root terms that we highlighted is represented by 60 units (4 %), for example: der Wurf – newborn puppy; der Brand – burn mark; der Fang – dog face; der Lauf – dog paw.

The specifics of the formation of cynological terminology in German is reflected in the diagram below (fig. 1).

All accumulated experience in the cynological field can be represented in the form of a linguocognitive scheme. The theoretical basis for its compilation was the information representation system developed by Charles J. Fillmore. It is based on frames, which represent the cognitive structure of experience schematization.

The frame diagram (fig. 2) compiled by us resembles a branched tree: the frame «Kynologie» located on the top tier consists of four main subframes «Hundehaltung», «Hundesport», «Hundeausstellungen», «Hundemanagment, Tierschutzrecht», that express the main categories of cynology. Each of them has its own structure and can be «deployed» depending on the speech situation [1, р. 191].

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Fig. 1. Methods of the cynological terms formation in German

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Fig. 2. Structure of the cynological term system in German

And so, let us consider the structure of the cynological terminological system in German using subframes «Hundehaltung» and «Hundesport» as an example.

The subframe «Hundehaltung» includes terminology related to dog breeding («Hundezucht»), breeding work («Zuchtwahl») and genetics, for example: die Korung – breeding selection or kerung (one of the main breeding activities for breeding a German shepherd).

This subframe includes also terminology related to keeping («Hundehaltung»), feeding («Ernahrung») and dog raising («Erziehung»), caring for them («Pflege»), for example: die Hundekomandos – dog commands; das Hundegeschirr – dog harness; der Maulkorb – muzzle; die Fellpflege – hair care, etc.

The subframe «Hundesport» consists of sports terminology: terms denoting sports with dogs, types of obstacles and exercises (das Apportieren – aporting; die Fahrtenarbeit – tracking work; die Flachensuche – search of the area and premises with a dog, etc.).

The frame «Kynologie» includes the subframes «Hundeausstellungen» (exhibitions and examination of dogs) and «Hundemanagment», «Tierschutzrecht» (dog management and legal regulation of dog breeding) too. As we can see, the frame «Kynologie» is very voluminous, it encompasses a whole range of knowledge in cynology and dog breeding. A frame diagram allows us to get a visual representation of the organization of the cynological terminological system.

The professional language of dog handlers is characterized by the use of highly specialized terminology and professionalisms, which allows them to learn «their own», as well as isolate themselves from the uninitiated.

But to reflect the characteristics of the professional language of dog handlers, it is not enough to analyze lexical units separately from the context. Live communication between dog breeders is distinguished by certain stereotypical statements, peculiar formulas that are almost impossible to describe in the dictionary.

The source for the analysis of such lively communication was for us the forum communities in which people communicate according to their interests. In such hobby forums, a specific range of topics is created, and characteristic language features are developed.

According to the view of the world of representative of any cynological forums dogs for people are «children», puppies are called «Baby» or «Jungs» – «boys» and «Madchen / Madels» – «girls» to be looked after, the dog owners call themselves «Tiereltern» – «parents of the animal».

Examples: «In dem Wurf gab es drei süße Jungs und ein Madchen, die alle ziemlich nach dem Papa geschlagen sind. Hier die vier Madels: Hope, Nelly, Aili und Rosie». «Die Babys 3 Madels und 4 Buben sind jetzt 10 Wochen alt, entwurmt und geimpft. Nur in Gute Hande abzugeben.» [3].

In the following example, puppies are affectionately even called chocolate bearies.

Examples: «Unsere kleinen Schokobarchen aus unserem 3. G–Wurf geboren am: 03.04.2020 suchen ab Mitte Juli 2020 ein liebevolles Zuhause auf Lebenszeit bei Verantwortungsbewussten Adoptiveltern» [4].

Dog owners share on forums not only good news about the birth of puppies, but also celebrate the birthdays of their pets. Congratulations and wishes of the forum users addressed to animals are similar to the wishes of people. Most often they wish health and long life.


«Happy Bithday «Brenda» zum 14. Geburtstag. Wir wunschen Dir weiterhin viel Gesundheit und jede Menge gluckliche Momente in deinem Leben [5].

«Wir wunschen allen D?lies alles Gute zu ihrem Geburtstag und hoffen, dass ihr auch in Zukunft eure Besitzer weiterhin ordentlich auf trab haltet.»

«Hallo, Herzlichen Gluckwunsch, Portos und das du deinem Frauchen noch weitere viele schone Hundejahre bescherst. Happy Birthday wunschen Andrea und Lola» [3].

All this suggests that a person has a tendency to consider his relationship with animals as a relationship with children: a dog is a member of the family.

The main phenomenon that organizes communication on all forums is the legend of the Rainbow Bridge. In each virtual community of dog breeders, there is a «memorial» section, where forum users express condolences to the owners of the deceased pet.

At the same time, the wishes of the dead animal cite the legend of the Rainbow Bridge by Paul Dam. The legend says, that after death the animal goes over the rainbow bridge to another world, and ends up in animal paradise. And they are always fed up and happy, and all sick and old animals turn into young and full of energy. At the same time such cliches are used as «uber die Regenbogenbrucke kommen/gehen».


«Komm gut uber die Regenbogenbrucke, Sunny».

«Lieber Oppi, komm gut uber die Regenbogenbrucke und halte eine Pfote stets schutzend uber deine dich immer liebende Hundemama!»

«Das ist genau das, was ich dachte, als am am 10.08.2018 der liebste Hund der Welt RONJA ins Regenbogenland gegangen ist. Es ging nicht mehr mit ihr und die Tierarztin ist zu uns gekommen, Ronja konnte wenigstens auf ihre Decke in meinen Armen fur immer einschlafen.»

«Es tut mir sehr leid, dass Euer Anton jetzt uber Regenbogen gegangen ist. Euer Anton hatte sicherlich schon bei Euch!» [6]

Such hobby forums are typical of both Germany and Russia. A common thing for them is a reverent attitude towards thoroughbred animals, which need to be looked after as children, not given in random hands, monitor their fate, etc. A distinctive feature of the Russian Internet space is the activity of communities associated with stray dogs. Some of them are represented by zoodefenders, others by dog hunters, people exterminating stray dogs. Representatives of these communities use their own slang, which is secondary to the professional language of dog handlers, formed on its basis.

The language of dog rescue forums is understandable to an ordinary person, it pursues specific goals (to find a dog for the owner or a temporary overexposure). Сommunication of dog hunters is the most creative language environment. It is characterized by speech aggression and the use of reduced speech means.

Doghunters also use the legend of the Rainbow Bridge in communication, but in a completely different meaning, for example «отправить на радугу» for them means «to eliminate the dog». They call stray dogs as «пациенты» – «patient», poisoned bait – «лекарство» / «medicine», «витаминка» / «vitamin» or «вкусняшка» / «yummy».

Such forums are not typical for Germany, as there is no problem of stray dogs. Since the rights of animals are protected by law, there are also numerous shelters for dogs that are funded by the state.


Thus, the professional language of dog handlers is based on a complex system of cynological terms. It is also distinguished by specific speech cliches, stereotypical statements that provide professional communication of dog experts in German in the relevant field.