Description of a dog, "It has straight / curly hair."

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Sunshine2014, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. Sunshine2014 New Member

    Hi, guys.

    I have a question in using correct English.

    When you describe your dog to someone who doesn't know about your dog, do you use " these sentences? "It has long straight hair / curly hair."

    How about following dialogue? Is it akward?

    A: I have a dog.
    B: What does it look like?
    A: It has brown eyes and curly hair.

    Do you often say this question, " What does your dog[pet] look like? And when you describe your dog, do you say the color of the eyes as well as fur description?

    Thank for your answers.
  2. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum, sunshine.

    I have two dogs and I cannot remember ever feeling the necessity of mentioning the eye color.
  3. Sunshine2014 New Member

    Thanks sdgraham:)

    In terms of teaching English to Elementary students, if you need to teach " What does he/she/it look like? It has blue eyes / straight[curly] hair."

    Then does the conversation make sense? Or Should I deal with only description of people?
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    "Elementary" is not a proper noun. Don't capitalize it.

    Normally, we don't dwell on eye color when describing a dog. We are more likely to talk about color, size, coat texture, coat length, etc.. Eye color tends to be secondary, especially since various breeds tend to have uniform eye color.

    In my experience, we are more likely to talk about eye color with humans.
  5. JillN Senior Member

    USA - English
    I think people mostly mention the most obvious or unusual characteristics. It might be eye color. I had one with one brown eye and one blue. Most dogs have brown eyes, but if a dog has blue eyes that might be something people mention.

    My main comment about your question, though, is that usually we say "fur" when talking about a dog, not "hair". So to describe the dog I mentioned, I used to say "He's a shepherd mix, with short, tan and white fur, and he has one blue eye and one brown eye." It's also common to mention the size, usually in pounds or by saying small, medium or large. Sometimes people mention ears, too, like "Long, floppy ears" or "ears that stick up straight".
  6. Sunshine2014 New Member

    Oops! Elementary was a mistake.
    Thanks for your help again, sdgraham. :)
    It was very helpful!
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  7. Sunshine2014 New Member

    Thanks a lot, JillN:) It was very helpful.
    It is surprising that a dog has two different eye color. I didn't know that. It's very rare, isn't it?
  8. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Not always true and not all breeds have furry coats, e.g.

    German shorthaired pointer.
    German wirehaired pointer
    German longhaired pointer.
    Weimaraner (short-haired and long-haired)

    The international standard from the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) uses "hair," for example.

    HAIR :
    · Short-haired : Short (but longer and thicker than with most comparable breeds), strong, very dense, smooth lying topcoat. Without or with only very sparse undercoat.

    The all-inclusive term is "coat."

    As with many areas of interest people seriously involved with the critters, e.g. veterinarians, breeders, competitors, etc. tend to have a more specific vocabulary than the general public.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2014
  9. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    American English
    Not rare. Heterochromia iridum. (Wikipedia)
  10. JillN Senior Member

    USA - English
    Yes, sdgraham, I said "usually".

    Also, most people you meet out and about who ask about your dog aren't going to have a clinical interest. They just want to know what the dog looks like.

    I would also argue that people who have dogs as family members and are not using them for profit are just as seriously involved with them as anyone else.
  11. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Hello, Sunshine2014.

    As you can see, people give you different answers depending on the situation they are imagining. Are you teaching your students what to say if they are making casual conversation with someone they meet? Or do you want them to learn the correct terms used by people who have a special interest in dogs?
  12. Sunshine2014 New Member

    Wow~! I knew that there are people who has different eye color.
    I've never heard that there are that kind of dogs.
    I can't wait to see them.:)
  13. Sunshine2014 New Member

    Thank all of you. I understood what you guys meant.
    It is interesting that a certain sentence is used or isn't used depending on the context.
    Learning a second language seems to be always challenging but fun~!
    Have a great day!

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