Dogmatic Logo
The Canine in Conversation
contents page back to last page visited reload this page prior page in site next page in site
spacer spacer
hangdogging spacer
figure 1


hangdogging or hang-dogging. 1. Making excessive use of the rope during rock climbing.reference 1 2. When the leader of a climb hangswhether on pitons, a piece of protection, or the ropeto plan the next move.reference 2 3. Dangling from a rope after a fall while rock climbing.reference 3

Here the hanging is literal and the dogging may or may not be derogatory. As it turns out the different definitions reflect different perspectives on climbing. According to climber Thomas Wandall, the first definitionwith its derogatory implicationsis one that “Trad” climbers would use.Trad climbers are descended from European mountaineers and look with disdain at the Lycra clad gymnaststhey feel that if you can't climb it, go climb something you can, leave this one for someone with the skills to do it without hanging.reference 4

The second definition reflects a perspective more in line with the Sport and Rad climbers. “Rad climbers consider the term neutral because they see themselves as pushing the sport…you can climb harder routes hangdogging.” Wandall is skeptical about the third definition, it lacks the intention necessary for hangdogging.reference 5

Hangdogging is not just any kind of hanging on a rope. One hanging in order to photograph other climbs would not be hangdogging, nor to tie your shoe.” Hangdoggingor notis the difference between a “flash” and “redpoint.” If you make it to the top of the climb without hangdogging on your very first time, that is a flash; if you don't make it on the first try a subsequent climb without hangdogging is redpoint.reference 6

The term bares no apparent relationship with the usage of the noun hangdog.” And, it seems likely that the term is borrowed and repurposed.


1. Barrett, Grant. 2005. Citations: Hang-Dogging. Double-Tongued Dictionary. Accessed Jan 8 2009 from index.php/ citations/ hang_dogging_1/.

2. Wikipedia contributors. 2009. Glossary of Climbing Terms. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Accessed Jan 11 2009 from http:// wiki/ Glossary_of_climbing_terms and Hangdogging. 2009. Microsoft Encarta Dictionary Online. Microsoft Corp. Accessed Jan 11 2009 from dictionary_/ hangdogging.html.

3. Barrett, Grant. 2005. Citations: Hangdogging. Double-Tongued Dictionary. Accessed Jan 8 2009 from http:// index.php/ citations/hangdogging_1/.

4. Wandall, Tom. 2009. Re: Hangdogging? to A. MacLeod. Jan 12.

5. Ibid.

6. Ibid.


About the illustration: A climber hanging from a rope. Whether by design or accident is not apparent from the illustration. © 2008 Jupiterimages Corporation.  
see also: hangdog Last updated: January 14, 2009
by Alec MacLeod 2001-2008  Dogmatic Technologies Oakland Creative Commons unless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Alec MacLeod and included in The Canine in Conversation and any related pages, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Please read the Terms of Use Agreement by Alec MacLeod Dogmatic Technologies