Hairless Terrier

(Toy and Miniature)

'n the early 1970s, a hairless puppy was born in a litter of Rat Terrier puppies. That puppy was the origin of the American Hairless Terrier (AHT) breed. In fact, for many years, the breed was known as Rat Terrier—Hairless Variety. In January, 2004, the breed was renamed.

The breed has two sizes: toy and miniature. The toys are 7.5 to 11 inches tall and weigh between 4 and 8 pounds. The miniatures are 11.5 to 16 inches tall and weigh between 8.5 to 16 pounds. In both sizes, the dogs strongly retain their Rat Terrier heritage and appearance. They are well-balanced and muscular. Although puppies are born with short, fuzzy hair, by 8 weeks old, they have lost it. Their skin is soft, smooth, and warm. They have freckles or spots of black, brown, or red.

Grooming is very easy. The skin can be washed with a damp rag. They can sunburn so they must be protected from too much sun exposure.

This is a high-energy breed. They can go for a long walk morning and night and will enjoy several games of catch and fetch. As befitting their terrier heritage, they also enjoy hunting for small critters in the backyard. They excel at agility training.

This breed needs early socialization, as these dogs can be wary of strangers. Early training is a plus, as AHTs have a quick, bright mind and if you don't set some rules, they will. After basic obedience, have some fun. AHTs love trick training.

AHTs are devoted and loyal to their family. They are active and can be great with older children who respect them and are not too rough. They can be good with other dogs, although play with larger dogs should be supervised. They are not always good with smaller pets. Health concerns include knee problems, hip and elbow dysplasia, and allergies. The small gene pool in the breed is concern to some.

Breed in Brief

Registries: UKC, AHT clubs Occupation: Companion Size: Toy: 7.5 to 11 in tall;

4 to 8 lbs

8.5 to 16 lbs Longevity: 12 to 14 years Exercise: Active dog Training: Easy Grooming: Easy

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Pit Bull Terrier

lood sports (pitting a dog against bulls or bears) were very popular in ancient Britain. These sports provided entertainment for both the working class and royalty, and dogs who fought well were treasured. Blood sports were outlawed in England in 1835, but illegal dog fighting continued in backyards, cellars, and the back rooms of pubs. Today's American Pit Bull Terrier, or APBT, is probably descended from the bulldog and terrier crosses used in these fights. The dog that developed in America in the 17 th and 18 th centuries was a bigger dog; settlers needed

a larger, more powerful dog to protect their homesteads. Although illegal dog fighting has continued, with the APBT and APBT crosses in the midst of it, APBTs have also found a home in the hearts of many owners as courageous yet gentle companions.

An APBT is a medium-sized dog whose muscular build makes him appear larger than he actually is. Males are normally between 18 and 22 inches tall at the shoulder and between 40 and 60 pounds, with females slightly smaller. The head is blocky with strong, muscular jaws, round eyes, and either cropped ears or natural half-pricked ears. The body is strongly muscled, giving the appearance of great strength. The coat is short and is stiff to the touch, but shiny and glossy. APBTs can be any color.

Grooming an APBT is easy; the short coat can be brushed once or twice a week with a bristle brush or curry comb.

APBTs require daily exercise. A long, brisk walk is good, as is a session of weight pulling, a game of retrieve, or a session on the agility course. Although APBTs can run, and can run quite quickly, they do not have the body build of a long-distance runner, so their exercise should not be centered around that type of activity. To prevent the dog from running off and to make sure problems with other dogs do not occur, all exercise should be within a fenced-in yard, or the dog should be on leash.

The ancestry of APBTs includes dogs who were bred to fight, often with other dogs. Therefore, not all APBTs can be social with dogs outside of their own family. However, if APBT puppies are socialized well to puppies of other breeds, sizes, and colors, then they often can learn to enjoy other dogs' company and learn to play nicely. All APBTs must be supervised when interacting with other dogs, though, and those that show aggression should no longer be allowed to socialize.

Training should be a part of every APBT's upbringing, not just because a powerful breed such as this needs to learn manners, but because the breed is bright and enjoys learning. The training should be firm yet fair, and lots of fun.

APBTs are excellent watchdogs. With the bulk to stand behind their bark, they can be quite imposing. However, to their family, APBTs are gentle, affectionate, and silly clowns. They love to be the center of attention. They are also very tolerant of kids and take roughhousing well. When raised with other pets, they can be very gentle and patient, although interaction with other animals should always be supervised. APBTs can suffer from allergies, and hip dysplasia can be a problem. Incorrect, overly aggressive, or overly fearful temperaments are the biggest problem within the breed today.

Breed in Brief

Registries: UKC, ARBA Occupation: Fighter, guardian, companion Size: 18 to 22 in tall; 35 to 60 lbs

Longevity: 11 to 13 years Exercise: Moderate Training: Easy; hard to keep focused Grooming: Easy

American Pit Bull Terrier 129


Pit Bulls as Pets

Pit Bulls as Pets

Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.

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