Showsight - November 2017

Bostons, Boykins and Blueticks Let’s Give Thanks for the American Breeds article and photos by DAN SAYERS I n 1621, the first Thanks- giving Day meal was served at Plymouth in present-day Massachu-

Although recognized in 1936 as the Staffordshire Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier was bestowed its cur- rent name in 1969 through a revision to the breed standard. Originally nicknamed the “pitdog” and the “half-and-half,” mid-century breeders in the U.S. selected for a heavier dog. Their efforts produced the Am Staff, a Yankee original dis- tinguished from both its smaller British cousin and the more slightly built American Pit Bull Terrier by its (recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1898.) Selective breeding of Smooth Fox Terriers for size helped to create the Toy Fox Terrier. In the 1930s, American breed- ers in search of a more diminutive ratter crossed the original breed with the Manchester Terrier, Italian Greyhound, Min- iature Pinscher and the Chihuahua. Acceptable colors for the breed are tri-color in white, black and tan or white, chocolate and tan, white and black or white and chocolate. Recognized by the UKC in 1936, this animated and intelligent breed was only granted full AKC recognition in 2003. The Rat Terrier was developed in the U.S. by British immi- grants who crossed Fox Terriers with Manchester Terriers, Bull Terriers and the Old English White Terrier. Looking to improve both nose and speed, American enthusiasts also introduced Beagles, Toy Fox Terriers, Whippets and Italian Greyhounds into the mix. The result is a game and playful character that was officially recognized by the AKC in 2013. Recognized in 2016, the American Hairless Terrier is essentially a Rat terrier without a coat. When one hairless pup appeared in a Louisiana litter in 1972, an entire breed was “born.” The AHT is the only hairless breed to originate in the U.S. and the only one with normally complete dentition. This playful and agile breed may be shown in any color or

setts and dogs in America have been begging for table scraps ever since. In the nearly four centuries that have followed, U.S. breeders have produced a number of hearty and hungry canine originals by combining established British, European and Asian breeds with local vil-

lage dogs. Each of the nearly two dozen recognizable breeds developed on these shores has contributed to the growth of the nation in some way. Their prowess as hunter, herder, guardian and companion is deserving of our eternal gratitude and continued support. So, as we gather once again with fam- ily and friends to count our blessings, let’s remember to give thanks for the American breeds that helped to shape our national identity. It is hardly surprising that the Boston Terrier was one of the first home-grown hybrids recognized by the Ameri- can Kennel Club. Known originally as the Olde Boston Bulldogge, the breed was admitted to membership in 1893. Early representatives were typical of the Bull-and- Terrier breeds, with some individuals weighing upwards of 44 pounds. By the beginning of the 20th century, French Bulldog influence had considerably modified breed; col- or and markings became essential characteristics of the “American Gentleman.”

The Boston Terrier is one of the first American breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.

The Bull-and-Terrier breeds include the outgoing American Staffordshire Terrier.

The Toy Fox Terrier descends from a combination of European and American breeds.


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