American Hairless Terrier Association

AHTA Newsletter

   Volume No. 01    Issue No. 01 

February 2002

ahrtclogo.jpg (12046 bytes)


Well here it is, the first AHTA Newsletter. I hope you find it both interesting and helpful. And remember this is YOUR Newsletter. Let me hear your comments, suggestions, and ideas.

Hope the new year is treating everyone well! Mark your calendars as our Club's show is just around the corner! You can check last month's issue for details, go look at upcoming events on our web page (, or look in the upcoming events section (conformation) on UKC's site at

Kelley Williams
AHTA Secretary

In This Issue

Reciprocal Links Requested

An Introduction to OFA and the American Hairless Terrier


Feel Lost at a dog show?

How do AHTs Dress for Winter?

Your Officers for the 2001-2002 Year

Time for Dues

Terrier Property Rules

Housebreaking Made Simple

How To Trim Nails

Test for Canine Brucellosis Before Breeding

Diarrhea Remedy


Reciprocal Links Requested

As you may be aware, the AHTA site ( includes a page listing our members' sites (see Member WebPages link).  This page is provided as a courtesy to AHTA members and generally consists of a link to the member's site, their name(s), physical address and email address. All members are encouraged to submit their site(s) for inclusion.

The Officers and Board of the AHTA have recently voted to require reciprocal linkbacks to the Club site for all members listed. From this point forward, members who wish to have a link from the Club site, should provide a reciprocal link back to the Club site. Note: Many of our member sites already provide this link. This is not an uncommon practice on the internet (many of the pet/dog search link sites require linkbacks...some even force you to place their logo on your site), and it does not require much effort on the part of the website owner. Reciprocal linkbacks are not only a matter of common courtesy, but they also serve to increase the public awareness of the Club (increasing links yields higher incidence of search engine indexing).  In the end, all concerned benefit.

Members who choose not to reciprocate with a linkback to the Club site, subsequent to this announcement, will be provided an email (or alternate) notification warning of the impending removal of their site. If the member then chooses not to comply, their link will be removed. Failure to acknowledge the request will be considered non-compliance. Removed sites can regain their listing upon request subsequent to verification of the requested reciprocal link.

We are also requesting that all members verify the links on their sites (to the Club site and in general). The Club site has moved one or more times in recent years and their are some "dead" links out there. A lot of this is due to the ever-changing nature of the internet - in particular, the free webhosting services that exist and subsequently cease to exist...much to our dismay...examples PhotoPoint, NBCi. We would suggest that all links to the AHTA site are directed to rather than GeoCities (our current host) in the event that GeoCities ever changes their service and/or goes away (the site can be masked to any future host and will not go away). Directing your links to the official domain will decrease the likelihood that future link maintenance will be necessary.

Your Officers for the 2001-2002 Year

For those not already aware, this years elected representatives are as follows:

Officers: Board Members:
Teri Murphy

Vice President:
Ryan Pingel

Kelley Williams

Bonnie Turner

Sharon Blair  

Robert Collins 

Helen Schrader 

Monnie Sims 

Pattie Wade 

Additional Club Info
AHTA Website

An Introduction to OFA and the American Hairless Terrier

By Kady Harrington

OFA is a term commonly seen on the websites and advertisements of reputable breeders in many breeds.  This article is a very general overview for those unfamiliar with the OFA and it's purpose.

The acronym stands for Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and is most often associated with Hip Dysplasia which indeed was its original intent when it was established 36 years ago. It's goals are to gather and make available information, to help lower to incidences, and to encourage research in genetic and orthopedic diseases. It is a non-profit organization. In accordance with these goals they have recently added databases for elbow and patellae, craniomandibular osteopathy, autoimmune thyroiditis, congenital heart disease, copper toxicosis, and DNA databases.  Many of these databases are open to all breeds (a few are breed specific).  The OFA also offers a website with search functions, information (including actual radiographs) on these diseases, downloadable forms and the ability to order literature and videos (Free to most clinic, kennels and clubs).

The American Hairless Terrier (and its parent breed, the Rat Terrier) is found most often in the Patellar Luxation database, and some few in the Hip Dysplasia database, so it's these two diseases I will focus on for this article.  LeggsPerthe is a hip related affliction that does occur in AHTs, however because the OFA does not maintain a registry for it, it is not included in this article.

Patella Luxation is not uncommon is any small breed. The Patellae (kneecaps found on the rear legs' stifle joint) can slip or pop out of place in a dog with this disease. It is easily diagnosed with an exam from a Veterinary practitioner who exams the knee for signs of luxation slipping or popping. A dog certified as normal will have no signs of these symptoms. A dog showing these signs may be diagnoses as Grade 1 (the patella slips easily out of joint when the leg is fully extended) to Grade 4 (the patella is permanently luxated). Because this potentially crippling disease can be hereditary, by having both parents examined prior breeding and certified as clear may help prevent the disease from passing on. With the patellar exam, it is not necessary to submit the results to OFA unless you wish them included in the database, the exam form filled out by a veterinarian is usually acceptable.  By submitting to OFA you are included in the database and issued an OFA number for that dog. One thing to be careful of...please be sure your veterinarian is capable and experienced in doing a patella exam. You want correct results, but you also do not want someone over enthusiastically twisting or pulling a dog (especially a young puppy's!) leg and doing damage.

The second database is for Hip Dysplasia. This again is a potentially crippling, genetic disease. It is graded during the exam as Excellent (Superior conformation of hip joint, showing no signs of Dysplasia) to Sever (shallow hip sockets, severe subluxation of the hip joint). There can be arthritic bone changes as well associated with HD. A breeder who uses this diagnostic method will use only Non dysplastic (Excellent, good or fair) in their breeding programs. Many will only use Excellent or Good results. In order for a dog to be certified clear (or diagnosed as affected) it is required that a set of x-rays of the hip joint be taken in accordance with the OFA specifications by your veterinarian. Your vet sends these x-rays to the OFA along with the specified form. Once the OFA has them an evaluation of the hips is done by three certified radiologists, and classified into one of 7 phenotypes (from excellent to Severe). The final consensus is based on these 3 independent opinions with the results sent back to the attending veterinarian and the owner. A passing result will be accompanied by an OFA certificate and number indicating the results, age at time, sex breed and where in the database it is (i.e., 1st American Hairless Terrier). The difference here is that the x-rays MUST be sent to OFA. It is a trio of certified radiologists who make the diagnoses, not your veterinarian.

So what use can a breeder make of the OFA? As a breeder, each individual must make their own decisions based on their goals, knowledge of their dogs, bloodline and breed, as well as any common genetic diseases within the breed. By using the exams based on OFA requirements a breeder can assure himself that that particular dog is not afflicted with a disease that could potentially pass to the next generation. There are no guarantees in Mother Nature, but this can be one way of stacking odds in your favor.   When choosing to not breed affected dogs, there has to be a manner to ascertain that the dog is indeed not affected, and the OFA examination and certification is one way to do so. By submitting results to the OFA, it allows the results (for those that clear, or affected ones with the owner's permission) to be available for other breeders making their own breeding decisions. It also allows the information to be gathered and collated to provide a knowledgeable overview of any prevalent diseases in a given breed.

Currently the American Hairless Terrier Association has a health & genetic database. This database allows results for any OFA results (such as hip, patella) to be submitted for free and added to the listing. It also allows submission of CERF and BAER results. In this manner, breeder who has their dog cleared for Patella, but doesn't have an OFA number (the same for CERF) may still contribute those results. Please check out for more information.


Here are 2 different DOG CAKE RECIPES courtesy of Anne Blair at

Birthday Cake for dogs

Amount  Measure Ingredient - Preparation Method

1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 tsp.
1/4 cup
1/4 cup
1 jar 
1 cup
2 strips

All-Purpose flour
Baking powder
Margarine - softened
Corn oil
Strained chicken
Shredded carrots
Bacon -fried and crumbled
Plain yogurt for icing
Sift flour and baking powder together; set aside. In large bowl, cream margarine until smooth. Add corn oil, baby food and eggs and carrots; mix until smooth, gradually add flour and baking powder to the mixture and blend till smooth. Pour batter into well-greased and floured 8 inch round pan. Bake in a preheated 325F. oven 60-70 minutes. Let cool on wire rack a few minutes before removing from pan.  Ice cake with yogurt or cottage cheese. Add crumbled bacon bits to top of cake.


Birthday Cake for Pups

Amount  Measure Ingredient - Preparation Method

1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp
1/2 cup
1 jar
          2 strips         

All-Purpose flour
Baking powder
Soft butter
Corn oil
Strained beef (baby food) -- 3.5 oz
Dog beef jerky -- (2 to 3)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x5x3 inch loaf pan. Cream butter until smooth.  Add corn oil, baby food, and eggs. Mix until smooth.

Mix dry ingredients into beef mixture until batter is smooth. Crumble beef jerky and fold into batter. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes. cool on wire rack 15 minutes. Ice with plain yogurt or cottage cheese. Store uneaten cake in refrigerator.

Thanks Anne!

Time for Dues

Membership applications can be found on the clubs website at:


Both new and renewing members:

Please pull a copy of the application, fill it out, and mail it according to the instructions. (Don?t forget to include your dues).

Feel Lost at a dog show?

Here's some info that may help you out some:

Licensed classes are classes that are required to be offered at a U.K.C. conformation show or obedience trial. Non-licensed classes are optional classes that may be offered at U.K.C. conformation shows or obedience trials. Licensed classes include:

Puppy Male of Variety
Junior Male of Variety
Adult Male of Variety
Breeder/Handler Male of Variety
Best Male of Variety
Reserve Best Male of Variety
Best Male
Reserve Best Male

Puppy Female of Variety
Junior Female of Variety
Senior Female of Variety
Adult Female of Variety
Breeder/Handler Female of Variety
Best Female of Variety
Best Female
Reserve Best Female

Best of Winners
Grand Champion
Best of Breed


Puppy = 6 months to under 1 year of age
Junior = 1 yr to under 2 yrs of age
Senior = 2 yrs to under 3 yrs of age
Adult = 3 yrs and up
Breeder Handler = 6 month and up handled by breeder or breeders immediate family member
Champion = all entries for the breed that have earned the title of Champion without regard to sex, age, or variety (miniature or Standard)
Grand Champion = all entries for the breed that have earned the title of Grand Champion without regard to sex, age, or variety (miniature/Standard)

Non-licensed classes include:

Novice Puppy Classes - For puppies over 3 months and under 6 months.

Stud Dog and Brood Bitch Classes - Classes shall be divided by breed. These classes shall be judged on the quality of the progeny and not the individual stud dogs and brood bitches.

Brace Class. Each entry in this class consists of two dogs of the same breed handled by a single handler. This class shall be judged on the basis of the overall quality of the entry and the similarity of the two dogs in type, size, and markings. The purpose of this class is to reward high quality within consistent type.

Veteran Class. This class consists of dogs seven years of age, or older and may be divided by sex. The purpose of this class is to reward dogs that maintain good breed type and good condition as they age, and to give other breeders an opportunity to see the top dogs of the past.

Altered Dogs - This class consists of dogs six months of age or older that have been spayed or neutered. The purpose of this class is to enable owners of spayed and neutered dogs to get an evaluation of their dog's conformation and to enable breeders to see a wider range of dogs resulting from the breeding programs.

Those competing in the Licensed Classes for either variety (Miniature or Standard) work to earn points toward a Champion Title.

Those who have already earned a ?Champion? title compete against each other to earn requirements for a Grand Champion title.

All Grand Champions compete against each other as well. Most dogs competing here are working to earn Top Ten Points.

The winners of each class advance until a Best of Breed Winner is determined. The chart on the following page may make the process a bit easier to understand.

Note:   Reserve basically means the second best dog for that level of competition.

For example:  The winners of each Class listed under Miniature Male would compete against each other for the Best Male of Variety (Miniature). The same would hold true for the other classes listed.

The Best of each Variety, by sex, then compete to determine the best overall male and female. Those two then compete for Best of Winners.

The Best Winners, winner of the Champions Class, and winner of the Grand Champion Class all compete for the Best of Breed honors.


Oliver and Beaners



How do AHTs Dress for Winter?


Happy and Peanut





Does this sound familiar to any Terrier owners out there?

Terrier Property Rules

If I like it, it's mine.

If it's in my mouth, it's mine

If I can take it from you, it's mine.

If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.

If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.

If I'm chewing something up, all the pieces are mine.

If it just looks like mine, it's mine.

If I saw it first, it's mine.

  If you are playing with something and put it down, it automatically becomes mine. 

If it's broken, it's yours.

Author Unknown



Housebreaking Made Simple

Housebreaking can be a traumatic time for both the new puppy/dog and their owners. Here are some suggestions. You can choose what would be best for  you and your new puppy/dog.

First thing to decide is WHERE your puppy/dog will go to the bathroom and stick to one method of training. If you wish to paper train .. do only that.  BUT if your goal is to go for outdoor pottying, then I suggest you take the paper away and begin a strict routine that YOU must adhere to as the puppy/dog  learns what is expected of them.

DO NOT give free roam of the house at any time until you are convinced the puppy/dog is completely housebroken. This could be for up to a year for  a young puppy.

Often what happens is that mixed signals are given to the puppy/dog and in  those situations the puppy/dog will come up with their own set of rules, often to the disappointment of the owner. In fact, they are confused and don't understand what is it you are asking of them. Generally, when such difficulties arise it's for that reason. Lack of consistency would be the diagnosis.

Also, I firmly believe in crate training. It is the single most effective tool an owner can utilize for training. IF it is done properly and not abused. It should never be used as punishment but as an aid for training. What you are in fact doing with a puppy/dog who is learning the "routines" of the household is using a bit of dog psychology to your advantage. Generally speaking,  a dog will not soil where it has to sleep. You will make adjustments for  this based on the age and size of the puppy/dog. A puppy can be trusted to hold its urine only for short periods of time and will ALWAYS have to urinate  when first awakening, after being "crated" for a period of time, playing with toys, family members etc. You will use this information and toileting needs in the schedule that you will develop for your new puppy/dog.

Also, during this time in the learning process... you NEVER want to leave  the puppy/dog alone and unsupervised.... Remember the expression ? "When the cats away , the mice will play" ? :) Well, this is so true of puppies and dogs who are learning the do's and don'ts of housebreaking !! If you are not there to supervise and observe that individual puppy/dogs "cues" for "time to go potty" .... you WILL have accidents and the fault will NOT be the dogs. !! :) This is the time for you to place your puppy in its "den" (crate). That is the other bit of dog psychology that you are using. Remember when I said, dogs don't like to soil where they have to sleep? This is true!

Follow these simple steps:

A crate that is size specific .. a puppy does not need a large adult size  crate..If the crate is too large and you keep food and water in it for them..  then when the need to relieve themselves arises . . and it will ... the corner of that crate is equivalent to another room.. as they can physically get away from it. You also are teaching them it is ok to soil the crate.

Buy a crate to fit as the puppy grows... One where it can comfortably lay  down, stand up and turn around. Place it in an area that the puppy/dog will be sleeping most of the time. This will become your puppy/dogs "den". I would  not invest in an expensive one during this process, as you may have to buy several as it continues to grow and becomes more trustworthy.

Also, give it "acceptable" chewies when in the crate. They will have a need to chew as they cut teeth and grow. This is also true of some adults.

Do not use a crate as punishment, but only when you can not directly supervise the activities of the puppy/dog. Also use at night for sleeping.

Do not talk to your puppy/dog as you approach the crate. You want to approach  the crate in a matter of fact way. If you don't, the puppy/dog may become excited and have an "accident".

Calmly take the puppy/dog outdoors to relieve itself. Begin using a "cue"  word or phrase that will be the signal the puppy/dog will learn

AFTER going potty make a BIG deal of it... GOOD PUPPY !! GOOD DOG !! PRAISE PRAISE PRAISE !!!

Do not give treats when the dog comes back inside the house as a reward. The puppy/dog will then quickly associate going "back" in the house with something good and may not finish what they went outdoors to do in the first  place.

Also, allow time to run and play a bit and time to have a bowel movement.

IF you feel there should have been ample time and no BM has occurred.. do  NOT allow the puppy/dog free access to the inside of the home without close supervision. This is a direct cue for the puppy/dog to go to a corner of  the room when you are not monitoring or even into another room and do it's thing! If you can not monitor for the signs of "more to come " :) Place the puppy/dog back in the crate until you can REPEAT the entire process again and with the desired outcome having been achieved .

Does this sound like a lot of work ? IT IS !!! It's just as much work as having a newborn in the home and essentially... you do!

Paper training.... can be done effectively by using the pee pads which are  chemically treated to attract dogs to them. I have heard of folks who have used these in a litter box type of container and essentially trained their dog to use a litter box indoors only as the method of choice for toileting.  Actually had someone who bought a crested puppy from me do this years ago..  Not what I would choose, but works for some

If you leave a paper in front of the door for use.. You are really teaching  the puppy to potty AT the door...

Always use a word or short phrase to "cue" the puppy/dog for whatever method  of training you want and stick to that word or phrase each time .

Hope this helps some!

Teri Murphy
AHTA - President
UKC licensed

How To Trim Nails...

(Without Having To Call The Vet To Find Out How To Control Hemorrhaging!)

Get yourself a RESCO nail trimmer, they seem to work the best. There are other trimmers   available but the RESCO is the easiest to learn with, too. Place the main part of the trimmer in the palm of your hand and the moveable part is controlled by your fingers. You should be able to see the small cutting blade that slides when you squeeze the handle
The nail should be cut from underneath, not from the top downward.  Slide the opening over the end of the nail while staying in the whitish part of the nail. The pink area of the nail is the live part and has blood vessels throughout.
When you are ready to cut, and you are sure you aren't at the live, pink part of the nail, just close your eyes and SQUEEZE HARD!!!


Just kidding. To cut the nail, be decisive and make a smooth, quick squeeze on the handle while holding the trimmer steady. Don't try to "pop" the end of the nail off; it will fall away on its own.

This nail has been cut about as far back as is possible without causing some bleeding. You can file the edges or just let the dog wear the nail smooth. Some people will cut the nail back until there is a slight amount of bleeding in an attempt to shorten the nail back further. Not a bad idea to keep some Quickstop Powder on hand in case you do accidentally cut too short.
On the dark nails where you can't see any pink to know where the live part of the nail   starts, you can check the end of the nail. The dead area usually is whitish and as you cut deeper into the end of the nail you will begin to see a dark area. This dark area is where the live part starts.

What To Do If You Cut Too Short!!

Place a tiny piece of tissue paper tightly against the end of the nail and hold it for a few minutes.  Better yet, have some Quick Stop Powder available and put a small amount up against the bleeding end of the nail. This works right away. nothing. The bleeding   will stop in about 5 to 7 minutes. Any more than that...give your  veterinarian a call.


Copied with permission with credit to:

T. J. Dunn, Jr. DVM
Director of Veterinary Services

AHTA fully supports Ratbones Rescue

For  information regarding the AHTA rescue effort please visit the following web page:

Test for Canine Brucellosis Before Breeding

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that is well known by food animal producers. It causes abortions, infertility and decreased milk yield in cattle.

According to Dr. Allan Paul, small animal Extension veterinarian at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine at Urbana, Brucellosis can infect cattle, sheep, goats, dogs and humans as well as pigs. Cats, however, seem to be somewhat resistant to the bacteria.

The major route of brucellosis transmission in dogs is through direct contact of an infected, aborted fetus, or uterine discharge. They may also become infected by eating contaminated meat, fetal membranes, aborted fetuses of livestock or drinking contaminated, unpasteurized milk. The bacteria can also be shed in dog feces and be cultured from lymph nodes of an infected animal.

Signs of infection in dogs may include abortion, infertility, infected reproductive organs, arthritis, disc disease, fever, hind limb weakness, lethargy, and/or general lymph node swelling. Since these may be signs of many diseases, take your pet to your veterinarian if it shows any of them. He or she will need to draw a blood sample to determine if the problem is brucellosis.

Brucellosis is difficult to treat. It may take a long period of antibiotic therapy to fully rid the dog of the bacteria. Since blood samples need to be taken to monitor the progress of the drug treatment, it may also become somewhat expensive. It is also possible for humans to become infected with canine brucellosis, although transmission from dogs to people seems to be uncommon.

Since this disease is sexually transmitted, it is important for breeders to make sure all of the dogs in their kennel test negative for the bacteria. If they are not, they should not be bred. The dog may show no clinical signs, but still transmit the bacteria in semen or vaginal fluid. Female dogs should be tested a few weeks before they come into heat and males should be tested twice a year. Any new animal brought into the kennel should be isolated until it tests negative twice. The second test should be done one month after the first one.

"The bacteria is relatively easy to kill with common disinfectants, such as diluted bleach water solution," notes Dr. Paul.

There is no vaccine available for canine brucellosis at this time. Eliminating the positive animals from breeding stock is one way to help control the disease. Proper disposal of waste and wearing gloves to handle any fetal membranes or aborted fetuses, followed by thorough disinfection of the area will also help. If you have any questions about canine brucellosis, see your veterinarian.

By Linda March
Information Specialist
University of Illinois
College of Veterinary Medicine

Diarrhea Remedy

If your canine friend suffers from a temporary bout of diarrhea. Try this mixture:

1 - Mix up a batch of the Rice type baby cereal to an oatmeal consistency. (If your pet is dehydrated, mix it with Pedialyte as opposed to water.)

2 - Then mix in an equal amount of pumpkin. (The same kind you can buy in a can to make pumpkin pie with. Just use the type not already seasoned.)

3 - You can also mix in a small amount of food to make the mixture more palpable to your pet.

I recently used this recipe at a show and it worked great! (Thanks to Cathleen Chance for sharing it with me.)

NOTE:   If the diarrhea continues, or is accompanied by other symptoms, please consult your Veterinarian.



Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of the country as Wall Street and the railroads.
--Harry S. Truman

My dog can bark like a Congressman, fetch like an aide, beg like a press secretary, and play dead like a receptionist when the phone rings.
--Gerold Solomon, US Congressman

A dog is the only thing on this earth that loves you more than he loves himself. They are better than human beings, because they know but do not tell.

Look for your next issue in December 2002.

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