My Kansas

My KansasBack in 2011, the Kansas Department of Commerce, Travel and Tourism Division, published a spectacular 160-page collection of best-of-Kansas scenes by the best Kansas photographers. This book, My Kansas: A Photographic Journey Across the Sunflower State, may now be easier to borrow than to buy. But if you can find a copy, by all means enjoy it.

This beautiful book includes photos in the following categories:

  • Small-town treasures.
  • Wildlife wonders.
  • Roads to discovery.
  • Classic flavors.
  • Elbow room.
  • Kansas legacies.
  • Cowboy country.

Scenes of architecture, birds, harvests, sunsets, and more are sure to delight and inspire. The photos are well captioned, and some are embellished with fitting quotes.

If you love Kansas scenery, you will love My Kansas. It can make a delightful gift for a fellow Kansan. Or put a copy on your coffee table, conveniently within reach of out-of-state guests.

Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle DogWhen Australia was first settled, its system of ranching was very small-scale by modern standards. Cattle farms were clustered around present-day Sidney, close to market. Taking a small herd to town was a simple affair, since the animals were quite used to attention from people and their dogs. The traditional dog used in this role was called the Smithfield, believed to be something like an Old English Sheepdog.

The grazing lands further inland were opened to stockmen in 1813. A man could now own thousands of square miles and numerous cattle. Far away from civilization, the cattle adapted to a harsh climate that demanded strong survival instincts. Their innate wildness took control. The Smithfield could no longer manage his charges, and in frustration resorted to barking and biting at the heads of the cattle, spooking them further. By the time dog and cattle arrived at the distant Sidney market, both had usually lost considerable weight.

By about 1830, drovers had decided that a new canine assistant was needed to meet the challenge of herding in Australia. One of the earliest experiments was that of a man named Timmins. In an effort to create a new breed that was hardy enough to withstand the climate and silent enough to keep the cattle under control, he crossed Smithfield dogs with dingos. Timmins achieved both of his goals, but he accidentally created a new problem—his crossbred dogs were aggressive and came equipped with a vicious bite. The name Timmin’s Biter said it all.

Thomas Hall of New South Wales started a similar experiment in 1840. However, instead of the furry Smithfield, Hall chose a pair of sleeker, more heat-tolerant Smooth Collies. These dogs were willing workers that could withstand the climate, but like the Smithfield they were quite vocal and tended to grip cattle by the head. Hall crossed their puppies with tame dingos. The results were somewhat variable at first, but Hall was evidently a skilled breeder willing to keep only the best dogs as breeding stock.

Hall’s Heelers, as the dogs were named from their instinct to nip at heels instead of noses, impressed the local cattlemen. They were tough dogs, bearing a strong resemblance to wild dingos but with a flashier blue or red merle pattern. Hall died in 1870, and his dogs were sold, making them more widely available to other breeders, some of whom had been experimenting with Smooth Collie/dingo crosses themselves.

About this time, two bothers, Jack and Harry Bagust, bought some heelers of their own with the goal of improving the new breed still further. Two new traits they desired were loyalty to the master and a love of horses. Finding both of these characteristics in the Dalmatian breed, they imported a spotted dog and crossed him to a Hall’s Heeler. The resulting offspring did indeed love their masters and their masters’ horses, making them excellent watchdogs and companions on the way to market. They also displayed the unique speckled pattern familiar in the Australian Cattle Dog today instead of a patchy merle. However, the part-Dalmatian heelers had also lost some of their herding instinct.

To restore this ability, the Bagusts next added a Kelpie to the mix. This breed is an Australian sheepdog, something like a stocky dingo with tan markings. The resulting puppies were the epitome of everything an Australian drover could want—tough, hardy, loyal, and silent, but tenacious heelers. Other crossbreeding experiments were tried after this, but all failed. The new Australian Cattle Dog (AuCaDo) was already perfected.

As the Australian Cattle Dog grew in popularity among Australian drovers, the cattle industry flourished, as well. The next step in the breed’s progress was standardization. Breeders carefully selected only breeding stock that could work as desired, but they also focused on looks as well. When a breed standard was written in 1897, it emphasized both color and dingo build. The theory behind selecting for dogs like dingos was that these were likely the hardiest and best adapted to Australian conditions. As for the focus on the unique speckled blue or red, appropriately marked with tan, the color pattern probably indicated freedom from undesirable genetic influences.

Some confusion prevailed in the early 1900s, as breeders sought to choose their direction. The Australian Cattle Dog breed originally included both dogs with tails and dogs with natural bobtails, the latter probably indicating Smithfield influence. The two were eventually divided into separate breeds, and the Australian Cattle Dog moved forward—with a tail.

The breed was discovered by American soldiers stationed in Australia during World War II and introduced to our shores at the war’s end. American ranchers were slow to accept it at first, probably since it looked nothing like the Australian Shepherds that had already become a fixture on Western ranches or like the English Shepherds that prevailed on Midwest farms. However, a few dedicated enthusiasts bred the dogs for work and pursued AKC recognition early on.

After nearly two decades of research, sufficient pedigree records were compiled to bring the Australian Cattle Dog into the AKC on September 1, 1980. The breed was originally placed in the Working Group, but was reclassified when the Herding Group was created in 1983. Since that time, most Australian Cattle Dog breeders have striven to maintain a high level of versatility within the breed, a goal they have achieved with moderate success.

Australian Cattle Dog fans of all stripes have also manged to achieve better public recognition of their breed. As of 2016, the AuCaDo ranked 54th in popularity according to AKC statistics. Many heelers, both registered and unregistered, have become indispensable hands on ranches across the country. The blue variety is more popular than the red.

 

Australian Cattle DogUses

The Australian Cattle Dog is a serious workaholic, making him suitable for many intense jobs. Herding is his most obvious purpose in life, and cattle are his preferred livestock. Some, however, can make the transition to working sheep or goats. But the AuCaDo is not limited to the farm or ranch for herding work. He is often found on golf courses and at airports driving away geese. Note that while dogs from show lines retain their working instinct, they are often stockier than their lean, lanky working counterparts and therefore less agile.

In addition to herding instinct, the AuCaDo has a strong protective instinct and a keen nose that comes in handy in many dangerous tasks. He excels in personal protection, police duty, and drug detection. Similarly, he can make a good showing in Schutzhund, a test involving obedience, tracking, and protection tasks originally designed to evaluate working German Shepherds. Finally, the AuCaDo’s nose has also been put to work tracking endangered wildlife for conservation purposes.

The intelligence, endurance, and loyalty of the Australian Cattle Dog can make him a good assistance dog for the disabled, but it also makes him a great companion in more casual pursuits. He frequently finds his way into the tops ranks of intense sports such as agility and flyball, and he is an ideal partner for serious hikers, bikers, and runners. For those who prefer being towed, the AuCaDo is a powerful draft dog that enjoys skijoring (pulling the owner on skis) and the similar sport of bikejoring.

 

Australian Cattle DogTemperament

The Australian Cattle Dog is among the most challenging dogs to own and train, but the challenge is incredibly rewarding to those who are firm enough to channel the breed’s instincts productively. This is a dog that will test the will power of every family member, particularly while going through adolescence. He needs firm, consistent guidance, but also plenty of love and fun. He thrives on positive training methods, particularly clicker training, which appeals to his desire for clarity and his enjoyment of a challenge followed by a reward. He is incredibly smart and learns fast, so don’t bore him with excessive repetition.

The AuCaDo is typically a one-person dog, although he will love and protect all of his family members. He is often compared to velcro, since he has a strong desire to be with his people and to help them with whatever they are doing. Finding him a job is not optional. He needs a responsibility to feel useful and to work off his abundant energy. Once he has received the requisite mental and physical stimulation, he is a calm but alert guardian, one that can be trusted implicitly.

This dog can be a little too rough in his play for seniors or very small children, but he is an excellent companion for older children. He may chase the family cat unless he has been raised with it and taught better manners. He can usually get along with a familiar submissive dog, preferably of the opposite sex. The Australian Cattle Dog is not recommended for homes with other dominant, strong-willed dogs, however, and he does not get along well with strangers, either. He is not afraid to bite, but this does not mean he is unstable or vicious. In the mind of an AuCaDo, the rules are quite simple—everything is his. That includes the yard, the toys, the food, the truck, and the people. Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Female heelers display interesting characteristics going back to their dingo ancestors. They tend to burrow in the ground before giving birth, and they may wean their puppies as early as four weeks of age. But just because the mother has stopped feeding her puppies does not mean they are ready for new homes. AuCaDos have a strong instinct to nip in play or when taking control of a situation. Keeping littermates together until they are eight weeks of old can help temper this, since they will retaliate if bitten too hard, thereby training each other.

The Australian Cattle Dog is used to working independently, calling his own shots when herding cattle. He tends to work close to the stock, but relies on force rather than eye for control. He is a silent, serious worker. A stubborn animal just makes him more determined, and a kick that would turn other dogs off from herding for life is likely to be received with open jaws.

Most experienced owners feel that there is little if any difference in temperament between red heelers and blue heelers, contrary to popular belief. There is, however, a difference between working and show lines. Although the two are similar, the working type is even more intense and energetic than the show type, definitely not something the average pet owner is prepared to deal with but perfect for the ranch.

 

Health

Overall, the AuCaDo is among the most rugged and sturdy of dogs. He usually enjoys a long, healthy life.

However, he is extremely active and has a strong belief in his own invincibility, leading to many traumatic injuries. Fractures and torn ligaments are common problems in this breed. Similarly, note that most Australian Cattle Dogs will attempt to eat literally anything.

Inherited problems that are common in the Australian Cattle Dog include:

  • Deafness.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Hip dysplasia.
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Various reproductive problems.
  • Osteochondritis dissecans, a painful joint condition in which cartilage and bone die and crack.

Seen less frequently are other eye problems, such as cataracts and lens luxation, and slipped kneecaps (patellar luxation).

Note that AuCaDo puppies are normally born white. However, their future color can easily be identified by a quick check of the paw pads. If the pads are black or blue, the puppy is a blue heeler; if the pads are brown or red, he is a red heeler.

 

Australian Cattle DogPros

  • Trainability.
  • Minimal grooming requirements.
  • Adaptability to most climates.
  • Extreme heat tolerance.
  • Hardiness.
  • Longevity.
  • Strong desire to work.
  • Athleticism.
  • Endurance.
  • Speed.

 

Cons

  • Tendency to test authority.
  • Aggression toward other animals, particularly dogs.
  • Possessiveness.
  • High-pitched barking.
  • Need for strenuous mental and physical activity.
  • Tendency for compulsive behavior.
  • Heavy shedding.

 

Complete Series

Dog BreedsDog Breeds

 

Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian ShepherdAs far as we can tell, the Anatolian Shepherd was a fixture on the landscape of rural Turkey from the most ancient times. Its ancestors are not known for certain. It can undoubtedly be traced to various dogs of Mesopotamia, possibly including both sighthounds and mastiff-like hunting dogs. It may also have ancestors among the Tibetan Mastiffs and the Roman dogs of war.

Whatever its origin, the Anatolian Shepherd was a product of both environmental and human selection. It was the ultimate shepherd’s dog, a stalwart guardian of flocks of sheep, and this job frequently placed it in danger. It had to survive the vagaries of the weather and the attacks of wolves and bears. Furthermore, it had to hunt for its own food. On the other hand, the shepherds actively took a hand in shaping the breed. They expected their dogs to be absolutely trustworthy with the flocks, and they also insisted that the dogs mind their manners when traveling to a village for a sale of sheep. Any dogs with vicious tendencies were promptly culled.

For centuries there was little uniformity among the Turkish flock guardians. Each region had its own distinctive type. The creation of the standardized breed that we now think of as the Anatolian Shepherd came about due to the intervention of American exporters.

The first Anatolian Shepherd arrived in the United States in the 1950s as a gift from Turkey to the United States Department of Agriculture. This gift aroused a level of interest in the breed’s ability to guard livestock from coyotes and other predators, but did not create sufficient public awareness to firmly establish the dog in America.

An active breeding program did not come until the late 1960s, when Lieutenant Robert Ballard of California imported a pair of dogs, the breed having caught his eye while he was in Turkey. His efforts led to a greater appreciation of the Anatolian Shepherd across the country.

Further support came from universities and the government during the 1970s and 1980s, as researchers sought ways to protect livestock from predators without harming endangered animals. With the spread of information on livestock guardians, the Anatolian Shepherd earned itself a place on many farms and ranches. New imports of different types were mixed together, creating one uniform breed instead of many local variants.

Soon afterward, pet owners adopted the Anatolian Shepherd out of appreciation for its loyalty and ability as a household guardian. This rise in ownership prompted the American Kennel Club to recognize the breed in the Working Group on August 10, 1998. Despite the Anatolian Shepherd’s presence in the show ring, its breeders continue to emphasize its abilities as a guard dog, eliminating the rift between working and show bloodlines seen in so many other breeds.

There are several thousand Anatolian Shepherds in the United States today, making it the 84th most popular dog according to 2016 AKC statistics.

 

Anatolian ShepherdUses

The Anatolian Shepherd prefers work to a life of leisure. However, he can channel his protective instincts into guarding his home and family. While most of these dogs are not exactly outgoing, a few can qualify as therapy dogs.

But the Anatolian Shepherd is definitely at his best when guarding livestock. Sheep are his traditional charges, although he can offer protection to anything from chickens to horses.

Finally, the Anatolian Shepherd is good at pulling carts and sleds.

 

Temperament

The Anatolian Shepherd is a serious working dog. Even as a puppy, he spends relatively little time playing. He is thoroughly devoted to his family and is gentle with his own children, but prefers to keep a dignified reserve even with members of his household. While bold, he is also calm and steady. He is intelligent and capable of learning with extreme rapidity. However, he is rarely motivated to obey, being used to making his own decisions while on the job.

The gentleness of this giant extends strictly to members of his own family. The Anatolian Shepherd can be aggressive with animals he does not recognize as part of his flock, particularly other dogs. He can learn to accept another dog as part of his family, but only if the other dog is willing to take a submissive role. He is naturally suspicious of strange people. Guests and veterinarians should be formally introduced to him before any attempt to touch him is made. Even after introductions are made, the dog may block the movements of guests unless the owner is present as an escort. While the Anatolian Shepherd will not display aggression unless provoked, if teased or threatened, he will respond swiftly and surely.

The Anatolian Shepherd has a strong instinct to expand his territory, so he must be kept on a leash or in a fenced yard at all times when he is outdoors. A six-foot fence is necessary to keep him contained, and the bottom wire must be sunk into the ground far enough to discourage digging.

A working Anatolian Shepherd may appear at first glance to be lazily dozing in an elevated location. Do not be fooled—this dog is extremely vigilant. Nothing can escape his notice. Periodically he will patrol his boundaries, but mostly he waits and watches. On the edges of his territory is an invisible buffer zone. If anything appears within the buffer zone, or if he hears a strange sound at night, the Anatolian Shepherd will rise to his full height to reveal his imposing presence and give a few deep, commanding barks. If the intruder persists in going through the buffer zone and entering the dog’s territory, the Anatolian Shepherd will usually bark with increasing rapidity, then resort to menacing snarls. He will only attack if he feels it to be necessary. He cannot be trained to attack on command, nor can he be recalled from an attack if he feels that the situation calls for extreme measures.

Anatolian Shepherd

Health

In keeping with its low-maintenance past, the Anatolian Shepherd is a tough dog with few health problems. He matures slowly, reaching adulthood at four years of age, but he lives longer than most dogs of his size. All of his senses are particularly sharp. He does not suffer from bloat as frequently as other large dogs.

The only major health problems in this breed are:

  • Cancer.
  • Ear infections.
  • Injuries acquired in the line of duty.
  • Sensitivity to anesthesia; risk of allergic reaction increases if dog is wearing a flea collar.

Although canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is not a common problem in this breed, breeding stock should still be tested to prevent CHD from gaining a foothold in the gene pool.

 

Anatolian ShepherdPros

  • No slobber.
  • Little doggy odor.
  • Minimal grooming requirements.
  • Surprisingly low food requirements relative to size.
  • Moderate exercise needs.
  • Adaptability to extremes of both heat and cold.
  • Hardiness.
  • Vigilance.
  • Strength.
  • Speed.

 

Cons

  • High risk of lawsuits.
  • Size unsuitable for small homes and yards.
  • Unsuitability for homes with dominant dogs.
  • Ability as an escape artist.
  • Digging tendencies.
  • Night barking.
  • Need for an assertive leader.
  • Heavy shedding.

 

Complete Series

Dog BreedsDog Breeds

 

Winkler Crater: A Kimberly Pipe in Kansas

Winkler Crater
Example of a kimberly pipe in South Africa

Winkler Crater is located near the town of Winkler in northern Riley County. It has long fascinated the locals, since it is perfectly round and 950 feet across. Its surface is covered by grass and trees and crossed by streams.

Throughout the 1960s, scientists speculated that the crater was caused by a falling meteorite. This theory was supported by magnetic anomalies in the crater.

Continue reading Winkler Crater: A Kimberly Pipe in Kansas

On the Range Gets a New Look

On the Range Gets a New LookOn the Range, your country living update, has a fresh look!

The new simplified design for this free weekly newsletter allows for easier reading, no matter what device or program you use to read emails.

Not a subscriber? Sign up today to start receiving information you can use:

  • Timely tips.
  • Headlines that affect you.
  • Fun facts.
  • Food for thought.
  • Reading challenge hints.
  • The latest additions to the bookshelf.
  • New photos in the gallery.
  • Site updates.
  • Notice of new posts.

All you have to do is subscribe.

We’re looking forward to sending you the new and improved On the Range!

American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pit Bull TerrierArguably one of the most influential canine types in history was the molossus, the mastiff of the ancient Greeks and Romans. This dog was both versatile and useful, guarding property and herding livestock. Unfortunately, it also found a place in the Roman arena, satisfying the populace’s thirst for blood sports.

Many modern dog breeds trace back to the molossus, including the old-fashioned bulldog (not the the short-legged, short-nosed dog we think of today), heir to the tradition of blood sports. For several hundred years, bulldogs were used in England for bull-baiting. Bulldogs were the property of butchers. They would seize a bull by the nose and keep him pinned down until the butcher could intervene. Proponents of bull-baiting claimed that the practice improved the quality of the meat, but most townsfolk regarded it as cheap entertainment.

In the early 1800s, blood sport fans came up with the idea of crossing the bulldog with smooth-coated terriers to create the “Bull and Terrier” dog, a feistier, more athletic dog suited to the “sport” of dog fighting. This change was fostered by a law passed in Britain in 1835 to eliminate cruel blood sports. Bull-baiting was illegal; dog fighting was, too, but it was much easier to conceal. As terrible as the “sport” was, it had an important role in shaping the temperament of the Bull and Terriers. While they had to be willing and eager to fight other dogs to the death, the Bull and Terriers had to be easy for people to handle, even in the heat of a dogfight.

Bull and Terriers were highly prized by their owners, so it is little wonder that they arrived in the United States with immigrants in the early 1800s. At first, the social elite kept them primarily for dog fighting. However, most states had banned the practice by the 1860s at the very latest. While dog fighting continued in secret, many Americans decided to give their dogs nobler purposes. During the Civil War, the dogs were immensely popular watchdogs and mascots for soldiers on both sides, earning the name of Yankee Terrier in the North and Rebel Terrier in the South.

After the war, as Americans began establishing farms in the West, they took their favorite dogs with them. Here the Yankee Terrier proved its worth. It could guard the farm, watch over the children, hold feral livestock at bay, ferret rats out of the barn, and even sniff out the homesteader’s dinner while hunting. Throughout the 1800s and into the early 1900s, many family farms had a Yankee Terrier, simply because the dogs were indispensable.

Formal breeding and standardization of the Yankee Terrier began in 1898 with the creation of the United Kennel Club (UKC). This organization was originally created to foster the development of working dogs, including fighting dogs (a practice they have long since relinquished and condemned). The UKC gave the breed the name American Pit Bull Terrier.

When the breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1936, breeders made every effort to distance themselves from the stigma of the breed’s fighting past. The breed was renamed Staffordshire Terrier. This, however, was the name of a smaller English version of the dog, so the name was changed again in 1972 to American Staffordshire Terrier. Although American Staffordshire Terriers and American Pit Bull Terriers originate from the same stock, the AKC still treats them as two different breeds and refuses to recognize the latter. The UKC, on the other hand, registers some AKC American Staffordshire Terriers as American Pit Bull Terriers, maintaining an element of overlap.

The adoption of the pit bull by drug runners and other organized criminals in the late 1900s created an extremely unfortunate situation for the breed and its fanciers. Gangs began breeding the pit bull for extreme aggression, necessary for guarding contraband of all sorts. At the same time, irresponsible breeders, always a problem in popular breeds, bred and marketed the pit bull particularly for those who wanted a dog exuding a tough image. Fatal dog attacks were the result in both cases, and the media made the most of the situation, beginning with a controversial article in Sports Illustrated in 1987.

As the general public was educated to fear the pit bull, towns across the nation began to ban the breed. Insurance companies also targeted owners of pit bulls.

Pit bull lovers are going to great pains to revive the image of their favorite breed. They emphasize that the real problems are not the dogs themselves, but irresponsible breeders and abusive owners. Evidently their educational campaign is working, as the pit bull is once again increasing in popularity across America.

 

American Pit Bull TerrierUses

The primary use of most American Pit Bull Terriers is companionship, whether that means sharing the couch or a day of jogging or bicycling. Some offer therapy services or participate in canine sports ranging from agility to tracking to weight pulls.

But pit bulls can still work. They make good watchdogs, and many will offer physical protection to home and property, as well. This instinct can be channeled into police and military work.

Guard duties are not all that pit bulls regularly offer the police and military. These dogs have good noses and are regularly used to sniff out contraband and explosives. They can also work the scene of a disaster, finding and rescuing missing survivors.

Pit bulls can still hunt. While they have been used for some basic retrieving, they tend to be unreliable around fallen game. They perform much more effectively in the traditional role of catch dog for hunting feral hogs. A catch dog seizes and maintains control of the hog until the human hunters can kill or capture the prey.

A myth persists that pit bulls make good herding dogs. As a general rule, they are much too rough for working stock. Again, their traditional role is that of the catch dog. They can be depended on to seize feral livestock, but not to quietly direct tame sheep or cattle.

 

American Pit Bull TerrierTemperament

Pit bulls are known for their broad smiles and zest for life. They are cheerful, laid-back dogs that love nothing better than to goof off. They need plenty of stimulation to help them burn off their abundant energy. If these needs are not met, their natural inclination is to resort to extensive digging and chewing projects. They will also wander, and can be quite adept at escaping even fenced yards. Although they love children, particularly their own, they are far too rowdy to be kept around very small children, or around seniors.

Once a pit bull has run off his extra energy, however, he is quite ready to settle down in a cooperating individual’s lap. He craves attention, so plenty of family time is in order. He will probably reward affection with a sloppy kiss, usually directed toward someone’s face.

The pit bull is an interesting mix of stubborn tenacity and almost babyish sensitivity. He is quite equal to the task of leading his human pack, but he is generally happier when directed by a firm but positive individual. He responds resoundingly well to consistent and positive training.

Most pit bulls are friendly toward all people, familiar or otherwise. However, they are also loyal defenders of home and family, able to distinguish between real and imaginary threats if raised properly. They are extremely aggressive toward other dogs and are always ready to fight on the slightest provocation. For this reason, they should never be left unsupervised with another dog, even if they seem to get along just fine. Other pets and livestock are out of the question, as well, although some pit bulls can peacefully coexist with the family cat with proper training.

At work as a catch dog, the pit bull is among the most fearless, stoic, and relentless of dogs. Often, the hunter’s life depends on his dog’s ability to hold onto a hog and refuse to let go, no matter what. The pit bull fits the bill exactly.

As most Americans know by this time, there are plenty of poorly bred pit bulls out there, and these dogs are extremely dangerous due to their powerful, crushing bite and refusal to let go. Any potential owner looking for a pit bull puppy should go to a trusted, responsible breeder who makes sound temperament a top priority.

 

Health

Pit bulls are structurally robust, although their active natures can lead to injuries such as ruptured ligaments. Although many show signs of hip dysplasia when X-rayed, few pit bulls ever display other symptoms of this defect.

However, for peak condition and a healthy immune system, pit bulls seem to benefit from careful attention to a high-quality diet. On many standard commercial foods, they seem to be prone to mange and a wide range of allergies, particularly grass allergies. Tumors are also a problem in this breed, as is susceptibility to parvovirus.

Other problems seen in the pit bull include:

  • Cataracts.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy.
  • Elbow dysplasia.
  • Kneecap problems.
  • Heart murmurs.
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Cerebellar ataxia.

 

American Pit Bull TerrierPros

  • Minimal grooming needs.
  • Hardiness.
  • Longevity.
  • Versatility.
  • Athleticism.
  • Strength.
  • Endurance.

 

Cons

  • Irresponsible breeders.
  • Local laws against pit bulls.
  • Social stigma (some owners report lawsuits, threats, and even attempts to kill their dog).
  • Difficulty of getting homeowners insurance when a pit bull is present.
  • Need for experienced training and handling.
  • Need for human companionship.
  • Aggression toward other animals.
  • High exercise requirements.
  • Destructive tendencies.
  • Ability as escape artists.
  • Unsuitability for cold climates.

 

Complete Series

Dog BreedsDog Breeds