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Rickie Roo Chats with Carsten, the Hairless Terrier with Hair!

Canine reporter Rickie Roo and Carsten have a chat about running fast and other agility fun.

Age: 4
Breed: American Hairless Terrier  coated variety
Handler: Don, Kathy, or Monica Jones
Hometown: Cary, North Carolina

Rickie Roo (RR): How long have you been participating in agility? 

Carsten (C): I took my first intro to Agility in April 2009.  I started competing in UKC Agility in March 2010.  I tried my first USDAA trial in May 2010.  My humans say that I used to be REALLY zoomy in the beginning. I like to think that I was just VERY excited to get to play off leash on such a fun playground. I let all of the humans in the family run agility with me, but I usually run with Dad because he is the fastest.  I run with Monica in UKC Juniors sometimes. I don't really care who I run with as long as they can keep up.

RR: Do you have any housemates that also participate in agility?

C: I do have a "brother," Sully, another (coated) American Hairless Terrier, who does UKC Agility. He is just two, and still a bit too "enthusiastic" to compete in USDAA.  We tried it once.  He zoomed around one ring, left it, went across to the OTHER ring and zoomed in there. That was the last USDAA event [our people] let him go to.  I'm not sure why exactly; he had a really good time.  I never thought to go into another ring when I was zoomy; I gave him two paws up for thinking of it. 

RR: Why do you choose to participate in USDAA agility events?

C: Originally my humans signed up for USDAA because there seemed to be a lot of events close to home.  They wanted to practice in a trial environment, so that I was ready for UKC trials (where my brother and I compete the most).  Now that I have decided to listen to where THEY want me to go (I used to like to make up my own courses), they prefer USDAA over the other organizations.  I've achieved the highest title available in UKC, so we will be doing a lot more USDAA in the future.  

RR: Is there anything about USDAA in particular that you find extra fun? 

C: My humans' favorite class used to be Gamblers because, when I made up my own courses, I still got points, and they were happy. I am pretty darn fast on course, so I like to watch all of the really fast dogs in USDAA.  I try to beat their times. 

RR: What is your favorite USDAA class to compete in? 

C: I think it is still Gamblers. My humans seem to send me over the fun stuff a lot more when I am on one of those courses. 

RR: If you could invent your own USDAA class to compete in what would it be?

C: "Dog-gone Wild."  I think the humans should put us at the start line and say "go," then see what courses the dogs make up in an allotted time. Dogs with the highest point total, in the fastest time, wins. I used to be REALLY good at making up courses on my own.  

RR: If there is an error on course and you need to let your handler know what they did wrong, how do you communicate that to them?

C: Usually I just give them the stink eye.  I don't bark on course.  I am all business when I am out there... ears back and pedal to the metal.  I just want my humans to keep up.  If they don't, I usually decide to make up the rest of the course on my own. Although, mom fell in our last Snooker course when we were almost done. She just called out the rest of the course for me from the astroturf and I finished it without her.  I'm not sure why she did that, but I got a lot of chicken once we left the course. So all was good. 

RR: When your handler does an extra good job on course, how do you reward them? 

C: I let them feed me a lot of chicken! 

RR: When you do an extra good job on course how does your handler reward you? 

C: Again, a lot of chicken.  Mom usually talks to me in a REALLY excited voice, and then I know the jackpot is coming. 

RR: Are there other activities you participate in besides dog agility? 

C: Oh yes.  I used to do conformation (didn't like that, boring).  I used to do weight pull too, but mom promised me if I got a title, she wouldn't make me do it anymore.  So I pulled that cart the required three times, and now I am done with that.  I also do Rally.  But my FAVORITE things to do (other than agility) are terrier racing and lure coursing. I just LOVE to run fast! If I can chase something, even better. I actually have a herding instinct title too (but I think it was more about the chase than actually keeping the sheep together).  Mom says that we may start flyball classes soon. 

RR: What would you say is your best asset?

C: Gosh, Mom says I have so many (she is a little biased).  I guess it is that I am REALLY smart.  Mom says if I had opposable thumbs I could rule the world. 

RR: What would your handler say is your best personality trait? 

C: I am up for anything fun!  I love to compete, play, travel, you name it.  I've never met a stranger. 

RR: If you were like a human and went to high school, what clique or what clubs do you think you'd be in and why?

C: I'd definitely be in Track, because I LOVE to run.  I'd probably be on the baseball team, because I am a bit ball obsessed. I wouldn't be in a clique though because I would want to be friends with EVERYONE. 

RR: If I were to come visit you for a weekend what would we do? 

C: Oh we would have fun I am sure.  We are ALWAYS busy on the weekends doing something, and it is usually dog related.  My brother still shows in conformation and juniors, so we go to dog shows.  If I am lucky they have something for me to do there too, but not always.  Mom always brings my toys though and takes time out to play with me. Agility trials, rally events, travelling to somewhere fun (we just got back from the Outerbanks).  We seem to always be on the go.

RR: Is there anything else you'd like to add? 

C: I get asked a lot what breed of dog I am, so I guess I might want to clarify that a bit. The American Hairless Terrier (AHT) is a breed that descended from the Rat Terrier. The AHT comes in two varieties, coated and hairless. My brother and I carry the hairless gene, but we have a coat. The hairless variety has NO hair (just whiskers) and can be a good alternativebfor people with dog allergies. My humans don't have allergies, so they prefer their dogs to have a coat.   We are really smart and athletic and can excel at just about anything you ask us to do.

Thanks for interviewing me, Rickie Roo!

Rickie Roo is a four-year-old Rat Terrier that is loved and handled by Deborah Davidson Harpur of Harbor City, California. She enjoys running really fast, stealing treats, and being as naughty as a terrier can be. She is a proud canine ambassador for the Active Care line of dog food by Breeder's Choice and Read more about Rickie Roo on

Photos of Carsten appear courtesy of the Jones family.


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