American Ninja Terrier: Big Adventures of a Little Dog


When asked what breed of dog Stella is, I often answer that she is an American Ninja Terrier.  The American Kennel Club doesn’t include this rare breed of domesticated wild canine on their list of dog breeds, but I don’t let that stop me from using the name to aptly describe her.

Why do I call her an American Ninja Terrier?  Firstly, she’s American.   Secondly, she’s stealthy like a Ninja and twice as fast.  Thirdly, I like the ease in which American Ninja Terrier rolls off the tongue as opposed to Rat Terrier Basenji mix.

In the latter half of the 19th century, Basenjis were re-discovered in their original habitat – the headwaters of both the Nile and the Congo, in the heart of Africa. There, they are the hunting dogs of native tribes and so highly esteemed that they are regarded as having equal rights with their masters.   Stella has proven her ability to successfully hunt, kill, and consume small rodents with ferocity.   Because of her hunting nature and ability to run at high speeds for long distances, every outing with her requires that we keep her on a leash.


To date, Stella’s big adventures have spanned nineteen states: Tennessee, Kentucky, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, and California.  When she isn’t on an actual adventure, she’s probably dreaming about the next one.

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