American Molossus vs Atlas Terrier - Breed Comparison

Both Atlas Terrier and American Molossus are originated from United States. Atlas Terrier may grow 38 cm / 14 inches shorter than American Molossus. Atlas Terrier may weigh 42 kg / 92 pounds lesser than American Molossus. Atlas Terrier may live 3 years more than American Molossus. Both Atlas Terrier and American Molossus has same litter size. Both Atlas Terrier and American Molossus requires Moderate Maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Terrier dog
Molosser dogs
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United States
United States
Height Male:
23 - 28 cm
9 - 12 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Height Female:
23 - 28 cm
9 - 12 inches
51 - 60 cm
20 - 24 inches
Weight Male:
2 - 6 kg
4 - 14 pounds
38 - 48 kg
83 - 106 pounds
Weight Female:
2 - 5 kg
4 - 12 pounds
32 - 43 kg
70 - 95 pounds
Life Span:
11 - 17 Years
10 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
4 - 8
6 - 8
Size:
Medium
Giant
Other Names:
None
American Molosser • American Brabanter • American Bullenbeisser
Colors Available:
Several - Brindle, Merle
Colors are black, black brindle with some white
Coat:
Short and dense
coat type coarse, dense, smooth and long
Shedding:
Moderate
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Energetic, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Responsive, Social, Sweet
Alert, Courageous, Independent, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate Maintenance
Moderate Maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

atlas terrierThe Atlas Terrier is a rare dog. He was developed in the USA and is a blend of Jack Russell Terriers, Rat Terriers, Border Terriers and Patterdale Terriers. It was in 1990 that Lauren Wolfe developed a breed similar to the Jack Russell, but with a solid colour, and in fact she had two dogs that were solid red in colour. This was as a result of a cross between a Jack Russell Terrier and a Border Terrier.

With the crossing of different terriers, the foundation for the Atlas Terrier was formed. Lauren Wolfe named the breed ‘Atlas Terrier’ because many terriers from various parts of the world were used to develop this specific breed. It was in 2001 that the Atlas Terrier Association was founded.

Based on the massive dog of Mesopotamia in 5000 BC, the American Molossus is the same dog recreated in the United States by and for the lovers of these giant dogs. The ancient Molossus was fierce to look at, massive in size, courageous and loyal. He was undaunted by any animal and stood up to any man attempting to hurt his master. When Rome fell the descendants of today’s Molossus were scattered and attempts to revive the breed have created carious large dogs. The American Molossus is the first true recreation that hits the mark.

The original Molossus was one of the most primitive of dogs, one of the earliest dogs that men domesticated. Their initials duties were the guarding of herds and homes against all enemies. They were incredibly loyal to their one master and stayed with him and protected him. These dogs also ate carrion and served the villages by eliminating animal carcasses. They could handle any other hunting animals such as wolves and large cats. This dog, although extinct was the ancestor of all the Mastiff-type dogs of today. The Molossus is said to be the ancestor of the St. Bernard, English Mastiff, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundland, Great Dane, Great Pyrenees, Rottweiler, Rottweiler and the Neapolitan Mastiff. Now these breeds have become the ancestry of the American Molossus.

According to Marcus Curtis, the founder of the new Molossus, the nearest relative of the American Molossus is the Neapolitan Mastiff. The Hines Bulldog, German Rottweiler, American Bandogge, and South African Boerboel together with the Neapolitan Mastiff were used to form the American Molossus. The goal of the founder was to make a great family pet and protector. It was specifically bred to be courageous, loyal and protective.

Description

A Feisty, Fun Breed

atlas terrier puppyAtlas Terrier dogs are a small to medium sized dog but with a strong personality. With their two coat varieties – smooth and wire – and coming directly from the Jack Russell Terrier, this feisty dog suits those who want a low maintenance, fun breed who will join them on their walks or jogs. These dogs are brave and loyal and will double as a watch dog and family pet.The breed is accepted for registry and it is classified under the Terrier dog category.

Different Sizes

There are 3 sizes of Atlas Terrier – toy, miniature, and standard. The toy variety is 23 to 28 cm tall at the shoulder and weighs 2.7 to 5.4 kg. All three varieties are the same except for height and weight.

The Coat - Smooth or Wavy?

The coat of this dog is thick and may come in a variety of colours such as brindle or merle. The Atlas Terrier is also found in solid colours and sometimes you will find that they have white markings on the face, feet or chest. Most times the tail of the Atlas Terrier is docked, but if not, the tail curls over the back. The ears of the Atlas Terrier are V-shaped and they fold forward.

This is a giant, massive dog in every way and this recently developed standard makes that very clear. The Molossus should be heavy bones, muscular with a lot of loose skin and wrinkles of all kinds, everywhere. He is an intimidating presence, with a massive square head, broad shoulders, height and mass. No, the American Molossus is not athletic, but he certainly is intimidating.

His head is massive in comparison to his body and it must be square. He has extensive wrinkles and pendulous lips and dewlap. The face is all folds of skin and wrinkles. Deep set eyes, drooping upper lids and lower lids as well as an intimidating expression. His brow is well developed with a marked frontal furrow. The nose is large, and the muzzle is about a third of the length of its head. It is short and broad. Everything about the head must be square. It’s neck and body are powerful and muscular. The chest is deep, wide and barrel like. The back is also powerful and muscular. The front legs are heavy and muscular while the hind legs are broad, strong, powerful and wide-stance. Do not remove the front dew claws. His tail is thick and wide then gradually tapers at the tip.

Health Problems

atlas terrier dogThe selective breeding program of Atlas Terriers has meant that this is a robust, spunky breed free of any major health concerns. While they are a low maintenance breed with longevity on their side, you still have to be a responsible pet owner and see that your Atlas Terrier puppy gets all those must have injections.

Vaccinating your Atlas Terrier Puppy

Tiny puppies are susceptible to infectious diseases and will have to be vaccinated against them from 8 weeks on and then also get an annual booster. The diseases to be vaccinated against include hepatitis, distemper, parvovirus, coronavirus, eptospirosis and parainfluenza. Vaccinations must be kept up to date and it is mandatory for your puppy to be vaccinated against rabies.

Like all Mastiffs the American Molossus faces a variety of potential illnesses, some brought on by its size, some not.

Spondylosis

This could easily be a function of its massive size. It is a degenerative disease and can cause the dog to become lame. In many cases the vertebrae can fuse, or severe pain can result. This is mostly seen in older members of the breed.

Cystinuria

Male Molossus can contract this inherited metabolic disease primarily. It can be life threatening and very serious as it affects the kidney and the bladder.

Wobblers Syndrome

This is essentially Cervical Vertebral Instability (CVI) and is caused by the pressure of the nerves in the neck and cervical spinal cord. This compression can cause deformity, pain and abnormal stance/gait. IT has been attributed to the nutrition needs and rapid growth of the Mastiff breeds.

Like all giant Mastiff breeds the Molossus can have skin issues from the wrinkles, dysplasia in the joints which we will address below.

Caring The Pet

atlas terrier puppiesAs a medium shedder, the Atlas Terrier will require some grooming. Grooming is easy and a brush twice a week with a rubber-bristled brush will remove those loose hairs and give his coat a sheen.

Feeding the Puppy

Always make sure you’re feeding your tiny puppy the right quantities of a food type. Always feed your puppy food which is appropriate to his age. Your 8 week old puppy will require 4 meals a day. A highly active breed such as the Atlas Terrier will require more protein for energy.

Speak to your veterinarian about the perfect diet for your puppy and about wet- or dry foods. There is the choice of feeding your puppy commercial dog food or your own home-prepared meals, but then you want to be sure that your puppy is getting the right balance of minerals and vitamins.

Once your Atlas Terrier is about a year of age, he can go onto one meal a day or a lighter meal in the morning and the evening. Remember to ensure that there is always clean, cool water available for your puppy.

Feeding

Remembering that this is a very, very large dog you need to be careful about nutrition and how fast your puppy will grow. American Molossus puppies need four meals a day until 12 weeks old. Then until they are 6 months old feed then 3 times a day. Finally, from 6-month-old puppy to adult – feed them twice in 24 hours.

At one year either feed them once or two small meals.

Many people feed their Molossus eggs, vegetables, fruit, and cottage cheese as ten 5 of the total for the day but avoid other table foods. The Molossus can become very picky about what he eats if you feed him too many table scraps.

Health issues

In addition to the health problems listed above, the American Molossus is also susceptible to: Ditichiasis – Eyelashes that are in the margin of the eyelids and can cause eye irritation. May require surgery to correct.

Cataract

Could cause blindness if not removed. Ectropian/Entropion: Eversion and inversion of eyelids which cause ocular irritation.

PRA or Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This is a degenerative disease which causes the dog to go blind. It is a disease the affects the retinal visual cells, first causing night blindness then day blindness. A DNA test is available for detecting PRA in all Mastiff breeds.

Dysplasia of the Elbow or/and the Hip

Common in large breeds and especially in giant breeds like the Molossus. Multiple forms and causes but all can cause pain and lameness.

Skin issues

Do to wrinkles and loose skin – check often for moisture and infections.

Panosteitis or Wandering Lameness

The is a problem based on a variety of possible causes. It happens when the puppy is between 6-16 months of age. Lameness occurs over time in one limb or in all. It can be intermittent and might be caused by diet, genetics, stress, autoimmune or metabolic issues or infection.

HOD or Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy

This issue is developmental as the dog’s toes turn either inward or outward, then as the condition advances the dog suffers fever, pain in all joints, lethargy and the inability to stand. This happens when the dog consumes too many calories for his activity level in the development times.

Exercise and games

The American Molossus is not a couch potato. He needs to be walked at least twice a day and loves to play fetch. He will be greatly benefited by obedience training. Do not overdo it with exercise but make sure they don’t just lay around.

Characteristics

atlas terrier dogsAtlas Terriers most certainly have a bit of the Jack Russell in them and these dogs are social, outgoing, mischievous and affectionate. They’re just like your regular naughty child and having one of them in your home will mean energy and lots of fun and games.

This is a highly social breed and he won’t like to be left alone every day. Just like a human child, he will need to be stimulated to ward off boredom and to prevent him from becoming destructive.

Learning Abilities

The Atlas Terrier just loves games and if you’re ready for a game, he will be more than ready to take part. He is intelligent and will therefore responds well to training and socialization. When properly socialized, Atlas Terriers get along well with children, and because they’re not an aggressive breed, if they’re properly trained and socialized they will get along with other pets too. Atlas Terriers make excellent pets, but he is a strong willed dog and will require an owner who is firm, but fair.

The American Molossus is an intimidating massive giant bred for protection and guard duty. He is incredibly loyal to his family and courageous in his protection of them. They are guard dogs, not attack dogs. Their simple appearance is usually enough to frighten off anyone intending harm on their families. He is in reality a loving giant. He is intelligent and stable with a strong desire to please his owner. He is a calm yet vigilant presence in the home.

Because the Molossus is so large, it is recommended that the puppy be socialized and trained professionally. It takes a strong owner to handle this breed. They need to know the rules and have the rules consistently applied. The owner must be the pack leader.

Comparison with other breeds

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  42. American Molossus vs Affenpinscher - Breed Comparison
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  44. American Molossus vs Aidi - Breed Comparison
  45. American Molossus vs Airedale Terrier - Breed Comparison
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