The American Hairless Terrier: A Unique and Lovable Breed
The American Hairless Terrier, or AHT for short, is a relatively new breed that originated in the United States. It all began in 1972 when a litter of Rat Terriers was born with a spontaneous mutation causing them to be hairless. Their owners recognized their uniqueness and decided to breed them together to create the first known line of American Hairless Terriers. They were officially recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC) in 1999 and have since become increasingly popular.
An adult male AHT stands at about 12-16 inches tall and weighs between 12-16 pounds while females stand at 10-14 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 8-14 pounds. As their name suggests, they are completely hairless except for whiskers on their face, some eyelashes, and small amounts of fuzz on top of their head or tail. Their skin can range from pink to black but is most commonly spotted or mottled with darker colors.
A distinctive feature of this breed is their rounded ears that fold forward slightly at the tips giving them an alert expression.
American Hairless Terriers are known for being friendly towards people as well as other dogs if properly socialized early on. They make great family pets due to their loyalty and affectionate nature towards children especially.
Because they were originally bred as rat hunters, they still maintain many natural instincts such as prey drive which could cause issues around smaller animals like rodents if left unsupervised.
They are highly intelligent making them easy to train with positive reinforcement techniques.
Overall, this breed tends to be fairly healthy with an average lifespan expectancy between 14-16 years old. Some health concerns include allergies or skin irritations due to lack of fur protection against environmental factors such as sun exposure.
Some preventative measures to take include using sunscreen on any exposed areas of their skin, and regularly cleaning their ears since they have no hair around them which can trap moisture leading to infections.
Due to their small size and moderate energy level, American Hairless Terriers require at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. This could be in the form of walks or playtime in a fenced-in yard. They are also quite agile making them great candidates for dog sports like agility training.
Special Grooming Needs:
Their lack of fur makes these dogs hypoallergenic and easy to maintain with little grooming needs aside from nail trimming and regular ear cleanings.
However, because their skin is sensitive, it’s important to use gentle shampoos when bathing them as harsh chemicals could lead to dryness or irritation.
Basic obedience training such as sit, stay, come etc. are recommended for all breeds but advanced obedience training may not be necessary unless the owner wants additional challenges.
AHTs respond best to positive reinforcement techniques such as clicker training instead of punishment-based methods which can cause anxiety or fearfulness.
It’s essential that owners begin housebreaking early due to the risk of urinary tract infections caused by bacteria buildup on unprotected skin areas after elimination.
Compatibility with Children/Pets
American Hairless Terriers generally do well with children if properly socialized from an early age but it’s still important for young children need supervision during interactions just in case.
They can get along with other household pets especially if introduced gradually over time but again unsupervised interactions should be avoided until trust has been established between animals.
A unique personality trait is that many AHTs love being held close like a baby because they crave physical touch and attention from people. Due primarily thanks partially due genetic mutation; some AHTs retain puppy-like behavior even into adulthood keeping themselves entertained with funny antics around family members
Currently, there are no famous dogs of the breed however due to their unique features they have been featured in several commercials over the years from companies such as Toyota and Febreze.