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The American Hairless Terrier is the only hairless dog breed native to the United States, and its creation was something of a happy accident. Today, the breed is known as an active companion dog and an especially good choice for allergy sufferers. Some fans of the new breed abbreviate the name as AHT, while others refer to them as Hairless Rat Terriers. Although these are purebred dogs, you can find them in shelters and rescues. Remember to adopt. Don’t buy if this is the breed for you. Like all terriers, the American Hairless Terrier is a curious, courageous, and intelligent breed of dog. They can thrive in large family homes with children or with active urban dwellers in apartments or condos. If you are looking for a small dog that enjoys cuddling, being mischievous and alerting you to potential dangers, the American Hairless Terrier may be the dog for you. You should also buy a interactive puzzle toy to keep your pup active indoors.
American Hairless Terriers may be black, sable, blue, brindle, red or brown. Sometimes their skin or coat, very short and fine, is of one colour, sometimes a combination of two or three colours. They are excellent dogs for allergy sufferers, thanks to their minimal shedding. However, they do shed some dander, so they are not 100% hypoallergenic; no dog is. Make sure your AHT gets at least one good half-hour walk a day, along with plenty of active play sessions throughout the day. American Hairless Terriers make great playmates for active children. However, they are on the small side, and over-eager children could easily hurt your AHT. Always supervise playtime. American Hairless Terriers tend to get along well with other dogs, but when it comes to cats, they still have the prey drive of their Rat Terrier parents, so they may be prone to chase them. These dogs do not do well when left alone for long periods of time. They need attention and validation, which makes them great dogs for large families or active urban dwellers. AHTs are incredibly intelligent and inquisitive, and love to please their humans. They may try to test you at first, but if you follow regular training, your AHT will learn the pecking order.
At first, no one considered creating the American Hairless Terrier breed. Rat Terriers had been gaining popularity in the United States throughout the 20th century, and President Frankin D. Roosevelt was among their admirers. But in 1972 something unexpected happened in Trout, Louisiana. A Rat Terrier was born hairless. His birth coat fell out within weeks of his birth. Edwin and Willie Scott got hold of the hairless Rat Terrier, whom they named Josephine. They began breeding Josephine, and over the years, she produced several more hairless puppies. Once two hairless Rat Terriers were finally bred together in 1983, the American Hairless Terrier was born. They continued to breed some of the American Hairless Terriers with Rat Terriers, creating the Coated American Hairless Terriers. This was to ensure a healthy breed group. It was not until 1999 that the American Hairless Terrier’s parent breed, the Rat Terrier, was officially recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC). At that time, AHTs were included in this category, but Scott wanted his breed to be his own and formed the American Hairless Terrier Association (AHTA). On January 1, 2004, the UKC officially recognized the American Hairless Terrier. The American Kennel Club (AKC) followed suit in 2016 and recognized the AHT breed.
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