American Hairless Terrier
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American Hairless Terrier FAQ

by Sweet Lucy, 1997

 

My American Hairless Terrier Sweet Lucy is a truly delightful dog. She is very loving, sweet, smart, and friendly with just a bit of spice. In true terrier fashion she is happy, lively, playful, and curious. However, she is not hyper or an excessive barker.

Remember, though, that all dogs have their own unique personalities even within the same breed. All American Hairless Terriers are not copies of my Lucy. Some are more active and spicier than she is.

Here are some questions that I have been asked about Lucy or the American Hairless Terrier in general...

1. How do they get along with other pets?

Lucy gets along very well with my other dogs which are standard size Xoloitzcuintlis. I also have tortoises that Lucy likes to sniff, but she has never tried to take a bite out of them. She is just curious. She also likes chasing bugs :o). And cats!

Note: Always socialize your new puppy, after the puppy shots are effective, with lots of dogs to make sure the puppy will get along with other dogs. Puppy training classes are great.

2. What is their temperament?

As I mentioned earlier, Lucy is a sweet and loving dog, she is no "terror". She learned basic obedience commands easily, and she is obedient most of the time. In fact, she was the star of her dog obedience class! :o) She is friendly with visitors and likes to get attention from them. She is a bit shy with strangers she meets on our walks, though. Lucy barks at strange noises at home, as a good watch dog should, but she is not a constant yapper. She is a real snuggle-bunny and loves to sleep on a warm lap.

This sounds too good to be true, you say... Well, Lucy does have one bad habit. She likes to chew my sofa cushions and pull the stuffing out! She thinks it's great fun. She also loves shredding paper. I provide Lucy with lots of toys to help satisfy her need for chewing. Furry stuffed dog toys are her favorites.

Note: Socialize, socialize, and socialize your puppy. Take your puppy everywhere with you and let him/her meet a wide variety of people. Teach your pup that meeting people and going to places is fun!

3. Are they easy to housebreak?

Lucy was easy to housebreak and she is reliable in her habits.

4. How much do they cost?

The price is determined by the breeder and depends on the individual dog. The starting price for American Hairless Terriers is around $500-$1,000 (in 1998).

5. Are they similar to Rat Terriers?

The first American Hairless Terrier was born into a litter of Rat Terriers (RT) as the result of a natural gene mutation. You might want to visit some RT sites on the web to learn more about them.

In the 1890s Feists (Old English White Terrier x Smooth Fox Terrier x Manchester Terrier) were imported to America from England. Here Smooth Fox Terrier, Beagle, and Italian Greyhound were added to these terriers to help stabilize the pied coloration and to give the breed a less aggressive temperament. These dogs became known as Rat Terriers.

The Rat Terrier has been described as having the tenacity of the terrier, the "cold" nose of the Beagle and the speed, eyesight, and gentleness of the Italian Greyhound. It is the Rat Terrier's temperament and its various hound traits that sets it apart from most terrier breeds today.

6. Can you provide breeders' addresses?

See my AHT Links page for AHT and club links.

7. How do they do in an apartment?

I would think that any small dog would do well in an apartment, as long as he/she was not an excessive barker. Some American Hairless Terriers might be barkers, if that is encouraged or allowed to develop.

8. Are there any books available about the American Hairless Terriers?

No, not yet, but some dog breed books have pictures and information about the American Hairless Terrier. I have listed these books on the AHT books page.

9. Are American Hairless Terriers mostly indoor dogs?

Yes, the American Hairless Terriers need to live inside to stay warm and to avoid sunburn, they are not backyard dogs. Besides, they would be terribly lonely by themselves. They love company and want to be with you. However, the AHTs don't need to spend all their time indoors. Lucy loves being outside and going for long walks. Early mornings and late afternoons or evenings are the best times for outdoor romps. At other times of the day, you will probably need to provide your AHT with some kind of sun protection.

10. What are they really like? Negative traits?

Comments from American Hairless Terrier owners:

All American Hairless Terriers are different... have distinct personalities... wonderful personalities... easy to live with... smart... intelligent... extremely loving... cuddly... very playful... sweet...clowns... full of energy... active... happy... a lot of fun... easy to care for... devoted companions... love to travel in the car... love to go everywhere with you... love attention... very entertaining... can be sensitive and get their feelings hurt... can be jealous of attention... calm down easily... very adaptable and flexible... small dogs with large hearts... get along well with other dogs in the family... eager to learn and please... good family dogs... want to cuddle up and be petted... love snuggling... true lapdogs... great cuddlers and lap warmers... love to sleep on your arms or under the blanket... some like to snuggle all the time and some only occasionally... get along with people in the house and in public, especially when well socialized... most love kids and other animals... like to play with children... want to run and play... like to play fetch... some play ball and some don't... learn obedience commands easily, but don't always like to obey... can have a mind of their own... easily trained with positive methods... most are not aggressive... can run and play wildly... some need plenty of exercise... some are very active and intense... but usually are not nervous dogs... have wonderful soft skin that is very pleasant to touch and pet... skin scrapes heal easily... no pimples... burn in the sun without sun protection... need frequent baths... need clothes when cold... easy to crate train... easy to housebreak... some are not so easy to housebreak... some do not get along so well with other dogs, especially if not well socialized... can be strong willed and independent... don't always like to come when called... like to bark when visitors first arrive... feisty... can get zooms every now and then and run around super fast just for fun... can be hyper at times running in circles... rambunctious... strong willed... a split personality dog... almost like having two personalities - cuddly and loving vs. feisty and energetic... love to chew and shred dog toys, fabric, and paper... like to nibble with their mouths... like chewing... can be nippy... like to use their mouths a lot... some like to dig... can be vocal... don't like to be teased by misbehaving children and can snap at them...

11. Are they suitable for people who are allergic to dogs?

There is no dog breed that is truly non-allergenic (not allergy causing) since all dogs produce dander, saliva, and urine that people can be allergic to. However, from my personal experience, the AHT is the least allergy causing dog breed. See my allergy pages for more human pet allergy info.f

 

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