American Hairless Terrier
AN IDEAL HOUSE DOG, PARTICULARLY FOR ALLERGY SUFFERERS
What constitutes an ideal house dog for the average person? Size is an important factor. Simply due to the amount of space in which to move, romp and roam, as well as lounge, in the average house or apartment, a medium to small dog is usually considered a better choice. Simply due to the longer gait of larger dogs, they can not get much health benefit from their movements within the confines of the average home, whereas smaller dogs can get benefit from activity such as playing catch in the average home. For city dwellers, larger dogs get less cardiovascular benefit from the average city street dog walk than medium to small dogs. Larger dogs require more space to run and that is scarce in the typical city.
Another important factor to consider is the dog temperament. If the dog’s breed nature is one of high energy and requiring lot’s of exercise to stay happy and healthy, then that isn’t as practical of a choice for a house dog. A dog breed which requires less exercise and physical activity is a better choice for the house. The breed tendency to bark a lot, or not, is an important consideration for a house dog. While it can be annoying enough to listen prolonged dog barking from the outside, it can be unbearable when it continuously occurs within your home. Frequent and uncontrollable dog barking is a public nuisance for those who live in apartment buildings.
The amount of mess that a dog contributes to a home, particularly shed hair and dander, is also an important consideration when choosing a house dog. Most people don’t want dog hair collecting all over their homes. Therefore, a dog breed which doesn’t have an excessive amount of hair, or doesn’t continually shed it’s hair is obviously a better choice for the house. For those who suffer with environmental allergies, a dog which sheds very little hair and dander is of paramount importance.
Taking these factors into consideration, a very uncommon, but healthy American breed is at the top of the list of possibilities for an ideal house dog. The American Hairless Terrier, a.k.a. A.H.T., is about as low maintenance and clean of a house dog as one can have. The American Hairless Terrier breed evolved from a natural mutation of complete hairlessness, in a litter of American Rat Terriers in 1972. The hairless characteristic was promptly consolidated and a distinct breed evolved around it. Therefore, the temperament and hardiness of the A.H.T. is essentially that of the Rat Terrier; which itself evolved from a blend of popular small and medium breeds in early America. While hairless A.H.T.s are entirely hairless, they are healthy, strong, animated, very smart and easily trained, very affectionate, and can be effective watch dogs.
While A.H.T.s need some protective covering such as a tee-shirt or sweater in colder climates, the trade-off of not having them absorb water, slush, and mud into a thick winter coat of hair is well worth the trade-off. A quick shower at the start or finish of one’s own shower, and a little towelling off, is all that is required to keep the A.H.T. clean. A weekly shower will also help send any dander down the drain, and without hair and dander buildup, allergy sufferers are seldom affected by American Hairless Terriers in the home. Their size, their cleanliness, their trainability, their hardiness, and their affectionate nature all combine to qualify the American Hairless Terrier as an ideal house dog.