Some Background – Our Intro to the American Hairless Terrier
A little history. After going 6 years without a dog due to our daughter’s allergies, we happened across a magazine article referencing the hairless breeds (Chinese Crested, Xolo, and American Hairless Terrier – AHT). We decided that we owed it to ourselves (especially our then 5 year old, dog-crazed son) to see how our daughter did upon exposure to these breeds. The Xolo was first. After talking with a Xolo breeder, a visit was arranged. The dog was bathed and kept isolated from others prior to the visit (in our in-laws home so as not to bring potential allergens into our home while, at the same time, not expecting the breeder to have an entirely dog free zone on-site), yet, after only 5 minutes in the Xolo’s presence, the allergic reaction began (was full blown by the time 40 minutes had passed) and our hearts sank.
The Chinese Crested was next. Unfortunately, the result was the same.
The AHT was our last chance (it was becoming increasingly difficult on our daughter to be the cause of her brother’s disappointment) and, although one of the original tests was a borderline disaster (that, however, is another story) it has since worked out great. Our family has, in the past decade plus, been blessed with the addition of new family members (each with distinct, playful, mischievous, terrier personalities) which we couldn’t love more. In addition, our daughter’s allergies have improved dramatically, permitting us to have BOTH the hairless and coated varieties of this amazing breed!
We want to add that we use the term kennel very loosely. Our dogs are part of the family and, as such, are our pets first and foremost. They live IN our home (no kennel building or outdoor runs for the dogs to live in), on our furniture, in our beds. Additionally, although we initially had a litter or two a year, we now are down to one litter every 1-2 years. We usually wait until our girls are 4 years old before having puppies. Our dogs have all been health tested prior to being bred. We do not knowingly breed dogs with any health issues/concerns. We breed simply to continue our lines (to keep a puppy), to help improve this incredible breed, and to allow other allergy sufferers to finally have a dog. Although it is a lot of work, it is also a lot of fun and a very rewarding experience!
Our family-oriented approach allows for a focus on early individual attention, maximum socialization, and house training successes. Our babies begin the Super Puppy program shortly after birth and experience many different environments and people as they age. They also begin litter box training at age 2 weeks and are generally fully litter box trained by the time they go to their new homes at 8 weeks. This is very helpful to their new owners who either want to continue using the litter box (great in apartments and for use in inclement weather) or who want to transition to going outside exclusively. The pups already understand the go to the bathroom in one spot idea, so tend to be relatively accident free! All of this helps in preparing our babies to be healthy and well rounded when they go to their new homes.
Our dog raising philosophy also includes feeding raw. After a significant amount of research and experience with a variety of dog food options, we determined that raw feeding is the healthiest, best option for our dogs and our puppies (yes, the pups are raised on raw too). We also subscribe to a minimalist vaccine approach, following the Jean Dodds, DVM protocol. Our goal is to raise happy, healthy dogs, that live full and long lives!
We are also very active in Conformation (Top 10 dogs every year since full UKC recognition in 2004) and Terrier Racing (All Star qualifiers and winners every year) and both hold judges’ licenses in those events. We also compete in Agility, Weight Pull, and Lure Coursing. We are training our newest babies for Rally Obedience as well.
We are also very active in our Breed Clubs. Ryan was a past President of the UKC Parent Club, the American Hairless Terrier Association, for 4 years, Vice President for several terms and on the Board of Directors for another year. Karyn is currently President of the UKC regional club, the Hurricane Alley American Hairless Terrier Association. Ryan is also Vice President of the AKC club, the American Hairless Terrier Club of America. All of these are volunteer positions but help us in continuing our work towards improving this incredible breed!
Even though we don’t have pups available most of the time, please feel free to contact us regarding the AHT, our allergy experiences or for referral to other wonderful breeders.
Karyn and Ryan Pingel