All Dog Breeds A To Z
American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier is a smoothly muscled, active, smallest to small terrier. The preferred ratio of length of body (prosternum to point of buttocks) to height (withers to ground) to is 10:9. The head is broad, slightly domed, wedge-shaped, and proportionate to the size of the body. Ears are V-shaped, set at the outside edges of the skull, and may be erect, tipped or button.
Both varieties may have a natural tail carried in an upward curve, or the tail may be docked in dogs of the coated variety. American Hairless Terriers come in a number of skin colors and patterns (hairless variety) and coat colors and patterns (coated variety).
This is an energetic, alert dog whose curiosity and intelligence make him easy to train. The ancestors of this breed were bred to hunt. The lack of coat makes the hairless variety unsuited for hunting, but both varieties still have a strong hunting instinct and the coated dogs are fearless, tenacious hunters with seemingly unlimited energy.
The breed is an exceptionally friendly companion, getting along well with children, other dogs, and even cats. American Hairless Terriers enjoy human companionship immensely and will enthusiastically share any activity with their owners. The hairless dogs require protection from the sun and winter cold weather. American Hairless Terriers should not be sparred during conformation judging.
Although the American Hairless Terriers are small, they are generally well balanced and muscular. They have retained their Rat Terrier heritage and appearance. Their skin is soft and smooth with brown, black or red spots and is sensitive to the sun. This breed will benefit from sunscreen specifically designed for dogs. Puppies are born with downy hair that (except the whiskers) falls out by 8 weeks of age.
The American Hairless Terrier is highly active, lively, alert, and energetic. Although American Hairless Terriers are devoted and loyal to their family, they will also need early socialization, as these dogs tend to be weary of strangers. Early training will produce a well-adjusted young dog. They are great with older children that understand how to handle pets, but are not always good with smaller animals. American Hairless Terriers enjoy trick sports such as frisbee.
Potential health concerns include knee problems [needs clarification], elbow and hip dysplasia, and allergies. The relatively small gene pool for the breed has the potential to cause additional health problems with irresponsible breeders.
Lack of hair means that this breed is prone to skin lacerations and sunburn.
In 1972, a Rat Terrier owned by Willie and Edwin Scott produced “Josephine”, a hairless pup. In the following years, Josephine produced a litter of hairless pups and essentially created the beginnings of this interesting breed.
The breed was referred to as the Rat Terrier – Hairless Variety until January 2004 when the breed was re-named to American Hairless Terrier and recognized by the UKC. Geneticists have discovered the genetic marker for hairlessness is recessive, meaning that hairless-to-hairless breeding always produces hairless pups.
Terrier (AKC & UKC)
7-16 inches (18-41 cm)
5-16 pounds (2.5-7 kg)
Average $900 – $1200 USD
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