BBS Breed Spotlight: American Hairless Terrier
Run. Fast. Jump. Long. Don’t Stop. Ever! These must be the thoughts rolling through the American Hairless Terrier’s mind when they’re outside, going full out. Being a highly active dog, with seemingly endless energy, you almost forget this dog is hairless. With no thick scruff or padding to protect them, this dog is pretty brave to be so vulnerable. Read on about this courageous, cute and uncommon breed on the BestBullySticks.com Breed Spotlight.
History & Background: In 1972, a hairless Rat Terrier was born in a litter of fully coated brothers and sisters. This unique pup, Josephine, became the pride and joy of Louisiana natives Willie and Edwin Scott. They loved the look and character of this dog and decided to continue this new breed. The Scotts called the uncoated dogs from Josephine’s litters American Hairless Terriers. AHTs are listed in the AKC’s Foundation Stock Services as to be recognized while allowing the breed to work toward a larger and healthy gene pool. In 2004, the UKC designated the AHT as its own distinct breed.
Height: 10 to 18 inches
Weight: 5 to 16 pounds
Coat: Obviously, mature, adult American Hairless Terriers do not have a coat. However, when these dogs are born a soft, downy fuzz appears on the body. At about 6 to 8 weeks all of this fuzz wears away and the dog is left with soft and warm skin. AHT’s do keep whiskers and guard hairs on the eyebrows and muzzle. A unique characteristic about this dog is that when stressed or overheated, the AHT will break out in a sweat. This dog is great for those who suffer from pet dander allergies.
Ironically enough, there is a “coated” American Hairless Terrier. The UKC states this is because the coated terriers are used to improve the breeding stock of the AHT. These dogs look more like their Rat Terrier cousins and have a short, dense and smooth coat.
Color: Any color skin is acceptable in the show ring. AHTs usually have an underlying color with spots and freckles of a contrasting color. Freckles enlarge with age and the skin darkens with exposure to the sun. The coated variety of AHTs must always have some white coat but can be fully white, bi-colored, tri-colored, sable or brindle.
A hairless variety can have any color eyes and rims match nose coloring, which is usually black. For a coated variety, eye color can range from dark brown to amber. Hazel eyes correspond with a light coat, blue, amber or dark grey eyes with a blue coat. Read more