American Hairless Terrier, a naturally occurring variant of the medium-sized Rat Terrier, is a rare breed of well-muscled dogs that come with strong shoulders, deep chest, and powerful legs. While newborn puppies have sparse hair on their body, they become entirely hairless by six weeks. However, some retain tufts of hair on their eyebrows and whiskers.
|Coat||Usually hairless; may have short, thin hair|
|Color||Black, blue, red, chocolate, apricot, seal, lemon, blue fawn, red sable, different patterns with white|
|Shedding||Low in coated variety|
|Size of Litter||3-5 puppies|
|Temperament||Friendly, curious, alert, fearless|
|Good with Children||Yes|
|Country Originated in||USA|
|Competitive Registration/Qualification Information||AKS/FSS, APRI, ACA, CKC, ACR, AHRTC, DRA, NKC, UKC, AHTF|
Early 18th – late 19th century: The origin of American hairless terriers can be traced to the 18th century when crossbred hunting dogs, called Feists were taken to North America. During the 19th century, the Rat Terrier of Feist lineage was developed from Italian Greyhound, Miniature Pinscher, and Beagle.
20th century: In 1972, a completely hairless female pup named Josephine was born in a litter of Rat Terriers. On being impressed by its appearance and temperament, Louisiana-based owners Edwin Scott and his wife Willie bred it upon maturity to produce the hairless variety. In 1981, it successfully gave birth to a litter of hairless dogs, which formed the foundation bloodstock of American hairless terriers.
The American Rare Breeds Association along with the National Rat Terrier Club recognized the breed as the AHT (American Hairless Terrier) in 1998 followed by the United Kennel Club’s recognition Rat Terrier, Hairless Variety in 1999. It got recognition as a distinct breed by the UKC on 1st January 2004, and it was acknowledged as a member of the terrier group by the AKC in January 2016.
American Hairless Terriers are intelligent, loving, and playful dogs that make excellent family companions. They do well with children if raised with them, but owners should take precautions with young ones since a careless or overly enthusiastic child could injure these dogs. They might react in an aggressive way or snap when handled roughly.
The AHTs are tolerant of strangers though they will not hesitate to sound the alarm to warn their family of any approaching danger. Being territorial in nature, they might not get along well with other dogs unless well socialized.
Because of their terrier ancestry, they enjoy digging and chasing small quarry. However, AHTs are not recommended for hunting or ratting since they are vulnerable to injuries due to lack of a coat. These dogs are not natural swimmers and should be closely monitored.
American Hairless Terriers not just have sharp, inquisitive minds but also exceptional persistence. For them, training should be fun otherwise they will decline from learning anything.
Socialization: Soon after bringing your puppy home, start its socialization training by exposing it to people and other dogs. You can either invite friends with affectionate and approachable dogs to come over to your place or visit their homes so that their pets would play with your pup.
How to stop it from digging: AHTs sometimes dig for entertainment if they are left in their environment with no toys or playmates. Moreover, being an active breed, they always need a task to be happy and digging provides them with an outlet for their energy. Make sure that you are walking your dog and playing with it using balls, Frisbees, and other interesting toys in the yard. Keep it busy by teaching it a few tricks and practicing them every day.
While dry dog food improves your dog’s dental health, you can include a mix of meat, veggies, oats, and brown rice when making its food at home.