American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier is a breed of dog that was formerly considered a variant of Rat Terrier. As of January 1, 2004, the United Kennel Club deemed the AHT a separate terrier breed. An intelligent, social and energetic working breed, the American Hairless Terrier is often listed as a potential good breed choice for allergy sufferers.
The American Hairless Terrier's American ancestry begins with the mixed breed terriers called Feists brought from Europe to the North America as early as the 18th century. In the late 1800s the Rat Terrier breed was developed from the Feist by the addition of Beagle, Italian Greyhound and Miniature Pinscher bloodlines.
The distinct American Hairless Terrier breed began in 1972 when one hairless puppy appeared in a Rat Terrier litter in the state of Louisiana, United States. Owners Edwin and Willie Scott liked the dog's look and temperament, and upon maturity bred her hoping to reproduce the hairless quality. They were eventually successful; a litter produced in 1981 provided the foundation stock of the breed.
Breed recognition In 1998 the breed gained recognition as the American Hairless Terrier by the American Rare Breeds Association and the National Rat Terrier Club. Canada was the first country outside the US to gain recognition, by Canadian Rarities in 1999. In 1999 the breed was recognized as Rat Terrier, Hairless Variety by the United Kennel Club.
The American Hairless Terrier (AHT) is recognized by the DOG REGISTRY OF AMERICA, INC (DRA).
In the U.S., the American Hairless Terrier Association is the provisional breed club. Other National Breed Clubs around the world include the Canadian American Hairless Terrier Association and the Japanese Hairless American Terrier Club.
On January 1, 2004, the United Kennel Club (UKC) recognized the American Hairless Terrier as a distinct breed.
While the American Kennel Club (AKC) does include the Rat Terrier within its Foundation Stock Series and allows Rat Rerriers to participate in AKC events under its Miscellaneous Class, the AKC considers a lack of coat, i.e., the coat of the American Hairless Terrier, to be a disqualifying feature.
Despite its smaller size the AHT is not a toy breed. Rather, like its Rat Terrier cousin, the AHT is a working breed.
The American Hairless Terrier (AHT) is an intelligent, curious, playful and energetic breed that is compatible with small children. The AHT is eager to please and seeks human interaction. The AHT has a quieter side to its character and is content to slow down and rest or even sleep in a person's lap. Graceful and elegant, the American Hairless Terrier is also strong and athletic. The AHT enjoys participating in agility games like its other terrier cousins. The AHT typically likes to dig, chase small game and will bark when alarmed and will act as a good watch dog. Its ancestry gives the AHT a strong hunting instinct but its lack of coat makes it a less likely candidate for a hunting dog as rough underbrush may hurt the AHT's unprotected skin. The AHT is not a strong swimmer and should be monitored around water.
The American Hairless Terrier continues to be a rare breed with a limited breeding stock. The UKC recognizes the need to continue to breed in Rat Terrier blood lines (see "Coated American Hairless Terrier") until "breed of breeds" (also, see "Genetics" above).
AHTs do have sweat glands and will get occasional pimples that go away on their own. Rashes due to grass allergies are not uncommon. Other allergies occur as well. Because of their lack of hair, they need protection from the sun. Sunscreen should be applied or a shirt should be worn, not only for the protection from the sun but from the cold as well.
Traits Weight 5-16 lbs (2.5-7 kg) Height 7-16 in (18-41 cm) Coat hairless Color variety of colors and patterns with white