Breed Organization American Hairless Terrier Association Website: http://www.ahta.info Native Country United States of America Other Names AHT Life Expectancy Approximately 14-16 Years Litter Size Average 6 Puppies Breed Group Terrier
Breed Appearance The American Hairless Terrier is a smoothly muscled, active, small-to-medium 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. The American Hairless Terrier
comes in a number of skin colors and patterns (hairless variety) and coat colors and patterns (coated variety).
Breed Description Head: The head is proportionate to the size of the body. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are
of equal length and joined by a moderate stop. Viewed from the front and the side, the American Hairless Terrier?s
head forms a blunt wedge shape. Skull: The skull is broad and slightly domed. It tapers slightly toward the muzzle. The jaws are powerful
with well muscled cheeks. Muzzle: The muzzle is well filled-out under the eyes, well-chiseled, and tapers slightly from the stop to
the nose. Jaws are powerful and hinged well back allowing the dog to open his mouth wide enough to catch rats and
other rodents. Lips are dry and tight with no flews. Lip pigment matches nose pigment. Teeth: The American Hairless Terrier has a complete set of good-sized, evenly spaced, white teeth. A
scissors bite is preferred but a level bite is acceptable. Nose: The nose is black or self-colored. Eyes: Eyes are set obliquely and are round, moderate in size, and somewhat prominent. Eye rims match nose
- Hairless Variety: Eyes may be any color found in the coated variety.
- Coated Variety: Eye color ranges from dark brown to amber and corresponds with coat color. Hazel eyes are
acceptable in dogs with lighter coat color. Blue or amber eyes are permitted in blue-colored dogs only, but a dark
gray eye with gray eye rims is preferred. Ears: Ears are V-shaped, set at the outside edges of the skull. Erect ears are preferred but tipped or
button ears are acceptable. Matching ears are strongly preferred. Non-matching ear carriage should be penalized to
the degree of the variation. Ear carriage may not stabilize until a dog is mature. Dogs under one year of age
should not be penalized for variations in ear carriage. Neck: The neck is clean, moderately long, smoothly muscled, slightly arched, and tapers slightly from the
shoulders to the head. The neck blends smoothly into well laid back shoulders. Forequarters: Shoulders are smoothly muscled. The shoulder blades are well laid back with the upper tips
fairly close together at the withers. The upper arm appears to be equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins
it at an apparent right angle. The elbows are close to the body. Viewed from any angle, the forelegs are straight,
strong, and sturdy in bone. The pasterns are strong, short, and nearly vertical. Body: A properly proportioned American Hairless Terrier is slightly longer (measured from prosternum to
point of buttocks) than tall (measured from the withers to the ground), and length of the front leg (measured from
point of elbow to the ground) should approximately equal one-half of the dog?s height. Whether the dog is standing
or moving, the line of the back is strong and level. The loin is moderately short, slightly arched, and muscular,
with moderate tuck-up. The croup is slightly sloping. The ribs extend well back and are well sprung out from the
spine, forming a broad, strong back, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. The brisket extends to or
just below the elbow. Viewed from the front, the chest between the forelegs is well filled and of moderate width.
Viewed from the side, the forechest extends in a shallow oval shape in front of the forelegs. Hindquarters: The hindquarters are muscular with the length of the upper and lower thighs being
approximately equal. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the angulation of the forequarters. The
stifles are well-bent, and the hocks are well let down. When the dog is standing, the short, strong rear pasterns
are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another. Feet: The feet are compact and slightly oval in shape. The two middle toes are slightly longer than the
other toes. Toes may be well split up but not flat or splayed. Front dewclaws may be removed. Rear dewclaws must be
removed. Tail: The tail is set on at the end of the croup. The natural tail is thick at the base and tapers toward
the tip. When the dog is alert, the tail is carried in an upward curve. When relaxed, the tail may be carried
straight out behind the dog. The tails of the coated variety dogs may be docked. If so, docking should be between
the second and third joint of the tail. Faults (both Varieties): Bent tail; ring tail. Disqualification (both
varieties): Natural bobtail. Coat: Hairless Variety - Puppies are born with a soft, vestigial down that generally covers the body. This
"down" gradually diminishes until age 6 to 8 weeks, by which time the pup should be completely hairless. A mature
American Hairless Terrier, Hairless variety, is free from hair except for whiskers and guard hairs on the muzzle,
and eyebrows. Short, very fine (vellus) hair may be present on the body of a mature dog. The skin is smooth and
warm to the touch. The hairless variety may sweat when overheated or stressed, but this is not to be faulted in the
ring. Coated Variety - The coat is short, dense, and smooth, with a sheen. Whiskers are not removed. Color: Hairless Variety - Any skin color is acceptable. The skin is usually parti-colored with an underlying
skin color and freckles or spots of contrasting color. Freckles enlarge with age, and skin color will darken when
exposed to the sun. Coated Variety - The coated American Hairless Terrier may be solid white, bi-color, tri-color,
sable or brindle, but must always have some white, which may be of any size and located anywhere on the dog. The
white area may be ticked as long as white predominates. The remaining accepted colors are: black, tan (ranging from
dark tan to very light tan and from intense dark mahogany red to light red with black nose and eyerims), chocolate
(ranging from dark liver to light chocolate with self-colored nose and eyerims), blue and blue fawn
(with self-colored nose and eyerims), apricot (ranging from orange to faded yellow with black nose and eyerims),
and lemon (ranging from orange to faded yellow with self-colored nose and eyerims).
Height and Weight: The American Hairless Terrier ranges in height from 10 to 16 inches tall. Gait: The American Hairless Terrier moves with a jaunty air that suggests agility, speed, and power.
American Hairless Terrier gait is smooth and effortless, with good reach of forequarters without any trace of
hackney gait. Rear quarters have strong driving power, with hocks fully extending. Viewed from any position, legs
turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge
toward center line of balance.
History The first American Hairless Terrier, a female named Josephine, was born in 1972, part of a litter of purebred,
coated Rat Terriers. The breeder, Edwin Scott, began to develop the breed from Josephine's descendants. Although he
never used any dogs but Rat Terriers in his breeding program, it was always Scott's intention for the hairless dogs
to be a separate breed. However, in 1999, when United Kennel Club recognized the Rat Terrier, Scott and his fellow
breeders agreed to allow the hairless dogs to enter the UKC registry as Rat Terriers, hairless variety. Upon
separation, all of the hairless Rat Terriers and all of their coated descendants, products of careful breeding to
the finest coated Rat Terriers, were given the name originally chosen for the breed by Edwin Scott: American
Hairless Terrier. While it may seem contradictory to have coated dogs in a hairless breed, it will be necessary for
the foreseeable future to continue to include some Rat Terrier crosses until there are sufficient hairless dogs to
maintain a separate and healthy gene pool.
The American Hairless Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club on January 1, 2004.
Behavior The American Hairless Terrier 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 American Hairless Terrier 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.
Health Minor skin infections are common in the American Hairless Terrier. Its delicate can also develop a skin rash if exposed to the sun for a
significant period of time. Applying sunscreen when walking in warm temperature can help to prevent a rash from developing. It can sweat profusely in warm
temperatures and can develop acne.
Advice The hairless dogs require protection from the sun and winter cold weather. The American Hairless Terrier will do OK in an apartment so long as they get at least 20-30 minutes of exercise
a day. They are fairly active indoors and should have at least a small to medium sized yard. AHTs love to dig. Since they have sweat glands they do not drool at the
mouth or pant in order to balance their body heat. They should wear a sweater in cold weather.