The American Hairless Terrier originated in the United States and is a descendant of the Rat Terrier. The breed has been bred as a companion animal, but also for small game hunting. The most distinctive feature of this breed is that there is a hairless variety. In addition, the dogs are noted for their playful and active character.
The breed has a medium size, with a weight between 5 and 7 kilograms, and a height between 30 and 40.5 centimeters. Its life expectancy is 14 to 16 years and it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Breed history in brief
The American Hairless Terrier is a breed that originated in 1970 in the United States. The breed was developed by a Louisiana couple from a litter of Rat Terriers where they discovered a hairless puppy they named Josephine. This family, from Josephine, took it upon themselves to breed more hairless dogs and establish the American Hairless Terrier as an independent breed. In 2004 this breed was recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC), and in 2016, finally, it was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).
To this day, the American Hairless Terrier is an uncommon but beloved breed as a companion animal because of its playful and affectionate personality. However, this breed has also been used for hunting small rats or small animals.
The American Hairless Terrier has a muscular body and slightly longer than tall. The loin is medium short and somewhat arched and strong. The head is wedge-shaped and proportionate to the body size, with round and somewhat prominent, but medium-sized eyes. Eye color varies from darker to lighter shades of brown (amber or hazel). The ears are set in a V-shape and are normally erect.
The hairless variety of American Hairless Terrier has a short, smooth, dense and glossy coat. Whereas, the hairless variety is born with a soft coat that should be non-existent by eight to ten weeks of age. A mature hairless dog should only have hair on the whiskers, eyebrows and muzzle. The American Hairless Terrier displays a wide variety of colors, including pink, black and tan or combination thereof.
The breed is characterized as active, curious and intelligent. In addition, their personality is playful and they are very loyal to their owners. They are easy to train and affectionate, making them ideal companions for many families with children.
Common health problems
As with other dog breeds, the American Hairless Terrier can be susceptible to health problems. Some of the most common disorders and diseases include patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
In addition to the aforementioned conditions, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends a cardiac and eye screening examination (starting at age 8), as well as a series of tests to assess diseases such as congenital deafness, primary lens luxation, elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.
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