In the autumn of 1972, a small hairless female puppy was born into a litter of midsized Rat Terriers. She had silky, pink skin with large black spots. Not knowing exactly what to do with this decidedly different puppy, the owners decided to give her to their friends, Willie and Edwin Scott.
Little did they know that unusual puppy wold be the beginning of a totally new breed.
The Scotts treasured “Josephine”and become interested in breeding her and producing more hairless puppies. On December 30, 1981, when Josephine was nine years old and still in good health, they bred her to her son. In that final litter, there was a hairless male and female, and two coated female puppies.
On the day, the Scott’s witnessed the birth of the American Hairless Terrier breed.
American Hairless Terriers are actually born with hair. But the sparse hair is short, fuzzy, and noticeably different from the hair on a Rat Terrier. Shortly after birth they begin to lose hair, starting at the head. By 6 to 8 weeks old, the puppies are totally hairless with soft, Smooth, silky skin. Their pink skin is warm and usually covered with freckles or small spots which will enlarge with age and darken in the sun. The delicate skin needs to be protected form long periods of sun exposure.
The American Hairless Terrier comes in two sizes, Miniature and STandard. The Miniature American Hiarless Terrier is under 13″nad the standard is 13 to 18 tall.
The American Hairless Terrier is different from other hairless breeds such as the Chinese Crested, Xoloitzcuintli, and the Peruvian Inca Orchid. Those breeds all have a few things in common: most evident is the hair on the head, feet, and tail in the hairless varieties: missing, poor, or weak teeth: and skin problems.
The Amercan Hairless Terrier has a strong, full set of teeth, a totally hairless body and does not have the skin problems associated with the other hairless breeds. Another difference is that in the American Hairless Terrier, the hairless gene is recessive, while the gene of hairlessness found in other breeds is usually a lethal dominant.
New American Hairless Terrier bloodlines are created by carefully planned “out-crossings”to the Rat Terrier. The breeding of two American Hairless Terriers will always produce hairless puppies, while the breeding of an American Hairless Terrier to a coated hairless gene carrier will produce a mixture of coated and Hairless offspring. Two coated dogs carrying the recessive harless gene can produce a mixture of hairless and coated as well.