Photo by johnynek
It may sound unusual but it is true. Often mistaken for its coat as being shaved off by its owner, the American Hairless Terrier is indeed what its name depicts … a hairless dog, which is why it is considered as one of the highly recommended dog breeds for people suffering from allergies.
The Origin of the Breed
It all started in 1972 when, in a litter of mid-sized Rat Terriers, a completely hairless female was born. The owners of the dogs, Willie and Edwin Scott of Louisiana, USA, named their hairless prized pet Josephine. After attempts to breed Josephine to produce more hairless pups, it was only at the age of 9 years when she successfully gave birth to a litter with two hairless pups, one of each sex. The hairless pups became the foundation of a breeding program that would help produce and stabilize the breed, thus, the birth of the American Hairless Terrier.
It is interesting to know that American Hairless Terriers are actually born with short and fuzzy hair, different from that of a Rat Terrier. However, it is not long after birth when they start losing their hair. As the puppies turn 6 to 8 weeks old, they would already be totally hairless. What is left would be silky soft and smooth skin, which is warm and usually covered with freckles. Protection from sun exposure is a must for this breed as their skin will tend to be more sensitive.
American Hairless Terriers come in two sizes; the miniature, which stands under 13 inches tall, and standard – at 13-18 inches tall.
American Hairless Terriers are alert, intelligent, and loving dogs. They are considered as good playmates for children because of their high energy and playfulness. In addition, their intelligent and loving nature makes them loyal family members.
It is never a dull moment with an American Hairless Terrier as they will keep their owners entertained. Their temperament is characteristic of a pure terrier: lively, feisty and fearless.
You must remember that your American Hairless Terrier is sensitive to sunburn, and should be kept warm in cold weather. Though they obviously do not shed any hair or get fleas, they do shed skin cells around every 20 days, so care should be taken so that their sensitive skin is protected from dryness and cuts. Applying lotion and bathing 1-3 times a week would be good for their skin.
Take good care of your American Hairless Terrier, the unusual, fun-loving breed that will definitely catch the attention of people around you.