In 1972, a remarkable thing happened: in a litter of mid-sized Rat Terriers, a completely hairless female was born. It became the prized pet of Willie and Edwin Scott of Louisiana, USA. They named their hairless dog Josephine.
The Scotts bred Josephine and produced one hairless female in her first litter, but through the next several litters, the little terrier failed to whelp any more exhibiting the hairless trait. Finally, at the age of nine years, she crowned her attempts by having a litter with two hairless pups, one of each sex.
These hairless pups were the foundation of a breeding program to produce and stabilize the breed. The Scotts worked under the guidance of their geneticist and veterinarian. They named their new breed the American Hairless Terrier.
These are not just freak dogs. They differ substantially from the hairless types of Asia and Africa in that no Powderpuff variety is needed to obtain hairless pups, as the hairlessness gene is not semi-lethal dominant but autosomal recessive.
Furthermore, these dogs do not have absent premolars or any of the breeding complications associated with the hairless breeds. For these traits, the Scott's nude puppy and its progeny are truly remarkable and unique in the canine world.
The Scotts are still working on establishing this breed. They are working toward keeping the temperament of the Rat Terrier while still maintaining the hairless trait.
• This breed is likened to the Medium-sized Rat Terrier, descended from.
• Intelligent, lively, alert, playful and loving dog.
• Breaks out in a sweat when hot or frightened.
• Friendly with strangers.
• Good Watch Dog.
• Not good swimmers.
• Feisty, fearless ~ like all terriers.
• Easy to train.
• Very little skin problems, unlike other hairless breeds.
• Do need protection from the sun.
• Unlike other dog breeds this breed DO have sweat glands and can get pimples.
• Can become allergic to grass, maybe because of pesticides being used on plants close to the grassy areas.
• Does well in apartment lifestyles.
• Love long walks.
• Need to be kept warm in cold climates.
• Need regular baths.
• Do not shed ~ a good hypo-allergenic breed choice.
This is a very athletic and very loving dog. They bond strongly. They are very loyal and intelligent. They have excellent hearing and are very quick to alert you to strangers in the yard. They are naturally wary of strangers and don't warm up to new people right away. They should be socialized early to make them comfortable with guests in the home and with small children.
This breed is very intuitive and somewhat dominant in nature. It's important that you teach them early on who's boss, or they'll gladly be the boss of the home. They seem to be very tuned in to what's going on in the family, and with time, will behave appropriately for the current situation.
The American Hairless loves its owner and is not prone to run off. In fact, once properly trained. This is one dog that will always come when you call them; in fact, they probably will always be very nearby, however, if they choose they can be a great escape artist when they want to be. By nature, they are not likely to stray, but it's still important to have a secure fence if you're planning to let them out in the yard alone.
In general, this is a very hardy and healthy breed. There are no known Health Problems specific to this breed.
This is a very easy breed of dog to groom, whether short haired or hairless.
Hairless- These dogs can experience skin problems, if they are not properly taken care of. They should not be over bathed or have too much lotion put on them, as this strips the body's natural protection and causes pores to get clogged. They do need sunscreen when out in the sun for extended periods of time. Sunscreen designed for babies works well. In general they need to be bathed and rubbed in lotion about once a month.
While they are happiest and most suited to living indoors with their families, they do love to get out and run. They'll also love to play with toys and they can get a lot of exercise playing in the house.
They're great companions when you go on walks, etc, as long as they're protected from the elements. When they're puppies, they will be bursting with energy and are likely to get into things if they're not given the opportunity to run off their energy. As they mature, this will be less of an issue.
This is an intelligent and fairly easy to train breed. However, as a puppy, they will need lots of discipline and attention in order to teach them acceptable behavior. They will bond with the person who cares for them, feeds them, plays with them and trains them. For this reason it's important to get every member of the family involved in the puppy's care and training. Otherwise, you risk him being a "one person dog".
They can certainly be house trained. However, many owners choose to paper train the small hairless varieties to avoid having them have to go out in the cold during winter. (The hairless variety would need a sweater to go outside in very cold weather.) Crate training works well for this breed. In addition to being a great way to housebreak them, it provides them a bed that they will grow quite attached to.
There are great ways to socialize your American Hairless, and the easiest is just to take them with you whenever you can ~ they enjoy the company of their humans so much that they'll be quite happy to accompany you anywhere.
Your Hairless will love to entertain you, so teach him some tricks that he can perform to delight his audience. This is also a great way to socialize him with strangers, since he will love the attention he gets from performing for your guests.