Dogs In Review Magazine October 2016 - Page 95

The American Hairless Terrier is a smoothly muscled, active and athletic breed. Their natural agility and speed have helped these dogs shine in a variety of Performance events. T he American Hairless Terrier is more commonly referred to as the “AHT.” This is truly an American breed. It originated in Louisiana in the early 1970s when a hairless puppy was born into a litter of midsize Rat Terriers. While not the first hairless puppy born, it was the first to be given to Edwin and Willie Scott, the founders of the breed. The Scotts fell in love with this female, whom they named Josephine, so they bred her in the hopes of getting mor e like her. Thankfully, they were successful, and Josephine became the progenitor of the American Hairless Terrier breed. The AHT was accepted into AKC’s Foundation Stock Service (FSS) in October 2011, and the original submission to AKC was more than 1,200 pedigrees. On January 1, 2016, the AKC granted the American Hairless Terrier full breed recognition and moved it into the Terrier Group. According to the parent club’s records, by the end of January, 10 AHTs earned their AKC championships, and two earned Grand Championships. The American Hairless Terrier has no relationship to the Chinese Crested or Xolotizcuintli. Some Notes on Judging AHTs In the conformation ring, the AHT is a tabled breed that should not be sparred. The standard permits the tail of the coated variety to be docked. While many are now refraining from docking, a docked tail on the coated AHT should not be faulted. However, tail docking is not permitted for the hairless AHT. A blue or blue fawn dog is permitted to have blue or amber eyes. A chocolate dog will also have lighter eyes. These are Unique Genetics self-colored dogs with matching nose leather and should not Like all the other hairless dog breeds, the AHT comes in two be faulted for the lighter-colored eyes. However, AHTs of othvarieties (hairless and coated), but that is where the simier colors should have dark brown eyes. larities end. The AHT is different than Both the hairless and coated AHT come all the other hairless breeds in several in a variety of colors and patterns, inways. Most importantly, the genes that This is truly an cluding solid-colored, but merle and make the AHT hairless are simple reAmerican breed. albinism are disqualifications. cessive. This means that coated AHTs It originated in The AHT is ideally 12 to 16 inches (which have a short, smooth dense coat at the shoulder, and the body is rectwith a sheen) carry a hairless gene and Louisiana in the angular, being slightly longer than tall. can produce both hairless and coated early 1970s. Movement is smooth and effortless, offspring, but the hairless AHT has only showing good reach and drive. hairless genes and will produce all hairThe standard is included here and is less offspring. always available on the American Hairless Terrier Club of All the other hairless breeds have a dominant lethal gene, America and American Kennel Club websites. AHTCA also meaning no zygote with two hairless genes will survive. The has a wonderful illustrated breed standard, which can be hairless varieties of the other hairless breeds need to have one viewed on the AHTCA website at gene for coat and one hairless gene, thus giving the hairless variety of those breeds patterned hair on the head, feet and tail. The coated variety of these other hairless breeds carry no Life With AHTs hairless gene and, therefore, can only produce coated offspring In a nutshell, AHTs are smoothly muscled, small- to if bred together. medium-sized companions that attract attention and fans Because the AHT genetics are different, hairless AHTs are wherever they go. The breed is alert, curious, intelligent and born with a soft down that is referred to as a “birth coat,” easy to train. Because the hairless variety lacks the protecwhich they lose by the time they are 8 to 12 weeks of age. The tion of a coat, they are unsuited for field hunting (and need feel of the AHT skin is very different and not as prone to the sunscreen to protect their exposed skin). While the AHT was skin issues seen with the other hairless breeds. The hairless not really developed to be a working terrier, the instincts are AHT also lacks the dentition issues seen with the other hairthere, and many AHTs (both varieties) excel in Obedience and less breeds. They have normal-shaped and well-rooted teeth. a variety of performance events. 92