History of the American Hairless Terrier
Jemima, Josephine, Snoopy, and Gypsy
autumn of 1972, a small female puppy was born into a litter of midsize
Rat Terriers. She had silky, pink skin with large black spots. Not
knowing exactly what to do with this different puppy, the owners
decided to give her to their friends, Willie and Edwin Scott. Little
did they know at the time that this unusual little pup would be
the beginning of a new and unique breed. The Scotts named their
new pup Josephine, and she quickly caught the hearts of the entire
family. She proved to be the perfect pet with her intelligent, lively
and loyal manner. Being hairless also meant there were no fleas
and no dog hair to vacuum up or brush off. This was a definite plus
for the new family addition. They did find out that Josephine's
smooth and silky skin would need protection from the hot Louisiana
sun. She turned out to be a very bright little dog that loved to
travel and make new friends wherever she went.The Scotts treasured
Josephine and became interested in breeding her and producing more
hairless puppies. They had owned dogs in the past, but were not
familiar with breeding.
That wasn't going to stop
them, though. With her clean nature, alert and loving personality,
Josephine was the perfect house dog and they couldn't imagine owning
any other kind of dog. They began to talk about their plans to anyone
who would listen, including university scientists. They received
the same answer each and every time: "You'll just be wasting
your time, it can't be done..." They were told that Josephine
was simply a freak of nature and that there was no way that she
would reproduce the hairless trait. But Willie and Edwin couldn't
take no for an answer and went ahead with their plans to breed her.
At the age of one year, Josephine was bred to her sire and she
produced a litter of four puppies. Three of the pups were coated,
and one was a hairless female named Gypsy.
In the years that followed,
Josephine had several litters, but none with any hairless puppies.
On December 30, 1981, when Josephine was nine years old and still
in good health, she had her final litter after being bred to her
son. She whelped a hairless male, a hairless female, and two coated
female puppies. This successful litter produced Snoopy, Jemima,
Petunia, and Queenie. The Scotts' dreams were becoming a reality,
and on that day they witnessed the birth of the American Hairless
The Scotts were now ready to embark on a full scale breeding program
with help from veterinarians. Snoopy was bred to all of his littermates
once they reached one year of age. Jemima produced a litter of all
hairless pups and the Scotts were overjoyed when Petunia's and Queenie's
litters produced both hairless and coated.
They kept all of the pups
and the house was quickly becoming crowded. They had no choice but
to build the kennel that adjoins their house. The Scotts were now
on their way and named their kennel "Trout Creek Kennel".
Interestingly, the American Hairless Terriers are actually born
The puppies' sparse hair is short, fuzzy, and noticeably different
from the hair on a coated Rat Terrier. Shortly after birth they
begin to lose this hair, starting at the head and working its way
toward the back. By the time the puppies are 6 to 8 weeks old, they
are totally hairless with soft, smooth, and silky skin. Their pink
skin is warm and usually covered with freckles or small spots. These
spots will enlarge with age and darken in the sun. The delicate
pink skin does need to be protected from long periods of sun exposure.
The American Hairless Terrier is a small, well-balanced, muscular
dog with a sleek and elegant look. They are alert, intelligent,
and loving dogs. Their high energy makes them good playmates for
children, and their intelligent and loving nature makes them loyal
Willie Scott and JayAre
Edwin Scott and 4 AHTs in 1986 |The American Hairless Terrier
is different from the other hairless dog breeds native to other countries.
The breeds most often seen are the Chinese Crested, the Xoloitzcuintli,
and the Peruvian Inca Orchid. These breeds all have a few things in
common: most evident is the hair on the head, feet, and tail on the
hairless variety; missing, poor, or weak teeth; and skin problems.
The American Hairless Terrier has a strong , full set of teeth, a
totally hairless body (except for whiskers and eyebrows), and does
not have the skin problems associated with the other hairless breeds.
Another difference found between the breeds is that in the American
Hairless Terrier the hairless gene is recessive, while the gene for
hairlessness found in the ancient breeds is 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 hairless gene can produce a
mixture of hairless and coated, as well. Today there are about 400
American Hairless Terriers in the world. The Scotts are still actively
involved with breed, and the breed has also attracted many new breeders
around the country
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