But when it is time to settle in their owners lap or sit by
their side, they are right there, ready to enjoy the companionship
of their humans. There are numerous accounts of our hairless friends
working a tree, killing vermin, and digging for underground treasures.
For most owners, nothing is more pleasurable than watching them
do what comes naturally. But when it is time to settle in their
owners lap or sit by their side, they are right there, ready to
enjoy the companionship of their humans.
They do tend to bond closely with their families,
so early socialization is important. This hairless terrier is different
from all other hairless breeds in several ways. Most evident is
the quality of its "hairlessness". The skin is so much
softer and smoother than that seen in any other hairless breed.
With the exception of some whiskers and eyelashes, it is totally
hairless. Some individuals when viewed at an angle, in good light,
may exhibit a very fine, downy "peach fuzz".
Another notable difference from all other hairless breeds, is their
normal dentition. There are no missing premolars, and the canine
teeth are of normal size and set in a correct angle within the jaw.
Very important to breeders is the fact that this hairlessness is
a recessive trait, with no lethal gene, as is found in the other
hairless breeds. Breeders may breed hairless to hairless without
danger to the developing puppies. This most useful trait is what
most of today's breeders are using to add new genetic material to
As was reported by Mr. Scott, ( and is presently being confirmed
by other breeders), it appears to work this way:
A.) When a hairless is bred to a hairless, all the puppies will
always be hairless.
B.) When a hairless is bred to a normal coated (that does not carry
the hairless gene), all the puppies will always have normal coats
and all will carry the hairless gene. (coated carrier)
C.) When a hairless is bred to a coated carrier, both hairless and
coated carriers can be produced.
D.) When a coated carrier is bred to a coated carrier, the resulting
puppies could be hairless, or coated carriers, or coated non-carriers.
On average, when a litter is produced that contains hairless and
coateds, the numbers range around 50/50. (Half hairless and half
The breed owes Edwin Scott a great deal of gratitude for having
the foresight and tenacity to foster this hairless trait for so
many years. He was the one who started exploring and learning some
of the genetic information we still use today. He named his new
breed the American Hairless Terrier, and most of what we know of
them came from his observations.
In January 1999 the Rat Terrier was fully recognized by UKC. At
the same time, these hairless "cousins" became recognized as the
hairless version of the more familiar coated rat terrier. Since the
foundation hairless lines had been inbred for so many years, it was
very important to introduce new, unrelated rat terrier lines to the
foundation hairless dogs.
UKC has implemented extremely useful pedigrees
to help all rat terrier breeders keep track of certain traits within
a dogs pedigree. For example, by reading a pedigree, a breeder can
decide whether or not they wanted to include the trait for a natural
bob tail. So too, by reading a pedigree, may a breeder decide whether
or not they want to include the trait for hairlessness. Both traits
are part of rat terrier heritage, and both traits can be selected
for, or against. They are clearly recorded in all the generations
listed on a dogs UKC pedigree.
Most breeders of the hairless are keenly aware of the responsibility
they have to this variety and are strongly in favor of health testing,
DNA profiling and placing all pets on a spay/neuter contract. In
their quest for even further improvement of this most delightful
member of dogdom, most breeders are working together, sharing knowledge
and a firm commitment to future members of this breed, and the families
who will love them.
Our most sincere and heartfelt Thank You to UKC for allowing us
the opportunity to preserve our pedigrees in a safe environment and
within the ranks of this highly respected registry. Without your
help and guidance, the progress we have made would not have been
possible. Thanks also, to the Rat Terrier community for being
instrumental in the preservation of this unique trait.
Not many new breeds have been fortunate enough to have so much help
during their development. Many future owners will come to know and
benefit from this breed because of your help.