American Hairless Terrier Breed Magazine - Showsight

American Hairless Terrier Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


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Official Standard of the American Hairless Terrier General Appearance: The American Hairless Terrier is a small to medium sized, smoothly muscled and active terrier. Ancestors of the breed were bred to hunt rats and other vermin. The lack of coat on the hairless variety of the American Hairless Terrier renders them unsuited for most hunting activities. They have, however, retained a strong hunting instinct and excel in many other activities and sports. The breed is energetic, alert, curious and intelligent. Given early socialization and training they excel as companions, displaying great affection for their owners and family. American Hairless Terriers should not be sparred during conformation judging. Size, Proportion, Substance: Size - Ideal height is from 12 to 16 inches at the withers. Proportion - Body is rectangular being slightly longer than tall with a 10:9 ratio when measured from the prosternum to point of buttocks and from the withers to the ground. Substance - Medium bone, not so heavy as to appear coarse or so light as to appear racy and blends with the proportion of the dog. The overall appearance is strong but moderate with firm, smooth, flat muscles. While correct size is very important, it should not outweigh that of type. Too heavy or too light in bone and obesity are to be faulted. Head: Expression - is alert, curious and intelligent. Viewed from the front or side the head forms a blunt wedge shape and is proportionate to the size of the body. The skull is broad, slightly domed and tapers slightly toward the muzzle. Skull and muzzle are of equal length with a moderate stop. Muzzle - Muzzle is well filled under the eyes, tapers slightly from the stop to the nose and is well-chiseled. Jaws are powerful with well-muscled cheeks. Lips are tight, dry, without flews. Pigmentation of the lips match the nose. Nose - The nose is solid colored. Abrupt stop, snipey muzzle and a Dudley or butterfly nose are to be faulted. Serious fault - Apple head. Eyes - Eyes are expressive, set obliquely, round, somewhat prominent but moderate in size, and of matching color. Eye color varies with body color from darkest brown to amber and hazel. When eyes are brown, a darker brown is preferred. Amber eyes are permissible for a blue dog. Blue eyes are acceptable in blue or blue fawn dogs only but gray is preferred. Eye rim pigmentation corresponds with the nose color. Incomplete eye rim pigmentation is permitted only when the skin/coat color around the eye area is white. Bite - The teeth are white and strongly developed meeting in a scissors bite. A level bite is acceptable. Missing pre-molars are not to be faulted. Overshot or undershot bite should be faulted. Ears - Ears are set at the outside edge of the skull and V-shaped. Erect ears are preferred however, tipped or button ears are acceptable. Both ears should match in carriage. Rose ears, flying ears, erect ears with the sides curved inward forming a tulip petal shape and non-matching ear carriages are to be faulted. Disqualification - Hanging ears. Neck, Body, Topline: The neck is clean, moderately long, smoothly muscled, slightly arched and tapers slightly from the shoulders to the head, blending smoothly into well laid back shoulders. Body - The body is slightly longer than tall. Length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) should approximately equal one- half of the dog’ s height. The loin is moderately short, slightly arched, and muscular, with moderate tuck-up and the croup is slightly sloping. Ribs extend well back and are well sprung out from the spine, forming a broad, strong back, then curving down and inward to form a deep body. Brisket extends to or just below the elbow. The chest between the forelegs is well filled and of moderate width when viewed from the front. The forechest extends in a shallow oval shape in front of the forelegs when viewed from the side. Topline - The line of the back is strong and level when the dog is standing

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or moving. The tail comes off the end of the croup, almost reaches hock and is thick at the base, tapering toward the tip. The tail is held upward in a slight curve when the dog is alert and may be carried out behind the dog or up in a slight curve when the dog is in motion. The tail on the hairless variety should never be docked. Tail docking on the coated variety is permitted and optional. Bent tail, ring tail or curled tail are to be faulted. Disqualification - bobtail or docked tail on the hairless variety. Forequarters: Shoulders blades are well laid back with the upper tips fairly close together at the withers. The upper arm appears equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins at an apparent right angle. Shoulders are smoothly muscled and the elbows are close to the body. Forelegs are straight and strong when viewed from any angle and sturdy in bone. Pasterns are strong, short, and nearly vertical. Feet - Feet are slightly oval in shape and compact. The two middle toes are slightly longer than the other toes. Toes may be well split up but the foot is not flat or splayed. Removal of front dewclaws is optional but rear dewclaws must be removed. Flat feet, splayed feet or rear dewclaws present are to be faulted. Hindquarters: The hindquarters are muscular. Upper and lower thighs being approximately equal in length. Angulation of the hindquarters and forequarters are in balance with each other. Stifles are well-bent and the hocks are well let down. The short, strong rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and when viewed from the rear they are parallel to one another. Coat: The breed is hairless but has a coated counterpart. Coated: The coated variety is covered with a short, smooth and dense coat that has a sheen. Whiskers are not removed. A coated dog that lacks a full coat is to be seriously faulted. Hairless: Hairless puppies are born with a soft, vestigial “down” known as the “birth coat” . This generally covers the body but diminishes over time and puppies should be completely hairless by approximately eight to ten weeks of age. A mature, hairless dog should be free of hair with the exception of whiskers and guard hairs on the eyebrows and muzzle. Short, very fine (vellus) hair may be present on the body of a mature dog. The skin is smooth and warm to the touch. Disqualification – In the coated variety – wire, broken or long coat. Color: Any color or combination of colors is allowed with the exception of albino or merle. Disqualification - Merle, albinism. Gait: Movement is smooth and effortless, showing good reach and drive. The forequarters move without any hint of being hackney and the rear drives with power and with the hocks fully extending. This breed moves smoothly but with a jaunty attitude that suggests a dog of agility, power and speed. The legs do not turn in or out and the feet do not cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward centerline but do not cross. Temperament: The breed is energetic, alert, curious and intelligent. Aggressiveness or extreme shyness is to be faulted. Disqualifications: Hanging ears. Bobtail or docked tail on the hairless variety. In the coated variety - wire, broken or long coat. Merle color and albinism.

Approved March 9, 2010 Effective January 1, 2014


by Teri Murphy, AHTCA President

I began showing dogs around 30+ years ago as a lark. I had purchased a show quality male Keeshond from a well known and respected breeder, Linda Moss of Ashbrook Keeshonden. She invited me to go with her to a show in Virginia and talked me into showing him myself. Little did I know, when he won his class and the judge pointed to me for the win, it was to begin my love for the sport of purebred dogs. I have been very fortunate over the years to have shown and bred a num- ber of AKC Champions in Keeshonden and Chinese Cresteds; including sev- eral Hall of Fame title holders and Spe- cialty winners with the kennel name of WudNshu. During this time, I thought I knew all the hairless breeds in existence. Until one day I began doing some research on the Internet and to my amazement came across a hairless breed I had not heard of called the American Hairless Terrier (AHT). My curiosity began to grow. I knew I had to learn more about them. I did not think I would find them as beautiful as my Chinese Cresteds. After all, they had no flashy furnishings. I was surprised when I was able to meet an American Hairless Terrier in person! I couldn’t stop petting it from head to tail. “Wow!” I thought to myself and finally proclaimed out loud how good the skin felt to me. I continued to pet this dog for some time. It was amazing

to me how good the skin felt, even that tail without a bit of hair on it.. actually, no hair anywhere!! I asked the owner “Do you have to shave your dog?”. She answers “No!” WOW!! Coming from a breed where shaving was as common as brushing ones teeth made me even more curious about this unique breed. After this first meeting, I quickly placed a call to Edwin Scott of Trout Creek Kennel who was listed as the breed’s founder. I had to talk to him and get to know this breed first hand. After many conversations with Mr. Scott I decided to purchase my first AHT. I, along with another person, drove to Louisiana to purchase our first American Hairless Terriers. I must have been a pest to Mr. Scott; as I was trying to soak up as much information about the breed from him as I could. He was a true Southern gentleman and indulged me kindly. I went home with my first 3 American Hairless Terriers and memo- rabilia of past AHT history Mr. Scott gave to me. Looking back 17 years, I see myself sitting on the motel floor with several AHT puppies and asking my friend “what am I getting in to?” What I was getting in to was a breed I would get to know well and love. They are intelligent, easy to train, loyal and have comical personalities. They would bring endless joy not only to me; but also to many who had never before been able to enjoy the pleasure of dog

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ownership either due to their own aller- gies or those of loved ones. I became impassioned to see the American Hairless Terrier become known Worldwide for what they would offer their owners and the dog world in general. A true “Made In America” breed. Our journey began in Rare Breed status followed by UKC breed status where we were allowed to flourish and improve on some structural faults we had identified. A continued process even to this day. We had our Champi- ons for the breed whose encourage- ment and support were critical to our growth. Two people I would like to mention are Bonnie Turner, whose Flin- thill AHT kennel was instrumental with the breed’s heritage past, present and future. Her friendship is greatly missed since her passing; and Cindy Cooke, of Anstamn Scottish Terriers, who stood by us as a breed and whose friendship guided us as we grew. A question often asked is “What is the American Hairless Terrier personality like?”.

s 4HE!MERICAN(AIRLESS4ERRIER personality is all Terrier but with an “off” switch. s 4HEYWILLPLAYHARDWHENITISASKED of them and just as easily be your best lap buddy and snuggle happily with you. s 4HEYAREALERT ACTIVEANDINTELLIGENT s 4HEYTRAINEASILYGIVENPROPER socialization as youngsters and proper training. s 4HEYARESMARTENOUGHTOOUTSMART their owners if not paid attention to. s 3OMEWILLBEAGGRESSIVEDIGGERSAND chewers and others not at all. They love to “destuff” stuffed animals, so I caution families with children to put away their toys when play time is over. s !MERICAN(AIRLESS4ERRIERSBOND well with their families. s 4HEYRESPONDWELLTOPOSITIVETRAIN - ing and poorly to negative training. s %XCELINPERFORMANCEEVENTSOFALL types: lure coursing, agility, obedi- ence, barn hunts, terrier racing. s 3OMEREMAINWITHASTRONG prey drive.

s 4HEYMAKEGREATFAMILYDOGSWHEN raised with children. If parents are dog savvy and supervise both child and dog properly. s 3OMEWILLACCEPTSTRANGERSRIGHT away and others will be more leery. s 4HEYWILLALERTBARK s 4HEYTENDTOBEMOREhORALvTHAN other breeds as puppies and must be taught that human skin is not the same as the skin of their littermate. They get their razor sharp puppy teeth at 4 weeks of age. Another common question is: Why is there a coated dog in a hairless breed? Simple! Every hairless breed has a coat- ed variety and we have ours too. Health issues checked for in the breed would be the same as many others. Over- all the American Hairless Terrier is a rela- tively healthy breed. We have seen aller- gies become more prevalent due to the lack a protective hair coat and failure to not use a common sense approach when it comes to protecting the skin. Breeders do DNA testing when available for the breed such as PLL and DM and check Eyes, Heart, Patellas,

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LCP if indicated, Liver function and BAER testing. The worst enemies to AHT skin are their owners and the sun. I say this because we tend to not take proper care of “skin” in the presence of sun. Their skin is as vulnerable as our skin is to the ravages of sun exposure. And as they age all the issues seen with regards to unprotected sun exposure will present themselves in various forms such as blackheads, freckles, pimples, moles and skin cancers. White areas on the AHT will NEVER tan up.. and yes, the colored parts do “tan” but that also means they are get- ting all those rays from the sun that will later give the skin issues we deal with. It only takes one bad sunburn to ruin their beautiful skin forever! It may not show up immediately but it will eventually. Many owners tend to put all sorts of creams and lotions on their skin think- ing this will help them, but in actuality it can also create skin issues. I’ve been in hairless dogs for over 20 years and my background has taught me that “less is more”. NEVER use any scented products or products with lano- lin in it. These will create skin issues. I believe all hairless dogs are allergic to lanolin and to wool products. If you are using a cream / lotion pres- ently and no problems are resulting, good.. but use them very sparingly. Remember, hairless dogs do not have a protective hair coat and consequently will be prone to “contact” issues with grasses and other things they must walk on both indoors and outdoors. Be mind- ful of what you use on your lawns and floors... what you wash their bedding/ clothes in... keep to hypoallergenic products to prevent/minimize any contact reactions. Internally, be mindful of what you put into their bodies, not only for reac- tions you can see; but also for those you can not that will affect their hepatic and renal systems over time. Anyone interested in learning more about this wonderful breed please visit our website at American Hairless Terrier Club of America (www.ahtca. info)where you will find our Illustrated Breed Standard and more.

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