American Hairless Terrier

In 1972 a naked puppy appeared in a litter of otherwise normal Rat Terriers. Her name was Josephine and she was to become the first of an entirely new breed of small, hairless companion dogs. Her owners, Edwin and Willie Scott of Trout, Louisiana, bred from her and were successful in obtaining another naked female puppy, which they named Gypsy. Eight years later, after giving birth to many litters of fully haired puppies, Josephine once again produced a naked female puppy, this time called Jemima, and, more importantly, a naked male, which was named Snoopy. In 1983 Snoopy was mated with all his sisters and many more naked puppies were born.

The Scotts now established Trout Creek Kennels to further develop the breed and year by year have increased their population of American Hairless Terriers. They kept careful records and eventually set up the American Hairless Terrier Association. Because they have found that individuals vary in size from 7 to 14 lb (3 to 6 kg), they have decided to treat the smaller ones as a separate form and classify them as "Toys".

At birth the naked puppies do possess a little sparse, fuzzy hair, but it soon starts to fall out and by the age of six weeks it has all gone, except for a few stray eyebrow hairs and whiskers. The skin of these lively, friendly, intelligent little dogs is usually a mottled white, showing small dark spots and some larger blotches. For anyone allergic to animal fur they make the ideal house pet and have the added advantage that they can never leave hairs on furniture. Their only shortcomings are that they would soon become chilled in a cold climate — not a problem in their native Louisiana - and that, like their human owners, they can easily suffer from sunburn.

Gallery of American Hairless Terrier