Breed Standard

AHT Standard

The American Hairless Terrier is an energetic, alert dog whose curiosity and intelligence make him easy to train. The ancestors of this breed were bred to hunt. Some dogs of both varieties may still have a strong hunting instinct and many are fearless, tenacious hunters with seemingly unlimited energy. The American Hairless Terrier carries itself in a graceful confident manner that projects the health and vigor. American Hairless Terriers are friendly, social, sensitive and loyal to their families. They are protective of their home, and when threatened will guard it as a terrier should. The tendency to spar is acceptable, but not preferred. American Hairless Terriers enjoy human companionship immensely and will enthusiastically share any activity with their owners. In Canada both varieties require protection in winter, and in summer hairless require sun protection.

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Miniature Variety

The American Hairless Terrier is a smoothly muscled, active, small-to-medium terrier. The body is neat, trim and compact, resembling a small deer. Desirable proportion of the height to length of body is 9 to 10. Size is 12″ to 16″ at the shoulder.The head is broad, slightly domed, wedge-shaped, and proportionate to the size of the body. Ears are V-shaped, set at the outside edges of the skull, and may be erect, tipped or button. Both varieties may have a natural tail carried in an upward curve. Docked or bob tail in either variety is a disqualification. The American Hairless Terrier comes in a number of skin colors and patterns (hairless variety) and coat colors and patterns (coated variety).

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Disqualification: A short-legged dog whose proportions vary significantly from the 10:9 ratio lacks breed type and must be disqualified. Natural bob or docked tail must be disqualified.

Head

The head is proportionate to the size of the body. When viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are of equal length and joined by a moderate stop. Viewed from the front and the side, the American Hairless Terrier’s head forms a blunt wedge shape

Fault: Abrupt stop.

SKULL – The skull is broad and slightly domed. It tapers slightly toward the muzzle. The jaws are powerful with well-muscled cheeks.

Serious fault: Apple head.

MUZZLE – The muzzle is well filled-out under the eyes, well-chiseled, and tapers slightly from the stop to the nose. Jaws are powerful and hinged well back allowing the dog to open his mouth wide enough to catch rats and other rodents. Lips are dry and tight with no flews. Lip pigment matches nose pigment.

goldieprofileFault: Snipey muzzle.

TEETH – The American Hairless Terrier has a complete set of good-sized, evenly spaced, white teeth. A scissors bite is preferred but a level bite is acceptable.

Faults: Missing teeth; overshot or undershot bite

NOSE – The nose is black or self-colored.

Faults: Spotted or butterfly nose.

EYES – Eyes are set obliquely and are round, moderate in size, and somewhat prominent. Eye rims match nose pigment.

Hairless Variety: Eyes may be any color found in the coated variety.

Coated Variety: Eye color ranges from dark brown to amber and corresponds with coat color. Hazel eyes are acceptable in dogs with lighter coat color. Blue or amber eyes are permitted in blue-colored dogs only, but a dark gray eye with gray eye rims is preferred.

Faults: Bulgy eyes; deep-set eyes; light-colored eyes in a dog with black coat color or black pigment; both eyes not of matching colors; eye with iris containing more than one color; wall or china eye.

EARS – Ears are V-shaped, set at the outside edges of the skull. Erect ears are preferred but tipped or button ears are acceptable. Matching ears are strongly preferred. Non-matching ear carriage should be penalized to the degree of the variation. Note: Ear carriage may not stabilize until a dog is mature. Dogs under one year of age should not be penalized for variations in ear carriage.

Faults: Erect ears with the sides curved inward forming a shape like a tulip petal; rose ears; flying ears; non-matching ear carriages. Variations in ear carriage for a dog up to one year of age is not to be faulted.

Disqualification: Hanging ears.
Neck

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The neck is clean, moderately long, smoothly muscled, slightly arched, and tapers slightly from the shoulders to the head. The neck blends smoothly into well laid back shoulders.

Forequarters

Shoulders are smoothly muscled. The shoulder blades are well laid back with the upper tips fairly close together at the withers. The upper arm appears to be equal in length to the shoulder blade and joins it at an apparent right angle. The elbows are close to the body. Viewed from any angle, the forelegs are straight, strong, and sturdy in bone. The pasterns are strong, short, and nearly vertical.

Body

A properly proportioned American Hairless Terrier is slightly longer (measured from prosternum to point of buttocks) than tall (measured from the withers to the ground), and length of the front leg (measured from point of elbow to the ground) should approximately equal one-half of the dog’s height. Whether the dog is standing or moving, the line of the back is strong and level. The loin is moderately short, slightly arched, and muscular, with moderate tuck-up. The croup is slightly sloping. The 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. The brisket extends to or just below the elbow. Viewed from the front, the chest between the forelegs is well filled and of moderate width. Viewed from the side, the forechest extends in a shallow oval shape in front of the forelegs.

Hindquarters

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The hindquarters are muscular with the length of the upper and lower thighs being approximately equal. The angulation of the hindquarters is in balance with the angulation of the forequarters. The stifles are well-bent, and the hocks are well let down. When the dog is standing, the short, strong rear pasterns are perpendicular to the ground and, viewed from the rear, parallel to one another.

Feet

The feet are compact and slightly oval, semi-hare in shape. The two middle toes are slightly longer than the other toes. Toes may be well split up but not flat or splayed. Front dewclaws may not be removed unless deemed medically necessary. Rear dewclaws may be removed.

Faults: Flat feet; splayed feet; rear dewclaws present.

Tail

The tail is set on at the end of the croup. The natural tail is thick at the base and tapers toward the tip. When the dog is alert, the tail is carried in an upward curve. When relaxed, the tail may be carried straight out behind the dog.

Faults (both Varieties): Bent tail; ring tail.

Disqualification (both Varieties): Natural bobtail or docked tail.

Coat

Hairless Variety: Puppies are born with a soft, vestigial down that generally covers the body. This “down” gradually diminishes until age 6 to 8 weeks, by which time the pup should be completely hairless. A mature American Hairless Terrier, Hairless variety, is free from hair except for whiskers and guard hairs on the muzzle, and eyebrows. Short, very fine (vellus) hair may be present on the body of a mature dog. The skin is smooth and warm to the touch. The hairless variety may sweat when overheated or stressed, but this is not to be faulted in the ring.

Coated Variety: The coat is short, dense, and smooth, with a sheen. Whiskers are not removed.

Serious faults (Hairless variety): Vellus hair longer than 1mm on a dog over six months of age.

Disqualifications (both varieties): Wire or broken coat; long coat.

Color

Hairless Variety: Any skin color is acceptable. The skin is usually parti-colored with an underlying skin color and freckles or spots of contrasting color. Freckles enlarge with age, and skin color will darken when exposed to the sun.

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Coated Variety: The coated American Hairless Terrier may be solid white, bi-color, tri-color, sable or brindle, but must always have some white, which may be of any size and located anywhere on the dog. The white area may be ticked as long as white predominates. The remaining accepted colors are: black, tan (ranging from dark tan to very light tan and from intense dark mahogany red to light red with black nose and eyerims), chocolate (ranging from dark liver to light chocolate with self-colored nose and eyerims), blue and blue fawn (with self-colored nose and eyerims), apricot (ranging from orange to faded yellow with black nose and eyerims), and lemon (ranging from orange to faded yellow with self-colored nose and eyerims).

Faults (Coated variety): Fawn (pale yellowish tan with self-colored nose), cream (pale yellow to off-white), fallow with black mask (very light yellowish tan with black mask), and silver (the extreme dilution of blue).

Disqualifications (Coated variety): Merle; absence of white; any solid color other than white.

Disqualification (both Varieties): Albinism.

Gait

The American Hairless Terrier moves with a jaunty air that suggests agility, speed, and power. American Hairless Terrier gait is smooth and effortless, with good reach of forequarters without any trace of hackney gait. Rear quarters have strong driving power, with hocks fully extending. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance.

Disqualifications

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Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Unilateral or bilateral deafness. A short-legged dog whose proportions vary significantly from the 10:9 ratio. Hanging ears. Natural bobtail or docked tail. Wire or broken coat. Long coat. Albinism. Merle.

Toy Variety

General appearance: The dog’s body is neat and trim, resembling a very small deer. The dog’s carriage and confident manner should give the appearance of vigor and self-importance. They are very active, lively, and alert.

Height: From withers to the ground 7 1/2 to 11 inches

Weight: 6 to 10 pounds

Head: A rounded skull, cheeks and jaws are lean. A well defined stop is formed where the muzzle joins the skull. The muzzle is thinner than the head, tapering to the nose. The length of the muzzle from the tip of the nose to the stop is approximately one half the length of the head from the tip of the nose to the occiput.

Ears: Moderate size, naturally erect or tipped

Teeth: The American Hairless Terrier has a complete set of good-sized, evenly spaced, white teeth. A scissors bite is preferred but a level bite is acceptable.

Eyes: Round, full, slightly bulging with an alert expression, eyes may be any color

Nose: Self colored

Neck: Medium length with a graceful arch

Body: Length of body is slightly longer than height, rump curving slightly to tail set, long straight front legs, moderately angulated back legs.

Tail: Carried up or back, moderately long

Feet: Small slender toes well split up, but not spread. A dainty foot with nails medium length

Coat

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Hairless Variety: Puppies are born with a soft, vestigial down that generally covers the body. This “down” gradually diminishes until age 6 to 8 weeks, by which time the pup should be completely hairless. A mature American Hairless Terrier, Hairless variety, is free from hair except for whiskers and guard hairs on the muzzle, and eyebrows. Short, very fine (vellus) hair may be present on the body of a mature dog. The skin is smooth and warm to the touch. The hairless variety may sweat when overheated or stressed, but this is not to be faulted in the ring.

Coated Variety: The coat is short, dense, and smooth, with a sheen. Whiskers are not removed

Color

Hairless Variety: Any skin color is acceptable. The skin is usually parti-colored with an underlying skin color and freckles or spots of contrasting color. Freckles enlarge with age, and skin color will darken when exposed to the sun.

Coated Variety: The coated American Hairless Terrier may be solid white, bi-color, tri-color, sable or brindle, but must always have some white, which may be of any size and located anywhere on the dog. The white area may be ticked as long as white predominates. The remaining accepted colors are: black, tan (ranging from dark tan to very light tan and from intense dark mahogany red to light red with black nose and eyerims), chocolate (ranging from dark liver to light chocolate with self-colored nose and eyerims), blue and blue fawn (with self-colored nose and eyerims), apricot (ranging from orange to faded yellow with black nose and eyerims), and lemon (ranging from orange to faded yellow with self-colored nose and eyerims).

Gait: Graceful, kind of cocky

Faults: Missing teeth, severe underbite or overbite, hair on any part of the body other than whiskers or eyebrows, hound dog or hanging ears, docked or natural bob tail.

Standard Variety

The standard for the standard size shall be identical to the miniature variety with the exception of height. Height is between 16″ to 20″ at the shoulders.

Summary

Faults: The foregoing is a description of the ideal American Hairless Terrier any fault listed must be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Old scars and injuries resulting from work or accident shall not prejudice the American Terriers chances in the show ring, unless it interferes with movement.

Disqualifications: Monorchid or Cryptorchid males. Cropped ears, dropped ears. Natural bob or docked tails. Vellus hair longer than 1 mm in length or any other type of hair in the hairless variety.

These standards were adapted from UKC, Continental, UKCl, NKC, NRTA 1998-present, Toy variety adapted from 1989 – 1998 AHTC. Current version updated and passed by CHTA June 2006.