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The American Hairless Terrier is a variety of Rat Terrier, which is a result of a mixture of crosses by early immigrants to the USA.

Up until about the 1800’s, all small dogs that went to ground were 'terriers'. Any small bulldogs that went to ground were terriers, any small hounds that went to ground were terriers, anything that went to ground was a terrier – and terrier quite literally means ‘earth dog’. Common Terrier breeds like the Manchester Terrier, Bull Terrier and now extinct Old English White Terrier, would have formed the initial gene pool for the breed. Beagles, Smooth Fox Terrier, Toy Fox Terriers, Whippets, Italian Greyhounds and other hunting breeds were then included.
Early 1900's
Although it has been around in similar form since the early 1900s, it has remained more of a type than a breed. Although often mistaken for a Jack Russell Terrier, it has a very different temperament. It is less aggressive and comparatively calm (although it is still a terrier). They are normally cheerful dogs, but there are occasional dogs who are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment or to unexpected noises, people, or activity.
In the Autumn of 1972, Edwin and Willie Scott were given the first Hairless Rat Terrier; the new puppy's name became Josephine and she quickly melted the hearts of everyone in the Scott's family. The Scott's found Josephine to be such a special dog and excellent pet that they decided to attempt breeding her in hopes of getting more "hairless" pups. The fact that they had never bred dogs before was not going to stop them from this endeavor. They talked about their plans to many people, including several scientists, but they got the same answer everywhere they went. "It just can't be done." or "You're just wasting your time." seemed to be the repeating reply they would receive. "She's a freak of nature and will never reproduce the same....the hairless trait." But statements like this did not stop the Scott's. They decided to go ahead with their plans and bred her.
At the age of one year, they bred Josey to a Rat Terrier. She produced a litter of four puppies and amazing enough, one of the pups was a hairless female which they named Gypsy. Unfortunately, Gypsy was too small to breed so they kept their hopes on Josephine. Over the years Josey gave the Scott's several litters, but not the hairless pups they were so hoping for.
On 30th December 1981, a miracle happened.....Josephine became the proud mother of four beautiful puppies: a hairless male they named Snoopy, a hairless female they named Jemima and two female coated pups named Queenie and Petunia. This became the foundation of the Scott's dream and brought their hopes back to reality. This was a new beginning for their family. They bred Snoopy to all of his littermates once they reached a year old. Jemima produced an all hairless litter and to the Scott's surprise, Petunia and Queenie produced litters of hairless and coated. Their house was becoming filled with these loving bundles of joy and the Scott's found they needed to make that decision to build a kennel; "Trout Creek Kennel" became the home of the American Hairless Terrier.
As of 1st January 2004, the American Hairless Terrier is recognised as a separate breed by the United Kennel Club in the USA