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Optimally bred for human companionship and household compatibility.

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            WE DIFFER,               AND THAT BENEFITS YOU!

As the American Hairless Terrier evolved from the highly energized 

hunting and vermin ridding breeds of old, most directly from the

American Rat Terrier; (itself a composite of many other hunting and ratting breeds),

the American Hairless Terrier came to us with more prey drive, and, usually,

more frenetic energy than is ideal for a hairless breed or the typical home.

American Hairless Terriers cannot spend as much time outdoors as hair-coated Rat Terriers can without risking sunburn, even with sunscreen to protect their skin.

This necessarily increases the amount of time which they must spend indoors,

and, therefore, increases the need to breed them so that they can

spend more time indoors contentedly and nondestructively. 

While Rat Terriers are commonly bred to hunt and kill vermin,

compete in various athletic, field, and racing competitions; 

in which some do compete American Hairless Terriers as well,

we, at Excelsior, believe that the animation and energy levels required

to compete in such events do not generally contribute

to the most easily lived with house dog. 

Dogs bred with the need and urge for great levels of prey drive and activity  without regular opportunity to release those energies and relieve those urges   are more inclined to develop nervous conditions and become destructive of  household property in they're frustration to release the pent up energy bred into them.

Therefore, when making breeding decisions, We, at Excelsior, select calmer

and less agitated dogs with lower prey drive to parent our puppies. 


Breeding for the show ring, primarily, does not necessarily produce the optimal home companion either. Every selection of an optimal trait for the show ring or other competitive activity is at the disfavor and loss of another optional trait, that, while it may be less desirable for the show ring and athletic competition, it might be preferable for producing dogs more suitable for human companionship and the happy home.

Genes determining characteristics and traits are generally transferred from

parent to offspring in groups, with each group generally affecting multiple characteristics and traits. Therefore, when consciously selecting breeders

to pass on one trait, other traits and characteristics that one may not be seeking,

or, that may be undesirable, are simultaneously passed on by default. 

Thus, a breeder of the show ring or competitive sport dogs may adequately 

select breeders to produce a dog that will succeed in competition, but,

that might make a very unhappy house dog or dog owner. 

Likewise, breeding  American Hairless Terriers to precise recent breed standards, while breeding them with preferred temperaments and optimal household suitability, requires a constant balancing back and forth of desirable traits with less desirable traits, sometimes accepting a less than ideal trait in order to gain another very desirable trait. 


As hairless home companions, We, at Excelsior American Hairless Terriers,

place breeding emphasis on, and select for, health first, disposition second, and only then on conformation and other characteristics desired in the show ring, but, 

always against the high activity and energy level necessary for sports competition. 

At Excelsior American Hairless Terriers, after screening for health, we select for human-centric dispositions to produce the most affectionate offspring while striving not to produce emotionally needy dogs; which can be as annoying as dogs indifferent to human companionship. We also select for dogs that are friendly enough to give a stranger the cautious benefit of any doubt, when in the company of their owners, but, not so friendly that they'll eagerly jump into any passing car for the thrill of a car ride, or, hasten to run off and join in on any fun or commotion of other people in the distance. Only then do we select for show ring qualities and other aesthetic considerations. Admittedly, careful selection of breeders does not guarantee perfect home companions, any more than breeding show ring champions to show ring champions guarantee that all offspring will be show ring champions. But, it does increase the likelihood of a positive result over not carefully selecting for these traits.


The stabilizing and standardizing of desirable traits is commonly achieved by breeding those dogs together which share those traits, usually involving dogs that 

are related to each other to some degree, resulting in a 'line' of very similar dogs.

However, due to the relatively small gene pool of the relatively new 

American Hairless Terrier breed, it currently remains necessary to outcross the American Hairless Terrier to its parent breed, the Rat Terrier,

to preserve or enhance genetic vigor, health, or other desirable qualities.

When the genetic set of a line is unlocked by outcrossing, a pandora's box of  

characteristics and traits from the genetic ancestry of the outcrossed animal may emerge from the previous suppression of some genes by selective breeding,

resulting in a variety of possible appearances. While the 'official standard' for appearance and size of American Hairless Terriers; dictated to the registration and show clubs by the early breeders of AHTs, is rather narrow, their actual size

can range from eight to forty pounds, and they can appear more like breed types from their ancestral makeup than the American Hairless Terrier 'Club' standard type.

For example, from an outcrossed breeding, the puppy below looks and moves like a scent hound which likely contributed to the ancestry of the Rat Terrier,

and is now in a growth pattern to likely reach into the thirty-pound range.

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     Meanwhile, the young boy below, that couldn't be sweeter or more obedient,

appears to be expressing the body and head type of an English Bull Terrier,

which also likely contributed to the genetic ancestry of the American Rat Terrier,

and hence, to the American Hairless Terrier.


His full sister from the same litter, below, on the other hand, conforms more to

the American Hairless Terrier standard and to her parents in body type.


       We came to have and raise American Hairless Terriers because our own severe allergies prevented us from having hair-coated dogs in our home. As a middle-aged adult,

I took immunotherapy allergy shots twice a week for two years, and once a week for an additional three years, and still rely upon antihistamines during much of the year. So, we never homed or bred other dogs prior to American Hairless Terriers, unlike those to whom the American Hairless Terrier is merely the dog 'du jour' to breed and sell for a 'quick buck'. Putting profit before breed quality has rarely produced the best specimens of any species or breed, however, and doesn't produce the healthiest or most companionate dogs.

        Still, EMBARK, the industry leader in D.N.A. testing of dogs, claims that there are only a few genetic linked diseases that are associated with American Hairless Terriers,

even though they test our dogs for all 170 diseases genetically linked to all dogs 

that can now be tested for. EMBARK tested our American Hairless Terrier breeders as

'CLEAR' of any genetically linked disease. Our breeders further tested clear from the nongenetically linked physical ailments that some dogs,

including American Hairless Terriers, develop.

 All other hairless dog breeds are ancient breeds and are generally more prone to

genetic-based physical ailments than American Hairless Terriers are, due to inbreeding

the diminished populations of those ancient breeds over time. Evolving from the

American Rat Terrier, with a large population of dogs to breed from, most debilitating disorders were bred out of the Rat Terrier before the American Hairless Terrier mutated from it. Since then, dedicated breeders continue to ferret out and eliminate the few problematic latent and recessive genetic-linked ailments that might have lingered in the American Hairless Terrier gene pools, so that American Hairless Terriers are

'comparatively' ailment free. Of the few genetic linked disorders associated with 

American Hairless Terriers today, only about 1% of them might potentially be affected,

and it is believed that both parents would need to pass on a copy of the problematic gene for a disease to manifest in the offspring, and then, not every puppy with double genes

will develop an associated disorder, resulting in American Hairless Terriers

being about as ailment free of genetic-linked disorders as dogs can be.

     With this said, hairlessness does make American Hairless Terriers' skin more exposed and sensitive to environmental allergens than hair-coated dogs. EMBARK suggests that excessive inbreeding of dogs negatively impact their immune systems making them more susceptible to allergies, and they can test for the degree of inbreeding in any dog. 

Our breeders tested with high genetic diversity and very little overlap

in the genetic codes between breeders,

which theoretically should eliminate inbreeding contributing to allergies in our offspring.

However, as evidenced when a new litter of puppies was inadvertently bedded on towels washed in regular detergent with fragrance and dried with fabric softener sheets;

which causes strong allergic reactions in myself, but not to other family members, 

 and every puppy broke out in small red dots all over,

AHTs can be just as reactive to allergens on bare skin as people are.


Research indicates, and experience proved, that baths in warm water

with baking soda and apple cider vinegar can alleviate the swelling and itching, 

while deterring bacterial infections from scratching the spots.
Even a weak bleach solution is used universally to relieve severe itching.

After-bath rub downs, without rinsing the baking soda film off, with hemp oil,

optionally laced with soothing essential oils like lavender and possibly diluted

with a non-comedogenic carrier oil like safflower oil, if one chooses,

will often heal the breakout and deter further environmental allergic reactions.

Rough grass and weeds can abrade the delicate AHT bare skin

permitting entry of allergens like plant pollen into sub-dermal layers.

The chemical off-gassing of petroleum-derived and other synthetic chemical-laden

home interior finishings and furnishings, such as olefin fibers; 

which readily degrade into irritating oil, and scotch guarded fabrics or carpet;

all substances that provoke allergic reactions in people,

can cause allergic skin reactions in AHTs as well.

Frequent rinsings of such allergens from the skin in the shower,

or baking soda and vinergar water rinses,

prevent allergens from accumulating into allergic reaction thresholds. 

After bath rubdowns with non-comedogenic oil shields the

American Hairless Terriers skin from many allergens while keeping their pores clear.

Though purportedly an antimicrobial, coconut oil clogs American Hairless Terrier's

skin pores, while hemp and safflower oil don't.

However, the more heavily weighted coconut and argan oils are good

to rub on their feet and lower legs to resist pollen intrusion.

Lavender and tea tree oils, added to skin oils, further inhibit histamine-induced skin irritations while strengthening their immune system.


Hey, do you think she's still watching us?


What are you boys up to? I have my eyes on you!

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              DISORDERS ?                         VERY FEW!         

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The Beautiful Head

And Its Finer Details

At Excelsior American Hairless Terriers,

we select for a broadly domed skull

with soft cleaving down the center of the dome,

a soft squareness to the jawline,

and a fairly full muzzle. 

Not a sharply tapered or V-shaped head like a fox, and, not a long and straight head

like a moose or fat roll of sausage.

While this breeder had almond-shaped eyes,

typical of other terriers like Jack Russels,

we strive for a fuller and rounder eye

as all the boys and girls below have;

another example of trait selection

compromise and trade-off 

in the long process of breeding toward 

one's interpretation of breed standards 

and one's preferences.

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Come on, Auntie! You promised you'd come and play after your nap.

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Your mother said you have to eat lunch first. And don't make another a mess!

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They grow up so fast!

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And leave home all too soon. 

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But, just when things become a little quieter, another box full of puppies arrive.

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And then another! Oh my gosh, Spring has sprung and it's raining puppies. 

Who, ME? I'm just chillaxing.
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Select puppies are currently shown at

Due to the number of people typically considering every available puppy at any given time,

to be fair to all, no puppies are held or reserved until a commitment deposit is received for a puppy,

without specific agreement otherwise.


Out of respect for the privacy of those who have adopted prior puppies, We, at Excelsior Hairless Terriers,

do not provide contact information for referrals from those who have previously adopted puppies.

However, We've chosen to share the following comments and feedback from a typical adopting family,

anonymously, because of how concisely they summarized their recent adopting experience.




From     Brian ******* ...1213@comcast.netHide                                                               Fri, Dec 27, 2019 2:24 pm



[Dear Sir-


I know that you primarily communicated with my wife-Jenifer ******* during the process of adding an AHT to our family.  With that said, I wanted to reach out directly to ask a question and to provide some feedback.


1).  Do we need to do anything to the pups ears?  Will they automatically stand erect and V shaped as she grows or will they be buttoned/tipped...I believe that’s the right terminology but figure me if I’m incorrect.


Now to the fun part.  I wanted to connect in order to say that the entire process since our first communication was great.  You are without question a knowledgeable & professional breeder. Your follow-up was timely, the information you provided was always accurate and helpful; your questioning re: our family, household and interest in your pups was calculated and straight forward to ensure we were a good family and had our priorities/needs in the right order...all this, truly made us feel that we were making the right decision with adding one of your pups to our family.


From day #1 nothing changed, everything played out exactly as you presented and our new family member arrived on Dec 23rd as promised with zero “catches or alterations” to the agreement made.  When dealing with the exchange and well being of an animal coupled to the financial price and our geographic distance (Ohio to Massachusetts) trust, honesty and timely communication are imperative.  All these traits you executed on as a business owner.


The final piece of this puzzle was our pups 1st visit to the Vets yesterday.  First, everyone at the facility was awaiting her arrival as they had never dealt with this breed before...she was an instant celebrity and my daughter thought it was amazing.  At the conclusion of her visit, the Vet stated, “that we had a beautiful and perfect pup”. Everything about her at this stage was spot-on and where things needed to be.  Her medical paperwork which, you provided was in good order and up-to-date.  This process closed today with the Vets follow-up call re: our pups stool sample. Everything was clear and the call concluded with the Vet saying, “Santa/the Breeder you got your pup from, clearly knows what they are doing and CLEARLY cared for the dogs before they sent them to their new families”!


In closing, THANK you for making this process enjoyable, THANK you for taking such great care of her before she arrived in Massachusetts and THANK you for being an honest, credible and caring breeder as there are many who are purely in it for the wrong reasons.


Sir —> meet True *******, the American Hairless Terrier who was a Christmas miracle and who has already stolen our hearts!

Best Regards,
Brian ******* & Family]


From     jsto***                                                                                                                   Wed, Dec 11, 2019 8:20 pm


[Mr. Havens,  


     I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to call the vet for us today (re. 3 puppies already vaccinated for rabies)!  That was so very nice of you.  At first they were OK with it.  Then I think the financial loss set in and they decided to tell us that it would be an extra 190.00 on top of the neuter bill.  25 each for rabies and then we would need to pay 65 each for exam for rabies shots.  My wife decided that was enough and she left with the dogs.  So for now....Bean still has his jewels. We found another clinic that will do it for 75 each and they said that the rabies card we had would be fine if it had the dates listed.  So I think January 6th we are taking them to be neutered.  If Tilly goes into heat before then, please let us know.  My gosh I was dying to let Bean breed her.   She was the best tempered dog I've ever seen.  Our offer still stands on her.  If you ever want to get rid of her, please think of us ... we love our dogs.  Absolutely love them... Either way we sure did love her.  So if she happens to go in heat soon, please let us know.  Anyway, from the beginning you have been a Class Act. After meeting you, my wife and I were both impressed. We could just tell you are a decent person and had class about yourself. Glad we met you and we love your dogs. Thanks again for working with us.  It has meant the world to us (:

Thank you for blessing us with these puppies,


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