American Hairless Terrier vs West Highland White Terrier - Breed Comparison

American Hairless Terrier vs West Highland White TerrierAmerican Hairless Terrier is originated from United States but West Highland White Terrier is originated from United Kingdom. American Hairless Terrier may grow 15 cm / 6 inches higher than West Highland White Terrier. Both American Hairless Terrier and West Highland White Terrier are having almost same weight. Both American Hairless Terrier and West Highland White Terrier has same life span. Both American Hairless Terrier and West Highland White Terrier has almost same litter size. American Hairless Terrier requires Low maintenance. But West Highland White Terrier requires High maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Terrier dog
Terrier dog
Origin:
United States
United Kingdom
Height Male:
18 - 45 cm
7 - 18 inches
25 - 30 cm
9 - 12 inches
Height Female:
16 - 40 cm
6 - 16 inches
23 - 28 cm
9 - 12 inches
Weight Male:
3 - 12 kg
6 - 27 pounds
7 - 10 kg
15 - 23 pounds
Weight Female:
2 - 10 kg
4 - 23 pounds
6 - 7 kg
13 - 16 pounds
Life Span:
14 - 16 Years
12 - 16 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 5
3 - 7
Size:
Small dog
Small dog
Other Names:
AHT, American Hairless Rat Terrier
Westie or Westy
Colors Available:
variety of colors and patterns (blue, black, brown, pink, sable and tan) with white
White
Coat:
hairless, coated variety has a short dense coat
‎Double
Shedding:
Minimal
Minimal
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Energetic, Lively, Loving, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Friendly, Independent
Grooming:
Low maintenance
High maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
Yes
Yes
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

american hairless terrierDerived from the Rat Terrier, the American Hairless Terrier was born in a litter of Rat Terriers in 1972.

The evolution of this breed is very different from other hairless breeds. The American Hairless Terrier was independently developed when a hairless pup was produced in a litter of normal Rat Terriers. The owners of this pup, Edwin and Willie Scott attempted to breed her to other Rat terriers but were not successful in having another hairless pup until years later. Then they had a litter with one male and one female hairless puppy.

From that point on they worked with a veterinarian and a geneticist to develop the breed until it was accepted as a separate breed from the Rat Terrier in 2004 and accepted into the AKC in 2016.

The breed is very rare and with hairless dogs breeding only produces about two thirds of the litter as hairless and one third as coated. If a hairless is bred to a coated terrier, the chances of getting hairless puppies are 50% hairless and 50% coated. It is very rare to get a hairless when breed two coated terriers. The difference between the American Hairless Terrier and other hairless breeds is that the hairless gene in most breed is a lethal dominant gene, but in the AHT it is a recessive gene.

west highland white terrierThe West highland white terrier originated from Poltalloch in Scotland. So they were initially called as Poltalloch terrier and after that they were called as Roseneath terrier. They were initially used for hunting fox, badger, otter and in killing the vermin like rats.

The breed history says that Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch was the reason for the Westie's white colour. This is because in 19th centuryhe went for hunting with his dogs and accidentally he shot his dog as its colour was as fox. So he decided to breed only white colour dogs.

Description

american hairless terrier puppyThe American Hairless Terrier is similar to it’s breed of origin, the Rat Terrier, and the coated AHT looks very much like a Rat Terrier. They are small to medium in size, very muscular and have more refined features than the Rat Terrier. Their round eyes can be a variety of colors including amber, brown, grey, turquoise and blue. The tail is not docked but rather long and thin.

The AHT might have eyebrows and whiskers or they might only have whiskers. Their head is broad, and wedge shaped with upright ears. They are an energetic, social and intelligent dog.

west highland white terrier puppyThe Westie can be said as that a small dog having the talents of the big dog. They are very popular for their obedience. They are also working as therapy dogs and also some in search and rescue teams. The home having Westie will have fun always and be enthusiastic. They will suit them for country or city living, but they like to live with their family. They are well suitable for apartment living, but some training should be given to them for not barking. They can stay in home when you are at work. Westie can be taken to travel, whether it may be long vacation or a short visit.

They are quick learners and so training them is not difficult. Mistakes of them can be corrected patiently since they don't like harsh activities against them. Westie will definitely bark when he sees something or hear different sounds. He will bark on seeing visitors or even other dogs. Sometimes they will bark for very silly things but when given appropriate training in their young stage, they can bark only for alerts.

Health Problems

american hairless terrier dogThere are not many health problems bothering this sturdy little dog.

The American Hairless Terrier has limited breeding stock and it is still a rare breed. Its health problems are mostly related to its hairless state. The breed is highly susceptible to sunburn, rashes, pimples, and allergies. They often need clothing in all seasons to protect them from the heat of the sun or from the cold. The skin must be cleaned regularly often daily with soap and water. This is especially true if sunscreen is used as they are open to skin infections.

Hip dysplasia is also a common issue for this small breed.

west highland white terrier dogItchy skin and pyoderma are common in terriers. Skin diseases such as Seborrhea and epidermal dysplasia are also found in them.

Hair fall

Westies have possibilities of getting yeast infections in skin[Malassezia Dermatitis] and due to that hair loss will be more.

Caring The Pet

american hairless terrier puppiesThe American Hairless Terrier has some food needs that might be different from other breeds. They should not be given food that contains soy, wheat or corn. They need to be fed at least 3-4 times a day in small amounts as puppies and twice a day as adult. Be sure to avoid overeating and obesity. Puppies need about 400 calories a day whether you feed four times or two times. The adult American Hairless Terrier needs about 500-600 calories per day. This might be half a cup to a cup per day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned the American Hairless Terrier has skin health issues and is also prone to hip dysplasia.

Exercise and games

This is a great breed for games if you make them small to match his size. He is energetic, athletic and playful. He loves agility, lure chasing and barn hunt activities. They need a good half hour of vigorous exercise per day.

Feeding the puppy

west highland white terrier puppiesThe puppy should be fed 3 to 4 times per day as it requires a considerable amount for their growth. Cooked chicken breast and turkey are best for them and also vegetables should be given to them. Beef and chicken should be kept a limit as it will lead to itchy skin and allergies.

Feeding the adult

The preferable food for the Westie is home cooked. The home food will only contain all the essential nutrients for the Westie.

Points for Good Health

Eventhough the Westie is suitable for apartment living it is recommended to have a daily walk for him to be active and refreshing.

Games and Exercises

They should be made to play for atleast 30 minutes per day for their health as to not gain overweight. Grown up children can play with them as they like it.

Characteristics

american hairless terrier dogsThis is a curious, intelligent, little dog. They are terrific family dogs with a note to say they are better with older children than with younger. If they are raised with small children, then they are terrific with them. They are territorial, and the children become part of their territory. They will guard and protect them.

They need to play, and this is the biggest requirement for owners. Be sure you have time for them. This is not a couch potato dog. They have a lot of energy and can be destructive and “barky” if that energy is not dissipated. They are terriers through and through and love to “go to ground” whether going in holes they find or digging the holes themselves. They will go after small rodents like chipmunks. They need to be protected in these activities since their skin is vulnerable to scratches and cuts from brush. Their prey drive is strong, so it is important to protect them from themselves in this respect.

They are curious and feisty and every inch the terrier. Affectionate, friendly, and social it is also important to remember they can be scared easily, hurt if play is too rough, and this will trigger barking. They make very good watch dogs.

Children friendliness

west highland white terrier dogsThe Westie is friendly with children but not all the time. So some care should be taken while they are near children.

Special talents

They like to chase rodents like rabbits as they are interested in hunting.

Adaptability

They are suitable for apartment living unless they are left alone for a very long time. They love cold weather more than hot.

Learning ability

They can be trained by giving some extra efforts.

Comparison with other breeds

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