Testing of dogs: Hairlessness in American Hairless Terriers

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Hairlessness in American Hairless Terriers

The American Terrier is the only breed in which the hairlessness trait is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.  It is expressed only if a dog inherits this particular gene from both parents. Homozygosity in American Hairless Terriers is not lethal as is the case in other hairless breeds.   The gene for hairlessness is not associated with any health issues that affect the teeth quality or dog´s fertility. The dogs of hairless variant are born healthy with a sparse coat that is lost completely within the first month after birth (so-called hypotrichosis).




The American Hairless Terrier was produced from the Rat Terrier breed and was recognised as distinct breed by the kennel association American Kennel Club in 2016. However, under the patronage of FCI this breed is still classified as a non-recognized breed.

In 2017, a specific gene responsible for the hairlessness of the American Hairless Terriers was identified.  It is a gene coding for protein kinase 3 controlled by serum and glucocorticoids (SGK3), where four bases were deleted and the reading frame shifted (c.283_286delttag).

It has been developed a genetic test that distinguishes dogs by the number of mutation copies – the coated dogs either do not carry any copy of the mutation or can be carriers of this trait. If two carriers are mated, theoretically 75% of the puppies will be born coated (without mutation or with one mutation copy) and 25% of puppies will be born hairless having both two copies of the mutation.



Parker, H.G., Harris, A., Dreger, D.L., Davis, B.W., Ostrander, E.A. :The bald and the beautiful: hairlessness in domestic dog breeds. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci 372:, 2017. Pubmed reference: 27994129. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2015.0488.

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Usual turnaround time: 12 business days
1 test price: 56.00 $ without VAT