American Hairless Terrier - Dog Breed Info, Temperament & Facts

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The American Hairless Terrier is a small dog with strong muscles. It is directly descended from the Rat Terrier and has a mischievous and typical terrier personality. Unlike other terriers, it has a long tail that is not naturally bobbed or docked. Although it was originally a hairless breed, there is now a smooth coat variant available. Even without hair, the puppies still have the usual eyebrows and whiskers. This energetic breed makes an excellent companion for anyone, especially children, as it has endless energy. However, if left alone, it can become destructive and craves attention. Interactive toys can help keep it mentally engaged when you don’t have time to play with it.

Overall, the American Hairless Terrier is a lively and playful dog that requires mental stimulation and social interaction. It is well-suited for families with children and can be a loving and loyal companion. However, it is important to provide it with enough exercise and attention to prevent it from becoming bored or engaging in destructive behavior. Interactive toys can be a great way to keep it occupied when you’re busy.

Ahead, we look at American Hairless Terrier dog breed, its history, personality, pros and cons of owning an American Hairless Terrier, characteristics, and must-know facts. We will also examine how to care for this breed and much more. Prepare for a tail-wagging adventure into the world of American Hairless Terriers!

Dog Breed American Hairless Terrier
Size Small
Weight 12-24 lbs (average)
Height 12-16″ (average)
Location United States
Ancestry Terrier
Date of Origin 1970s
Group Ratter
Life Expectancy 14-16 years
Price $300 – $500
Family Canidae
Scientific Name Canis Lupus Familiaris

📖 Breed History

The American Hairless Terrier used to be very similar to the Rat Terrier until the 1970s. The breed was created by a rare mutation that occurred in a litter of Rat Terrier puppies in Louisiana in 1972. Among the normal puppies, there was one hairless puppy with pink skin and black spots. The breeders didn’t know what to do with this unique puppy, so they gave her to Willie and Edwin Scott. They named her Josephine and she became the first recorded completely hairless Rat Terrier. Josephine had her first litter and only one hairless puppy, a female. It wasn’t until she was nine years old that Josephine produced two more hairless puppies, one male and one female. The Scotts used these hairless puppies to start a breeding program and eventually created the American Hairless Terrier.

The American Hairless Terrier is different from other hairless breeds because it doesn’t have a Powderpuff variety. However, because it descended from a coated breed, some American Hairless Terriers have a short coat similar to the Rat Terrier. This breed is considered hypoallergenic, although no breed is completely hypoallergenic. In 2016, the American Hairless Terrier was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club.

🐕 American Hairless Terrier Appearance

An energetic, well-muscled, and curious terrier, the American Hairless Terrier. He has an alert appearance and resembles the Rat Terrier greatly. He lacks hair, however the American Hairless Terrier also comes in a coated version. The coated version has a short, thick coat with a high shine that is smooth and shiny. You should never trim his beard. His skin is tightly fitted to his frame. Dogs with coats that are not densely coated are undesirable. The soft down or birth coat is present when the hairless type is born. The body is covered by a velvety coat that will eventually disappear, and by the time the puppies are eight to ten weeks old, they are fully hairless. Except for beards and eyebrows, he will be entirely hairless when he is an adult. When he reaches adulthood, his body may occasionally develop very fine hairs. Any color or color combination is possible for both coat kinds. There is no such thing as an albino or merle American Hairless Terrier.

👀 Eye Color Brown
🐽 Nose Color Black
🐕 Coat Color Brindle, Brown, Black, Sable, Blue, Red

Fun Fact: American Hairless Terrier dogs are a social breed. They enjoy being around people or other animals. This breed doesn’t tolerate being left alone.

🐶 Traits & Temperament of American Hairless Terrier

Despite having no hair, the American Hairless Terrier is a Terrier through and through. He is vivacious and a great friend for most people, especially young families. He is a very intelligent dog who needs a lot of activity to be happy. He may be possessive, thus a strong leader is necessary to prevent him from attempting to seize power. The American Hairless Terrier enjoys playing games and will get into trouble on his own if left alone for an extended period of time. He is tough and brave. Since he is not a good swimmer, he needs to be constantly observed around swimming pools and other bodies of water. When he gets too hot or becomes terrified, he does start to perspire. One of the few canine breeds that can truly sweat is the American Hairless Terrier. Since the American Hairless Terrier’s skin lacks any weather resistance, it is not advised that they be let to operate as ratters.

🤝 Are American Hairless Terriers Friendly or Aggressive?

American Hairless Terrier dogs tend to get along well with other pets. They are generally friendly towards strangers and are considered to be kid-friendly, making them a good choice for families with children. They also have an average level of friendliness towards cats and other dogs. Due to their temperament and adaptability, American Hairless Terriers are often recommended as suitable companions for elderly people.

This breed is known for being:

  • Playful
  • Loving
  • Alert
  • Intelligent
  • Lively
  • Inquisitive

🐩 American Hairless Terrier Care & Maintenance

The American Hairless Terrier’s hairless version has little grooming needs, but his skin does need extra attention. When he is outside and in the sun, he does need sunscreen to avoid sunburn. He will need particular attention throughout the winter months to keep them warm and prevent frostbite on their skin. He does require bathing at least once per week, but up to three baths are permitted every week. On him, a gentle shampoo should be used. When his skin gets extremely dry, he does need lanolin-free moisturizer. The American Hairless Terrier’s coated version requires weekly brushing with a natural bristle brush despite having low shedding. He has to be washed frequently, typically two to three times each month with a gentle shampoo. The American Hairless Terrier requires weekly nail trimming. Every week, his ears should also be cleansed. To guarantee the wellbeing of his teeth and gums, a routine dental plan must be devised.

American Hairless Terrier dogs are known for shedding very little to no hair at all. This makes them a great option for people who are concerned about their furniture or vehicles getting covered in dog hair. If you have a puppy from this breed, you can rest assured that you won’t have to constantly deal with hair cleanup. Additionally, American Hairless Terrier dogs are particularly suitable for individuals who have allergies or simply do not tolerate dog hair well.

In terms of grooming, these dogs require a bath every 1-2 weeks. This regular bathing schedule helps to keep their skin clean and healthy. It also helps to remove any dirt or allergens that may have accumulated on their skin. By maintaining a proper bathing routine, you can ensure that your American Hairless Terrier remains comfortable and hygienic.

🍖 Food: We recommend 1 cups daily, costing you about $0.75 – $1.00 daily, or approximately $25.00 – $30.00 a month.

🐾 Exercise: American Hairless Terrier dogs exercise need is minimal. If you live a slow life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

This dog breed requires to be walked for roughly 6 miles per week, which equates to about 30 minutes of physical activity daily. This consistent moderate exercise regimen will help maintain their physical wellness and significantly contribute to their mental stimulation. Consciously setting aside this time for your furry friend can dramatically enhance their life quality, helping them stay energetic, healthy, and mentally alert.

Did you know: American Hairless Terrier dogs have an average energy level, so if you live a semi-active life, this breed can be a good choice for you.

❤️‍🩹 American Hairless Terrier Health & Issues

Some of the major concerns for American Hairless Terrier Dog Breed can be:

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Hemophilia
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Teeth Issues
  • Liver Shunts

While minor concerns include:

  • Demodectic Mange
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

🤧 Important: Is American Hairless Terrier hypoallergenic? No.

Bonus: Check out cool, creative, and funny names for American Hairless Terrier.

⚡ American Hairless Terrier Dog Breed Facts

What makes the American Hairless Terrier a great choice for families with young children?
The American Hairless Terrier is a great choice for families with young children because they are lively, energetic, and love to play. They have boundless energy and can keep up with active kids.

Is the American Hairless Terrier breed considered a suitable breed for apartment living?
Yes, the American Hairless Terrier can be a suitable breed for apartment living as long as they receive enough exercise to burn off their energy. They are small in size and can adapt well to living in smaller spaces.

How much exercise does a American Hairless Terrier require compared to other breeds?
The American Hairless Terrier requires a moderate amount of exercise compared to some other breeds. They are energetic and need daily walks or playtime to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

Is the American Hairless Terrier breed known for being good with other pets?
The American Hairless Terrier breed is known for being good with other pets, especially when properly socialized from a young age. They can get along well with other dogs and cats if introduced properly.

What are other low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the American Hairless Terrier?
Some low-maintenance dog breeds similar to the American Hairless Terrier include the Chinese Crested, Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog), and Peruvian Inca Orchid. These breeds also have hairless varieties and require minimal grooming.

What are the common health issues that American Hairless Terriers are prone to?
Common health issues that American Hairless Terriers are prone to include skin allergies, dental problems, and patellar luxation (knee joint dislocation). Regular vet check-ups and proper care can help prevent or manage these issues.

Are American Hairless Terriers known to be easy to train compared to other breeds?
American Hairless Terriers are generally intelligent and eager to please, which can make them relatively easy to train. Consistent positive reinforcement methods work well with this breed.

Are American Hairless Terriers more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds?
American Hairless Terriers can be more prone to separation anxiety compared to other breeds. They thrive on attention and can become anxious when left alone for extended periods. Proper training and gradual desensitization to being alone can help manage this.

Are there any dog breeds similar to the American Hairless Terrier that are suitable for people with allergies?
Other dog breeds similar to the American Hairless Terrier that are suitable for people with allergies include the Bichon Frise, Maltese, and Poodle. These breeds have hypoallergenic coats that produce fewer allergens.

What sizes of dogs similar to the American Hairless Terrier are best for individuals or families with limited space?
For individuals or families with limited space, smaller sizes of dogs similar to the American Hairless Terrier are best. This includes toy or miniature versions of breeds like the Rat Terrier or the Miniature Pinscher.

Is the American Hairless Terrier breed known to be good with children with special needs?
The American Hairless Terrier breed is known to be good with children, including those with special needs. They are patient, gentle, and can adapt well to different situations, making them suitable companions for children with special needs.

How does the grooming and shedding needs of the American Hairless Terrier?
The grooming and shedding needs of the American Hairless Terrier are minimal compared to many other breeds. As they are hairless or have a smooth coat variety, they do not shed much and require only occasional bathing and skin care.


We use reliable and publicly available data and resources such as AKC and American Canine Registry to ensure that American Hairless Terrier dog breed information is accurate and up to date. If you spot an error, please don’t hesitate to bring it to our attention.

Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy
Max Kozinskiy is a seasoned writer and an enthusiast of dog breed expertise. Having dedicated over 5 years to studying the intricacies of different dog breeds and their unique characteristics. His profound insights and love for our four-legged friends have made him an invaluable part of our DogsInsights.com team.

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