American Hairless Terrier

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The American Hairless Terrier is a distinctive breed known for its hairless appearance. It’s moderately popular, especially among those who suffer from allergies. Recognized for its intelligence and family-friendly nature, this breed stands out with its unique look and medium size.

Characterized by its alertness and curiosity, it has a solid following in parts of the USA. With adaptable dimensions and a friendly demeanor, the American Hairless Terrier suits a variety of households worldwide.


Key Takeaways:

Unique Skin Requirements: The American Hairless Terrier’s hairless skin requires special skincare measures, such as sunscreen or clothing, to protect against environmental factors.

Training and Temperament: They generally respond well to training but can exhibit a typical terrier stubbornness. Early training and positive reinforcement are crucial.

Intelligence and Boredom: Their intelligence makes them quick learners, but lack of mental stimulation can lead to destructive behaviors.

Specific Grooming and Skincare: Due to their lack of fur, regular moisturizing and protection against sunburn or cold are essential.

American Hairless Terrier Breed – Quick Facts

Feature Description
Size Small to Medium; Height range: 12-16 inches (30-41 cm)
Weight Range 12-16 pounds (5.4-7.3 kg); Slight variations between males and females
Predominant Colors Pink, Tan, Black, Blue, Brown
Fur Length and Type None; Hairless skin that may have occasional whiskers or fuzz
Lifespan 14-16 years
Activity Level Moderate
Intelligence Level High
Ease of Training Average
Good with Kids Yes, with supervision
Training Requirements Standard
Known Health Issues Skin sensitivities, hip dysplasia, dental issues

Physical Characteristics of the American Hairless Terrier


The American Hairless Terrier stands at a height of 12-16 inches (30-41 cm) and typically weighs between 12-16 pounds (5.4-7.3 kg). The breed exhibits a lean and muscular build, with a compact body structure. Male American Hairless Terriers might be slightly larger and more robust than their female counterparts.

One of the most defining characteristics of this breed is its hairlessness. The skin is smooth, with occasional whiskers or soft fuzz. This breed comes in a variety of colors, including pink, tan, black, blue, and brown.

The head of the American Hairless Terrier is distinctive. It has a well-proportioned muzzle and a strong jawline. The ears are erect and triangular, giving them an alert expression. Their eyes are round and can vary in color but always exhibit a keen sense of curiosity.

Unique to the breed are its skin patterns. While they are hairless, their skin can display a variety of colors and patterns, giving each dog its individual look. The breed’s standard posture is upright and alert, and they move with a brisk and agile gait.

American Hairless Terrier Temperament & Personality


The American Hairless Terrier boasts a temperament that’s both lively and affectionate. These dogs are known to be alert and curious, always keen to explore their surroundings. They bond strongly with their families and are known to be loyal companions.

When interacting with people, the American Hairless Terrier is generally friendly and outgoing. They usually get along well with strangers, showing warmth and sociability. Their interactions with other dogs and animals are also positive, although early socialization is beneficial to ensure they remain open and adaptable.

Training the American Hairless Terrier is a rewarding experience. They possess a good learning capability, often showing a keen focus during training sessions. Their intelligence makes them quick learners, but consistency is key to ensure they grasp and retain commands.

In terms of energy levels, the American Hairless Terrier is moderately active. Regular exercise is essential for them to maintain their physical and mental well-being.

They are adaptable to various living situations and can thrive in both apartments and houses with yards. Their compatibility with family life is notable. They can bond well with children and other pets, making them an excellent addition to diverse households.

What Does The Ideal Home For an American Hairless Terrier Look Like?


The ideal home for an American Hairless Terrier combines spaciousness with safety. Given their moderate energy levels, they do appreciate space to move around. However, they don’t necessarily require a large backyard. An essential aspect is a secure environment, preferably with fencing, to ensure they don’t wander off or get into potential hazards.

This breed adapts well to various family settings. In households with children, they can be a playful companion, although supervision is recommended, especially with younger kids. For homes with elderly members, the American Hairless Terrier’s gentle and affectionate nature can be comforting. Their sociable temperament also means they usually get along with other pets.

Exercise is a crucial part of the American Hairless Terrier’s routine. They benefit from regular walks and play sessions. While they don’t demand extensive exercise areas, they do appreciate off-leash play in secure areas. Additionally, these terriers can have a penchant for digging, so a designated digging spot can be beneficial.

Considering the breed’s hairless nature, it’s essential to be mindful of extreme weather conditions. In colder climates, they might require protective clothing. On the other hand, in hot weather, sun protection becomes vital to prevent skin burns.

Can American Hairless Terriers be left alone?

The American Hairless Terrier has a moderate capacity for solitude. While they appreciate the company and thrive on interaction, they can manage short periods alone. However, extended periods of isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness or boredom. In some cases, this can manifest as separation anxiety or even destructive behaviors.

It’s beneficial to provide them with engaging toys or activities when they’re alone. Consistent training and a stable routine can help them understand and cope with their owner’s absence. Still, regular companionship and interaction remain essential for their overall well-being.

Ideal Owner for an American Hairless Terrier


The American Hairless Terrier is a versatile breed that can suit various owners. However, there are certain traits and lifestyles that align better with their needs.

An owner with some experience in dog handling is beneficial, given the breed’s intelligence and occasional stubborn streak. They respond well to consistent training, so someone who understands the nuances of positive reinforcement will find it easier to manage and train them.

The breed’s energy and activity levels make them a good fit for active individuals. They appreciate regular walks, play sessions, and interactive activities. That said, they’re also content with moderate exercise and can adapt to a more relaxed lifestyle, as long as their basic needs are met.

Commitment to training is crucial. The American Hairless Terrier benefits from early socialization and consistent training sessions. They’re eager learners but require guidance to channel their intelligence positively.

Are American Hairless Terriers good with kids?

American Hairless Terriers generally have a positive disposition towards children. They are often patient and playful, making them suitable companions for kids. Their moderate size and gentle nature mean they can be a good fit for families with children of various ages.

However, as with any breed, supervision is essential, especially with younger children. Kids should be taught how to interact with the dog appropriately, respecting their boundaries. The dog’s hairless nature also means children should be educated on handling them gently to avoid skin injuries.

Are American Hairless Terriers aggressive?

In general, American Hairless Terriers are not inherently aggressive. They tend to be sociable and friendly, especially when properly socialized from a young age. However, like any breed, individual temperament can vary, and certain situations or triggers might provoke defensive or fearful responses.

How Popular Is This Breed?


The American Hairless Terrier, while not as widely recognized as some other breeds, has been gaining popularity, especially among those looking for a hypoallergenic pet. Originating in the United States, this breed has a dedicated following in its home country, particularly among those who appreciate its unique appearance and friendly disposition. In the USA, they are recognized and appreciated for their intelligence and adaptability, making them sought-after companions in urban settings.

Globally, their popularity has been on a steady rise, especially in regions where dog allergies are a prevalent concern. The breed’s hairless nature makes it a preferred choice for many allergy sufferers. The cultural and historical significance of hairless breeds in certain parts of the world also contributes to their appeal.

American Hairless Terrier Grooming

Though hairless, the American Hairless Terrier does require specific grooming attention. Their lack of fur means their skin is exposed, making them prone to environmental factors like sunburn or cold. Regular skin care is essential. Using dog-safe sunscreen during sunny days can prevent burns, while protective clothing might be necessary in colder temperatures.

While they don’t need traditional brushing, it’s crucial to clean their skin regularly to remove dirt and prevent potential skin issues. A soft cloth or sponge can be used for this purpose. Bathing should be done with a gentle dog shampoo to ensure their skin remains moisturized and healthy. Overbathing can strip their skin of natural oils, so it’s essential to find a balanced routine.

Professional grooming might not be a frequent necessity for this breed. However, they can benefit from regular nail trims, ear cleanings, and dental check-ups. Some American Hairless Terriers might develop skin issues or sensitivities, so being vigilant and noticing changes in their skin condition can be beneficial. If any abnormalities are detected, consulting a vet or a professional groomer can provide guidance on how to address them.

Do American Hairless Terriers shed?

Contrary to what some might assume, American Hairless Terriers do have a very fine layer of peach fuzz-like hair on their skin, but they virtually don’t shed in the traditional sense. Their hairless trait means they shed minimally, making them a favorable option for individuals with allergies or those wanting a low-maintenance pet in terms of hair cleanup.

However, the lack of a protective coat means their skin can shed dead cells, similar to how humans do. Regular cleaning can help manage this and ensure their skin remains in top condition.

It’s essential to remember that while they might not leave hair around the house, their skin needs consistent care to remain healthy and comfortable. Proper skincare routines, including moisturizing and protection from extreme weather, are crucial for this breed.

American Hairless Terrier Diet: What Do They Eat?

The American Hairless Terrier’s diet should be balanced and tailored to its specific needs. These dogs require a mix of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health. High-quality commercial dog food, whether kibble or wet food, that’s appropriate for their life stage (puppy, adult, or senior) is typically recommended.

While some owners might opt for raw or homemade diets, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian to ensure the meal plan meets all the dog’s nutritional requirements. Certain human foods can be safely given to American Hairless Terriers as occasional treats, such as lean meats, some fruits, and vegetables. However, foods like chocolate, grapes, onions, and garlic are toxic and should be avoided.

Allergies or food sensitivities can be a concern for some American Hairless Terriers. Signs might include skin irritations, digestive issues, or lethargy. If such symptoms are noticed, a vet can help identify the cause and recommend a suitable diet.

How to Feed an American Hairless Terrier

Feeding an American Hairless Terrier requires a consistent routine. Establishing regular meal times helps in digestion and sets a rhythm for the dog. Given their moderate size, they usually do well with two meals a day.

Using a shallow bowl can be beneficial as it’s easier for them to access their food. While self-feeding might work for some dogs, it’s generally recommended to measure out portions to prevent overeating.

Fresh water should always be available. The bowl should be cleaned and refilled daily to ensure the dog stays hydrated, especially after exercise or during hot weather.

How Much to Feed an American Hairless Terrier

Determining the right amount of food for an American Hairless Terrier depends on several factors, including their age, weight, activity level, and overall health. On average, an adult American Hairless Terrier requires about 1 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food daily. This amount can be divided into two meals.

For puppies, they typically need a higher caloric intake to support their growth. They might need 3 to 4 small meals a day. As they transition to adulthood, the meal frequency and portion sizes can be adjusted accordingly.

Health Considerations


The American Hairless Terrier, like all breeds, has specific health considerations that prospective and current owners should be aware of. One of the primary concerns for this breed is skin issues, given their lack of protective fur. They can be prone to sunburn, skin irritations, and allergies. Using dog-safe sunscreen and protective clothing can help mitigate these risks.

Another concern is dental problems. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings, combined with at-home care like brushing, can prevent many dental issues.

Some genetic predispositions in the breed include hip dysplasia and patellar luxation. It’s crucial to be vigilant and seek early intervention if any signs of these conditions appear.

As the American Hairless Terrier ages, they might face typical age-related issues like arthritis or decreased vision. Regular vet visits can help detect and manage these changes early, ensuring the dog’s comfort and health in their senior years.

How much exercise do American Hairless Terriers need?

American Hairless Terriers are moderately active dogs. They benefit from daily exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Around 30 to 45 minutes of activity each day, divided into two or three sessions, usually suffices. This can include walks, play sessions, and even short bursts of indoor play.

While they enjoy being active, their lack of fur means they’re sensitive to extreme temperatures. During hot days, it’s best to exercise them during cooler parts of the day, like early morning or late evening. In cold weather, protective clothing might be necessary.

American Hairless Terrier Training

Training is an integral part of raising an American Hairless Terrier. Establishing a routine early on is beneficial. Begin training as soon as they are brought home, focusing on basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Using positive reinforcement methods, such as treats and praise, can yield the best results.

Socialization is crucial for American Hairless Terriers. Exposing them safely to various environments, animals, and people fosters well-rounded behaviors. This can prevent fearfulness or aggression later in life. Puppy classes, park visits, or simply walking in diverse settings can aid in their social development.

Like many terrier breeds, the American Hairless Terrier might exhibit stubborn tendencies. Consistency in training is key. Addressing undesired behaviors early and reinforcing desired ones will establish a strong foundation for future training.

There’s also potential for this breed to engage in advanced training, like agility or obedience competitions. Their intelligence and eagerness to please can make them good candidates. However, individual temperament should be considered.

Are American Hairless Terriers easy to train?

American Hairless Terriers are generally receptive to training. Their intelligence and desire to please make them relatively straightforward to teach. However, like many terriers, they can sometimes display a stubborn streak. This trait might require a bit more patience and consistency from the owner or trainer.

Positive reinforcement, using treats, praise, or toys, is the most effective approach with this breed. They respond well to encouragement and rewards. It’s essential to start training early, ideally during their puppy stage, to instill good habits and behaviors.

While they are relatively easy to train in terms of basic commands and house manners, challenges might arise in more advanced training areas or when trying to curb natural terrier behaviors.

Are American Hairless Terriers smart dogs?

Yes, American Hairless Terriers are smart dogs. They possess a keen intelligence that is often reflected in their quick learning and adaptability. Their problem-solving skills are notable, and they can often figure out challenges or puzzles presented to them with relative ease. This cognitive capability means they pick up on commands and tricks faster than some other breeds.

However, their intelligence also means they can get bored if not mentally stimulated. Engaging them with toys, interactive games, and training sessions can help keep their minds sharp. It’s also worth noting that their smart nature combined with their occasional stubbornness can sometimes make them a bit mischievous.

What are the drawbacks of American Hairless Terriers?

While American Hairless Terriers make for delightful companions, they do come with certain challenges that potential owners should be aware of. One of the most apparent drawbacks is their lack of fur, making them susceptible to skin issues. Sunburn, cold weather, and skin irritations are concerns that necessitate protective measures like sunscreen or clothing.

Behaviorally, their terrier lineage can sometimes manifest as stubbornness or a strong-willed nature. This trait might require added patience and consistency during training sessions. Their intelligence, while a strength, can also lead to boredom if they aren’t adequately stimulated, potentially resulting in destructive behaviors.

From a health perspective, they can be prone to certain genetic issues, including hip dysplasia and dental problems. Regular vet check-ups and a keen observation for any signs of discomfort or unusual behavior are essential.

Their grooming requirements, although less intensive than furry breeds, are unique. Regular skin care, including moisturizing and protection against environmental elements, is necessary. This aspect can be demanding for some owners who might not anticipate the skincare needs of a hairless breed.

Lastly, their activity needs can be challenging for some lifestyles. While they aren’t the most active breed, they still require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Owners need to be prepared to dedicate time for their physical and mental well-being.

Popular American Hairless Terrier Mixed Breeds

Mixed breed dogs have grown in popularity due to the appeal of combining the traits of two distinct breeds. With American Hairless Terriers, the reasons for creating mixed breeds often center around their unique hairless trait, combined with temperamental or health benefits from other breeds.

One such mixed breed is the American Hairless Terrier and Chihuahua mix. This combination often results in a small, energetic dog that retains the hairlessness of the American Hairless Terrier but may have the boldness of the Chihuahua.

Another mix is the American Hairless Terrier and Rat Terrier. Given that the American Hairless Terrier originally descended from the Rat Terrier, this mix can sometimes be closer to the original breed in terms of appearance and temperament.

4 thoughts on “American Hairless Terrier”

  1. My 6 month old AHT is growing a patch of hair on his back. My son’s AHT is so soft, like a peach, ours feels like a baby elephant. I put coconut oil on once a week, he gets bath in Aveeno Baby bath once a week. Wilt this hair eventually get soft and or fall out?

  2. I think it will fall out. My AHT is 10 mos old and has had little patches of hair come in from time to time but they fall out quickly. He seems to get them less as he ages. Feeling like an elephant i caint explain though. I have my Ollie outside quite a bit so he gets sun screen daily and wiped off with a cloth each evening. I have found that Neutrogena skin products seem to work best on Ollie I think it is probably because they don’t clog the pores. I use the body wash, lotion, sunscreen, and oil on him. Hope this helps.

  3. So I have 2 hairless babies, they are 3 months old. I bath them with Aveeno as well, but they start smelling again so quickly. I think they sweat a lot, I use baby wipes to try to “freshen” them up, but its a pretty strong odor. I might need a shampoo with a little more fragrance to it but don’t want them to break out


    • I use coconut oil shampoo from the Whole Foods store or Debbies health food. There is no odor or scent. But surprisingly takes away odors for 3-4 days. Then I put pure unscented coconut oil. They are stinky dogs!! Lol


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