American Hairless Terrier

August 6, 2020 // 6 minute read

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American Hairless Terriers are small-sized dogs that only stand at a height of 16 inches. The American Hairless Terrier has a small, compact, and muscular body that comes in several skin colors. They also feature a small head, a medium-length muzzle, a black nose, and ears that stand upright.

American Hairless Terrier Dogs are known to be the only hairless dogs that originated in the US. They are known to be great companion dogs, and their hypoallergenic coats are perfect for those who are allergic to fur.

With these dogs’ size, they can adapt to any home conditions, regardless of whether you’re living in a city or rural area. They love goofing around, but they are also satisfied snuggling with their owners. With the right owners, American Hairless Terriers are loving and affectionate companion dogs.

American Hairless Terrier Care

American Hairless Terrier Breed Statistics

Dog Breed GroupTerrier Group
Breed SizeSmall
Height12-16 inches
Weight12-16 pounds
Lifespan14-16 years

American Hairless Terrier Breed Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive

American Hairless Terrier History

American Hairless Terriers have only been created recently. They’re the only hairless dog breed that originated in the US, and it seems that they were developed accidentally through the Rat Terriers.

It was in the year 1972 in Trout Louisiana where one female Rat Terrier was born hairless. Just a few weeks after the pup was born, her birth coat fell off. Soon after, the owners of the dog started breeding her producing more hairless dogs.

In 1983, two hairless Rat Terriers were finally bred together, producing the American Hairless Terriers. Breeders also developed the coated variety by crossbreeding the American Hairless Terriers with Rat Terriers.

By the year 1999, the American Hairless Terrier was finally recognized by the United Kennel Club. Ten years later, in 2009, the American Hairless Terrier Club of America was founded, but it took six years more before the American Kennel Club finally recognized the dog breed.


American Hairless Terriers are energetic, alert, and curious dogs. True to their terrier background, they are lively, smart, and highly-energetic dogs who love to dig and chase.

These dogs are affectionate and loving to their owners, which makes them excellent companions for any type of family. They thrive for human companionship and attention, so it’s best if you don’t leave them alone for long periods.

They have a strong prey drive, which will trigger them to chase smaller animals. Therefore, it’s best always to keep close supervision to your toddlers. However, if you have older children who know how to behave, these dogs will make excellent playmates.

American Hairless Terriers are also friendly to strangers, but they can be very territorial. Expect them to bark when someone suspicious comes to your home, and this makes them excellent watchdogs.

Early socialization is vital, so their temperament remains stable at all times. Getting them accustomed to anything new will also help them become more well-rounded.

These dogs are a better fit with experienced owners who can provide firm and consistent leadership. Because if you don’t, these dogs might be the one to control you instead of the other way around.

American Hairless Terrier Facts

Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: American Hairless Terriers can generally eat anything as long as it’s high-quality and consists of all the essential nutrients. Proteins are vital for muscle growth, fats to keep their coats healthy and carbohydrates for energy. You should be careful about overfeeding these dogs. Like any other terrier breeds, American Hairless Terrier is prone to weight gain. So be sure to ask your vet for guidance on the number of calories to feed your dog. When you’re buying ingredients, make sure to choose the high-quality ones to keep your dog healthy. For dog food, select the ones that are of premium quality too. Check the label and make sure that it doesn’t contain any fillers or additives that may be harmful to your dog. If your dog is allergic to any food ingredient, make sure to stay away from those.
  • Grooming: Despite their name, American Hairless Terriers come in two varieties: coated and hairless. Both coat types are very easy to maintain. For the hairless variety, you only need to ensure to keep the ears clean regularly. Don’t let your dogs be exposed in too much sun as this may cause sunburns. For the coated variety, the coats are short and shiny and infrequently shed. It will only need a slight brush weekly and an occasional bath as well. Make sure to trim the nails regularly, too, and keep it short. Long nails will ring pain and discomfort to your dogs if not attended.
  • Exercise: American Hairless Terriers need moderate and regular exercise. You need to bring them out several times a day for daily exercise sessions. This can be in the form of daily long walks on a leash or let them run around in a fenced yard. If you have other dogs, they’ll be great playmates for your American Hairless Terrier. You can also take them in canine activities to showcase his agility, rally, and obedience skills. The training for these skills will be an excellent exercise for your dog.
  • Health: American Hairless Terriers are generally healthy dogs. However, like any other dog breeds, they are susceptible to many diseases. Among those to watch out are: Deafness, Hypothyroidism, Patellar Luxation, Demodicosis (Red Mange), Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (Hip Joint Bone Degeneration), and Cushing’s Disease. As some of these diseases are hereditary, we highly recommend meeting at least one of your dog’s parents. This way, you’ll be able to detect certain health conditions at an early stage.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of American Hairless Terriers is 14-16 years.

American Hairless Terrier Dog Breed

Famous American Hairless Terriers

  • Josephine: The first American Hairless Terrier

Fun Facts about American Hairless Terriers

  • American Hairless Terriers originated from the US.
  • They are the only hairless dog breed from America.
  • Their development was an accident and was through a hairless Rat Terrier.
  • They come in two coat varieties – hairless and coated.
  • They are not good swimmers.
  • They were fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2016.

Check Out Other Terrier Dog Breeds:
Airedale Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Cesky Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier

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