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American Hairless Terrier


Life span: 10-16 Years

Height: 18-46cm

Weight: 12-16 pounds

Perfect for any person with allergies to dog hair, this little companion is as its name says, hairless, although some puppies with small coats can be found within this breed. They are intelligent and athletic and great watchdogs, always alerting of any strangers within its territory!

Physical Characteristics

Its skin can be made up of different tones of white, black, brown, blue, pink, tan and sable, either mixed or one color only. Its eyes also vary in color, with the possibilities of brown, blue, grey, hazel and turquoise. Similar to its ancestor, the Rat Terrier, this breed is known for having strong muscles and a deep chest. Their ears are large and pointed, their tails medium length and curving upwards without falling over its body. When the mix is between a coated dog and a hairless dog, the puppy will have sprouts of hair over the body which it will eventually shed.


In the 1800s the Rat Terriers appeared, bred from a mixed breed of terriers called “Feists”, which appeared in the early 1800s in America, brought from Europe. In 1972, a litter of puppies was born of Rat Terriers, in which one turned out to be hairless. This hairless puppy was raised and later bred to attempt to produce more hairless puppies. Eventually succeeding, this breed became distinct through its lack of hair. In 1998 the American Hairless Terrier became recognized as its own breed by the American Rare Breeds Association, in 1999 it was recognized by the Canadian Rarities, and in 2004 by the American Kennel Club. Even so, it is recommended to still breed them with Rat Terriers in order to keep the bloodline healthy.


With its athletic body, this dog tends to be playful and active, often looking to dig holes. They are extremely intelligent and love participating in agility competitions. They are a loving breed, especially fond of children, although if mishandled, tend to become aggressive. It can, however, be trained to not become aggressive against children. They are also alert and it will not hesitate to let you know of any nearby strangers, making it a perfect watchdog. This breed lacks any swimming abilities, and should be watched if near water. Despite its hunting instinct, this dog is not suitable for hunting due to its lack of fur. They are most easily trained with care, affection and positive reinforcement.


This breed is still relatively new and can result in health issues such as grass rashes. They also lack any sweat glands.

They can also suffer from:

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Ear Infections, which can be prevented by constant cleaning of any debris or excess wax.

Legg-Perthes is a disease caused by the lack of blood reaching the femur bone, causing the cartilage around it to crack and for the bone to eventually collapse, affecting the hip joint, and noticeable through the dog limping.

Luxating Patella, in which the kneecaps may dislocate or move from its proper place.

Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.


Regardless of whether your American Hairless Terrier has or not a coat, the grooming needed is minimal. Grooming should be done with a soft brush and is needed once a week. Its nails need regular trimming, and a bath is required once in a while depending on how dirty the dog may be. Due to its large ears, these should be checked often for any debris, excess wax or infections that could be caused. Their teeth should also be brushed often. They need regular exercise but not necessarily long walks, although daily ones are recommended, and even if highly active, this dog will also enjoy a comfy afternoon on the couch. A lot of socialization is required for this puppy, as with most, until the age of four months old.


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