The American Hairless Terrier: Your complete guide!

American Hairless Terriers have a unique and distinctive appearance. Delve into their history, learn about the care they deserve, and discover the gentle and affectionate nature that sets American Hairless Terriers apart.

American Hairless Terrier portrait headshot
Unique Appearance | Gentle | Affectionate
Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    Everything you need to know about the American Hairless Terrier!

    Category (Explanation)Breed Information
    Year of Breed Conception1970s
    Country of OriginUnited States
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Male)12-16 lbs (5.5-7.3 kg)
    Weight (lbs & kg) (Female)12-16 lbs (5.5-7.3 kg)
    Coat TypeHairless (with a coated variety)
    Color VariationsVarious colors and patterns
    Shedding Level (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Height (cm & in)12-16 inches (30-41 cm)
    Breed SizeSmall to medium
    Trainability (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Mental Needs (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Intelligence Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Energy Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Agility (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Loyalty (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Playfulness (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Exercise NeedsModerate exercise and mental stimulation
    Guarding Proficiency (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Sociability with Children (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Barking Level (Low, Moderate, High)Moderate
    Digging Tendency (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Destructive Behavior (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Drooling Level (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Obedience Level (Low, Moderate, High)High
    Apartment Friendly (Yes/No)Yes, with proper exercise
    Inherent Prey DriveModerate
    Physical Risk to Others (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Travel Fatality Risk (Low, Moderate, High)Low
    Allergen PotentialLow
    Health Concerns (List of Common Health Concerns)Skin care, sun sensitivity
    Average Life Expectancy (Life Expectancy in Years)12-16 years
    Make sure to take care of your American Hairless Terrier and

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    History of the American Hairless Terrier

    The American Hairless Terrier is a relatively modern breed with roots in the United States. The breed’s development began in the 1970s when a hairless puppy named Josephine was born in a litter of Rat Terriers in Louisiana. This event sparked the interest of a Louisiana schoolteacher, Edwin Scott, who saw the potential for creating a new breed. The American Hairless Terrier was selectively bred from Rat Terriers to maintain its hairless trait.

    The breed’s recognition grew, and in 2004, it was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club . Today, the American Hairless Terrier is known for its lively personality and unique appearance, offering a distinctive option for dog enthusiasts seeking a hypoallergenic companion.

    What makes the American Hairless Terrier so special?

    American Hairless Terrier Showing right

    American Hairless Terriers have a unique and distinctive appearance. What makes them special is their unique appearance and their gentle and affectionate nature. Delve into their history, learn about the care they deserve, and discover what sets American Hairless Terriers apart. American Hairless Terriers are special for their one-of-a-kind appearance and affectionate disposition, adding a touch of individuality to the lives of their owners.

    The American Hairless Terrier doesn’t have a specific traditional role rooted in history, as its development as a breed is more recent. However, they have found their place as versatile and affectionate companions. These terriers are known for their unique and distinctive appearance, making them cherished pets and loving family members. Their role today is primarily that of a beloved and low-maintenance companion, appreciated for their gentle and affectionate nature.

    American Hairless Terriers have a unique and distinctive appearance. They are characterized by their unique appearance and gentle nature. These terriers can be loving and make wonderful family pets. They are known for their unique appearance and require training and socialization to ensure they are well-behaved and gentle family pets.

    American Hairless Terriers have a unique and distinctive appearance. They are typically affectionate and gentle dogs. Their loving nature makes them great companions. However, they may exhibit some terrier stubbornness at times. Training and socialization are essential to ensure they develop into well-adjusted pets. Their adaptability and unique appearance make them stand out among terrier breeds.

    American Hairless Terriers have a unique and distinctive appearance. They are small to medium-sized dogs with a well-proportioned, athletic build. Their hairless coat is smooth, often with some sparse hair on the head, ears, and paws. Their skin is smooth, firm, and warm to the touch, with various colors and patterns. They have a well-shaped head with a defined stop, and their eyes are dark and expressive. Ears can be erect or semi-erect, and their tail is carried high and tapers to a point. These terriers are known for their elegant and sleek appearance, and their lack of coat makes them stand out in the terrier world.

    American Hairless Terriers have a unique appearance due to their hairless nature. Their skin is typically pink or gray, and it’s exposed without a coat. The lack of fur makes their skin color the most prominent feature. Their skin can be mottled, spotted, or have various pigmentation patterns. The most common coat color for American Hairless Terriers is pink, but variations can include gray or spots of different colors on their skin.

    American Hairless Terriers have a unique appearance due to their hairless coat, which is often pinkish-gray or black with pink skin. Their lack of hair adds to their distinctive and striking look.

    American Hairless Terriers are a virtually hairless breed, making them ideal for individuals with allergies or those who prefer minimal shedding. However, it’s essential to note that the hairless variety may still have some body oil or light fuzz, which requires care. While they are generally low-shedding, proper skincare, including protection from the sun and moisturizing, is crucial to maintain the health of their exposed skin.

    American Hairless Terriers, as the name suggests, do not have a coat and are relatively low-maintenance in terms of grooming. Grooming habits for American Hairless Terriers include:

    • Sun Protection: Due to their lack of fur, provide sun protection, especially when outdoors for extended periods. Use pet-safe sunscreen on exposed areas.
    • Bathing: Bathe them as needed, typically when they get dirty. Use a gentle dog shampoo to keep their skin clean.
    • Skin Care: Check their skin regularly for any signs of irritation, dryness, or abnormalities. Moisturize if necessary, using pet-safe products.
    • Ears: Clean their ears regularly to prevent wax buildup or infections.
    • Nails: Keep their nails trimmed to a comfortable length. Regular nail maintenance is essential.
    • Teeth: Brush their teeth regularly for optimal oral health.

    American Hairless Terriers have a moderate to high activity level. These lively and intelligent terriers enjoy playtime and interactive activities. Daily walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation are important to keep them happy. They may also excel in canine sports and agility. While not excessively hyperactive, American Hairless Terriers benefit from regular exercise to maintain their health and prevent boredom. Tailor their activities to their individual preferences and energy levels.

    American Hairless Terriers are intelligent and curious dogs. They tend to be quick learners and are responsive to positive reinforcement training. Their intelligence, combined with an energetic nature, makes them well-suited for various activities and tasks. American Hairless Terriers thrive on mental stimulation and enjoy engaging with their owners in play and training sessions.

    American Hairless Terriers have mental needs that include engaging activities to stimulate their minds. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and interactive play are beneficial for their mental well-being.

    Social Interaction: American Hairless Terriers are social dogs that thrive on regular interaction with their human family members. Providing companionship and attention helps prevent feelings of loneliness and anxiety.

    Exercise: Regular physical exercise is essential for American Hairless Terriers to maintain mental health. Engage them in play and activities that provide both physical and mental stimulation.

    Training and Obedience: Obedience training is beneficial for American Hairless Terriers, providing mental stimulation and reinforcing the bond with owners. Positive-reinforcement training methods work well with this breed.

    Routine and Structure: Establish a consistent daily routine to provide American Hairless Terriers with a sense of security and reduce anxiety. Dogs generally thrive on routine and structure.

    Affection and Attention: Show affection and spend quality time with American Hairless Terriers to fulfill their need for attention and companionship. They form strong bonds with their owners.

    Socialization: Early socialization is crucial to ensure American Hairless Terriers become well-adjusted dogs. Exposure to various people, animals, and environments helps build confidence.

    Safe Environment: Create a safe and comfortable environment at home where American Hairless Terriers can relax and feel secure. Provide a designated space for them to retreat to if needed.

    Consistency: Consistency in training and daily routines helps American Hairless Terriers feel more secure and confident in their environment.

    Enter The Woof Mastery

    Monthly Give Away!
    Enter The Woof Mastery Give Away!
    And win your share of HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS worth of Pet Accessories and Vouchers!

    What to look out for, before you get a American Hairless Terrier!

    American Hairless Terrier puppies

    Prospective owners of American Hairless Terriers should be aware of their specific care requirements. Being hairless, these dogs may have special skin care needs, including protection from sun exposure. Regular grooming and attention to their skin health are essential. Additionally, these terriers are known for their intelligence and energy, requiring mental and physical stimulation. Potential owners should be prepared for a lively and affectionate companion that thrives in an environment that provides both mental and physical exercise.

    American Hairless Terriers typically have a low risk to others due to their friendly and affectionate nature. Proper socialization and training are important to ensure positive interactions. Responsible ownership, early exposure to various environments, and understanding individual temperament contribute to a well-behaved American Hairless Terrier.

    American Hairless Terriers can be good family pets. They are often energetic and enjoy playtime with children. As with any dog, early socialization and positive interactions are important to ensure a harmonious relationship between the dog and children.

    American Hairless Terriers may have varying responses to water. Some individuals may enjoy swimming, while others may not be as comfortable. Introduce them to water gradually, and observe their comfort level. Always prioritize safety and use a canine life vest if needed, especially in situations where they may be at risk of fatigue.

    1. Start Early: Begin training early to take advantage of your American Hairless Terrier’s intelligence and curiosity. Early socialization is essential for building a well-adjusted adult dog.
    2. Socialization: Expose your puppy to various people, animals, and environments to reduce the likelihood of fear or aggression. Positive experiences during socialization are crucial.
    3. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats, praise, and play, to motivate your American Hairless Terrier. These dogs respond well to positive interactions.
    4. Consistency: Be consistent with commands and rewards. American Hairless Terriers are intelligent, and consistency helps reinforce good behavior.
    5. Basic Commands: Teach basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “down.” These commands provide essential control and contribute to a well-behaved dog.
    6. House Training: Establish a consistent bathroom schedule and reward your puppy for eliminating outside. Be patient during the house training process.
    7. Crate Training: Introduce crate training positively. Make the crate comfortable and associate it with positive experiences. Crate training can help with housebreaking and provide a safe space.
    8. Social Skills: Encourage positive interactions with other dogs and people. Consider puppy classes or playdates to enhance socialization.
    9. Exercise: Provide age-appropriate exercise for your American Hairless Terrier. Interactive play and short walks can help burn off excess energy and prevent boredom.
    10. Chewing: Offer suitable chew toys to satisfy their natural chewing instincts. Redirect any inappropriate chewing to approved items.
    11. Patience and Persistence: Be patient and persistent in training. American Hairless Terriers are intelligent but may have a stubborn streak. Avoid punishment and focus on positive reinforcement.
    12. Professional Training: Consider professional training classes if needed. American Hairless Terriers enjoy mental challenges, and training classes can be an excellent way to engage their minds.

    Remember that positive reinforcement and early socialization are key to raising a well-behaved American Hairless Terrier.

    American Hairless Terriers may exhibit a moderate level of vocalization. Like many terriers, they can bark to alert their owners and express themselves. Training and socialization play a crucial role in managing their barking tendencies and ensuring they communicate appropriately.

    American Hairless Terriers are adaptable and can thrive in various living environments. They do well in homes with active families and enjoy regular play and exercise. While they can adapt to apartment living, they need daily walks and mental stimulation. Proper socialization is essential to ensure they are comfortable around new people and situations.

    American Hairless Terriers are a relatively small breed, making them more adaptable to various travel conditions. Ensure they are safely secured during travel, either in a crate or with a suitable seatbelt harness. Monitor them for signs of discomfort or stress and make necessary adjustments to ensure their well-being. Provide familiar items for comfort, and plan for regular breaks during long journeys.

    American Hairless Terriers may be prone to certain health concerns. While not all individuals will experience these issues, it’s essential for American Hairless Terrier owners to be aware of potential health problems and collaborate with veterinarians to maintain their pets’ well-being. Common health concerns in American Hairless Terriers include:

    1. Allergies: Some American Hairless Terriers may be prone to skin allergies and sensitivities, requiring careful management of their environment and diet.
    2. Teeth and Gum Issues: Due to their hairless nature, dental care is crucial, as they may be more susceptible to dental problems such as tartar buildup and gum disease.
    3. Sun Sensitivity: Being hairless, American Hairless Terriers are sensitive to sun exposure and may require sunscreen or protective clothing during outdoor activities.
    4. Temperature Sensitivity: Their lack of coat makes them more sensitive to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.
    5. Eye Issues: Some individuals may be more prone to certain eye conditions, so regular eye check-ups are important.
    6. Autoimmune Disorders: Hairless breeds may be more susceptible to certain autoimmune disorders that affect the skin and other organs.

    Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, proper dental care, and protection from extreme weather conditions can help mitigate some of these health concerns. It’s crucial for American Hairless Terrier owners to work closely with their veterinarians to monitor their pets’ health and address any issues promptly.

    Proper nutrition is crucial for the health and well-being of American Hairless Terriers. Here are some nutritional habits and best practices to consider for this breed:

    1. High-Quality Dog Food: Choose a high-quality commercial dog food that meets the nutritional requirements specified by organizations like the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Look for a brand that lists a high-quality source of animal protein as the first ingredient.
    2. Age-Appropriate Food: American Hairless Terriers have different nutritional needs at various life stages. Puppy food is formulated to support growth, while adult and senior formulas cater to the needs of mature dogs. Ensure you’re feeding the appropriate formula for your dog’s age.
    3. Protein: American Hairless Terriers benefit from a diet with a moderate to high protein content. Protein supports muscle maintenance and overall health. Look for sources like chicken, beef, or fish.
    4. Balanced Diet: A balanced diet should include not only protein but also fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Avoid foods with excessive fillers and artificial additives.
    5. Portion Control: Be mindful of portion sizes to prevent overfeeding, which can lead to obesity. Follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging and adjust based on your dog’s age, activity level, and individual metabolism.
    6. Fresh Water: Always provide clean, fresh water for your American Hairless Terrier. Hydration is essential for overall health and digestion.
    7. Avoid Table Scraps: Avoid feeding your dog table scraps, as human food can be harmful or even toxic to dogs. Stick to a consistent diet of high-quality dog food.
    8. Treats: Use treats in moderation for training and rewards. Opt for healthy, dog-specific treats or make your own using safe ingredients.
    9. Consult Your Veterinarian: Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet and feeding schedule for your American Hairless Terrier. They can provide guidance based on your dog’s specific needs and any health concerns.
    10. Special Dietary Needs: Some American Hairless Terriers may have dietary restrictions or allergies. If your dog has specific dietary needs, work with your vet to choose appropriate foods.
    11. Weight Management: Maintain a healthy weight for your American Hairless Terrier to prevent obesity-related health issues. Regular exercise and portion control are key components of weight management.
    12. Regular Check-Ups: Schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your dog’s overall health, including their weight and dietary needs. Your vet can provide guidance on any necessary dietary adjustments.

    Breed-Specific Laws (BSL): American Hairless Terriers may be subject to breed-specific laws (BSL) in certain areas. These laws are often enacted at the local or municipal level and can vary widely from one jurisdiction to another.

    Types of Restrictions: The specific restrictions imposed on American Hairless Terriers under BSL can include mandatory spaying/neutering, special licensing, liability insurance requirements, muzzling in public, and, in some cases, bans on ownership. The severity of these restrictions depends on local regulations.

    Rationale for BSL: BSL is typically implemented based on concerns about public safety and perceived risks associated with specific breeds, often due to incidents involving dog attacks. While American Hairless Terriers are not inherently aggressive, they can be affected by BSL due to their physical resemblance to breeds that are sometimes included in these laws.

    Controversy: It’s important to note that BSL is a controversial topic. Critics argue that it unfairly targets breeds rather than addressing individual dog behavior and that responsible ownership and training should be emphasized instead of breed-specific restrictions.

    Local Regulations: To determine if there are breed-specific laws or restrictions regarding American Hairless Terriers in your area, you should check with your local animal control or government authorities. Be aware of and comply with any local regulations to ensure that you are in compliance with the law while owning an American Hairless Terrier.

    Woof Mastery is reader supported and our articles may contain affiliate links. 

    Instead of running third party ads that we have no control of we only use links from high-quality companies we are directly partnered with. Making use of these links come at no cost to you our reader, and in many cases have the extra benefit of discounted rates or sign up bonuses.

    If you’re interested you can read more about our affiliate policy here.

    We appreciate your support and always insure that the products and services we recommend are high-quality, helpful and relevant to the subject at hand!

    Fun Facts About The American Hairless Terrier

    Myth 1: American Hairless Terriers are hypoallergenic.

    • Truth: While they may produce fewer allergens, no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic.

    Myth 2: They need special skincare due to being hairless.

    • Truth: American Hairless Terriers require regular skincare like other breeds, including protection from sun exposure.

    Myth 3: They are fragile and delicate.

    • Truth: Despite being hairless, American Hairless Terriers are sturdy and resilient.

    Myth 4: They are high-maintenance.

    • Truth: While grooming needs are different, they are not necessarily high-maintenance compared to coated breeds.

    Myth 5: They are prone to skin issues.

    • Truth: Proper care, including sunscreen and moisturizing, can help prevent skin issues in American Hairless Terriers.

    Famous American Hairless Terrier examples are not as widely documented due to the breed’s relative rarity. However, these dogs are cherished companions for those who appreciate their unique appearance and hypoallergenic qualities.

    The American Hairless Terrier carries cultural significance in various domains:

    1. Unique Appearance: The breed’s hairless coat sets it apart, making it a distinctive and recognizable dog in various cultural settings.
    2. Symbol of Adaptability: American Hairless Terriers are often seen as symbols of adaptability, thriving in various environments despite their lack of fur. This resilience contributes to their cultural appeal.
    3. Companion Animals: As beloved pets, American Hairless Terriers are embraced for their affectionate nature and suitability for individuals with allergies to traditional dog fur.
    4. Celebrity Ownership: Some celebrities and public figures owning American Hairless Terriers contribute to the breed’s cultural recognition and popularity.
    5. Representation in Media: The breed may appear in advertisements, films, or other media, further solidifying its cultural presence.
    6. Adoption and Advocacy: Organizations and advocates promoting the breed as a unique and loving companion contribute to its cultural significance in the realm of pet ownership.

    As a relatively newer breed, the American Hairless Terrier doesn’t have a widely recognized historical owner. However, these terriers have gained popularity for their unique appearance and hypoallergenic qualities, making them sought after as companion animals.

    American Hairless Terriers, being a relatively rare breed, have faced specific challenges:

    1. Breed Recognition: American Hairless Terriers are a relatively new and uncommon breed. Achieving widespread recognition and acceptance can be challenging in a dog world dominated by more established breeds.
    2. Skin Sensitivity: The absence of a coat in American Hairless Terriers makes them more susceptible to skin sensitivity. Proper skincare and protection from extreme weather conditions are essential to address this challenge.

    The American Hairless Terrier is a relatively modern breed that originated in the United States. It was developed from the Rat Terrier, with the hairless gene mutation occurring spontaneously. Breeds that contributed to the Rat Terrier’s development include:

    1. Smooth Fox Terrier: The Smooth Fox Terrier was one of the foundation breeds for the Rat Terrier, contributing to its terrier characteristics and agility.
    2. Whippet: The Whippet played a role in the Rat Terrier’s development, influencing its speed and athleticism.
    3. Beagle: The Beagle also contributed to the Rat Terrier’s lineage, influencing its scenting abilities and friendly temperament.
    Check out Woofwear, where you will find our custom designed and stylish American Hairless Terrier merch!

    Why you're going to love the American Hairless Terrier

    The American Hairless Terrier, with its modern and distinctive appearance, offers a unique and low-maintenance pet experience. Their playful nature and adaptability make them suitable for families. Minimal grooming needs appeal to those seeking a companion with less coat care. As energetic and intelligent dogs, they thrive in various environments and engage actively with their owners.

    Be sure to check out the other Paw-some pups we have reviewed!

    Abruzzese Mastiff headshot portrait
    Abruzzese Mastiff (Mastino Abruzzese)
    Affenpinscher portrait headshot
    Afghan Hound Portrait
    Afghan Hound
    Agouti Husky Portrait
    Agouti Husky
    Airedale Terrier portrait headshot
    Airedale Terrier
    A Portrait of an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog
    Alaskan Husky Portrait
    Alaskan Husky
    Alaskan Klee Kai Portrait
    Alaskan Klee Kai
    Alaskan Malamute featured image
    Alaskan Malamute
    Albanian Hound Portrait
    Albanian Hound
    Alpine Spaniel Portrait (2)
    Alpine Spaniel (Switzerland)
    American Akita Portrait
    American Akita
    Portrait of a American Bulldog
    American Bulldog
    Portrait of an American Bully
    American Bully
    American Cocker Spaniel Portrait
    American Cocker Spaniel
    American English Coonhound Portrait
    American English Coonhound
    American Eskimo Dog (Mini & Toy) Portrait
    American Eskimo Dog (Mini and Toy)
    American Eskimo Dog (Standard) Portrait
    American Eskimo Dog (Standard)
    American Foxhound Portrait
    American Foxhound
    American Hairless Terrier portrait headshot
    American Hairless Terrier
    Portrait of American Pit Bull Terrier
    American Pit Bull Terrier
    A Portrait of an American Staffordshire Bulldog (also known as American Staffordshire Terrier)
    American Staffordshire Bulldog
    Head shot portrait of American Staffordshire Terrier
    American Staffordshire Terrier
    American Water Spaniel Portrait
    American Water Spaniel
    Anatolian Mastiff (Anatolian Shepherd Dog) headshot portrait
    Anatolian Mastiff (Anatolian Shepherd Dog)
    Anatolian Shepherd portrait
    Anatolian Shepherd
    Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie Portrait
    Anglo-Français de Petite Vénerie
    Argentinian Mastiff (Dogo Argentino) portrait headshot
    Argentinian Mastiff (Dogo Argentino)