The American Hairless Terrier is the only native canine breed lacking hair in the United States. Its development was somewhat of a happy accident. The breed is renowned for being a playful companion dog and a fantastic option for allergy patients.

the american hairless terrier
A Hairless Terrier dog – image by Nano_The_Naked_Dog

AHT is how some supporters of the new breed spell their name, while others call them Rat Terriers without hair. Despite being purebred, you could still be able to discover these dogs in shelters and rescues. Don’t forget to adopt! If this breed is the one for you, don’t shop.

Like other Terriers, the American Hairless Terrier is a curious, vibrant, and sharp canine. They may thrive in bigger family homes with children, apartments, with busy city people.

Table of Contents

Breed Overview Of The American Hairless Terrier

Breed group Terrier
Height 12 to 16 inches
Weight 12 to 16 pounds
Lifespan 14 to 16 years
Coat none or short and shiny (depends on the variation)
Colour bi-colour, tri-colour, brindle, sable, blue, red, brown
Temperament intelligent, energetic, playful, clever, alert, inquisitive, loyal, protective


Through the 20th century, Rat Terriers progressively rose in popularity in the United States, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt among their admirers. But in Trout, Louisiana, something unexpected occurred in 1972. A Rat Terrier was born without hair, and her birth coat disintegrated when she was a few weeks old.

The hairless Rat Terrier, which Edwin and Willie Scott adopted, was given the name Josephine. They began breeding Josephine, and she eventually gave birth to several more pups with no hair.

The American Hairless Terrier was created in 1983 through the union of two hairless Rat Terriers. Coated American Hairless Terriers were produced by continuing to breed certain American Hairless Terriers with Rat Terriers.

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The American Hairless Terrier weighs between ten and sixteen pounds and is twelve and sixteen inches tall at the shoulder.

American Hairless Terriers might vary in size from the norm or standard for their breed.

Personality Of The American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terriers may be like many other Terrier breeds, but their personalities differ.

They don’t fare well when left alone for extended periods. AHTs have healthy energy levels and will let you readily notify you of their discomfort. The AHT craves attention and approval, making them ideal for large families or energetic city dwellers.

It’s critical to begin and maintain training as early as possible because the American Hairless Terrier tends to a Napoleon complex. Fortunately, AHTs are extremely intelligent and curious and like pleasing their owners.

Even though they occasionally retest that border, if you continue with your regular training, your AHT will understand the pecking order despite their initial testing attempts.

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American Hairless Terriers are active but enjoy cuddling as much as playing and doing tricks. Smaller dogs usually cling to their primary caretaker or person.


Although American Hairless Terriers are typically in good health, they can develop specific health issues like any other breed. Not all AHTs will contract any or all of these illnesses, but if you’re thinking of getting one, you should be aware of them.

The following are some of the more prevalent health issues that American Hairless Terriers experience:

  1. Deafness
  2. Hypothyroidism
  3. Patellar Luxation
  4. Demodicosis (Red Mange)
  5. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (Hip Joint Bone Degeneration)
  6. Cushing’s Disease


As with other dogs, you should schedule routine veterinary exams for your American Hairless Terrier to catch any health issues early. Your veterinarian can assist you in creating a schedule of care that will keep your dog healthy.

American Hairless Terriers have high energy and are prone to weight gain. This indicates that you should exercise regularly for your AHT.

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Ensure your AHT participates in numerous brief active play sessions throughout the day. Additionally, you should go for at least one healthy half-hour walk daily.

Every day, check their ears for debris and parasites; clean them as your veterinarian instructs. Before they grow too long, trim your dog’s nails. It would be best if you did this once or twice a month, and they shouldn’t be making noise against the ground.

Maintaining your American Hairless Terrier’s dental health should be your priority when it comes to caring. Little breeds are more likely to have dental problems, so you should brush their teeth daily.

You can receive instructions from your veterinarian on how to brush your dog’s teeth properly.

Feeding The American Hairless Terrier

Creating an appropriate diet for an energetic, small- to medium-sized breed like the American Hairless Terrier will be best.

The American Hairless Terrier is susceptible to weight gain, just like other Terrier breeds.

By measuring their food and feeding them on a regular, twice-daily schedule instead of putting food out for grazing purposes, you can keep your AHT healthy and content.

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The American Hairless Terrier’s nutritional requirements will alter from puppyhood through adulthood. Like all dogs, they will continue to change into their senior years.

There is too much diversity among dogs, including weight, energy levels, and health. It is best to ask your veterinarian for advice on your American Hairless Terrier’s food.

Coat Color And Grooming

The Coated Hairless and Hairless American Terriers’ skin patterns or coats are highly distinct. AHTs can be brown, red, sable, blue, brindle, black, or blue. Their very short, soft coat and skin can occasionally be a single colour or a blend of two or three hues.

Whether coated or not, one of the most delicate things about American Hairless Terriers is how little they shed. They make them great pets for people with allergies. Since all dogs shed some dander, they are not completely hypoallergenic.

Their short coats will require sun protection even in the cooler months. Before spending more than 15 minutes outside with your AHT, apply dog sunscreen on their skin.

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They don’t have a coat, so if you live somewhere cold, you’ll need to get your American Hairless Terrier a coat, booties, and perhaps even a hat for the winter.

Children And Other Pets

For active children, American Hairless Terriers make excellent playmates. The younger you start, the easier it is to socialise your AHT with youngsters. However, you can still accomplish it with an older AHT if you do it carefully and calmly.

Children of all ages should understand how to play with dogs responsibly. Due to the small size of the American Hairless Terrier, overeager kids could easily damage your AHT.

American Hairless Terriers generally get along with other dogs as long as introductions are made gradually and in a quiet setting. AHTs may be prone to pursuing cats since they still have their Rat Terrier parents’ predation instinct.

Nevertheless, because every dog is different, training, socialisation, and the luck of the draw play a role in how well your American Hairless Terrier gets along with people and other animals.

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