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The American Hairless Terrier is a rare breed of dog that originates from the United States. It has been recognized as an official breed by the United Kennel Club since 1981, and is considered to be one of the most unique breeds in existence today.

This article will provide an overview of this intriguing breed, including its history, characteristics, and potential health issues.

The American Hairless Terrier derives from Rat Terriers that were born hairless due to a genetic mutation. They have a small stature, weighing no more than 16 pounds with a height of 14-16 inches at the shoulder. Their coats can range in color from solid white or black to spotted patterns like brindle or merle.

These dogs are active and require daily exercise; they also need plenty of playtime and human interaction in order to stay happy and healthy. In addition to their lively personalities, American Hairless Terriers are known for being very curious and intelligent animals with strong prey drives.

American Hairless Terrier dog for a walk in the park

History Of The American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier is a rare breed of hunting dog that was first bred in the United States. It has its origins in rat-catching terriers and was created through selective breeding practices to produce a coatless variety of Rat Terrier.

In 1972, two hairless puppies were born as part of a litter of Rat Terriers owned by Edwin and Willie Scott from Louisiana. These puppies went on to be used in subsequent breeding programs to establish this new breed.

Today, the American Hairless Terrier is widely recognized by major kennel clubs such as the United Kennel Club (UKC) and the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA). The breed also enjoys support from rescue organizations dedicated to providing care for homeless animals.

As an intelligent, alert and active companion animal, the American Hairless Terrier is well suited for modern households looking to add an energetic pet into their family life.

Physical Characteristics

The American Hairless Terrier is a small to medium sized terrier breed characterized by its lack of fur or coat. This hairless trait was introduced into the gene pool through a naturally occurring mutation in 1972 and has been bred as an established breed since 1984. The AKC recognizes this unique breed as part of their Terriers group.

The American Hairless Terrier varies in size, with males weighing between 12-16lbs and females typically being slightly smaller at 11-15lbs. They have short legs, long neck and head, with erect ears and dark eyes that may be almond shaped or oval depending on the individual dog’s genetics.

In terms of coat type, some dogs feature sparse fuzz known as peach fuzz across their body which requires little maintenance. Others are completely bald requiring no grooming whatsoever. And some can still carry a full coat despite the hairlessness trait present in their genes.

In addition to these variations, they also come in multiple colors including solid black, grayish blue and pink speckled varieties.


The American Hairless Terrier is renowned for its playful nature, often exhibiting an energetic and curious attitude. This breed has a courageous spirit that allows them to be fearless in most situations. They are loyal and attentive dogs, willing to please their owners with affectionate behavior.

This combination of playfulness and courage makes the American Hairless Terrier an ideal companion for families or single individuals alike. American Hairless Terriers also tend to be quite active, requiring regular exercise and physical activity to maintain proper health. As such, they make excellent running partners as well as good participants in dog sports such agility training and obedience classes.

The breed’s intelligence allows it to learn new commands quickly and respond effectively when necessary. Overall, the American Hairless Terrier is an energetic yet loving pet that offers companionship without being overly demanding.

Health Considerations

The American Hairless Terrier, despite its small size, is known for having a bold and fearless personality. It is an active breed that loves to chase after objects and play with other dogs. This breed’s temperament also makes it a great guard dog as well as companion.

In terms of health considerations, the American Hairless Terrier exhibits some unique dietary needs:

  • Whole grain-based diet
  • Brown rice
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • High-quality protein sources
  • Lean meats
  • Legumes
  • Seafoods

Additionally, preventive care must be taken into account when caring for this breed. Vaccinations should start at 8 weeks of age and continue throughout adulthood on a regular basis.

To ensure optimal dental hygiene, brushing their teeth regularly with toothpaste designed specifically for canines is recommended.

Regular vet checkups are also necessary to keep track of any issues or diseases which may arise in order to take appropriate action upon diagnosis.

Training And Socialization

American Hairless Terrier training and socialization requires an understanding of the breed’s temperament, which is alert, curious, lively and self-confident.

Training should begin early on in life with positive reinforcement as a primary method. This includes providing treats for proper behavior such as sitting or laying down and verbal praise for good conduct.

Socialization cues are also important to familiarize the dog with different noises and people from a young age so that it will be comfortable around new experiences when older. It is recommended to expose dogs to other animals during walks or supervised playtime at home in order to get them used to being around their peers.

Consistent repetition of commands and routine activities can help American Hairless Terriers learn quickly while ensuring that they remain obedient into adulthood.

Proper exercise is essential for this breed; daily walks coupled with frequent interactive games provide necessary mental and physical stimulation.

With patience and effort, owners can create a strong bond with their pet through consistency and dedication over time.

Grooming Requirements

The American Hairless Terrier is a unique breed of dog, requiring special grooming needs. The absence of fur on these dogs means that they are more prone to skin irritations and require frequent brushing in order to keep their coat healthy.

Generally speaking, the amount of brushing needed depends on the type of coat possessed by the individual animal. Those with a smooth coat might need only weekly brushings while those with wiry coats may require daily attention.

It should also be noted that regular bathing is important for this breed since it helps them stay clean and free from any parasites or dirt which could irritate their skin further. Additionally, trimming around sensitive areas such as the eyes can help maintain proper hygiene and prevent irritation from occurring due to hair growth near delicate parts of the face.

In sum, careful consideration must be given when determining an appropriate grooming routine for each individual American Hairless Terrier.

American Hairless Terrier


The American Hairless Terrier is a unique breed that combines the spirited nature of a terrier with the lack of hair of its rare ancestor, the Rat Terrier.

This unusual combination makes for an affectionate and curious companion who loves to stay active.

With proper training and socialization, their intelligence can be put to good use in obedience or agility competitions.

Owners should also be aware of potential health concerns associated with this particular breed which could require maintenance treatments such as sun protection or medication.

Although they may not have fur, these dogs still need regular grooming including teeth brushing and nail trimming.

In conclusion, the American Hairless Terrier has much to offer those looking for an energetic yet intelligent canine companion.

What type of activities would you introduce your American Hairless Terrier to?