American Hairless Terrier

Group 2: Terriers
Height: 30 – 41 cm
Weight: 5 – 7 kg

Energy Level:  Moderate to high
Original Function: Hunting
Lifespan: 10 – 14 yrs

Recommended for: Most people who like this no haired type of dog.

American Hairless Terrier

About This Breed

The American Hairless Terrier was officially recognised by the A.K.C. in 2016. The history of the American Hairless Terrier was identical to that of the Rat Terrier until the 1970s.

The AHT, as they’re sometimes called, is the product of a rare, major mutation that occurred in a litter of Rat Terriers in 1972. A completely hairless puppy with pink skin and black spots was born in a litter of otherwise normal Rat Terriers in Louisiana. This puppy became the foundation for the American Hairless Terrier Breed.

General Characteristics

Appearance: The American Hairless Terrier is a small to medium sized, smoothly muscled and active terrier. Medium bone, not so heavy as to appear coarse or so light as to appear racy and blends with the proportion of the dog. The overall appearance is strong but moderate with firm, smooth, flat muscles.

Temperament: The lack of coat on the hairless variety of the American Hairless Terrier renders them unsuited for most hunting activities. They have, however, retained a strong hunting instinct and excel in many other activities and sports. Given early socialization and training they excel as companions, displaying great affection for their owners and family.

Characteristics: Energetic, alert, curious and intelligent.

Coat: The breed is hairless but has a coated counterpart:
Hairless puppies are born with a soft, vestigial ‘down’ known as the ‘birth coat’. This generally covers the body but diminishes over time and puppies should be completely hairless by approximately 8-10 weeks of age. A mature, hairless dog should be free of hair with the exception of whiskers and guard hairs on the eyebrows and muzzle. Short, very fine (vellus) hair may be present on the body of a mature dog. The skin is smooth and warm to the touch.
The coated variety is covered with a short, smooth and dense coat that has a sheen.

Colour: Any colour or combination of colours is allowed with the exception of albino or merle.

Grooming: Bath when needed, some owners like to wash them 2 to 3 times a week. If their skin becomes dry, lotion can be applied. Scratches and cuts do happen and they need to be attended to.

Exercise: Prone to weight gain, and they have high energy levels. This means a good amount of exercise is needed, least one good half-hour walk per day along with lots of little active play sessions throughout the day.

Health: Prone to skin rashes. Their skin needs protection from the sun and cold. Allergies are common in this breed.