Complete Guide To The American Hairless Terrier: Health, Exercise, Grooming and More

The American Hairless Terrier may be an ideal dog for allergy sufferers, as this dog is usually born hairless. Tenacious, loving, and athletic, the American Hairless Terrier is a wonderful and polite family member. This intelligent dog breed is happy with only moderate exercise and loves to choose a favorite person to sit with day in and day out.  

How Big Do American Hairless Terriers Get?

This dog breed is a diminutive little dog that is a small terrier. Males and females are usually the same size and will measure just 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder. The male and female American Hairless Terrier weigh about the same, coming in around 12 to 16 pounds.  

What Do American Hairless Terriers Look Like?

The notable feature of this dog breed is that most American Hairless Terriers do not have any hair. It is possible, though, to have some puppies born with a very thin coat. Hairless varieties will still have eyebrows and whiskers, and the coated type will have a very short and shiny coat. The dog comes in several colors and can be found in brown, black, sable, brindle, red, and blue. While the coat is usually one solid color, it is possible to have two or three combined colors.  

What Is The Personality of An American Hairless Terrier?

This breed of dog is very intelligent and learns new behaviors very quickly. Couple their intelligence with an eagerness to please, and this breed is very easy to train. Plus, the American Hairless Terrier enjoys learning new activities because it has a curious and spunky personality by nature.  

The American Hairless Terrier is happy to live with a family and is generally good around young children as long as they understand the appropriate way to treat a small dog. Although loving and affectionate toward the entire family, it is not uncommon to find this dog gravitating to just one person in the family who it marks as his “favorite.”

Do American Hairless Terriers Need Any Grooming?

Grooming needs will largely depend on the type of coat your American Hairless Terrier has. The AHT will only need to have their nails kept short, and the ears kept clean. Because there is no fur to protect the hairless dog from the sun, apply sun protection to prevent sunburn.

The haired variety of this dog also has minimal grooming requirements. Although they rarely shed, a quick brush with a soft-bristle brush should help to remove any dead fur. Because this is a hairless breed of dog, many allergy sufferers can keep this dog without flare-ups. Give the dog a bath only when needed to keep him healthy and clean.  

How Much Exercise Does An American Hairless Terrier Need?

This dog breed has a moderate energy level and needs some easy, quick, daily exercise. Just a quick play session in a fenced yard or a short walk will be all the exercise this small dog requires. For most of the day, the Hairless Terrier is happy to sit snuggled up on the couch beside his favorite person.  

Because this breed of dog is so intelligent and has an urge to please its owner, the AHT does well at canine athletic competitions. Consider teaching your dog obedience, agility, or rally so that he can exercise both his mind and body. Not only are canine competitions fun for your dog, but it is a wonderful way to spend some quality time together.  

What Kind Of Dog Food Is Best For American Hairless Terriers?

Before we start with the food lists, just know that grain-free dog foods are a myth. There’s zero science showing that they are helpful. In fact, there’s increasing evidence that it’s causing issues in certain breeds of dogs. Food allergies are the only reason to even consider a grain-free diet but only choose one with the help of your veterinarian.

Best Puppy Food For American Hairless Terriers:

Best Adult Food For American Hairless Terriers:

I do tend to recommend larger dog food manufacturers over the smaller, boutique-style dog foods. In 20 years of being a veterinarian, I’ve just seen less issues with the major dog foods versus these small companies. There are fewer recalls and I find that they are more cost effective.

My philosophy on dog food is that most foods are fine for most dogs except in cases where a dog has a specific issue that requires a specialized dog food. For the vast majority of pet owners, the above foods are an excellent choice.

How Long Do American Hairless Terriers Live?

14-16 years based on information from the AKC

What Health Problems Do American Hairless Terriers Have?

There’s not a lot of information when it comes to health conditions that this breed commonly gets. Despite the baldness, the only issue that seems likely in this breed could be sunburn.

Obesity and dental disease, like in most dog breeds, would be a concern in the American Hairless Terrier.

Keep track of breed genetic testing here at the Canine Health Information Center.

Where Can I Learn More About American Hairless Terriers?

American Hairless Terrier Club of America

AKC Breed Page

Where Can I Find an American Hairless Terrier?

The American Hairless Terrier is slowly growing in popularity, but it may still be challenging to find this breed of dog. Expect to wait up to six months to find a dog from a reputable breeder.

Breeder List from the American Hairless Terrier Club of America

AKC Puppy Marketplace

It may also be possible to adopt an AHT from a rescue organization. Rescuing a dog not only gives a dog a much-needed home, but it allows you to get the purebred dog of your choice. Some quality rescue groups that specialize in this specific breed or other hairless dog breeds include Bald Is Beautiful Hairless and Small Breed Rescue, Inc, Angels Among Us Pet Wright-Way Rescue.

Fun Facts About the American Hairless Terrier

  • Creating the American Hairless Terrier was an accident! The Rat Terrier became a popular breed of dog, but in 1972 a dog was born hairless. By 1983, the second litter of hairless Rat Terriers was born, and so a new breed of hairless dog was possible. The breeding stock was slowly expanded until there were enough healthy dogs to create a new breed.  
  • While no dog will be 100% hypo-allergenic, the American Hairless Terrier is close. Without any fur, many allergy sufferers can live an allergy-free life with their dogs. It is important to remember that the dog still has dander, so allergies may persist for some people.  
  • Like their close relative, the Rat Terrier, the AHT has a high prey drive and will hunt and chase small rodents and cats. Never leave your American Hairless Terrier alone unsupervised with small animals.  
  • The UKC officially recognized this breed of dog in 2004, but it wasn’t until 2016 that the AKC officially recognized the American Hairless Terrier.