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American Hairless Terrier Breed Info, Pictures, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

American Hairless Terrier

Height: 12-16 inches
Weight: 12-16 pounds
Lifespan: 14-16 years
Colors: Apricot, black, fawn, chocolate, lemon, red, seal, lilac, multi
Suitable for: People with allergies, apartment living, hot climates
Temperament: Inquisitive, Spunky, Active, Intelligent, Happy

If you have been searching for a dog you don’t see every day, allow us to introduce you to the rare and adorable American Hairless Terrier. Courageous and energetic, this pooch will keep the kiddos occupied with hours of play and then winds down with you at the end of the day.

AHTs are hairless but have so many unique colors and patterns on their skin. Taking care of one of these fantastic dogs is a lot like caring for yourself. They need a good skincare routine, a sweater for cold weather, and activities to keep them stimulated. Find out more about this incredible dog to see if they match your lifestyle.

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American Hairless Terrier Puppies

American Hairless Terrier Puppy
Image Credit: Zuzule, Shutterstock

When you’re looking for an American Hairless Terrier, take your time to find a reputable and ethical breeder. Reputable breeders will have routine health checks done before selling their puppies. You should always be able to request to see both parents and to view living conditions to make sure your puppy has been taken care of up to the selling point.

Remember, you can check within your state at various shelters and breed-specific rescue groups to check for American Hairless Terrier puppies or adults. Since the breed is moderately rare, you may not find as many options this way, but it’s always worth it to check. It can also wind up being cheaper if you are hellbent on getting an AHT but can’t quite pay breeder prices.

Never spend a few hundred dollars on a puppy from a breeder. Lower costs typically mean less care and can constitute backyard breeding. Buying a healthy puppy is vital, and breeding strictly for money isn’t something you would want to support unknowingly.

3 Little-Known Facts About the American Hairless Terrier

1. The American Hairless Terrier breed began with a little misfit Rat Terrier named Josephine.

Totally unintentionally, a hairless puppy was born into an otherwise normal little of Rat Terrier puppies. This was quite the anomaly at the time. But the owners enjoyed her temperament and uniqueness so much, they bred her until they successfully spawned a new breed—the AHT.

2. American Hairless Terriers will need to wear clothes, too.

Because these dogs are hairless, you need to protect their skin properly. They’re very sensitive to the cold or the hot sun. They can sunburn in the blazing rays or get frostbite in the bitter cold.

You’ll need to get protective gear for them to wear outside. It’s not necessary all the time, of course. But a good rule of thumb is—if you’re chilly or burning up, so is your AHT.

3. American Hairless Terriers don’t get fleas or shed.

Of course, no shedding probably isn’t much of a surprise, considering they are a hairless breed. But on top of that, an extra perk is that they don’t get fleas.

Fleas can be a real pain for pet parents in warmer months. You can consider this an extra cost you cut when owning these unique dogs.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the American Hairless Terrier 🧠

American Hairless Terriers are fun-loving, energetic companions that rarely run out of steam. They are quick to respond to any outside stimuli, noticing everything around them with keen curiosity. Their attentiveness allows them to develop new skills quickly.

These dogs are incredibly smart, picking up quickly on tricks and rules. But they do need a firm alpha leader to keep them in line. Once you establish the hierarchy, they will fall into place, respecting their owner.

This breed is receptive to direction. They will likely enjoy games that require action, both mentally and physically. Engaging with them in outdoor activities and providing puzzles gives them a healthy outlet for their boundless energy.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

American Hairless Terriers make the perfect fit for most family situations. They adore people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. They do well in small living environments or with tons of space to roam. Their versatility makes them an attractive option for many living situations.

They are incredibly affectionate with their family, always wanting to be a part of things. But In the same sense, they aren’t overbearing or always in your face. American Hairless Terriers have no issue being a part of things without the need to steal the show.

If you’re looking for a small dog but aren’t a fan of the usual barking tendencies, you’re going to love that they rarely do. These dogs are pretty quiet unless something serious is going on.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

American Hairless Terriers do very well with other dogs and even cats! They enjoy having buddies to run and play with—and even to nap with from time to time.

The same sentiment may not extend to smaller pets like rodents. They aren’t used for hunting but might exhibit a prey drive. Essentially, the AHT is a Rat Terrier without hair. So, their ancestral DNA has quite a history hunting rodents.

If you do have small pets that they are around from puppyhood, they may be accepting of them. But how they would react to unfamiliar animals may be different. Always supervise any interactions.

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Things to Know When Owning an American Hairless Terrier:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The muscly and capable American Hairless Terrier needs a high-protein diet to replenish burned fuel. You can buy high-quality, protein-rich dry kibble dog food. To add a little pizazz, you can offer meat, eggs, and other whole forms of protein to their diet, too.

For portions, it’s always best to feed them according to the label of the dog food bag. Different foods may require certain measurements, mostly depending on the life stage and weight of your dog.

In addition to high protein to nourish bone, skin, and coat, they need other vital nutrients, too. Make sure you’re offering sustenance without fillers, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. Antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and essential minerals will keep your AHT at optimal health.

Exercise 🐕

These dogs definitely need their exercise, but not as much as you may think. They require a minimum of 30 minutes a day in the form of walks, jogs, or playtime.

They benefit greatly from puzzles and tasks where they have to problem-solve or sort out. So offering toys or games to stimulate their brain will curb their desire to get into other things.

Since these dogs are fast and alert, they will need to be put on a leash or placed in a fenced-in area. The fencing needs to be high and secure because they are both capable of jumping and digging.

american hairless terrier
Image Credit: Pxhere

Training 🦮

Your American Hairless Terrier will pick up on new information quickly and aim to please you. They love as much stimulation as possible, so they will respond to your commands with enthusiasm.

American Hairless Terriers do have a bit of a stubborn streak, so sometimes they may decide they don’t want to comply. But always use positive reinforcement to guide them without resorting to harsh punishments.

Your AHT is one to care very much about what their owner thinks. So, sometimes even the sternness in your voice can change their way of thinking. So, while they may be a little headstrong at times, their love for you is stronger.

Grooming ✂️

Don’t let the hairlessness fool you—the AHT still requires quite a bit of maintenance in the grooming department. Less traditional than other canines, they need a different type of care.

To simplify, this breed needs a lot of the same routine hygiene as us. They can get sunburns, rashes, and blemishes. They require warmth in the winter and shade in the summer. They also sweat through pores, so they need routine wipe downs.

Something mild like oatmeal-based shampoos works very well on their skin. It’s also best to keep their skin moisturized by applying organic coconut oil or something similar. Using perfume lotions or shampoos can really irritate their skin, so try to avoid any fragrance.

AHTs typically only need one deep cleaning a month. But you will need to keep their skin free of buildup or residue. You can use a washcloth or fragrance-free baby wipe to clean them up.

Puppies can go through stages where they develop pimples or blemishes—which is a normal part of the aging process. Once they reach a specific part of development, they usually stop.

Health Conditions ❤️

Since they’re hairless, you may think the American Hairless Terrier is more susceptible to health problems. That is actually a misconception.

Minor Conditions
  • American Hairless Terriers may develop skin issues, like allergies or rashes. But realistically, they have about as much chance as a dog who has fur.
Serious Conditions
  • While uncommon, some American Hairless Terriers can develop heart conditions.
  • This condition is where the hips joint grind instead of sliding like they’re supposed to. While it’s more likely in larger breeds, American Hairless Terriers can suffer from this problem.
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes—This disorder happens when the hip joint spontaneously starts to deteriorate, which leads to arthritis.

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Male vs Female

Both male and female American Hairless Terriers share common denominators. Each dog is an individual with their own personality. But there are just a few things you may get with male versus female AHTs.

Males are slightly bigger than females in height. They may also show a somewhat larger muscular portion. Otherwise, both genders are structurally the same.

Males may be a bit more active than females, making them slightly harder to train. Males may be too flighty to calm down. They also could mature a bit slower than females mentally, staying in the puppy stage for quite some time.

Females, on the other hand, are a bit more sensitive and down to earth. But don’t let this finalize your decision, as females can be more fussy or moody.

Either way you go, both genders will give you solid companionship and limitless love.

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Final Thoughts

All in all, American Hairless Terriers would make exceptional pets for families or single-person homes. They have accepting, loving personalities with humans and critters alike. Remember, they don’t bark much, which is an especially attractive attribute if you live in an apartment or have close neighbors. Plus, they’re so unique, you may be the only person you know who has one.

If the AHT has all of the traits you’re looking for, choose your puppy from a reputable breeder—and don’t forget to check local rescues.

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Featured Image Credit: nika174, Shutterstock

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