Updated 17-06-2023

American Hairless Terrier Characteristics, Facts & Traits

American Hairless Terrier is the only hairless breed native to the United States, and the breed's creation was a fortunate accident. For allergy patients, the breed is a wonderful companion dog that is energetic and loving.

Fans of the new breed abbreviate the acronym AHT while some describe them as hairless Rat Terriers. Hairless and coated versions of the American Hairless Terrier can be found in Louisiana. They are a highly intelligent, curious, and lively canine breed. Allergy sufferers who are in need of a hard-working, fearless dog should consider him.

The American Hairless Terrier, like all terriers, is an inquisitive, lively, and sharp-witted canine. They can live happily in a large family house with children or in a city apartment or condo with an active population. A little dog that enjoys snuggling, being a goof, and warning you to potential risks may be the American Hairless Terrier for you.

The shoulder height of the American Hairless Terrier ranges from 12 to 16 inches, and it is available with or without hair. A short, lustrous coat can be found on the hairless species, whereas the whiskers and brows of the coated variety are not present. The hairless skin is soft and warm to the touch. Both varieties have a wide, wedge-shaped head. Ears that stand tall and are V-shaped frame expressive eyes that sparkle with wonder.

To learn everything there is to know about the American Hairless Terrier breed, continue reading.


  • Hairless Americans in the U.S. Colours of terriers range from black to brindle to red to brown. Their skin or extremely short, fine coat might be a single colour, or it can be a mix of two or three different colours.
  • As well as a nice half-hour walk each day, make sure your AHT has plenty of time for active play.
  • Active children will enjoy playing with American Hairless Terriers. However, because they're so small, children could easily injure your AHT if they get too excited. Always keep an eye on your children when they are playing.
  • Allergy sufferers will appreciate how little hair they produce. No dog is completely hypoallergenic, and they still sweat some dander.
  • However, when it comes to cats, American Hairless Terriers have the predation drive of their Rat Terrier ancestors, so they may be more inclined to chase.
  • These dogs don't do well when left alone for long periods of time. They need attention and validation, which makes them great dogs for big families or active urban dwellers.
  • AHTs are highly intelligent, curious, and eager to please their owners. In the beginning, they'll put you through a series of challenges, but if you keep to regular training, your AHT will quickly grasp the hierarchy.


Social Appearance 


It's a common misconception that a little dog is better suited to living in a limited space. A high-rise apartment isn't the best place for a tiny dog with a high level of energy and barking. If you're looking for an apartment dog, look for one who is well-behaved, quiet, low-energy, and easy to live with. And if you want to give your dog a little more privacy in your apartment, this is a great place to get a stylish crate.

Sensitivity Level

While some dogs are unfazed by a firm rebuke, others take offence at even the slightest hint of filth. If you have a loud or pushy owner, a chaotic home, or a routine that is unpredictable or variable, your low-sensitivity dog, often known as "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," or even "thick-skinned," will be able to handle it better. Playing in a garage band, having small children, or living a hectic lifestyle are all signs that you might fit into this category. Choose a dog that has a low threshold for pain.

Protective nature

The propensity of a breed to warn you when outsiders are nearby. There is a greater likelihood that these dogs will respond to any perceived threat, whether it is the mailman or a squirrel outside the window. If a new person enters the house, these breeds are likely to warm to them.

Potential for Playfulness

What a breed's propensity for play is like, even when it's not a puppy anymore. The desire to play tug-of-war or fetch can last into a dog's adulthood for some breeds, while for others, it's all about relaxing on the couch with you.

Personality Appearance


In the same way that dogs who were raised to run all day need to work out their bodies, so too do dogs who were bred for professions that involve decision making and intelligence, like herding sheep. Digging and chewing are two examples of activities that a bored pet will engage in if they don't obtain the mental stimulation they need. A dog's brain can be exercised through obedience training and interactive dog toys, as well as dog sports and occupations like agility and search and rescue.

Energy Level

They're constantly ready for action in high-energy dogs. A canine duty, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding animals requires a lot of stamina; these dogs were originally designed for that purpose. They're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and exploring new sights and smells if they're getting the activity and cerebral stimulation they require.

Dozing all day is the preferred mode of activity for dogs with low levels of energy. Consider your own level of activity and lifestyle when choosing a breed, and whether or not you'll find a rambunctious, lively dog energising or irritating.

Easy To Train

It is easier for dogs that are easy to teach to build associations between a cue (like "sit"), an action (like sitting), and a reward (like a treat) than it is for dogs who are more difficult to train. There are certain dogs that take longer to train than others.

Although many dog breeds are bright, you'll need to utilize incentives and games to motivate them to follow your instructions if they approach training with a "What's in it for me?" mentality.

Family Affection Level

Affectionate With Family

Even if they've been nurtured by the same person since puppyhood, some breeds remain aloof and independent; others bond strongly with one person and are indifferent to others; and yet others shower the entire family with love. Breed isn't the only thing that influences a dog's amount of attachment; dogs who were raised in a home with people around are more at ease with humans and bond more quickly.


A kid-friendly dog must be kind with children, strong enough to withstand the hefty pets and embraces they can give out, and tolerant of running, scream-inducing toddlers. There are several names you may not expect to see on the list: Fierce-looking Boxers and American Staffordshire Terriers are believed to be good with children (which are considered Pit Bulls). When it comes to family-friendly small dogs, Chihuahuas aren't always the best option.

Dog Friendly

Friendship with dogs and friendship with people are two distinct concepts. A dog might attack or try to dominate another dog even if they're a big fan of humans; some prefer to play rather than fight; and still others will simply run away. It's not only a matter of genetics. At six to eight weeks of age, puppies should have spent a lot of time playing with their littermates and their mother, and they are more likely to have good social skills.

Physical Appearance

Amount of Shedding

Having a dog in the house means having to deal with dog hair on your clothes and all over your home. However, breeds differ substantially in terms of shedding. There are some dogs that shed all year round, some that "blow" (shedding) seasonally, and still others that don't shed at all. Pick a breed that sheds less or lower your requirements if cleanliness is important to you. You can use a deshedding tool to keep your house a little cleaner.

Drooling Potential

How prone to drooling is a certain breed? If you're a neat freak, you might want to think twice about getting a dog that slobbers all over your arm or leaves puddles of slobber on your clothes.

Easy To Groom

Some breeds of dogs can simply be brushed and left alone, while others require frequent washing, trimming, and other grooming in order to maintain their health and cleanliness. A dog who requires a lot of grooming may not be a good fit for you if you do not have time or patience for it.

Exercise Needs

Some breeds are happy with a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood at night. Others, particularly those trained for physically demanding vocations like herding or hunting, require regular, strenuous exercise.

These breeds may put on weight if they don't get enough exercise, and their pent-up energy may manifest itself in unwanted behaviours like barking, chewing, and digging. If you're an active person who likes to go outside and play with your dog, you should consider a breed that requires a lot of activity.

Average sizes and life expectancy of the breed


10 to 16 pounds


13 to 16 years


12 to 16 inches


Even though feists as they were previously known were bred in England for use in hunting rats in the early 1800s, the American hairless terrier's origins may be traced back to that time period. A cross between the smooth fox terrier and the rat terrier wasn't made until these dogs were brought to America by British miners in the late 1800s, stabilising and producing the breed that we know today.

It's safe to say that the American hairless is nothing more or less than a rat terrier with a different coat. Josephine, a rat terrier puppy that was born without hair, is the ancestor of the breed. It took eight years of breeding for Edwin and Willie Scott to produce two hairless siblings, Jemma and Snoopy, from Josephine, a rat terrier. In 1983, the first litter of completely hairless puppies was born from a cross between this pair and another, and this was the beginning of the American hairless breed.

The first dog club for this breed was created by the Scotts. It wasn't until 2016 that the American Hairless Terrier Club of America was officially recognised by the AKC as a separate and distinct breed.

Personality and temperament

Apples fall from trees. As with other terriers, the American Hairless Terrier enjoys digging and hunting small prey, and is a bright, energetic, and intelligent dog that enjoys playing and digging. Despite having no coat, this breed is highly motivated to hunt despite its unsuitability for hunting. As a result, only letting your dog run loose or playing in a fenced-in yard is recommended. The American Hairless Terrier is sociable with children, dogs, and other pets because of its alert, curious nature. With his human family, he lives on connection and affection. Although the breed is a little reserved around strangers at first, it quickly warms up to its owner and takes to exercises such as agility and obedience with gusto.

The American hairless is a purebred terrier when it comes to temperament. Dogs are eager to please and smart, making training a breeze for these adorable puppies. Inquisitive and faithful, this breed is a great watchdog and a terrific companion. It's an excellent choice for a family pet because American hairless terriers are amiable friends who get along with youngsters and other animals. Singles, couples, and apartment dwellers might benefit from this dog's small size and loyalty.


While an AHT can be affectionate, it can also be a bit sprightly, so you'll need to be prepared to put in the time to teach it about boundaries.

There is a good chance that the breed will get along well with other dogs if introduced properly, but be aware that it can have a domineering demeanour and want to be in charge. An AHT, on the other hand, may not get along well with other small animals because of its innate predatory drive.


So far, there is no conclusive evidence that the American hairless terrier has any inheritable health issues.

It's important to go to a trustworthy breeder that conducts proper health tests on the parents before breeding. The American hairless terrier is susceptible to a number of inheritable conditions, including:

Conditions of the skin The American hairless terrier's exposed skin makes it susceptible to atopic dermatitis and other skin disorders including demodectic mange. Your hairless terrier should be bathed on a regular basis to avoid developing skin issues. Keep an eye out for prickly plants, bushes, and other vegetation that could injure or scrape your dog while you're out in the great outdoors.

Legg-Calve Perthes:

In this case, the Legg-Calve Perthes Small-breed dogs are more likely to suffer from this congenital issue, however AHTs may also be affected. Deformed femurs are a result of a lack of blood flow to the hip. The majority of the time, surgery is necessary to fix the condition.

Luxating Patella:

This is a typical problem in small dog breeds, when the knee joint slips. You can't do anything to prevent patellar luxation from happening, but you can catch it early on by looking for warning symptoms like licking at the knee, limping, or an inability to move.

Diabetes and obesity

Type 2 diabetes and obesity are also preventable by a well-balanced, sensible diet with sensible portion control. Your dog's well-being is also dependent on a healthy diet and regular physical activity. When it comes to the health of American hairless terriers, even the slightest amount of weight gain can have a significant impact. Your veterinarian should be kept informed of any weight changes in your terrier so that you can discuss them with him or her.

Cushing's disease:

Chronic Cushing's syndrome is an adrenocorticotropic hormone-producing tumor-induced kind of hyperadrenocorticism (ACTH). Temperature intolerance, tiredness, weakness in the muscles and panting are all signs of Cushing's illness.

Recommended Health Tests 

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Cardiac Exam
  3. Patella Evaluation
  4. Legg-Calve-Perthe Radiographic.


It is important to keep in mind that Hairless Terriers are little dogs, and their diets should be controlled accordingly. Obesity in dogs can lead to a slew of health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis. It is vitally critical that you keep a close eye on your dog's portion sizes.

Having said that, these are energetic dogs who require a lot of food to keep them going. A high-protein diet will help them create lean muscle while also providing them with the energy they need to keep running around all day long.

However, not all proteins are made equal. "Animal by-products," which are simply the rotting and wasted pieces of meat that can't be marketed on their own merits, are commonly found in low-cost dog foods. Do not feed your dog any food that has these unhealthy substances.

Corn, wheat, and soy are all low-cost fillers to be on the lookout for. These are low in nutrition and will just serve to increase your dog's weight.

Look for high-quality produce, such as blueberries, spinach and broccoli. For the most part, if something is beneficial for you, it is likely good for your dog, too.


This breed excels in the art of grooming, as you might anticipate. Owning an American Hairless Terrier will free up a significant amount of your time from having to spend it brushing your pet. In addition, you won't have to spend a fortune on lint rollers or spend hours a week vacuuming after them.

Sunscreen, on the other hand, is the antidote to this problem. In the summer, they'll need to wear sunscreen, and in the winter, they'll need to be dressed up like a tiny child to keep warm.

Additionally, you should brush their teeth every day, wipe their ears with a moist cloth every week, and bathe them when they are clearly unclean.


Your American Hairless Terrier will require a lot of activity on a daily basis. If they don't have a healthy outlet for their energy, these dogs might become destructive. Every day, they need to run about or dig or chase something, and if they don't, your shoes are going to suffer.

Good news: It doesn't take a lot of prodding for these dogs' surplus energy. If you take them to a dog park, they'll be exhausted from all the running.

If that fails, an hour-long jog should suffice. Play games like fetch or hide-and-seek to keep your dog cognitively stimulated.

If you're looking to push your dog to the ultimate test, consider taking him or her to agility trials or other canine competitions.

An American Hairless Terrier's training might be a challenge. While these dogs are intelligent enough to rapidly understand what you want them to accomplish, they also have an independent streak that can rear its head at any time.

They also enjoy playing pranks on their owners to see how far they can go. When training them, you must use a firm yet soft touch, as they will walk all over you if given the opportunity.

In order to keep children safe, however, it is not necessary for you to physically harm or abuse them. This type of dog is more likely to become defiant or morose when confronted with disciplinary methods.

As a result of their intelligence, they are also averse to repetition. In order to keep them interested, you'll need to switch up their workouts on a regular basis. Otherwise, they may grow bored and start hitting your buttons for fun.

Hire a professional if you don't have the time or inclination to train one of these canines yourself. It's preferable to let someone else handle the situation rather than letting your dog get used to bad behaviour.

Children and other Pets

The American Hairless Terrier is a terrific companion for children who are always on the go. Although introducing an older AHT to youngsters is more difficult, you can still do so gently and gradually if you start with a younger AHT. Children, no matter their age, should also know how to respectfully play with a dog. An overly enthusiastic child could easily injure your American Hairless Terrier, which is on the smaller side.

Generally, American Hairless Terriers get along well with other dogs if they are introduced slowly and calmly. When it comes to cats, AHTs may be prone to persecution because of their Rat Terrier parent's predatory instinct.

While each dog is unique, how your American Hairless Terrier interacts with children and other animals is a matter of training, socialisation, and good fortune.


The typical litter size for a female is four pups. To ensure that you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder, inquire about the parents' medical records. To ensure that your puppy does not inherit any genetic defects, a respectable breeder will be happy to show you a cardiology and an Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals report.

Having to buy and dress your dog is one of the most time-consuming responsibilities. To keep them warm in the winter and shield them from the sun's harmful rays in the summer, these animals will need coats.

Hairless dogs are also viewed as being less likely than their hairy counterparts. But the American Hairless Terrier isn't one of them.

You'll need to give these dogs a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, even if you live in an apartment, because they are so active.

A purebred Hairless Terrier puppy would set you back somewhere between $800 and $1,500 if you can find one, though. The price of premium bloodlines might go up dramatically, but there are just a handful of them out there.

It's possible that you'll have to travel to find a dog breeder in your neighbourhood. Keep in mind that adoption costs can rise dramatically if you have to travel to meet your new family member.

American Hairless Terrier-like breeds of dog

If the American hairless terrier isn't your cup of tea, here are some alternative possibilities:

Rough-coated Rat Terriers (RTs): 

Rat terriers and American hairless terriers are around the same height, although the rat terriers tend to be slightly huskier. When it comes to youngsters, Rat Terriers tend to be great.

Brazilian terriers:

They are about the same height and weight as an American hairless terrier. It's also a good fit for families with children due to its lively attitude.


The Pomeranian is a terrific choice if you're looking for a cheerful companion who enjoys curling up on the couch with you. Like the American hairless terrier, they tend to be vigilant and prone to excessive barking.