American Hairless Terrier Dog: Characteristic, Health & Fun Facts!

The American Hairless Terrier is the only native canine breed of the United States that lacks hair, and its development was somewhat of a fortunate accident. The breed is currently renowned for being a playful companion dog and a fantastic option for allergy patients in particular.

AHT is how some supporters of the new breed spell their name, while others call them Rat Terriers without hair. Despite being purebred, you could still be able to discover these dogs in shelters and rescues. The American Hairless Terrier is an inquisitive, vivacious, and sharp canine breed like other terriers.

American Hairless Terrier Dog

About The Breed

The Louisiana-born American Hairless Terrier is a clever, curious, and lively dog that comes in both hairless and coated forms. He is a great option for allergy patients looking for a terrier with real grit and bravery.

The American Hairless Terrier is available with or without hair, and its height at the shoulder ranges from 12 to 16 inches. While the coated version has a short, lustrous coat, the hairless variety may have whiskers and brow hairs.

The skin of the hairless is warm to the touch and smooth. Both kinds are distinguished by their large, wedge-shaped heads. Round, expressive eyes that shine with inquiry are framed by upright, V-shaped ears.

American Hairless Terrier Dog Breed History

The American Hairless Terrier breed wasn’t initially intended to exist. Through the 20th century, Rat Terriers progressively rose in popularity in the United States, with President Franklin D. Roosevelt among their admirers.

But in Trout, Louisiana, something unexpected occurred in 1972. A Rat Terrier was born without hair. When she was a few weeks old, her birth coat was lost.

The hairless Rat Terrier, which Edwin and Willie Scott adopted, was given the name Josephine. They began breeding Josephine, and she eventually gave birth to many more puppies with no hair. The American Hairless Terrier was created in 1983 through the union of two hairless Rat Terriers.

American Hairless Terrier Dog Breed Job Card/Overview

Breed Name American Hairless Terrier
Dog Breed TypeTerrier Dogs
Parent BreedsHairless Rat Terrier
Height12- 16 inches.
Weight 10- 16 lbs.
Life Expectancy13- 16 years.
Coat Typeextremely short, delicate coat.
Common Colorsbrown, red, sable, blue, brindle, black, or blue. 
Grooming NeedsVery little Grooming Needs.
Temperamentinquisitive, vivacious, and sharp canine breed.
Apartment Livingideal for Apartment living
Pet FriendlyYes
Exercise RequirementsAverage
Tendency to Droollow tendency 
Intelligence LevelQuite Intelligent
Energy LevelAverage 
What To Know
• American Hairless Terriers are great for allergy sufferers due to their hairless coat, but some may have a light coat.

• Protect their sensitive skin from the sun with dog-safe sunscreen or clothing, especially in sunny weather.

• Despite being hairless, these dogs need regular baths to keep their skin clean and healthy. Be gentle and use mild dog-friendly products.

• Hairless Terriers can get cold easily, so ensure they have warm clothing or stay indoors during chilly weather.

• Keep these energetic terriers happy with regular playtime, walks, and mental stimulation. They love being active!


American Hairless Terrier Dog


The American Hairless Terrier is a champ at adapting! No matter if your place is big or small, they’re cool with it.

These dogs mesh well with kids and other pets, becoming part of the family vibe. Plus, their low-maintenance style and chill attitude make them awesome for anyone who wants an easygoing and adaptable four-legged pal.


Adaptive to Apartment Living

Suitable for New Owners

Sensitivity Scale

Comfortable Being Alone

Comfortable with Cold Weather

Comfortable with Hot Weather


Friendly and loving, the American Hairless Terrier is a wonderful companion. These dogs are known for their affectionate nature, forming strong bonds with their owners.

Whether snuggling on the couch or playing in the yard, their friendly disposition adds warmth to any home. They get along well with other pets, making them an excellent choice for families with multiple furry members.

All About Friendliness

Lovable with Family



Frank with strangers


American Hairless Terriers may be little, like many other Terrier breeds, but their personality is anything but. They don’t fare well when left alone for extended periods, have strong amounts of energy, and will let you know if anything is on their mind.

The AHT is a fantastic dog for large families or active city people since they want attention and affirmation.

American Hairless Terriers are active, but they also enjoy cuddling just as much as playing and doing tricks.


The American Hairless Terrier is a delightful companion with a lively personality. Known for their affectionate nature, these dogs bring joy to any home.

Energetic and intelligent, they love playtime and thrive on interaction. Their adaptability makes them great for families, and their friendly demeanor extends to both humans and other pets.

Friendly with kids

The American Hairless Terrier is not just a charming face but also a fantastic choice for families with children. Known for their friendly and patient demeanor, these dogs make wonderful companions for kids.

Their small to medium size makes them a suitable addition to various living spaces, be it a house or an apartment.

Amicable to other pets

American Hairless Terriers tend to get along well with other pets. Their amicable nature extends to furry friends, making them a versatile choice for households with multiple animals.

With proper socialization, these terriers form positive bonds with other pets, contributing to a peaceful and cooperative living environment.

Barking tendencies

The American Hairless Terrier is generally well-behaved. While they may bark to express alertness, it’s not a dominant trait. Early training and positive reinforcement help in keeping their barking tendencies in check, ensuring a peaceful coexistence with neighbors.

Possibilities of Staying Alone

American Hairless Terriers can manage to stay alone for moderate periods. However, like many dogs, they benefit from gradual acclimatization to being alone, along with engaging toys to keep them entertained.

Providing a comforting environment during solo time helps these terriers feel secure and content when their human family members are away.

Pros and Cons of the American Hairless Terrier Dog Breed


  • Friendly and patient, making them great with children.
  • Amicable with other pets, fostering positive relationships.
  • Generally well-behaved with minimal barking tendencies.


  • Requires regular exercise and mental stimulation.
  • Potential for separation anxiety if left alone for extended periods.
  • Limited protection instincts, making them less suitable as guard dogs.

Male vs Female Attitude

American Hairless Terriers, male and female attitudes bring unique charm. Males strut with confidence, embodying protectiveness and a penchant for marking territory.

Their assertive nature adds a bold touch to their character. Meanwhile, females exude warmth, showcasing affection and a nurturing spirit.

Even without a litter, they embrace their maternal instincts. Both genders share intelligence, adapting seamlessly to their surroundings.

American Hairless Terrier Dog


The American Hairless Terrier stands out with its charming, hairless appearance. These small to medium-sized dogs boast a smooth, soft coat or go completely bare, showcasing their unique style.

Their lively eyes and alert ears add to their adorable charm, while their compact build and muscular frame reflect agility.

Coat Color And Grooming

The skin patterns or coats of the Coated Hairless and Hairless American Terriers are highly distinct from one another. AHTs can be brown, red, sable, blue, brindle, black, or blue. Their extremely short, delicate coat and skin can occasionally be a single color or a blend of two or three hues.

No matter if they are coated or not, one of the finest things about American Hairless Terriers is how little they shed, which makes them great pets for those with allergies.


This charming breed is a breeze when it comes to shedding there’s almost none! Thanks to their hairless coats, grooming is a cinch, making them an ideal choice for allergy sufferers or anyone seeking a low-maintenance furry friend.

With their affectionate demeanor and sharp intelligence, American Hairless Terriers are perfect companions.


The American Hairless Terrier weighs between ten and sixteen pounds and is between twelve and sixteen inches tall at the shoulder.

AHTs, however, might vary in size from the norm or standard for their breed.


Although American Hairless Terriers are typically in good health, they can nevertheless develop specific health issues like any other breed. Not all AHTs will contract any or all of these illnesses, but if you’re thinking of getting one, you should be aware of them.

The following are some of the most prevalent health issues that American Hairless Terriers experience:

  • Deafness
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Demodicosis (Red Mange)
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (Hip Joint Bone Degeneration)
  • Cushing’s Disease

Health and Grooming Requirements

Shedding Quantity

Drooling Capability

Effortless to Groom

Overall Health

Capable of Gaining Weight


Maintenance and Care

As with other dogs, you should continue to schedule routine veterinary exams for your American Hairless Terrier to catch any health issues early. Your veterinarian can assist you in creating a schedule of care that will keep your dog healthy.

American Hairless Terriers have a high amount of energy and are prone to weight gain. This indicates that you should exercise regularly for your AHT. Make sure your AHT participates in several brief active play sessions throughout the day and at least one healthy half-hour walk each day.

Every day, check their ears for dirt and parasites; clean them as your veterinarian instructs. Before they get too long, trim your dog’s nails. This should be done once or twice a month. It shouldn’t be making noises against the ground. This is where your groomer can assist.

Food and Nutrition

An appropriate diet for an energetic, small- to medium-sized breed like the American Hairless Terrier should be created.

The American Hairless Terrier is susceptible to weight gain, much like other Terrier breeds. By measuring their food and feeding them twice a day on a regular schedule as opposed to putting food out for grazing, you can keep your AHT healthy and content.

Exercise and Activity Level

Keep your American Hairless Terrier happy and healthy with a consistent exercise routine. This lively breed loves playtime and daily walks. Whether it’s a game of fetch or a brisk stroll around the neighborhood, keeping them active is key.

Engaging in fun activities not only keeps them physically fit but also strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend. Consider incorporating simple agility exercises or interactive play to cater to their intelligence.

Physical Requirements

Energy range


Exercise Requirements

Capable for Playfulness


American Hairless Terriers are easily trainable pets. From basic commands to advanced tricks, these dogs grasp new concepts swiftly.

Their love for positive reinforcement makes training sessions enjoyable and effective. Whether for obedience or play, these trainable terriers quickly become well-behaved companions.


Effortless to Train


Capable for Mouthiness

Tendency to Attack Prey

Urge to Howl or Bark

Wanderlust Ability

Children And Other Pets

For energetic children, American Hairless Terriers are excellent playmates. The earlier you start, the simpler it is to socialize your AHT with youngsters, but you can still accomplish it with an older AHT if you do it carefully and quietly.

Children of all ages should understand how to play with dogs responsibly. Due to the tiny size of the American Hairless Terrier, overeager kids might easily damage your AHT.

In general, American Hairless Terriers get along with other dogs as long as introductions are made gradually and in a quiet setting. AHTs may be inclined to pursue cats since they still retain their Rat Terrier parents’ predation drive.

Nevertheless, because every dog is different, training, socialization, and the luck of the draw all play a role in how well your American Hairless Terrier gets along with people and other animals.

Rescue Groups

It could be difficult to find rescues that specialize in saving American Hairless Terriers. However, you may always check with your neighborhood shelter, and you might want to choose a rescue that accepts any type of dog, including those with hairless coats.

Explore More Dog Breeds…

FAQs On The American Hairless Terrier Dog Breed

Can American Hairless Terriers be left alone?

Long lengths of time alone don’t suit these pets well. They are excellent canines for large families or active city dwellers since they want attention and affirmation.

How intelligent are American Hairless Terriers?

AHTs are extremely intelligent and curious, and they like pleasing their owners. They could first attempt to test you, but if you continue with your regular training, your AHT will discover the hierarchy.

How is the Terrier with other dogs?

American Hairless Terriers usually get along with other dogs, but because their Rat Terrier parents’ predation instinct still exists in them, they could be inclined to chase cats.

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