By Jags Goldie Last updated: 21st October 2022

American Hairless Terrier


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 21st October 2022

American Hairless Terrier, a naturally occurring variant of the medium-sized Rat Terrier, is a rare breed of well-muscled dogs that come with strong shoulders, deep chest, and powerful legs. While newborn puppies have sparse hair on their body, they become entirely hairless by six weeks. However, some retain tufts of hair on their eyebrows and whiskers.

American Hairless Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

CoatUsually hairless; may have short, thin hair
ColorBlack, blue, red, chocolate, apricot, seal, lemon, blue fawn, red sable, different patterns with white
Breed TypeCrossbreed
CategoryTerrier, Working
Lifespan14-16 years
Weight7-25 lbs
Height7-18 inches
SheddingLow in coated variety
Size of Litter3-5 puppies
TemperamentFriendly, curious, alert, fearless
Good with ChildrenYes
Country Originated inUSA
Competitive Registration / Qualification InformationAKS/FSS, APRI, ACA, CKC, ACR, AHRTC, DRA, NKC, UKC, AHTF

Video: American Hairless Terriers Playing


Early 18th – late 19th century: The origin of American hairless terriers can be traced to the 18th century when crossbred hunting dogs, called Feists were taken to North America. During the 19th century, the Rat Terrier of Feist lineage was developed from Italian Greyhound, Miniature Pinscher, and Beagle.

20th century: In 1972, a completely hairless female pup named Josephine was born in a litter of Rat Terriers. On being impressed by its appearance and temperament, Louisiana-based owners Edwin Scott and his wife Willie bred it upon maturity to produce the hairless variety. In 1981, it successfully gave birth to a litter of hairless dogs, which formed the foundation bloodstock of American hairless terriers.

Breed Recognition

The American Rare Breeds Association along with the National Rat Terrier Club recognized the breed as the AHT (American Hairless Terrier) in 1998 followed by the United Kennel Club’s recognition Rat Terrier, Hairless Variety in 1999. It got recognition as a distinct breed by the UKC on 1st January 2004, and it was acknowledged as a member of the terrier group by the AKC in January 2016.

Temperament and Behavior

American Hairless Terriers are intelligent, loving, and playful dogs that make excellent family companions. They do well with children if raised with them, but owners should take precautions with young ones since a careless or overly enthusiastic child could injure these dogs. They might react in an aggressive way or snap when handled roughly.

The AHTs are tolerant of strangers though they will not hesitate to sound the alarm to warn their family of any approaching danger. Being territorial in nature, they might not get along well with other dogs unless well socialized.

Because of their terrier ancestry, they enjoy digging and chasing small quarry. However, AHTs are not recommended for hunting or ratting since they are vulnerable to injuries due to lack of a coat. These dogs are not natural swimmers and should be closely monitored.



Being a moderately energetic breed, the AHT requires a minimum of 20-30 minutes of walk and play per day. Although it is active indoors, it enjoys outdoor romps and takes part in challenging games like dog agility and obedience.


Although it is hairless, it has the propensity to shed a minimal amount of skin cells once in a month. Therefore, apply a cream (without lanolin) to prevent its skin from becoming too dry. Bathing once or thrice a week along with monthly trimming its nails is also recommended. Have an antiseptic agent like hydrogen peroxide at hand to deal with its cuts and scratches. Make sure that you apply a sunscreen to protect its skin from the sun, and use some clothing to keep it warm during winter.

Health Problems

Although the AHT is resistant to common health issues associated with hairless dogs, some individuals may have rashes on their skin due to allergies.


American Hairless Terriers not just have sharp, inquisitive minds but also exceptional persistence. For them, training should be fun otherwise they will decline from learning anything.

Socialization: Soon after bringing your puppy home, start its socialization training by exposing it to people and other dogs. You can either invite friends with affectionate and approachable dogs to come over to your place or visit their homes so that their pets would play with your pup.

How to stop it from digging: AHTs sometimes dig for entertainment if they are left in their environment with no toys or playmates. Moreover, being an active breed, they always need a task to be happy and digging provides them with an outlet for their energy. Make sure that you are walking your dog and playing with it using balls, Frisbees, and other interesting toys in the yard. Keep it busy by teaching it a few tricks and practicing them every day.


While dry dog food improves your dog’s dental health, you can include a mix of meat, veggies, oats, and brown rice when making its food at home.

Interesting Facts

  • Despite having no sweat glands, they are seen sweating in hot weather or after strenuous physical exercise.

One response to “American Hairless Terrier”

  1. Nathan Miller says:

    Many people say that hairless dogs and cats are ugly but honestly, by looking at the pictures and reading the description I would actually love to own one.

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