The American Hairless Dog

Origins and History

The American Hairless Terrier is a relatively new breed of dog. They are descended from Rat Terriers, and in particular from a dog who, in 1972 gave birth to a hairless puppy. The Scott group of Louisiana developed the breed out of this litter, and they continue to be developed by breeders as a great family pet. The United Kennel Club of England has acknowledged the American Hairless Terrier, however the American Kennel Club does not yet acknowledge them.


Character and abilities

The American Hairless Terrier is an alert, loving, energetic, happy, playful, loyal, and cuddly dog. He wants to warm himself in your lap, or snuggle with you under the blankets. They are very affectionate and dependent on their family, and are really only suited to be a home pet. In contrast, they are also an energetic, spirited and protective dog who will be fearless in their devotion to you. They make an excellent watchdog due their keen nose for intruders and their readiness to safeguard the territory and family.

The American Hairless Terrier has a tendency to bark a lot, and can get yappy at times. They need to be a reassured that the visitor is not a threat. They prefer to meet people in their own terms, approaching and sniffing, rather than being picked up. With good and varied early socialization, they are able to be well-adjusted dogs that don’t react to strangers and new places.



As a family dog and being eager to please, the American Hairless Terrier is a relatively easy breed to train. They are also very intelligent, meaning they can also be stubborn and independent at times. They are an energetic breed, and will always be quite active indoors. As such they will benefit from daily outdoor exercise, and enjoys long walks, hikes or jogs. They like challenging games that let them make use of their mind, and will always want to chase balls and jump.

If you don’t give your American Hairless Terrier enough to accomplish and occupy them with, they might bark and dig. When outdoors they should often be on a leash or in a safely enclosed area, as they will chase small animals and birds. They are good with dogs and cats provided that they are family pets and your AHT is raised with them from puppyhood, but their instinct is stong, so they aren’t to be trusted with smaller pets and birds, and with dogs they don’t know. They are good with responsible and experienced children that are old enough to not be rough with them, and the American Hairless Terrier will make a wonderful playmate for your children. They know how to regulate their energy, and can be quite gentle and loving.



Despite their size, the American Hairless Terrier is a strong, active working breed, and will not be kept well as a toy dog. They will thrive on lots of activity, and mental stimulation, or else they might become destructive, and unhappy.


Living conditions and adaptability

As a working breed, they do make good family pets to the right family and the right environment. As described above they are an incredibly loyal and affectionate breed, and will happy be lap dogs, but only after having expelled their energy and felt challenged and worked.



The American Hairless Terrier is generally a very healthy dog, but you should protect them with a warm sweater during winter and also from sunburn and heat during hotter months depending on your Terrier’s degree of pigmentation or lack of. They can sweat when hot or scared, and they are not known for their strong swimming ability. Therefore, you should certainly be careful and monitor your Terrier around water. Being a hairless small dog breed, they do not shed, and so makes a wonderful pet if you have allergies, or are particularly wanting your house neat and tidy.


Average life expectancy:

14 – 16 years

Physical characteristics

The American Hairless Terrier is a strong, smoothly muscled terrier, 7 to 16 inches tall (to shoulders) and weighs 5 to 16 pounds. As his name suggests he has no coat. His skin can be marked with any color.

Hypoallergenic: as above, they are a hairless breed, so do come into the hypoallergenic category of small dog breeds.

Coat: Hairless

Color: predominantly white, with a variety of other colours including black, blue, pink, brown, tan, and sable.

Grooming: No brushing required, however care of their skin is important as they can develop grass rashes and sunburn.

Size:  7 – 16 inches

Weight:  5 – 16 pounds




Energy Level


Good with kids