The Amrican Hairless Terrier

Temperament: Energetic, Alert, Curious

  1. Height: 12-16 inches
  2. Weight: 12-16 pounds
  3. Life Expectancy: 14-16 years
  4. Group: Terrier Group 
The American Hairless Terrier, a Louisiana native, is a smart, inquisitive, and playful dog that comes in hairless and coated varieties. He is a fine choice for allergy sufferers who want a dog with true terrier grit and courage.


The American Hairless Terrier is a small to medium sized, smoothly muscled and active terrier. Ancestors of the breed were bred to hunt rats and other vermin. The lack of coat on the hairless variety of the American Hairless Terrier renders them unsuited for most hunting activities. They have, however, retained a strong hunting instinct and excel in many other activities and sports. The breed is energetic, alert, curious and intelligent.

About the American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier stands between 12 to 16 inches at the shoulder, and comes in both coated and hairless varieties. The hairless variety might have eyebrows and whiskers, while the coated has a short, shiny coat. The skin of the hairless is smooth and warm to the touch. The broad, wedge-shaped head is a hallmark of both varieties. Erect, V-shaped ears frame the round, expressive eyes that gleam with curiosity.

The American Hairless moves with jaunty pep in his step that announces real terrier attitude. The hairless variety is as hypoallergenic as a dog can get. Hairless, though, presents its own challenges. Sunburn is a concern, and cold weather requires special precautions. This breed is protective of their humans and make alert watchdogs.

NUTRITION The American Hairless Terrier should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.

GROOMING The American Hairless Terrier actually comes in two varieties: coated and hairless. For either type, grooming needs are minimal. For the hairless variety, there is little maintenance involved other than keeping the ears clean and making sure the dog is protected from sunburn. The variety with a short, shiny coat is almost as carefree. They hardly shed, so all that’s called for is a quick session with a soft bristle brush once a week, and an occasional bath as needed. As with all breeds, the American Hairless Terrier‘s nails should be trimmed regularly.

EXERCISE The American Hairless Terrier has only moderate exercise needs. They have to go outside several times a day, of course, but brief daily sessions in a fenced-in yard or on regular walks will generally be all they require. They enjoy activity but are also quite happy to curl up on the couch next to their owner. The breed is friendly and happy to play with people or other dogs. Thanks to their high train-ability, they can do well in a wide range of canine activities such as obedience, rally, and agility competitions.

TRAINING As with all breeds, early socialisation and puppy training classes are recommended. Gently exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations between the ages of about 7 weeks and 4 months will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. Puppy training classes help owners learn how to recognise and avert any behaviour problems and enhance the bond between the puppy and owner. The American Hairless Terrier is very intelligent and eager to please, so training is usually an easy and enjoyable activity.


Responsible breeders screen for health conditions such as hip dyspepsia, cardiac conditions, luxuriating patella (a dislocated kneecap similar to what is called a “trick knee” in humans), and Legg-Calve-Perth es disease, a hip condition that can be corrected with surgery. Skin problems are quite rare in the breed. As with all breeds, an American Hairless Terrier’s ears should be checked regularly to remove foreign matter and avoid a buildup of wax, and the teeth should be brushed regularly.

Recommended Health Test from the National Breed Club:

  1. Hip Evaluation
  2. Cardiac Exam
  3. Patella Evaluation
  4. Legg-Calve-Perth Radio-graphic

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