American Hairless Terrier: characteristics and personality

American Hairless Terrier: origins, physical characteristics and personality

American Hairless Terrier

A native of Louisiana, the American Hairless Terrier is an inquisitive and playful dog. This dog breed can be both hairless and coated. Until 2004, this dog was considered a Rat Terrier.


During the 18th century, a mixed breed of terriers known as Feists was brought from Europe to North America. In the late 1800s, the Feists were mixed with Beagles, Italian Greyhounds, and Miniature Pinschers to produce the Rat Terrier.

In 1972, in the state of Louisiana, United States, a hairless puppy named John appeared in a Rat Terrier litter. He became the foundation of the dogs as we know them.   The AKC gave the breed full recognition in 2016.

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Physical characteristics

The American Hairless Terrier is smoothly muscled and is an active, small-to-medium dog. Despite been hairless, they can eyebrows and whiskers. These true terriers can weigh anywhere between 7 to 25 pounds.

The skin can is technically white with a variety of colors that include black, brown, pink, tan, and sable. Skin color will become darker with the sun. But an advantage is that these dogs are as hypoallergenic as a dog can be.


Just like any Terrier, this dog is alert, playful, and highly intelligent. They make great dogs due to their determination and fearlessness. They love to play, dig, and enjoy agility trials.

Caring for an American Hairless Terrier

Being hairless dog comes with some challenges. You must be careful he does not get sunburned and cold weather can also be an issue.

The American Hairless Terrier is a strong dog and muscular that requires plenty of exercise. They need a long walk every day in order to relieve energy, otherwise, they will find a way to vent out this excess energy and you might not like the outcome.


These dogs are intelligent and eager to please. This makes them rather easy to train as long as positive reinforcement follows. They need strong leadership and assertiveness, otherwise, they will try to do their own will.

Fun facts

  • These are the only hairless breeds with normal teeth.
  • The first hairless breed originated in the United States.
  • Before going outside, they must have sunscreen or protective clothes.
  • They don’t shed or get fleas, but they do shed skin cells.

If you are lucky to have this hairless, we can help you take care of him.  Visit us and check out everything we have in store for you and your pet.