American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier, also known as the “AHT,” is a peppy and alert dog that loves his family. Their small size makes them great for all types of homes and situations, but don’t let that small stature fool you!

The American Hairless Terrier is every bit as feisty, energetic, and courageous as his other Terrier cousins. These dogs are a great choice for those with allergies and, even if you aren’t allergic, will be a loving and playful companion. Read on to learn more about the American Hairless Terrier.

Description of the American Hairless Terrier

Despite “hairless” being in their name, the AHT actually come in two varieties: hairless and coated. Hairless Terriers are just as they sound, completely hairless, and coated varieties have a short, sleek coat of fine fur. But this doesn’t make much difference to those who are allergic, as the coated AHT hardly sheds.

As a member of the Terrier group these dogs are small and lively. They make curious and alert companions. Their small to medium sized bodies are coated with lean muscles that allow them to move quickly and agilely. They have a broad, wedge-shaped head and pointed ears that are as vigilant as their inquisitive eyes. Their bodies are warm to the touch and add some heat on cooler nights.

Originally descending from the Rat Terrier, the American Hairless Terrier came about when a litter in Louisiana produced a single hairless pup. Several cycles of breeding later and the AHT was born. But despite descending from Rat Terriers, the AHT is not suited to ratting or hunting jobs as they have no fur to protect them.

The hairless variety of AHT is born with a thin downy coat at birth, which falls away as they grow. These dogs and their coated counterparts can come in any variety of colors.

Life Expectancy and Size

These small dogs are prone to a number of health problems, but most live an average life of 14 – 16 years. These tenacious pups are stronger than they appear and are not ones to give up a fight. Working with a reputable breeder who screens for potential health issues can prepare you for future issues.

These dogs are small but still strong and hardy. Standing 12 – 16 inches tall and weighing 12 – 16 pounds, the American Hairless Terrier is a good size for those looking for a small but athletic and sturdy dog.

Protective Ability

The AHT can be fiercely protective of his humans and makes a great watchdog, but his small size keeps him from being a successful guard dog. Still, you will find their fearless attitude and loyalty endearing and one of their many great qualities.


This breed is intelligent and eager to learn. They love their family and working with these dogs is easy and enjoyable. Quick to learn, the American Hairless Terrier makes training a breeze. Positive reinforcement is the best way forward with this breed. Using consistency is also important in teaching your AHT what is right and wrong.

Using treats is a great way to train your American Hairless Terrier. While these dogs are already excited to learn and don’t need to much extra assistance, treats can make training even more fun and engaging for your dog, which means faster and easier training for you. These dogs also do well at different sports like agility and obedience because of their easy trainability.

Socializing your AHT early will help him be open and outgoing. While your American Hairless Terrier may always be protective of you, they can often be friendly with other people and dogs if properly socialized.

Energy Level

Like many dogs, the AHT needs moderate movement to stay happy and healthy. A naturally lively and active breed, the American Hairless Terrie does best when able to get out a few times a day and play games with their owners.

But that said the American Hairless Terrier also loves to snuggle up with his family on the couch. This is an extremely loving breed that wants to be with his family.

What Living with an American Hairless Terrier is Like

This is an energetic and friendly breed.

The AHT loves spending time with his family and can do well with kids. Sturdy and outgoing, these dogs are always excited to play but just as happy to hang out and cuddle.

The American Hairless Terrier is naturally protective of his family and can be wary of other pets, but should do well with other animals he is raised with. You can expect a loving, fun, and feisty companion in your American Hairless Terrier.

Care of the American Hairless Terrier

The AHT is an easygoing dog that can do well in a range of environments, needing only moderate daily exercise. Companionship is important for these dogs so make sure you can commit to enough daily interaction with your dog

Environmental Needs

The American Hairless Terrier faces a bit of a predicament when it comes to weather. The hairless variety is prone to sunburn and so need protection from the glaring rays, and both varieties need protection from the cold because of their thin skin and small size. Use precautions like a jacket and sun block to keep your dog safe in different weather.

Exercise Needs

Small but mighty, the American Hairless Terrier loves to be on the move. But they only need moderate daily exercise like a long walk or backyard playtime. Satisfy these needs and you will make sure your AHT stays fit and happy.

Agility and other sports are a great way for your AHT to release energy and be mentally stimulated.

Shedding and Grooming

This breed hardly sheds, making it ideal for those looking for a hypoallergenic dog. Both varieties are friendly to those with allergies and the coated variety requires just a quick weekly brush to keep his coat shiny and healthy. Th

Check the ears frequently and trim nails regularly.

Ideal Home Environment

The American Hairless Terrier can flourish in a variety of environments. From families to seniors to first-time dog owners, the adaptability of the AHT makes them a great all-around dog. Their playful and sweet nature means they are happy in any situation. While the AHT will be a vigilant watchdog, their pint size keeps them from being successful guard dogs.

Health Concerns

While almost always free from skin conditions, the American Hairless Terrier is prone to certain other health issues. These include hip dysplasia, cardiac conditions, patellar luxation, and Legg-Calve-Perthes-disease. A responsible breeder should be screening for these conditions so you can be prepared.

Be sure to check ears regularly and brush your dog’s teeth to avoid ear infections and oral diseases.

Behavior Problems

The American Hairless Terrier is a generally happy and outgoing breed. They do have a tendency to dig, so teaching them early what is acceptable and what is not might save some of your flowerbeds.

These dogs need companionship to be happy. Make sure they are getting adequate social interaction everyday to ensure they don’t resort to destructive behaviors. Also, some of these dogs may become timid if they are not properly socialized; start young to help your dog flourish into an outgoing and friendly companion.