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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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American Hairless Terrier


American Hairless Terrier Facts

  • Group
  • Terrier
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • Toy: 7.5" - 11" (19 - 28cm)
    Miniature: 11.5" - 16" (29 - 40.6cm)
  • Weight
  • Toy: 4 - 8lbs (1.8 - 3.6kg)
    Miniature: 8.5 - 16lbs (3.8 - 7.2kg)
  • Lifespan
  • 12 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • High - This breed requires vigorous daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • A Quick Learner
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Easy
  • Colors
    • White / Red
    • White / Brown
    • White / Black
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

The American Hairless Terrier is also known as AHT.


The American Hairless Terrier originated in the United States.

Date Of Origin

The American Hairless Terrier breed was developed in 1972.


In 1972, a Rat Terrier owned by Willie and Edwin Scott produced "Josephine", a hairless pup. In the following years, Josephine produced a litter of hairless pups and essentially created the beginnings of this interesting breed.

The breed was referred to as the Rat Terrier - Hairless Variety until January 2004 when the breed was re-named to American Hairless Terrier and recognized by the UKC. Geneticists have discovered the genetic marker for hairlessness is recessive, meaning that hairless-to-hairless breeding always produces hairless pups.


Although the American Hairless Terrier are small, they are generally well balanced and muscular. They have retained their Rat Terrier heritage and appearance. Their skin is soft and smooth with brown, black or red spots and is sensitive to the sun. This breed will benefit from sunscreen specifically designed for dogs. Puppies are born with downy hair that (except the whiskers) falls out by 8 weeks of age.


The American Hairless Terrier is highly active, lively, alert, and energetic. Although American Hairless Terriers are devoted and loyal to their family, they will also need early socialization, as these dogs tend to be weary of strangers. Early training will produce a well-adjusted young dog. They are great with older children that understand how to handle pets, but are not always good with smaller animals. American Hairless Terriers enjoy trick sports such as frisbee.


The American Hairless Terrier was created for the sole purpose of companionship.

Health Concerns

Potential health concerns for the American Hairless Terrier include knee problems [needs clarification], elbow and hip dysplasia, and allergies. The relatively small gene pool for the breed has the potential to cause additional health problems with irresponsible breeders.

Lack of hair means that this breed is prone to skin lacerations and sunburn.

Additional Information

Grooming the American Hairless Terrier is simple as the dog can be washed with a damp cloth. The American Hairless Terrier must be covered with clothing or sunblock to spend extended periods of time outdoors. This is a high energy breed that enjoys long walks and games of fetch. They also excel at agility training and even enjoy hunting small rodents or insects in the yard.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

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