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American Hairless Terrier

Highly intelligent, the American Hairless Terrier likes constructive games and tasks to keep its active mind sharp.

dogedit  |  Nov 1st 2019

American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terrier courtesy Ryan Pingel/Kathy Clark Photography.

Quick Facts

  • Weight: 6 – 10 pounds
  • Height: 10 – 18 inches

The Look of a American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terriers have small, compact and muscular frames covered in just about any color skin, but they are commonly found with pinkish skin and red, gray, black or golden spots. Their small heads have medium-length muzzles, black noses and ears that stick up. They have strong necks and shoulders, deep chests and sturdy legs. Overall, American Hairless Terriers have a tough, alert and outgoing look.


  • Bold
  • Loyal
  • Playful
  • Gentle
  • Eager to please
  • Intelligent

Ideal Human Companion

  • Singles
  • Active, sporty types
  • Families

What They Are Like to Live With

American Hairless Terriers have enough intelligence and energy for three dogs, but they are more than happy to cuddle on the couch. Easy to train and eager to please, they can help on the farm, in the field or in the yard. American Hairless Terriers are fun and loving playmates for children. They have gentle, outgoing personalities, and they know when to adjust the energy level. Their solid terrier instincts can make them slightly territorial, but they are generally good with strangers. However, American Hairless Terriers do have nose when it comes to intruders—they will bark and alert the family if they sense a threat.

Things You Should Know

A healthy American Hairless Terrier cans live as long as 16 years with relatively few genetic health issues. Because their hairless gene is recessive, American Hairless Terriers do not suffer from the health complications and skin ailments associated with other hairless canines. Make sure they have sunscreen in the summer and sweaters in the winter.

American Hairless Terriers need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, whether through walks, jogs through the neighborhood or hikes in the park. Highly intelligent, they also like constructive games and tasks to keep their active minds sharp. They will be happy living in an apartment as long as they get enough daily exercise.

American Hairless Terrier History

The American Hairless Terrier originated very recently. In 1972, a hairless female appeared in a Rat Terrier’s litter. The breeder, Edwin Scott, used this smooth canine—named Josephine—to produce a new breed he called the American Hairless.