Origin: United States of America
Type: Terrier/ Working dog
Weight: 2.5-12 kg
Height: 18-45 cm
Appearance: The American Hairless Terrier is a smooth-muscled, small-to-medium dog with a deep chest, strong shoulders, solid neck and powerful legs. One of the most distinctive features is of course the lack of hair, making them an excellent choice for homes that need to be hypo-allergenic. The skin of these dogs usually shows some amount of white but black, blue, pink, brown, tan, sable with patterns, brindled, spotted and saddled colours can all be observed and all are acceptable within the breed standard. Eyes may be brown, blue, grey, amber or turquoise. The ears are erect when the dog is alert, which is most of the time….these are true terriers! Even in the USA where docking may still be legal, the tail of hairless terriers must be left long.
Temperament: Typically of terriers, these are lively, playful, inquisitive, curious, alert and intelligent dogs. They’re affectionate towards their owners and, despite being quite territorial, will generally display a friendly disposition towards strangers. The energy level and playfulness of this breed need an outlet — they’ll enjoy lots of games, lots of walks and will do well with an owner who has an active lifestyle. As is often the case with small dogs, they need a strong human leader who knows how to take control and gently guide them towards positive behaviours. Generally speaking, these bright and eager to please dogs will learn quickly and respond well to training.
Skills: American Hairless Terriers like to dig and will chase small game. They make good watchdogs, as they can get quite vocal when alarmed. Although they boast a terrier heritage, their small size and lack of hair leaves them vulnerable to injury, so they’re not suited as working ratting dogs. The energy and hunting instincts of the AHT will find their best outlet in agility games and lots of exercise.
Behaviour towards other animals and children: American Hairless Terriers are generally good with children they were raised with but their strong hunting instinct may sometimes render them unsuitable for families with young children. Equally, while you can expect your terrier puppy to bond with other pets present in the household when they arrive, you may find introducing other animals into a home with an adult AHT more problematic.
Common health problems: Generally, this is a healthy breed but the lack of hair means that they need protection from the sun and also from the cold depending on weather conditions. Allergies to grass have been reported but no more so than in other breeds. American Hairless Terriers are not strong swimmers and should be monitored carefully around water.
Lifespan: A fairly long lived breed with an average lifespan of 14 – 16 years.