American Terrier without hair – Behavior and care

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american hairless terrier

Despite being a relatively modern breed, the American Hairless Terrier is one of the most popular dogs in the United States and in many other countries.

Its appearance is very reminiscent of that of the Rat Terrier, except for the obvious lack of hair. He also shares all the characteristic features of terriers: he is energetic, intelligent, affectionate and loyal. In addition, lacking fur, it is the ideal companion for those with allergy problems.

Index of contents

  • 1 History of the American Hairless Terrier
  • 2 Character of the breed
  • 3 Physical characteristics
  • 4 Total absence of hair
  • 5 How to educate a hairless American Terrier?
  • 6 Exercise and diet
  • 7 Health and skin care

History of the American Hairless Terrier

The origins of the American Hairless Terrier are fairly recent. It all started in 1972, when American breeders found a hairless puppy in a litter of Rat Terriers. It was a female, who was called Josephine.

After nine litters, this dog ended up giving birth to two bald puppies, male and female, on which the future American Hairless Terrier would develop. The new breed is distinguished by the lack of hair, but also by a smaller size as well as new skin and eye colors.

Character of the breed

As is common in most terriers, this is also a dog very smart, awake and playful. The American Hairless Terrier is at the same time a very loving breed that loves to hang out with the kids around the house.

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He has the determination and the courage to be an excellent watchdog. On the other hand it is tremendously restless and active. He spends the day playing, digging in the dirt, and testing his agility and strength.

Physical characteristics

The American Hairless Terrier is slightly smaller than its predecessor, the Rat Terrier, with a height at the withers of 30-40 cm and a weight ranging from 5 to 7 kg. He has a compact body, with a muscular neck and powerful legs.

The head is wedge-shaped, with round eyes whose color usually corresponds to that of the skin. They are generally dark brown, amber, or hazel, but can also be blue or gray.

Their ears, in the shape of a “V”, may be permanently erect in some specimens, although in others they are bent or fastened.

The fur of the American Hairless Terrier can come in a wide variety of colors. It is smooth, soft and very vulnerable, too delicate for a hunting dog.

american hairless terrier puppy

Total absence of hair

It is not possible to speak of fur when describing this breed, since the absence of hair is total. However, American Hairless Terrier puppies are born with a thin and uneven coat of hair that ends up losing completely when it reaches 3 months of age.

On the other hand there is also a variety of the breed that does have hair, although it is quite rare. This coat comes in the form of a short, smooth and very shiny coat, brown, gray or black in color.

How to educate a hairless American Terrier?

As with the Rat Terrier, breed from which it comes, the American Hairless Terrier is very intelligent and is always eager to please. This makes it an ideal dog to be trained that responds well to training methods based on positive reinforcement.

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This does not mean that you do not have to be constant and firm when training this dog. If not, there is a risk that you may become stubborn and disobedient.

It is important for puppies to get used to contact with humans and other dogs at an early age. This is important so that you do not develop aggressive behaviors later and maintain a good mental and emotional balance.

Exercise and diet

Being an extremely strong and athletic dog, the American Hairless Terrier need a lot of daily exercise To feel good. A long walk each day is necessary to vent your excess energy.

This dog loves to dig, so the ideal is to have a garden where he can run, jump and remove the dirt as he likes.

In accordance with the characteristics of this breed, the American Hairless Terrier must receive a diet based on high quality feed.

Health and skin care

The American Hairless Terrier is a breed that does not present major health problems. The only aspect in which we should pay attention is in the correct care of the skin since, since it lacks hair, this dog is prone to suffer sunburn and scratches.

That is why it is advisable to always have a good sunscreen and some antiseptic on hand to disinfect wounds. It is also advisable to apply some moisturizing lotion from time to time.

The average life span of this breed is between 14 and 16 years.