The American hairless terrier or American naked terrier is an unusual breed, it is intelligent, curious, funny and full of energy. Its most striking peculiarity is the lack of hair that makes it a hypoallergenic breed. It is originally from Louisiana, USA.
- Weight: The breed typically weighs between 11-15 lbs.
- Height: The breed’s height ranges from 12-16 inches.
- Skin and Coat: Puppies of this breed are born with very fine hair known as a birth coat, which gradually sheds over the first twelve weeks.
- Their skin is soft and warm, and they may retain some hair on their eyebrows and mustache. It’s advisable to protect their skin from the sun to prevent sunburn.
- This breed doesn’t contract fleas due to its lack of fur. There is a coated variant of the breed with short, shiny fur.
- Colors: All colors and color combinations are allowed except for albino. Some claim that the purest specimen of this breed is white with gray spots, but the American Kennel Club’s standard states that all colors are accepted except for albino.
- General Build: They have a compact body and muscular limbs, a wide and triangular head, and erect V-shaped ears.
- Their tail is wider at the base and tapers towards the tip, usually carried high and curved towards the back.
- They have a scissor bite and complete dentition.
- Their eyes come in dark brown, amber, blue, or gray. Their movement is agile, lively, fast, and powerful.
The American Hairless Terrier is a highly energetic dog, always alert and curious. They retain their hunting instinct, which makes them prone to chasing and digging.
While not recommended for hunting due to their sensitive skin, they make affectionate and loyal companions. Their intelligence, dynamism, affectionate nature, and playful disposition make them excellent pets.
Guard Dog: They serve as excellent watchdogs, always on alert and protective of their family.
Training and Obedience: Their intelligence and desire to please make training relatively easy. Early socialization, gradually exposing them to various people and animals, is recommended. Obedience training is highly recommended, and positive reinforcement methods work well with the American Hairless Terrier.
Interactions with Children: They tend to be friendly and playful with children, especially with proper socialization. However, an adult’s presence is advisable with very young children, as their energy and exuberance could accidentally cause harm.
Interactions with Other Pets: Generally, they are sociable and get along well with other dogs for playtime. However, it’s not recommended to have them cohabitate with small animals like hamsters, as their hunting instinct might kick in and lead to harm.
Daily Walks and Exercise: They have high exercise requirements and need several daily walks or playtime in a securely fenced yard. They excel in canine sports like agility and obedience games. They also enjoy lounging with their owners, but only after they’ve had their exercise.
Skin Care: As a hairless breed, as it can be the xoloitzcuintle, it’s essential to protect their skin from the sun and harsh weather. Sunscreen should be applied to prevent sunburn. In winter months, they can wear specific dog sweaters to stay warm. They are considered hypoallergenic since they don’t shed.
Pros and Cons
Advantages of American Hairless Terrier:
- Intelligent and trainable.
- Affectionate, fun, alert, and curious.
- Flea-resistant due to the absence of fur.
- Excels in canine sports.
Disadvantages of American Hairless Terrier:
- Requires high levels of exercise to satisfy their curiosity and energy.
- Not recommended to coexist with small animals due to their hunting instincts.
- Requires careful skin care and protection from extreme temperatures.
Like all breeds, the American Hairless Terrier is prone to certain health conditions, including hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, and cardiac issues. Unlike other hairless breeds, they have a full set of teeth. Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are essential.
History and Origin
The American Hairless Terrier, also known as the American Hairless Terrier, is a native breed of the United States, originating in Louisiana.
It is a descendant of the Rat Terrier. The Rat Terrier originated in England in the 19th century and was used for farm guarding, particularly for rat control. British miners brought these terriers to rural areas of the United States.
In 1972, a hairless puppy named Josephine was born in Louisiana. Subsequent litters produced more hairless puppies, leading to the development of the new breed, the American Hairless Terrier.
The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2016, but the Federation Cynologique Internationale (FCI) has not yet recognized it.