About AHT

Trademark Traits:

  • Hairless
  • Full of Energy
  • Playful
  • Intelligent
  • Outgoing
  • Affectionate
  • Often works for those who sufferers from allergies

Short Description

American Hairless Terriers are small and muscular, but with an elegant look.  The body is slightly longer than it is tall.  AHT has so-called bat-ears.  The breed is completely hairless, except for whiskers and eyebrows.  At birth the puppies have fuzzy fur, but they shed the fuzz, and by six weeks of age they are entirely and eternally hairless.  They do not have tufts of hair on their haid, paws or tail like other hairless breeds, instead they are naked in its true meaning.  The skin is usually very soft.  (There are hairy AHTs who carry the hairless gene.  But when mating two hairless AHTs you will only get hairless puppies).  If you want to know more about breed standard and facts about American Hairless Terrier we recommend you visit these sites:  American Terrier Club of America, and American Hairless Terrier Association.

Size

This varies pretty much.  Most common heights are 10-18 inches, and a weight between 8-22 pounds.

Color

AHTs come in many different colors, with or without tanpoints.  They also come in different patterns, like solid, pie-bald and spotted.  The colors are judged by the fur the pups have at birth.  Once the pup has shed all its fuzz, the dogs color might look a bit different.  Also the color changes with the seasons since AHTs get suntanned in the summer. 

So for exampel, Nim was born with black fuzz, but in the winter her skin is a light grey color, and in the summer she's a dark brown.  Do you want to see how different AHTs might look? 

Click here.

Temperament

American Hairless Terriers are playful and affectionate with a lot of enrgy.  But they also enjoy lying on the couch for hours and snuggle up next to you.  Usually they adjust to the current energy level of the rest of the family.

AHTs go great together with children since they often have similar amounts of energy and playfulness.  But it is important that the children learn how to treat a dog if they are to become really good friends.  For instance, children need to understand, and respect when the dog shows that he wants to be left alone.

AHTs are very outgoing and love pretty much everyone they meet.  But they can also be a bit territorial.  An uninvited guest will probably find the attention-seeking barking not so friendly.  Then again, it wont take long before your AHT has made a new friend as soon as they have been properly introduced.

This is an intelligent breed and AHTs are therefor fast learners, and they enjoy it.  They also love agility, and many AHTs are very good at it.

They are true Terriers and can be pretty stubborn and feisty, so if you don't want to be dominated by your dog (and who does), it's important that you learn to be a kind but firm leader for your dog.  This way you will have a happy and affectionate AHT who live to please you (well, most of the time anyway).

Physical Exercise

A fully grown AHT needs about 30 minutes of exercise per day.  The time you spend together with your dog exercising is actually also good for strenghtening the bond between you and your dog.  So it's not only about getting rid of excess energy.  Bring som doggy treats with you, and do your training/learning exercises outside in different settings.  That way, whatever your dog is learning, it will stick better.  It's great if you also have a yard for your dog to play in.  But avoid throwing balls and sticks, games that actually might make your dog even more hyper.

60 minuters motion är ännu bättre.

Mental Exercise

American Hairless Terriers are intelligent dogs who will get bored and restless if they don't get some mental exercise.  They need mentally challenging games that keep their minds sharp.  Obedience training and learning different tricks are activities that will make your dog think.  And games that involve problem solving.  This is also a great way for your dog to get rid of excess energy during the winter when long walks outside aren't as appreciated by an AHT.

Allergy

American Hairless Terrier is probably the best breed you can find for people who suffer from dog allergies.  But there are no guarentees.  So if you have allergies and are considering buying an AHT it's a good idea to visit someone who has an AHT and see if this breed works for you.  The great news is, that many who can't tolerate  a Bichon, Poodle, Yorkie or even a Chinese Crested, can tolerate this breed.  Our own family is a living example of this.  But we keep our bedrooms dog-free and shower our dogs regularly.  Some families also have an air cleaner just to be safe, which probably is a wise investment for anyone with asthma.

Health Problems

This breed does not have absent premolars or any of the breeding complications associated with the hairless breeds.

They are a healthy breed with relatively few genetic health issues.  Minor skin infections are common.  Since AHTs sweat  they can sometimes develop acne, and they sometimes have acne as "teenagers".  And AHT puppies sometimes get hormone rash (just like babies do during their second and third month of age).  Skin problems can also be due to allergies towards food or grass for example.  Our experience is that our dogs skin is fine with the right diet.  And not too much bathing and use of shampoos.

Life Expectancy

14-16 years

Grooming

Well, there is no coat, so shedding and fleas are non-existent problems.  However, an AHT needs a shower or a bath every now and then.  Make sure to shower your AHT if he's been sweating profusely to avoid acne.  And also to avoid possible allergic reactions if you are allergic to dogs.  If your AHTs skin feels dry after showering you can apply lotion for sensitive skin, or baby products.  Their sensitive skin also needs protection against to much sun exposure, either by applying sunscreen, or by making your dog wear a t-shirt.  During the winter time AHTs need to be clothed.  Here in Sweden winter-overalls are a necessary investment for your AHT.  Their nails should be trimmed weekly, and filed smooth with a regular nail file to avoid sores from sharply cut nails when they walk.  The teeth need to be tended to as well.  It's great if you brush their teeth once a week.  And they need lots of bones to chew!  It's great for the teeth, but also to get rid of a bit of extra energy. 

Origin of American Hairless Terrier

It is believed that the American Hairless Terrier originated when a hairless puppy appeared in a litter of Rat Terriers in Louisiana, United States, in 1972.  The puppy was named Josephine.  Edwin and Willie Scott who thought that Josephine was just about the greatest family dog ever, decided to try breed her, hoping to reproduce the hairless quality.  With the assistance of a veterinarian they finally were successful and produced a litter that served as the foundation of the breed.