The American Hairless Terrier is a direct descendant of Rat Terrier and they were developed by lucky accident. In 1972 Louisiana, one hairless dog appeared in a litter of normally coated Rat Terriers. This one hairless dog was called Josephine and all the American Hairless Terriers can trace their history back to her. So on the contrary to other hairless dogs such as Xoloitzcuintli or Chinese Crested who are very old and ancient breeds, the American Hairless Terrier is still very young breed.
Even though, the Ameircan Hairless Terrier has different appearance than the typical terrier breeds, they do have some typical terrier characteristics. This means, that you should be prepared for a lively, kinda mischevous and alert dog breed. Just like all the terriers, they enjoy chasing almost everything that moves, digging and of course playing. These dogs are very playful.
The American Hairless Terrier is born with a so called birth coat, which falls out when they are few weeks old. Also, it can happen, that they are born with a full coat, which is smooth, dense and short and it is similar to the Rat Terriers coat. But normally, these dogs are hairless, which is why they are good for people with allergies and their skin can be in many different colors and color combinations.
The American Hairless Terrier is relatively small, but pretty athletic and well muscled dog with average height between 12-16 inch, which is 30-41 cm and weight is usually between 12-16 lbs, which is 5-7 kg.
The parent breed of American Hairless Terrier was recognized by the UKC in 1999 and since than, the American Hairless was include in this category, but the breeders wanted to separate them. That happened on January 2004 when UKC officially recognzied the AHT as a separate purebred dog breed. The AKC recognized them in 2016.
Great fact about the American Hairless Terrier is, that they are, in relation to other terriers, easily trainable. They are very intelligent, but also quite eager to please dogs. They are still not total pushovers to train, but with enough patience and consistency, you can teach them a lot of differetn tricks and commands in relatively short time.
The American Hairless Terrier makes excellent active family companion. They just love its family and want to spend as much time with them as possible. They will always be ready for some adventure and they like kids. Of course, the kids should be old enough to know how to treat dogs gently. Most of the American Hairless Terriers can also happily live with other dogs, but smaller household pets might be problematic, since they might try to chase them.
The American Hairless Terrier is very lively and energetic dog and they definitely need daily outdoor walks. But you should also make time for proper playtime, which is their favourite thing how to exercise. You can also try some dog sport with them, the American Hairless Terrier is known for doing good in agility.
Another great fact about this breed is, that they the grooming needs are minimal. If its a completely hairless variety, than you only need to make sure the dog is properly protected from sunburn and you should také extra care to keep the ears clean. But even if they have the coat, they shed only a very little and the coat is almost carefree. You can brush the coat from time to time to keep it in best condition. Just like with all dogs, you should regularly check their eyes, ears, teeth and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
Sadly, the American Hairless Terrier is prone to quite a lot of health issues. The list of major health concerns include patellar luxation, hemophilia, cushings disease, dental issues, live shunts or legg calve perthes disease. But just like majority of small dogs, they do have good average lifespan, which is between 14-16 years.