American Hairless Terrier

Narrated from: Dog Breeds

With nothing more than eyebrows and whiskers this tiny tenacious terrier is an all-around great dog to have! He is a direct descendent of the Rat Terrier in that he is a strong, muscular little fellow with erect bat-like ears. The biggest two differences in the two breeds is that the Rat Terrier’s tail is docked and the American Hairless Terrier is not, and obviously the whole hairless thing. The American Hairless is born with fuzzy hair on his body, but it does not stay long. It is usually gone by the time the puppy is six weeks of age. The American Hairless Terrier must not be confused with the Chinese Crested. Chinese Crested dogs have tufts of hair on their head, feet and tail but the American Hairless Terrier has no hair at all. The American Hairless Terrier’s body is completely exposed and will be pink with brown, black or gray splotches of color.

The American Hairless Terrier is most well-known for his eagerness to please. They are easy to train with even minimal experience in training. They are lively, intelligent little dogs that are perfect for families with children. As with any dog, if you want him to be sociable with children and other pets you must socialize him well when he is young. He, unlike other dogs will break out in a full sweat if he is over-heated or when he is stressed out. They really need a leader to let them know everything is going to be okay. Calm owners are always best for this very reason. They do make good watchdogs and they are naturally protective of their pack. You must, however, watch them when they are near water; they are not known for their ability to swim!

Your American Hairless Terrier can range anywhere from 7 to 16 inches in height and can weigh as little as 5 pounds or as much as 16 pounds with weight proportional to height. He must be fed a healthy diet to keep him from becoming overweight as he ages. You can expect him to provide you with 14 to 16 years of companionship. They do not suffer from many of the skin problems that are so common in other hairless breeds. To keep his skin as healthy as possible you will need to apply sun screen at least once each day or you will need to keep a shirt on him to protect his skin from the sun’s harsh rays. He will need to be protected from the cold with just as much care. They do not have a coat to keep them from sunburn or from winter winds. You may want to stock up on T-shirts and sweaters if this is the breed for you!

Do not assume they are non-allergenic dogs because they have no hair. About once each month they do shed skin cells that contain dander. It is minimal but if you have allergies to dogs do not assume this is the right one for you. Lotion without lanolin should be applied to his skin if the sunscreen you chose does not contain it already. If the skin gets too dry it may chap and crack so keep lotion handy as well as hydrogen peroxide. Any scratches or abrasions must be cared for promptly so they do not become infected.

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