A dog’s coat is one of their most distinguishing features. And one that owners think about the most. Will you choose a pup with a long, short or curly coat? What color would you prefer? Once you get your dog, you will inevitably spend quite of lot of time grooming them. Or, you may decide to pay someone else to do it. So, what about hairless dog breeds? Could this be your ideal pet?
These special dogs are a relatively new arrival on the dog scene but are increasing in popularity. There are now several dog breeds to choose from if you have decided to get a hairless dog. We list your best options here together with some essential advice on how to care for these unique dogs.
Top 7 Hairless Dog Breeds
1. Mexican Hairless Dog
The Mexican hairless dog is also called the Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show low eats queent lee) and it can be born hairless or as a short-coated pup. They are an ancient aztec dog and can trace their ancestry back over a thousand years. The Mexican hairless dog has been bred as toy, miniature and standard varieties. The toy dogs reach up to 14 inches in height, the miniature reach 18 inches and the standard reach 23 inches. In terms of weight, the largest are the standard dogs who can weigh up to 55 pounds.
The Mexican hairless dog has a muscular body that is rectangular in shape. They also have a distinctive wrinkled forehead. They are very loyal and alert so they make good guard dogs. However, they are also calm enough to make them lovely human companions.
2. American Hairless Terrier
A descendent of the rat terriers, American hairless Terriers were originally bred to catch rodents and will still do this today if they are given the chance! These days they are mainly companion dogs. The hairless trait was first selected for in breeding practices in the 1970s. Some pups from this breed are still born with a light coating of fine hair but most have hairless coats.
The American Hairless Terrier are similar to the rat terrier in build so they will grow up to weigh around 12 to 16 ounces and will be between 12 inches and 16 inches tall. Your American Hairless Terrier will have a slender body that is also muscular. They are intelligent and playful dogs who make great family pets.
3. Peruvian Hairless Terrier
The Peruvian hairless dog is also known as the Peruvian Inca Orchid. Unsurprisingly, they originated from Peru in South America and are known to be accomplished hunters and loyal watchdogs. The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a tall dog and can grow to over 25 inches in height. They have a lean body and the Peruvian Inca Orchid grows to a maximum of around 55 pounds.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is an affectionate and sensitive hairless breed and they certainly do not like to be left alone. You may face some issues with separation anxiety if you are out of your home a lot. Because they are athletic dogs, they will need quite a lot of exercise. Even though most Peruvian Inca Orchids are completely hairless, you may come across some individuals who have short patches or tufts of hair on their tail tip, head and paws.
4. Chinese Crested Dogs
The Chinese Crested Dog can be a powderpuff variety which are soft coated dogs dogs or they can be hairless. You can get get both types of pup in a single litter. Although, hairless Chinese Cresteds are not strictly hairless! They have tufts of fur on their head, paws, ears and tail that is feathery and white. The size of these tufts is quite variable. They also have a spotted pink skin that you need to protect in bright sun.
These dogs are not very large, they grow to between 11 and 13 inches tall and weigh between 8 and 12 pounds. These friendly dogs love human companionship and are very loving and cuddly although most of them also love to play.
5. Abyssinian Sand Terrier
Another of the naked dog breeds is the Abyssinian Sand Terrier. This is a rare hairless dog breed that is also sometimes called the African Hairless dog. They have smooth skin and grow to around 20 inches in height with a long, sleek body.
Not all dogs in this dog breed have no hair at all. Some have small tufts on the their head. If you are able to get hold of one of these dogs, there are only a handful available each year, they make a great companion dog thanks to their quiet and calm nature.
6. Hairless Chihuahua
If you like the idea of a well known breed but want a hairless pup, the hairless Chihuahuas are a good option for you. These little guys are one of the most popular breeds in the US and even though most of them have hair, some do not. The hairless Chihuahua is the same breed as the Chihuahua with hair so you get exactly the same temperament.
Unlike some of the other hairless breeds, they are not bred as hairless pets. It occurs naturally as a genetic defect and this explains why it is so rare. There will be dogs with and without hair in the same litter. You have to be careful though because they are prone to skin conditions.
7. Argentine Pila Dog
The Argentine Pila dog is closely related to the Peruvian hairless dog. It is a rare breed that is found mainly in Argentina and it has a very soft skin. Argentine Pila dogs are bred in small, medium and large varieties. The largest can grow to 25 inches in height and can weigh up to 55 pounds.
They are both affectionate and playful which makes them excellent pets. Even though most are hairless, some have small tufts of hair on the top of their head.
Q: Why Choose a Hairless Dog?
A: Hairless dogs are becoming increasingly popular and this is for several very good reasons. Hairless breeds can cope with hot weather much better than dogs with thick coats of hair. Completely hairless dogs have less dander (flakes of skin) and are therefore less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Hairless dogs require no grooming which is less time-consuming and cheaper. They are also less likely to get hot spots or yeast infections because there is no moisture trapped close to the skin by hairs.
Q: Taking Care of a Hairless Dog
A: Hairless dog breeds need some special attention because they face challenges that are not faced by other dogs. You must keep them warm in cold weather because they can lose heat easily. You will need to invest in a warm coat and booties if you live where the temperatures can drop.
Sun exposure can also cause skin issues such as inflammation which can lead to squamous cell carcinoma on the dog’s skin. To keep their skin healthy use a dog sun protection cream when you go out. A hairless dog breed also needs regular bathing with an oatmeal shampoo and a moisturizing cream to keep their skin soft. They do not have the moisturizing coat oils that dogs with hair produce.
Q: Are Hairless Dogs Hypoallergenic?
A: Hairless dog breeds are the most hypoallergenic dogs that you can get. Humans that are allergic to dogs react to their dander and to their saliva and urine. Dogs with no hair have hardly any dander and do not get their saliva everywhere because they have no hair to lick. Therefore, hairless breeds are considered to be hypoallergenic for most people. However, other hairless dogs, such as the Chinese Crested, do have some tufts of hair that could cause an allergic reaction. They are not strictly naked dog breeds. If you have a dog allergy, you do better with a bald headed dog.
Q: What is the cheapest hairless dog bred?
A: Hairless dogs are quite rare and not that many people breed them. Therefore, they tend to be quite expensive. You can expect to pay around $100 for an Argentine Pila Dog and these are the cheapest breed. An American Hairless Terrier can cost as much as $1200.