Best Hairless Dog Breeds

10 Best Hairless Dog Breeds

Hairless Chinese crested dog

Sylvain Cordier / Getty Images

One of the most notable traits about dogs is their fur or hair. Whether they have curly, straight, dense, or thin fur, it helps them stand out. But there also are several hairless dog breeds that stand out in their own way. These relatively rare dog breeds carry genes that cause them to be completely hairless or have very little hair on their bodies. Some of these breeds are closely related, while others have a more distinct origin. They vary in appearance and personality, but most hairless dog breeds tend to be fairly cuddly and like curling up with their humans for warmth.

Here are 10 of the best hairless dog breeds.

Tip

Hairless dogs may not be shedders, but they still need grooming to keep their skin healthy. Bathe the dog regularly to cleanse its skin, and apply a dog-safe moisturizer to dry skin as needed. Also, be sure to protect the dog’s skin from sunburn and cold weather.

American Hairless Terrier

American hairless terrier in grass
 Ienanet / Getty Images

The American hairless terrier descended from the rat terrier. Starting in the 1970s, rat terriers were selectively bred for their hairless coats. And, while some American hairless terriers are still born with a light coat, they mostly feature the hairless trait. These dogs tend to be quite smart, active, and playful. They make good family dogs and have a high prey drive for small rodents.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 12 to 16 inches

WEIGHT: 12 to 16 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Small and muscular body; coat colors include black, chocolate, red, apricot, and various combinations; can be hairless or have a very short coat

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Chinese Crested

Chinese crested dog looking outside
 Martine Roch / Getty Images

Chinese crested dogs come in two varieties: hairless and powderpuff. The hairless variety actually has fluffy tufts of hair on the head, ears, paws, and tail. The amount of hair can vary among dogs. And the powderpuff variety has a long, soft double coat over its whole body. Both the hairless and powderpuff varieties can come from the same litter. These dogs tend to be very loving and cuddly, though they have an energetic and playful side as well.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 11 to 13 inches

WEIGHT: 8 to 12 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Can be hairless except for the head, tail, and feet or fully coated; small and slender body; spotted pink skin with feathery white hair

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Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli hairless dog
 Ирина Мещерякова / Getty Images

The Xoloitzcuintli, also known as the Mexican hairless dog, comes in both hairless and short-coated varieties. Both varieties are exceptionally low-maintenance when it comes to grooming, though skin protection is a must. Xolos are an ancient Aztec breed dating back thousands of years. The dogs tend to be loyal and alert, making excellent watch dogs. While they can be protective when necessary, Xolos also are known for their calm nature.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 10 to 14 inches (toy); 14 to 18 inches (miniature); 18 to 23 inches (standard)

WEIGHT: 10 to 15 pounds (toy); 15 to 30 pounds (miniature); 30 to 55 pounds (standard)

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Can be completely hairless or have a short, flat coat; muscular, rectangular body; wrinkled forehead

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Peruvian Inca Orchid

Profile of Peruvian Inca Orchid
 manx_in_the_world / Getty Images

Also known as the Peruvian hairless, the Peruvian Inca Orchid originated in ancient Peru, where it was mostly kept as a companion dog. These dogs tend to be very affectionate with and protective of their families, and they can develop separation anxiety when left alone. They also are athletic little dogs that need quite a bit of exercise to wear them out. Most Peruvian Inca Orchids are completely hairless, though some can have short patches of fur on their head, paws, and tip of the tail.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 9.75 to 15.75 inches (small); 15.75 to 19.75 inches (medium); 19.75 to 25.75 inches (large)

WEIGHT: 8.5 to 17.5 pounds (small); 17.5 to 26.5 pounds (medium); 26.5 to 55 pounds (large)

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Long, lean body; skin color varies but can include black, brown, gray, pink, tan, and white; low tail; smooth skin

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Argentine Pila Dog

Argentine pila dog
 Monica E. Cassels / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

A close relative to the Peruvian Inca Orchid, the Argentine pila dog is a hairless breed prized for its soft skin. This rare breed comes in three size categories and is primarily found in its native Argentina. Argentine pila dogs tend to be affectionate, playful, and adaptable to new environments. While they are mostly hairless, some pila dogs do have small tufts of fur on the top of their heads and on their tails.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 10 to 14 inches (small); 14 to 18 inches (medium); 18 to 25 inches (large)

WEIGHT: 9 to 18 pounds (small); 18 to 25 pounds (medium); 25 to 55 pounds (large)

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Tail curled forward; relatively short body; pointed ears; narrow muzzle; almond eyes; skin color varies and can include spotted or piebald markings

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Abyssinian Sand Terrier

Abyssinian sand terrier on steps
 LindasPhotography / Getty Images

If you’re looking for a canine exercise buddy with a quiet and calm temperament, the Abyssinian sand terrier is the dog for you. This extremely rare breed also goes by the name African hairless dog. It’s a fairly small- to medium-sized dog with a long, sleek body. Some dogs within the breed are completely hairless, while others have small tufts of hair on the top of the head and tip of the tail.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 15.5 to 20.5 inches

WEIGHT: 21 to 39 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colors include black, gray, bronze, sand; skin can have mottled markings; hairless except for tufts of hair on head and tail; bat-like ears; long muzzle; sleek body

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Hairless Khala

Hairless Khala dog standing
 Pleple2000 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Hairless Khalas, also known as Bolivian hairless dogs, are a rare hairless dog breed originating in Bolivia. They look quite similar to the Xoloitzcuintli and likely share ancestors. These dogs love their owners and will fearlessly protect them, so training is a must to keep them friendly with those outsides of your household. Like other hairless breeds, some of these dogs do have small tufts of hair, especially on their heads.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 14 to 17 inches (medium); 17 to 20 inches (large)

WEIGHT: 14 to 30 pounds (medium); 18 to 20 pounds (large)

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Some are short-legged while others have long legs; dark gray skin; tufts of white hair on the head

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Jonangi

Jonangi dog standing on grass
 Vedichunt / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Jonangi dogs are native to India, where they were bred as herding and hunting dogs. The breed is quite rare today. Jonangis tend to be wary around strangers, but they are exceptionally friendly toward those they know, including kids and other pets in the home. Moreover, Jonangis have a similar disposition and muscularity to bull terriers, and they have a distinctive yodel instead of a bark. Many of these dogs are not hairless but instead have a very short, smooth coat that’s nearly invisible.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 17 to 21 inches

WEIGHT: 28 to 48 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colors vary but can include fawn, black, white, and chocolate; can have piebald markings; pricked ears; curled tail; short muzzle; fox-like features; wrinkled forehead

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Ecuadorian Hairless Dog

The Ecuadorian hairless dog is an ancient dog breed from Ecuador and a likely relative of the Peruvian Inca Orchid. It is incredibly rare today. These dogs sport very little hair, which is usually on the top of their heads. They tend to be fairly energetic little dogs and have a strong prey drive, especially to hunt small rodents. But they also love to curl up next to their favorite people.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 15 to 18 inches

WEIGHT: 17 to 25 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Almost no hair on body and head except for a small amount on top of the head; long legs; no premolar teeth

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Hairless Chihuahua

A hairless chihuahua puppy
 MightyPics / Getty Images

Hairless chihuahuas are the same breed as coated chihuahuas — they just have a rare genetic defect that causes them to be hairless. Thus, their temperament is just like any other chihuahua. They generally have big personalities, bond very closely with their favorite humans, and are protective of their territory. But the hairless variety is prone to skin issues, so care and monitoring are essential. Hairless chihuahuas also can get chilled quite easily.

Breed Overview

HEIGHT: 6 to 9 inches

WEIGHT: 2 to 6 pounds

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Petite frame; big eyes; large upright ears; short muzzle; slender legs

 

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