Dogs exhibit remarkable diversity in terms of their size, shape, and coat colors. While some boast luxurious long hair, others sport short fur. Yet, these aren’t the sole coat options available. Surprisingly, there exists a handful of dog breeds that are entirely hairless.
In fact, the world is home to just 13 hairless dog breeds. While some of these breeds are entirely devoid of hair, others may have patches of hair in specific areas. For our classification, we’ll focus on those that are predominantly hairless. It’s worth noting that even some well-known breeds, like the Chihuahua, have a hairless variation.
So, let’s explore these exceptional hairless dog breeds, recognizing that their lack of fur isn’t the only distinctive trait they possess. Additionally, we’ll delve into the extra care and attention required to maintain the health and well-being of these unique dogs.
Characteristics of the Hairless Dog Breeds
Common among these dog breeds is their unique coat characteristics—either a complete absence of hair, minimal hair, or the presence of tiny, ‘peach fuzz’-like hairs covering their skin. These breeds are relatively uncommon and possess genetic traits that render them completely hairless or nearly devoid of fur. While some share close genetic ties, others have distinct origins. Most of these breeds fall within the small to medium size range.
Tip: It’s important to note that although hairless dog breeds don’t shed, they still require grooming to maintain skin health. Regular baths are essential to cleanse their skin, and the application of a dog-safe moisturizer should be considered for addressing dry skin as needed. Furthermore, it’s crucial to protect these dogs’ skin from sunburn and harsh cold weather conditions.
From the well-known Mexican Hairless to the rare Abyssinian Sand Terrier, let’s explore thirteen of the finest hairless dog breeds.
How many Hairless Dog Breeds Exist?
The world is home to a diverse array of at least 13 hairless dog breeds. While you might be familiar with only a few of them, each of these canine companions possesses exceptional qualities that make them worthy contenders for the title of your unique best buddy.
1. Chinese Crested
Chinese Crested dogs are distinguished by two distinct varieties: the hairless and the powderpuff. The hairless variation exhibits tufts of fluffy hair on specific areas like the head, ears, paws, and tail, although the amount of hair can vary among individuals. In contrast, the powderpuff variety boasts a long, soft double coat that covers the entire body. Remarkably, both hairless and powderpuff Chinese Crested dogs can be born within the same litter, showcasing the breed’s intriguing diversity.
These hairless dog breeds are characterized by their affectionate and cuddly nature, and they possess a playful and energetic side that adds to their charm.
|Hairless Dog Breed Overview:|
|Height:||11 to 13 inches|
|Weight:||8 to 12 pounds|
|Personality/Temperament:||Lively, playful, cheerful, intelligent, social, companionable|
|Coat and Color:||Variability in coat, with the potential for being mostly hairless except for the head, tail, and feet, or fully coated; they have a small and slender body, and their skin is often pink with feathery white hair|
|Lifespan:||13 to 18 years|
2. American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier has its origins in the Rat Terrier breed. Beginning in the 1970s, selective breeding efforts were undertaken to cultivate the trait of hairlessness within the Rat Terrier lineage. While occasional American Hairless Terriers may be born with a light coat, the majority of them predominantly exhibit the hairless characteristic. These hairless dog breeds are renowned for their intelligence, activity, and playful nature. They excel as family pets and possess a pronounced prey drive, particularly when it comes to small rodents.
|Height:||12 to 16 inches|
|Weight:||12 to 16 pounds|
|Personality/Temperament:||Smart, active, playful|
|Coat and Color:||Compact and muscular body; coat colors encompass black, chocolate, red, apricot, and various combinations; can be either hairless or have a very short coat|
|Lifespan:||14 to 16 years|
3. Argentine Pila Dog
The Argentine Pila Dog, a close relative of the Peruvian Inca Orchid, is a prized hairless breed renowned for its soft skin. This rare breed hails primarily from its native Argentina and comes in three distinct size categories. Argentine Pila Dogs are characterized by their affectionate, playful nature and their adaptability to new environments. While they are predominantly hairless, some Pila Dogs may sport small tufts of fur on their heads and tails.
|Height:||Small (10 to 14 inches); Medium (14 to 18 inches); Large (18 to 25 inches)|
|Weight:||Small (9 to 18 pounds); Medium (18 to 25 pounds); Large (25 to 55 pounds)|
|Personality/Temperament:||Loyal, sensitive, alert|
|Traits, Coat, and Color||Notable traits include a forward-curled tail, relatively short body, pointed ears, narrow muzzle, almond-shaped eyes, and variable skin colors, often featuring spotted or piebald markings|
|Lifespan:||10 to 12 years|
The Xoloitzcuintli also referred to as the Mexican Hairless Dog, boasts both hairless and short-coated varieties, both of which demand minimal grooming but require dedicated skin protection. This ancient breed traces its roots back thousands of years to the Aztecs. Xolos are characterized by their loyalty and alertness, making them exceptional watchdogs. While they can exhibit protective instincts when needed, Xolos are equally known for their calm and composed nature.
|Height:||Toy (10 to 14 inches); Miniature (14 to 18 inches); Standard (18 to 23 inches)|
|Weight:||Toy (10 to 15 pounds); Miniature (15 to 30 pounds); Standard (30 to 55 pounds)|
|Personality/Temperament:||Intelligent and protective|
|Coat, and Color||Can either be completely hairless or possess a short, flat coat; they have a muscular, rectangular body, a wrinkled forehead, and exhibit a range of dark colors, including black, gray-black, slate, red, liver (brown), or bronze|
|Lifespan:||14 to 17 years|
5. Peruvian Inca Orchid
The Peruvian Inca Orchid, also recognized as the Peruvian hairless dog breeds boasts its origins in ancient Peru, where it primarily served as a beloved companion dog. These dogs are characterized by their profound affection and protectiveness towards their families, often developing separation anxiety when left alone. They are also inherently athletic, requiring ample exercise to expend their energy. While most Peruvian Inca Orchids are entirely hairless, some may feature short patches of fur on their heads, paws, and tail tips.
|Height:||Small (9.75 to 15.75 inches); Medium (15.75 to 19.75 inches); Large (19.75 to 25.75 inches)|
|Weight:||Small (8.5 to 17.5 pounds); Medium (17.5 to 26.5 pounds); Large (26.5 to 55 pounds)|
|Personality/Temperament:||Intelligent, noble, alert, affectionate, lively, protective|
|Coat, and Color||Predominantly hairless or, in rare instances, with tufts of hair in specific spots; skin color varies, encompassing black, brown, gray, pink, tan, and white; features a low tail and smooth skin|
|Lifespan:||10 to 12 years|
6. Abyssinian Sand Terrier
If you’re in search of a canine companion that combines a calm and composed temperament with exercise readiness, the Abyssinian Sand Terrier, also known as the African hairless dog breeds, may be the ideal choice. This exceptionally rare breed falls into the small-to-medium size category, characterized by its elongated and streamlined physique. Within the breed, you can find dogs that are completely hairless, while others feature small tufts of hair atop their heads and at the tip of their tails.
|Height:||15.5 to 20.5 inches|
|Weight:||21 to 39 pounds|
|Personality/Temperament:||Intelligent, alert, affectionate, protective|
|Coat, and Color||Appearance: Available colors include black, gray, bronze, and sand; skin may exhibit mottled markings; predominantly hairless with tufts of hair on the head and tail; characterized by bat-like ears, a lengthy muzzle, and a sleek body|
|Lifespan:||10 to 12 years|
7. Hairless Khala
The Hairless Khalas, also recognized as Bolivian hairless dog breeds, belong to the category of rare hairless dog breeds originating from Bolivia. They share a striking resemblance with the Peruvian Inca Orchid and Xoloitzcuintli breeds, suggesting a common ancestry. These dogs exhibit profound affection for their owners and display fearless protective instincts. Proper training is essential to ensure their friendliness with individuals beyond your household. Similar to other hairless breeds, some members of this breed may have small tufts of hair, particularly on their heads.
|Height:||14 to 17 inches (medium); 17 to 20 inches (large)|
|Weight:||14 to 30 pounds (medium); 18 to 20 pounds (large)|
|Personality/Temperament:||Calm, attentive, friendly, but may display reserve with strangers|
|Coat, and Color||Hairless, short, or medium coat; characterized by dark gray skin with tufts of white hair on the head|
|Lifespan:||10 to 12 years|
8. Hairless Chihuahua
Hairless Chihuahuas are essentially the same breed as their coated counterparts, differing only due to a rare genetic condition that renders them hairless. Consequently, their temperament aligns with typical Chihuahuas. These diminutive dogs often possess spirited personalities, form strong bonds with their favored humans, and exhibit a protective nature towards their territory. However, it’s vital to note that the hairless variety is susceptible to skin-related issues, necessitating careful care and regular monitoring. Additionally, they are prone to getting chilled easily.
|Height:||6 to 9 inches|
|Weight:||2 to 6 pounds|
|Personality/Temperament:||Loyal, alert, lively, attentive, companionable|
|Physical Characteristics:||etite frame; prominent large eyes; upright ears; short muzzle; slender legs|
|Coat, and Color||Can possess a hairless, short, or long coat|
|Lifespan:||13 to 18 years|
Jonangi dogs, originating from India, were initially bred for herding and hunting purposes. Although quite rare today, they exhibit distinct traits. Jonangis are typically cautious around strangers but display exceptional friendliness toward familiar individuals, including children and other pets within the household. Notably, these dogs share a disposition and muscular build similar to bull terriers and possess a unique yodeling vocalization rather than a conventional bark. While many Jonangis are not entirely hairless, they feature an extremely short, smooth coat that is nearly imperceptible.
|Height:||17 to 21 inches|
|Weight:||28 to 48 pounds|
|Personality/Temperament:||potential piebald markings; pricked ears; curled tail; short muzzle; fox-like features; wrinkled forehead|
|Coat, and Color||Short, smooth coat, nearly hairless with possible additional hairs on the head; varied colors including fawn, black, white, and chocolate|
|Lifespan:||10 to 12 years|
10. Bali Dogs
The Balinese dog breed, akin to Siamese cats, boasts luxurious, silky fur, complementing their gentle and affectionate nature. Interestingly, for hot climates, a unique hairless variant of the Balinese exists, providing a suitable choice. These distinctive features make Balinese dogs an intriguing and adaptable companion for pet enthusiasts.
|Height:||Dogs, 49–57 cm (19–22 in). Bitches, 44–52 cm (17–20 in)|
|Weight:||Dogs, 15–18 kg (33–40 lb). Bitches, 13–16 kg (29–35 lb)|
|Personality/Temperament:||Bali Dogs are intelligent, alert, and friendly, although slightly conservative.|
|Coat, and Color||Short haired for the tropical climate. Sheds yearly and Black, White, Brindle, Mix|
|Lifespan:||10 to 15 years|
The Basenji, a petite breed hailing from Central Africa, is famous for its unique barkless nature, emitting more of a yodel-like sound. This charming characteristic adds to their distinctiveness. Beyond their vocal peculiarity, Basenjis are cherished for their spirited and lively personalities.
They exude a playful demeanor that perfectly balances their compact size, making them delightful companions for active individuals or families. Their spirited nature ensures that they are always ready for adventure and play, making them a delightful addition to any household seeking an energetic and spirited canine companion.
|Height:||16 to 17 inches|
|Weight:||22 to 24 pounds|
|Personality/Temperament:||Good with children, dogs, families. They are aloof, friendly, gentle, playful, willful|
|Coat, and Color||Short, black, red, white|
|Lifespan:||13 to 14 years|
The Galgo, a Spanish sighthound, boasts an elegant physique characterized by its long, slender legs and a sleek, short coat. These graceful canines are not only admired for their physical attributes but also cherished for their gentle and affectionate personalities. Galgos are known to be loyal companions, forming deep bonds with their owners.
Despite their athletic prowess, they often exhibit a calm and composed demeanor, making them suitable for both active pursuits and relaxed moments at home. These dogs have a rich history in Spanish culture, particularly in hunting, and their adaptability to various environments adds to their charm. Whether on the hunt or cuddled up on the couch, Galgos leave a lasting impression with their endearing nature.
|Height:||23.5 to 26.5 inches (female), 24.5 to 27.5 inches (male)|
|Weight:||50 to 55 pounds (female), 60 to 65 pounds (male)|
|Personality/Temperament:||Friendly, calm, even-tempered|
|Coat, and Color||Can be any color; usually fawn, brindle, black, chestnut, cinnamon, red, or white with/without white markings|
|Lifespan:||12 to 15 years|
The Azawakh, a distinguished African sighthound, is instantly recognizable by its long, slender legs and adorned with a sleek, short coat. While their striking appearance draws attention, it’s their independent and somewhat aloof personalities that make them truly unique. These regal dogs have a deeply ingrained sense of self-reliance, which stems from their historical role as protectors and hunters in the Saharan desert.
Despite their independent streak, Azawakhs can form strong bonds with their owners, displaying loyalty and affection when trust is established. Their aloofness often serves as a protective instinct, making them excellent guardians. This breed’s elegant physique and intriguing temperament create a captivating blend of form and function.
|Height:||23 to 29 inches|
|Weight:||33 to 55 pounds|
|Personality/Temperament:||Short and black, brown / chocolate/liver, cream, fawn, gold / yellow, gray, red, white|
|Coat, and Color||Short and black, brown / chocolate / liver, cream, fawn, gold / yellow, gray, red, white|
|Lifespan:||12 to 15 years|
How to Take Care of a Hairless Dog Breed?
Taking care of a hairless dog breed requires special attention to their unique needs to ensure their health and comfort. Here are some key guidelines for grooming, hygiene, and overall well-being:
- Skin Protection: Hairless dogs have sensitive skin that can easily get sunburned. Apply pet-safe sunscreen to exposed areas when they are outdoors, and consider using protective clothing or limiting sun exposure during peak hours.
- Regular Bathing: Hairless breeds are prone to oil buildup and dirt accumulation on their skin. Bathe them regularly with a gentle dog shampoo to keep their skin clean. Ensure thorough drying to prevent skin infections.
- Moisturization: Use pet-friendly moisturizers to keep their skin hydrated. Dry skin can be a common issue for hairless dogs, so regular moisturizing is essential.
- Dietary Considerations: Provide a balanced diet rich in nutrients that promote healthy skin and coat. Consult with a veterinarian for recommendations specific to your dog’s breed and individual needs.
- Temperature Regulation: Hairless dogs are susceptible to temperature extremes. Keep them warm in colder weather with clothing or blankets and cool in hot weather with shade and hydration.
- Regular Vet Visits: Schedule regular check-ups with a veterinarian to monitor their overall health and skin condition. Discuss any skin concerns or issues promptly.
Remember that each hairless breed may have specific care requirements, so consult with a veterinarian or breeder for breed-specific guidance. With proper care and attention, hairless dogs can lead happy and healthy lives.
Hairless dog breeds possess distinctive characteristics in terms of appearance, personality, and care requirements, making them appealing to many enthusiasts. “Caring for them involves unique considerations compared to their furry counterparts,”
Collaborate closely with your breeder or veterinarian to establish an effective skincare regimen tailored to your specific hairless breed. Opt for a premium diet that is abundant in omega fatty acids to promote skin health, and consult your veterinarian about the potential advantages of incorporating a fish oil supplement for extra omega support.