7 Hairless Dog Breeds That Make Great Pets
Allergy sufferers, take note: With these hairless dog breeds, you don't have to skip a snuggly pet pal for the sake of a sniffly nose.
Not only will these hairless dog breeds keep your home free of tumbleweeds of fur and potentially help to alleviate symptoms in those allergic to dogs—most non-shedding breeds are also hypoallergenic dogs—but their unique looks evoke an exotic sense of prestige and rarity, as they stand out from some of the most popular dog breeds. These dogs with no hair, thanks in no small part to their attention-grabbing appearances, are some of the world’s rarest dogs, which also makes them some of the most expensive dogs if you can find them at all to purchase.
Note that though they are hairless and you won’t have to brush their coats, these dogs aren’t exactly maintenance-free. They still require regular bathing and TLC for their skin and nails.
1. Chinese crested
Ekaterina Gorokhova/Getty Images
Chinese cresteds offer the best of both hair worlds, with feathery wisps on their head and feet and a hairless body. Called “ultra-affectionate” companion dogs by the American Kennel Club (AKC), these snuggly friends will stay right by your side. As with most hairless pets, their pink spotted skin can be easily irritated, but a daily application of breed-specific dog sunscreen and topicals will keep this Chinese dog breed safe.
|Weight:||8 to 12 pounds|
2. American hairless terrier
Closely related to the rat terrier, the American hairless terrier possesses high energy and is sharp-witted and inquisitive. According to the AKC, this is the only hairless dog breed indigenous to the United States. They’re tiny but feisty, and owners of these bald dogs need to be cautious about both avoiding sun exposure in the summer and keeping their pups safe in winter’s chilly temperatures. A warm dog coat can help.
|Height:||12 to 16 inches|
|Weight:||12 to 16 pounds|
3. Mexican hairless dog/Xoloitzcuintli
These hairless beauties are definitely the oldest breed on this list: Mexican hairless dogs have been around for an estimated 3,000 years, per the AKC. Considered to be the ancient Aztec dog of the gods, these chill and intelligent toy dogs have smooth, hairless skin. Unlike other hairless dogs, their hair and skin care is low maintenance—they require only regular baths to keep odors at bay and nail trimmings, similar to fluffy dog breeds. If you like small dogs but hairless isn’t your thing, check out these other toy dog breeds that will have you swooning.
|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)|
4. Peruvian Inca orchid
One of the taller hairless dog breeds, this regal and loyal dog breed from Peru can boast spotted and unspotted skin of nearly any color. PICs are considered to be agile hunters and protective watchdogs, yet are affectionate with their owners. They’re also exceedingly rare, and don’t hold any rank on the AKC‘s 197 most popular registered breeds.
|Height:||9.75 to 25.75 inches|
|Weight:||8.5 to 55 pounds|
5. Argentine Pila
via Monica S. Cassels/wikimedia.org
Little is known about this mysterious hairless toy breed, as they are nearly impossible to find in the United States, but they are popular pets in South America. These totally bare-skinned dogs have only a hint of hair around their whiskered mouths. Argenting Pila are known for being playful and loving companions, but with super sensitive hairless skin that requires eagle-eyed attention, they are high-maintenance pets.
|Height:||10 to 25 inches|
|Weight:||9 to 55 pounds|
6. Hairless Khala
gustavo ramirez/Getty Images
Famed for its mohawk of wispy white hair, this rare dog breed from Bolivia has hound origins, making it the largest of the hairless breeds. These medium-sized dogs are fiercely protective of their family, and they do best with an owner who commits to training and imposes firm authority so the pup sees them as the pack leader. Like other hairless breeds, skin color can vary but usually settles into a smooth gray hue at maturity.
|Height:||14 to 20 inches|
|Weight:||14 to 20 pounds|
Native to India, these once-popular bald dogs were originally bred for herding and hunting, but are now increasingly difficult to find, even in India. These dogs are on the quiet side, though when they do bark, they make a distinctive yodel-like sound. While not totally hairless, Jonangis were bred to have short coats to endure India’s sweltering summers. They have a reputation of being delightfully friendly and easy to train.
|Height:||17 to 21 inches|
|Weight:||28 to 48 pounds|
Caring for hairless dogs
There are plenty of reasons a family may want to consider bringing a hairless dog home. Allergies aside, most hairless breeds are affectionate and loving, making them excellent buddies who will snuggle up at your feet.
While these breeds don’t need grooming appointments or regular brushing, they do have their own set of care needs for their bald coats, including regular baths and nail trimming. All hairless breeds are sensitive to temperature and the elements, and most need a coat in the winter and breed-specific dog sunscreen in the summer.