American Hairless Terrier
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AHT or Xolo?



I have received emails from people wanting to know the physical differences between American Hairless Terriers (AHT) and Xoloitzcuintlis (Xolo, Mexican Hairless). Many of these site visitors had adopted hairless dogs of unknown origins and are unsure of their dog's breed. Sometimes it's hard to tell the hairless breeds apart, especially if your only reference is a photo. If your rescue dog is a hairless mix, it could be impossible to figure out the exact parentage without additional information.

Example question:

"We adopted this puppy last year from the Humane Society.  I am not sure if she is a AHT or Xolo. I think she is a Xolo, but welcome an experts opinion."

hairless pup


Answer these questions:

1. Does your dog have any hair?

Xolos usually have some short hair on the top of their heads, toes, and tips of tail, but some Xolos are almost hairless. AHTs are totally hairless, other than having very fine, almost invisible "peach fuzz" all over the body. If your dog has a hairless body with long hair on the head and tail, then he is more likely a Chinese Crested. Cresteds may also have some body hair.

2. What do you know about his parents?

If your dog is an AHT, his both parents must have been hairless (recessive hairlessness). If he's a Xolo, Chinese Crested, or Peruvian Hairless, one of his parents must have been a hairless (dominant hairlessness).

3. How tall is he at the shoulders as an adult?

Xolos come in three sizes and can be very large (height of a Lab). AHTs are small dogs, they are usually 10"-18" tall at the withers.

4. Does he have a full set of teeth?

As adults, Xolos often lose at least their canines. AHTs (almost) always have a full set of teeth which is unique among hairless breeds.


Is he very "mouthy" (likes to chew everything) even as an adult?

Adult Xolos are generally not mouthy, but AHTs are. AHTs love using their teeth and chewing whatever they are allowed to (toys, treats, pillows, your clothes). They are nibblers. As terriers, AHTs are active and lively little dogs. Xolos tend to be more laid back until they feel there's a need to take some action.


Photos of purebred hairless dogs (4 different dogs)

As you see from these photos, it can be difficult to tell hairless dogs apart if you know nothing about the parentage.



Stanley - dark AHT pup
(no hair)

aht pup



Chilli - dark AHT adult
(no hair on head or tail)

aht adult



Maya - dark Xolo pup
(short hair on top of
head and tip of tail)

xolo baby


Quetzalli - dark Xolo adult
(short hair on head and tail,
a very hairless Xolo)

xolo adult


Photos of mixed breed hairless dogs (3 different dogs)

xolo mix


xolo mix

xolo mix

Oct 2007 - "We rescued 12 dogs from an abuse/neglect situation. We were told they were dachshund mixes that had Demodex mange. Well, we tried & tried to grow hair on these dogs, they did start sprouting hairs here & there when FINALLY a vet said - they are crossed with a hairless breed. After looking at the pictures of the Xolo's - that must be the hairless breed they are mixed with. But I would love your opinion. . . What do you think? I know, hardly any dachshund in them, but maybe that is the floppy ear part?? Here is 3 of them when they first came to us before they grew any hair but their skin had healed.. They have easily been the SWEETEST dogs we have EVER rescued! Every foster home is in LOVE with these sweet babies!"

Dare Rescue (Dachshund rescue)


See also the AHT or Xolo? (personality) and  Compare Hairless Breeds pages.

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