A small Chinese Crested dog standing in the grass.

Hairless Wonders: 5 Hairless Dog Breeds to Know


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Hairless dog breeds are certainly unique…. Some people love them and some recoil in disgust. Where’s the fur?! Pet parents choose them for a multitude of reasons, such as their one-of-a-kind appearance, hypoallergenic benefits, minimal grooming needs, or simply the novelty of owning a dog that’s as smooth as a baby’s bottom. You may have seen the Chinese Crested, but there are other hairless dog breeds that’ll make your jaw drop.

That said, some of them may be difficult to find in New Zealand… still, it’s interesting to see what’s available around the world.

Without further ado, let’s pounce in.

A dog standing on a leash in the grass.

#1 Hairless dog: Chinese Crested

Perhaps the most well-known of the hairless breeds, the Chinese Crested comes in two varieties: the Hairless, with soft skin and tufts of hair on the head, tail, and feet, and the Powderpuff, which has a full coat of fine hair.

Personality-wise, these dogs are all heart. They’re super affectionate, loving nothing more than to snuggle up with their favourite human. And despite their somewhat delicate appearance, they’re pretty lively and enjoy a good play session, making them fantastic companions.

The Hairless variety is especially popular among folks who are a bit more sensitive to dog hair or those who just don’t fancy the idea of finding fur all over their clothes and furniture. (On that note, if you’re struggling with being allergic to your fur-dropping pet, check out our piece on dog and cat allergies).

Chinese Crested price

While specific prices can fluctuate, you might expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to over $3,000 for a Chinese Crested dog from a reputable breeder in New Zealand (at the time of writing). The higher end of the price range typically applies to dogs intended for show or with particularly desirable pedigrees.

A Chinese Crested standing in a field of flowers.

#2 Hairless dog: Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog)

Known as the “Xolo,” this ancient and rare dog breed comes in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard – and two varieties – hairless and coated. The hairless Xolo has smooth, tough skin and is known for its loyalty and intelligence.

Originating from Mexico, this breed is steeped in history and was considered sacred by the Aztecs and Maya, who believed these dogs could guide their masters’ souls through the underworld. Pretty cool, right?

The Xolo’s skin can be a range of colours, from charcoal black to slate grey and even bronze. And when the sun hits their skin, oh boy, do they shine!

The price of a Xolo

Xolo dogs are very rare and you may not be able to find one in New Zealand. In countries where Xolos are more commonly available, prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand NZ dollars.

A rare Xoloitzcuintli dog is standing in a field.

#3 Hairless dog: American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier, affectionately known as the AHT, is a bundle of joy wrapped up in a smooth, hairless package. This is a relatively new dog breed, having emerged from the Rat Terrier lineage in the 1970s. Imagine a Rat Terrier without the coat and, voilà, you have an American Hairless Terrier!

Unlike the Chinese Crested, this pup is completely hairless from tip to toe. They’re energetic, playful, and incredibly friendly. Their size makes them a great dog breed for apartment living.

Despite their hairless status, AHTs are pretty low maintenance pets. No hair means no shedding and a significant reduction in the allergens that can cause reactions in some people.

These terriers are also super smart and trainable, excelling in dog sports like agility and obedience. They’re eager to please, which makes training a breeze, but they’ve also got a bit of a stubborn streak adding to their charm.

American Hairless Terrier price

The American Hairless Terrier is relatively rare in New Zealand. In countries where the breed is more common, prices can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

A small Chinese crested dog standing in the grass.

#4 Hairless dog: Peruvian Hairless Dog

The Peruvian Hairless Dog, also known as the Peruvian Inca Orchid, is one of those breeds that’s not just a pet but a piece of living history. Originating from ancient Peru, these dogs were considered a sacred animal by the Incas who believed they possessed spiritual and healing powers. Talk about having a dog with a rich backstory!

Peruvian Hairless Dogs come in three sizes: small, medium, and large, so there’s a variety for everyone, from those living in snug apartments to those with sprawling backyards.

The most striking feature, of course, is their hairlessness. Their skin is smooth and can be found in a variety of colours, from black and grey to copper. Some even sport whimsical patterns and tattoos, making each one truly unique.

Beyond their intriguing looks, these dogs have a personality that’s just as captivating. They’re affectionate, loyal, and form deep bonds with their families. They’ve got a serene and noble aura about them, but don’t let that fool you—they can be quite playful and energetic, especially when they’re young.

Peruvian Hairless Dog price

In countries where the Peruvian Hairless Dog is available, you can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to over $4,000 for one (at the time of writing).

A Peruvian Inca Dog

Speaking of dog breeds – have you ever wondered what dog or cat breed YOU’RE most like? Find out in our super fun pet personality quiz. Click below …

#5 Hairless dog: Jonangi Hairless Dog

The Jonangi is a breed that’s not as commonly discussed as some of the other hairless dogs but is fascinating in its own right. Traditionally, Jonangis have been used for hunting and herding ducks, showcasing their versatile and hardworking nature. Among the dog breeds from India, the Jonangi isn’t primarily known for being hairless—this trait is more of a rare occurrence within the breed.

The Jonangi is quite unique, not just in looks and background but in personality as well. They’re known to be incredibly loyal and devoted to their families, often forming a strong bond with their owners. They have a bit of an independent streak, which is a testament to their working background, but they’re also known to be quite affectionate with their human companions.

What’s interesting about the Jonangi is their adaptability. They’re well-suited to the climate of their native India, able to handle both the heat and the monsoon seasons. This adaptability extends to their role in the family; they’re just as happy being active outdoors as they are relaxing at home.

Jonangi Hairless Dog price

The Jonangi, particularly the hairless variety, is an exceptionally rare breed outside of its native India, and this rarity extends to New Zealand. Given their limited presence outside of India, it’s challenging to find breeders or pricing specific to New Zealand. In fact, it might be quite difficult to find a Jonangi, hairless or otherwise, available for sale anywhere.

How to take care of a hairless dog’s skin

Taking care of a hairless dog is a bit different from caring for their furry counterparts. But don’t worry, it’s not as daunting as it might seem! Here are some tips to keep your smooth companion happy and healthy:

  1. Skin care is key: Without fur, a hairless dog’s skin is exposed to the elements. Moisturising is crucial to prevent dryness and irritation. Use a gentle, dog-safe moisturiser or coconut oil to keep their skin soft and supple. But don’t overdo it; too much can clog their pores and cause issues.
  2. Sun protection: Just like us, hairless dogs can get sunburn. If you’re planning to spend time outdoors, apply a dog-friendly sunscreen, especially on those sunny days. Make sure it’s specifically designed for pets to avoid any harmful ingredients.
  3. Dress for success: Hairless dogs can get cold easily, especially in cooler climates or during the winter months. A cosy sweater or a little doggy jacket can keep them warm and toasty. Plus, they’ll look absolutely adorable.
  4. Bath time balance: Without hair, these dogs can accumulate oil and dirt on their skin, leading to pimples or blackheads. Regular baths are necessary, but you don’t want to over-bathe, as this can strip their skin of natural oils. A gentle dog shampoo and a bath every couple of weeks should do the trick.

PS: While we’re on the topic, check out these 5 Hairless Cat Breeds You Need to Cuddle!

A Chinese Crested jumping on a dirt road.

Insure your one-of-a-kind dog

Whether you own one of New Zealand’s most popular dogs like the Huntaway or a lesser known breed like the Chinese Crested, your pup needs a soft landing! Pet insurance is there to cover their behind when illnesses, accidents and other mishaps crop up.

These things usually arise unexpectedly and often cost thousands to diagnose and treat. At times like these, PD Insurance dog insurance plans cover a wide range of pet health costs like tests, prescription medication, surgery, vet hospital stays and more.

Is it time to explore tops cover for your top dog? Click below for a quote.

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