If your dogs don’t shed, it’s likely that your home is cleaner and easier to maintain. Because of this, many dog lovers search specifically for dogs that don’t shed at all. However, there are some common misunderstandings when it comes to dog shedding. The truth is, all dogs shed at least a little bit. There isn’t any way to avoid it completely, but some dogs don’t shed as much as others.
Which Dogs Don’t Shed?
Most dogs generally have one of two coat types: hair or fur. Dog parents often use the two words interchangeably, but they actually have two different meanings. Most dogs have fur, which means that they shed their coat regularly so it never grows too long, but it does create quite a mess. For dogs with hair, their fur doesn’t shed as much because it’s more similar to human hair. So, those dogs’ hair will continuously grow instead of shed like fur, which means they need to be trimmed regularly.
Dogs with hair are the ones that are known to not shed. These breeds are often referred to as “hypoallergenic”. However, even though they shed much less than a dog with fur, they still shed a little and can cause some allergies. So, it’s important to note that every dog sheds at least a little bit.
What Does Hypoallergenic Really Mean?
According to WedMD, hypoallergenic just means that something causes fewer allergic reactions. Therefore, despite popular belief, it does not get rid of allergic reactions permanently. In fact, dog coats aren’t even the main source of allergies. Allergies are usually caused by a dog’s dander, saliva, and urine. While these things can be transferred through a dog’s shedding hair, the hair itself is not the cause.
So, even if you get a low-shedding dog, they can still cause allergic reactions for someone who’s allergic to dogs. The chance of having a reaction is much less for dogs with hair, but there’s always a possibility. Therefore, it’s important to note that even though these dogs have minimal shedding, they can still release hair and allergens just like any other dog.
Best Low Shedding Breeds
Even though hypoallergenic dogs aren’t what everyone thinks they are, they are still a great choice for many people. Not only do they lessen the chance of allergies, but they also don’t leave hair all over the house. You’ll also notice that their coat is much softer than most dogs with fur. The only downside is that you’ll probably need to take them to the groomer often, which can become a bit pricey.
If you think a low shedding breed is ideal for you, then here are some of the best breeds to choose from.
#1 – Chinese Crested Dog
Chinese Crested Dogs are known for being almost completely hairless, meaning shedding isn’t an issue at all. While some of them are born with a full coat of white hair, they are usually hairless everywhere except their head and legs. They are a very small breed, only weighing between 5 and 12 pounds. While they might look a bit unusual, they are great companions. They are hesitant around strangers, but they are very loving and playful around their close family members. Even though they usually have very little hair, their head and feet will still need to be trimmed and brushed just like with any other dog.
#2 – American Hairless Terrier
As the name implies, this is another hairless breed, but these dogs have virtually no hair to shed. When it comes to grooming, there’s no brushing or hair trimming involved, but they do need regular baths to stay clean. So, if grooming is your least favorite part of having a dog, the American Hairless Terrier is probably the perfect breed for you. They are very energetic and playful, and they’re usually great at adjusting to new situations. Most of their needs are fairly low maintenance as long as you take them on a daily walk and give them some well-deserved playtime. They are a small to medium-sized breed, weighing anywhere from 6 to 26 pounds.
#3 – Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a small, fluffy breed that’s well-known for its cotton-like coat. As fluffy as their coat is, they shed very little. However, they do have high grooming requirements in order to keep their coat soft and healthy. They should be brushed multiple times a week to stop their coat from getting matted, and they should get groomed at least every 4 to 6 weeks. They are generally a very happy and playful breed, so they get along with just about everyone they meet. The only problem is that they are often slow when it comes to training, so lots of repetition and positive reinforcements are the key to helping them learn.
#4 – Poodle
Like the Bichon Frise, the Poodle is another popular breed with a coat like a cloud. Poodles come in a wide range of sizes from 6 to 70 pounds, depending on if you get a Toy, Miniature, or Standard Poodle. Poodles have very difficult grooming needs, so most Poodle parents go to a professional groomer, especially if they’re looking for a special style. Professional grooming for a Poodle should be done about every 3 to 6 weeks, and brushing should be done almost daily. It might sound like a lot to handle, but at least there will be minimal amounts of hair in your home. Poodles are also a very playful, friendly, and intelligent breed, so they are great companion dogs.
#5 – Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus have soft, silky coats that shed minimally. This breed is easily distinguished by their flat faces and large eyes. They should be brushed at least once a week, and their hair should be trimmed about every 4 to 8 weeks. If you keep their hair short, then that’s the best for easy grooming and for allergies. They are an excellent companion dog because they love to be the center of attention. However, they are also a very stubborn breed that only likes to listen when they feel like. Unfortunately, it can make training a bit more difficult, so you’ll need to have plenty of patience and consistency while training them.
#6 – Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers, and Giant Schnauzers are all great low shedding breeds. Miniature Schnauzers are usually only 12 to 20 pounds while a Giant Schnauzer is anywhere from 55 to 100 pounds. Then, a Standard Schnauzer is any size in between. Like any other dog with hair, they need regular brushing and grooming, but obviously, the larger Schnauzers will take a lot more time to groom. They are a very friendly and intelligent breed, and they have plenty of energy regardless of their size.
#7 – Maltese
The Maltese has a silky white coat that’s similar to a Shih Tzu’s. Therefore, they also have similar grooming requirements, needing their hair trimmed every 4 to 8 weeks. Their hair can get matted very easily, especially when it’s kept long, so they should be brushed daily if possible. This breed is often very friendly and energetic, and they don’t realize how small they actually are. They love to play, which makes them an excellent dog for families, as long as the kids know how to give them space when they need it. They are very protective of themselves and their family members, so if they feel threatened, they will let you know.
#8 – Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier has a curly coat like a sheep, but it’s often kept very short. To keep their coat looking so beautiful, you’ll need to brush them at least once a week and get them groomed about every 4 to 6 weeks. If you let their hair grow longer, you’ll need to brush them more frequently. Despite looking so pretty and delicate, this breed was actually bred to be a watchdog, so they are very protective of their families and they will often chase small animals. On a regular basis, they are usually just very gentle and loving though.
#9 – Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies might be small, but they have big personalities. They love to be close to their family members, but they also can’t resist chasing a squirrel. As much as they like attention, young children can often be too much for them, so it’s important to teach kids how to properly behave around dogs. Yorkies have a soft, short coat that should be trimmed about once a month. Even if you want to grow their hair out a bit, they should still get their face and ears trimmed regularly to keep the hair out of their eyes. When their hair is short, it’s less likely to get matted, but you should still brush them at least once a week.
#10 – Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog is one of the few larger breeds with low shedding. They usually weigh between 35 and 60 pounds, and their soft hair rarely sheds. As the name implies, their coat is made to be waterproof since this breed loves being in the water. They are very athletic and energetic, needing lots of exercise each day. They are very loyal to their families, but they require more attention and care than most dog breeds. They get dirty very easily, so they should be bathed every 2 to 3 weeks. Many dog parents like to keep their coat long and fluffy, but it should be trimmed every 4 to 8 weeks to maintain it more easily.
#11 – Havanese
The Havanese has a coat similar to a Shih Tzu and a Maltese. Their hair is soft and silky, and it will keep growing longer if you don’t trim it. It’s recommended that you brush them 2 to 3 times a week, bathe them every other week, and get their hair trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks. Even though they have hair instead of fur, they still have what’s considered a double coat, which means that it’s best if you don’t shave their hair too short. They are one of the best companion dogs because they have nothing but love for their humans. They love to snuggle up next to their loved ones every chance they get.
#12 – Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terriers have a similar appearance to the Schnauzer, but they’re almost always between 18 and 22 pounds. However, their coats are a bit different than most of the other low shedding breeds. They have a wiry exterior coat that protects them from different types of weather. Therefore, instead of trimming or shaving their coat like you would with other breeds, you need to use a technique called hand stripping. It’s a very time-consuming grooming method, so it’s best to take them to a professional that has groomed Scottish Terriers before. Despite their complicated grooming needs, they shed very little and they are very friendly. However, they are also independent, so they’re not usually interested in training.
#13 – West Highland Terrier
West Highland Terriers, also commonly referred to as Westies, are another breed with soft, white coats. Their hair can easily get tangled, so it’s best to brush them daily if you can and bathe them every few weeks to keep their coat nice and clean. Most Westie parents get their dog’s hair trimmed every 4 to 6 weeks. Westies are very loyal and loving, but they definitely have a mind of their own. They have a lot of energy and they are very stubborn when it comes to breaking their bad habits, such as barking and digging.
#14 – Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Wheaten Terrier is another large breed with hair. They have a soft, silky coat that can get matted very easily. Therefore, they need regular brushing and grooming to keep their coat healthy. Oftentimes, they can be difficult and very time-consuming to groom, so it’s probably best if a professional handles it. They are very active, so they need a family that can exercise with them often. They are also very adaptable to different living situations, so wherever their loved ones are, they’ll be happy there.
#15 – Xoloitzcuintli
While it’s not a very common breed, the Xoloitzcuintli is another hairless dog breed that’s often referred to as the Mexican Hairless Dog. However, like the Chinese Crested, they sometimes have a thin coat, but they’re usually hairless from head to toe. They come in three sizes like a Poodle: toy, miniature, and standard. They have smooth, tough skin to protect them from all types of weather. They’re usually very calm, especially around people they trust. Therefore, they are typically a very low maintenance breed, both in terms of personality and grooming.
#16 – Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffons usually have a unique hairstyle that consists of longer hair around their mouth like a beard. The rest of their hair is usually kept short, which makes brushing them much easier to manage. However, they should visit the groomer about every 4 to 8 weeks for a trim to keep their hair healthy and manageable. Since their hair is often short, it’s great for people with allergies since they won’t shed much. These little dogs have big personalities for such a small breed, and they are often very needy when it comes to love and attention. They like to have things their way, so training might also take a bit longer for them.
While none of these breeds are guaranteed to be allergy-free, they all have as little shedding as possible. As long as you’re willing to put up with some extra grooming for most of them, they’re great companions. It’s always important to do your research on a breed before bringing them home to make sure you can handle their care requirements. So, if you think one of these dogs is your next family member, make sure you think it through before making that big decision.