When you’re deciding what dog breeds might be the right fit for your family, there’s a lot to consider. But for most potential pet owners, one of the most important factors when choosing a companion for their family?
Dogs have hair, and if they shed, that hair can get on your clothes, your furniture…basically everywhere. And while that’s not a problem for some dog owners (some people just don’t mind vacuuming after their dog every day!), for others, it can be a deal breaker.
So the question is—are non-shedding dogs even a real thing? Is it possible to add a low-shedding breed to your family to keep cleanup (and potential allergic reactions) to a minimum? And, if so, which dog breeds are non-shedding?
Are there non-shedding dogs?
Before we jump into which dog breeds are the best fit for pet owners looking for a non-shedding pet, we first need to talk about whether non-shedding dogs exist.
And the answer is—not exactly.
The idea that there’s a dog that doesn’t shed at all is a myth. There’s no dog breed that is completely non-shedding; all dogs shed to some degree. But there are low-shedding dogs that keep shedding to a minimum—and, in fact, shed so little, you probably won’t even notice.
So, what are some of these low-shedding dog breeds to add to your family?
Low-shedding dog breeds
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular dogs for potential pet owners looking for a low-shedding companion. We’ve organized this list of low-shedding dog breeds by size: small dogs, medium dogs, and large dogs.
With its small size, the Basenji is one of the smallest of the hound family—and thanks to its short coat, it’s also one of the least likely the shed.
The Basenji is known for being a smart, independent dog. They’re also highly active, so before you add a Basenji to your family, make sure you have the energy to keep up!
As far as grooming goes, Basenjis are extremely low maintenance. They’re known for being excellent self-groomers, and their short, fine hair needs nothing more than the occasional bath to stay in tip-top shape.
Known for their short, curly coat and their fun-loving personalities, Bedlington terriers are a great low-shedding breed. Just be prepared to take them on plenty of daily walks. Because they were bred to be racing dogs, Bedlington terriers are high energy and need plenty of exercise (but once they get out their energy, they’ll be happy to snuggle up with you on the couch). As long as they get their exercise, Bedlington terriers make for relaxed, calm house dogs.
Even though Bedlington terriers are known as a no-shed breed, there’s a lot to keep up with in terms of grooming and maintenance. Bedlington terriers should be brushed every few days and groomed and trimmed every month to avoid mats, tangles, and other coat issues.
Looking for a sweet, playful, and almost unmanageably cute shed-free addition to your family? Look no further than the Bichon Frise.
Thanks to their soft, curly hair, Bichon Frises somewhat resemble cotton balls—but just because their hair is big doesn’t mean it will get everywhere. These hypoallergenic lap dogs won’t shed much—as long as you keep up with their grooming. Bichon Frises need to be kept on a strict grooming schedule (including daily brushing and a monthly bath and trim) in order to keep their coat in top shape.
Check out the Top 4 Bichon Frise Haircut Styles.
Brussels Griffon enthusiasts love the breed thanks to their cheerful disposition, their curious personality, and their expressive face. They’re also an active breed (despite their small size!), making them a favorite for families who want a small dog who still enjoys walking, playing, and exploring the outdoors. And as an added bonus? The Brussels Griffon barely sheds.
Named after the city of Brussels, Belgium, these short, sturdy dogs have short hair that requires minimal grooming; weekly brushing and the occasional bath and trim is all that’s necessary to keep the Brussels Griffon properly groomed.
One of the oldest of the terrier breeds, the Cairn terrier has a double coat that gives the dog a shaggy appearance. But despite the shaggy look, this little dog’s hair isn’t likely to shed much. When it comes to grooming and maintenance, the Cairn terrier falls somewhere in the middle of the pack; weekly brushing, monthly baths, and the occasional hand-stripping will help maintain the coat’s health and texture.
The Chinese Crested dog might look a bit unusual—but their loving, sweet, and affectionate personalities make them the perfect companion dog. Plus, thanks to their mostly hairless body, they’re a great option for households looking to avoid shedding issues.
The Chinese Crested dog does have some hair on their head (which can resemble pigtails), ankles, and tail—but they don’t shed much. But just because they don’t have much hair doesn’t mean they don’t require any grooming! Because the Chinese Crested dog is mostly bald, they’re prone to skin irritation (including sunburn!)—which makes skin care (including targeted treatments and sunscreen) this breed’s top grooming concern.
Coton de Tulear
This “Royal Dog of Madagascar” might have a regal-sounding name, but there’s nothing overly fancy about their personality; in fact, their temperament is closer to the jester than the king! The Coton de Tulear is a sweet, playful, happy-go-lucky dog who wants nothing more than to joke, play, and entertain.
The Coton de Tulear gets its name thanks to its cotton-like coat—but that cotton-like coat will stay on the dog’s body, not on your furniture. The main grooming issue with the Coton de Tulear is regular brushing; the longer the dog’s coat, the more often it will need to be brushed to avoid mats.
The Havanese has one of the cutest faces in the canine kingdom. But that’s just one of their charms! These dogs are known for their vibrant, upbeat personalities. Thanks to their small size and relatively low activity needs, they’re also a heavy favorite among city and apartment dwellers.
The Havanese has a long, thick coat—and at first glance, you might think they’d be likely to shed. But with regular grooming, Havanese dogs are actually very low-shedding. But by regular, we mean regular—in order to keep the Havanese’s coat healthy and matte-free, plan for daily brushing sessions along with the occasional bath and haircut (depending on the length of the coat, every few months should be fine).
Check out the Top 5 Havanese Haircut Styles.
The Lhasa Apso might look like a lap dog—but don’t let their small stature fool you! These dogs were originally bred to alert Tibetan monks of approaching visitors to the monastery, making them excellent guard dogs. They can be suspicious of strangers, but this breed is fiercely loyal to their humans—and they also have a fun, playful side that makes them a great companion dog.
Lhasa Apso’s have one of the most luxurious coats in the animal kingdom, which can grow to the ground without regular trims. But even though their hair grows long, it doesn’t shed—just prepare yourself for a regular grooming schedule to keep their coat intact. Lhasa Apso’s need regular brushing (every day if the coat is long, every two to three days if the coat is kept shorter) along with monthly baths and trims.
Maltese dogs are sweet, loving, and high-energy. They might be small, but they compensate for it with their big energy and personality!
The Maltese also has a distinctive white coat that is low-shedding—but not low maintenance. Be prepared for daily brushing and regular baths to keep their coat its healthiest.
Check out the Top Maltese Haircut Styles.
Miniature Schnauzers look a bit like little old men. But they certainly don’t act like it! This breed is known for their active personality; they’re playful, energetic, and love to run around!
Schnauzers are known for their long facial hair, which resembles a mustache—and just like human mustaches don’t shed, neither does Miniature Schnauzer hair. Their double coat needs regular brushing, but if the coat is kept short, the Miniature Schnauzer needs minimal grooming.
Looking for a confident, independent, all-around spunky dog? And are looking for that dog to also not shed? If so, look not further than the Scottish terrier.
Similar to the Miniature Schnauzer, Scottish terriers have long hair around the face (and elsewhere on the body), but won’t shed with regular brushing (about once a week should be plenty). While a Scottish terrier’s coat will look its best when hand-stripped, a bi-monthly trip to the groomer will also suffice.
Shih Tzus are sweet, loyal, affectionate, and lovable. They’re the definition of a lap dog! And with a soft, curly coat they’re also the definition of low-shedding.
The longer the Shih Tzu’s coat, the more brushing it will take to maintain it (Shih Tzus with long coats will need daily brushing, while the shorter “puppy cut” will need to be brushed every two to three days). Shih Tzus should also be bathed every three to four weeks to keep the coat clean, healthy, and shiny.
Check out the Top 5 Shih Tzu Haircut Styles.
Yorkshire terriers may be small—but they’re definitely not small in personality! These pups are known for being scrappy, affectionate, and all-around feisty (in a lovable way!)—so if you’re looking for a pup that packs a large personality in a small package, this is your dog.
More commonly known as a Yorkie, Yorkshire terriers are little dogs with a thin coat that can easily grow to the floor with regular grooming. But while their coat is long, that coat isn’t going anywhere—this breed is extremely low-shedding. The Yorkie coat is actually a lot like human hair—and just like you need to regularly brush and wash your hair, expect to regularly brush and groom your Yorkie’s coat, too.
Check out the Top 5 Yorkie Haircut Styles.
Kerry Blue terrier
The Kerry Blue terrier is smart, sharp, and athletic. And it definitely has the high-energy terrier personality! But let’s be real—what most people think of when they think of this breed? Their coat.
The Kerry Blue terrier is famous for its gorgeous blue coat. But while the coat’s color might get the most attention, the fact that it’s so low-shedding is another reason to take notice of this breed. And not only are they low-shedding, but they’re also low maintenance! All you need to do to keep the Kerry Blue terrier’s coat in top shape is brush them on a weekly basis and get them groomed every six to eight weeks.
Want a dog that’s just the perfect balance of strong and lovable? Athletic and sweet? Good-natured and hard-working? Then look no further than the Lagotto Romagnolo.
Known as the “truffle dog” of Italy (thanks to its history hunting the pricey mushroom) this sweet, adorable, curly-haired breed makes a great family dog—especially when you consider how little they shed. The Lagotta Romagnolo’s curly coat more closely resembles human hair than dog fur—and needs to be treated accordingly with regular brushings (once per week), baths, and trims.
Portuguese water dog
Looking for a dog that’s keen to go on adventures—but just as keen to snuggle with you on the couch? The Portuguese water dog is the perfect mix of lovable, adventurous, and affectionate.
There were probably a number of reasons that former President Barack Obama chose the Portuguese water dog as the best breed for the First Family—and we’re sure the fact that this friendly breed barely sheds was probably high on the list. Just make sure to brush the Portuguese water dog every week; otherwise, their coat can get matted.
Terriers are fun, active, and extremely high energy. If you’re always on the go, a terrier would make a great companion to your adventures—and you don’t have to worry about them getting their fur everywhere.
In general, the Terrier breeds are unlikely to shed much—so if you find a terrier mix, you shouldn’t have to worry about any shedding issues. Weekly brushings and the occasional bath should be plenty to keep your terrier’s coat in tip-top shape.
Looking for a watchdog? The Tibetan terrier is alert, intelligent, and extremely loyal—making them the perfect pet to watch over your family.
Despite its name, the Tibetan terrier isn’t actually a terrier; it’s more closely related to the Lhasa Apso (although larger) and has a similar long, low-shedding coat. And just like the Lhasa Apso needs to be brushed every few days and bathed and groomed every month or so, you should plan to do the same for the Tibetan Terrier.
In you’re looking for a loyal, loving companion dog, you won’t find many breeds better than the Wheaton terrier. These pups are known for their friendly personalities and deep-seated loyalty to their humans. They’re also known for how little they shed!
The soft-coated Wheaton terrier has an extremely soft coat (hence the name) that’s unlikely to leave tufts of fur strewn around your home—but their coat does require regular grooming and regular brushing to keep matting at bay.
With their slender faces and long, silky coat, The Afghan hound is one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable dog breeds in the world. But these dogs are more than just their looks! They have a distinct personality that interestingly blends a sense of both silliness and aloofness—and they also happen to be extremely low-shedding.
They might not shed much, but Afghan hounds have a robust coat—and that coat requires hours of brushing every week (plus regular baths) in order to stay healthy, clean, and mat-free. If you decide to add an Afghan hound to your family, just be prepared for a whole lot of grooming.
Bouvier Des Flandres
The Bouvier Des Flandres is a strong, sturdy working dog. They make amazing watchdogs or guard dogs—but they’re loving hearts also make them great companion dogs.
The thick coat of the Bouvier Des Flandres has evolved to withstand the elements (the dog was originally bred as a jack-of-all-trades farm dog)—and in addition to being virtually weatherproof, the coat doesn’t shed, either. It’s also versatile and low maintenance; a weekly brushing and occasional bath are all you need to do for this breed to keep them well-groomed.
Just like the Miniature Schnauzer, Giant Schauzers are intelligent, alert, and have bold, energetic personalities. And just like their miniature counterparts, Giant Schnauzers won’t shed (much) from their mustache, face, or anywhere else on their body. Just make sure to brush their coat regularly to avoid tangles and matting.
Irish water spaniel
Love to swim? True to their name, the Irish water spaniel is one of the best swimmers in the canine world. They also happen to be curious, courageous, energetic, and playful—making them a great pet for an active family.
The Irish water spaniel is known for its long, curly coat—but even though it’s long and thick, the hair of these spaniels doesn’t shed much.
Labrador retrievers are one of the most friendly and loving breeds in the animal kingdom—but they definitely shed. Labradoodles (which are a cross between Labs and Poodles) offer the best of both worlds—the wonderful personality of a Lab with the hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle (which is very low-shedding).
Just like a poodle, you should plan to brush your Labradoodle every day to avoid mats—and regular baths (every month or so) will keep their coat clean and healthy. Note that because they’re a mix of breeds, some Labradoodles may shed more than others. Work with a responsible breeder who can tell you about the particular puppy’s background.
Check out the Top Labradoodle Haircut Styles.
You might think Poodles are adorable—but their personality is much more dignified than cute. These proud animals are extremely smart, active, and athletic.
Poodles have a lot of thick, curly hair—but their coat is hypoallergenic and sheds very little. Poodles need to be brushed every day, especially near the skin, to keep hair from getting matted and tangled.
Check out the Top Poodle Haircut Styles.
Low-shedding dog breeds and allergies
A lot of people look for non-shedding (or, in reality, low-shedding) dogs in order to keep allergic reactions to a minimum. But while low-shedding dogs can be a great fit for dog allergy sufferers, it’s important to know where the allergic reactions are actually coming from—and how to avoid them.
So first things first: dog hair doesn’t cause allergic reactions. Reactions happen when pet dander (dead skin cells) flake off the dog’s skin and get into the air. So, if you want to keep allergic reactions to a minimum, you need to address dander, not dog hair.
While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, there are dogs with a hypoallergenic coat that produce much less dander than others, which can keep reactions at bay. Getting a low-shedding dog can also help; dander can travel in dog hair, so if a dog doesn’t shed much, there is less dander that’s likely to get into the air. And regular baths (whether you have a hypoallergenic dog or not) are a must!
Wrapping things up
Being a dog owner doesn’t mean you have to put up with dog hair covering every square inch of your home. And now that you know the most popular low-shedding breeds, you can have the best of both worlds—great dog, no dog hair.
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