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 is 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. If you’re looking for a smart, independent, low-shedding dog, Basenjis are a great choice.
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.
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—especially with regular brushing.
Named after the city of Brussels, Belgium, these short, sturdy dogs have short hair that requires minimal grooming—and also exhibits minimal shedding.
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.
The Chinese Crested dog has a mostly hairless body—and the hair on their head (which can resemble pigtails), ankles, and tail doesn’t shed much.
Coton de Tulear
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 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.
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.
Maltese dogs are sweet, loving, and high-energy—and their distinctive white coat is also low-shedding.
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.
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.
Shih Tzus are the definition of a lap dog—and with a soft, curly coat they’re also the definition of low-shedding.
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 these toy-sized lap dogs might have a long coat, that coat isn’t going anywhere—this breed is extremely low-shedding.
Kerry Blue terrier
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.
Known as the “truffle dog” of Italy (thanks to its history hunting the pricey mushroom) this curly-haired breed makes a great family dog—especially when you consider how little they shed.
Portuguese water dog
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.
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.
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.
The soft-coated Wheaton terrier has an extremely soft coat (hence the name) that’s unlikely to shed—but it 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 breed in the world—and they also happen to be extremely low-shedding.
Bouvier Des Flandres
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.
Just like their miniature counterparts, Giant Schnauzers won’t shed (much) from their mustache, face, or anywhere else on their body.
Irish water spaniel
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). 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.
Poodles have a lot of thick, curly hair—but their coat is hypoallergenic and sheds very little.
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.