With allergies on the rise and increasingly busy lifestyles, there is always a keen interest in having dogs that don’t shed. So we’ve come up with a list of hairy hounds that will keep the housework down and sneezes at bay.
Although our list of lovelies is considered hypoallergenic dogs and is low shedding, there is no such thing as a completely non-shedding dog, so keep that in mind when choosing a dog.
Why do dogs shed?
Shedding is a normal process for dogs, naturally losing old or damaged hair from the coat. The amount and frequency of shedding depend on breed type, health, lifestyle, and season. Some dog breeds are very low maintenance, while others require regular grooming to keep them in tip-top shape.
How can I stop a dog molting?
The simple answer is you can’t. Whatever dog breed you choose, even hypoallergenic dogs, there will be some dog hair that you need to take care of. However, you can do things to minimize shedding, such as giving your dog a good diet and regular brushing.
Shedding and allergies
Although we tend to think of dog allergies being due to the fur, most allergies are actually caused by dog dander. Dander is a more pleasant way of describing the dead skin that falls from the dog that spreads its way throughout your house.
Each time we move, the dander gets disturbed and can create unpleasant symptoms, including itching eyes, running nose, and sore throats. Hypoallergenic dogs tend to produce less dander making them more suitable for allergy sufferers.
Managing dog hair
If you already have a dog or fall in love with a dog that does shed, then here are some useful ways to manage it;
- Commit to weekly brushing. Regular grooming removes loose dog hair and keeps dander down.
- Vacuum frequently
- Wash your hands and face after touching your dog
- Opt for hardwood floors
- Consider having one dog-free room. The bedroom is usually a good choice
- Wash your dog’s bedding often
Although all dogs produce some level of dander, low shedding dog breeds are classed as hypoallergenic dogs.
Whatever size of dog you fancy, we’ve got you covered. We’ve sniffed out our favorite sneeze-free dogs, from Toy Poodles to Giant Schnauzers and everything in between. There is bound to be a perfect pooch out there for you.
Here are our top picks of breeds that don’t shed
Small dogs that don’t shed
- Height: up to 10 inches (25.4 cm)
- Weight: 6-9 pounds (3-4kg)
Toy poodles have a single coat of thick curly hair. Regular brushing is essential, ideally every day, to prevent their fur from matting.
Aside from non-shedding, poodles are also known for their lack of smell. Who could want more? They need to be clipped every six to eight weeks, although the pom-pom hairdo is optional!
They are intelligent, responsive, and friendly with a happy nature.
- Height: 9-12 inches (23-30 cm)
- Weight: 10-20lbs (5-10kg)
Bichon Frise has a curly dense coat that needs daily brushing to prevent matting and grooming approximately every four to eight weeks.
Bichon Frise actually means curly lap dog in French, so if you want a non-shedding lapdog, then you’re in the right place.
They are described as happy, confident extroverts who thrive on being the center of attention.
- Height: 13-16 inches (33-41cms)
- Weight: 13-15lbs (6-7kg)
Border terriers have a double coat consisting of a harsh outer coat and a soft undercoat. Their coats usually need hand-stripping twice a year to remove the dead hair, although daily brushing may be enough for some dogs.
Border Terriers have a strong hunting instinct, so it may not be suitable if you have any other furries in the house.
They are described as intelligent and quick to learn. They are a working breed, so they need lots of exercise and mental stimulation.
Medium dog breeds that don’t shed
- Height: 17.5-21.5 inches (44-57cm)
- Weight: 20-42 pounds (9.1-19kg)
Whippets have a short, dense, and fine coat that needs brushing at least once a week. If you choose a whippet, then you also need to choose a new wardrobe.
Whippets need an extra layer of warmth when it gets chilly, so get ready to buy a jacket or two or maybe one of those cute jumpers with hoods?
They are gentle and undemanding, but with a strong prey drive, they are not suitable to share their homes with small furry pets like hamsters.
Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
- Height: 18-20 inches (45-50 cm)
- Weight: 35-45pounds (14-20kgs)
The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier has soft silky hair that will keep growing. They need to be trimmed and brushed once a day to avoid mats.
Sometimes called the ‘poor man’s wolfhound,’ they were originally bred to guard and herd livestock. They are said to be intelligent, easy to train, and people lovers.
Petit Basset Griffon
- Height: 13-15 inches (33-40 cms)
- Weight: 35-45 pounds (14-20kg)
The Petit Basset Griffon has a longish double coat with the topcoat being harsh to the touch and a thick and soft undercoat. They should be brushed at least once a week.
The Petit Bassett Griffon’s nickname is ‘the happy breed,’ and although that alone may tempt you, he does have a strong nose, so be prepared for lead-only walks.
They are said to be happy, curious, and highly intelligent. They are active and affectionate people lovers.
Large dogs that don’t shed
- Height: 23-24 inches (58-61 cm)
- Weight: 44-66 pounds (20-30kgs)
The Airedale’s coat is hard, wiry, and stiff. They may also have a softer undercoat. They need to be hand stripped or clipped two to three times a year.
The Airedale Terrier is named after the River Aire in Yorkshire and is often referred to as ‘The King of Terriers’.
They are said to be intelligent, independent, and graceful.
- Height: 23.5-27.5 inches (60-70 cm)
- Weight: 75-95 pounds (34-43kg)
The Giant Schnauzer has a dense, wiry coat that requires brushing at least once a week. Their coats will also need to be stripped and clipped regularly.
Giant Schnauzers have been used as police dogs, detection dogs, search and rescue dogs, and much more. They like to work, so bear this in mind when considering whether they will fit in with your lifestyle. They are described as reserved, energetic, and bold. More commonly seen as Miniature schnauzer, these dogs are magnificent in their giant form.
- Height: 25.5 – 31.5 inches (65-80cms)
- Weight: 88-132 pounds (40-60kgs)
The Komondor’s coat is corded, resembling a mop head, and is around 20-27cm long. The mature coat is formed from the soft undercoat and the rougher outer-coat. The cords will need to be separated regularly to stop them from becoming matted.
The Komondor is really a dog in sheep’s clothing as he was originally bred to mingle with and guard sheep against predators.
They are said to be calm and steady but wary of strangers.
Things to consider
We’ve chosen just a small selection of dog breeds that don’t shed that may be suitable for you if you suffer from allergies. But there are many more out there, including; Bedlington terrier, Yorkshire terrier, afghan hound, cairn terrier, Scottish terrier, Chinese crested, Coton de Tulear, Irish water spaniel, Portuguese water dog, Bouvier des Flanders and the kerry blue terrier! So you’re spoilt for choice.
Make sure you visit the breed of your choice, as just because all of these breeds are low shedding dogs and considered suitable for allergy sufferers, it doesn’t mean you won’t react. We’d certainly recommend that you spend as much time as possible with your preferred hypoallergenic dog before you commit and bring it home.
Non-shedding designer dogs
As the desire for low shedding dog breeds dogs continues to rise, many ‘designer’ breeds are introduced as hypoallergenic dogs.
Poodles have become the go-to dog breed to cross with as their coat sheds very little. Popular hypoallergenic crossbreeds such as Cockerpoos, Labradoodles, and Goldendoodles are all considered suitable for allergy sufferers.
However, there is no way of telling if the offspring of a mixed breed pairing will carry the Poodle’s hair gene. Even in the same litter of puppies, you may find one that hardly sheds at all while its brothers and sisters shed much more and, in some cases, just as much as their non-Poodle parent.
Research your chosen breed thoroughly as it needs to be low shedding, but it also needs to fit in with your lifestyle. It’s no good choosing a high-energy breed if you are looking for a dog that is happy with a 30-minute stroll every day.
Remember, if you’re looking for dogs that don’t shed, you may find what you are looking for in one of your local rescue centers, so please consider them before you buy.
Lastly, all of the hypoallergenic dogs on our list require regular grooming. Low shedding doesn’t necessarily mean low maintenance many of the dog breeds that we’ve chosen, have higher than average maintenance needs, often needing to be stripped or clipped several times a year to keep their coats in good condition.