- 1 Trying to Find the Right Dog for You or Your Family? A Couple Recommendations..
- 2 General Thoughts on No Shed Dogs: Maintenance and Allergies
- 3 The Science of Fur: Why Some Dog Breeds Shed Less than Others
- 4 Top 10 Small Dogs that Don’t Shed (1-20 lbs)
- 5 Top 10 Medium Dogs that Don’t Shed (20-50 lbs)
- 6 Top 10 Large Dogs that Don’t Shed (50+ lbs)
Dog hair, dog hair, dog hair. It gets everywhere! Anyone who has had a dog that is constantly shedding knows what I’m talking about. Dog hair loves to attach itself to couches, chairs, car seats, and it has a particular penchant for clothing. Nothing ruins a stylish pair of pants like a nice smattering of accumulated dog hair.
Not only does it get messy, but allergies are also a factor for many people. What is the best solution? A no shed, hypoallergenic dog. What dogs shed the least? This post features a list of 30 dog breeds that won’t get fur all over your furniture.
In this post, I talk about dog breeds that don’t shed and mention some of the dog breeds that shed the least. I’ll breakdown the breeds into three categories: small, medium, and large dogs. This will be a helpful list for those of you searching for a new pet or are just curious about the matter.
Trying to Find the Right Dog for You or Your Family? A Couple Recommendations..
Dogs, arguably more than any other pet, require a great deal of love from their owners. They are emotional creatures that need affection, bedding, grooming, a regular potty and food schedule, and much more.
When I was attending college at the University of Oregon one of my roommates decided it was time to become a dog owner of a large German Shepherd with little forethought. What a disaster! My other roommate was not to pleased when he came home to a giant pile of doggy doodoo on his Xbox controller (one of many incidents). Suffice to say, the German Shepherd was not with us for long.
My word of warning is to make sure you take an objective look at your life and schedule and whether or not a dog can fit into that. They are a huge time commitment and the decision should not be made lightly. Beyond that, dogs have a relatively long life span when compared to other pets and you want to make sure you find a dog that’s a good fit for your lifestyle. For example, an outdoor loving, active person shouldn’t get a dog that likes to sleep and snuggle all the time. A dog like that would be a much better fit for someone who works all day and likes to come home and relax on the evenings and weekends.
Here are three books I recommend that can help you make the right decision:
General Thoughts on No Shed Dogs: Maintenance and Allergies
I can certainly understand deliberate pet shoppers who may desire a dog breed that doesn’t shed over one that does. I worked at Macy’s for about 6 months. Managers were required to wear black slacks and a black dress shirt. I was going through a lint roller every week! My dream then was to one day own a lint roller “car wash” that I could quickly pass through before each shift.
The fact of the matter is you’ll have a lot less upkeep to worry about with shed free dogs. You may even save yourself countless hours of cleaning your home and car, as well as time spent grooming.
Sometimes what it comes down to is that a person may suffer from allergies. While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, there are some breeds that do much better than others with allergy sufferers. These types of dogs typically have a predictable, non-shedding coats.
The Science of Fur: Why Some Dog Breeds Shed Less than Others
The skin and hair (since hair follicles are located in the skin) compose the largest and heaviest organ of the body. As a general rule of thumb, shedding in dog breeds that shed shouldn’t be associated with illness. It is considered a sign that the skin and hair is healthy and doing its job. It is simply nature running its course. Though the question remains: Why do some dogs appear to not shed at all while others are a dangerous ball of loose fur?
The answer lies in how dog hair grows. Hair grows from follicles located deep in the skin. These follicles each are on their own unique growing cycle. Upon reaching the length programmed into the dog’s unique genetic profile, growing stops. At any given time, a dog’s hair follicles can be in a different growth stage. Dog hair growth goes through four stages:
- Anagen (Growth) Phase
- Catagen (Regressing) Phase
- Telogen (Resting) Phase
- Exogen (Shedding) Phase
The duration of each phase as well as how fast hair grows and sheds during each phase is different for each dog. Furthermore, each dog’s follicle patterns are unique. Hair growth rate even varies between dogs of the same breed but are located in different regions. All of these differences result in a wide range of lengths, curliness, and thickness.
For example, dogs that don’t shed, or shed so little that it isn’t noticeable, have much longer anagen phases than dogs that do shed. That means their hair just keeps getting longer and longer (until you take them to the groomer or bring out the clippers). If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed much, this is the ticket. You’ll want to find a breed whose coat has those characteristics. You could even get a dog that is almost entirely hair less. This is because most of their hair is in the telogen (resting) phase. But not everyone is a fan of the hairless look!
Dogs that continuously shed have short anagen (growth) phases. Both types of dogs are constantly growing hair, just one makes room for new hair on a much shorter interval. If you’re on the hunt for which dogs shed the least, you’ll want to avoid these breeds of dogs. They will constantly be shedding hair (like my miniature bulldog!) and just by petting them you’re at risk of getting a handful of loose hair. So which dogs shed the least? Check out the sections below to find out.
Top 10 Small Dogs that Don’t Shed (1-20 lbs)
Here is our list of the top 10 small dogs that don’t shed. They are in no particular order, but these are among the most popular and best small breeds that don’t shed or shed very lightly. This weight range is teacup sized to moderately light, and can easily be up. They make great indoor dwellers and lap dogs. Some of these breeds are very energetic and enjoy frequent walks and play time.
1. Scottish Terrier
Most terriers are known for their lack of shedding, robust builds, and long lifespans. The Scottish Terrier is no exception. They have wiry coats that only need to be trimmed twice a year. Combined with their no shed hair, they are very low maintenence grooming wise. This breed of terrier make sturdy little dogs with very short legs. A dozen of their steps may equal about one of yours. They are alert and brave dogs and ofttimes very independent. Sometimes this leads them to be stubborn, so obedience training from a young age is very important.
2. Schnauzer (Miniature)
Standard or miniature, schnauzers are an energetic, intelligent breed. They are popular companion pets because of their loyal nature and hypoallergenic coat. My parents own a miniature schnauzer named Marty. He loves to play and wants to be near you at all times. He never sheds, but he does have to go in for regular hair cuts. His hair grows pretty fast, especially his mustache! The miniature Schnauzer is a good indoor dog and has no troubles getting their ya-ya’s out in the house.
Another one of the dog breeds that shed the least is the Maltese. This toy breed has become insanely popular. They have gorgeous white, silky coats. But you won’t find their white hair all over your clothes or furniture. The Maltese breed originates from the Central Mediterranean area. Its name was derived from the country of Malta. This breed has an average lifespan of about 14 years, making it ideal for prospective owners looking for a long term doggy companion.
4. Poodle (Toy and Miniature)
Poodles coats do not shed, but they do necessitate regular clipping to keep things orderly. Their curly hair can quickly get out of control! This breed is great for allergy sufferers since they shed so little if at all. The most common cut is called a puppy clip also known as the lamb clip. This is an easy-care grooming method that clips the hair short all over the body. Some owners get pretty fancy, you’ve probably seen the breed at dog shows as well, doing pom poms on the tails and hips for example. Poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs. They are very joyful, comical, and clever. Their sole mission in life is to please their handlers, and must be kept engaged and not outside in a kennel.
5. Yorkshire Terrier
The Yorkshire Terrier (aka as the Yorkie) is another minimally shedding dog. On average, they weigh about 7 pounds. Nevertheless, they are oblivious of their own small size. They are eager for adventure, brave, loyal, and quite clever. Their coat is constantly growing. Yorkies can sport many different looks and look great with long show coat or a short puppy cut. They are okay with living an active indoor life and are great for apartment living too. Yorkies do best with a daily walk or they are more likely to display behavior problems.
6. Brussels Griffon
The Brussels and Belgian Griffon exhibit little to no shedding. They are generally classified as a toy breed dog. They are very sturdy and do not often get over 12 pounds. Silly and cute looking dogs, with an Ewok-like appearance from Star Wars, the Griffon breed takes after the terrier in its disposition. They are affection, cheerful, curious, and love just about everyone. Depending on the type of Griffon, they have long wiry coats or short smooth coats.
7. Italian Greyhound
This breed of dog is perhaps the easiest dog to groom of all breeds. They shed no hair, and only require a rubdown with a towel to keep their fine silky coats shiny. Despite common belief, Italian Greyhounds come in many colors than just grey. They are okay without yards and good for apartment life. One thing to keep in mind with them is that they have very fine, short hair so they are very sensitive to cold weather.
8. Norwich Terrier
The Norwich Terrier has a waterproof coat that is pretty shaggy. It is medium length and sheds very lightly. Originating from England, they were used as barnyard ratters and to help catch foxes. Their small size enabled them to get into the smallest of fox den openings and flush out foxes. They are brave, active dogs that have very balanced temperaments. They do not often get nervous or agitated. Norwich Terriers make great indoor family dogs.
Another no shed dog, the Shih-Tzu is a popular breed from China. These little dogs are high maintence though, requiring daily grooming with a quality bristle brush. Most owners will let their Shih-Tzus grow long hair. Then, a topknot is usually applied to keep their hair out of their eyes. They are also known as lion dogs because of their lustrous manes. They are active and alert little dogs. Spunky, playful, and clever they are great with humans.
10. Lakeland Terrier
The Lakeland Terrier is the descendant of working terriers bred to defend farmer’s land from fox and vermin. They usually have a very cocky, confident attitude and are hardy and active. Their coat is double layered, hard, and thick. It doesn’t shed much but does necessitate regular grooming. They make great watchdogs and loyal companions and should be walked daily.
Top 10 Medium Dogs that Don’t Shed (20-50 lbs)
Here is our list of the top 10 medium dogs that don’t shed. Again, they are in no particular order, but these are among the most popular and best medium breeds whose coats are either shed-free or shed very little. This weight range is moderate to dense, and usually can be picked up without too much trouble. While not every dog that made the list is strictly a no shed dog, all of them at a bare minimum shed so little it is not detectable in the majority of cases.
The Labradoodle is a hybrid breed quickly growing in popularity among dog lovers. It is a cross between the Labrador Retriever and Miniature or Standard Poodle breeds. It takes after both its parent breeds: friendly, intelligent, and usually moderately active. The shaggy and curly coat doesn’t shed, but it does require maintenance. As with most cross breeds, they can have different types of fur. Some look like shaggy retrievers and others look more Poodle like with loose curls. Generally, most Labradoodles will need clipped every 8 to 12 weeks.
2. Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs are obedient and very loyal dogs. As their name implies, they love to play in the water. They have webbed feet and a muscular build to aid them in swimming. This type of dog is classified as a “working dog” by the American Kennel Club. They enjoy lots of exercise and they have great stamina. They originate from the Portuguese region of the Algarve. Their coat grows very slowly and sheds little to no hair. It requires less frequent maintenance than a Poodle and is hypoallergenic.
3. Irish Terrier
Clippers are used occasionally to maintain their coat. It is hard and wiry, though with a soft undercoat, and doesn’t shed often. This breed of terrier is easy to train and makes an excellent watchdog. It is also known for being great with children. Many hunters use Irish Terriers for small game hunting, they were actually once called the Irish Sporting Terrier. They flush and retrieve game instinctively. They also make a fine pet for most homes as long as they get about 2 daily walks.
4. Lagotto Romagnolo
This breed of working dog has a curly, dense coat. The best way to groom this breed is to clip its coat short. Otherwise it will get easily matted and you’ll have to comb it constantly. This breed sheds virtually zero hair. Lagotto Romagnolo are very sociable dogs, people loving, and great with families. It needs plenty of exercise and loves to do outdoor activities. This is a very popular in Sweden, a nation known for its active lifestyles. In many people’s eyes, these dogs are the perfect combination: intelligent, non-shedding, hypoallergenic, and active.
The Puli breed have very unique coats. While they don’t shed, as the dog matures into adulthood the coat needs to be pulled apart and made into cords. Once adults, the only challenge left is keep her or him free of debris and clean. They are like giant mops and are magnets for leaves twigs. They originated in Asia and are often used in herding trials today. They do best in a country type environment. After a bath, it can take hours and hours for their coats to dry, even multiple hair drier sessions. They have an active, alert personality manifested by their bouncy gait.
6. Schnauzer (Standard)
Characterized by their droopy walrus “mustache,” Schnauzers are robust dogs with wiry shed-free coats. Native to Germany, the breed was first used as an efficient herder and ratter. They make wonderful companion type dogs today and will follow at your heels wherever you go. They have an extroverted temperament, and you’ll either find him bounding ahead of you or curled up in your lap.
7. Tibetan Terrier
Tibetan Terriers are distinguished by their long, wavy and straight coats. Their coats are fine and very profuse. Though they don’t shed much, they do need to be brushed often to prevent their long hair from becoming a tangled mess. They also have unique foot structure, which allows them to walk on the snow. If you are a fan of snowsports and/or looking for a dog for a cold climate, Tibetan Terriers do well in these conditions. Legend has it that this breed originated in the Lost Valley of Tibet. They were considered holy dogs by the lamas and a symbol of good luck.
8. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Their top coat is rough, sometimes even harsh complemented by a dense undercoat. These hounds get shaggy, but they don’t shed! The Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen isn’t petite, it weights about 33 to 44 lbs. Of course with a name like that, they hail from the country of France. They are independent dogs and can sometimes be stubborn. This breed is powerfully strong, compact, and short legged. Despite being low to the ground, they weigh a lot because of their density.
9. Kerry Blue Terrier
This terrier breed has soft, thick, wavy hair. On top of the no-shed coat, they only require monthly shaping and timing. The Kerry Blue Terrier has unique coloring, often times a blue-gray but ranges from light blue-gray to a deep slate. This breed is a true watchdog through-and-through. They are smart and respond well to training from assertive owners. Strong-willed, energetic, and at times rambunctious, they enjoy an active lifestyle.
Characterized by their short, fine, and silk coats this breed is easy to groom. A short, every once in awhile rub down is all that is required to keep their coats gleaming. They are free of dog odor and don’t shed often. They look very similar to their cousin the Greyhound. Be careful letting them off the leash though! Whippets are the ultimate sprinters. Unmatched in their acceleration and dexterity they are like the cheetahs of the dog world. Owners use the following words to describe their Whippets disposition: sweet, docile, and intelligent.
Top 10 Large Dogs that Don’t Shed (50+ lbs)
Here is our top 10 list of large dogs that don’t shed. Big dogs don’t always have to come with big messes. These breeds are large shed free dogs. It gets harder in this category, but there are still some no shed dog breeds that are larger and don’t require you to go buy an industrial strength vacuum cleaner. If you have your heart set on a large dog but want to avoid shedding here are some of the best options. Larger dogs tend to need more exercise and are often natural athletes.
1. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
This breed’s coat is coarse and hard giving them an unkempt appearance even after the most thorough grooming sessions. They shed very little if at all, and their medium length coat only calls for occasional grooming. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is another sporting dog breed. This dog has been given the nickname the “supreme gundog.” They are very athletic making great swimmers and joggers. A high energy breed, it needs to be exercised year round. Owners use the following words to describe their Wirehaired Pointing Griffons: trustworthy, eager, and outgoing.
Salukis require rare grooming and their coat length is kept short. They do not shed. The Saluki is the royal dog of Egypt. They are known for their Greyhound like body with feathered ears, legs, and tail. They exhibit explosive speed, they could even outrun Olympian sprinter Usain Bolt. They require lots of training and exercise. Owners use the following words to describe their Salukis: independent, gentle, and stately in appearance.
3. Airedale Terrier
One of the largest terriers, the Airedale needs its coat brushed several times a week. Though they shed, it is very light and can be virtually reduced to zero by consistent brushing. Daily exercise is vital to this breed and maintaining their happy disposition. Owners use the following words to describe their Airedale Terriers: dignified, friendly, and sweet.
4. Irish Water Spaniel
Another low-shedding large dog, the Irish Water Spaniel needs to be brushed and combed to avoid matting. They have a very long coat that makes a bath here and there a good habit. This will help keep a neat coat. They are suitable for allergy sufferers because their coat is also hypoallergenic. Typical of sporting dogs, this breed requires plenty of exercise. Owners use the following words to describe their Irish Water Spaniels: agile, playful, and brave.
5. Bouvier des Flandres
This breed sheds little, but be forewarned: their furry bodies collect a lot of debris. Big, hairy dogs, Bouvier des Flandres were originally bred to be a multipurpose farm dog. They were smart enough to herd livestock and strong enough to pull carts, imposing enough to be a guard dog. Not terribly high energy, they do like to be exercised on a regular basis. Owners use the following words to describe their Bouvier des Flandres: assertive, protective, and intelligent.
6. Poodle (Standard)
Poodles are great non shedding dogs. Behind the snazzy hair do’s and blue ribbons and sometimes outwardly appearing entitled attitude, you’ll find an excellent family dog in the Poodle. These dogs were actually originally used as water retrievers, fetching water fowl for hunters out of lakes and rivers. Some Poodles can weigh up to 75 pounds. Owners use the following words to describe their Poodles: clever, elegant, and loving.
7. Schnauzer (Giant)
Though they require weekly brushing, Schnauzers don’t shed. The largest of the three Schnauzer breeds, Giant Schnauzers are a large, dominant breed. Most experts do not recommend them for households that have children under the age of 12. They require at least 2 walks a day. Without proper stimulation, this breed may become difficult to handle. Owners use the following words to describe their Schnauzers: loyal, agile, and playful.
8. Black Russian Terrier
These are a relatively rare bread known as the “black pearls of Russia.” They are majestic looking dogs with beautiful black coats. This breed isn’t actually a true terrier. They don’t shed much, but they do a little. These dogs were brought about in Russia to be the perfect working dog. Soviet Army scientists bred this dog to patrol the borders alongside soldiers. This being the case, you can expect a need for lots of exercise and maybe even an outdoor pasttime an addition to walking/jogging.
The Goldendoodle (sometimes called the Groodle) is a designer dog, a hybrid breed of the Poodle and Golden Retriever. Their coats require clipping every two months but they have taken of the characteristic of Poodles’ coats (not Golden Retrievers) in not shedding. It is a crossbreed that is enjoying rapid growth in popularity. Their star is still rising as one of the favorites for family dogs. Furthermore, it is a very versatile breed successful as a guide dog, therapy dog, sniffer dog, and service dog. Owners use the following words to describe their Goldendoodles: gentle, social, and affectionate.
At first glance, this looks like some technological innovation that was invented to mop floors. They are a rare breed. AKC ranks the Komondor 144th in popularity among 157 breeds recognized by their club. They serve as a livestock guardian but are now companion dogs too. Owners use the following words to describe their Komondors: protective, independent, and intelligent.