Written by Ella White
When it comes to picking the best dog breed for your family, there are plenty of factors to consider, from size to activity levels. But something lots of new owners don’t think about is just how much dogs can shed.
So, whether you like your home to be neat and tidy, suffer from allergies, or just don’t have the time to be vacuuming up dog fur daily, you might prefer to pick a breed that doesn’t shed. Usually referred to as hypoallergenic, these coats are often a perfect choice for dog lovers that struggle to be around shedding breeds.
If you’re after a hypoallergenic dog for allergy reasons, you should note it’s not usually the dog’s fur that causes allergies but the dander. This means it’s the shedding of skin cells and loose fur or even the saliva that often causes allergies in humans. Unfortunately, if you’re allergic to dogs, you’re allergic full stop. But hypoallergenic dogs tend to shed less which makes them more tolerable to allergic humans. There is no such thing as a 100% shedless dog or a dog guaranteed to not cause an allergic reaction in humans so if you come across a breeder who makes these claims, you’re likely talking to a fraudster!
If you’re after a breed less likely to shed or one that counts as hypoallergenic, we’ve put together this handy list. And as an added bonus, they’re all super cute, too.
You might not expect a breed with hair as luscious as the Afghan Hound to be non-shedding – but that’s how they keep their coat as long and impressive as it is. It requires a lot of maintenance, and should be washed regularly and brushed at least twice a week to keep its sleek and luxurious appearance. But as long as you keep on top of grooming, you won’t notice many hairs on your sofa.
In terms of temperament, Afghan hounds are independent and have high energy levels, but they’re also affectionate and loyal with their families.
Also known as the barkless dog, if you want a low-key dog in terms of grooming and temperament, look no further than the Basenji. This African hunting breed is like a hound but with the personality of a cat – they look after themselves, including cleaning their non-shedding fur. So you can enjoy a calm, easy pet that doesn’t shed its coat around your home.
The curly Bichon Frise is not only non-shedding, but is also far less allergenic than other fluffy pups, so they’re a great choice for owners with allergies. Soft and cuddly, these small dogs are also ideal for smaller living spaces like apartments. But the one downside to their lack of shedding is that the Bichon Frise does need a lot of grooming, as their fast-growing coat can mat easily.
The tiny Maltese might look daunting to those averse to dog fur, but the truth is they hardly shed at all. Their coats are also low-allergen, so they’re ideal for allergy sufferers and those who want to keep their home spotless.
Weighing just 7 lbs, the Maltese is playful and fearless, and they don’t need too much exercise. So for busy families or people living in smaller apartments, they’re a perfect choice. Just be sure to brush their coat daily to avoid matting if you choose to keep it long.
One of America’s favorite dog breeds, the Poodle is famous for its intelligence and non-allergenic fur. Beautifully curly and soft, a poodle hardly sheds but does need regular grooming to keep them looking sleek, prevent shedding, and ensure they don’t lead to allergic reactions.
The newly popular Cockapoo, a cross between a Poodle and a Cocker Spaniel, has become a family favorite in the last decade due to its cute curly fur, playful nature, and the fact that it’s inherited the poodle’s non-shedding, non-allergenic coat despite its long, shaggy appearance.
The low-allergen and non-shedding Lagotto Romagnolo is another great choice for lovers of larger dogs and is recognised by the American Kennel Club, unlike the Cockapoo.
The curly Portuguese Water Dog might look like it would shed a lot, but these low-allergen pups are famous for not molting. Like the Spanish Water Dog, they’re loyal and affectionate, but they do have high energy levels and need a lot of exercise. That said, they are adaptable and can happily live in smaller homes. Just be sure to groom their coat frequently to prevent matting that can lead to shedding.
Irish Water Spaniels are an even curlier alternative to Water Dogs, sharing their active, water-repellent- and non-shedding characteristics.
All types of Schnauzer share a hard and wiry coat texture that barely sheds. However, as their coat does grow continuously, it needs to be groomed and trimmed on a regular basis to keep them tidy – especially in the beard area.
Schnauzers are loyal and love their families – especially children. So if you’re looking for a fun, adaptable, and playful breed that won’t leave your home covered in fur, look no further.
Shih Tzu’s are known to shed far less than other breeds so they’re ideal for owners with smaller homes that they don’t want to have to keep vacuuming. But there is a catch: if they’re not washed, brushed, and clipped regularly they will begin to molt.
Friendly and adorable, the Shih Tzu makes a wonderful family pet that can offer plenty of love, affection, and loyalty. Just be sure to hold up your end of the bargain and keep their beautiful long coat well groomed.
The Westie is fun, playful, curious, and makes for a brilliant family pet. And as an added bonus, they barely shed. The characteristics make the West Highland Terrier one of the most popular terrier breeds, and despite their lively personalities they don’t require too much exercise.
The adorable Yorkie has beautiful sleek fur that has an almost human-like texture. And, like human hair, it hardly sheds. It makes them the perfect lap or handbag dog, as they can be carried around and cuddled by their owner without leaving them or their home covered in fur. But to keep up the luxurious look, they do need regular brushing and grooming to keep tangles at bay.
And if you really can’t bear the fur, there are mostly-hairless breeds you might consider, like the Chinese Crested, Peruvian Inca Orchid, Xoloitzcuintli, and the American Hairless Terrier.