Disturbed with dogs’ hair every where!! Or are you allergic to dogs but just love them and so looking for small, medium or big dogs that do not shed or are hypoallergenic.
Dogs are our best companions. Any one who is a proud dog owner won’t disagree. Not only they are loyal but also bring loads of cheerfulness at home with their lovely tricks.
Though we all agree, with all the positivism, there is a downside as well. They do shed a lot like mine does a way lot and hence quite often one needs to fluff out all the fur from clothes, sofas, beds etc and yet may still be carrying some on our clothes as their blessings which every one may not like.
Now it is not just about shedding of hairs that obviously could be a problem but there are many who are allergic to dogs and yet despite all the love, they can’t come in touch with them. And the solution would be to find a dog who sheds less or what is popularly known as a hypoallergenic dog.
It is also a myth that dogs do not shed at all. All dogs shed and it is only relative with few dogs shedding less and some way more. Before we move on to find the dogs that shed less, let us understand why dogs shed their fur.
Why Dogs shed?
Dogs shed hairs as we humans do. Specially some dog breeds who have double coats shed their inner coats in summer and in fall. This is natural as part of their hair cycle of growth and shedding. This rate depends on the type of breeds. For example, Poodles have longer hair cycle and hence don’t shed as much.
While most of the dogs shed their hairs all around the year or more typically in summer and in fall, few dog breeds shed quite less. But all dogs go through this natural cycle of hair growth and fall. Some may shed all around the year at almost the same rate, some may shed more during certain seasons. All depends on the breed of the dog.
Hair growth and shedding in dogs happen in a cycle divided into below four different phases.
- Anagen phase – This is the phase where hairs are new and growing.
- Catagen phase – This is the phase where they are mature and stop growing actively.
- Telogen phase – This is the phase where they have grown fully and stop growing further.
- Exogen phase – This is the phase when the hair has come to the end of its natural cycle and is shed from the follicle.
All dog breeds have different duration of these phases of the hair growth cycle as per the genes.
Not every one is shy of the dogs fur but can be allergic to them. In-fact almost 10% of USA population is allergic to dogs. And contrary to the popular perception, allergy is not due to dog’s hairs but in most cases, it is due to Dander. Skin flakes that come off the dead skin of an animal are dander. When this is inhaled, it can cause allergy as well.
Some dogs are more hypoallergenic. This means they are less likely to create dander and hence they are less likely to cause allergy. Issue around dander is much easier to resolve with frequent bath.
Let us now look at the dogs that shed less.
Small Dogs that do not shed
Let us look below 10 small dogs that do not shed much (not in any order.)
Basenjis are small highly intelligent dogs from Africa who are known for not barking and shedding little. While this is good for those staying in apartments, they are also known for not obeying much and are difficult to train. They will need your regular time for exercising and playing.
2) Bichon Frise
At first look, they may more look like a baby toy. They are typical of white fur and black eyes. As they shed very less, they are recommended for the people allergic to dogs. Though it would be best to be with them for some time and then making the decision. Bichon, as they are popularly called ,are highly trainable family dogs that have a happy disposition. Though they are prone to separation anxiety, if left alone for long.
3) Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon are known for their monkey looking face. They have originated from Belgium. These small dogs shed very less. A daily walk and playing within the house is enough and they don’t need a yard. They are quite affectionate and cheerful. This makes them a good fit for Apartment dwelling. Though you may need to train them not to bark in the night.
Maltese are quite popular small dogs known for their silky white coats. Though exact origin of the dogs is uncertain, they derive their name from Malta region of the Mediterranean Sea where many believe they were first bred. They are intelligent and trainable and are a good companion dogs for families.
5) Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzer is quite popular small dog and has always featured in the top 20 popular dogs in USA. They are loving, cheerful and family dogs who love to be with children. They need regular walk and exercise or else they are prone to weight gain. Being intelligent, highly trainable with very less shedding, they make a very good pet dog.
6) Miniature Poodle
Poodles are very popular dogs in USA. All poodles including miniature are highly intelligent, easily trainable, shed very less, active and quite lively. This makes them one of the best family dogs and is the reason of their popularity. They are also one of the most frequently winners of the dog shows. Though they are prone to separation anxiety and if left alone, they can be quite destructive.
7) Scottish Terrier
As like most of the other terriers, Scottish Terriers are known for long life span, less shedding and robust build. In popular slang, they are also called as Scottie. They became really popular specially among the children after the Disney’s Lady and the Tramp movie (1955). They are intelligent, brave and loyal dogs. Being independent, they may be difficult to train.
8) Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu means little lion in Chinese. This breed originated from China around the Tibetan region. They have long silky hairs but they shed very less. They are companion dogs who are beautiful, lively and good for families. Though they require high maintenance in cleaning and grooming of their long hairs.
9) Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers are one among the top 10 popular dogs of America, commonly known as Yorkie. They look amazing in their long silky hairs and difficult to miss. Yorkshire Terriers shed very less and are good fit for apartment living. They are small companion dogs but may surprise you with their barks at strangers.
10) Italian Greyhound
This is a miniature version of the sight hounds who were bred to kill the prey with the run at them once in sight. They inherit the same genetics and can run at a top speed of up to 25 mph. Hence, though he is small, he carries a lot of energy and would need good time for exercising. They have short coat and shed minimally so are one of the easiest to groom dog breed.
Medium size dogs that do not shed
Let us look below 10 medium size dogs that do not shed much not in any order.
1) Irish Terrier
Irish terriers havr a tight wiry red coat and shed very little. They are very loyal dogs with a lot of courage. They are quite easy to train as well. They are not that active while indoor but need moderate level of exercise, so walk for two times a day could be good. Irish Terriers are good as a companion for active joggers as well. They are good for apartment living if they get trained to control their bark.
2) Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
They are medium sized dogs originating from France where they were bred to hunt rabbits. In fact the name of the dog means
Petit – small
Basset – low
Griffon – rough-coated,
Vendéen – from the Vendée region of France
As the name suggests, their top coat is rough with a dense undercoat. And they shed quite less. PBGV is quite strong, heavy, short legged with a loud bark.
3) Wheaten Terrier
Soft coated wheaten terrier originated from Ireland as a farm dog. They are quite friendly, fun living and easy going as compared to other terriers. They need moderate amount of exercise and are good as a family dog as well. Though before you make up, you should know that their long silky coat needs a lot of grooming.
4) Lakeland Terrier
Lakeland terriers originated from England and derive their name from the place they originated, the lake district of England. They were bred to hunt the foxes and protect the livestock. Lakeland Terrier have double coat and shed quite less but require regular grooming. They are a great watch dog as well as a loyal companion but need moderate exercise with regular walking.
5) Portuguese Water Dog
As the name suggest Portuguese water dogs originated from Portugal and were bred to hunt fish. They are intelligent, loyal and quite obedient dog. They love to play with water and have webbed feet and muscular body as well which help them to swim. They shed very less and are easier to maintain as well with little grooming. “Bo” a pet dog of Barack Obama, former USA president, is a Portuguese Water Dog.
6) Tibetan Terrier
Though the name suggest Terrier, they are not part of the terrier group of dogs. Having said that the Tibetan in the name is right as they did originated from Tibet. They are also considered as good sign and known as “Holy dogs of Tibet”. Tibetan Terriers are not sold and can only be gifted. They have double coat and have shaggy appearance. They shed quite less but need to be groomed often due to distinct thick long coat. Their feet are specially designed for snow and they would suit well for colder regions.
Puli was originally bred in Hungary as a guard dog for the livestock. They are popular for their corded coat which makes them appear much larger that what they actually are. Though they shed very less, they need to be groomed regularly. And they may not be suitable for first time dog owners. They are self confident, highly intelligent and loyal to the owners. They are quite sensitive to the needs of the older people and are used as therapy dogs as well.
Whippets were originally bred to hunt small animals like rabbits. They are very fast and agile and you can easily spot them with a short silky coat. Whippets are good for apartment living with almost no dog odour as long as they meet their regular exercise needs preferably in a fenced area. They are intelligent and self confident which makes training difficult but once trained, they are a great companion. A tip would be to let them off on your own risk as they are sprinters of the dogs’ world.
9) Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry blue terrier has a long head, flat skull, deep chest with a coat having shades of blue and gray and a distinct mustache and beard .They shed very less. They were originally bred for catching small animals like rabbits, rats and also for herding the livestock. As typical to other terriers, they love being active and need regular walks and exercise else may become difficult with loud barking. They are strong headed and loyal to other owners.
10) Standard Schnauzer
Schnauzers are known for their wirey coats, distinct mustache and beard. They are almost odourless and shed very less. Schnauzers are originally bred in Germany. They are intelligent but strong headed so it is difficult to train them. They are active dogs who are a good companion as well but need their regular routine of exercise and regular walks.
Large size dogs that do not shed
Let us look below 10 big dogs that do not shed much not in any order.
1) Airedale Terrier
Airedale Terriers are the largest of the terrier group of family and can reach as high as 2 feet when fully grown. And thus they are also called as “King of Terriers”. They were bred originally in Yorkshire, England as a working dog. They are quite active and need regular exercise and daily walks. Airedale Terriers are quite intelligent and strong headed at the same time.
2) Bouvier Des Flandres
They are a herding dogs originally bred in the Flanders region of Belgium as herding dog and for pulling carts with their powerful build. And the name Bouvier des Flandres means Cow Herder of Flanders in French. They have a tendency to herd the group including children and may become assertive while protecting. They have a wirey coat like other terriers and shed very less, though they require a lot of grooming. Being a working dog, they require regular exercise.
3) Giant Schnauzer
It is the largest of the three breeds of Schnauzers. Though Giant Schnauzers do not shed much, they require frequent cleaning and grooming. With their size, they have a commanding posture and strong build. They are intelligent and quite energetic and have excelled as Police dog as well. They require good time for exercise so at least two long walks daily would do. With their large size and dominant personality, they are not recommended for homes with children younger that 12 years.
4) Standard Poodle
Poodles are known for their distinct curly hair coat, intelligence and less shedding that makes them ideal for family living. They are highly trainable and frequent in winning dog shows. Being energetic, they need regular exercise and should have daily walk. While they are quite adapt to any kind of living including apartments, they need regular grooming to keep their coat beautiful.
5) Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniel are the largest of the Spaniel family and are considered rare by AKC in the number of registrations. They are sometimes mistaken as Large brown poodles due to their curly coat. Irish Water Spaniels are highly active, intelligent and energetic dogs who love to play with water and are known for their swimming skills with their webbed feet. Though they shed very less but require regular bathing and grooming for keeping their coat clean. They are energetic dogs and require being active with long walks, hike or running.
Don’t get confused for large moving mop when you see a Komondor Dog. In fact, due to their close resemblance to mop, they are also called as “Mop Dogs“. Komondor were originally bred in Hungary to guard the livestock. They keep their guarding attitude and are considered to be quite intelligent and protective.
Komondors are not the one for the inexperienced owners as can attack an intruder if they perceive threat. Though they shed very less but need regular cleaning of their coat and good amount of exercise. We wouldn’t suggest them as a great choice for Apartment owners.
Salukis are one of the oldest of the dog breeds and known for their sprinting. They have short coat and also do not shed much which means they don’t require much of the grooming. With their petite body, they look similar to greyhounds and can run very fast like them with top speeds of 42 mph. These dogs are not the one for you, if you don’t have enough space for them to run to suffice their exercise needs. A quick tip would be not to test them without the leash, while in open.
8) Russian Black Terrier
This is a relatively new and still a rare breed from Russia. They were bred as watch dogs and commonly known as “Blackies” for their beautiful black coat.They do not shed much. Russian Black Terriers are also called as “Black Pearls of Russia”. They were bred by Soviet scientists during the world war to patrol along with the Russian soldiers. As like many other active large dogs, they need a firm and experienced pet owner who can get along with their exercise needs.
9) Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon were originally bred as gun dogs where they used to help the hunters in retrieving the prey, usually birds. They are also called as “Supreme gun dogs”. They are active, loving and happy disposition dogs. These Griffons need small yards at least for playing and running and are not recommended for Apartment living. They do not shed much though require weekly brushings for grooming.
10) Poodle hybrids like Labradoodle or Goldendoodle*
There are many poodle hybrids that are also popular as the the dogs that do not shed much. But this could be a bit tricky as it would depend on the genetics here and it is a case of luck. So a Labradoodle may shed more if it gets the shedding trait from Labrador.
How do you minimize dog’s shedding?
While it is normal for all animals including dogs to shed, we can minimize excessive shedding with the following tips.
✓Regular brushing of the dog
Regular brushing of the dog gets all the loose hairs and it is also good for the dog’s coat and skin. Brushing your dog once or twice a week, may go a long way in keeping the stranded dog hairs to minimum.
✓Bathing when they are dirty or small
Regular bathing helps in controlling the shedding as it removes the loosened hairs and keeps the coat and skin clean. Though one should not go overboard on bathing as it may lead to drying up of skin and coat and tripping of the natural oils. Ideal bath time would be whenever they smell or have dirty or muddy coat.
✓A good diet
Generic low quality diet, which doesn’t fulfill all the proteins and other nutrients requirements, is not good for dog’s coat as well because it may result in shedding.
Now that you know of the dogs that do not shed, let us also just give you the names of the dogs that shed a lot and you can avoid them if you are looking for dogs that do not shed.
Dogs that shed a lot (in a random order)
- German Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- Siberian Husky
- Golden Retriever
- Chow chow
- Alaskan Malamute
- American Eskimo Dog
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