28 Dogs That Don’t Shed — Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Nothing hurts a dog lover more than yearning for a furry friend but knowing that if you get one, there’s a strong chance your allergies will act up non-stop. Thankfully, there are plenty of hypoallergenic dog breeds out there that will keep you from spending all day sneezing or worrying you’re going to break out in hives. While dogs that don’t shed are considered hypoallergenic right off the bat, there are a plenty of other things that could cause an allergic reaction, besides your four-legged friend shedding his or her coat, Dr. Sarah Reidenbach, veterinarian and CEO of Ruthless Kindness says.
“Allergies vary from person to person,” Dr. Reidenbach tells Woman’s Day. “People can be allergic to a pet’s dander, saliva, urine, or simply the dust or environmental allergens that may be carried on a pet’s fur.” With that being said, because those allergens are released into your home when a dog sheds, dogs that don’t shed can pose less of a problem for people with allergies, she points out. And that’s due in part to the type of coat your future forever friend has. Dogs that shed tend to have two layers of fur, which they heavily lose in the spring and fall, Dr. Callie Harris, DVM and Purina veterinarian, says, while dogs that don’t shed, like these, are single-coated, so they have less hair to lose overall.
So, if looking for a hypoallergenic dog, there are a few things to keep in mind, besides just their tendency to shed or not shed. “It’s important to understand that all dogs (and cats) produce allergens, even those widely believed to be hypoallergenic,” Dr. Harris tells Woman’s Day. “So, I recommend spending time with a pet before adopting him or her to help ensure there won’t be an adverse reaction.” JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM, and a freelance medical writer who specializes in pet owner education, takes things a step further. “I advise pet owners to speak to their veterinarian to learn more about breeds that, generally, do not trigger allergies as much as other breeds,” Dr. Pendergrass tells Woman’s Day. And no matter what pet you’re getting, she adds, it’s always important to take your current lifestyle, living situation, and finances into consideration to ensure you’re making the right choice — for you and your future pup.
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Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniels take the cake for the tallest of the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) spaniels, coming in at 21 to 24 inches, straddling the line between medium and large dogs. They’re distinguished by their crisply curled, liver-colored, waterproof coat and long, skinny tail. The IWS is hardworking, alert, inquisitive, brave in the field, and playfully affectionate at home. Their hypoallergenic coat requires brushing weekly and trimming every couple of months, but that’s about it.
Löwchen, which is German for “little lion,” the AKC notes, are a popular breed in Continental Europe. They’re portable, non-shedding pups, who are known for being affectionate, lively, and, of course, brave as a lion. Löwchen’s hypoallergenic coats come in several colors and color combinations, easily pleasing any owner.
According to the AKC, the Lagotto Romagnolo is colloquially known as Italy’s “truffle dog” because of her excellent nose that can root out the pricey delicacy. Despite their teddy-bear appearance, Lagotti Romagnoli are rugged workers with plenty of strength and endurance. Their double coat of hair is rough-looking and waterproof, forming thick curls over the entire body, minimally sheds — thought they may leave little tufts of hair behind at times.
Just because a dog is considered hypoallergenic, doesn’t mean they need to have short hair. Afghan Hounds, the AKC notes, are an ancient breed that present themselves in dignified and aloof ways. They’re intelligent, independent, charming, and unwaveringly loyal to their owners. Because of their size and immense speed, Afghan Hounds require a large fenced in yard and exercise daily. But they’re not the dog for everyone, so it’s important to do your research before you decide on this infrequent shedder.
According to the AKC, Cairn Terriers are happy dogs who keep themselves busy, thanks to their inherent curiosity, alertness., and intelligence Their double coat is harsh, wiry on top soft, fluffy on the bottom, and only sheds occasionally. Cairns are small enough to be a lap-dog but also strong enough to play energetically on the lawn.
Playfully referred to as “monkey dogs” and “ape terriers,” according to the AKC, the Affenpinscher is loyal, curious, confident, and famously amusing. Some Star Wars fans even argue whether Affens look more like Wookies or Ewoks. Their dense, harsh coat is neat but shaggy, and the pups only shed a couple times of year when the seasons change. “Seasonal shedding is common as dogs adjust to changing temperatures,” Dr. Harris says.
Coton de Tulear
The AKC describes Coton de Tulears, a.k.a. the “Royal Dog of Madagascar,” as charming, bright, happy-go-lucky little fur babies, which make them the perfect companion for just about anyone. They’re playful and are bound to follow their human around the house. Cotons do shed occasionally but not overwhelmingly and require regular grooming.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Like most terriers, Soft Coated Wheatens are a little stubborn, so some of them may take some extra training, but their friendliness and loyalty makes them very well worth it. According to the AKC, these terriers are medium-sized, hardy, well-balanced, and sporty, distinguished by their warm, wavy wheaten-colored coat and steady disposition. They don’t shed very much, but their coat needs diligent care to avoid matting.
Bedlington Terriers are inquisitive, intelligent, and alert dogs, according to Dog Time. They love being the center of attention and have a great sense of humor. Their coat is low-shedding and low-dander, but it’s not necessarily low maintenance. They need to be combed at least once a week.
Lhasa Apsos are known for their gorgeous coats that can grow out long enough to reach the floor. According to the AKC, they’re merry little pups that were originally bred as guard dogs for palaces and Buddhist monasteries.
Maltese are known for their compact size (they’re usually only 4 lbs) and their very energetic personalities. According to Hill’s Pet, daily brushing of their white coat is recommended to prevent matting.
Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs have become a popular option for allergy sufferers. In fact, the former first-dogs of the United States, Bo and Sunny Obama, were Portuguese Water Dogs, and they were chosen because of Malia Obama’s allergies. According to the AKC, Portuguese Water Dogs are smart and eager to please, which makes them easy to train.
West Highland Terrier
West Highland Terriers were originally bred for hunting and ratting, according to Dog Time, which means they’re pretty independent thinkers but sometimes they can be a little too independent thinking. But their silly personality and love of being a part of the family will always win you over at the end of the day.
Any Havanese owner will tell you that these dogs are pretty perfect pets. Not only are they hypoallergenic and low-shedding — Vetstreet gives them a 1 out of 5 on the shed-scale — but they are also incredibly friendly, affectionate, and smart, making them ideal for people who have kids or who like to entertain.
This dog breed kind of looks like a cross between a dog, a pony, and a mythical creature — and that’s a beautiful thing. Chinese Cresteds are renowned lap dogs, so they’re most happy when cuddling with the family. You can choose between two varieties, the hairless and the Powderpuff, and Vetstreet dubs them both hypoallergenic (though those who need a true no-shed breed should opt for a hairless Crested).
Maltese Shih Tzu
If you’re looking for a pup that just wants to love on you all day, look no further than a Maltese Shih Tzu. A hybrid of the two breeds, these pups are bred solely to be companion dogs for people with allergies, are obedient, outgoing, and always affectionate. Dog Time rates them a 1/5 for shedding, and recommends them as a great option for first-time pet owners.
These floppy-eared little fellas aren’t just cute, they’re also super easy to care for. A low-maintenance dog that doesn’t require a lot of bathing or training, border terriers were bred to be less aggressive than their predecessors. While they don’t shed a ton, Hill’s Pet makes it clear that their coats will need to be hand-stripped twice a year at the groomer’s.
In the market for a dog-slash-teddy bear? These toy-like creatures are always white in color and have big, beautiful black eyes and noses. Because they’re a double-coated breed, Bichon Frise’s don’t shed, and Dog Time highly recommends them for people with allergies. They do suffer from separation anxiety though, so if you’re not home a lot this breed may not be the right pet for you.
A former Belgian street dog, the Brussels Griffon is as quirky as he is cute. With an expressive, adorable visage that’s often compared to a human face, these dogs are known for their intelligence, sense of humor, and self-importance. Dog Time notes that neither smooth nor rough-coated varieties shed much, but stripping their coat makes them even friendlier to people with allergies.
This dog may look like a walking mess of hair, but Dog Time says these adorably unusual dogs don’t need to be brushed and shed minimally (though care should be taken to keep their white fur free of dirt and parasites). Their personalities are a little more high-maintenance than other breeds, but they have a strong protective instinct that makes them an ideal family dog.
Have you ever seen such a sweet face?! A cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, the Labradoodle was originally developed to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. It didn’t take long for families to want to bring them into their homes, as they’re praised for being smart, sociable, and “non- to average-shedders” depending on their hair coat type, Dog Time notes. Remember: It’s important to spend a good chunk of quality time with a dog before taking him or her home to see how your allergies will react.
Yorkies are the ninth most popular breed of dog in America, according to the AKC, and for good reason: they’re incredibly cute, great with kids and other dogs, and adapt easily to their surroundings. Rover.com also credits their popularity to how little they shed. Because Yorkies’ hair grows at the same rate all year long, they don’t shed nearly as much as other dogs who need a heavier coat come winter.
The largest of all the terriers, Airedale Terriers are adventurous, sporty dogs known for their playfulness. (Not to mention their intelligence, making them easy to train.) Dog Time notes that though they do shed a few times a year, maintaining a good coat through regular brushing will keep the stray fur at bay.
Arguably the most famous shed-free dog breed, many other breeds have been crossed with Poodles to create perfect, hypoallergenic pups. There are a few varieties of Poodles to choose from — including miniature, toy, and standard — but they’re all known for their fun personalities and how quickly they can be trained, according to the AKC.
These tough-looking pups are all the rage among allergic owners, given that their short and fine coat rarely sheds. (They’re rated a 1/5 on the shed-scale by Dog Time.) Basenjis are touted as amazing adventure dogs too, thanks to their great sense of smell. They can also be stubborn, though, so you’ll need to train them well.
Australian Silky Terrier
Originally a hunter of small prey, the Australian Silky Terrier is a feisty dog, despite only weighing eight to 10 pounds when fully grown. While their coats are long, Dog Time notes that they’re pretty easy to care for, requiring only a couple of brushings a week.
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