Today we’re looking at the top dog breeds that don’t shed or shed very little! Before we get into our list, we should discuss the difference between hair and fur and why it is an important distinction for those who have dog allergies.
Fur has two coats, a topcoat, and an undercoat, while hair only has one coat. The largest difference between the two is how much dander is caught in the hair or fur.
Hair is longer and has a slower growth cycle which means it sheds less than fur. However, there are dogs with fur who shed less than others. With decreased shedding comes the term “Hypoallergenic.” This does not mean that those with dog allergies will be symptom-free, but they will have fewer issues.
Now that we’ve covered that, here are our picks for dogs that shed the least.
1_ Chinese Crested
Chinese Crested, also known as the Hairless Crested, is a truly unique looking dog. They have a mostly hairless body, with hair on its legs, the tip of the tail, and top of the head and ears. They are the epitome of lapdogs and love gentle households. Cresteds are too small for rough play and don’t usually prefer small children.
Cresteds are lively and do like to play, however, they just need supervision and training to break bad habits early on. Because of their hairless nature, they are susceptible to extreme heat and cold, so make sure to apply sunscreen in the summer, and bundle them up in a sweater in the winter. Crested also has a hairy version, called Powderpuff. This double coat is straight and silky with a wooly undercoat.
11_ Yorkshire Terrier
This teacup breed is an incredibly popular dog for smaller houses and apartments. Most Yorkies are cuddle bugs, but others are quite lively and playful. These dogs need consistent grooming as their hair can grow to reach the floor. Many Yorkie owners keep their Yorkies hair quite short to keep grooming costs down.
Yorkies are quite vocal and are great guard dogs as they will absolutely let you know there is someone at the door. They are the quintessential Big dog in a little dog’s body. Yorkies tend to get bored easily, so make sure they are taken on walks and have ample playtime. Yorkshire Terriers were originally bred to be ratters in factories to keep pests away.
One of the oldest breeds of dogs, this barkless dog is almost more cat than they are dogs. They are intelligent, aloof, and self-cleaning. The Basenji nearly went extinct after a genetic kidney disease had been introduced to the gene pool, which means this breed is quite rare. The bark of a Basenji is more like a yodel or howl. Because Basenji is incredibly intelligent, you’ll have to be smarter, or sneakier, if you want to keep one step ahead of it.
Basenji is very quiet, and in the Congo, their owners will put a bell on them so they can’t sneak upon them. They are very energetic dogs that need lots of exercises and known for their keen eyesight and hearing abilities. They have short, fine hair that sheds, but isn’t as noticeable as some other dogs.
Poodles come in three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard, and are known for having an air of regality to them. Often regarded as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, the Poodle has been widely said to be the National dog of France, even though it originated in Germany. Poodles will want to be a part of every family event, especially swimming activities.
These dogs have learned how amazing tricks such as retrieving the newspaper, carry a bottle to the recycling bin, and fetching slippers. They have also been circus dogs for many years. Because of their wire hair type, poodles need to be groomed consistently. Most groomers say every 3 to 6 weeks for longer hair. Poodles are great around families and shed very little, and what they do shed, gets easily matted.
8_ Afghan Hound
Extremely skilled hunters, Afghans are another very high energy breed that was once used to take down both large and small prey. They have a long luxurious hair coat as adults, and can sometimes be aloof and stubborn. They are known as one of the more quiet breeds, hardly barking, sweet-natured, and love to give chase.
They aren’t known to come when called as often as they should, so letting them run off-leash is probably not a good idea. Afghans are quite tall, so they tend to help themselves to food on the counter level. They are also trainable with positive reinforcement and food treats. Afghans were built to chase, so if you allow them in the backyard without supervision, they’ll need a fence that is at least 6 feet tall, as they are excellent jumpers.
7_ Irish Water Spaniel
These very soft and social creatures are high energy companions who will love to go on long walks, runs or bikes. Training requires a firm consistency and lots of positive reinforcement. Start grooming as a puppy by creating a positive experience for the dog. Their fur coats can become matted if they are not properly groomed and brushed two to three times a week.
These Spaniels tend to be reserved with strangers, but shouldn’t shy away completely. One interesting feature of this Spaniel is they have webbed toes to help them swim. They are incredibly loyal family dogs and shed very rarely which is considered hypoallergenic. Their coat is a unique color called liver, that has a purple tint to it, uncommon to other dog types.
6_ West Highland Terrier
A good-natured pet is a fantastic addition to any family. They are sometimes mischievous, but that adds to their charm. Westies, as they’re often called, are anything but lapdogs, but will want to be in the same room as everyone begging for belly rubs. Their coats are two-layered, but they rarely shed, so they’re still considered hypoallergenic.
Be aware, a Westie will chase after anything that moves, so if you have other animals, such as a cat or small mammal, be sure to keep a close eye on it as it interacts with your dog. Westies have been said to be the most friendly and jolly of all the Scottish breeds of terriers. Westies have a penchant to bark, but it can be trained out of the habit after alerting you to a situation.
5_ American Hairless Terrier
This breed first appeared in 1972 when a hairless puppy was born out of a Rat Terrier litter. By 1981, the Louisiana native owners – Edwin and Willie Scott – were able to produce a litter that would be the foundation of this new breed. American Hairless Terriers, much like the Chinese Crested, come in both hairless and coated varieties.
The hairless is considered the most hypoallergenic, but the coated terrier sheds very little as well. This breed of terrier isn’t suited for hunting, due to its lack of fur, but it still has a high prey drive, so fenced back yards are best for this little hunter. Because they are furless, the American Hairless needs extra protection in the extreme summer heat and cold winters. Sunscreen and jackets are required for this little one.
A Labradoodle is a crossbreed of a Labrador and a Poodle. It was originally bred in Australia by Wally Conron for a blind woman whose husband was allergic to dog hair. They usually inherit their parent’s demeanor, which is usually friendly, energetic, and good with children. Because these dogs are a crossbreed and not a full-fledged individual breed, the results can be mixed. Their coats range from wavy, straight, or curly, can be wiry or soft, and usually shed less with less of the “dog smell” that Labradors have. Labradoodles are fairly easy to train and may be prone to jumping if left unchecked. As both of the parent breeds are high energy dogs, Labradoodles need lots of exercise time and outside play.
These Cuban natives are natural clowns. They learn tricks easily and are eager to please. Havanese are excellent watchdogs but usually keep the barking to a minimum. Unlike most toy-sized dogs, the Havanese is a people person, provided they are properly socialized while they are young.
The Havanese coat is long and soft, but doesn’t shed easily, and comes in a plethora of colors and hair types. They need consistent grooming and baths to maintain their luxurious coats. Havanese are excellent family dogs, but because of their size, they can potentially be hurt. An interesting trait of this little pup is that they love paper of all kinds. They will even go so far as to sniff out receipts in coat pockets.
This German breed is a canine classic. They come in three sizes, Giant, Standard, and Miniature. The traditional look of a Schnauzer is a short wiry coat that is salt and pepper grey or pure black. They have been used as working dogs, to herd livestock and protect farms, as well as police and military dogs. They also have a dual coat with the topcoat being hard and wiry, and the undercoat being soft.
Because of the dual coat, the Schnauzer hardly sheds, however, if groomers clip the undercoat as opposed to stripping it -plucking the loose hairs away – the undercoat will soften and the dog will shed more. Schnauzers are great family dogs and do well with children, usually playing gently with smaller children. However, they are not fond of unknown dogs or small rodent pets, so it’s best to keep a watchful eye.
The Puli is a unique looking Hungarian sheep dog. Their coats are thick and almost wool-like. The fur naturally cords and forms into dreadlocks. They are also weatherproof. Because of the nature of their coats, Pulik must be taken to a groomer to maintain their cords. Some Pulik are preferred as brushed instead of corded but will take much more time as the natural cords will continually reform.
However, because of their corded topcoats and thick undercoats, Pulik tend to shed significantly less than other long-haired dogs. They are excellent guard dogs, and will more than likely attempt to herd its family. Pulik are vocal and like to bark, but a command early in training can help lessen the desire to bark.
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