Do you belong to the 30% population of the US that has bad dog allergies? But still, you, your wife, or your kids want to have a canine companion around? Most probably, you’d search for hypoallergenic dogs—family dogs that don’t shed.
Some sources falsely claim that certain breeds are allergy-free. Unfortunately, there is no such a breed of dog that doesn’t produce saliva or dander, meaning that a dog owner is always prone to having allergies irrespective of the dog breed he or she keeps.
However, fret not! According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), some breeds can minimize the chances of giving you watery eyes, runny nose, or wheezing. Such breeds are categorized as “predictable, non-shedding coat” dogs. That is what we will be discussing in the lines below.
List of Family Dogs That Don’t Shed
Below, we enumerate some of the most popular family dogs that don’t shed.
Originated from Havana, Cuba, the Havanese breed is developed from the now-extinct breed ‘Blanquito de la Habana’—little white dog of Havana—or the ‘Havana Silk Dogs’. It is also the national dog of Cuba. The breed was on the brink of extinction towards the end of the 18th century. However, there were still some dogs left.
After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, 11 Havanese were brought to the US by Cuban refugees. Because of rarity and silky hair, this breed garnered appreciation from Americans, and a new era of Havanese breeding began. This saved the breeds, and those 11 special dogs became the ancestors of most Havanese fur balls outside of Cuba today. Talking about their appearance, the coat of these dogs is dense, long, and silky and comes in all colors. Also, their coat has a longer growth cycle, therefore, Havanese dogs are hypoallergenic, and therefore, we have included them in the list of best small family dogs that don’t shed.
Otherwise known as the Monkey Terrier, Affenpinscher belong to the terrier-like small Pinscher breed of dog. These dogs have originated from Germany, and their name is derived from a German word ‘Affe’ that means ape or monkey—a name that complements their coat. Their coat is shaggy around the head and shoulders forming a mane, which grows shorter over the behind. If their hair are trimmed regularly, they become harsh and wiry in texture. However, if you let it grow long, you can have that fluffy appearance that is their signature look.
The best thing about their fur is that its wiry from the roots. In case of hair fall, the fiber gets trapped in the wires of his fur—you won’t be finding any hair on your couches or carpets. Because of this, Affenpinscher is also considered a family dog that doesn’t shed a lot of shedding.
3. American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier originated in the South as a natural variation of the Rat Terrier, this completely hairless dog (some may have eyebrows and whiskers) is an energetic, intelligent, and friendly companion. As its name suggests, Hairless Terriers don’t have hair on their bodies, and their coat is as hypoallergenic as a coat can get, which makes them the best choice for dog lovers with severe allergies.
However, hairlessness itself presents its own challenges as it makes the skin bare to the outer environment. Therefore, with these dogs, there is the concern of getting sunburns and cold weather.
4. Afghan Hounds
Distinguished by its high hipbones, tail with a ring curl at the end, and its dense, lustrous, silky coat, these dogs are often misunderstood as shedding dogs—however, they are not. According to the AKC, Afghan Hounds have a strong scalp and hair follicles that give their hair strength, preventing frequent hair shedding. But their Rapunzel hair can get really fuzzy and tangled if not brushed regularly.
Apart from their beautiful hair, they are also popular for their obedience, loyalty, and ability to survive harsh weather. So, if you want to have a long-haired dog that doesn’t shed, the Afghan hound is the buddy to go for.
5. Bedlington Terrier
If you’re looking for a dog with a sturdy body, innocent face, and lamblike coat, Bedlington terrier is what you need. However, with all that hair and dense coat, dog owners often get the idea that these dogs will be mighty shedders. However, these dogs are popular family dogs that don’t shed. They have a distinctive wiry and curly hair coat, which is a combination of harsh and soft fibers. Interestingly, this curly fur is the reason you won’t see their hair around the house. Even if their coat sheds, the hair gets trapped in the coat and don’t fall down. But they need a regular lint rolling and grooming routine to prevent tangles and knots.
Goody and graceful with a light, springy demeanor, these dogs may look tiny and fragile, but they have boundless energy. If you intend to adopt a Bedlington terrier make sure you give them access to a safe fenced area where he can play, run, and jump around to smoke away his boredom.
6. Bichon Frise
A breathing toy with loads of energy that can enliven your day in a way that even your coffee can’t. If one starts praising the features of this dog, it will take ample time. They are cute, energetic, possessive, lovely, cuddly, loyal, smart, peppy, inquisitive, independent, funky, appeasing, easy-to-train dogs… you name it!
Talking specifically about their looks, these dogs should be named they should be named Cotton Frise, instead of Bichon Frise. They are plush and velvety to the touch, have an itsy-bitsy body covered with white hair that enhances the beauty of their dark eyes and black leathers of the paws, nose, and lips.
Standing at the position of 46th most popular dog breed in the US, these fluffy babies are covered with dense fur that blankets their whole bodies. However, this fur, surprisingly, doesn’t shed much, making them the family dogs that don’t shed hair.
7. Hairless Chinese Crested
Ranking as the 79th most popular dog breed in the US, Hairless Chinese Crested has hair only on his head, tail, and paws. And for the dog owners that want a dog with a unique appearance, Hairless Chinese Crested dogs are the best choice.
Not only they are family dogs that don’t shed much, they are also affectionate, adaptable, and come in a variety of colors.
8. Coton de Tulear
Otherwise known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar,” Coton de Tulear has originated from the city of Tuléar (also known as Toliara) in Madagascar. During 1973, Dr. Robert Jay Russell discovered the breed in Madagascar and brought these dogs to America and coined the phrase the ‘Royal Dog of Madagascar’, and later on the name stuck. These dogs belong to the toy dog group and weigh around 4 to 6 kg. These pups have a profuse coat that doesn’t shed much, giving them a place in the category of family dogs that don’t shed. Its white furry outlook with a combination of black eyes and cute little black snout attracts eyes at the very first glance. They are somehow similar in appearance to Bichon Frise, but their fur has a softer texture, and their head shape is pressed-rounded. The Coton is of the Bichon family, linked most closely to the Bichon Tenerife and the Tenerife Terrier.
9. Giant Schnauzer
Giant, powerful, and furry.
If you are looking for a protection dog that has a dense coat that doesn’t shed much, then Schnauzer is what you need. The Giant Schnauzer is a famous breed developed in the 17th century in Swabia in the German state of Bavaria. These dogs are similar to a rough-coated version of the German Pinscher family. The roughness helped them withstand the harsh German winters and bites from vermin. Another benefit of their coarse coat is that it doesn’t shed often. Although, like other dog breeds, natural hair shedding takes place in this breed too, but thankfully, it doesn’t shed plenty of hair and thus reduces the risk of giving allergy to their owners.
Though these are hypoallergenic dogs, they still need frequent grooming so that the dead hair don’t stick there for long, causing allergies and dander. Other than their grooming needs, they also have physical activity requirements. Therefore, before adopting a giant schnauzer, remember that these dogs have boundless energy and get aggressive if not given proper exercises—choose them only if you can give them enough attention and time to play.
10. Irish Water Spaniels
The Irish Water Spaniel is an Irish dog that is the tallest of the spaniels. The Irish Water Spaniel is known for his ability to seamlessly wade through water and retrieving waterfowl. These one-of-a-kind dogs are good at upland games such as quail, pheasant, and grouse. Another interesting fact about these spaniels is that King James I of England gifted Irish spaniels to the king of France as a token of peace to improve diplomatic relations between the two countries. This was the very first Irish Water Spaniel to come to France.
Irish Water Spaniels have a unique appearance which makes them quite popular among dog lovers. Their deep orange eyes and wiry thick long black hair that blankets their whole body making their appearance mysterious, attractive, and classy. The texture of their hair prevents it from becoming tightly woven into fabric, and thus, dead hairs are easily removed as they will gather on their fur to form “dust bunnies”. Though their coat is dense, they are the family dogs that don’t shed hair.
11. Kerry Blue Terrier
Similar to appearance in Schnauzers, Kerry Blue terriers are excellent companion dogs, enjoying to spend their time playing.
Just like Water Spaniels, this breed also has some thick matted hair, so even the hair follicles die down, the dead hair get stuck in the coat and you won’t see a whole lot of hair on your shoulders, couch, and beds. Place them in your lap and enjoy their fluffiness without the fear of getting allergies.
If they are lying on the couch, you wouldn’t be able to recognize where the head is and where the feet are.
12. Lagotto Romagnolo
Bred as waterfowl retrievers, the Lagotto Romagnolo originated during the Italian Renaissance period to work in the marshlands of Ravenna. Brandi Hunter, vice president of public relations and communications at the New York City-based American Kennel Club says, ‘From the 1500s on, the breed was widely used to retrieve game, and the dogs also worked closely with the Vallaroli, who were hunters and truffle collectors.’
Cute, funny, short, and furry—this dog breed is everything you want from a toy breed and cherry on the top, these dogs are family dogs that don’t shed hair. One of the breed’s main features is its coat which is dense, wooly, and curly hair. As they were bred to work in water, the coat of the Lagotto dog breed is waterproof—especially the undercoat. They have short curls on their cover and some silky smooth hair around their mouth. Though dogs are self-cleaning dogs, they should be bathed once in a while. However, bathing too frequently can affect the water- and dirt-resistant qualities of their coat. Also, use a wide comb or open brush to comb their hair to avoid matting or felting. The plus point of their coat is that it doesn’t shed much. Play with them, adore them, without the fear of getting any dog allergies at all.
13. Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzer is the toy size of Schnauzer that stands tall between 12 to 14 inches and weighs around 12 to 18lbs. Even though they are small-sized, they are fearless and will attack anything that they think of as a threat to their owner. An interesting fact about Miniature Schnauzer is that its red color is considered to be the rarest. Red Schnauzers are born in many different shades of orange/red, as the shade grows darker, they becomes more expensive. In the AKC listing, red schnauzers are registered as wheaten-colored schnauzers and typically have brown, hazel, or green eyes; a brown or black nose; and brown or black pads. Other common colors of this breed are black, white, salt and pepper, and Black and Silver.
14. Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese water dog originated from the Algarve region of Portugal, where they are known as ‘cão de água’ which means ‘dog of water’. From Algarve, these dogs spread all around Portugal’s coast, where fishermen taught them to herd fish into fishermen’s nets, retrieve lost tackle and broken nets, and shift things from ship to ship or ship to shore.
At first look, they appear to be a giant form of Lagotto Romagnolo. The only difference between the two is that apart from the mouth, Portuguese dogs have silky hair on their head as well. These dogs are popular because of two reasons. First, they are non-shedding dogs; and second, they are chosen breed of former US President Barack Obama, who had two of them, Bo and Sunny. The Obama family adopted ‘Sunny’ because of its hypoallergenic nature, while the other dog ‘Bo’ was given to them by Senator Ted Kennedy. Though these famous family dogs don’t shed regularly, they do shed hair when there is a change in season—seasonal changes make their hair roots weak leading to hair loss. Though shedding is not frequent, their hair should be trimmed properly, else the hair on a PWD will keep growing indefinitely, leading to several problems.
The main problem is that if their hair around their eyes keeps growing and is not properly trimmed for long, it may impede vision, and matting causing skin irritations. For these reasons, the coat should be brushed every other day and groomed about every two months.
15. Spanish Water Dog
The breeds that we have discussed so far have a moderate amount of hair, but Spanish Water dogs have the most of them all. Without haircuts and trimming, they are prone to smack their heads with walls; so, if you get one, be sure to cut his hair around their eyes.
This dog is recommended for people who are not extremely hypoallergenic. If you are more sensitive to dog allergies, it is better to choose any other dog from this list.
If you are allergic to dog hair but really want to have this pooch, brush it every day. Try to clothe them in dog suits or other cotton cloths before putting them in your lap.
Most dog owners find it difficult to pronounce the name of this dog. Let us help you with how to correctly speak it.
Xoloitzcuintli read it as “show-low-eetz-kweent-lee.” Or just take the easy way out stick with the short form, “show-low.” Or you can also use the name ‘Mexican Hairless dog’. These dogs were the first to be recognized by the American Kennel Club— in 1887, a Xolo dog named ‘Mee Too’ made breed history as the first dog registered Xolo.
Also known as Xolo, these family dogs don’t shed a lot as they don’t have much hair on their body. They do, however, undergo seasonal hair changes. But by and large, it is termed as a non-shedding or minimal hair shedding dog breed. To keep your dog clean and bathe them using a dog hair shampoo. But never rub the hair vigorously during washing or drying, else it will damage their hair follicles. Rather, gently wet the coat with a towel, brush and lather it, wash it, and let it air-dry to prevent mats. Spanish Water Dogs also need their hair trimmed at least once a year.
An interesting fact about Xolos is that the Aztecs deeply revered them and believed that these dogs have mystical healing abilities. Other than not having hair, they are very intelligent as well—it’s a two-in-one offer!
17. Yorkshire Terrier
Also known as Yorkies, Yorkshire terrier breed is the unique combination of terrier and teacup dog. The breed was mainly developed in Scotland, and was later on brought to Yorkshire, England by Scottish weavers. Here the breed features were enhanced further and it was miniaturized into a true lapdog size.
These overly energetic, dainty, ready-to-play, silky-haired dogs feel wonderful in hands. But “don’t let the Yorkie’s daintiness fool you,” the AKC warns you. “Tenacious, feisty, brave, and sometimes bossy, the Yorkie exhibits all the traits of a true terrier.” The best thing about them is that they do not have undercoat hair that sheds, meaning they can be an excellent choice for those who are sensitive to dog allergies. Their hair is shiny, dense, fine, straight, and silky, which grow out very long and part down at the middle of the back. The coat should be trimmed properly, else, it will impede their movement and irritate their eyes.
|Dog Breed||Amount of Shedding (Ranked out of 5)|
|American Hairless Terrier||1|
|Irish Water spaniels||1|
|Spanish Water Dog||1|
|Kerry Blue Terrier||1|
|Coton de Tulear||2|
|Hairless Chinese Crested||1|
|Portuguese Water Dogs||2|
Though the breeds listed above are considered non-shedding, it is to remind you again that there is no such breed of dog that is completely non-shedding. With every dog breed, you need to take care of them to avoid the chances of picking up an allergy. Consult a veterinarian for a more authoritative take on this.
Here is how you should take care of your dog to save yourself.
Best Non-Shedding Family Dogs Based on Size
Though the breeds listed above are considered to be the family dogs that don’t shed hair, it is to remind you again that there is no such breed of dog that is completely non-shedding. With every dog breed, you need to take care of them to avoid the chances of picking up an allergy. Consult a veterinarian for a more authoritative take on this.
Family Dogs That Don’t Shed: Based on Size
If you are searching for a cute little toy-sized dog that is not prone to give you all
Most dog owners choose dogs based on the size. Even though the breeds mentioned above are non-shedding, it’s important to remember that even with these breeds, if the size changes, their hair shedding changes as well.
Here is a more comprehensive list of non-shedding dogs based on their size.
Top 12 Small Family Dogs That Don’t Shed
If you are searching for a cute little toy-sized dog that is not prone to give you allergies, here it the list.
- Bichon Frise
- Brussels Griffon
- Chinese Crested
- Coton De Tulear
- Scottish Terrier
- Shih Tzu
Top 12 Medium Family Dogs That Don’t Shed
Here is the list of medium-sized dogs that you can bring into your house without fear of getting allergies.
- Tibetan Terrier
- Maltese Terrier
- Shih Tzu Miniature
- Brussels Griffon
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Scottish Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
Top 12 Large Family Dogs That Don’t Shed
Large-sized or standard-sized dogs that are hypoallergenic are pretty famous in the United States. Here is something for allergic dog parents that love to have large dogs.
- Afghan Hound
- Airedale Terrier
- Bouvier des Flandres
- Standard Poodle
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Bouvier des Flandres
- Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
- Black Russian terrier
- Old English Sheepdog
How To Take Care of Hairy Dogs To Avoid Allergies?
Toy dog breeds having fluffy fur or long hair is what most dog-owners look for. But these cuties need proper maintenance as well.
Dog hair shedding is a natural procedure; when the old hair cells die, they fall off. Therefore, all dog breeds need proper hair maintenance and grooming to avoid any hair issues.
Here are some important instructions about maintaining and grooming your dog.
- Softly brush your furry dogs daily
- Shampoo your dog at least once a week
- Use good quality anti-allergenic dog shampoos and conditioner
- Keep your dog’s hair free from tangles
- Remove dog’s hair knots daily
- Trim your dog’s hair at least every two months
- Before picking up your dog, gently shake his fur to remove dead hair
- Use dog de-shedding gloves
- Clean your dog’s resting and playing areas regularly
- Avoid those carpets, rugs, or furniture which can pick hair
- Use air humidifiers at your home
- Use dog hair vacuums to air away extra hair
If dogs are not properly cleaned and maintained, there are chances of picking up allergies—even from family dogs that don’t shed hair.
If you enjoyed reading this article, we have much more in store for you. Head to our Dog Breeds section, where we have extensively covered dog breeds based on size, purpose, and the lifestyle of the owners.