While you might love a dog’s snuggles, playfulness, and loyalty, it’s natural to be less enamored with fur all around the house. Whether you need a low-shedding dog to reduce allergies or to keep things clean, we have some tips on which breeds work best.

By Tracey L. Kelley
August 24, 2020
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Maybe you’re curious about the best non-shedding dog breeds because you or someone in your family has a dog allergy. Or perhaps the robot-vacuum and lint roller simply can’t keep up with Fido’s fluff all over everything, and you’d like to wear non-furry clothes again!

If you’re thinking you need a hypoallergenic dog, it’s important to note there’s really no such thing. All dogs produce certain types of proteins that contribute to allergic reactions—the most common is Can f 1, often found in urine, saliva, and dried skin debris called dander. When Spot sheds, this allergy-laden dander floats into the air. 

Does this mean a hairless dog won’t make you sneeze or have itchy eyes? Not necessarily, because she’ll likely still have a smattering of dander—or she loves to lick you! Each individual’s immune system determines their allergic response to Can f 1. While you might snuff up around one breed, another person won’t be affected at all. 

The majority of dogs shed, as it’s the normal way for them to release damaged or old hair. But PetMD points out that some canine companions might do it more depending on the season, or when they’re ill, stressed, or experiencing an allergic reaction or skin irritation. 

Low-Shedding Dog Breeds

“Breeds associated with being ‘hypoallergenic’ are generally those with single-layer coats, and those that shed less,” says Jerry Klein, DVM, chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC). “Breeds with double coats, like retrievers, Siberian huskies, and collies, among others, have protective dual-layer coats that usually shed significantly.”

He helped us put together a list of both common and not-so-common AKC-registered breeds, including small dogs that don’t shed much. 

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Afghan Hound 

She’s elegant and dignified, with a single layer of long flowing hair that requires much bathing and grooming, which helps reduce her shedding. The Afghan hound is a loving and loyal pet who fits in well with most families. 

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American Hairless Terrier 

This hairless breed is a good consideration for people who want an active, trainable, smaller dog with a friendly disposition. Intelligent and great at agility sports, the American is also a feisty watchdog. 

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Bedlington Terrier 

With the looks of a lamb but the tenacity of a terrier, Bedlingtons require consistent grooming to maintain their looks, but they don’t shed. As devoted family members, they’re content to frolic in the backyard or take leisurely walks.

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Bichon Frise 

Personable and energetic, cheerful bichons need attentive grooming to maintain their crisp white coats. Her hair continuously grows instead of shedding, so she has less dander, which might make her a good dog for allergy sufferers.

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Brussels Griffon 

The rough-coated version of the Brussels griffon doesn’t shed and is easy to groom. She’s a tiny bundle of love and dedication, and an excellent companion for an adult who appreciates her intelligence and sensitivity. 

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Cairn Terrier 

Like most terriers, family-friendly and loyal cairns are earthdogs who like to keep busy, so give them a place to dig and they’ll be happy! Even though they have a double coat, the exterior is wiry, which reduces shedding. 

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Chinese Crested 

There are two varieties of the affectionate Chinese crested: the hairless and the “powderpuff,” which has a long-hair coat. They’re diminutive, intelligent, and sweet dogs with an ancient history.

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Coton de Tulear 

Small, white, and with a long coat they’re famous for, playful cotons have great personalities. They need a little more spa time, which helps keep them from shedding, but love your dedicated attention. 

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Irish Water Spaniel 

The Irish is a sporting dog with a shorter, brown, curly coat that helps her glide easily through the water and rarely leave fur on the couch. This lovable breed is energetic and clownish—ideal for an active family who loves the outdoors.

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Kerry Blue Terrier 

One of the better choices for folks looking for non-shedding and somewhat non-allergenic dogs, the medium-sized Kerry has low dander and a striking wavy blue-gray coat. Active, devoted, and versatile, she lives well in apartments or on farms.

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Lagotto Romagnolo 

Most famous for sniffing out truffles in her native Italy, a lagotto gets her teddy-bear looks from a coat of hair-like curls. A lagotto is a smart, undemanding, and athletic breed with a big heart. 

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Maltese

Tiny, delicate, and charming with a single white glamorous silky coat, a Maltese requires dedicated maintenance to keep her attractive appearance. Fortunately, she’s another one of the small dogs that don’t shed much, which leaves more time for play instead of cleaning.

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Peruvian Inca Orchid 

An ancient hairless breed that originated in Peru, this dog (also known as a PIO) releases less dander, which means she might place high on your list of hypoallergenic dogs. Sweet, agile, and loyal, she comes in three sizes: small, medium, or large variety.

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Poodle 

The original “hypoallergenic breed,” the adoring and intelligent poodle is a versatile solid-color dog that comes in three varieties: toy, medium, and standard. People who search for hybrid breeds that are good for dog allergy sufferers should simply consider one of these purebred versions. 

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Portuguese Water Dog 

Related to poodles, Portuguese Water Dogs are athletic, fun-loving, eager to please, and great family members. They have dense, wavy coats in many showy colors and combinations with white, and also get high marks for low dander and low shedding.

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Schnauzer 

You can have your choice of a miniature, standard, or giant schnauzer, but all shed less than other breeds and don’t release a lot of airborne dander. Each variety is also an energetic playmate for most children and extremely loyal—you’ll be proud of your fierce protector.  

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Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier 

This versatile, medium-size golden terrier is a big mush puppet, which makes the wheaten a terrific family dog. She’s possibly more allergy-free(ish) than other breeds because her soft, wavy coat doesn’t shed much or release a lot of dander, but she needs consistent grooming to look her best.  

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Spanish Water Dog 

Also a medium-sized dog, the lively Spanish is rare in the U.S. but gaining popularity. She has curls all over her face and body and looks adorable! Generally easy to care for,  she’s a tireless canine companion, especially with people who enjoy hunting and other sports in the great outdoors. 

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Barbet 

Hailing from France, the barbet is creating a buzz in the U.S. because she’s social, loyal, sweet, and quite active, plus her tightly-curled coat is non-shedding. As a sporting water-loving canine, she has the nickname of “Mud Dog” because she’ll never hesitate to go into the swampy places to fetch what you need.  

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Xoloitzcuintli 

A beautiful hairless Mexican breed with a proud heritage comes in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. Xolos have elegant, refined demeanors but show their flash with various color combinations. She’s a quiet, attentive companion for an adult household. 

As you’ve noticed in our descriptions, proper grooming is really essential to keep normal shedding in check. Your veterinarian and a professional dog groomer can extend additional tips for your breed.