15 Short-Haired Dog Breeds in It for the Long Haul
For many pet owners, combatting pet hair is an uphill battle-quite literally, some pooches leave mountains of shed fur in their wake. Avoiding black clothing and busting out the vacuum cleaner daily can help, but proactive pet parents may wish to consider a short-haired dog breed less prone to shedding.
But don't just assume all short-haired dogs shed less! Marina Jaworsky, DVM, Chicago Veterinary Medical Association secretary and public education co-chair, says some may still shed a lot. If allergies are an issue in your home, note no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, but both short and long-haired dog breeds can be allergen-friendly, depending on the breed.
The benefit to short-haired dog breeds is, generally speaking, they have low maintenance grooming needs, which can help cut costs and care time for pet owners who are able to avoid frequent trips to the doggie salon.
"While most long-coated dog breeds need to be professionally groomed every two weeks, most short-coated breeds never need to be professionally groomed," Jaworsky says. "Brushing their coats once or twice a week and bathing them every 2-4 weeks should suffice."
In short, short-haired dogs might not check off the "low shedding" box in every instance, but each of these breeds has a long list of lovable qualities for those ready to meet their new best friend.
Small Short-Haired Dogs
Miniature pinschers, while small in stature, have larger-than-life personalities and aren't afraid to strut their stuff. "Stranger danger" isn't in the min pin's vocabulary. They have almost no regard for their size-or lack thereof-and will still play with the big dogs. Families with older children who can give these sassy short-haired toy dogs the respect they deserve will gain loyal companions for life.
Toy Fox Terrier
The toy fox terrier is a super smart dog, who's courageous and full of personality despite his itty bitty size. The American Toy Fox Terrier Club describes the toy breed as "diminutive and devoted, with an endless abiding love." Just don't let that small size fool you-the toy fox terrier packs a lot of dog into a tiny package. They may be short on size, but this tiny breed more than makes up for it with their ego.
Small-boned but big-brained, these prideful pups weigh less than 10 pounds but have an appetite for treats, making them easy to train with the right reward to tempt their taste buds. Just don't go overboard, as these petite pooches are prone to obesity.
The popular pug dog breed, though short-haired, is not as low maintenance as some of the other breeds on this list. Pugs do shed-a lot-especially in the summer. Because they are a brachycephalic breed with breathing issues, they don't tolerate hot weather well and shouldn't be outdoors in extreme temperatures. If a lazy couch potato is more your speed, a pug is the perfect pup for the job-as long as you don't mind a little snoring.
Dressed to impress, the Boston terrier never goes anywhere without his trademark tuxedo coat, but deep down, these dapper dogs are playful pals who don't let pride get in the way of their silly side. Another brachycephalic breed, the Boston terrier actually has lots of expendable energy, but his flat nose can cause breathing problems. Be sure to rein in any bursts of energy in hot weather and avoid strenuous exercise altogether.
Medium Sized Short-Haired Dogs
Australian Cattle Dog
With a thick double coat, Australian cattle dogs are susceptible to heavy shedding in the spring and fall, so they may need a little more attention to fur than other short-haired breeds on the list. While weekly brushing will suffice the rest of the year, they should be brushed multiple times a week during their shedding season-known as "blowing their coats"-to remove loose fur.
Jaworsky says the Australian cattle dog does require more grooming [than other short-haired dogs]. She described these hardworking pups as a "very smart and active dog breed, not easy for an inexperienced dog owner." They'll do best in homes who can provide enough attention to exercise their brains and bodies on the daily-puzzle games and dog training or agility sessions will be just as important as long walks and off-leash romps in the yard.
Another benefit to short-haired dog breeds is that many are more tolerant of hot weather, Jaworsky says, and the whippet, with his minimal body fat, handles heat especially well. If dogs dressed in sweaters warm your heart, the whippet may be for you. Just keep in mind that while that short hair means the whippet may thrive in the summertime, he might need help from a cozy sweater to protect from cold climates when outdoors.
German Shorthaired Pointer
The German shorthaired pointer is a well-recognized hunting dog breed who sports a short coat with trademark "ticking"-or the small spots characteristic to his coat. The German Shorthaired Pointer Club of America says these pups have been bred to have an instinctual ability to do almost anything needed in the field-point, retrieve, flush, and trail all types of wild game. But they also make wonderful family companions when they're not working hard during the hunt.
The German shorthaired pointer is a working breed, Jaworsky says, and will need lots of activity to keep him occupied. This is a breed quick to bore, so owners should provide plenty of stimulation through hunting trips, games of fetch, and other outdoor activities with the family to keep him happy and healthy.
As one of the most recognizable dog breeds in the world, it's worth noting the dotted Dalmatian is a serial shedder, but the spots splattered along this short-haired dog breed's coat make him pretty much irresistible. If his 101 siblings are any indication, the Dalmatian does well in homes with other pets, and he is a great dog for kids, as well.
Another active breed that was bred to hunt, the mountain cur must maintain an on-the-move lifestyle to be happy. Swimming, hiking, or hunting, the mountain cur wants nothing more than to be by your side experiencing the world together.
The roly-poly shar-pei, lined with adorable wrinkles, is an eye-catching short-haired dog who is also known for their distinct blue-black tongues. While everything about their squishy outward appearance screams "cuddle me, pet me!" the shar-pei is more of a "cat-like" dog breed... these pups fittingly prefer contact on their own terms. For this reason, shar-peis are best in homes with adults and older children only, where they can serve as faithful sidekicks while still enjoying their own space.
Large Short-Haired Dog Breeds
Short-haired but long-legged, greyhounds are slender sighthounds who make for great hunting dogs. Built for short-term sprinting, these big boys and girls appreciate a comfy lap to lounge in once they've tired out, so plan to enjoy plenty of walks and frolicking sessions in a fenced-in yard (you don't want these speedsters running away!), followed by cuddling on the couch.
These robust redheads are eager to accompany active owners on adventures-on land or in water. According to the Vizsla Club of America, Vizsla puppies require two hours of exercise a day, and adults need at least 45 minutes of vigorous activity daily. Bred as hunting dogs in Hungary, Vizslas were born to run and are best suited to energetic owners able to satisfy their exercise needs with plenty of time outdoors.
Fun loving, family-friendly boxers are another large short-haired dog breed who enjoy some active family fun (in cooler temperatures, of course). On the other side of the coin, boxers don't handle alone time well, so puzzle toys and crate training at an early age can come in handy to keep them feeling safe and happily occupied when you're not home.
Described as both a "perpetual 2-year-old" and "second shadow" by the Weimaraner Club of America (WCA), these strong-willed, silver-haired pups have big personalities.
Thankfully, the Weimaraner's biggest desire is to be as devoted to their humans as possible, and they are easy to train and pick up on your cues from an early age, though they are best suited for experienced dog owners.
The definition of a "gentle giant," the Great Dane is classified as an extra-large dog, so although he has short hair, he also has a lot of it-and it can pile up during shedding season. Spring is typically peak shedding for the Great Dane as the weather warms up, so year-round weekly brushing should turn to daily during this time. Owners may also consider adding a "slippery when wet" sign to the home décor-these dogs are big-time droolers.