You absolutely can live in a fur-free house and not suffer from allergies. In fact, there are 40 different (small and big) hypoallergenic dog breeds to choose from.
And that’s why we’ve created this handy guide. We’ll go over each breed in detail so we can play a game of matchmaker.
Small Non Shedding Dogs
1. Australian Silky Terrier
As you may have already guessed, the ‘Silky’ has an elegant, silky coat that extends from head to toe.
Their favorite pastimes include being brushed (of course), playing, running, and being with their owner.
These are very active dogs, and they need daily stimulation or they may become bored and destructive.
The Silky are brave characters, often displaying their boldness and never showing any fear. However, even the bravest have time for play, and they are always looking for some fun.
Similar to their Terrier cousins, the Affenpinscher were bred to hunt rats, but has since retired from their mission and is now a trouble-making and loving companion.
They still carry their fearless traits from their hunting days, and have no shortage of confidence.
Digging and barking are other favorite hobbies, and ones that take training and patience to subdue.
But despite a few bad habits, the Affenpinscher is keen to please their owners and quite receptive to training.
CC Image courtesy of Ingunn Axelsen
A clever hunting breed originating from the Congo, this is a unique dog with a sharp wit.
The Basenji is a free-roaming working dog, and they wear their independence like a badge of honor.
But that doesn’t mean they won’t become a wonderful companion. They are kind and loving, and crave all your attention. However, they do come with a high list of needs that must be met.
4. Bedlington Terrier
Like it’s Terrier cousins, this Bedlington Terrier was originally bred for hunting.
Although they wear lamb’s clothing, these dogs are bold and make excellent watch dogs.
Being part of the Terrier family also means they have a very high prey drive, and any little critter they cross paths with will cause them to bark and give chase.
Therefore, a little daily exercise goes a long way with the Bedlington. The last thing you want is a bored Terrier.
5. Bichon Frise
Cheerful, loving, and a little trouble maker, the Bichon Frise has plenty of personality to share with everyone around her.
The Bichon is described as affectionate, silly, and gentle. They prefer to be your full-time companion, so they do not like being left alone for long periods of time.
Because these little guys are so full of love and energy, they need to get out everyday for some exercise. Yet are especially sensitive to scolding.
They need gentle training and a positive environment to really flourish.
The Bolognese is an uncommon breed that is closely related to the Bichon Frise, Maltese, and Havanese.
These are intelligent problem-solvers, but want nothing more than to be with their owner.
Companionship is their number one priority, and they have no shortage of love and affection.
But with all that attachment, these dogs can have separation anxiety and can be noisy when left alone for too long.
7. Border Terrier
Work hard and play hard – that’s the Border Terrier motto.
They were originally bred to hunt foxes, so running and digging comes pre-wired. Which means this can be a challenging dog.
The Border Terrier is fiercely intelligent and loyal, but they come with a high list of demands, that (quite honestly) not every owner is up for.
Your Terrier is happiest when it has a “job” to keep its mind engaged, or just a routine it can follow. And a happy Terrier means your companion will feel no need to destroy your home.
8. Biewer Terrier
The Biewer is an affection and tiny bundle of joy that loves to spend time with family and friends.
So it’s not surprising that these dogs will fit perfectly into just about any home. Have children or other pets? No problem, the more the merrier.
Biewer’s love to show off their silly side throughout the day, and have no shortage of playfulness. Their main goal in life is to make you laugh.
9. Brussels Griffon
Just like Chewbacca, this breed is loyal, intelligent, and sometimes moody.
The Griffon is of the needy sort, and may demand your love and attention throughout the day. They prefer to spend most of their time with you, which doesn’t leave much room for others.
In fact, the Griffon is quite suspicious of strangers, and definitely not warm towards children.
The Brussels Griffon can be a challenging dog, but will reward you with endless love and attention for your efforts.
10. Cairn Terrier
That’s right, it’s Toto from The Wizard of Oz.
These dogs, like Toto, are brave, intelligent, and ready to follow you on adventures (or at least your daily chores).
They absolutely love being your companion, and flourish with love and attention.
The Cairn Terrier has plenty of energy to burn, and, despite being small, they are very active and need to run everyday. Without proper daily exercise, the Cairn Terrier will get bored and resort to digging, barking, and chewing.
11. Chinese Crested
Looking for something a little different? The Chinese Crested might be the answer. They are tiny, thin, and make an exotic fashion statement – which is being mostly naked. Not all of them are hairless though. In fact, some have full coats of thin white hair.
Chinese Crested dogs are picky, and prefer the company of their owner over strangers or children. However, they have nothing but love for their owners and family.
Not surprisingly, they don’t fair well in the cold and prefer hot climates and warm blankets.
12. Coton De Tulear
Often referred to as the Velcro dog, the Coton wants nothing more than to be stuck to your side.
This dog is similar to its relatives, the Bichon Frise and Maltese, but is a little more down to earth.
They’d rather cuddle up on the couch with you than spend their day with excessive running. That doesn’t mean exercise is off the table, however. The Coton needs daily walks and play time with their owner.
Their adaptability is what makes the Coton such an amazing companion.
13. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Dandie’s are a very unique and rare breed, with a large head and eyes (somewhat too large for their small body), but are built very low to the ground.
These unique characters are fun loving, intelligent, and gentle, but can be extremely challenging when it comes to training.
Combined these characteristics create an unusual looking dog.
With the biggest heart of all: the Havanese has only one thing on its mind, and that’s you.
But with all that attachment, the Havanese do not like being left alone, and will usually resort to howling sad songs while you’re gone.
Early socialization is important to avoid your dog from being overly timid. And while training these dogs may be a slow process, it is necessary to curb excessive barking and other bad habits.
They are very adaptable to your lifestyle and are content going on daily walks, or even going full tilt with agility or obedience classes.
15. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is descended from royalty (no, really), and they are still very aware of their status.
They are a proud, independent dog, now assuming the position of protecting their family.
Because of their past watch dog traits, the Lhasa Apso can be aggressive toward strangers. While they have a fierce side, they can be very loyal and loving toward their family.
Energetic and elegant, the perfect way to describe the Maltese.
A princess (or prince) that prefers the finer things in life, and that often includes running, playing, and spending time with loved ones.
The Maltese become very attached to their owners, and they don’t like being left alone or else they may resort to barking and destructive behavior.
Maltese are incredibly intelligent but also impatient, so children and other dogs may annoy this breed. They may feel the need to protect their owners, which can lead to barking or biting.
17. Miniature Schnauzer
Unlimited energy and the world’s biggest heart, that’s what you get with a Schnauzer. Their enthusiasm and affection knows no bounds, and you can expect this guy to be bouncing off the wall with them.
Schnauzers love to be the center of attention; they’ll put on a show for you and your friends and are amazing comedians.
This makes them a wonderful companion – if you can accommodate their energetic lifestyle.
They are at the top of their class and, in a calm environment, can learn very quickly. Mental stimulation is just as important at physical for the Schnauzer, and they crave learning and exploring.
18. Scottish Terrier
Too smart for their own good, and they come with a little extra sass.
Scottish Terriers are independent and live by their own set of rules. They’re strong-headed, so training isn’t on their list of priorities.
But despite all that tough-guy exterior, they have a soft spot for their family on the interior. Terriers love every second spent with their family, showing their deeply affectionate side when at home.
Scottish Terriers favorite pastime is digging, because they were originally bred for hunting foxes and badgers.
To deter digging and boredom, they need time to go on daily walks and explore the world beyond the backyard.
19. Shih Tzu
Always the center of attention, and they’ll do everything they can think of to make you smile.
The Shih Tzu is playful, lovable, and wants nothing more than to be part of the family. Friendliness is in their genetics, that’s because Shih Tzu’s were bred for companionship.
So you won’t find any hunting or herding traits here.
Their good natured attitude makes them very compatible for just about anything; kids, families, and other dogs are not a problem – the more the merrier.
Shih Tzu’s can be quite energetic, and they love playtime and exploring to let off some of that excess energy. Here’s another little secret: the only thing better than one Shih Tzu is TWO Shih Tzus! That’s because these dogs will flourish with a friend with whom they can play and learn.
20. Toy Poodle
Poodles are at the top of their class, being ranked as one of the most intelligent breeds. They are eager to please their owners, and with all those brains, it makes them very keen to training.
You might imagine a poodle as being elegant, gentle creatures (and they most certainly can be), but what you might not expect is for poodles to be incredible athletes.
Poodles live for learning and training, so they need daily exercise, or they might result to destructive behavior. They tend to grow calmer as they mature, but still need ways to stimulate their body and mind.
Poodles can be a groomers dream dog, their soft frizzy hair makes them perfect for styling and trying out the latest trends. However, their coat needs constant maintenance, in which case you may want to groom your Poodle from home.
21. West Highland White Terrier
A sometimes overly confident trouble-maker, the West Highland Terrier (or “Westie” for short) is a lovable handful but perfect for the right owners.
This little lady knows exactly what she’s doing when she digs or barks, but it’s all in good fun.
Because of all that energy they needs daily playtime and exercise to keep her from getting into bad behavior. They also need friends, and will flourish with other dogs or a full-time playful companion.
With all that stubbornness the Westie can be difficult to train, but they are a very sensitive soul and do not respond well to scolding.
Still, the Westie is considered one of the most loyal dog breeds.
22. Yorkshire Terrier
“Yorkies” are the star of their own show, and they want to make sure everyone is watching.
They have a lot of personality to show off, and it certainly comes with some sass. These dogs were originally bred to hunt rodents, and these traits are still very apparent as their prey drive is off the charts.
Yorkies live for companionship, and show endless love and trust for their owner. But their owner is the only love in their life, and sometimes no one else is welcome into that relationship.
These are lovable little lap-dogs that love to play and explore, and are perfect for singles.
Medium Sized Non Shedding Dogs
Sometimes mistaken for a Labradoodle, the Barbet certainly share some similar characteristics.
From their playful attitude, to their curly coat, it’s easy to compare the two breeds. However, the Barbet is a rare breed, and you may be hard pressed to find one in your area.
Friendly, social, playful, intelligent and silly are the best ways to describe a Barbet.
Their friendliness combined with intellect means they absolutely excel in training and agility. Their aim is to please their owners.
But all that silliness needs an outlet, or you’ll find yourself with a bored and destructive dog. These are very active dogs and need daily exercise and mental stimulation.
24. Irish Terrier
The Irish Terrier is fearless and alert, always on the lookout for intruders. They were born for guard duty, and they take their job seriously, which makes them excellent watch dogs. They are also pure athletes with incredible speed and energy, so they excel at agility courses.
But with that tough-guy attitude comes a big heart, because all they really want to do is protect the ones they love. They are amazing companions, and great with children. However, they don’t generally do well with other dogs, unless raised with them as a puppy.
25. Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a strong-headed working breed, and were originally bred for herding and guarding.
They have a very distinct-looking coat, which is grey with just a slight tint of blue, along with a magnificent beard and mustache.
Working and guarding are just in the Terrier traits, so this dog makes an excellent watch dog, but also a loving companion.
They’re gentle and kind towards their human family, but are not always friendly towards other dogs. In fact, many animals will peak their high prey drive, so early socialization and training are essential.
As a working breed, the Blue Terrier needs a lot of daily exercise, and they absolutely love having a routine or a “job”.
26. Lagotto Romagnolo
Often compared to as a smaller version of a Water Spaniel, these dogs carry very similar traits.
Lagotto Romagnolos are a working breed. always active and ready to save the day, and their true calling is the water.
This breed was originally used as a water retrieval dog dating back over 200 years ago! But they never lost those traits, they have a strong desire to work, retrieve, and please their owners.
With a strong desire to work all day long, these a very high energy dogs that love having a job. A bored Lagotto is a very destructive one, and usually leads to digging or barking.
27. Lakeland Terrier
Originally bred to hunt foxes and protect livestock, the Lakeland Terrier is there to watch and defend what’s most important.
As a hunting dog, they’re quick and agile, and have intense bursts of energy to help them give chase.
Lakelands make great companions; they love to show off their energetic side to their families, and do whatever is necessary to make you smile. They are incredibly intelligent but can be stubborn with training, which may test your patience. With their speed and intelligence, they thrive as hunting or agility dogs.
With all that speed and agility, they can run away extremely fast, and can easily clear most fences. It’s recommended you run them on-leash, or in a securely enclosed area.
Big hearts and unlimited energy, that’s just the Schnauzer way.
Just like their close relatives, the Miniature Schnauzer and Giant Schnauzer, this is a standard-sized version with very similar qualities.
Schnauzers are gentle, affectionate, and their aim is to make you smile. This makes them a wonderful companion – if you can accommodate their energetic lifestyle.
These dogs are highly intelligent, and they are fully aware of just how smart they are, so they can be a very clever and mischievous breed.
They love to please their owners and are very receptive to training, which is why they are a common sight in agility and hunting.
29. Tibetan Terrier
Although it’s called a Terrier, they have no relation. They do, however, originate from Tibet, so at least they got that part right.
The Tibetan name for this dog is the Tsang Apso, which loosely translates to “shaggy dog”, which is fitting for its distinct thick long coat.
These beautiful beasts were bred for herding and working, and they love the outdoors.
Thousands of years ago, Tibetan Terriers were working dogs known as the “Holy Dogs of Tibet” and were highly valued and considered to bring good fortune. Mistreating their companions in ancient Tibet was believed to bring bad luck to the entire village.
30. Wheaten Terrier
The Wheaten Terrier is always on the lookout for fun; they love to run and play at a moment’s notice.
While they need a lot of daily activity, they’re also content for some daytime naps and cuddling.
That makes the Wheaten a great companion no matter where you live. They’re just happy to be with you and your family.
However, they do carry some of the typical Terrier traits: digging, chasing, and barking are common when bored.
Despite their bad habits, they are very bright and quick learners. That doesn’t always mean they’ll follow your commands, and can be very stubborn at times. Your Wheaten responds best to positive and patient training, rather than scolding.
Large Non Shedding Dogs
31. Afghan Hound
Exotic and beautiful, the Afghan hound is exactly the high maintenance diva you would expect them to be.
They are incredibly intelligent and independent creatures, carrying an almost mysterious personality.
But their indifference results in difficult training, and they will often just ignore commands
Afghan’s were once used for hunting, and still carry their high prey drive to this day.
You can expect the Afghan to give chase or hunt small critters or even other neighborhood pets at a moments notice.
Combined with their independent nature, they will often go running off (at very high speeds) with no hope of you catching them.
While sometimes affectionate with their family, it’s not on their list of priorities. However, these dogs are especially sensitive to any kind of scolding, and require very gentle and patient owners.
32. Airdale Terrier
Similar to its Terrier relatives, the Airdale was bred for working and hunting, but built to be more agile and better at swimming.
They are the largest of all terrier breeds, often averaging at 45 to 65 pounds and as tall as 2 feet.
Another shared trait is their seemingly unlimited energy; so these dogs need an outlet or else they’ll resort to destructive behavior. The Airdale flourishes when given a job or an active daily routine they can follow.
Airdales are very intelligent, and combined with all that energy, they excel at agility and hunting. However, some are strong-headed and independent, so they may understand your commands but may just choose not to follow them. Therefore, they aren’t recommended for novice owners.
33. Bouvier Des Flandres
Powerful and fearless, the Bouvier is a true athlete among dogs.
They were originally bred for herding and working on farms. They are big and powerful, sometimes weighing up to 100 pounds, yet they can haul that weight around no problem with their fast legs. Daily exercise is absolutely necessary to keep this big guy content.
Of course, with that big stature comes confidence and a lion’s pride. They are truly brave dogs and are ready to defend the “pack” as necessary.
Owners will need to demonstrate assertive leadership in order to maintain who’s really in charge.
Despite their “tough-guy” attitude, they are truly gentle and affectionate creatures with their loved ones and are great with children, but wary of strangers and other dogs.
34. Giant Schnauzer
As you may have guessed, this is similar to a Miniature or Standard Schnauzer, but just 60 to 80 pounds heavier.
And with all that energy and playfulness, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
The Giant Schnauzer was bred to herd and guard, but also to be an intelligent companion. They are a working breed, and as such, they need a job or daily activities to keep them content.
Like all Schnauzers, they have a big heart, and want to share that affection with their owners all day. They are experts at making you smile, and love nothing more than playing and exploring. They are also keen to please and are very receptive to training.
However, they will take the lead role in the house if they feel their owner isn’t doing a good enough job. Assertive yet patient leadership is what this breed craves. Therefore, this isn’t for the novice owner.
35. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel was bred to specialize in (you guessed it) water. More specifically, hunting and retrieving birds over bodies of water.
While swimming is its specialty, so is pleasing its owners – which makes them wonderful companions.
Water Spaniels are the class-clown; their boundless energy and playfulness make them absolutely hilarious dogs that love attention. But once they settle down, they are ready to learn and are highly receptive to training. They can truly be your new best friend.
Instantly recognizable for it’s “dreads”, the Komondor looks more like a giant mop with a tongue.
The exotic looking coat develops into ‘cords’ as they mature and needs a lot of work to maintain. You’ll be grooming, bathing, and brushing this coat out very often because, just like a mop, it collects dirt very quickly. These dogs are calm and gentle leaders, showing deep love for their family. They have short bursts of energy and play, but still enjoy daytime naps and love being the fearless hero for your home.
Komondors are fiercely loyal to their family, going as far as becoming territorial towards those they don’t trust. Despite that heavy coat, they move quickly and intently, and they come equipped with a powerful bark to scare off intruders. This loyalty can lead to aggression, and the Komondor is not a dog to back down from a fight.
Although not dog-friendly, they are great protectors of livestock and are most often found guarding farms.
Their temperament makes them difficulty for the average owner and comes with a long list of challenges and responsibilities.
37. Labradoodle *
*This breed comes with a big red asterisk, so let’s get that out of the way!
Not all Labradoodles are hypoallergenic, and some shed more than others.
It hinges on genetics and pedigree. Poodles have minimal shedding, but Labradors shed quite a bit. So, by mixing the two, you’ll get varying results.
If you want a hypoallergenic Labradoodle with minimal shedding, then you’ll need one from a 3rd generation litter. Meaning both parents, and both grandparents, must also be non-shedding and hypoallergenic. This is done through careful breeding. You will need to locate breeders in your area and do some research.*
So, why go through all the trouble? Labradoodles are amazing dogs! You get the intelligence and trainability of the Poodle, but the lovable and playful temperament of a Labrador.
Their energy and enthusiasm knows no bounds, and they’ll often want to be the center of attention. You are their entire world, so its their job to keep you laughing and playing. With their brilliant mind and eagerness to please, Labradoodles are fairly easy to train (once they’ve calmed down).
38. Portuguese Water Dog
It’s all in the name – these dogs were literally born for Water.
Originally bred in Portugal and trained to herd fish, retrieve lost gear and fishing nets, and even swim from boat-to-boat to deliver messages.
These are loyal companions with a mission, and they still have that sharp focus today.
They are athletic, intelligent, friendly, and clever. Porties are wonderful companions that love people and other pets, but more than anything they love being in the water.
Because this is a working breed they have an absolute ton of energy, and require strenuous daily activity, or else they may become bored and destructive.
There is still no hard evidence that this dog is completely hypoallergenic or shed-free, and it seems to vary between different litters. So be sure to check if you have an allergic reaction before adopting.
One of the oldest breeds known to man, the Saluki is believed to have existed over 6,000 years ago.
These dogs are depicted in ancient scriptures, pottery, and even Egyptian tombs. Their beautiful and exotic looking features attest to their ancient history.
The Saluki are shy and content to just be in your presence, but not keen on showing too much affection. They often need time to warm up to you.
They are calm and gentle, and prefer a comfortable lifestyle that includes warm blankets.
Although they are very intelligent, training just isn’t on their agenda.
40. Standard Poodle
Elegant, athletic, hardy, and clever. These are a few of the Standard Poodle’s best qualities.
And, you’ve probably already heard, they are at the top of their class with incredible intelligence.
Training a Poodle is an absolute joy, they are receptive and keen to please their owners, which is why they excel at agility and obedience courses.
Despite looking a little “dainty”, these are hearty animals that love a little rough play and long runs.
With their intelligence and energy combined, they can become bored and resort to finding trouble as an outlet. So, a daily routine of exercise and mental stimulation is what will keep your Poodle out of trouble.
I’m sure you’ve seen the elaborate poodle hair cuts. But even if that’s not your thing, Poodles need extensive grooming to keep them healthy. Expect to visit a professional groomer at least every 4 to 6 weeks, along with daily brushing (see our recommended poodle brushes.)
About Non Shedding Dogs
They All Shed!
You heard that right: there is no such thing as a dog that does not shed.
But, some breeds shed a lot less, to the point where they appear to not shed at all. That’s what we have listed here.
You’re not completely off the hook though. Even non shedding breeds require regular maintenance. Just like human hair, your dog needs to be brushed, bathed, and have routine haircuts.
We also recommend you check out these 4 Common Myths about Non Shedding Dogs.
Dealing with Allergies
When we think of allergies with pets, we naturally assume it’s the hair causing it. But in fact, it’s pet dander.
Dander is dead skin particles that naturally flake off and become airborne. Some dogs produce minimal dander, and we call those hypoallergenic breeds.
No dog is 100% hypoallergenic, as they will always produce some level of pet dander. However, most allergy sufferers will be able to tolerate a dog with minimal dander much better.
Dander can be significantly reduced by regular bathing. Even hypoallergenic breeds can cause allergic reactions if they are not bathed and groomed regularly, due to the buildup of allergen-related proteins on the skin.
Important Note: Allergic reactions may be triggered by saliva or urine as well.
The Importance of Grooming
Just because you have a non shedding dog doesn’t mean you can ignore their coat. In fact, they require more brushing!
Think about your own hair. If you were to ignore brushing and bathing for a few months, how would it look? A little stinky? Full of painful tangles? It’s no different for your dog.
Regular brushing will help loosen up dirt and debris, allow natural oils to flow through their coat, and detangle painful mats.
A healthy coat that’s clean and free from mats will make grooming a breeze. Not to mention it will save you time and money with your groomer.
Speaking of which: expect to visit a professional groomer once every 4 to 8 weeks (it varies with different breeds). Or, you can learn to groom from home; in which case, you’ll need the best clippers for your dog.