Can it be true? Is there actually such a thing as dogs that don't shed and are hypoallergenic?
The answer is yes (mostly). You absolutely can live in a fur-free house and not suffer from allergies. In fact, there are 40 different breeds of hypoallergenic dogs 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, and then cover some very important facts about allergies, grooming, and common myths.
Small Dog Breeds
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.
Digging and barking are other favorite hobbies, and ones that take training and patience to subdue. By keeping your Silky active with walks and play, they will choose naps over digging up the backyard.
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.
Like most Terriers, have a high prey drive, and can be noisy, as well as having a seemingly endless amount of energy. They are best suited for singles or families with older children.
Similar to their Terrier cousins, the Affenpinscher was 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. Guard duty is their top priority, so barking and chasing every little critter are common for these breeds.
But despite a few bad habits, the Affenpinscher is keen to please their owners and quite receptive to training. Combined with their intelligence and energy: they excel at learning, and sometimes get a little mischievous. Affenpinschers have big hearts for their owners but don't do well with small children as their patience may wear thin.
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 list of needs that must be met.
These are working dogs with a high amount of energy, which means they'll need a very high amount of running and stimulation every day. They function best with lots of running, play time, and being given a "job".
Being independent and free thinking, training doesn't sit well with a Basenji. They understand what the commands are, but may choose not to follow them anyway. They may also let curiosity get the better of them, going through your belongings and destroying things for fun.
Since hunting is part of their genes, you can expect their prey drive to be on overdrive. They cannot be trusted off leash, and any little critter they spot will be reason to scream and give chase. For this reason, they do not get along well with other small dogs, cats, or any other pet.
Speaking of screaming, these Bassenji doesn't bark, but they do sing and yell. Since barking isn't on the list of options, they'll result to yodels, "wooing", and crying, which means they can be quite noisy.
As you may have noticed, these are unique dogs that require an owner who is up for a challenge, but who will be rewarded with a strong, loving bond.
4. Bedlington Terrior
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, or else they'll resort to chewing, barking, and digging.
Bedlingtons are intelligent, but somewhat stubborn with training. They may understand your commands, but choose not to follow them anyway. Positive and consistent training is the key to winning this dog’s obedience, and the earlier you begin the better.
Their lamb-like coat needs a little maintenance as well. Be sure to brush a few times a week to avoid painful mats, and expect to visit your groomer once every 4 to 6 weeks.
5. Bichon Frise
Cheerful, loving, and a little trouble maker, the Bichon Frise has plenty of personality to share with everyone around her. They share a lot of characteristics of a toy poodle, with their soft frizzy coat and toy face. 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. They are very intelligent and learn quickly, so they make great apartment pets. Potty training is one area they don't agree with, so crate training will make things much easier for both of you.
With all that love they have to share, and because they want to please their owners, they are especially sensitive to scolding. They need gentle training and a positive environment to really flourish.
Bichons are non-shedding, but they still need to visit a professional dog groomer regularly, and require daily brushing or else they'll develop painful mats.
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.
The Bolognese is a patient breed, and it makes them wonderful with the family, kids, and other well-mannered dogs. With their peaked intelligence, they are attentive and quick to learn, making training a breeze.
Brushing their coat will be a daily activity, and you can expect to visit the groomer once every 4 to 6 weeks to upkeep their health and happiness.
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. With their instinctual prey drive, you can expect squirrels, birds, and rabbits will peak their interest and cause them to pull on the leash with everything they've got. And with all that pre-wired hunting energy, they need a very active daily lifestyle. Did I mention digging is one of their favorite pastimes?
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. They are quite receptive to training, however, and can excel at agility and obedience.
The Border Terrier is extremely intelligent, but can also be the class-clown, making you smile with its silly antics. These dogs have big hearts and love being the center of attention with family and friends. And although they take a great deal of work, they reward their owners with endless love and affection.
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.
While quite active and alert, they are (thankfully) not known to be excessively noisy or yappy.
Their small size (4 to 8 pounds) makes them somewhat fragile, so they may not be well suited for young children.
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.
They've got plenty of spunk, and will use that energy to race around your apartment, burning off all that excess energy. With all that energy comes noise, and barking is at the top of their list of things to do. Daily activity and stimulation will help subdue some of their less desirable hobbies, along with some positive training.
The Brussels Griffon can be a challenging dog, but will reward you with endless love and attention for your efforts. Training and patience is an absolute must, or else they may decide who makes the rules around the house.
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.
But with all that intelligence, they can be stubborn too, and training them out of bad habits is difficult. Like most Terriers, they have a high prey drive and love to dig. They'll chase down and bark at any little critter they come across. So the earlier you begin training, the better.
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.
Despite how little hair they have, they can still shed and cause allergic reactions. Also be aware that they'll need to visit the groomer from time to time for a quick trim when their hair gets too long.
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. Whatever the situation, this dog is just content with being in your presence. They'll love your family and friends too, and they always like to make a good impression.
Their coat is surprisingly easy to care for, and a little brushing goes a long way. Still, you'll need to visit a groomer occasionally for haircuts and nail trims.
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. Their rear legs extend further than their front legs, while their back and spine have a natural curve. Combined these characteristics create an unusual looking dog.
These unique characters are fun loving, intelligent, and gentle, but can be extremely challenging when it comes to training. Their confidence combined with intellect usually results in them understanding your commands, but getting bored and choosing not to follow them.
While typically very calm, they do have a strong prey drive, and you may find your Dandie wanting to chase every bird or squirrel they come across.
Their body structure indicates these dogs were not built for long distance adventures, and much prefer shorter walks (but are always up for some fun playtime).
With the biggest heart of all: the Havanese has only one thing on its mind, and that's you. If you're looking for a love-stricken lap dog, then look no further. These dogs will be glued to your side. 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.
Frequent brushing and combing are required to keep your Havanese free from painful mats, and you can expect to visit the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks. Teddy bear cuts from your groomer keep this dog looking like a puppy its entire life.
15. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is descended from royalty (no, really), and they are still very aware of their status. They were once used to guard palaces in Tibet, but have since retired from their royal guard duty to settle down into family life. 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.
This is a strong-headed breed, and it takes consistent training from a strong leader for the Lhasa to take heed. Because of their protective nature, they absolutely must have early socialization.
With that long beautiful coat, they expect to be treated like royalty. They must be brushed daily, keeping them clear of any mats. Expect to visit a dog groomer once every 4 to 6 weeks to keep their hair maintained and comfortable.
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. They also become protective of their owners, which makes them suspicious of strangers and outsiders.
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.
Despite their long beautiful coat, these dogs have minimal shedding. But beauty comes at a price, and that white elegant hair needs upkeep and maintenance. You'll be brushing your Maltese out daily, ensuring there are no mats or tangles, and visiting the groomer regularly for upkeep and health.
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. Daily exercise is crucial for the Schnauzer, or they may take their boredom out by being destructive.
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.
They need to be groomed every 6 to 8 weeks to trim that wiry hair and keep them looking great. Their bangs tend to grow quickly and cover their eyes, making running (and seeing) difficult, so regular visits to the groomer will keep your Schnauzer very happy.
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. With those short little legs, you can't expect them to jog, but they certainly enjoy a leisurely walk.
That beautiful long coat requires daily maintenance as well, and you can expect to brush them everyday, along with visits to the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks.
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.
These pups want to be part of your daily routine, and they'll follow you like a curious shadow. 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.
Their soft, fluffy coat needs to be brushed daily, and you can expect to visit a professional groomer to regularly to keep their coat trimmed and healthy.
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.
At a young age, they are full of energy with plenty of "talking" to do, and sometimes they go look for trouble by digging and running. They need an assertive leader to set the rules, or they may take the role upon themselves, which can lead to aggressive behavior. They tend to grow calmer as they mature, but still need ways to stimulate their body and mind.
While these dogs have minimal shedding, you'll be visiting your groomer at least once every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain all that fluffy hair growth. 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 from home with the right tools.
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. They are excitable and playful and love your attention more than anything else.
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. Therefore, positive patience is what you'll need so you can learn and grow together.
The Westie has a high prey drive; squirrels, rabbits, or any other creature will cause her to pull on her leash with everything she has. And she may decide to bark when she wants attention.
Their coat needs to be brushed at least three times a week, and they'll need to visit a professional groomer once every few months to slip their hair and trim their nails
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. Birds, squirrels, and other critters will peak their interest, which is usually followed by chasing and barking.
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 dogs can have an unkind manner with strangers, other pets, and sometimes other family members.
These are lovable little lap-dogs that love to play and explore, and are perfect for singles. Because of their tendency to be aggressive, Yorkies are not recommended for families with small children.
Medium Sized Dog Breeds
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. At first sight they're ready to be your new best friend, or anyone else they meet for that matter.
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.
Like all Terriers, the last thing you want is a bored Terrier, or they'll keep themselves occupied with chewing, digging, or barking. They require daily strenuous exercise, or a "job" they can use to stay occupied.
Irish Terriers have a brilliant mind, but that doesn't mean they listen well. They tend to be stubborn with training, and require patience and persistence.
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". Just like their relatives, a bored Terrier is a destructive Terrier, and they'll resort to barking, digging, and chewing if they have too much energy.
These dogs have thick coats that tend to mat easily, so daily brushing is absolutely required and regular visits to the groomer will be necessary.
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.
Lakeland Terriers, like most Terriers, can become bored and destructive if not given enough exercise or stimulation throughout the day. They also have a very high prey drive, so any little critter will cause them to bark and chase.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 medium-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. Daily exercise is crucial for the Schnauzer, or they may take their boredom out by being destructive.
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.
You'll always recognize a Schnauzer when you see one, with a grey 'wiry' coat and distinct mustache. That coat needs maintenance, however. Brushing at least 3 times a week will prevent painful mats from developing.
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 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.
2,000 years later, the Tibetan Terrier never lost its sense of companionship and loyalty. Family is just in their nature, and they are kind and gentle with all their loved ones, although they may be a little shy towards strangers.
These dogs still have a working dog spirit, so they have a lot of energy to burn. Daily running or exercise will keep them happy and healthy, otherwise they might get bored and resort to chewing or excessive barking.
Their thick shaggy coat needs a lot of attention, and you must brush them out everyday to keep them clear of mats and loosen up debris. You can expect to visit a groomer at least once a month.
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. But getting into a routine of exercise and other activities will help curb bad habits (by keeping them too tired or occupied to misbehave).
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.
Their shaggy coat needs a lot of attention as well, so daily brushing and routine grooming are necessary. You can expect to visit a groomer every 4 to 6 weeks with a Wheaten.
Large Dog Breeds
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 them to give chase or hunt small critters or even other neighborhood pets. 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, they 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.
Like all Terriers, they have a very high prey drive, so critters will cause them to bark and give chase. But the Airdale isn't fond of other dogs either, and they won't back down from a fight. Early socialization and training are essential to curb bad habits.
With their alert attitude and fierce loyalty to their owners, the Airdale Terrier makes an excellent watch dog. But with all that hard exterior, they have a true soft spot for their family, and love nothing more than to play and run with their family.
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.
With all that size comes a big thick coat, and you can be sure it requires a lot of brushing and grooming. You'll get to know your groomer well, or have good dog clippers handy. Being a true lover of the great outdoors, their coat gets matted and dirty every day.
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. There's nothing crazier than a bored Schnauzer, and they can find destructive ways to pass the time.
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. So, assertive but 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.
Daily exercise is absolutely required with the Spaniel, or else they may become destructive. If you really want to treat your Water Spaniel, then let them do what they were born to do, and go for a swim. Good luck trying to get them out of the water though.
Those beautiful thick curls won't maintain themselves, so daily brushing is required, and so are regular visits to the groomer.
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).
Their energy is off the charts, so daily strenuous exercise is an absolute must. These dogs thrive on routine, so setting a specific time everyday for walks will keep them calm for the other parts of the day.
The Labradoodle is a perfect fit for your family, and a great dog for novice owners.
That curly coat will need regular maintenance, so brushing and visiting your groomer regularly is an absolute must. Otherwise, the curls will tighten and create painful mats against your dog's skin, causing severe pain and bruising.
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. By adopting a Portie you sign an unwritten contract that you'll treat them to a lake, river, or pool from time to time so this dog can do what it was born to do. In return they show an endless amount of love and obedience.
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. They are very keen to please their owners, and are fairly easy to train, however they need an outlet for energy first.
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 see 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. They are smart enough to understand your commands and just as quick to ignore them. But with patience and a lot of positive training, you may come to meet in the middle somewhere.
While they may seem delicate and calm, they are the Olympic runners in the dog world and can reach speeds of up to 42 miles per hour. They also have an extremely keen prey drive, so any critter or movement that catches their attention will receive their full chase speed. Which means it's easy to lose them off-leash.
And this presents a problem: the Saluki needs to run, but let them roam free and you may never catch them again. The ideal place to run them is in a large enclosed area, running or biking on-leash, or participating in agility courses.
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
All Breeds Shed
You heard that right: there is no such thing as dogs that don't 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.
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 right tools for the job.
Facts and Myths
Being a professional dog groomer and vet assistant for many years, I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions about dogs that don't shed and the importance of grooming.
"If I shave my dog, then I won't get an allergic reaction."
You don't have allergic reactions to hair, but to pet dander. These are particles of dead skin that naturally shed all year long and are the primary cause of your reaction. In fact, shaving your dog makes it worse! You expose the skin further, allowing more dander to spread.
"I'll get a non-shedding dog, because they're maintenance free"
Even though you won't have to vacuum as much, these dogs require special attention. Regular brushing and bathing are essential. Not to mention that, without brushing, mats can tighten up on the surface of their skin and cause severe pain.
"I don't have to brush my dog if they visit the groomer"
I hear this one all the time, but the reality is that not brushing your dog for several weeks can lead to serious health concerns. Mats will continue to get tighter and tighter, pulling on the skin, which can lead to bruising and even permanent hair loss!
"My dog is a Poodle-Mix or Labradoodle, so they're hypoallergenic"
Not all poodle mixes (including Labradoodles) are hypoallergenic. It all hinges on your dog’s genetics. If you're lucky, your dog may have hypoallergenic traits passed on from their poodle parent. However, it's a roll of the dice.
If you want an (almost) guaranteed hypoallergenic poodle mix, then you'll need one from a 3rd generation litter. Meaning both parents, and both grandparents, must also be non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
Tell Me About Your Experience
Our hope is that this list is a lot like playing matchmaker, and you find the perfect match for you. As always, there are exceptions to all breeds. Just because we said Poodles are low on the noise-scale, you might find yours has a lot of talking to do. Think of these as general guidelines, and when you go visit your new dog, you can make your own distinction. Take a look at some low maintenance dogs if you're looking for a breed that's easier to deal with.
So, what has your experience been? Does your dog fit into our guide, or is he the exception? Leave a comment or shoot me an email! I always love your feedback.
Katlin is a 7-year certified advanced professional groomer, a registered veterinarian tech assistant (working in emergency, exotics, and general practice), and even owns her own popular collar and leash brand. You might say she's multi-talented when it comes to pets.