Wouldn’t it be nice to live in a fur-free home and not suffer from allergies?
When we think of allergies with pets we naturally assume it’s the hair causing it. But in fact, it’s pet dander.
The list below are dogs that produce the least amount of hair and dander. Use this hand guide to play matchmaker and find your new hypoallergenic friend.
Let’s get to the best dog breeds that don’t shed:
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 begin chewing or digging.
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
Just like the other Terriers on this list, the Bedlington Terrier is a hunting breed, primarily seeking rodents.
Although they wear lamb’s clothing, these dogs are bold and make excellent watch dogs. They are naturally protective and will keep an eye on your family.
Bedlingtons are full of energy and love being the centre of attention. They’re always lively and looking for their next adventure.
5. Bichon Frise
The Bichon is described as being cheerful, gentle, and a little mischievous. They have plenty of personality, but it’s all in good fun.
They certainly have no shortage of love and affection. Likewise, they have just as much energy to burn.
Since they become so attached to their owners they tend to bark and howl when left alone – even for a short time.
If you’re looking for fluffy dogs that don’t shed – you can’t go wrong with a Bichon.
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
Border Terriers like to work hard and play hard.
These dogs were originally bred to hunt and dig for foxes. As such, they tend to be very energetic and have a high prey drive. And they love to dig.
Training for home life can be challenging.
However, they are fiercely intelligent and loyal. Your Border Terrier will be most content when given and “job” to keep them engaged.
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.
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.
11. Chinese Crested
Looking for something a little different? The Chinese Crested 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 walks and exercise is completely off the table though. The Coton will need a short daily walk and play time.
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.
The Havanese easily tops our list for being the most lovable pet. They quickly become attached to their owner and become best friends for life.
That also presents some problems, as your Havanese will begin to bark and howl when left alone.
Training the Havanese can be a slow but necessary process. Otherwise they may develop bad habits such as barking or chewing.
15. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is descended from royalty and are 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.
The Maltese is a display of playfulness and elegance. While they love to have a little fun, they also like being treated like a prince or princess.
Similar to the Havanese, the Maltese tend to get overly attached to their owner. They may become overprotective and show aggression towards other family members.
The Maltese are an intelligent breed, but also impatient. Training can be somewhat challenging, but it’s necessary to curb bad behaviors.
17. Miniature Schnauzer
Schnauzers wear their heart on their sleeve. They are enthusiastic, energetic, and have incredibly big hearts.
They crave adventure and learning. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical for the Schnauzer, or they’ll become bored and stir crazy.
Schnauzers are natural comedians, their silly antics will always put a smile on your face.
If you can accommodate their energetic lifestyle – they make wonderful companions.
18. Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terriers are deeply affectionate, but live by their own set of rules.
They’re independent and strong-headed by nature. Training can be a significant challenge for novice owners.
Originally they were used for hunting and digging out badgers or foxes. As such, digging is a way of life for the Scottish Terrier, which presents another training challenge.
19. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzus are lovable, playful, and energetic companions that fit perfectly into family life.
Friendliness is in their genetics as the Shih Tzu were quite literally bred for companionship.
Their friendly demeanor makes them quite compatible for families with kids or other pets. In fact, other pets are recommended.
Shih Tzus flourish in pairs, and keep each other occupied when you can’t give them your full attention.
20. Toy Poodle
The Toy Poodle is a fiercely intelligent breed, consistently receiving top marks in training and obedience.
At a young age Toy Poodles are full of energy and can be a lot to handle, but as they mature they tend to calm down.
Daily physical and mental stimulation are essential to keep your poodle content and well behaved.
21. West Highland White Terrier
A sometimes overly confident trouble-maker, the Westie is a lovable handful but perfect for the right owners.
They have enough energy that they’ll need a little daily playtime and exercise. 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.
22. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkies are the star of their own show. They love to show off and be the centre of attention.
They’re usually buzzing with energy and have no shortage of playfulness.
They love companionship above all else, however they can take ownership of their loved ones and become aggressive towards others.
Medium Sized Non Shedding Dogs
Sometimes mistaken for a Labradoodle, the Barbet 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.
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.
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.
25. Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a strong-headed working breed, and were originally bred for herding and guarding.
Working and guarding are just in the Terrier traits, so this dog makes an excellent watch dog. But they’re 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.
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. Yet their true calling is the water.
This breed was originally used as a water retrieval dog dating back over 200 years ago. 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.
27. Lakeland Terrier
The Lakeland Terrier were originally bred to protect livestock and hunt foxes.
As a hunting dog, they’re quick and agile, and have intense bursts of energy to help them give chase.
This is a hard working and intelligent breed, but that can make training difficult as they are also strong-willed.
Despite some of the challenges, the Lakeland is a fiercely loyal and loving companion.
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.
29. Tibetan Terrier
Although it’s called a Terrier, they have no relation. They do, however originate from Tibet.
The Tibetan name for this dog is the Tsang Apso, which loosely translates to “shaggy dog”. A fitting name for their distinct coat.
These beautiful canines were bred for herding and working, and love the outdoors.
30. Wheaten Terrier
The Wheaten Terrier is always on the lookout for fun; they love to run and play at a moment’s notice.
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.
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
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 55 pounds and standing 24 inches tall.
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.
33. Bouvier Des Flandres
The Bouvier is a true athlete among dogs. They exhibit incredible athleticism for a dog weighing up to 100 pounds.
They use their powerful body and bark to defend the herd from intruders. The Bouvier is very much a working breed.
Of course, with that big stature comes confidence and a lion’s pride. Which means they can be especially strong-willed.
Owners will need to demonstrate assertive leadership in order to maintain who’s really in charge.
34. Giant Schnauzer
As you may have guessed, this is similar to a Miniature or Standard Schnauzer, but just 60 to 80 pounds heavier.
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 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.
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.
Instantly recognizable for it’s “dreads”, the Komondor looks more like a 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.
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.
Although not dog-friendly, they are great protectors of livestock and are most often found guarding farms.
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.
38. Portuguese Water Dog
It’s all in the name – these dogs were literally born for Water.
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.
40. Standard Poodle
People sometimes mistake the Poodle for being an elegant and indifferent breed. But this is dog that loves to run and play.
The Poodle is an incredible athlete and very receptive to training. Which is why the excel at obedience and agility.
Being so intelligent and and energetic, the Poodle needs a daily outlet or they’ll become bored and destructive.
Dealing with Allergies
When we think of hypoallergenic dogs and allergies, we naturally assume it’s the hair causing it. But in fact, it’s pet dander.
Dander is made up of 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.
Dogs that Shed the most
While this topic broadly covers minimal shedders, it’s worth recognizing what dog breeds shed the most.
As an allergy sufferer, it’s important to distinguish double-coated breeds from hypoallergenic breeds at a glance.
Double-coated dogs are the heavy shedders. You might recognize them for their thick coats:
- German Shepherds
- Labrador Retrievers
- Golden Retriever