What Kinds of Dogs Shed the Least?
Those breeds of dogs who don’t shed much tend to have tightly curled hair or no hair at all.
Less shedding means less cleanup, but it doesn’t less grooming — not by a long shot. In fact, many of the breeds that shed lightly require regular sessions with the groomer to keep from becoming tangled and matted.
The Hypoallergenic Myth
If you’re looking not just for a canine that sheds lightly but for one that doesn’t compromise human allergies, know that there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog — all dogs have allergens in their saliva, dander and urine. But some people with allergies do better with light shedders.
If you or someone in your household are allergic to dogs but still want a canine in the home, consider immunotherapy shots given by an allergist. You can also restrict your dog to certain rooms in the house — never in the bedroom — and bathe the animal frequently.
If you opt for a hairless dog, you don’t have to worry about shedding, but these canines have special skin care needs. Two of the best-known hairless breeds are the Xoloitzcuintli — colloquially known as the “Mexican hairless” and the Chinese crested.
There are also lightly haired versions of both breeds. The Chinese crested sports hair only on the top of the head, the tail and the legs. This breed matures between 11 and 13 inches high at the shoulders. The Mexican hairless appears in toy, miniature and standard varieties.
Toys mature between 10 and 14 inches tall, while miniatures are over 14 inches but up to 18 inches in height. Standard Xoloitzcuintli mature at greater than 18 inches and up to 23 inches tall.
Whether you want a small, medium or large dog, you can find a light shedder in the poodle breeds. Toy poodles mature at 10 inches tall or less at the shoulder, while miniature poodles mature at more than 10 inches but less than 15 inches.
A poodle standing over 15 inches tall is the standard variety. Poodles appear in a variety of colors, including black, white, silver, brown and apricot. Although their tight curls don’t shed, they grow like crazy, so the dog requires regular trips to the groomer.
Small dog breeds that shed little include the white bichon frise, a sweet companion canine. Bichons mature between 9.5 and 11.5 inches high at the shoulder. The breed standard states that their curly coat should feel like velvet.
Another lightly shedding small dog is the Lhasa apso, who matures between 10 and 11 inches tall. Although this independent little dog barely sheds, his coat does require daily brushing.
Is that a lamb or a dog? That’s the question people might have if you’re walking a Bedlington terrier. This soft-coated light shedder measures 16.5 inches tall at the shoulder. Acceptable colors include tan, blue, liver and sandy, or a combination of these shades.
Another possibility is the Glen of Imaal terrier, who matures between 12.5 and 14 inches tall. His harsh coat sheds little. These terriers appear in shades of blue, wheaten or brindle, the latter consisting of a solid base coat with darker striping.
Large breeds that shed lightly include the brown Irish water spaniel, whose hair resembles that of the poodle, and the Portuguese water dog. Both make good family dogs. The former is the largest of the spaniels; as his name suggests, this dog loves the water.
The Irish water spaniel matures between 21 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder, with males larger than females. The Portuguese water dog, whose breed standard allows coat colors of black, white, brown and combinations of those shades, matures between 17 and 23 inches. Again, males are larger than females.