Lots of pet owners want a dog breed that doesn’t shed. In fact, many people make it one of their primary conditions when deciding which dog breed they would like. In addition to the pesky hairs that many breeds of dogs shed, the shedding process also releases dander and other allergens which some people have reactions to. Many people associate short coats with no shedding, which is not the case!
Unfortunately, the idea of a “hypoallergenic dog” is a bit of a falsehood. You see, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. All dogs have skin and skin cells and those shed skin cells (AKA dander) can cause allergic reaction when they fall off the dog. With that said, many dog breeds shed very little and produce much less allergens than other breeds which have heavier shedding.
In this piece, we will cover the shedding habits of various breeds of dogs, and only briefly discuss their temperament or training. If you need further help determining if a breed of dog is a good choice for you, our Ask The Trainer program will let you work directly with our Head Trainer to determine what breed is the best fit for your family.
American Hairless Terrier
Can’t shed if you’ve got no hair! This breed, as the name suggests, is certainly a non-shedding dog because it has no hair to shed. The American Hairless Terrier looks similar to other terrier breeds, such as the Jack Russell Terrier, just without the hair.
As a terrier, this breed also shows a predisposition for hunting and sporting activities. This means that they have somewhat high energy levels and need a decent amount of mental stimulation to keep them satisfied. Our Dog Savvy, Small Dog Training Made Easy course is tailored specifically towards small breeds and focuses on ensuring proper mental stimulation.
One final important consideration for this breed is where you live. Having no coat leaves this pup vulnerable to the elements. If you live in a cold climate, this might not be the best choice for you. Even with clothing on, exposed hairless tails, ears, and toes can be subject to frostbite after a period of time outdoors. Those of you in warmer climates should still be prepared to toss a sweater on this dog before going out once the temperature begins to fall in the wintertime.
This fashionable breed sports three different sizes, standard, miniature, and toy. Poodles have a curly coat that does not shed. However, that certainly doesn’t mean that their coat doesn’t require maintenance. Because they do not shed, a poodle’s coat grows constantly. This means that you must trim their hair to maintain their appearance.
Many poodle owners take great pride in their pup’s haircut. They enjoy using different styles and trims to make their pet stand out. Regardless of which cut you choose, you should either be very comfortable with a pair of trimmers or find yourself a good groomer to bring your dog to frequently.
Poodles of all sizes are notable for their intelligence. You must provide this dog with enough mental stimulation and critical thinking if you have any hope of a well-behaved pup. Bored poodles can certainly get themselves into trouble, and one common result of a bored dog is barking. If you need help with barking, take a look at our Ultimate Barking Solution.
Like the poodle, three different size varieties of Schnauzer exist today. You can find this breed in Giant, Standard, or Miniature size. These dogs also share similarities with poodles in that their coat’s constant growth. Just like the poodle, the Schnauzer’s coat grows at a continuous rate.
That’s about where the similarities between the two breeds end. Where poodles have tightly curled coats, Schnauzers have dense wiry hair that feels coarse to the touch. The breed is also quite active and energetic. They thrive in situations and environments where they can use their brain, problem-solve, and get a bit of exercise while they’re at it!
Though they are a non-shedding dog breed, Schnauzers do require regular brushing and trimming to maintain their coat and prevent tangles and mats.
The Maltese has a charismatic and larger-than-life attitude. You might recognize this breed for its long white coat, but did you know that the Maltese is also a non-shedding breed? They have soft, silky coats that shed infrequently.
However, as we’ve learned from our previous entries, any dog with hair needs maintenance and grooming. The Maltese especially fits that mold, particularly if you keep their hair long and luxurious. You need to trim their hair regularly and brush it daily to prevent tangles, knots, and mats.
We can’t discuss the Maltese without also discussing their rather entertaining temperament. This breed can be relatively stubborn and single-minded when they want to be! Though they respond well to training, they can certainly pose a challenge. As a dog trainer, the majority of “barking” clients are either Maltese or Chihuahua.
If you’re looking to prevent problem behaviors with your Maltese, or touch up on mild problem behaviors, our Dog Savvy, Small Dog Training Made Easy course is the best route for you. If you’re drowning in daily barking and on your last leg, choose the Ultimate Barking Solution Instead.
On Non-Shedding Dogs
As we discussed previously, there are pitfalls to any dog breed. No dog breed has entirely hypoallergenic traits. Even non-shedding breeds need regular grooming or even more grooming. This is, of course, with the exception of hairless breeds. Even then, hairless breeds still have their own pitfalls. Though you might not need to brush them, you still need to provide them with warm clothes to make up for their lack of a coat!
Regardless of the choice you make, ensure you choose a dog that is a good fit for your family. Understand the commitment you are making, and do your research on the breed first. Check the breed for any common health problems, grooming needs, disposition, and more before you make your decision.