10 of the Most Popular Short-Haired Dog Breeds

Written by Drew Wood
Published: August 17, 2023
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Short-haired dog breeds are popular with many owners because they are often low-maintenance and easier on allergies. However, this isn’t always the case. Some short-haired breeds shed all over your house, and there’s a debate over whether any dog is truly hypoallergenic. Nonetheless, the sheer fact that you don’t have to work tangles and mats out of their fur is worth considering adoption! Below are our picks of the most popular short-haired dog breeds.

Portrait of White Royal Poodle Dog with Hairstyle Looking at side Isolated on Black Background, Profile view

Wouldn’t you rather have a short-haired dog than this grooming nightmare?


1. Dalmatian

Dalmatians are white with black spots. They’re often associated with fire stations because, in the days when horses pulled fire engines, dalmatians walked beside them to offer calming, emotional support. Despite having short fur, these guys shed a lot. They don’t need washing often unless they roll in something stinky, but they do need a weekly brushing to remove loose fur. They require a lot of exercise as well. Prospective owners often choose them because of their appearance. However, make sure you are familiar with this breed’s needs and can commit to your new spotted friend.

Two dalmations and a horse with two little girls

Dalmations have a calming influence on horses. Judging from this picture, their spots are catching as well!

©Julia Shepeleva/Shutterstock.com

2. Miniature Pinscher

The miniature pinscher is related to the Doberman, but you might be surprised to know that the “min pin” is actually the older of the two breeds. It’s a German toy breed known for its energy and playfulness. They’re also full of confidence and will readily challenge or play with larger dogs. They don’t shed very much and can live 12-16 years.

Miniature pinscher puppy

The only thing cuter than a miniature pinscher is a miniature pinscher puppy!

©Navapon Plodprong/Shutterstock.com

3. Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhounds are descended from regular greyhounds. One advantage they have is that they do not require as much exercise as typical greyhounds. They are graceful and gentle and have a friendly disposition to other dogs, children, and strangers. Dogs of this breed need bathing only once a month or so unless they wallow in a mud puddle. They do have dental problems, so it is important for owners to take seriously brushing their teeth.

Italian greyhound on green grass

Italian greyhounds were immensely popular among the European nobility.


4. Pug

The pug dates all the way back to 400 BC when they were treasured by Chinese emperors. With such a long history of domestication and development, they have become excellent companion animals. Their temperament is calm, and they have a lovey-dovey attitude toward their owners. They do shed a lot, especially in summer. They also have deep skin folds that can conceal dirt, parasites, or infection. It’s important to clean between their folds at least once a week. This breed does not do well in heat, so keep them cool and well-hydrated in the summer.

Portrait of one dog of pug breed with silver color coat and tongue out sitting on a picnic cover in park with green grass on sunny day in summer.

This is the beautiful face of a pug.


5. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are known for their black and white tuxedo-like coats. This has earned them the nickname of the “American Gentleman.” At times they live up to this dignified name, but they also have a reputation for being silly, funny, and playful. They get along very well with family members and pets. On the other hand, they can display separation anxiety if you leave them alone for too long. Boston terriers don’t shed much but benefit from a weekly brushing to remove any dead hair.

Two young Boston Terrier dogs, also called Boston Bulls, puppies, black with white markings, running side by side, carrying a stick together.

Why stop at one Boston terrier when you could have two?

©Katho Menden/Shutterstock.com

6. Weimaraner

Weimaraners have a silvery-gray coat and a quirky personality that makes them instantly recognizable. Skinny with long, awkward limbs, they can make a funny site draped over pillows or the arm of your couch. They’re very smart, good runners, and have a friendly disposition. They also need a lot of exercise. Because of their high activity level, owners should check their foot pads and nails for injuries from running.


The Weimaraner has to be one of the most photogenic of all dog breeds.

©Santos Roman/Shutterstock.com

7. Great Dane

Great Danes have been called “Gentle Giants” for their calm, gentle nature and truly enormous size. They stand at about 32 inches at the shoulder but up on its hind legs can reach up to 7 feet! They weigh up to about 200 pounds. Despite their size, Great Danes never quite seem to grasp they aren’t puppies. Affectionate and lazy, they’ll be persistent about trying to get up in your lap or share your bed. Surprisingly, they don’t need much exercise and will be satisfied with short walks. Unfortunately, they do have a tendency to develop hip problems that can make stairs difficult for them later in life. Their lifespan is rather short for dogs: only eight to 10 years. But they will fill those years with a lot of memories and a lot of fun.

Types of Service Dogs

Great Danes are notorious for trying to be lap dogs, no matter how gigantic they get.

©iStock.com/Jennifer Blount

8. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is a toy breed that originated in Mexico. It is the smallest dog breed recognized by many kennel clubs. It reaches only 6-9 inches tall and four to six pounds in weight. Chihuahuas are popular companion animals, especially for apartment dwellers or others with limited living space. This is often the stereotypical dog that rides around in a socialite’s purse. But in fact, these dogs do get quite tired on walks and can get cold, so riding in a purse is just fine with them. They are also noted for being aggressive toward other dogs, regardless of size, and strangers. This is a typical characteristic of smaller breeds and is one of their few means of self-defense.

Wolf, Dog, Shadow, Chihuahua - Dog, Anger

Chihuahuas have an attitude much larger than their size.

©iStock.com/Dmytro Lastovych

9. Dachshund

Dachshunds are well-known and popular for their appearance: an elongated spine and short, stubby legs. Unfortunately, this is also the source of their greatest medical problems, as they are susceptible to back issues. They come in two different sizes: standard or miniature, and three hair types: smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. In terms of temperament, they are alert, playful, and energetic. They also have a mind of their own and bark incessantly. Dachshunds are great with family members, including children, but need intentional training to help them stay calm with strangers. So overall, dachshunds are a mixed bag of quirky fun and specialized needs, but their owners wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dachshund dog. The brown girl is six months old. The dog stands against the background of blurred trees and alleys. She turned her head to the side. The photo is blurred

Dachshunds come in two sizes and three hair types, but they are all unspeakably adorable.

©Tymoshenko Olga/Shutterstock.com

10. Beagle

For many years, beagles have been the most popular hound dogs for American pet owners. They were developed primarily for rabbit hunting. As such, they were used to running in packs and barking loudly to alert their owners when prey was near. These behaviors are still evident when beagles are kept as house pets. They want to be with their human family (their pack) as much as possible and will get nervous and misbehave when left alone for a long time. They also bark a lot, and surprisingly loudly for their size. This is a difficult instinct to train them out of and must be kept in mind if you live in close proximity to neighbors. Nevertheless, with its soft ears, sniffing nose, and soulful eyes, a beagle will absolutely steal your heart.

beagle and owner

Beagles are deeply affectionate and will melt your heart with their soulful eyes.

©Nina Buday/Shutterstock.com

What’s the Best Dog?

Short-haired dog breeds are as varied as people themselves. It’s hard to pick 10 that are better than others. A good fit depends not just on the characteristics of the breed, but also on the person adopting. It’s easy to make a puppy-based decision impulsively and emotionally. But it’s best to research a lot of breeds before meeting any dogs in person. That way, once you hold a puppy in your arms, you can be sure it’s going home with you!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Warut Chinsai/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Drew Wood is a writer at A-Z Animals where his primary focus is on mammals, dinosaurs, and geography. Drew has worked in research and writing for over 20 years and holds a Doctorate in Religion, which he earned in 2009. A resident of Nebraska, Drew enjoys Brazilian jiu-jitsu, reading, and caring for his four dogs.

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