Small dogs are adorable and make wonderful companions. However, you may have second thoughts about getting a cuddly pet due to allergies or because you simply can’t handle the stress of regular vacuuming to get rid of dog hair. A typical dog releases dander (dog’s dandruff) into the air when shedding, and 10 to 20% of the world’s population is allergic to this dander. If you fall into this category, a hypoallergenic (low shedding) dog is a good option for you. This article can help you choose the best small breed that doesn’t shed.
Thought to be of German origin and less than a foot tall, this intelligent toy breed is also known as a monkey terrier. Fans of Star Wars movies find similarities between the appearance of this dog and the Wookies or Ewoks. Affenpinschers are low-maintenance due to their nearly odorless and dense, low-shedding coat. Aside from regular stripping (removing old fur to prevent shedding), your small canine requires a bi-weekly brushing with a slicker brush and comb to stay shiny and neat.
2. Chinese Crested
The Chinese crested dog is the ideal non-shedding small dog, with hair only on their heads, tails, and feet. However, this dog breed does have a coated variety. The hairless is the best option if you prefer a dog that won’t get fur on your furniture. Of course, you must be ready for other challenges of owning a hairless dog. With exposed skin, the hairless Chinese crested is prone to allergies, skin irritations, and sunburn. They’ll need regular skin treatment with lotion and sunscreen for protection. Additionally, this small dog must be kept warm when strolling outside.
The Basenji dog breed is also known as Africa‘s bark less dog. Instead of traditional barking, they make a yodeling noise or howl. This compact dog stands about 17 inches at the shoulder.
The peaceful Basenji sheds very little, and its short, fine brown and white coat needs very little maintenance. In fact, this dog breed is known for its fastidious nature. It grooms itself like a cat, which helps keep your home clean.
The Bolognese (Bichon Bolognese or Bolos) is a tiny dog breed with a silky white coat. These canines enjoy people almost as much as they enjoy playing. This dog is hypoallergenic and does not shed excessively, but the Bolognese is high-maintenance and requires grooming regularly to eliminate dead hair. However, on the plus side, this dog breed does not drool!
5. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is ideal for dog owners looking for a small, hypoallergenic dog that does not shed. This adorable fluffy dog is small but is just as strong and sturdy as other much-larger breeds. The most distinctive feature of this dog is its velvety white hypoallergenic coat. The Bichon Frise is a high-maintenance dog, and regular grooming is required to maintain their plush fur. However, with its two-layer coat, very little hair will fly around your home.
6. Miniature Poodle
If you love standard poodles, you may love the miniature version even more. Poodles of all sizes are known for their low-shedding coats. In fact, these intelligent pups are famously hypoallergenic. Poodle coats are double layered, so hair falls into the coat rather than out when they shed. Their hair is also dense, wavy, or curly and must be groomed regularly.
Their beautiful coats can be white, apricot, or black. Poodles were originally bred for hunting, which explains their athletic and muscly build. Miniature poodles stand about 10–15 inches tall at the shoulders and weigh up to 15 pounds on average.
7. Peruvian Inca Orchid
This breed’s most amazing feature is not only its slender yet graceful physique but also its minimal hair. However, it does have a ton of personality! Peruvian Inca Orchids have been around humans for years and were probably among the earliest domesticated dog breeds. It’s truly part of Peruvian cultural history and is a fine example of a non-shedding dog.
Having such a small amount of fur means this dog is as low maintenance as they come. You won’t have to worry about brushing the Peruvian Inca’s coat or any other complex grooming. Of course, you have to take extra caution to protect the dog’s exposed skin, especially when you’re heading outside. Regular baths and moisturizing are also recommended.
The Xoloitzcuintlif is also called the Mexican hairless. It is a rare and ancient dog breed that can be hairless or coated. They are known for their modest personalities, and you don’t have much to worry about in terms of grooming — especially for the hairless variety. Of course, you must put in some effort to protect their skin from the environment.
Even the mostly hairless version of the Xoloitzcuintli has some hair on their heads, while the coated version has hair that’s mostly short and flat. The Mexican hairless is a fantastic alternative for those looking for a small but active dog that does not shed.
9. Yorkshire Terrier
These spunky lap dogs are the seventh most popular dog breed in America. Many people refer to this breed as a big dog in a small body because it has such a great personality. Weighing no more than seven pounds in most cases, the Yorkshire is an adventurous troublemaker and a hearty companion.
The Yorkie has a long silky coat. With such long coats, one might think the Yorkshire terrier would shed a lot, but this assumption is wrong. The texture of the Yorkshire terrier’s coat is similar to human hair; they do not shed, and their silky coats look lovely when brushed daily.
10. Lagotto Romagnolo
This small cuddly dog resembles a teddy bear! Their bubbly attitude and friendly demeanor make them the perfect life companions. This Italian breed has wooly curls covering its entire body and cute facial features, including a full beard, whiskers, and eyebrows.
The Lagotto Romagnolo has a double coat and sheds very little. However, they do require some grooming to maintain their coat. If not consistently combed, their tight curls can easily become matted. They require a monthly bath as well as periodic brushing. Thankfully, this breed is lively, laid-back, and easy to train.
Honorable Mentions: Other Non-Shedding Small Dog Breeds
Beyond our 10-item list, there are other small dog breeds that would qualify as non-shedding, or whose shedding is very minimal. Here are a few additional qualifiers below:
Miniature schnauzers hardly shed at all, and in addition, are hypoallergenic. They do sport a double coat, which requires more grooming than some other breeds. The best grooming technique is hand-stripping every 4-6 months with weekly brushings. This breed is intelligent and friendly and averages a little over a foot in height and 11-20 lbs in weight.
As dogs with hair (as opposed to fur) are low shedders, the Havanese breed may be a good choice for your household. This affectionate, sociable, and intelligent breed has an adaptable nature. Averaging only 7-13 pounds in weight and 8.5-11.5 inches in height, it’s a great choice for a small non-shedding breed. Havanese are also hypoallergenic–a huge plus.
Coton de Tuléar
With a fluffy, cotton-like hair coat that hardly sheds and is hypoallergenic, the Coton de Tuléar is a small dog breed worth considering. It’s a great apartment dog, and blends well into a family setting, being playful, gentle, and affectionate. These small delights average 8-13 pounds heavy and 9-11 inches tall.
Dogs enhance our mood, lower our stress levels, and help us make social connections, in addition to providing companionship and joy. No dog breed is entirely non-shedding; the distinction is in how much shedding each dog does. Whether you have dander allergies or you simply don’t want your dog’s hair falling out in your space, the low-shedding dog breeds in this article are great options! Check them out to see if they’re the right fit for you.
Summary of 10 Small Dogs That Don’t Shed
Here’s a recap of potential small “best friends” that won’t shed if you bring them home:
|7||Peruvian Inca Orchid|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © John Dowling/Shutterstock.com
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- American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/small-dogs-that-dont-shed/
- My Ollie blog, Available here: https://blog.myollie.com/hypoallergenic-small-dogs/
- HillsPet.com, Available here: https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/behavior-appearance/small-dog-breeds-that-dont-shed