10 Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed and Interesting Facts About Them

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11 min read
11 min read

Updated - Jan 5th, 2024

Whether you’re mildly allergic to dog hair or just like to keep your house clean, low-shedding dogs are the perfect fit for many homes. Thankfully, there are countless breeds to choose from, starting with adorable lap dogs and ending with brave and adventurous hunters.

Let’s focus on the most popular low-shedding and non-shedding dog breeds. We’ll discuss their origins, personalities, grooming needs, and more. After reading this, you’ll know which pups can potentially be the perfect fit for your lifestyle and won’t kickstart those dog allergies.

Key points
  • There are low-shedding dogs of all shapes and sizes — there is a wide variety of breeds that are considered low-shedding so families have plenty of options.
  • Curly dogs usually shed less — but these coats require more maintenance and attention in the long run.
  • There’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog — Not even hairless dogs are 100% hypoallergenic, but you can lower your chances of allergy flare-ups by choosing a low-shedding or non-shedding pup.

1. Poodle

Photograph of a poodle with an illustrated bandana and key facts about poodles

One of the most versatile and iconic breeds, Poodles come in three sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. These dogs have oodles of class — they’re known to carry themselves proudly. They have well-proportioned, elegant bodies with a curly, dense coat. 

It’s the poodle’s non-shedding coat that makes them popular hypoallergenic dogs. Poodles also make up many popular mixed-breed dogs such as Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Shepadoodles, and many more.

Poodles are hunting dogs, and their traditional fancy grooming styles were initially created to protect their joints as they walk knee-deep in water, retrieving small game.

Just like some other dogs with curly coats — we’ll talk about the Bichon Frise and the Maltese in a bit — they shed less simply because curly locks better retain dead hair. Their gorgeous coat can easily mat if not properly maintained. Regular grooming, including brushing and haircuts, is essential for poodles and other curly-haired dogs.

This is something to think about if you have a mild allergy. If you or your family members can’t groom a dog frequently, the Poodle may not be right for you. And, of course, any dog will produce at least a little dander, so it’s important to know that no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic.

Despite their majestic appearance and show dog reputation, Poodles are no couch potatoes. They love mental and physical challenges — these are working dogs who were also bred to be excellent swimmers.

Their personality matches their impressive exterior. Poodles are known to be loyal and protective of their pet parents. They’re alert, energetic, and highly trainable.

2. Xoloitzcuintli

Photograph of a xoloitzcuintli dog with key facts about them

If you want a truly eye-catching breed, consider the Xoloitzcuintli. This is a unique-looking breed known for its hairlessness, though a coated variety also exists. They have a distinctive head with a wrinkled brow, almond-shaped eyes, and large, bat-like ears.

If you think that there’s something mysterious and ancient about these dogs, you aren’t wrong. They’re one of the oldest and rarest dog breeds in the world, having originated over 3,000 years ago in ancient Mexico. They were considered sacred and were believed to be able to heal people. 

One would expect such a revered dog to be arrogant and stubborn, but that’s not true. Xolos are loyal, calm, and devoted to their humans, although they can be suspicious and overly cautious at times.

Because of their patient and affectionate temperament, Xolos are often used in therapy work. At the same time, they also do great in various dog sports because of how agile and lean they are.

The hairless Xolo is not as low maintenance as it may seem. They actually require more attention and care because of their exposed skin. They need regular baths and sunscreen or protective clothing to prevent sunburn. In cold weather, they should wear sweaters or coats to stay warm. 

Xolos won’t shed a lot of fur, though they can have some fuzz that will vary from dog to dog. In comparison, its smaller, fancier friend, the Chinese Crested Dog, is even less naked, with silky fur on its head and feet. The bare skin on their bodies and legs needs similar attention to the Xolo.

3. Bichon Frise

Photograph of a bichon frise dog with an illustrated collar with key facts about them

These toy-like, fluffy dogs can instantly steal anyone’s heart, but did you know that they are also among the least shedding breeds? Bichon Frises have a curly, dense coat that is unlikely to trigger dog allergies. But, like any other curly coat, it requires frequent grooming.

These dogs have a distinctive and charming appearance. They’re on the compact and sturdy side, but their rounded skull, beady eyes, and plume-like tails make them adorable. Their solid white coat gets so puffy that the dog resembles a tiny walking cloud.

Knowing all that, it’s not surprising that they were originally bred as companion dogs for European royalty. The name “Bichon Frise” translates to “curly small dog” in French, which perfectly describes their unique appearance.

Bichon Frises are a top pick for the best family dog that doesn’t shed — they crave being the center of everyone’s attention, and they’re excellent with kids. They are also alert and responsive, making them good watchdogs.

4. Maltese

Photograph of a maltese dog with key facts about them

Maltese pups look truly royal, and that’s because they are! You can find them depicted in old paintings and literature, surrounded by ancient royals and nobles. With a history that dates to pre-Biblical times, the Maltese is an elegant, charming family dog that doesn’t shed.

Known for their pure white, flowing, long coat that tends to reach floor length, these pups also feature a strong, balanced physique. However, Maltese dogs need regular brushing to maintain their silky coat and prevent matting. Their hair can get quite long, so it’s important to get professional trims regularly to keep their coats healthy and clean. This also ensures the fur around their eyes is well-managed and does not impact their eyesight.

Maltese have a black button nose and a plume-like tail that arches gracefully over their back. Their eyes are sweet and expressive, which makes discipline training challenging — you’ll have to resist the urge to constantly spoil your dog.

Although these dogs tend to rank low on intelligence tests, they compensate for that by being cheerful, cuddly, and loving.

5. Shih Tzu

Photograph of a shih tzu dog with key facts about them

It’s a lucky coincidence that many low-shedding dog breeds are among the cutest. The Shih Tzu is no exception. Due to their flat, pushed-in nose, the Shih Tzu boasts adorable facial expressions. Their body is sturdy, with a nicely rounded head and captivating eyes.

Although these dogs have a luxuriously flowing double coat, they don’t lose that much hair. Their coat often reaches the ground, which gives them an elegant look. However, that beautiful fur requires some serious maintenance to prevent it from turning into dirty mats and knots.

Shih Tzus’ originated in Tibet, and many years ago they were bred as popular companion dogs for Chinese royalty. Their name means “Little Lion” or “Lion Dog”, which is fitting given their magnificent manes.

With a lion’s appearance comes a lion’s temperament. Shih Tzus are usually courageous, active, and protective of their owners. They are unapologetic attention-seekers who strive to be everyone’s favorites.

Due to their flat faces, Shih Tzus may also be more susceptible to heat-related issues, so it’s important to keep them cool in hot weather. Additionally, this can make them messy eaters!

6. Schnauzer

Photograph of a schnauzer dog wearing yellow glasses and key facts about them

Schnauzers are hard to mistake for any other breed. These medium-sized dogs (which also come in the miniature or the giant schnauzer variants) are known for their rectangular-shaped head and prominent beards and eyebrows. 

Schnauzers have long, straight back, high-set ears, and a docked tail that stands erect. Their eyes are oval and they have dark and serious, intelligent faces. Their wiry, harsh double coat is almost always monochromatic in color: salt and pepper, black and silver, or solid black.

These dogs barely shed when maintained in a “stripped” show cut, but they will shed somewhat more if their coats are just clipped. Professional grooming is a must for retaining that unique Schnauzer look and low-shedding.

Schnauzers are a German breed originally bred for ratting, herding, and guarding. As farm and military dogs, they’re loyal and protective, always ready to warn their humans about an approaching stranger. At the same time, they’re gentle and sweet around children.

They are known for their independent streak, and while they can be obedient, they may have a mind of their own at times. It’s important to keep them occupied, both physically and mentally. Schnauzers have an impressive work ethic and skill in agility — you’re likely to see them scoring high at dock jumping, agility courses, and other dog sports.

7. Scottish Terrier

Photograph of a scottish terrier dog wearing a red bowtie alongside key facts about them

Scottish Terriers may look hairy, but they’re considered light to moderate shedders. Just like Schnauzers, they have that distinct intelligent, determined look, reinforced by their bushy eyebrows, sturdy body, and a strong, straight back.

Scotties have a wiry, dense coat that comes in various colors. The coat gives them a rugged and dignified appearance — these dogs always look mature and attentive. Because of its length and structure, the coat needs regular grooming and professional care.

Scottish Terriers are one of the oldest terrier breeds. They were originally bred to hunt rats and other pests on farms, hence their down-to-earth build. Scotties have a strong, independent spirit and are admired for their dignified, almost regal demeanor.

These dogs tend to be fearless, loyal, and a bit stubborn. They are cold with strangers but are deeply loyal and affectionate with their families. Scotties have a strong prey drive and can be great watchdogs.

8. Yorkshire Terrier

Photograph of a yorkshire terrier dog wearing a necklace and pink hair bow alongside key facts about them

Yorkies are known as ideal “purse dogs,” but they’re so much more than that. These dogs are tiny but classy, boasting a long, silky, shiny coat that is pleasant to the touch. Their curious, charismatic gaze is also hard to resist.

The breed doesn’t shed much, but you’ll want to splurge on regular professional grooming to keep your Yorkie looking magnificent. Regular brushing at home is also a must.

Yorkies have a fascinating history that includes a background as rat hunters in textile mills in England. They were originally larger than the modern Yorkie we know today. Over time, breeders selectively reduced their size, resulting in the tiny Yorkshire Terrier we see now. 

Despite their small size, Yorkies are known for their spunky and confident personalities. They have big hearts and are capable of forming strong bonds with their owners. Because of how loyal and protective they are, they can be good watchdogs. And when it comes to their stubbornness, a bit of training goes a long way.

Fun terrier fact: The American Kennel Club recognizes more than 30 terrier breeds, including well-known breeds like the Boston Terrier and Jack Russell Terrier to lesser-known breeds like the Bedlington Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Cairn Terrier, and Kerry Blue Terrier. The more the terrier, we think!

9. Basenji

Photograph of a basenji dog wearing a patterned bandana alongside key facts about them

This hunting breed has its roots in Africa. Basenjis were originally bred to hunt small game in dense forests. These dogs are known for their unique yodel-like vocalizations, athletic appearance, and distinctive head with a furrowed brow.

Basenjis have a short, fine coat that requires minimal grooming and sheds very little. Interestingly enough, Basenjis are meticulous self-groomers and often lick their fur to keep it clean. This also results in a less expressed doggy odor. 

Basenjis look very alert, and they usually are. Their prey drive is quite strong, but they instantly soften around their favorite humans, not shying away from expressing love and trust.

Basenjis are high-energy, agile, and athletic. They excel in activities like agility and lure coursing. These dogs are quick learners but independent thinkers. It’s worth it for Basenji parents to invest time in dog training and stay patient but persistent.

10. Portuguese Water Dog

Photograph of a portuguese water dog wearing a patterned bucket hat alongside key facts about them

Portuguese Water Dogs may look overwhelmingly fluffy, but they are minimal shedders. Most of the hair they do release gets caught up in their waves or curls. Their grooming needs are quite high — regular brushing and professional grooming are needed to keep their locks under control.

This breed has a broad head with expressive eyes and ears hanging close to their head. Their tails are strong and they are great swimmers due to their webbed feet. PWDs have a rich history as working dogs for Portuguese fishermen. They were originally bred for herding fish into nets, retrieving lost fishing equipment, and even transporting messages.

Portuguese Water Dogs are friendly, intelligent, and energetic, but they also don’t mind cuddling with their pet parents. Ensuring your Portuguese Water Dog gets enough physical activity, such as obedience and agility training, dock diving, and water trials will provide them exactly what they need to thrive. Consistent training is essential as PWDs tend to be opinionated and stubborn at times.

Wrapping Up: Are There Any 100% Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds?

While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, it’s possible to find a light shedder so your house stays clean and your nose and eyes stay dry. If your allergy is manageable, it shouldn’t get in the way of your dream of getting a dog. 

To make grooming a little easier on any dog allergies, it’s a great idea to have someone without a pet allergy brush your pet outside the home to remove dead hair. Alternatively, you can perform those tasks while wearing a face mask and gloves (and make sure to shower after). 

Learn more about popular dog breeds with our dog breed directory, so that when you’re ready, you can choose your new best friend with confidence!

Pumpkin Team

Pumpkin Team

Passionate Pet Experts & Parents
We are a team of writers, designers & product developers who all double as passionate (ok, obsessive) nerds of the pet world.
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