Non-Shedding Dog Breeds


There are plenty of people who love dogs but who think they can't have one because they cause them to break into a rash and a fit of sneezing.

These reactions are caused by fine hairs that the animal has shed floating in the air and being breathed in to irritate sensitive nasal and other membranes.

And there are plenty of other, non allergic people who just get sick of cleaning up the constant supply of dog hair from indoor and outdoor furniture. Especially fur that seems to go out of its way to combine with cobwebs to create a major cleaning chore.

Both of these issues can be solved by choosing the right breed of dog in the first place. Here are some non-shedding dogs reviewed:


French Poodle

Poodle 400

Top of the list has to be the French Poodle. Coming in three convenient sizes, Standard, Miniature and Toy, this non-shedding dog with its tight, curly coat is loyal and intelligent.

In his book The Intelligence of Dogs, psychologist Stanley Coren rated the Poodle as the second most intelligent dog, ahead of the German Shepherd and behind only the freakishly smart Border Collie.

Behind the blue ribbons, impressive hairdos, and regal attitude, you’ll find an affectionate family dog with an ancient history and many talents. They are highly trainable and well suited for just about any task you put them to. And you will want to give them tasks to do. Bored Poodles can get destructive if they aren’t physically and mentally stimulated. But active owners who can meet the Poodle’s needs will find a loving, smart, trainable, and loyal family companion.

The Poodle's non-shedding coat is a dominant gene and is typically inherited by cross-breeds. Two in particular have become so popular that they are becoming new breed variations in their own right.

Poodle Variation #1: Labradoodle

Labradoodle Puppy

The Labradoodle is a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. Interestingly, the Poodle was originally bred as a water retriever itself and so the two breeds complement each other nicely.

There are organizations working to have the Labradoodle recognized as a breed. This would require a closed gene pool, eliminating some of the health advantages enjoyed by cross-breeding.

The Labradoodle is a lively and very friendly companion. They can be boisterous for the first 18 months of their life  and will benefit from early training.  Labradoodles are gentle dogs, good with children and enjoy being part of the family unit.

Poodle Variation #2: Groodle

Groodle Puppy

The Groodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever (sometimes described as a dog without a mean bone in its body) and a Poodle.

This can result in a highly intelligent dog (Poodles rate number 2 and Goldies number 4 in the smart dog stakes) with a lovely, engaging personality.

With a non-shedding coat!

The Groodle is a very intelligent dog with a gentle and affectionate nature. They are an active breed and need regular exercise. They respond well to obedience training and can become an excellent, well behaved family dog. Groodles generally have a low shedding coat that may be suitable for those with allergies and they usually require clipping and grooming.

The Groodle is ideally suited to people that want and expect a lot from their dog, being intelligent and responsive. They are great with kids of all ages and love a walk and a swim.

Groodles can come in several colors including white, gold, red or black.

West Highland White Terrier (Westie)

West Highland White Terrier

Did you ever watch the TV series Hamish Macbeth? Hamish was a tough, small-town cop in a Scottish village and his tough little dog was a Westie.

Among the most popular of small terriers, the Westie sheds very little. Originating in Northwestern Scotland as a working dog, this sturdy little dog with the coarse white coat is intelligent, loyal, happy, and highly entertaining.

They are curious little dogs with moderate energy levels and an independent streak common among Terrier breeds. Alert and active, Westies exhibit all the traits of a plucky and self-reliant ratting terrier: They require no pampering, they will chase after anything that moves, and their independence can make training a challenge.

But, thanks to their faithfulness and keen intelligence, Westies will train nicely with time and patience and make for a wonderful little family companion. These little dogs have sensitive ears, so some sunscreen is recommended if you plan on spending a lot of time in the sun!

Maltese Terrier

Maltese Terrier Puppy

The Maltese Terrier has hardly changed over the past couple of thousand years, so they must be doing something right! Their long, white coats shed very little, making them an ideal lap dog.

Maltese are playful, charming, and adaptable toy companions. The irresistible Maltese face with its big, dark eyes and black gumdrop nose can conquer even the hardest of hearts. With the family, the dog of Malta is playful, gentle and charming.

Sporting a thick coat of hair instead of fur, these little dogs don’t shed. Instead, they need occasional haircuts to keep their mops in check. Their white tufts are hypoallergenic, making them great for families with allergies. Their coats do require regular brushing to prevent mats from forming, and an occasional bath removes any unwanted dirt and debris from their long, silky hair.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

With a name that when sounded out in English sounds like a reference to a really bad Zoo, the Shih Tzu has overcome this obstacle to become a much loved breed in Western society.

The Shih Tzu has a long pedigree. It was the favored house pet of China’s Tang Dynasty and led luxurious lives in palaces, enjoying all the creature comforts a dog could want.

Their thick coats made them effective radiators and their owners would use the dogs to keep their beds warm. These “little lions dogs” come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are loyal and loving companions and are an ideal fit for anyone in need of affection, particularly older senior citizens. Their long, silky hair is low-shedding and looks exceptionally regal when brushed out, befitting their royal ancestry.

Shih Tzu were bred to be house pets, and their gentle, trusting nature makes them exceptional companions.

Keeping the Shih Tzu coat gorgeous is demanding. Daily brushing and combing is necessary to prevent tangles, as is frequent bathing (as often as once a week). In fact, many Shih Tzu lovers hire a professional groomer to clip those long locks short every month or so.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer Puppy

The Miniature Schnauzer is an intelligent, loving, happy dog. It is energetic, playful, gets along well with children and likes to be with its people. It is affectionate, keen, devoted and docile. and makes a good companion and family pet.

The Mini Schnauzer will not listen if it senses it is stronger minded than its owner so it needs to be impressed that you are the pack leader. I'll be writing a separate article covering that. Owners need to be calm but firm, possessing a natural air of authority.

Unlike some terriers, these dogs do not have a yappy bark, but rather they make sounds like a low, carried-out howl of a voice. Miniature Schnauzers make good watchdogs and vermin hunters. There were originally bred as ratters.

They are an easy dog to travel with but can be reserved with strangers. Make sure that your  dog gets enough mental and physical exercise to develop its natural chirpy, friendly personality.

With its wiry terrier coat, the Miniature Schnauzer sheds very little.

The Terrier Family

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

The Terrier group generally is full of small dog breeds that don’t shed or shed minimally.

They include:

  • Wire Fox Terrier
  • Dandie Dinmont Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Australian Terrier
  • Border Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Silky Terrier
  • Welsh Terrier

If you have allergies, I hope that this article has helped you understand that there are still many breeds that will allow you to enjoy the companionship and joy of owning a lifelong companion without any allergy problems.

Phil Lancaster