Just because you love dogs doesn’t mean you love having their fur all over your house. After all, who wants to sit on a couch that’s more hair than cushion? Or be forced to run their vacuum on a daily (okay, weekly) basis? And if you have allergies, a dog that sheds a lot can leave you sneezing, wheezing, or even covered with a nasty rash — not fun.
In contrast, while not all low-shedding dogs (there’s no such thing as a dog who doesn’t shed at all) are hypoallergenic, they can help to keep you from pulling your hair out — even if you like things spic and span or suffer from canine allergies.
So what are the dog breeds that shed the least for the anti-shedders out there?
- Italian greyhound
Let’s start with a breed that’s as low-maintenance as they come. This sleek, short-haired pup barely sheds and needs absolutely no grooming. In fact, your biggest worry will probably be keeping them in sweaters to make sure they’re warm during colder weather.
- Yorkshire terrier
This adorable little guy may have a coat that just keeps on growing (which necessitates frequent grooming), but it only sheds a small amount.
German for “little lion,” Löwchen have long, bushy coats reminiscent of a lion’s mane. Because of this, you might be surprised to learn that they’re actually considered a hypoallergenic breed and barely shed.
- Brussels griffon
Rough coat Brussels griffons are champion low-shedders because they only lose their hair during grooming. Plus, how can you resist their adorably mashed-in faces? Answer: You can’t.
Most people who see a Komondor would probably scoff in disbelief at this breed being a low-shedder. After all, they have some of the longest, thickest coats of any dog, with hair that curls and turns into “tassels” or “cords.” But though it was designed to keep them safe from wolf bites, this unique coat also has the side effect of barely ever shedding.
- Portuguese water dog
Only somewhat hypoallergenic, Portuguese water dogs still shed, but only a tiny amount. They do, however, have a coat that requires regular grooming, because if not managed, it will never stop growing.
- Bichon Frise
With these cute little pups, you won’t have to worry about dead hair and — more importantly — dander polluting your house. But there’s a tradeoff. The reason that hair and dander stays away is because Bichons Frises need to be groomed on a very regular basis to keep their long coats manageable.
That’s right: the poodle. Known for their curly hair that can be sculpted in all kinds of ways, poodles naturally have low allergenic qualities and have even been used to breed many of the most popular hypoallergenic dogs that exist today. Why? Largely it’s due to their single-layer coat that resists shedding.
- Chinese crested
The hairless variety of this breed is regularly touted as the most hypoallergenic pooch out there… and also regularly wins “ugliest dog” contests. But even the coated variety of Chinese crested is a good option for those who don’t want to have to deal with shedding — as long as you’re willing to engage in regular grooming.
Commonly known as the Mexican hairless dog, this breed actually does have a coated variety. No matter which one you opt for, though, you’ll experience minimal shedding and almost no grooming — the coated versions barely even have to be bathed! The hardest job you’ll have with them is trying to pronounce the breed name. Say it with me, “So-low-eets-ku-EENT-lay.” Or, as they do in Mexico, you can just shorten it to xolo.
So there you have it: ten low-shedding breeds that will allow you to enjoy the unabashed joy of living with a dog — without turning your house into one big hairball. Just remember that while low-shedding is a good starting point for allergy-sufferers, it does not necessarily equate to that breed being hypoallergenic. If you’re unsure, talk to a vet in your area.