Best non-shedding dogs: An in-depth guide

June 28, 2024 - 6 min read
A yorkshire terrier dog laying on a white bed

If you're an allergy sufferer or simply prefer a cleaner home, non-shedding dogs can be a game-changer.

OK, so technically, all dogs shed. But there are some breeds with hair instead of fur—like Poodles and Bichon Frisés—that shed almost nothing compared to your average furry breed. As a result, they're less likely to trigger allergies than a fluffy Husky or a shaggy German Shepherd. These dogs are commonly dubbed "non-shedding" or "hypoallergenic," even if those terms aren't a thousand percent accurate.

Let's delve into some breeds known to shed less, what to consider before you seek one out, and what you can try if your current pup is triggering allergies.

Factors to consider when choosing a non-shedding dog

Not all non-shedding dogs share the same temperament, size, or exercise needs. So when you're on the hunt for a hypoallergenic pup, you should think about more than just how little they shed or how cute they are (though those are both pretty important).

Size and living space requirements

Dog sitting in an apartment and looking at an aloe vera plant

When choosing the right dog for your living space, it's important to consider not just how little they shed but also their size and maintenance needs.

Small non-shedding dogs like Poodles (Toy and Miniature), Bichon Frisés, Maltese, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers are perfect for apartments and small houses. They require less space, exercise, and food, making them economical and easy to manage. However, they can be more fragile and sometimes more prone to barking, which is worth considering if you have kids or live in close quarters.

Medium non-shedding dogs such as Poodles (Miniature), Portuguese Water Dogs, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, and Basenjis offer a good balance between manageability and companionship. They need moderate exercise and space, fitting well in smaller homes while having enough size and stamina for active lifestyles.

Large non-shedding dogs like Poodles (Standard), Portuguese Water Dogs, and Giant Schnauzers provide excellent companionship and security. They're great exercise partners with calm, gentle temperaments. However, they require more space and exercise and come with higher food and care costs.

Temperament and family compatibility

Dachshund licking a child's face

Each breed, and every individual dog, has unique personality traits. Some dogs are great with kids and other pets, while others may prefer a quieter household. (More on those breeds below!)

When buying from a breeder, make sure they're reputable. This gives you a better chance of bringing home a well-tempered pup and minimizes the risk of hereditary health issues.

Grooming and maintenance needs

How often should you wash your dog

Non-shedding dogs may not leave fur all over your house, but they still need regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and mat-free. Be ready for consistent grooming sessions and haircuts.

Regular grooming also provides an opportunity to check for any skin issues or parasites, keeping your furry friend in top shape. If you're not keen on doing it yourself, professional grooming services are a great option. However, it's important to maintain grooming between sessions to prevent matting and make your groomer's job easier. A dog with a heavily matted coat is more likely to have their skin nicked during a professional grooming session.

Top non-shedding dog breeds

A note before we launch into our list of breeds:

You might have noticed that so far, we haven't referenced some ultra-popular mixed breeds that are rumored to be hypoallergenic—Doodles, for instance!

Here's the thing: When it comes to mixed breeds, especially when they're not purchased from a reputable breeder, "non-shedding" or "hypoallergenic" guarantees can get dicey.

Technically, dogs with hypoallergenic parent breeds, such as Poodles or Bichon Frisés, are more likely to inherit low-shedding, hypoallergenic coats.

But here's where it gets tricky: Mixed breeds can inherit any combination of traits from their parents. That means your Goldendoodle can lean quite a bit more "Golden" than "Poodle," and their coat can, too.

This takes many new owners by surprise, especially if they bought the dog expecting it to be less allergenic.

I recently brought home my f1b baby goldendoodle a couple weeks ago, and I noticed pretty much immediately that she sheds a lot more than I was expecting her to. While I was prepared for a bit of shedding, and I know that no dog is truly hypoallergenic, I wasn’t expecting this much...

The bottom line? Whatever purebred or mixed breed dog you choose, be realistic about your family's allergen sensitivity.

It's important to do thorough research and ask plenty of questions before bringing the dog home to make sure they’re a good fit.

Now, let's dive into some breeds known for shedding less than average!


A small Maltese puppy with fluffy white fur, standing against a light beige background and looking directly at the camera.

  • Size: Small (4–7 lbs)

  • Temperament: Gentle, playful, and affectionate

  • Great for: Families, seniors, apartment dwellers

  • Not ideal for: Those with little time for grooming

Maltese dogs have long, silky hair that doesn’t shed much. They were favorite lap dogs of royalty and often accompany their owners everywhere. Maltese make excellent pets for those who enjoy having a devoted, affectionate companion.

Yorkshire Terriers

Image of a Yorkshire Terrier looking into the camera on a beige background

  • Size: Small (7 lbs)

  • Temperament: Bold, intelligent, and affectionate

  • Great for: Individuals, families, and apartment dwellers

  • Not ideal for: Homes with very young children

Yorkshire Terriers—aka Yorkies—have fine, silky hair that sheds very little. They're known for their bold and intelligent nature, making them great companions for those looking for a small yet lively pet. Yorkies are well-suited for apartment living due to their small size and moderate exercise needs.

Shih Tzus

A Shih Tzu with a fluffy, cream and tan coat, standing against a light beige background and looking directly at the camera.

  • Size: Small (9–16 lbs)

  • Temperament: Friendly, affectionate, and outgoing

  • Great for: Families, seniors, apartment dwellers

  • Not ideal for: Very active households

Shih Tzus have a long, flowing coat that sheds minimally. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them perfect lap dogs. Shih Tzus thrive in calm environments where they can be the center of attention.

Bichon Frisés

Bichon Frise sitting with a friendly expression against a beige background

  • Size: Small (12–18 lbs)

  • Temperament: Cheerful, playful, and affectionate

  • Great for: Families, apartment dwellers

  • Not ideal for: People who prefer lower-maintenance dogs

Bichon Frisés have a double coat that reduces allergen spread. Known for their cheerful disposition, they were often circus performers due to their playful and trainable nature.

These dogs make great pets for families and apartment dwellers. However, their social and active personalities mean they thrive on regular interaction and mental stimulation, so they require regular attention and enrichment to stay happy and healthy.


Havanese dog standing with an open mouth, friendly expression in front of a beige background

  • Size: Small (7–13 lbs)

  • Temperament: Social, affectionate, and great with children

  • Great for: Families, apartment dwellers

  • Not ideal for: Those who prefer more reserved dogs

Havanese dogs have long, silky coats that shed minimally. They're known for their social and affectionate nature, making them great companions for families and those living in small spaces.

Cairn Terriers

Image of a light brown Cairn Terrier looking into the camera

  • Size: Small to medium (13–18 lbs)

  • Temperament: Spirited, intelligent, and friendly

  • Great for: Active individuals, families

  • Not ideal for: Sedentary households

Cairn Terriers have a wiry coat that sheds minimally. They're spirited and intelligent, perfect for active individuals who enjoy spending time outdoors. They're great companions for hiking and camping, and they excel at dog sports like agility. These friendly, energetic dogs thrive in environments where they get plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers

Size: Medium (30–40 lbs)

Temperament: Friendly, energetic, and alert

Great For: Families, active households

Not Ideal For: Those who prefer a calm pet

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have a soft, wavy coat that sheds minimally. Known for their enthusiastic "Wheaten greetin'," these dogs warmly welcome family and friends. With their friendly and energetic nature, they're perfect for active households.

Portuguese Water Dogs

  • Size: Medium (35–60 lbs)

  • Temperament: Energetic, intelligent, and loyal

  • Great for: Active families, outdoor enthusiasts

  • Not ideal for: Sedentary lifestyles

Portuguese Water Dogs have a curly coat that minimizes shedding and dander. Historically, they worked on fishing boats, herding fish into nets and retrieving lost tackle.

Today, they're also perfect for active families and individuals who enjoy outdoor activities and need a loyal companion.


Poodle laying with open mouth and friendly expression on beige background

  • Size: Small to large (Toy: 4-6 lbs, Miniature: 10-15 lbs, Standard: 40-70 lbs)

  • Temperament: Smart, friendly, and full of energy

  • Great For: Families, active individuals

  • Not Ideal For: Those who dislike regular grooming

Poodles have a curly coat that traps dander, making them near-hypoallergenic. They're incredibly intelligent and can learn tricks quickly, often excelling in agility and obedience competitions.

Poodles make great pets for active families and generally love being part of family activities. Their three size variations allow them to fit well in different living environments.


Schnauzer dog laying down on beige background

  • Size: Small to large (Miniature: 11–20 lbs, Standard: 30–50 lbs, Giant: 55–85 lbs)

  • Temperament: Alert, spirited, and friendly

  • Great for: Families, active individuals, and experienced dog owners

  • Not ideal for: Sedentary households

Schnauzers have a dense, wiry coat that sheds minimally, making them hypoallergenic. They're known for their alert and spirited nature, with sizes ranging from Miniature to Giant.

Whatever the size, their friendly and intelligent personalities make them excellent companions, though they require regular mental and physical stimulation to stay out of mischief.

Grooming and maintenance tips for non-shedding dogs

yorkie being shaved by groomer in purple shirt

Non-shedding dogs require plenty of grooming and maintenance to keep their coats healthy and prevent matting. Here are some important tips to keep your less-furry friend looking and feeling their best!

  • Regular brushing: Frequent brushing prevents matting and keeps your dog's coat healthy. Aim for a few times a week to maintain a smooth, tangle-free coat.

  • Professional grooming: Technically, you could cut your dog's hair yourself with the proper tools. But if you'd rather leave haircuts to the pros, schedule regular visits with a professional groomer. They can trim your dog's coat, ensuring it stays in optimal condition and reducing the risk of matting.

  • Quality grooming products: Invest in high-quality grooming products and tools. Using the right brushes, shampoos, and conditioners tailored for non-shedding breeds will help your pup maintain their coat's health and appearance.

  • Diet and hydration: A balanced diet, along with proper hydration, supports healthy skin and a shiny coat. Supplements can also be beneficial. (Ask your vet before you buy anything!)

Managing allergies with non-shedding dogs

Woman cleans dog's paw with a shower hose

If you find yourself sneezing despite having a supposedly non-shedding dog, don’t worry—there are ways to manage your allergies without rehoming your pup.

  • Regular cleaning and vacuuming: Frequent cleaning helps reduce allergens in your home. Vacuum carpets, furniture, and floors to remove pet hair and dander.

  • Use of air purifiers: Air purifiers can effectively remove pet dander from the air, improving indoor air quality.

  • Bathing schedules to reduce dander: Regularly bathing your dog reduces the amount of dander they produce, which can help alleviate allergy symptoms.

  • Consultation with your vet: Speak with your vet for personalized advice on managing pet allergies. They can provide tailored solutions and possible treatments to help you live comfortably with your furry friend. They might even refer you to an allergist for more information.

Choosing a dog that sheds less can be a game-changer for allergy sufferers and those seeking a tidier home. However, it's crucial to consider their size, temperament, grooming needs, and activity levels to find the perfect match for your lifestyle.

Even with the most well-bred dog, unexpected health issues can arise. That's why dog insurance can provide such powerful peace of mind. Pet insurance is designed to cover the costs of accidents and illnesses, so you're financially prepared to pursue whatever treatment your dog needs. Just make sure to insure your pup while they're young to help avoid exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

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Leanna Zeibak
Content Manager

Leanna Zeibak is a Content Manager at ManyPets. In her spare time, she paints pet portraits and bakes far too many chocolate chip cookies.