Non Shedding Dogs for Allergic Owners

Owners with allergies to pet dander will likely have a less irritating experience taking care of non shedding dogs. If you sneeze and have watery eyes when you get close to certain breeds of dogs, you should consider owning a "non-shedding" breed. Actually, all dogs shed, if just a little. The term "non-shedding dog" refers to dogs that lose very little or no hair, and so release little to no dander from their coats or undercoats.

Before You Take a Non-Shedding Dog Home

Getting a dog is a more complicated process for allergic owners than others. You should, as the primary goal, research dog breeds according to how much they shed. Then, spend some time with prospective breeds before accepting one or more dogs into your household. This allows you to test whether you have an allergic response to any one breed of dog. Do not pick a shedding dog because you like it for other reasons; narrow your list to non-shedding dogs alone.

Types of Non-Shedding Dogs

Hairless and toy breeds are oftentimes non-shedding dogs. However, many long-haired breeds shed little to no hair as well. Curly-haired dogs, like poodles and water dogs, also make good non-shedding companions for allergy sufferers. Remember: Hairless breeds need to be dressed for warmth during cold weather and covered to prevent skin cancer on sunny days. Non-shedding dogs with a full coat of hair need to be groomed according to a strict schedule appropriate for their particular breed.

Here is a list of breeds of non-shedding dogs:

  • American Hairless Terrier. This breed is completely free of hair, other than having whiskers and eyebrows. It comes in three sizes: toy, miniature and standard.
  • Bichon Frise, a toy breed. Virtually, hypoallergenic, this breed sports a double coat of loose curls with a fine, silky undercoat, and needs skillful grooming.
  • Belgian (or, Brussels) Griffon, comes in two types: rough-coated and smooth-coated. Dogs of this breed with a rough, wiry and dense coat are non-shedding, but the smooth-coated variety does shed.
  • Cairn Terrier. This breed resembles a fox in the face, and has a shaggy outer coat with a soft undercoat. It's natural "bed-head" coat does need careful maintenance, but does sheds hardly at all.
  • Chinese Crested, Hairless and Powderpuff. Whether hairless or "powderpuff" (having a long, silky double coat which requires daily brushing), this breed sheds very little.
  • Peruvian Inca Orchids, sometimes referred to as the "Moonflower Dog," has a little hair on top of the head and on the tail. This dog is sensitive to sunlight and prefers the nighttime. Protect it from the elements with clothing and from skin cancer with sunscreen.
  • Poodles. This breed sheds less than any other and offers owners a myriad of choices, as it is available in many varieties and three basic sizes: toy, miniature and standard. Moreover, many hybrid poodles, like Goldendoodles, Sheepadoodles and Yorkipoos, are also non-shedding dogs.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs. This strong, muscular breed, once valued as "work dogs" that herded and caught fish and carried messages between ships, has a single-layered, non-shedding, hypo-allergenic coat.
  • Shih Tzus (correctly pronounced "sure-ds," not "sheet-sue"), meaning "lion" dog. This breed needs daily grooming with a bristle brush, but sheds little hair.
  • Irish Water Spaniels. This breed has long, curly hair and a thick undercoat (to keep them warm in cold water), needs expert grooming, but still sheds little to no hair.