Are you a dog lover that is interested in having small dogs that don’t shed? You have found the right article to help in your search. Dogs are cute and a blessing to pet lovers. We all know that, and we love to keep one or more. But for some of us, taking care of a dog can be quite a challenge, especially if you have allergies, don’t like it when hair gets stuck on clothes and furniture, or have trouble living and traveling with big dogs. To solve this, many pet owners opt for smaller dogs that don’t shed.
Although it’s an inescapable biological fact that all dogs do shed, some do it less than others. Among these least shedding dogs are hairless dogs (which still have hair, by the way), dogs with wiry or shorter hair, and dogs with no undercoat.
In this article, we’ve written a non-exhaustive list of cute non-shedding dog breeds and hypoallergenic dogs that will help you in your search for the perfect small dog. What are we waiting for? Let’s dive right in.
Amusingly called “monkey terrier” for its large, dark eyes and protruding lower jaw and lips, the Affenpinscher is a sturdy and confident terrier-like dog, standing at 9 -11.5 inches (22.9 – 29.2 cm) at the shoulder. Its dense, coarse, and shaggy coat needs to be groomed twice a week and trimmed every few months. This non-shedding small dog is considered an ideal apartment dog. The Affenpinscher is still classified as ‘moderately active’ and will require a brisk walk once or twice a day and regular playtime with its owner or a toy.
Classified as one of the most affectionate dog breeds that don’t shed, the Bichon Frise is playful yet gentle and can get along with anyone and anything. It has a powder-puff coat similar to the poodle that needs to be groomed regularly. It’s known to be very adaptable and non-barking, so don’t count on them to guard your home.
Related: The Health Benefits of Owning A Dog.
The cousin of the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese is a small companion breed with a long, wavy, and fluffy pure-white coat. These small dogs that don’t shed love spending time with people and do not do well alone for long periods of time. It can be shy around strangers but warms up quickly and is considered very playful and easy-going. It does not need much exercise but the occasional walk and some indoor playtime.
With its soft pink skin, ‘crested’ hairdo, fluffy socks, and feathery tail, you can spot the slender and graceful Chinese Crested dog from a distance. Coming in two varieties (Powderpuff and Hairless), the Chinese Crested dog is known to be very loving, especially to family and children, and has low grooming needs. It can be very playful but generally has low energy.
Coton de Tulear
Another breed of non-shedding dogs is the Coton de Tulear, best known for their hypoallergenic, fluffy, cotton-like coat. Sweet, playful, and intelligent, this breed does very well in apartment living, as well as a larger family home. It also has low grooming needs and weighs between 5 to 6.8 kilograms (11 to 15 lbs.). Easy to train, the Coton de Tulear loves swimming and has the endurance to go on long hikes.
Long favored by high society, the Maltese are affectionate, gentle, intelligent, alert, and trusting small dogs that don’t shed. However, it is known to be a picky eater and can be difficult to housebreak. It weighs between 2 to 3 kilograms (4 to 6 lbs.) and comes with a long, silky white coat that requires daily gentle brushing and combing to prevent mats. Although the Maltese are prone to excessive barking when not given proper attention, they still make good pets for novice owners and adapt well to apartment living.
This high-energy, extroverted breed has a square-shaped build, measuring 11-14 inches (28 – 36 cm) tall and weighing 4.5 – 6.8 kilograms (10 to 15 lbs.) for females and 5.0 – 8.2 kilograms (11 to 18 lbs.) for males. It has a double coat – a wiry exterior fur and a soft undercoat – and comes in four colors (solid black, black and silver, salt and pepper, and white). They are very affectionate, especially to family members, playful, intelligent, and easy to train. Although characterized as a breed of dogs that shed very little, the Miniature Schnauzer shed more than many breeds on this list. Because they are family-oriented and have a high prey drive, they make good watchdogs and may not resist the urge to run after small animals.
Unlike the high-energy Miniature Schnauzer, the Toy Poodle breed is a calm, sensitive dog breed that needs a peaceful, harmonious home. Although very affectionate and make great family dogs, they are prone to stress and may be overwhelmed by small, loud children. They’re elegant, proud, and clever dogs who love exercise and mentally stimulating activities. The Toy Poodle stands at 9.4 – 11.0 inches (24 – 28 cm) tall, weighs 1.8 – 2.72 kilograms (4 to 6 lbs.), and is considered a high-maintenance pet. They are also prone to separation anxiety, which may result in misbehavior. Nevertheless, they adapt well to apartment living and make good companions for all seasons.
Russian Tsevtnaya Bolonka
Standing at 9 – 10 inches (22.9 – 25.4 cm) tall with a life expectancy of 12 – 16 years, the Russian Tsevtnaya Bolonka is a member of the Bichon family and comes from Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Originally bred to be the ultimate apartment pet, the Bolonka is very affectionate, playful, loyal, sweet, and intelligent. They are a breed of small, hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed, but their beautiful, wavy coats require regular grooming and maintenance. As for exercise needs, the Bolonka is considered more of a lapdog than an athlete. Still, they enjoy the occasional walk and playtime.
The Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie) is a feisty and glamorous breed, conveying an air of importance wherever it goes. Standing at 7 – 8 inches (17.8 – 20.3 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighing 3 kilograms (7 lbs.), Yorkies are keen watchdogs and are often described as lively, curious, and playful but also reserved, delicate, and sensitive. They don’t have an undercoat, which is why they’re considered as one of the best toy dogs that don’t shed, but their long, silky coats need frequent brushing to prevent tangles. The downside to owning a Yorkie is that they’re prone to barking and can be hard to housebreak, which is not ideal if you live in an apartment. They’re also not considered very good with small children. Nonetheless, they’re eager to please their owners.
The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced show-low-eats-queent-lee) is a hairless dog breed that comes in three sizes (toy, miniature, and standard). It also has a coated variety, and both hairless and coated ones can come from the same litter. Like the Pharaoh Hound, the Xolo has a sleek body, almond-shaped eyes, large bat-like ears, and a long neck, but it also has a wrinkled brow and tough, smooth, close-fitting skin. Their temperament is often described as ‘primitive’ in that they’re very high-energy, alert, intelligent, sensitive, and inquisitive. They also like long walks and upbeat play and do not need frequent grooming. When raised correctly, adult Xolos are steady, well-behaved, and affectionate companions.
Although originally bred as hunting dogs, the Basenji can also make for an affectionate home companion. Characterized as independent and intelligent with a graceful gait that’s often compared to a trotting horse, this breed exudes an air of poise and elegance wherever it goes. Typically weighing about 9.1 – 10.9 kilograms (20–24 lbs.) and standing at 16 – 18 inches (41 – 46 cm) tall at the shoulder, Basenjis are described as being very playful, energetic, and affectionate to family members. They may be considered low-maintenance pets in terms of grooming, but Basenjis have high exercise needs and can be challenging to train. A peculiar thing about them is that they don’t bark but make their feelings known with an unusual yodel-like sound.
Known as the national dog of Cuba, the Havanese breed is popularly one of the best family dogs that don’t shed. They’re small and sturdy, with droopy ears, arched tails, and cute, dark brown eyes. They have long, silky, and lightweight coats and a spirited gait that catches everyone’s attention. Affectionate and loyal, the Havanese breed tends to grow very attached to their owners and do not do very well when left alone all day. They’re also very energetic and playful, often described as intelligent extroverts with a penchant for tricks. They can be very vocal as well but are relatively easy to train.
Initially serving as little watchdogs in the palaces and monasteries high in the mountains of Tibet, the Lhasa Apso are regarded as smart, sturdy, confident, and loyal. Their typical hairdo is a floor-length, flat-hanging, and elegant coat, parted in the middle and draping each side of the body. However, keeping their coat that way will require more frequent brushing and bathing than the alternative puppy cut. Since they are independent, they can do very well when left alone and are suitable for first-time dog owners. They stand between 10 to 11 inches (25.4 – 28 cm) at the shoulder and weigh between 5.4 to 8 kilograms (12 – 18 lbs.). They’re also very adaptable and love mentally and physically stimulating activities. They tend to bark a lot and have a high prey drive but are easy to train.
West Highland Terrier
This time from Scotland, the West Highland White Terrier (also called Westie) is among the least-shedding dogs. Despite standing at only 10 – 11 inches (25.4 – 28 cm) and weighing 6.8 – 9 kilograms (15 – 20 lbs.), the Westie packs a lot into their personality. Happy, loyal, and wickedly entertaining, they’re always fun to be around. They’re also very affectionate and active but may tend to be very vocal and playful, always chasing anything that moves.
And there you have it – 15 popular small dog breeds that don’t shed. We hope you found this helpful and enjoyable to read. Have you found your match yet? If not, some other non-shedding small dogs include the Shih Tzu, Brussels Griffon, Kerry Blue Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Cairn Terrier, and there are still more.
Maybe big dog breeds that don’t shed are what you’re looking for and are a better match for you. Coming soon is our article 15 big dogs that don’t shed.
You can learn more about these dogs, and many others, at the American Kennel Club website.