The level of shedding is a question many prospective dog owners ask when deciding upon which dog to choose. It may be a matter of allergies or some people simply don’t want to deal with the housekeeping issue involved with dogs that shed heavily. Whether it’s a matter of cleaning or allergens that pose a problem, you are in luck. There are many wonderful dog breeds that are neither heavy shedders nor copious allergen producers.
But just so you know, there is no such thing as a completely non-shedding dog. Like humans, all dogs shed at least a little hair at one time or another. However there are dogs that shed little hair and these are the best choice for allergy sufferers and, pardon the expression, neat freaks.
Dog Shedding And Allergies
Most dog allergies are caused by dog dander, not the hair they shed. Dander is the dead skin that falls off the dog, depositing itself all over the house and wafting through the air into your nose and eyes in the process. All dogs produce dander, but some dogs create a lot less of it. Low-shedding breeds are considered to be more hypoallergenic, which means they don’t produce as many allergens through flaky dead skin and dander as other breeds do.
Dogs also are pollen transmitters and many people are allergic to this powdery substance that helps propagate our trees and flowers. Pets pick it up outside, carrying it home to add to their owners’ allergy woes. The thicker the coat, the more of this stuff they can carry.
Understanding Dog Shedding
Shedding is affected by hormonal changes that are tied to photoperiod (day length). When kept mainly indoors, the amount of shed hair is affected by the amount of daylight, which also stimulates hormones and promotes shedding. It is also affected by the temperature of your home and influenced by the pet’s level of nutrition and general state of health. In addition to natural seasonal shedding, a dog may drop coat after surgery, anesthesia, or whelping puppies. Find out which dog breeds shed the most here.
Dogs That Don’t Shed Or Shed Less
Here are some of my favorite breeds that don’t shed or are light shedders, listed by size to help you find the right companion for you and your family.
Small dogs that don’t shed:
- Australian Terrier
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Border Terrier
- Brussels Griffon
- Cairn Terrier
- Chinese Crested Hairless
- Chinese Crested Powderpuff
- Coton de Tuléar
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
- Italian Greyhound
- Lhasa Apso
- Manchester Terrier
- Miniature Poodle
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Scottish Terrier
- Sealyham Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Silky Terrier
- Toy Poodle
- Welsh Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Wirehaired Fox Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
Medium dogs that don’t shed:
Large dogs that don’t shed:
As the trend for non-shedding dogs continues to rise, Poodles have been introduced into the breeding of purebred dogs in attempts to create non-shedding versions of popular dog breeds. However, these dogs known as designer dogs or hybrids include dogs such as Labradoodles or Goldendoodles do not always carry the hair gene of the Poodle. This means that while some puppies in a litter may be low-shedding, the brothers and sisters may shed just as much as a Labrador or Golden Retriever. Even if a dog is bred from two low-shedding parents of the hybrid breed, the puppies could still come out with traits that more similarly resemble their ancestors. Once the puppies are older, it is easier to determine the type of coat they are most likely to have.
If you are interested in a hybrid because of it’s low-shedding qualities, make sure to speak with a breeder about your expectations.
- Schnoodle (Generally low-shedding as the Poodle and the Schnauzer are both low-shedding breeds)
When it comes to a mixed breed dog you never know what you are going to get, but there are many non- or low-shedding mixed breeds available in shelters across the country. If you are planning on adopting a mixed breed dog and are looking for a dog that does not shed, there is a good chance you can find what you are looking for with a little research and patience.
Start by going to a local shelter or rescue and letting them know what you are looking for. Because they have had the opportunity to interact with and groom the dog, they will likely be able to tell you about it’s shedding habits and direct you to dogs that fit your needs. You can also look at online adoption options for dogs who are mixed with the low-shedding breeds mentioned above. You will still want to ask questions about shedding when you meet the dog, but this is a great place to start.
Tips For Handling Dog Hair
Even for low shedding breeds, hair control can be a maintenance issue. If you do fall head over heels with a dog that sheds, or there are some things you can do to manage the situation.
- Regular brushing is the key — the hair will end up in your dog brush rather than on the carpet, the couch and your clothes. Brushes such as the FURminator deShedding Edge dog brush reduces loose hair from shedding by up to 90% when used regularly.
- Vacuum your floors and furniture frequently, using a machine with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter. Pet-specific vacuums, such as the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser upright vacuum, can help trap allergens and capture loose dog hair from around your home.
- Keep at least one room of the house dog-free. Your bedroom is a good choice but this may take training and will power if your pet has gotten used to sleeping with you!
- Fit your home with a central air purifier that uses a HEPA filter and use it at least four hours a day to remove allergens.
- Clean your dog’s dog bedding frequently.
- Wash clothes you wear while interacting with your dog before putting them back in the closet or bureau drawer.
- Limit the number of rugs, upholstered furniture, and drapes in your home. Opt for hardwood floors rather than wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Bathe your dog regularly and brush or comb him daily, outdoors if possible.
- Always wash your hands after touching your dog and avoid touching your eyes and face until you do.
Many of these dog breeds have high-maintenance grooming needs, but are breeds that shed a significant amount less than others. As always, thorough research and evaluation of your lifestyle are important when selecting a dog breed. I wish you well in your search and hope you find the one that is just right for you.