If you love small dogs but can’t handle all that fur, then you’ll be happy to learn that there are many breeds of low-shedding dogs. We’ve put together an extensive list of hypoallergenic dogs that ranges from adorable hairless pups to long-haired beauties who shed infrequently. These small dogs that don’t shed include a wide variety of toy breeds, schnauzers and terriers, poodles, and more exotic breeds like the Coton de Tulear or the Inca Orchid.
Of course, no dog is completely “allergy-free” since people may react to dog dander, saliva, and urine.1 However, hypoallergenic and low-shedding dogs can cause less of a reaction in sensitive people. The AKC lists more than 30 breeds that tend to be hypoallergenic2 or shed much less than typical dogs.3 Here are some hypoallergenic small dog breeds you might want to consider.
Toy Dog Breeds
The tiny but personable Yorkshire Terrier may have a floor-length coat, but it’s low on the allergen scale. Technically, Yorkies have a coat of hair rather than traditional fur, which accounts for some of their hypoallergenic traits.4
The smart and funny Affenpinscher is another toy breed that sheds less. His wiry fur requires twice-weekly grooming with a brush and metal comb.
The affectionate Chinese Crested dog can be either hairless or a “powderpuff” with a soft, silky coat. Shedding is minimal. The hairless Crested needs moisturizing skin treatments for optimal health.
The gentle Maltese has a long and silky coat, but without an undercoat, she sheds less than your average dog.5
The Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka is a lapdog who’s very friendly. Bolonkas were bred to have easy-to-care-for coats, so they shed very little.
The Bolognese is a toy breed who tends to be quiet and loyal. The dog’s white and fluffy coat is low-shedding and can be a relief for people prone to allergies.
The Lowchen is considered a toy breed by some breeders, but not the AKC. This small pup’s name means “little lion” in German, and he sure can look like one if his hypoallergenic coat is kept clipped to traditional standards.
The Bichon Frise is listed as a toy breed in the UK, but in the US they’re listed as non-sporting dogs. This sweet and personable dog sheds very little. Daily brushing is recommended so they don’t develop mats.
The Miniature Schnauzer has a wiry coat that’s known to shed very little. The stocky dog can adapt to a smaller home or a big country home with lots of room to run.
American Hairless Terrier
This friendly, hairless dog needs a lot of exercise and is a great choice for people with allergies. Some varieties have very short coats, and others are entirely hairless except for eyebrows and whiskers. Protect this sweet dog’s sensitive skin from sunburns and the cold.
Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear is a happy, friendly dog with a white coat that some say is as soft as cotton.6 The breed is considered hypoallergenic by the AKC. His long coat needs daily grooming, but he’s eager to make you happy, so you won’t mind giving him a lot of brushings.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
The Peruvian Inca Orchid comes in three sizes, including a small size shorter than 15 3/4 inches. Many are hairless and look like they have a small tuft of “mohawk” hair on their heads, while others have very short coats. They’re a lot like greyhounds and do great in agility courses. This rarer breed was just at risk of extinction not too long ago.7
The Xoloitzcuintli typically comes in three size ranges, one being 14 inches or shorter. The dogs are often hairless, and if they have a coat, it’s short and flat. This makes them a good choice for dog owners who want less shedding. These affectionate watchdogs respond to gentle training.
Miniature and toy poodles are both listed by the AKC as great dogs for the allergy-prone. These pups can be apricot, white, or black, and their short, curly coats shed very little. Poodles are also athletic and intelligent breeds.
How To Help Any Small Dog Shed Less
Even hypoallergenic dogs still shed sometimes, so it’s important to keep their fur as healthy as possible. Brushing and bathing regularly can cut down on shedding, along with maintaining a healthy diet.
More Tips for Your Pup
There are other things you can do for your pup every day. Try feeding your dog grain-free, omega-rich canned and dry foods designed to support the coat and skin. If you have a hairless pup, don’t forget to watch for sunburns and protect his skin from the cold.
1. Fetch by WebMD. “Hypoallergenic Dogs.” Pets.WebMD.com, 8 October 2019, https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/hypoallergenic-dogs#1.
2. AKC. “Hypoallergenic Dogs.” AKC.org, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/hypoallergenic-dogs/page/3/.
3. Schamble, Melody. “Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed.” AKC.org, 5 August 2016, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/dog-breeds-that-dont-shed/.
4. Pedigree. “All About the Yorkie’s Hair.” Pedigree.com, https://www.pedigree.com/dog-care/health/all-about-the-yorkie-s-hair.
5. M., Heather. “Facts about Maltese Dogs.” ASPCAPetInsurance.com, https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com/blog/2016/september/26/facts-about-maltese-dogs/.
6. Reisen, Jan. “Meet the Ultimate Companion Dog: the Coton de Tulear.” AKC, 13 September 2016, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/ultimate-companion-dog-coton-de-tulear/.
7. Khalip, Andrei. “New Life for Ridiculed Dog Species.” NBC News, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/16751971/ns/world_news-world_environment/t/new-life-ridiculed-dog-species/#.XhU3ZRdKhTZ.