13 May 2021

Sensitive to Fur or Hair? Shed free Dog Breeds

2 mins to read
Dog shedding is normal and natural. But if you have allergies or are sensitive to fur or hair (used interchangeably from here on), bundles of it around the home can be a problem. Here are the dogs that might be best for you.

First of all, let’s break a myth: all dogs shed hair – all humans do, too. It’s a natural process to make room for new growth. Some breeds, however, tend to leave a trail of fur wherever they go, while for others, the loss goes unnoticed – that mythical ‘non-shedder’. 

While no dog is 100 per cent hypoallergenic, low-shedding dogs can be a good pet option for people who suffer from allergies: less loose hair means less dander (tiny flakes of dead skin), which means fewer irritations for allergy sufferers. But some allergic reactions are triggered more by dog saliva and even urine, so before you rush out and purchase a low shedder as a pet, check with your doctor to determine the actual cause of your allergies.   

Why do dogs shed?

A number of factors contribute to a dog’s level of shedding, including breed, type of fur coat, time of year, and lifestyle. Often, but not always, dogs with long silky coats shed more than those with short, coarse fur or tight curls. And single-coated dogs tend not to blow their coats profusely twice a year (spring and autumn) as double-coated dogs do – rather, they shed small amounts year-round. Nonetheless, a few long-haired breeds actually shed less than certain short-haired breeds. 

Then there’s the impact of temperature, nutrition, exposure to sunlight and activity levels… shedding is not always easy to predict. 


Which dog breeds don't shed?

 While all dogs will shed to some degree, certain breeds – big and small – are known to be low-shedders.

Big dogs that don't shed hair (much)

  • Greyhound: This breed has very short, thin, low-shedding hair, making them easy to groom.
  • Portuguese water dogs: Unlike many other low-shedders, Porties don’t have an undercoat, so don’t need to shed as much with changing seasons.
  • Boxer: This breed has a single-layered, short coat that sheds little.
  • Rhodesian ridgeback: Despite its distinctive ‘ridge’ of hair, this short-haired breed is a low-shedder.
  • Saluki: One of the world’s oldest dog breeds, salukis are popular for their low-shedding, odour-free coats.
  • Standard poodle: The fact poodle coats are curly and single means they don’t often drop the hairs they shed – but will need extra care grooming.
  • Doberman pinscher: This breed has a short, low-shedding coat that doesn’t hold onto dirt or debris.
  • Small dogs that don't shed hair (much)

  • Bichon frise: These tiny dogs grow a lot of hair, but are low shedders, meaning grooming and skin health are a priority. 
  • Brussels griffon: With a single coat, this toy dog barely sheds any hair at all. 
  • Maltese terrier: Maltese also only have a single coat of hair, and are low shedders throughout the year rather than seasonally. 
  • Toy poodle: Like bigger poodles, toy poodles are low shedders. Their curly locks do need regular grooming to remove trapped fur.
  • Shih tzu: Similar to poodles, this breed has a single hair coat that is low shedding. Brushing may be required daily if hair is long. 
  • Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican hairless): This breed comes in two types: coated and hairless. The latter has soft, smooth yet hardy skin – and some hairs. 
  • Chinese crested: As for the Xolo, these dogs can have a coat or be hairless, and have a low dander count.
  • How do I take care of my non-shedding dog?

    Just because your dog doesn’t shed much doesn’t mean it can avoid regular grooming. In fact, the opposite is true. Hair still grows on low-shedding dogs, and if it’s not cared for properly (and regularly), it can become long, matted, unruly and irritating.

    As many low-shedding dogs have wiry, wavy or curly hair and sometimes double coats, these can also catch loose hair and debris and form knots. To avoid tangles and the build-up of dander, it’s a good idea to regularly wash, brush and clip your low-shedding dog – but with care, as rough brushing can pull on skin and cause your pooch significant pain. It’s a good idea to break hair into sections when grooming, or find a good professional pet groomer who knows how to care for your breed.

    Don’t over-wash your low-shedding dog, as this can remove essential oils from the skin and cause irritation, leading to increased levels of dander – sparking those allergies. When you do bathe them, use a sensitive shampoo and leave-in skin conditioner or mist to ensure optimal hair and skin health.  

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