When choosing the best pet for your family, there’s a lot of criteria to go over. You must consider the time and energy you can reasonably dedicate to a pet, including schedules, space, activity levels, and much more. Perhaps you’ve decided on a family dog who does not shed as much other breeds do, and you wouldn’t be alone. Many families find that they require pets that are tolerant and friendly towards children, don’t aggravate sensitive allergy sufferers, and don’t seemingly leave half of their coat behind on the couch when they get up. Fortunately, there are a wide range of dog breeds who are family-friendly and don’t shed as much as other breeds.
Best Family Dogs That Don’t Shed
The first thing to understand is that just because a dog sheds very little, doesn’t mean they don’t require grooming. For many, fur will continue to grow, and though they may not shed, the upkeep of their coat can be demanding. The dog breeds whose coats don’t really shed or grow still need bathing and brushing in order to maintain healthy epidermis. Also, allergies aren’t always avoided by a choosing the best family breed that doesn’t shed, because their skin will still slake dead cells that are allergenic, just a lot less of them. Hypoallergenic breeds are not a failsafe against allergens, they just have a decreased chance of stirring up a reaction. If someone in your family has an allergy, they should spend time with the dog prior to making a forever-home commitment, to ensure that they can tolerate the breed.
One of the best family dogs to consider with minimal shedding is the poodle. Poodles also come in a variety of sizes, from toy to standard, furthering their appeal. Add to that their reputation for not shedding or having much of an odor at all- you would never know there was a poodle in the home if you weren’t looking right at it. Poodles are also known for their superior intelligence and composure, which is a plus when looking for a dog who will adjust and fit into your family. While this breed is a great pick for families, take into account the age of any children in the home. Many hypoallergenic, low-shed breeds are smaller and toy-sized, and this may not be the best option in a home with small children. Toy poodles and small breeds in general are less tolerant of rough toddlers than their standard counterparts.
The Portuguese water dog has come into vogue recently after the Obamas chose one for their family. The Portuguese water dog has no undercoat, just a single coat, and this is the primary quality considered when deeming a breed “hypoallergenic”. This dog has a curly coat that will definitely require regular brushing and clipping. They are considered among the best family dog breeds in general because they are very social, and like to participate in family activities. They are athletic and bright, can keep up with the goings on in your home, and would probably like to join you on your morning run. Portuguese water dogs are also known as enthusiastic playmates, which may be perfect for your school-age children.
Dachshunds are another great family breed with minimal shedding, renowned for their long bodies with silky, smooth short coats. Because they run smaller, usually under 20 pounds, young children should not antagonize them. However, if puppy and baby grow up together, there’s an excellent chance your dachshund will become your child’s best friend. This is a breed that is highly affectionate toward its family and as such, becomes attached and protective of its owners. It’s a good thing that Dachshunds don’t shed, because they love to be in your lap. This is a great dog for casual backyard play, long walks, and long naps, and you’ll likely never have to vacuum the couch solely because your dachshund sits there.
If you are looking for a best friend who doesn’t shed but will also guard your family, a Basenji would be an unexpected, exotic, and lovely breed choice. On top of minimal dander, Basenjis are not terribly vocal and won’t bark as much as most other breeds. Basenjis are a breed of African hunting dog, and are usually medium sized, smooth and muscular, with a coiled tail. They have a short, light coat and a quiet disposition which belies their intelligence and alertness. This dog is best suited to single-family homes with space to exercise. It’s also preferable that you meet your Basenji as a puppy, so they are properly socialized and trained, since they are naturally very independent-minded. Early bonding is essential in getting a Basenji to obey you. This hypoallergenic breed demands very little in general in the grooming department.
As always, adoption is still an option. When seeking the best dog who doesn’t shed to join your family, a visit to the pound can’t hurt. There are mixed breeds with this quality, and an employee at your local animal rescue center can tell you more about the prospective dog’s coat. While they cannot officially be called “hypoallergenic”, it’s important to remember that dogs with a unique ancestry and spotty record of breeding can still be low-to-no-shed with no undercoat.
If you already have a dog, and it’s a breed that sheds a lot, don’t give up on them. Brush them thoroughly and regularly, ensure that they are getting a good diet, and consider adding some vitamin supplements to their regimen. Brushing not only removes fur that is about to be shed before it happens, it also distributes oils from the dog’s skin down the shaft of the fur. This makes the fur healthier and less likely to fall out onto your bed or couch. Always remove fur that has been shed promptly, so it doesn’t work it’s way into furniture and become so engrained that it is frustrating to remove. If you have decided on a breed that is considered hypoallergenic, try to find a rescue group for that breed.