Sedate lifestyle, frequent travel, apartment living- any of these are excellent reasons to choose a small dog as your pet. These situations also call for a dog that does not leave fur everywhere it goes, and won’t easily irritate the senses of the owner carrying it around. Fur that has been shed is known to trigger allergies, and requires frequent attention in regard to household cleanup. The allergens that come with certain types of skin and shedding fur can remain in spaces for months, even if you clean regularly. To avoid this, it’s best to consider a small dog that doesn’t shed.
Best Small Dogs that Dont Shed
Some dog breeds are considered low-shed, no-shed, or hypoallergenic because they do not produce as much dander, and their fur does not undergo the same growth and release cycle that shedding dogs do. That said, all dogs shed some fur sometimes, and no breed is truly guaranteed hypoallergenic. However, many owners laud the minimal cleaning and allergy-free qualities of their dogs. Let’s take a look at several types of small dogs that don’t shed (much, anyway).
The Italian Greyhound is a slender, elegant creature. They do run small, generally under 20 pounds, and have a very short, smooth coat. On top of the fact that they don’t shed, this ancient breed requires little grooming at all. While they are small enough to love apartment life, they do need brisk daily walks. Speaking of a daily walk, they might need a sweater come autumn, as they do get cold with their thin coats and fine-boned features, so this is also a great dog to dress up.
That adorable little powder puff you see frequently in advertising is a Bichon Frise. Despite their white halo of puffy fur, these small dogs don’t shed, and are the ultimate daily companion. They are very bright and easy enough to train, and above all they want to spend as much time as they can with their family- being home alone all day, every day is not for them. Even though they don’t shed, grooming can be demanding. The fur around their eyes becomes tear-stained easily, and frequent brushing and regular clippings from a professional are an absolute requirement.
The Cairn Terrier packs a lot of liveliness and personality into a small body. Cairns are best known as the breed of dog that played Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Though they shed very little, these dogs do have a wiry, waterproof coat that needs a good brushing sometimes. Many owners have their coats closely clipped along the torso and legs, so even that may not be a problem. They are the best small dogs for an active single owner or couple. Terriers historically have a hard time suffering the antagonization of small children, so those with babies and toddlers might not provide the best homes for them.
Yorkshire Terriers, often known best as Yorkies, are among the most popular lapdog breeds today. They are very small and compact at under 10 pounds, and have been seen frequently being carried around in purses. Dander is minimal, and they don’t shed. They are small and delicate enough that apartments are ideal, but they can be really noisy, yapping at any sign of an ‘intruder’ or excitement, so training is a must. They are so feisty that training can be a real chore, but they are also happy to lay in bed with you all day long. They may be hypoallergenic and low-shed, but grooming is a necessity. Their coat- typically a steely great and tan- grows quite long and straight, and needs trimming and brushing lest it become matted.
How about a small dog that doesn’t shed, has the best temperament, and a rather unique look? The Chinese Crested is often overlooked at the perfect dog to fit the bill. These sweeties have gotten a bad rap over the past decade as people often only see them in the World’s Ugliest Dog competition. But if beauty truly comes from the inside, you would never consider one ugly. They don’t shed because in fact, aside from the powderpuff variety of Cresteds, they don’t have much in the way of a coat. The torso is bare, with fine, silky fur on the head, tail, and feet. Like the Italian Greyhound, the Crested might need a doggie wardrobe of their own, on top of sunscreen, if they are going outside. They have no major behavioral problems or special needs in the home, other than love and companionship.
Any discussion revolving around the best small dogs that don’t shed would be remiss to omit the Poodle. Toy Poodles can learn just about anything, making them the ideal breed for extensive training. Poodles are very intuitive and sensitive to what is happening around them. They have thick, odorless, curly hair that is fluffy when brushed, and they do prefer professional grooming to keep them looking their best. They are good with families (though as always, small children should be trained as well in handling tiny dogs) and love to play and take a good walk. While their look is iconic, it is their intelligence that makes them so popular. A well-trained Poodle is among the very best that you can add to your pack.
Many mixed breeds don’t shed if one of their parents was a no-shed breed. There is absolutely no harm in visiting mixed breeds at a shelter and inquiring about their history. Many local shelters are staffed by highly knowledgable people who spend a lot of time with the dogs in their care, and they can tell you what kind of coat the dog has, and what level of shedding to expect. There are also many breed-specific rescue groups that are looking to re-home small dogs in your preferred no-shed breed. There is a dog that fits your every requirement looking for an owner right now, and you won’t have to pay a breeder hundreds of dollars to engineer it for you.