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Five Great Dog Breeds That Don't Shed (Much)

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Here are five breeds of dogs that won't have you chasing after them with a vacuum cleaner.

Here are five breeds of dogs that won't have you chasing after them with a vacuum cleaner.

All Breeds Shed

Despite the title of this article, I need to make it clear that all breeds shed. Some of them, however, do not shed very much. The dogs I have listed here are great pets and shed very little, much less than most breeds.

Do Dogs Who Don't Shed Exist?

Someone once asked me if she could get a dog that does not shed. Technically, it is possible but you would need to shave the dog every day. Not clip, shave! Even a Chinese Crested has a little hair that will fall off eventually.

Here are some dogs with low levels of shedding:

  1. Schnauzer
  2. Poodle
  3. Shih Tzu
  4. Yorkshire Terrier
  5. Maltese

Below I go into more detail on these breeds and have plenty of pictures.


1. Schnauzer

This is a great breed that was originally developed in Germany for use as a guard dog. So yes, they do bark. There are now three sizes available (listed as separate breeds by the AKC), so there is surely something that will fit your family's needs.

They are usually salt and pepper or black. No matter the size, however, they are known to be fierce barkers and great guard dogs.

The coat of the Schnauzer will grow continuously and needs to be trimmed. If you keep the coat clipped short, the dog will never need to shed and is a lot neater to keep around the house than most dogs. The hair on the face and legs is kept long and needs to be clipped and brushed so it doesn't mat.

Just like all dog breeds, there are some disadvantages to having a Schnauzer. If you have no problem with the expense or time-consuming aspects of grooming, you still need to make sure you spend plenty of time exercising your dog. They can be destructive if they do not get enough exercise.

They are intelligent and will need a lot of stimuli to keep them occupied. As part of their great guard dog personality, they bark a lot. If you ask a Schnauzer owner most of them will mention the barking.

If you are willing to put up with some of these disadvantages, this is a great dog.

White Poodle

White Poodle

2. Poodle

This great breed is one of the smartest dogs around. They are like the Schnauzer in that there is a size for everyone.

Most people think of the white poodle when considering these dogs, but there is quite a variety to choose from and they are also available in apricot, grey or silver, and black. They can be trained as hunting dogs, retrievers, herding dogs, guard dogs, and of course, they make great family pets.

The coat will grow continuously so it needs to be trimmed. They shed even less than the Schnauzer. They are really about the best choice if you are looking for a dog that does not shed but you do need to be prepared to take care of them. If it is too much work for you to take your dog to the groomer for a pet clip, it won't be that much worse than other breeds.

Poodles might give you some problems with their ears, but they are fairly healthy and one of the longest-lived purebred dogs. They are a great dog to have around.

3. Shih Tzu

The first thing that people think of when looking at these dogs is shedding since they have long hair and they are usually groomed to look like little “dust mops." Wrong. These dogs are not shedders!

The long coat needs to be brushed every day so it does not mat up and of course, their crowded little teeth require daily brushing. A lot of them snort because of their contorted airways and brachycephalic faces (it is defined as being as broad from side to side as it is in length but dog fanciers usually refer to it as one of the smashed-face breeds), but if you can get past all of that, they usually have a long life.

Your Shih Tzu is not likely to challenge you on intelligence tasks nor wear you out by requiring excessive exercise. All you need to put up with is a lot of hair that will not shed until you take her to the groomer. If you want to keep her short, you have a dog that does not shed much and is easy to take care of.

These little guys have their share of headaches, but they are one of the longest living breeds and are great little companions.

Yorkie Puppy

Yorkie Puppy

4. Yorkshire Terrier

“Yorkies” are small terriers that were originally bred to catch rats. The Yorkies we have today no longer work, however, and the most important characteristic of the breed is a long and silky coat of hair that does not shed much.

They are active, bark a lot, and only make the “great dog” list because of their excellent coats. These little guys have everything from retained deciduous teeth to bad kneecaps, bad hearts, and weak airways.

If you do not baby them and make sure they eat, they can suffer from attacks of low blood sugar (with secondary brain damage) and if you tie their hair out of their eyes they can suffer from baldness.

Now I'm wondering if this is really a great dog?


5. Maltese

The last great breed is one of the best. They are small, easy-going, and the Maltese are almost always easy to work with since they are so intelligent. They pick up commands quite easily, despite being ranked number 59 of the 69 breeds ranked in the intelligence tests by Dr. Stanley Coren.

Maltese are one of the breeds suggested for a first-time dog owner. They do not have an undercoat and have fine hair so they are easy to take care of if you want a dog that does not shed much.

The photos usually show a Maltese with hair cut long so he can compete in dog shows. Dogs at home are usually in “puppy cuts” and are not hard to take care of.

Not only is the Maltese on the list of breeds that don't shed much, but they also attained the dubious honor of making the “Top Five Dogs for Slackers” list. The Maltese was able to perform this stunning feat by being mellow and unlikely to shed on the new couch.

That alone makes the Maltese a great dog.

Mutts vs. Purebred

Having previously published an article on mutts, and being a great fan of mutts and their relative ability to withstand illness, I might catch a lot of negative comments about this article. The reason a person might want to purchase one of these dog breeds instead of adopting from a shelter, however, is to make sure that their new dog does not have a shedding problem.

A low level of shedding, however, does not mean no dander, and no allergies. These dogs are all relatively easy to clean up after since they do not leave hair around the house but they can still provoke allergic reactions in someone that is hypersensitive.

If you are sensitive and worried about getting a dog, the best thing for you is to visit a breeder and spend some time around the breed that does not shed much. The dogs listed above are some great choices.

There is a great selection of dogs out there and this article gives a lot to choose from. If you want to get a dog I urge you to research, read as much as possible, and then go ahead and make your choice.

You'll be glad to find your new family member.

Questions & Answers

Question: Which would you recommend for a first time dog owner, a Yorkshire terrier or a Shih Tzu?

Answer: Although both breeds can be great, for a first time owner I would recommend the Shih Tzu.

These little guys do have some problems, most of which you can read about, but if you are interested in the look be sure to check out the Lhasa Apso too. Here is an article on first time dog breeds that I recommend.


Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 02, 2018:

Madison, people never agree, which is why there are so many articles out there on non-shedding breeds. I think the cutest is the Maltese, but there are plenty who disagree.

madison on June 02, 2018:

What is the best dog that is cute,small and dosent shed alot?Are family is looking for a dog like that!

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2012:

I have a shedder also, wetnosedogs, but I do not mind sweeping up the loose hair. Having one of these dogs would be nice though since they are so much easier to clean up after.

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on July 04, 2012:

Thanks for that DrMark - here's a link for that rescue that usually has some of the non shedding breeds

wetnosedogs from Alabama on July 04, 2012:

Beautiful pictures of beautiful dogs. My dogs are shedders. Oh well. I think they are beautiful too.

Great article for those who need this info.

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2012:

I don´t think the French care for it much either.

Joy Campbell from South Florida on July 04, 2012:

I think the french cut for the poodle really ruined their reputation! :-)

Mark dos Anjos DVM (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2012:

I cannot imagine a Springer not shedding much. Great dog! Nettlemere, if you want to leave a phone number for that rescue site or a link to their site that sounds great.

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on July 04, 2012:

People in the UK who want a rescue dog who doesn't shed much might be interested to know that Many Tears dog rescue regularly have Schnauzers and poodles and even schnoodles (a cross of the two) in for adoption.

moonlake from America on July 03, 2012:

We have a Springer he doesn't shed. I like all the dogs you have listed I really loved our poodle.