Five-And-A-Half Large Dog Breeds That Don't Shed Much
Tired of getting out the vacuum every time your dog is around? Here are pictures, videos, and descriptions of some great alternatives if you still want a big dog.
Those of us with dogs deal with cleaning up hair every single day. Well, not all of us. Most of the dog breeds who don’t shed much are small, however, and for those who like larger dogs that means a larger amount of hair to deal with.
Here are a few large dog breeds that do not shed much if you cannot handle one more fur ball blocking up your vacuum.
The Large Breeds Who Dont Shed Much
This fantastic dog was bred to be a worker so he is built like one.
Giant Schnauzers do not have a long silky coat like a Shih Tzu; they have a dense coarse coat that protects them from the weather and from vermin. If you bring home one of these dogs you will find out that they do, however, need grooming about every month and their beard can get messy and need to be brushed out every day.
Giant Schnauzers have been around several hundred years, ever since the Standard Schnauzers were crossed with Great Danes and a few other breeds to get a larger dog. Even with those crosses they are not really a giant, though, just a good sized big dog.
Most of the dogs I have seen are black, but they are available in salt and pepper. Most are good around kids, but since they are territorial and suspicious of strangers a lot are trained as personal protection or watch dogs; and, since they are built like a working dog, they are good at other sports.
Unfortunately, they are not perfect: if they were this article would only be about the Giant Schnauzer. They have some common health problems (like hip dysplasia) and several skin problems, including skin cancer. And, as I mentioned above, they do slobber and their beard can be quite a mess.
Another large farm dog that does not shed much is the Bouvier des Flandres, a big herding dog breed originating in Flanders. The coat was allowed to grow long so that they could withstand the harsh weather when out driving cattle, and even if they do not shed all over the house they do need to be brushed about every week to keep from matting and also need to be trimmed about every month.
They are good guard dogs, and since they are intelligent and athletic herders they are good at agility, obedience trails, Schutzhund, and tracking.
A perfect choice? If you are willing to work with them and provide plenty of activities, they can be a great dog breed. Former US president Ronald Reagan owned one of these dogs, and he was so bored and in need of something to herd so badly that he bit the president while herding him to his helicopter. (The dog was taken to the ranch after that!)
The heavy beard and mustache are also going to drip water over the house. The dogs also need good socialization, obedience training, a lot of space to move around, and, like all dogs, adequate veterinary care.
Another good large dog breed is the French Briard. They were originally used to guard and herd sheep among the cropland of Brie and are now popular as one of the large breeds that does not shed much. And, like the Giant Schnauzer, they are popular as police dogs; the French army has also used them as messengers and search and rescue dogs.
Since they don’t shed much, they do require good grooming. The coat needs to be brushed out at least once a week and trimmed every month or two.
Like all sheep guard dogs, they do need good socialization and obedience training, but they bond well with their family and will protect them at all costs. They are athletic and are good in agility, flyball, Schutzhund, and some of them are even good at herding.
Briards may not be the perfect dog, but they do have a lot going for them. If you like the way the look, and do not mind the grooming, they are a good choice.
One of the long haired Hungarian dog breeds that does not shed much is the Komondor. Most dog fanciers are familiar with the way the dog looks, but looks alone are never enough to choose a dog breed.
They are very tall, very muscular, and powerful enough to fight off a wolf. Their curled coat is about a foot long, and although they do not shed much they may need a few days to dry properly after a bath.
Since this breed was developed to guard livestock, not herd, most of them will lie around most of the day and then burst into action when least expected. They may be easy going most of the time but are not ideal pets and are not suited to the confinement of an apartment or small house.
So is this another large dog breed that is only okay for a few? I certainly think so. Komondor fanciers might tell you that the dogs are okay as long as they are well trained and socialized, but if you are looking for a large dog breed that is a good companion and does not shed much, keep reading.
Of all the large dog breeds on this list, the Standard Poodle is the only dog that can really be considered “non-shedding” throughout his life. It still sheds a little, of course (all dogs do, despite what you might have been told), but that hair usually gets caught up in its coat, and so although they can become matted they shed a lot less than any of the other large dog breeds.
These intelligent hunting and working dogs are considered French but were originally bred in Germany. Most people think of them as pets and circus dogs but they are great hunting dogs and excellent swimmers. They are not popular with the police because of their looks but are active military dogs and can be trained in a lot of other sports like agility, flyball, and obedience. Some dogs have even been trained in Schutzhund.
Since they don’t shed much, they do need to be groomed every month or two but it is easier to clip these dogs at home than some of the other large dog breeds.
The Standard Poodle does have some health problems, like chronic ear infections. Their main problem, however, is the reputation they have as an over-groomed city dog. If not for their reputation, the Standard Poodle could be considered the ideal large dog breed that does not shed much. It may be a long time before the Poodle is accepted by hunters and outdoorsmen, but for a great large dog that does not shed much, they are already what most people are looking for.
How About That Half?
Among the many large breeds of dogs that do not shed much, the Poodle is the most popular since they are intelligent, easy to train, and almost hypoallergenic. For those people not interested in owning a Poodle, however, the breed´s excellent characteristics are still available in the many Poodle hybrids available.
Many of the large breeds that shed are crossed with Poodles and some of the designer dogs available are Goldendoodles (with Golden Retrievers), Labradoodles (with Labrador Retrievers), and Bernedoodles (with Bernese Mountain Dogs). Some of the puppies produced will still shed, but probably not as much as some of their parents; there are no guarantees when dealing with these hybrid dogs.
Some breeders will also tell potential buyers that these dogs are hypoallergenic. This is not true, but if the dogs are bathed and brushed frequently the allergens associated with allergies are less of a problem.
The other problem I have noticed with these designer dog breeds is the prevalence of genetic diseases. The breeders of these dogs may not be as likely to test their dogs as stringently as the purebred dogs, and I have spoken with many owners over the past few years that have been disappointed with the dogs as they aged and developed preventable problems.
Which characteristic of a large dog is most important to you?
If you have decided on one of the dog breeds on this list, I recommend you do a lot more reading before going out and finding a puppy. It would also be a good idea to go out and see some of the adult dogs at dog shows.
These dogs are probably not going to be available at your local animal shelter, but you can search for local rescues in your area and look up Petfinder.com to see if any are available in shelters in neighboring states.
If you are looking for a hybrid, it can be a lot more difficult to find a good puppy. Try asking your local veterinarian and see if they have any names of hybrid breeders that deal with healthy puppies.
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