Have you ever heard of dander? If you spend your days wandering around with watery eyes and sneezing at any given moment, you may be more aware of it than you think. Pet dander are tiny particles of skin that shed with your pup’s fur and is the most common cause of allergies in humans. But fear not! Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean your dream of owning a dog is over — hypoallergenic dogs are the answer.
While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, there are a lot of breeds of dog that don’t shed and that are way better for allergy sufferers. So, say goodbye to itchy eyes and mountains of tissues, these dogs will have you stroking and snuggling them all the time (maybe just not nose first)!
American Hairless Terrier
When it comes to dogs that don’t shed, hairless breeds are obviously a good place to start. These small hypoallergenic dogs are inquisitive, fun, and full of curiosity. They love to play and explore! They’re easily recognizable by their big pointy ears and lack of fur. Although great for those with allergies, hairless dogs can suffer from sunburn and get colder much quicker than other dogs. You need to keep an extra eye on them in extreme weather.
Perhaps one of the most easily recognizable breeds of dogs, Chinese Cresteds are one of the best hypoallergenic dogs. Like most hairless breeds, they come in two varieties – with and without fur. Obviously, for the hairless variety, shedding isn’t much of an issue. In fact, these dogs only have a mane of fur and fluffy boots! They’re highly sensitive, great with children, and are pretty easy to train. They’re fun-loving and make great members of the family!
These wonderfully fun, cuddly lambs are great hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed. Easily distinguished by their pear-shaped heads, tight curls, and bouncy personality, these pups are a great choice to have in your home. They love to have a quick run, but also to snuggle up with you and watch TV. A perfect combination!
You might have guessed by now that many Terrier breeds are good hypoallergenic dogs! Their coarse hair generally sheds less than many other breeds, making them great dogs for those suffering from allergies. Like most Toy breeds, Yorkshire Terriers make great companions for owners who worry about the size and strength of larger dogs. Sometimes they forget they’re so small and can be bossy, feisty, and a bit sassy. They’re a great option for senior citizens or those with medical conditions.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Unlike the wiry hair of their Yorkshire friends, these pups have soft, wheat-colored coats – as their name might suggest. These low-shedding dogs are very friendly, bouncy, and love to have fun with their humans. They’re super-intelligent, learn quickly, and are very obedient. Their unique coats give them amazing goatees and body fur that doesn’t shed much, but they do need regular grooming to stop them from matting.
These extraordinarily cute, teensy-tiny, snow-white dogs are exactly what you mean when you say a lap dog. In fact, they could probably fit on half your lap. Full of life, with black button eyes, they really have to be one of the cutest breeds out there. These hypoallergenic dogs don’t shed much, meaning you can snuggle up to them without the risk of having a sneezing fit. You can leave their fur long or crop it, depending on how much grooming you like to do!
West Highland Terrier
The last on our Terrier appreciation list. Westies are really popular hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed, are really active, and very amusing. Like most Terriers, they do have a bit of a temperament and are not shy of showing it. They’re good with other dogs they’re been brought up with but not necessarily strangers. Their bright white coats aren’t likely to get all over your black sweaters either!
These balls of fluffy fun are great family pets — especially if there are any allergy sufferers. They’re gentle but also love to play with children or other pets. They can occasionally be a little timid, so early socialization is really important with these low shedding dogs. Even though you won’t have to vacuum as much as with other hairy pets, their curly fur does require frequent clipping to keep it looking powdery soft!
Schnauzer (Miniature, Standard, and Giant)
It’s a bit strange to think that something with such bushy eyebrows and a beard doesn’t shed, but these are actually great hypoallergenic dogs! Schnauzers have really high energy levels, love to be entertained, and need a lot of your attention. They’re intelligent, vigilant, and make great watchdogs too.
Basenjis were originally bred in Central Africa and hunted in packs, meaning that they usually get along well with other dogs, especially if they were brought up together. They can be quite stubborn and difficult to train because of their high energy levels, but they’re very loyal to their owners once they’re trained. Basenjis are great medium-sized dogs that don’t shed (and they also don’t bark — you can read more about that here).
Irish Water Spaniel
This beautiful, shaggy Spaniel is a unique and surprisingly hypoallergenic dog. Bred in Ireland as water retrievers and hunters, they need a lot of exercise and outdoor time. They need quite a lot of training, but with a persistent owner, they can make wonderful family pets. Their coats are naturally oily, meaning they repel water and these pups can spend a lot of time jumping in and out of lakes and rivers. Even though they don’t really shed, their wonderful coats are not easy and take a lot of grooming to keep them healthy.
These fluffy water dogs are very lively but not overly hyper and make great pets. Their wooly fur is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed much, so even when they come up for a cuddle they’re unlikely to set your eyes off watering. They were originally bred to retrieve hunted water birds, but after a while, their Italian owners realized they had another (probably more profitable) talent – hunting truffles.
These gorgeously elegant animals are actually low shedding dogs – even if they don’t look it! They’re incredibly gentle and quite independent but with a really loving side to them. They need a lot of exposure to people, sounds, and sights when they’re young as they have a tendency to become shy or timid without. They need regular exercise, but don’t let their locks fool you – they run incredibly fast and don’t let their hair stop them! As with basically all long-haired dog breeds, Afghan Hounds need good and regular grooming.
Poodle (Toy, Miniature, and Standard)
Poodles are one of the most loved and popular dogs – with good reason. They have wonderful personalities, are normally great with children and other pets, and learn very quickly. They’re also hypoallergenic dogs, so basically nearly perfect. Even though they don’t shed that much fur, they do require regular grooming and clipping (so maybe not perfect).
These funny, cute, and wonderfully expressive dogs are actually keen watchdogs. They’re friendly with their family and dogs they’ve been socialized with, but can be wary of strangers and even act aggressively – although it’s usually all bark and no bite. Their wiry coat is very Terrier-like, meaning it doesn’t shed that much. This makes them ideal little dogs for anyone who might have allergies!
Just because these are all hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed, it’s not a sure guarantee that you won’t be allergic to them – but deciding on one of these will really reduce the risk. There are other things that can help if you are prone to sneezing around your pooch, such as regular grooming (even with a mask if that helps) and making sure your dog sleeps in a separate room.
What breed of dog do you have? Does it shed a lot? Let us know in the comments!
I’m Charlotte, a content and copywriter from the North of England and currently living in Berlin. Animals have always been a huge part of my life, so writing about dogs is a total pleasure! I love all kinds of dogs and their cheeky personalities, but I’d have to say Weimaraners are my favourite!