10 Small Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed
So, you love dogs, but not cleaning up ginormous amounts of dog hair. If you’re looking for a small canine companion that won’t coat your sofa or trigger your allergies, keep reading. From small dogs that don’t shed at all, to those that shed minimally, here are 10 small breeds that don’t require buying stock in lint rollers or antihistamines.
With its happy temperament and adorable expressions, the West Highland White Terrier was born to have fun. Westies typically get along well with all their human family members, not singling anyone out as their favorite, and they don’t mind sharing the house with other dogs and friendly felines. But, their “claim to fame” is their distinct look, which features a stunning, snowy white coat.
A double-coated breed that sheds very little, the Westie has a rough, wiry outercoat and a soft, thick undercoat. To keep your little buddy’s coat looking clean and fresh, brush it every day to prevent matting, and remove dead hair and debris.
Westies are particularly susceptible to “tear stains,” bacterial growth caused by the accumulation of tears on the fur, that results in matting or “stains.”
To keep your Westie’s facial hair healthy, it is crucial to keep your pup’s facial hair cut short. If he or she does get stains, you can use a hydrogen peroxide or over the counter stain solution to remove them or add white cider vinegar to their drinking water. This will change the pH of your dog’s tears and stop stains before they start.
Stripping is also an important part of grooming your pup—and no, it doesn’t have anything to do with dancing. Every four to six weeks, strip your Westie’s coat by hand or use a stripping comb. To manually strip the coat, delicately lift up a clump of hair, then pull it downward to detach the tuft of hair from the undercoat. If using a stripping comb, comb the hair downward with the grain.
9. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu means “lion dog” in Chinese and it’s easy to see why they were named after the king of the jungle. This toy breed has a stocky little frame, round face, big dark eyes and a thick, luxurious double coat that looks like a mini version of a lion’s mane.
When it comes to shedding, the Shih Tzu is a bit of a magician. If your dog has a mid-length to long coat, many of the few hairs it does shed, will fall back into the coat and become trapped, which will make it appear that none have shed at all.
To “tame the lion,” a Shih Tzu’s “do” can be done any number of ways. For owners that prefer a low maintenance style, a short, fluffy coif that can be dressed up with a barrette or bow is a go-to choice. Others may prefer a longer length that can be pinned up in a ponytail or topknot. If your Shih Tzu’s hair is a bit longer, they can wear a different style every day of the week featuring an assortment of accessories.
As with the Westie, particular attention must be paid to your Shih Tzu’s face. Facial hairs must be trimmed regularly, and tear stains managed with a homemade or store-bought peroxide solution, or by adding white-cider vinegar to their drinking water.
8. Bichon Frise
Let’s face it. The Bichon Frise resembles a petite, “giant” powder puff. But despite its frou-frou looks, this breed is a very practical choice for anyone who has allergies or doesn’t want to spend their weekends trolling for doggie hairs.
Bichon’s require a considerable amount of grooming and are considered high-maintenance. For extensive grooming, most people take their puffy buds to a professional, but there are several things you can do at home between grooming appointments.
Brush your Bichon’s double coat daily with a slicker brush to remove dead hairs from the undercoat using short, even strokes. Use long strokes to groom the outer coat. Gently comb your pal’s cheery little face and ears with a fine-toothed comb.
Bathe your Bichon once a month with a mild dog shampoo. Work the shampoo into its fur, removing any dirt, debris and loose hair, then thoroughly rinse out all the soap with warm water. Pat your pal dry with a thick towel, then use a hair dryer on a cool setting while brushing the fur with a slicker brush to finish the job.
Never air-dry your Bichon. Air-drying will cause the curls to invert and give the hair a wilted look.
Do you take your dog to a professional groomer, or do you prefer to groom your pet pal yourself?
The Basenji is an African breed known for its elegance and poise. As a matter of fact, these dogs are so dignified, that they were the dog of choice among the pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
Basenjis have several characteristics that would make them appealing to those with discriminating tastes. First of all, they have exquisite muscle tone and move with grace and agility. Instead of barking, they “yodel,” they shed very little, and instead of the typical doggy odor, they smell like freshly picked roses…well not really, but they lack the pungent, scent unique to most canines.
In terms of grooming, Basenjis are low maintenance. Clean-freaks by nature, they groom themselves at least once a day, much like cats, so they only need a bath a couple of times a year. Frequent bathing may dry the skin, causing it to flake and produce dander. And what does dander cause? Allergies.
Though Basenjis are virtually shedless, female Basenjis tend to shed noticeably when they are in heat. To curb shedding, brush your pup more frequently, and add an additional bath during these periods.
The playful, easygoing Bolognese is a non-shedder of the Bichon type—minus the maintenance of the Bichon’s double-coat. Instead of thick tight curls, the Bolognese has a single-coat composed of soft, loose ringlets along the body, and shorter hair on the face.
Brush and comb your Bolognese’s coat every day with a metal comb to prevent tangles and matting. Removing mats and tangles before bathing is a must, as they are more difficult to comb out when the hair is wet. To be sure that your best friend’s coat stays healthy, have them professionally groomed from time to time.
Your buddy should be bathed at least twice a month, depending on their activity and your schedule. After shampooing, use a conditioner to replenish essential oils. Then towel dry your dog, gently comb the hair out, and use a blow dryer set at a cool temperature to finish drying the coat.
Remember, the Bolognese is closely related to the Bichon, so the potential for tear stains is very high. So, “cut the boloney” and follow the previously mentioned steps to curb stain formation.
5. Chinese Crested
It’s always nice to have options when selecting the perfect pet for your family. It’s even nicer to have options within the same breed. The Chinese Crested is like the yin and yang of the non-shedding breeds. It comes in two variations: hairless and powderpuff.
Hairless Chinese Cresteds only have hair on their heads, tail, and feet, while Powderpuffs are covered with a fine, silky outercoat and a short, woolly undercoat. Either type is a great choice for those looking for a non-shedding dog.
Cresteds typically have a sunny disposition, but the sun can be harmful to their skin, so special attention must be paid if they are hairless. Hairless Cresteds are predisposed to blackheads and pimples. If acne is an issue for your Crested, use a mineral mud bath to exfoliate the skin. You should also keep their hair trimmed, as long hair can cause acne. For days when your sidekick one wants to have a little fun in the sun, add a layer of protection by applying sunscreen sparingly to their face, legs and body—excessive amounts of sunscreen can clog the pores and trigger breakouts. Be sure to bathe your pup afterwards.
Cresteds are also sensitive to cold temperatures, so invest in a few sweaters and scarves to keep your dog warm and cozy in the chillier months.
Powderpuffs should be brushed daily to avoid matting. To keep the ends from breaking, and make the coat look healthier over time, lightly spray the hair with water before brushing.
Both types should be bathed once a week, or every 10 to 15 days with a mild, hypoallergenic dog shampoo, conditioner and warm water. Finish up by line-drying the hair at a cool to warm setting.
Our number four non-shedding small dog, (try saying that fast four times) is also Cuba’s national dog, the Havanese.
The Havanese is another double-coated, Bichon-type dog. But being that it was created to thrive in a tropical climate, the texture of the Havanese’s coat, is different from that of other double-coated breeds. It is soft and lightweight—perfect for keeping this playful pup cool on hot, humid days.
On the flip side, it is important to make sure your Hav is protected from the cold. Growing out their hair in the fall or winter, and of course, buying a few cute sweaters will keep your compadre cozy ‘til spring.
In order to prevent tangling and matting, brush the coat every day. Havs should be bathed every week to three weeks depending on the coat length and thickness, as well as your dog’s lifestyle. After bathing, towel blot the hair in a downward motion to prevent tangling. Next, line–dry, brush and comb through the hair to remove any tangles.
Which do you think is easier to manage? A dog that is heat sensitive or one that is sensitive to cold?
3. Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso was first bred by Tibetian Buddhist monks as a monastery watchdog. They are a very alert breed that is generally suspicious of strangers, but loyal and affectionate to their family members. This type of temperament kept disruptions at a minimum and was ideal for the monks’ tranquil, meditative way of life. But there is also another advantage to having a Lhasa if your those trying to live a Zen lifestyle—the peace of mind that comes with having a dog that won’t cover your couch with their DNA.
Lhasas have a long outer coat made up of guard hairs that are similar to human hair. They protect the underlying hairs and keep the coat smooth, while the soft, fine undercoat keeps the Lhasa warm. Due to the length and weight of the hair, shedding occurs slowly and continuously, much like that of humans. This helps keep them neat and clean, and decreases the probability of matting and tangling.
The Lhasa’s coat is lush and gorgeous, but maintenance can be time-consuming. You should brush and comb your pup’s hair every day if possible, and bathe them every two to four weeks.
Grooming a Lhasa’s coat is not for the weak-willed, and requires both time and patience to learn the proper care techniques. Many owners have their dog’s coat cut short to make grooming easier. If you are a beginner, or find grooming to tedious, hire a professional to keep your Lhasa’s lovely locks in shape.
With a haughty carriage and expressive face similar to that of a human, the Miniature Schnauzer looks like a 19th century gentleman, gentlewoman—or bearded lady depending on how they’re groomed, so it is fitting that they are considered a non-shedding breed. Anything less would be uncivilized.
Schnauzers have a double-coat that is wiry on top. Like some of the breeds we’ve previously mentioned, the soft undercoat catches most of the loose hairs, so the breed is considered non-shedding.
The standard Schnauzer groom cut is closely cropped along the body either by stripping or clipping, with the hair falling into long fringes, or “furnishings,” on the undercarriage. Facial hair is cut close, but is left a bit longer at the brow and around the muzzle so the brows stand out, and the moustache and beard are pronounced.
Brush your Schnauzer two or three times a week, paying close attention to the longer hair on the face, legs, arm—excuse me, “legpits” and undercarriage. Oh, and you might want to wash your buddy’s beard after he or she eats. As with the human beard, all kinds of things can get caught in there!
1. Toy Poodle
Our top spot belongs the diminutive, yet chic Toy Poodle. The Poodle has a single-layer coat made up of dense, curly fur that can be shaped into a wide variety of styles, from Mohawks to dreadlocks.
Like the hypoallergenic double-coated breeds on our list, the also Poodle sheds hair into its coat. The difference is that since it only has one coat, the loose hairs aren’t trapped in an undercoat, but get tangled in the surrounding hair instead.
Before grooming your Poodle, decide if your dog is going to be a flashy show dog or live the “simple life” as a pet. If you plan on entering your pup into competition, you should have its fur clipped into one of several elaborate “show clips” or opt for a corded look, similar to dreadlocks. After their show career is over, you may want to switch to a close cropped, low-maintenance “pet clip.”
Poodles typically need grooming every six to eight weeks, and their coats should be brushed with a slicker brush at least twice a week to help keep the hair free of mats and tangles. They are also prone to skin irritation from clogged pores, so bathe your poodle once a month with a mid to high-quality dog shampoo.
Which coat type is suits your lifestyle? A double-coat or a single-layered coat? Do you even have a preference?