Low Shedding Small Dogs

The caller was tearful.

"We had to place our Cairn last week," the lady said. "They are supposed to be a low shedding small dog, but my daughter just couldn't stop sneezing. You have Silkys, right? They don't shed, do they?"

There is a current rise in allergies in our country. More people are looking for low shedding, hypoallergenic* small dogs than ever before, like my caller.

This article is a directory of low shedding small dogs, to help you figure out which one might be right for you.

Any dog that has hair, will shed. And if it sheds, it is not 100% hypoallergenic. What causes allergies is dog dander, which is a combination of hair, undercoat and skin particles. The more undercoat a breed has, the more it will shed and the less hypoallergenic it will be.

Take for example my breed, Silky Terriers. They have no undercoat. The breed still sheds, because they do have hair, but they do so at about the same rate as us humans. My friend has two Papillons. She sometimes experiences tumbleweeds of hair rolling through her kitchen. Lots of hair. Lots of shedding. Lots of dander. Not a hypoallergenic, low shedding breed.

There is little correlation between length of hair and shedding. One of the heaviest shedding breeds is a Beagle.

Rather than list out each low shedding small dog, I've put them in categories. Check out the breeds you are interested in. Then contact a responsible breeder. For how to find one, see the article What Is a Responsible Breeder.
To determine if your breed is going to be okay with your allergic family member, bring him or her along to see the puppies. If they don't start sneezing at the breeder's house, they probably will be okay with the new puppy in your home.

*Hypoallergenic: (from American Heritage Dictionary) Having a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction.

So here is the countdown for low shedding small dogs.

Non-Shedding Small Terriers

These dogs need to have their hair trimmed or plucked to be kept short. They have a wiry coat and a small amount of undercoat.

Bedlington Terriers
Border Terriers
Cesky Terrier
Cairn Terriers
Wire Fox Terriers
Lakeland Terriers
Miniature Schnauzers

Norwich Terrier

Parson Russell Terriers

Sealyham Terriers
Scottish Terriers
Welsh Terriers
West Highland White Terriers

Long Coated Dogs With Some Undercoat

These dogs all have long flowing thick hair as opposed to dog "fur". They do have some undercoat, but most people with dog allergies are fine with these breeds.

Lhasa Apso

Yorkshire Terrier

Shih Tzu

Curly Coated Small Dogs

These dogs have a curly coat that needs regular grooming. They hardly shed at all, but can be a bit smelly as they age.

Bichon Frise

Coton de Tulear -- you can check out Tucker's drawing on Training a Small Dog; for more information on this breed you can visit this great website:


Long Coated Small Dogs With No Undercoat

This breed is the most hypoallergenic of any coated breed.

Silky Terriers

(Almost)Hairless Small Dogs

This breeds have a small amount of hair on their heads and feet. They need skin care and can burn easily.

Chinese Crested

Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican Hairless

You can always reach me at aboutsmalldogs@gmail.com.

Visit the Bichon Frise page
Visit the Border Terrier page
Visit the Shi Tzu page
Visit the Havanese Page
Visit the Norfolk Terrier Page
Visit the Norwich Terrier Page
Visit the Silky Terriers page.
Visit the Yorkshire Terrier Page.
Visit the Xoloitzcuintli page.
Return from Low Shedding Small Dogs to Small Dog Breeds
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