Which small dogs shed the least?

We’ve had a cat for 12 years now, but the time may soon come when we’ll want to get a small dog. Which are the best from an allergy/housekeeping perspective?

My brother is VERY allergic to anything with fur, and they have a shih-tzu. Doesn’t shed much, doesn’t seem to bother him.

Don’t get a pug. Mine shed enough to make a new dog every day it seems.

Poodles don’t shed at all. Depending on what you mean by small, you’re looking for a miniature or toy poodle.

Yeah, and don’t get an American Eskimo either. Tons of shedding. I wanted to see how many times I could “fill” up the brush while brushing her and I got worn out before I could finish. The garbage man probably thought I ran over a litter of albino rabbits with the lawnmower by the looks of all the white hair in the garbage can that week.
At least if you don’t find the dog that sheds the least you’ll have a list started with all the ones that shed lots.

I have a standard poodle and he is an incredible dog.

The breed is extremely smart and you have to be willing to spend time with them. People don’t realize they’re a sporting breed and are very active. Be prepared to play and interact. I’ve found that agility training is something Jake loves, so that may be something you can explore.

They do have to be groomed regularly, but it isn’t a big deal (our groomer charges $65 and it includes shampoo, kennel cut (not all the poms for a show cut), ear cleaning and nail clipping.

I’ve had my little short-haired dachshund for 12 years and he doesn’t shed very much. They’re stubborn, but smart.

I have a nephew who is very allergic to dog/cat hair. Their daughter really wanted a puppy. In their research, they decided on a Bichon Frieze (I have no idea how to properly spell this) and he has had no allergy probems at all with the dog.

My brother was also allergic and we always had poodles with no problems.

Here’s a list:


Any particular reason you’re thinking a small dog versus a larger one?

I’m only ask becuase some larger breeds (I’m thinking greyhound in particular since I work with them) are more calm and quiet in general than many small breeds…

I know several people that have italian greyhounds… and they’re small and don’t shed much (but I’ve heard they have a lot of energy!)

I don’t know if I would trust an article on low-shed dogs that uses pictures of long-haired breeds sporting short clip jobs. Smells of deception.

Why not go for a reptile? Green Iguanas and turtles are easy to care for, provided you put the money into a good enclosure from the start. They have interesting personalities and behaviors and shed in large, easy to clean sheets.

<nitpick> people are generally allergic to animal dander, made of shed skin and dried saliva, as opposed to animal hair. link 1 link 2
If you are trying to control allergies, look for a low dander pet, like reptiles or fish.

Or another variation on the same theme is a whippet. they are small and don’t shed much hair, mainly because they don’t have much. This is why they appreciate a coat in the cold weather.

My aunt went on a search for a small breed that didn’t require much grooming and ended up with minpins (miniature pinschers). They don’t shed much, probably because there isn’t much to shed.

They’re active and yappy, though. So if you want quiet and calm, they’re out. But their hair isn’t a problem.

As an aside, if you put felt antlers on the brown ones at Christmas, they look like little reindeer. (Her minpin group used to take a sleigh around to rest homes during the holidays, with a couple of black and tans dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus riding.

We have a maltese that doesn’t shed at all. Also have a poodle mix that doesn’t shed.

People should be very careful about what they are posting here.

All dogs shed, end of story. Mammal hair has a finite lifespan and when that lifespan is over the hair is shed. All dogs will shed every hair on their body at least twice a year. There are no breed eexceptions to this. All dogs shed. Those people saying that certain breeds don’t shed at all are talking nonsense.

You are really asking two totally separate questions:

  1. What animal is best from a housekeeping perspective?
  2. What animal is best from an allergy perspective.

The answers for those two questions are totally different.

From a housekeeping perpective the short haired breeds with little undercoat produce the least hair, and hence shed the least hair. This is where the minititure pinschers, dachshunds and so forth are useful. The trouble is that most of these breeds are also dark haired aniamls, and in most houses a little bit of dark hair will show up worse than a lot of light hair. There aren’t many truly light haired animals with short coats, dalmations and white dames are all I can think of off hand, and the both have some serious mental and genetic isues.

The next issue is allergies, and suprisingly this has no rleationship at all to how much a dog sheds. Allegries are caused by bretahing in the skin flakes that are shed all the time by dogs. A dog can produce massive amounts of hair without beig allergenic while a Mexican hairless can trigger severe allergies despite having no hair. Poodles and some poodle crosses are usually considered the best for allergies, despite shedding considerbale amounts of hair. That’s because poodle skin is unlikely to trigger an allergy in most people.

Xoloitzcuintle? At least from a grooming aspect. :smiley:

Don’t get a German Shedder.

I came here to say what Blake said.

Anecdotally, many of my clients have Poodles and/or Bichons due to their reputation of being less allergenic than other breeds.

The recent popularity of the -“doodle” crosses are partly because people want to get the hypo-allergenic qualities of a poodle but have a dog that looks like a golden retriever or a pug or whatever.

I second Blake and vetbridge. My wife is allergic to her parents’ Yorkies, but has no problems with our Bichon. We purchased our dog with allergenicity in mind, and we’ve been very much pleased.