Are you on the hunt for a four-legged companion, but worried about your pet allergy? In this guide, we’ll tell you all about the world’s hypoallergenic dog breeds. We hope this helps you find the right doggo for your family!
Non-shedding and hypoallergenic dogs seem to be more popular than ever. With dog allergies being such a common problem, many pet lovers are seeking hypoallergenic dog breeds - sometimes paying thousands of dollars to get them.
And still, others are turning hypoallergenic breeds for the hair, or rather, the lack of it. Dog shedding is a big problem for many pet owners, but it's another strike off the list for owners of hypoallergenic dog breeds.
While no dog is truly hypoallergenic as all dogs shed some allergens, there are some breeds that are known to be better for allergy sufferers. And, these same dogs that don't shed may just have you put away the lint roller for good!
If you are searching for a hypoallergenic breed, we’ve put together this ultimate guide for you to explore before you go and start stocking up on dog supplies. But first, let’s explore what makes a dog hypoallergenic.
What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?
People often confuse what makes a dog hypoallergenic. This is because of the common misconception that allergy sufferers are having a reaction to a dog’s fur. That’s not the case.
Most of the time, the real cause of an allergic reaction to pets is a protein in their saliva and urine. This protein will bond to the dander in your pet’s fur, which (as all pet lovers know) then ends up all over your house and triggers a reaction.
The truth is – there really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed. However, there are several breeds that are just less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
This is for the sole reason that they’re either hairless, don’t shed or shed much less than other breeds! Less fur gathering around your home means less dander accumulating on the floors and in the air… and more control over your allergies! (And less clean-up? It’s a win-win!)
If you’re looking to adopt a pet but suffer from serious allergies or worry about shedding in general, going with a dog breed that doesn’t shed is your best move. Here are some other tips to help you keep your allergies in check:
Tips for Living With Allergies and Dogs
Set Up an Allergy-Free Zone
Make sure you have one space in your home that is an “allergy-free zone”, or a room that is off-limits for your pet. This will allow you to have a place to go if/when your allergies flare up. Removing yourself from exposure to the allergen is important to help your reaction subside.
Use a HEPA Filter or HumidifierHEPA filters clean the air and can help reduce the small traces of dander that linger even after a deep cleaning. It’s also a good idea to avoid dust-collecting items like cloth curtains and carpeted floors.
Bathe Your Pet RegularlyBathing your pet on a weekly basis can make a significant difference in reducing the amount of dander. It’s important to make sure you choose the right kind of shampoo that won’t dry out your pet’s fur and skin causing irritation or itchiness. Shampoos like Earthbath Hypo-allergenic Shampoo are specifically made for dogs that need to be bathed more often.
Don't Blame it All on the Dog!Mistaking the source of your allergic reaction happens more often than people realize! Before you go blaming your sniffles and itchy eyes on the doggo, make sure there isn’t another irritant that could be causing the reaction. Allergy tests can help you pinpoint all of the different allergens that your body reacts to and can spare your dog some of the blame!
While no pet is 100% allergy-free, there are millions of allergy-suffering, animal lovers across the world that are living their best lives with their hypoallergenic pets! Let’s explore all of the different breeds that fall into that category.
23 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds that Don't Shed
Whether you’re in search of a small lap dog or a large hiking adventure mate, there is a long list of hypoallergenic dog breeds from which to choose! Here is a list of 23 dogs that don’t shed and fun facts about them!
1. Tibetan Terrier
Tibetan terriers are proof that hypoallergenic doesn't mean no hair! They make our list because they shed minimally, but keep in mind… this bushy breed still requires a lot of grooming. Standing at 14 to 16 inches tall and weighing in at 20 to 40 pounds, they make for sweet and loving family dogs, and surprisingly excellent watchdogs!!
Fun Facts About Tibetan Terriers
- Native to Tibet, these long-haired lookers were originally bred to be companions to Buddhist monks and the guard dogs of nomadic herdsmen.
- They were nicknamed the “Holy Dog” and were considered to be “luck bringers”.
- Despite being named a “terrier”, these shaggy dogs don’t share any of the characteristics in temperament or instinct that terriers are known for. You won’t find them chasing rodents!
- Due to their nomadic nature, Tibetan Terriers easily adapt to a variety of different environments.
- They absolutely love attention, but can sometimes take time to warm up to strangers. They thrive in a household with school-age children who know how to treat pets with respect and gentleness.
2. Maltese Terrier
Maltese Terriers are known for their gorgeous white silky coats, but you won't find them shedding on your furniture or clothes. These fearless little dogs are sprightly, playful, and very loving! They make for amazing apartment dogs and an easy companion for first-time pet owners.
Fun Facts About Maltese Terriers
- The Maltese Terrier is thought to be related to the Tibetan Terrier (above), but their exact origin is not known.
- They have many, many, many nicknames… including the “Roman Ladies Dog”, “Melitae Dog”, “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta”, “The Comforter”, the “Spaniel Gentle”, the Bichon and the Maltese Lion Dog...
- It is suspected that they were once used to catch rodents in ancient and medieval cities!
- They excel in competitive dog sports such as rally, agility, obedience and tracking.
- A long time ago, you could find Maltese terriers in a variety of coat colours, but today they’re always white.
3. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu dogs are both loyal and friendly, and they happen to be hypoallergenic, too. The Shih Tzu coat does not shed, with the hair only falling out when brushed or broken.
Though they might resemble lions, they’re far from fierce. Typically 9 to 10 inches tall and 9 to 16 pounds, these affectionate doggos are happy living in smaller spaces as long as they’re spending time with their humans! Beware: Shi Tzus can be on the trickier side when it comes to housebreaking them.
Fun Facts About Shih Tzus
- The name Shih Tzu comes from the word for “little lion” in Chinese. This old dog breed was bred to resemble lions as depicted in ancient Oriental art.
- They were originally bred for royal Chinese families during the Ming Dynasty and have a long history of royal connections.
- Another nickname for this beloved member of the Toy Group is the Chrysanthemum Dog because of their unique hairstyle.
- It is said that during the reign of Empress T’zu Hsi, Shi Tzus had palaces of their own and were trained to pose and wave in the Empress’s presence.
- Shi Tzus are believed to be the “little lion dogs” that Marco Polo wrote about in the 13th Century. He reported that the Mongolian Emperor kept two of these long-haired pooches to keep his trained hunting lions calm… (what!?)
4. Brussels Griffon
Brussels Griffon dogs are known for their watchdog abilities and their friendly disposition. But Brussels Griffons are also hypoallergenic dogs as they shed hardly any hair at all!
While they tend to bond with one person more than others, Brussels Griffon dogs make excellent pets for families with children. Their need for constant attention makes them great for empty nesters!
Fun Facts About Brussels Griffon
- The Brussels Griffon is a very expressive dog, which is why they are favoured in movies and TV. The most popular Brussels appearance was probably alongside Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets.
- Belgium bred, their impressive hunting skills were put to good use when it came to keeping rodents out of stables.
- While they are a mostly affectionate breed, they can be moody and demanding of their owners’ attention!
- They often show off their skills in performance sports for dogs like agility races and obedience competitions!
- This unique breed is also on our list of Weirdest Dog Breeds That We Love.
5. Portuguese Water Dog
The muscular Portuguese Water Dog is loyal and energetic. Their coat sheds very little and they are considered a hypoallergenic breed, but the Portuguese Water Dog still requires regular grooming.
As their name suggests, Porties are water lovers! They’re the perfect companion if you’re looking for a dog that enjoys the beach as much as you do. They require rigorous daily activity to keep them in tip-top shape. Overall though, Porties are easily adaptable to any living environment and make for affectionate family dogs!
Fun Facts About Portuguese Water Dogs
- Portuguese Water Dogs are rare, but you might've heard of Bo, the First Dog. Bo was President Obama of the United States' gift to his daughters when he became inaugurated.
- They are nicknamed in their homeland as “Cao de Agua”.
- They have a history of working on fishing boats as part of the crew along the coast of Portugal to Newfoundland. It was their job to retrieve lost gear and assist in hoarding fish into nets. They even would swim messages to other boats!
- Porties thrive with proper training and often compete in performance sports as well as therapy work.
- This ambitious breed is a close relative of the Poodle.
6. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a happy and energetic breed. These intelligent dogs are known for their skills in agility, obedience, tracking, and even animal therapy. Whether you live in an apartment or house, Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers are a wonderful breed that requires moderate exercise and are notorious for their friendly demeanour.
Fun Facts About Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers were bred first in Ireland as farm dogs. Called the "poor man's wolfhound", the Wheaten was used for herding, guarding livestock, and hunting vermin.
- They were recognized as an official breed by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937 on St. Patrick’s Day!
- They’re relatives of the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier.
- The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Club was formed in the US in 1962 on St. Patrick’s Day… of course!
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers love to dig (like most terrier breeds).
7. Poodle (Toy, Miniature, and Standard)
Poodles, coming in three different sizes (Toy, Miniature, and Standard), are one of the most popular dogs in the world. These intelligent and responsive dogs are also considered hypoallergenic. They’re considered one of the smartest dog breeds and are highly trainable! Great as a family pet or an apartment dwelling companion, poodles are a popular choice for a hypoallergenic breed.
Fun Facts About Poodles
- Aside from not shedding very much, poodles are also known for being virtually odourless. No dog smell here!
- As one of the oldest breeds of dogs, poodles were originally bred in Germany as water retrievers to fetch prey for hunters. However, there are many beliefs surrounding their true origin.
- Their name “poodle” derives from the German word “pudel” or “pudelin”, which translates to ‘splash in water”.
- In France, poodles are called “Caniche” which means “duck dog”.
- As the Poodle breed continued to grow, they were used for performance purposes. Gypsies and nomadic performers would train them to do special tricks, dress them up in costumes and sculpt their coats into fancy designs.
- Poodles are one of the most popular breeds to cross with another breed. Check out some of the Best Poodle Mixes.
8. West Highland White Terrier
Affectionately nicknamed the Westie, the West Highland White Terrier is a friendly, active little dog with a double coat. Loyal to their owners, Westies are also hardy, make great watchdogs, and are hypoallergenic dogs. Westies will shed some hair, but not much.
Fun Facts about West Highland White Terriers
- The West Highland White Terrier was originally bred from the Dandie Dermont, Cairn and Scottish Terriers.
- Their white fur colour was a result of a tragic 19th-century incident. When Colonel Malcolm of Poltalloch was hunting foxes, he sadly shot and killed one of his wheaten-coloured Cairn terriers. From that point forward, he only bred white highland terriers that would never again be confused with foxes.
- Westies have a strong prey drive and love to hunt small critters.
- Not the best option for gardening enthusiasts, as Westies love to dig!
- This breed is also recognized as the Poltalloch terrier or the Roseneath terrier.
9. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is social, independent, and easy to train. Their hypoallergenic coat is generally kept clipped in an easy maintenance puppy cut. This affectionate and loyal breed loves to soak up as much attention as they can get!
Fun Fact About Bichon Frise
- Bichon Frise means Curly Lap Dog in French.
- The Bichon Frise used to be sailors' companion dogs and coincidentally, love water.
- Believed to have originated in the Mediterranean, this breed is a relative of several small breeds including the Maltese, the Coton de Tulear and the Havanese.
- They have a history of being the loved family pet of many royal families in Europe.
- As a highly intelligent breed, they were often trained for circus performances or to lead the blind during the late 1800s.
10. Kerry Blue Terrier
Also called the Irish Blue, the Kerry Blue Terrier was bred as an all-purpose working dog, taking on tasks such as herding, guarding, and hunting pests. Kerry dogs have hair that is similar in texture to fine human hair and they do not shed.
Kerry Blue Terriers are smart and require a lot of exercise. Due to their high energy levels, they thrive in an environment with lots of space.
Fun Facts About Kerry Blue Terriers
- Kerry Blue Terriers are born with a black coat. The blue appears around the time the dog turns 2.
- They’re not overly vocal, but when they use their voice – it’s pretty intimidating! This makes them great watch dogs.
- Although Kerry Blues are affectionate family dogs, the breed was nicknamed “Blue Devil” because of their involvement in dog shows that required them to show a certain level of aggressiveness or “gameness”.
- Like most terriers, they love to dig, chase and hunt for small critters!
- The breed didn’t become popular in North America until the 1920s.
Spirited and friendly, Havanese dogs make fitting pets for families with children. They are incredibly social and are known for their lively gait.
While Havanese might be seen as lap dogs, they’re also highly trainable and intelligent!
Fun Facts About Havanese
- The Havanese was originally bred for Cuban aristocrats.
- When Spanish settlers came to Cuba, they brought their small dogs, which were ancestors of what we now know as the Bichon family of dogs. The unique look of the Havanese evolved into what we know and love today because of their early days of being isolated on the island.
- Early on, the breed earned the nickname "Velcro Dog" because of how close they keep to their owners.
- The breed was nearly extinct towards the end of the 18th century. However, there were a few Cuban families that continued to breed them.
- After the Cuban Revolution in 1959, 11 Havanese were brought to the United States by Cuban refugees. These 11 special dogs are the ancestors of most Havanese outside of Cuba today.
12. Chinese Crested
Both Hairless and Powderpuff (with soft hair all over) varieties of Chinese Crested are hypoallergenic. Alert and agile, the Chinese Crested sheds minimally.
Fun Facts About Chinese Crested
- Chinese Cresteds actually originated in Africa. After Chinese traders let the dogs board their ships to hunt vermin, they were renamed the Chinese Crested.
- The Chinese believed that Cresteds possessed magical healing powers.
- This lovable breed doesn’t need as much exercise as other breeds. Despite their lazy nature, they can jump high fences and often participate in agility competitions.
- Hairless Chinese Cresteds must be kept shaven around their bodies to keep their skin healthy.
- Hairless Cresteds are also incredibly tolerant to extreme heat. They sometimes enjoy lounging in the sun for hours – like basking lizards!
13. Scottish Terrier
Independent and territorial, the Scottie makes a loyal companion. Add to that a low-shed, hypoallergenic coat and minimal grooming and you've got an all-around great pet!
While Scotties may not run marathons with you, they love to chase, dig and make an awesome walking partner. Their territorial nature and surprisingly deep-sounding bark make them great watch dogs too!
Fun Facts About Scottish Terriers
- The Scottie dog has made many appearances in popular culture and in the arms of celebrities. One of the most iconic Scottish Terriers is memorialized in a Monopoly token and Scotties have occupied the White House on at least two occasions (Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush).
- Though their exact origin is a little obscure, their story is traced back to 55 B.C. when similarly described dogs were discovered by the Romans after invading Britain. At the time, the Romans called them “terrarii”, which means “workers of the earth”.
- They were later bred by Scottish farmers to keep vermin, foxes and badgers out of their crops.
- During the 19th century, a military man named George the 4th Earl of Dumbarton had a brave pack of Scottish Terriers. Their bravery in battle won them the nickname “diehards”.
14. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel breed has been around for centuries. A hunting and companion dog, the Irish Water Spaniel is friendly, active, and devoted to its owners.
The breed is rare to come across these days in North America, but are a very popular working dogs in Ireland. They make a great companion for owners that lead more active lifestyles.
Fun Facts About Irish Water Spaniel
- The origin of this unique breed is a debated topic. They made their first appearance in Ireland in the 1830s from the kennel of Justin McCarthy. He, however, later died without ever sharing the secret of his breeding.
- The coat does need regular grooming attention, but the breed is considered hypoallergenic as it sheds less dander than many other dogs.
- Standing at 21 to 25 inches tall, they’re the tallest member of the spaniel family of dogs.
- As the name suggests, they’re skilled swimmers and love the water! In fact, they have webbed feet!
15. Cairn Terrier
The Cairn Terrier is a hardy, happy breed that originated in Scotland. Originally used for searching out vermin in stone piles (cairns), the Cairn Terrier is now a popular companion pet. Their wire coat is hypoallergenic and will also repel water.
Fun Facts About Cairn Terrier
- Cairns were originally bred over 200 years ago on the Isle of Skye by Captain Martin Macleod.
- They are skilled “earth dogs” like many terriers and perform very well in agility and earth dog competitions.
- Toto in the Wizard of Oz is probably the most famous Cairn Terrier!
- A Cairn Terrier's coat can change colour multiple times over the course of several years.
What started out as a crossbreed in the late-1980s is now a popular hypoallergenic pet - the Labradoodle. They are a mix between two of the most popular dog breeds in Canada, a Labrador Retriever and a standard or miniature Poodle.
The Labradoodle is not technically a breed in itself, but it could be headed that way in the future. Well-bred Labradoodles are naturally friendly and active and make good family pets.
While Labradoodles can be hypoallergenic, low-shedding, and good-natured dogs, there is a lot of variation among them as they are a new cross. No traits appear commonly across all Labradoodles. With that being said, make sure you seek out a reputable hypoallergenic dog breeder who is familiar with the cross and choose a dog that is a second-generation mix (its mother and father are both Labradoodles) if at all possible.
If you're looking for a specific trait, such as low-shedding or predictable weight gain, make sure you enquire as to whether the parents had it, and your pup is more likely to also exhibit that trait. As with any dog, there can be exceptions to the standard, but this is especially true for new crossbreeds. If you are not prepared to be flexible, you may want to choose a more predictable breed.
Fun Facts About Labradoodles
- In Monopoly's new Here and Now version, the Labradoodle replaces the classic Scotty dog token.
- This hybrid breed was originally created in Australia in 1989 with the intention of them being hypoallergenic guide dogs.
- The first Labradoodle was a dog named Sultan who became a very helpful and successful service dog.
- Steps are being taken to make this mixed breed official!
- Similar to their Poodle ancestors, Labradoodles can be bred in standard, medium and miniature sizes.
18. Border Terrier
The Border Terrier was bred for hunting foxes and rodents, but this intelligent and hardy breed also makes a lively companion or family pet. Their wiry coat is hypoallergenic, sheds little, and requires an easy weekly brushing.
Fun Facts About Border Terriers
- Border Terriers have strong instincts. If you have hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, or other rodents as pets, you may want to consider another breed. The instinct to hunt may be too strong for a Border Terrier!
- They are also avid escape-artists and explorers… so fences and supervision are extra important when you adopt a Border Terrier!
- The early days of the breed started in northeast England working for farmers as hunters of foxes and other vermin.
- Border Terriers love to chew, so it's important to make sure you keep some long-lasting chews on deck.
19. Schnauzer (Miniature or Standard)
Schnauzers are a smart, high-energy breed, whether Miniature or Standard. Schnauzers make excellent watchdogs, guard dogs, and vermin hunters, but are also popular as companion pets due to their loyal nature and hypoallergenic coat.
Fun Facts About Schnauzers
- Schnauzers have a long history dating all the way back to the 1500s.
- The breed was originally developed in Germany as hunters, herders and family watch dogs.
- Certain characteristics that are distinct to the Schnauzer were actually a result of crossbreeding with the gray Wolfspitz and black German poodles in the 1800s.
- Giant Schnauzers have performed many helpful duties to people over the years including stock dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, detection dogs, drug dogs, and more!
- Their name comes from the German word “schnauze”, which means “muzzle”.
20. Yorkshire Terrier
The spunky and adventurous Yorkshire Terrier should not be judged by its size! Yorkies often don't perceive themselves as small dogs and can be quite willful. Originally bred to hunt rodents, Yorkies can make loyal and devoted companion pets. Their hypoallergenic coat also sheds little!
While Yorkies make excellent dogs for apartment living, they can be quite vocal! Early training is a must to avoid unhappy neighbours.
Fun Facts About Yorkshire Terriers
- Though the exact origins of the Yorkshire Terrier breed are unknown, they are thought to have been bred by working North Englishmen to catch rats in clothing and wood mills.
- The early ancestors of the Yorkies were the Clydesdale Terrier or the Paisley Terrier. They were much bigger, but over time selective breeding of smaller individuals created the current breed standard.
- Thanks to a popular show dog named Huddersfield Ben, the breed gained recognition in the late 1800s and earned its official name.
- It’s not unusual for Yorkie puppies of the same litter to vary greatly in size!
21. Australian Silky Terrier
Like its close relative the Yorkie, the Australian Silky Terrier is bold despite its small size. The Silky Terrier is prized for its coat's lovely smooth sheen, but it also happens to be hypoallergenic and low-shedding.
Fun Facts About Australian Silky Terriers
- The Silky Terrier is the one dog breed considered to be truly Australian.
- They are a descendent of the Rough-Coated Terrier, which was a relative of the now-extinct Old Scotch Terrier.
- The breed used to be known as the Sydney Terrier because of its popularity in the city!
- Like most terriers, they were originally bred to hunt! It was their job to control the rats and snakes in the outback, in mines, and on the waterfront.
22. Bouvier des Flandres
A dog bred for herding and general farm duties, the Bouvier des Flandres has taken on many roles including guard dog, police dog, and, of course, loving pet. Bouviers are tireless workers as well as gentle and loyal companions. Their coat is known to be good for people with allergies, but it requires a lot of maintenance.
Fun Facts About Bouvier des Flanders
- The Bouvier's name means "cow-herder of Flandres".
- What we know as the Bouvier des Flandres now was originally three different dog breeds, however, they were dissolved into one after nearly all three were extinct during WWI.
- While the Bouvier’s exact origin is unknown, it is believed that their ancestors may include early sheepdogs, the Dutch Griffon and the Barbet.
- In Belgium, a Bouvier is required to be a proven working dog in order to win the title of conformation champion.
The alert and energetic Basenji is originally from Central Africa and was bred as a hunting dog. While they can be tricky to train, Basenjis are intelligent and respond well to consistency. Their coats shed little, are hypoallergenic, and require a minimum amount of grooming.
Fun Facts About Basenjis
- Basenjis are unique in that they do not bark but make a low howl instead. They are commonly called the “barkless dog”.
- This special breed cleans itself in a manner similar to cats.
- They were originally found in the Congo region of Africa and are believed to be one of the oldest breeds of domesticated dogs.
- Female Basenjis only go into heat once a year, which differs from other domesticated breeds that have their cycle twice per year.
- Basenjis are sighthounds, which means they love to chase!
Takeaways on Hypoallergenic Dogs
Not every pet allergy is limited to dander and fur, so just because a dog is low-shed, doesn't mean you can't be allergic to them. Pet allergies can include saliva and urine, so talk to your doctor before committing to a dog that you may react to.
No matter what breed you decide on, make sure you are prepared for a new puppy. Take a look at our New Dog Checklist to make sure that you have all the toys, treats, and tools you need to prepare for your new furry family member.
These are just a few of the popular dog breeds that don't shed. Share your favourite hypoallergenic dogs breed in the comments to help other readers learn first-hand accounts from pet owners of dog breeds that don't shed.