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Dog Breeds That Don't Shed

Find dog breeds that don't shed or are less likely to shed. There are many small, medium and large breeds of dogs that don't shed or are light shedders.

The level of shedding is a question many prospective pet owners ask when deciding upon which dog to choose. It may be a matter of allergies or some people simply don’t want to deal with the housekeeping issue involved with dogs that shed heavily. Whether it’s a matter of cleaning or allergens that pose a problem, you are in luck. There are many wonderful dog breeds that are neither heavy shedders nor copious allergen producers.

There is no such thing as a completely non-shedding dog. Like humans, all dogs shed at least a little hair at one time or another. However there are dogs that shed little hair and these are the best choice for allergy sufferers and, pardon the expression, neat freaks.

Dog Shedding and Allergies
Most dog allergies are caused by dog dander, not the hair they shed. Dander is the dead skin that falls off the dog, depositing itself all over the house and wafting through the air into your nose and eyes in the process. All dogs produce dander, but some dogs create a lot less of it. Low-shedding breeds are considered to be more hypoallergenic, which means they don't produce as many allergens through flaky dead skin and dander as other breeds do.

Dogs also are pollen transmitters and many people are allergic to this powdery substance that helps propagate our trees and flowers. Pets pick it up outside, carrying it home to add to their owners’ allergy woes. The thicker the coat, the more of this stuff they can carry.

Understanding dog shedding
Shedding is affected by hormonal changes that are tied to photoperiod (day length). When kept mainly indoors, the amount of shed hair is affected by the amount of daylight, which also stimulates hormones and promotes shedding. It is also affected by the temperature of your home and influenced by the pet’s level of nutrition and general state of health. In addition to natural seasonal shedding, a dog may drop coat after surgery, anesthesia, or whelping puppies.

Dogs that don’t shed or shed less
Here are some of my favorite breeds that don't shed or are light shedders, listed by size to help you find the right companion for you and your family.

Small dogs that don't shed:

Affenpinscher A spunky terrier blend, the Affenpinscher charms owners with well-timed spirited antics. Active indoors, the breed does well in an apartment if taken for daily walks. Generally good with children and other pets, Affiepinschers are intelligent with a streak of stubbornness.
Australian Terrier Looking for a small, entertaining watchdog? The Australian Terrier is on the job. The Australians created this breed from several terriers, including the Dandie Dinmont. The Australian Terrier’s coarse-haired coat and topknot make this dapper dog easy to care for with a good brushing and some light trimming.
Basenji Although known for not barking, don’t think that this muscular, lightly built, medium-sized dog doesn’t make any sound. The Basenji yodels, mumbles, whimpers, chortles and can even screech like a siren. This intelligent and active dog is best for the dog-experienced family.
Bedlington Terrier Weighing 17 to 23 pounds, the Bedlington Terrier typically has a mild and gentle temperament, but he can also be full of energy. Some say that this medium-sized dog has a lamblike appearance. Check out the breed's nice topknot at the crown of the head and long drop ears with hair that forms a tassel at the end.
Bichon Frise This breed was favored by the French nobility during the 1500s, but had become a common companion in France by 1800. Most note the dog’s powder puff appearance at first glance, but the Bichon Frise is a sturdy, playful dog known for a cheerful and affectionate temperament.
Bolognese The sweet, playful and affectionate Bolognese gets along with children and other animals. Sometimes this all-white dog has champagne coloring on his back or ears, and his long soft, almost cotton-like coat covers his entire body. The Bolognese needs daily brushing to keep the beautiful coat free of tangles.
Border Terrier One of England’s oldest terrier breeds, the Border Terrier does well with children and other dogs, but he views small animals as prey. This breed’s alert, active and affectionate nature makes him a favorite with active individuals or families. The small, sturdy Border Terrier weighs about 11.5 to 15.5 pounds.
Brussels Griffon This full-of-personality toy dog breed comes in two different coats: rough or smooth. The rough is dense and wiry and the smooth is short and straight. The Brussels Griffon’s intelligence and confidence can make him more challenging to train for inexperienced dog owners.
Cairn Terrier This friendly and lively terrier craves affection and gets along with other animals and children. A good family dog, the Cairn Terrier is a small dog, weighing in at about 13 to 14 pounds. Most people know this breed because one played the part of Toto in the Wizard of Oz.
Chinese Crested Along with being small, fine-boned, active and playful, the Chinese Crested comes in two distinctive varieties: the hairless and the powderpuff. The hairless has special skin care needs, such as protection from the sun. Socialize this dog breed and it will do well with children and other animals.
Coton de Tuléar This cheerful, playful small dog was named for Madagascar’s port city of Tuléar. The Coton de Tuléar has a beautiful, soft, cotton-like coat. He is more commonly seen in the white color variety, although there is also atricolor and a black and white variety. Dachshund (Smooth and Wirehaired and Lonhaired varieties) Called a sausage dog and a wiener, the Doxie will entertain you with its comical and self-important demeanor. Its low-slung body was bred to tunnel after badgers. The longhaired one needs lots of brushing and the wirehair, which occasionally needs to be hand-stripped.
Dachshund (Smooth and Wirehaired and Lonhaired varieties) Called a sausage dog and a wiener, the Doxie will entertain you with its comical and self-important demeanor. Its low-slung body was bred to tunnel after badgers. The longhaired one needs lots of brushing and the wirehair, which occasionally needs to be hand-stripped.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier This breed does well with just one owner or a family, in the city or the country.The Dandie Dinmont Terrier weighs in at 18 to 24 pounds and is known for being independent and intelligent, although reserved. He is affectionate with his family and has a moderate activity level.
Havanese First kept as a companion by the Cuban aristocracy, this breed became popular with the middle class and was brought to the United States with Cuban refugees after the 1959 revolution. Attentive, intelligent and trainable, the friendly Havanese makes a quiet and gentle pet.
Italian Greyhound The small, finely boned Italian Greyhound does well with an individual owner or a family with older children. His short, smooth coat comes in many colors, such as blue, fawn, seal, red and white.This affectionate breed likes attention.
Lhasa Apso Got an apartment? This breed does well in one with his low activity level and small but hardy build. Of course, the Llhasa Apso still needs daily walks, but random dog petters should ask before petting. The Llhasa Apso can be wary of strangers and children, although affectionate with his owner and friends.
Maltese Weighing in between 4 and 7 pounds, this small, white breed is quite fearless considering his size. He trusts his friends but can be wary of strangers. The affectionate and playful Maltese has a silky, flat coat hanging to either side of the body from a center part.
Miniature Poodle Almost identical to the Standard Poodle and the Toy Poodle except for size, the Miniature Poodle weighs in at 14 to 16 pounds. This intelligent breed is highly trainable and affectionate. It is known for its curly coat, which can be clipped or left to cord.
Miniature Schnauzer This small, sturdy and square dog resembles the Standard Schnauzer from which the breed was developed. The Miniature Schnauzer weighs around 14 to 18 pounds. Alertness, spirit, loyal and intelligent are just a few of the words used to describe this breed. 

Tips for handling dog hair:
Even for low shedding breeds, hair control can be a maintenance issue. If you do fall head over heels with a dog that sheds, or there are some things you can do to manage the situation.
Regular brushing is the key - the hair will end up in your brush rather than on the carpet, the couch and your clothes.
Vacuum your floors and furniture frequently, using a machine with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter.
Keep at least one room of the house dog-free. Your bedroom is a good choice but this may take training and will power if your pet has gotten used to sleeping with you!
Fit your home with a central air purifier that uses a HEPA filter and use it at least four hours a day to remove allergens.
Clean your dog’s dog bedding frequently.
Wash clothes you wear while interacting with your dog before putting them back in the closet or bureau drawer.
Limit the number of rugs, upholstered furniture, and drapes in your home. Opt for hardwood floors rather than wall-to-wall carpeting.
Bathe your dog regularly and brush or comb him daily, outdoors if possible.
Always wash your hands after touching your dog and avoid touching your eyes and face until you do.

Many of these dog breeds have high-maintenance grooming needs, but are breeds that shed a significant amount less than others. As always, thorough research and evaluation of your lifestyle are important when selecting a dog breed. I wish you well in your search and hope you find the one that is just right for you!
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