11 Dog Breeds That Barely Shed & Are Perfect For People With Allergies

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Whether you're allergic to dogs or like to keep your furniture hair-free, knowing the dog breeds that barely shed is going to be your saving grace when you want to get a dog for yourself. Because lots of people who have allergies to pet dander (aka, dead skin cells) have access to one very important loophole that can allow them to get a dog: hypoallergenic dogs.

The term refers to dogs that have hair instead of fur. The biggest difference between hair and fur is that hair is longer and has a slower growth cycle, which causes it to naturally shed less. On the other hand, fur is much shorter and has a much faster growth cycle, which causes it to shed frequently. Generally, dogs with hair only have one layer of follicles, while dogs with fur have a double layer. This extra layer means extra follicles, which also means extra dander. Plus, the more a dog sheds, the more it spreads its dander around the house, and the more people with allergies (or aversions to fur) are affected.

So whether you need a hypoallergenic dog because of allergies, or you prefer one, you're going to want to look into dogs that barely shed. Do keep in mind that not all pet allergies are related to dander, and while there are breeds that don't regularly shed, there are other ways for their dander to be freed into the atmosphere, so talk with an allergist before getting one a dog. If you're cleared, lucky for you, some of the most intelligent, personable, and loyal breeds just so happen to be hypoallergenic! Here are a few of the best:

Maltese

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Despite how much hair these dogs can grow, it barely sheds! Their silky manes need grooming to look this chic, but you won't find stag white hairs on your furniture.

Brussels Griffon

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Some Brussels Griffons come fluffier than others, but none of them shed. They also require very minimal grooming, which makes them low maintenance dream pups.

Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus have multi-textured hair that can be fluffy, silky, curly, or wiry — but it never falls out and they're surprisingly easy to groom.

Poodle

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Poodles have tons of thick, coarse, and curly hair, but they barely shed.

Bichon Frise

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These little puff balls need a lot of grooming to look this perfect, but they'll never shed.

Havanese

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These dogs love people and they'll jump into your lap the second you sit down near one. And despite how long and luxurious their hair can grow to be, it never sheds.

Cairn Terrirer

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Toto from The Wizard Of Oz was a Cairn Terrier! These dogs have a scruffy mane that rarely sheds and needs little attention. Owners usually opt to keep this type of dog looking adorably scrappy.

Yorkshire Terrier

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Yorkies have the silkiest most gorgeous multi-colored hair that owners typically opt to keep short. And whether you decide to let their hair grow out or cut it, it won't shed.

Portugese Water Dog

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Fun fact: Former first dog Bo Obama is a Portugese Water Dog! This pup looks like the kind of dog that gets hair all over the couch, but it's actually incredibly neat. Its tightly coiled coat doesn't shed and is very easy to maintain.

Scottish Terrier

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This looks like the kind of dog that would brush up against your pant leg and ruin your outfit, but the Scottish Terrier is actually a very tidy pup that barely sheds or needs grooming.

West Highland Terrier

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Westies are incredibly low-key dogs that are very low shedders. A quick brushing here and there can eliminate shedding altogether.