20 Hypoallergenic Dogs That Don't Shed Much

Woman With a Poodle Standing On Grass Against Sky

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There is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. Sneezing, wheezing, and a stuffy nose are human allergic reactions to proteins found in the saliva, dander, and urine of all dogs. That protein gets attached to the dog's dander—the dead dry skin that they shed. It's normal for a dog to shed dead skin, so every dog can still cause a reaction in folks with allergies.

That said, the term hypoallergenic is commonly used to refer to dogs that shed very little. These pups are easiest for allergy sufferers to be around because less dander gets in the air. Dogs that do not drool much are also helpful for allergy sufferers. Here are 20 low-allergenic dog breeds to consider.

All of these breeds can be found at animal shelters or by searching for breed-specific rescues.  If you've decided to buy a pet from a breeder, be sure to choose a responsible breeder, and always avoid puppy mills.

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A poodle running in a mossy forest.

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Poodles are known for being highly intelligent and easy to train. They have thick, curly, low-shedding fur, which makes them a good match for anyone seeking a low-allergenic dog. They need daily brushing to prevent mats from forming. For a more manageable coat, poodles can maintain a short trim with monthly grooming.

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Portuguese Water Dog

A Portuguese Water Dog splashing through water

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The Portuguese water dog has a dense, waterproof coat that requires weekly grooming to stay clean and reduce allergens. Porties are quite intelligent and energetic, and they do well with an active lifestyle.

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Miniature Schnauzer dog pictured on the peak of Loggerheads Country Park in Wales

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Schnauzers have a two-layer coat. The wiry topcoat keeps brush and moisture away from their bodies, and the soft undercoat keeps them warm. They require frequent brushing, but they don't shed much thanks to their coat combination. These smart, athletic dogs make enthusiastic and loving companions.

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Xoloitzcuintli or Mexican Hairless Dog

Xoloitzcuintle (Mexican Hairless Dog) standing on stone at sunset against beautiful natural landscape

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Xoloitzcuintli are known as hairless dogs, but not all varieties are technically hairless—some have a short coat. The hairless Xoloitzcuintli have tough, smooth skin, and it's easy to keep them clean, making them ideal for allergy sufferers. Toy, miniature, and standard Xoloitzcuintli are all considered to be calm dogs.

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Bedlington Terrier

Cute bedlington terrier puppy is standing on a green grass with lolling tongue.

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The Bedlington terrier is known for having a fairly laid-back and mellow personality. Rather than extensive exercise, this pup is happy with regular walks. Its coat is quite thick and curly—it resembles a lamb's coat but is softer to the touch.  These terriers have lower dander and shed less than other dogs, but they still need regular brushing and grooming to maintain the lowest possible level of allergic effects.

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Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested Dog having fun at the dog park

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Hairless Chinese crested dogs have hair on only part of their bodies, and they don't shed much, which makes them a good option for allergy sufferers. Be aware that there is a coated variety with long, silky fur, so not every Chinese Crested is low-allergenic.

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Maltese Dog on the beach.

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Another very small dog, Maltese dogs act as though they are much larger and are known for being fearless. Their long silky hair needs daily brushing and longer tresses can get easily tangled, but their coat can be kept short for easier care. They are infrequent shedders.

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Yorkshire Terrier

Portrait of yorkshire terrier dog outdoors

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Yorkies, as they are generally known by their fans and friends, have silky long hair that's closer to human hair than a typical dog's fur, and they don't shed much at all. They are also quite petite, maxing out at about seven pounds. These small dogs have big personalities—they even make good watch dogs, as they are quite observant.

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Afghan Hound

An afghan hound in Puerto de la Cruz

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The large, elegant Afghan hound is a wonderful low-allergenic companion. Strong and athletic, these dogs need regular exercise and plenty of room to run. Those long, flowing locks should be bathed and brushed twice a week, which will keep dander to a minimum.

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Bichon Frise

Two Bichon Frise dogs on the grass.

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The Bichon Frise is a popular low-allergy dog because of its small size, playful temperament, and good dynamic with children and other dogs. These pups need exercise and do well with agility training and ball-chasing. Their white hair is thick and velvety, growing continually and barely shedding, which means they need regular grooming to prevent the fur from matting up.

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Puli Standing On Grassy Field

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Puli dogs have extremely thick coats that naturally cord. The cords are wooly and dense, and they require regular maintenance. They can also be brushed out for a fluffy version of the fur. This special coat needs frequent grooming, but it does not shed much, which makes them a good fit for folks with allergies. Puli dogs (or Pulik in plural) are quite agile and strong, and they're very faithful to their humans.

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A sable colored 6 years young male Havanese dog on green grass with daisies.

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Another dog with a double-layered coat that doesn't shed much, the Havanese is the only dog breed native to Cuba. They're known to be very social dogs, and their silky coats come in a number of color combinations and patterns.

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Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo dog in a flower field.

Anita Kot / Getty Images

The Lagotto Romagnolo is known for two characteristics in Italy, where they originated: their ability to sniff out truffles and their curly, human-like coat. While that thick coat helps this breed look more like a teddy bear than a dog, it also helps with reducing its allergenic qualities.

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Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear dog

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The Coton de Tulear is another small, tough dog that generally gets along with kids and other dogs, making it a popular choice for people who need a group-oriented dog. Their long, thick coat can be totally white or include points of other colors. The coat needs daily grooming to keep knots and mats at bay, which in turn will limit the amount of allergy-causing dander that the pup sheds,

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 Playful Labradoodle Puppy with Toy

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Labradoodles—a mix of a Labrador retriever and a poodle—are a type of doodle dog. They can be a low-allergenic choice, but exactly how low-allergenic depends on the genetics and how they're expressed in each individual pup. Labradoodles with poodle-like coats are best for allergy sufferers, but be sure to keep the dog clean and well-groomed to ensure the least dander.

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 Samoyed Standing On Grassy Field In Park During Sunny Day

Chongwen Li / EyeEm / Getty Images

It might be surprising that such a fluffy dog could be considered low-allergenic, but the Samoyed fits the bill. Samoyeds don't shed much, and they rarely drool—an important factor, since saliva can be an allergen. This is a highly social dog that needs lots of exercise and social stimulation, and it won't do well if left alone for long periods of time.

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Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Wirehaired pointing griffon running in a field.

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The wirehaired pointing griffon is a medium-sized dog with a long history as a hunting dog. Unlike silkier hypoallergenic pups, this dog has rough, wiry hair. However, it's still a low-shedding dog.

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Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier standing on the green grass

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The Kerry blue's soft, pettable fur needs plenty of maintenance, including a good brushing at least once a week as well as regular baths and trims. The reward for all that work is a less-allergenic dog. The Kerry Blue's coat varies from dark gray to light gray.

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Young purebred basenji is posing on the edge of a wood

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The Basenji is a very clean dog with very short hair, best known for the fact that it doesn't bark. (Instead, it yodels.) Much like cats, these pups groom themselves quite thoroughly. So, even though they do shed (especially in spring), not much hair or dander makes its way into its home.

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Black shaggy affenpincher dog sitting next to the fly agaric on the grass in the forest

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These small, sturdy dogs are famous for being quite comedic, combining their cute looks with goofy antics. Their fur is thick and quite tough, so they need just a bit of grooming to keep dander down. (Baths are always a good idea.) Their petite size and limited shedding make them a good companion for allergy sufferers.

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View Article Sources
  1. Chan, Sanny and Leung, Donald. "Dog and Cat Allergies: Current State of Diagnostic Approaches and Challenges." Allergy Asthma Immunology Research, vol. 10, no. 2, 2018, pp. 97-105, doi:10.4168/aair.2018.10.2.97