September 27, 2023

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16 Small Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed

Most dog owners will know that their pet’s hair can be nightmarishly difficult to keep off of clothes and soft furniture.

And for those with allergies, dogs that shed a lot can be a deal breaker.

Newsweek asked Gina DiNardo, executive secretary of the American Kennel Club (AKC) to tell us about small dog breeds that don’t shed.

1. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher are often compared to Ewoks or Wookies by Star Wars fans
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Affenpinschers are a small breed and stand at only 11.5 inches tall at the shoulder.

They have a characteristic coat that does not shed much, and are often compared to Wookies and Ewoks by Star Wars fans.

DiNardo says: “The Affenpinscher is loyal, curious and entertaining. Many say the breed is human-like. They have a dense, harsh, wiry coat.”

2. American Hairless Terrier

American hairless terrier
American Hairless Terriers are a great option for allergy sufferers
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Native to Louisiana, American Hairless Terriers stand between 12 and 16 inches tall. As they are hairless, they make a great choice of companion for allergy sufferers.

“Lively, intelligent and friendly, the American Hairless Terrier is a great companion with a moderate energy level,” DiNardo says. “They are completely hairless.”

3. Bedlington Terrier

bedlington terrier
Bedlington Terriers are native to England
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Native to England, Bedlington Terriers are great companions, alert watch-dogs, and love exercise. These breeds stand 17.5 inches tall at the shoulder and can live to be up to 16 years of age.

“The Bedlington Terrier is known for its curly, wooly coat that resembles a lamb,” DiNardo comments. “The breed is cheerfully and loves people. It needs moderate exercise.”

4. Bichon Frise

Bichon friese
Bichon Frieses are small and affectionate
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Bichon Frises are tiny, coming to only 11.5 inches max at the shoulder. They are fluffy, friendly, and extremely good with children. They can live up to 15 years of age.

“Cheerful, playful and very social, Bichons are meant to be companions,” says DiNardo. “They enjoy long walks and interactive play. Their trademark coat requires daily brushing and combing to prevent mats.”

5. Bolognese

Bolognese dogs were bred in Italy
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Bologneses come to only 12 inches in height at the shoulder and can live for up to 14 years. Native to Italy, they are friendly to their families but can be shy around strangers.

“This small companion breed is calm, devoted and playful,” comments DiNardo. “The Bolognese loves people and does not do well alone for long periods of time. They have a long, fluffy, white coat.”

6. Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested
Chinese Crested dogs have a very distinctive coat
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Chinese Crested are distinctive looking to say the least. Their bodies are completely hairless, but their heads and feet are covered in white, fluffy fur.

They are a maximum of 13 inches tall, and can live up to 18 years in age.

“Chinese Cresteds are alert dogs that bond strongly with their owners. They are the only long-coated hairless breed. They have moderate to low exercise needs – daily walks and play will do,” DiNardo says.

7. Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulears are a maximum of 11 inches tall at the shoulder and can live for 19 years.

The Coton de Tulear is the “Royal Dog of Madagascar,” and these dogs primary job is to provide entertainment and comfort.

“Cotons are clownish and affectionate,” says DiNardo. “They are small, hardy dogs that are happy and eager to please. The breed’s profuse white coat requires brushing several times a week.”

8. Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terrier dogs have a unique, blue-grey coat
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With a distinctive blue coat, a Kerry Blue Terrier will definitely turn heads. They are just below 20 inches tall at the shoulder, and were bred to be farm dogs.

“Kerry Blue Terriers are quick learners with a high activity level,” DiNardo comments. “They are outgoing, playful and sociable dogs that do well with an active family. Their coat requires daily brushing and monthly trimming.”


9. Löwchen

Löwchens are only 14 inches tall at the shoulder and live for a maximum of 15 years. These dogs were originally bred in Germany as companion dogs, and so are affectionate and loyal.

“Löwchen are small dogs with big hearts,” DiNardo comments. “They are outgoing, affectionate dogs that are happy accompanying their owners on long walks. Their lion-like coats need brushing every few days and a bath every couple of weeks.”

10. Maltese

Maltese dog
Maltese dogs have a beautiful and silky coat
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Maltese dogs are classic looking, with a silky and luxurious mane. They are only 9 inches tall at the shoulder and live for up to 15 years.

“The Maltese is small but mighty! These dogs are known for being brave, playful and fearless,” DiNardo says. “Their long, silky, white hair needs to be brushed daily to prevent mats.”

11. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers are a distinctive looking dog with a great beard. They are small, and come to a maximum of 14 inches at the shoulder.

DiNardo says of the breed: “This versatile, independent worker is known to be spunky and fearless. They are affectionate, sweet and sociable towards people. They also make good watchdogs. Their double coat requires clipping or stripping.”

12. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca Orchids are hairless dogs and are used as sighthounds. They can be a great range of heights, and they can range from 10 inches tall to 26 inches.

“The hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid is loyal and protective of its family,” DiNardo says. “This breed has a high energy level, needing regular exercise. They should be bathed every couple of weeks. The breed also comes in three sizes: small, medium and large.”

13. Poodle

Poodles come in Standard, Miniature, and Toy Poodle sizes
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Poodles are great companions and come in three standard sizes, the smallest of which is only 10 inches tall. They live for up to 18 years.

“Exceptionally smart and active, the Poodle needs daily exercise. The breed comes in three sizes: Standard, Miniature and Toy. Poodles need to be brushed daily to keep their coat free of mats,” says DiNardo.

14. Russian Tsevtnaya Bolonka

The Russian Tsevtnaya Bolonka is only 10 inches tall and can live for 16 years. They are affectionate and loyal dogs.

“This breed is known to be sweet, loving, intelligent and willing to please. It’s a small companion dog that’s funny and very loyal to its family,” DiNardo comments. “These dogs don’t require much exercise but enjoy walks and playing. They require regular brushing.”

15. Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli dogs are completely hairless
Getty Images/nickpo

Xoloitzcuintli dogs are ancient, and can be traced to 3,000 years ago. To Aztecs they were considered the “dogs of the gods,” and they make affectionate companions.

“The Xolo comes in three sizes: Toy, Miniature and Standard,” DiNardo says. “The hairless Xolo is calm and attentive. The do, however, have a high activity level, requiring plenty of exercise. They should be bathed biweekly.”

16. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terriers
Yorkshire Terriers are very affectionate dogs
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These dogs are affectionate and great with children. They are only 8 inches in height and can live for 15 years.

“Yorkies are bold, lively little dogs with a moderate energy level,” DiNardo comments. “Their fine-textured coat should be brushed daily to avoid mats.”