If you have allergies or just hate hair all over, there’s a dog for you.
by Mary Jo DiLonardo
There’s a solution if you want a dog, but don’t want to deal with dog hair in your home. Whether it’s because of allergies or for the sake of your vacuum cleaner, there are plenty of reasons that people gravitate towards dogs that don’t shed. There’s something to be said for resting your head on a pillow not covered in dog hair, especially if the offending dander-filled fluff makes you or a family member sneeze.
But who wants to live in a canine-free home? If you’re looking to add a pup to your household and are hoping to find a breed that doesn’t shed, here are some suggestions, courtesy of the American Kennel Club. These are breeds deemed “hypoallergenic” by the AKC.
“There are breeds which have consistent, predictable coats that do not shed and produce less dander. Dander, which is attached to the hair, is what causes most pet allergies in humans,” writes the AKC.
In most cases that means the dogs still need regular baths and occasional grooming, but you won’t find piles of hair all over your house.
Afghan hound – The silky, flowing coat on this lovely dog is hypoallergenic, but that doesn’t mean it’s carefree. It takes a lot of work to look this good and for the Afghan, that means plenty of baths and frequent grooming to avoid tangles and mats.
American hairless terrier – It’s hard to shed when you don’t really have any hair. This feisty terrier needs just the occasional bath and regular grooming with a soft bristle brush.
Bedlington terrier – Resembling a darling little lamb, this graceful terrier has a non-shedding coat that needs regular trimming and grooming to keep it in shape.
Bichon frise – This fluffy little guy has lots of white hair that requires regular trimming and grooming because his hair is always growing. That means lots of brushing to avoid mats, but no shedding.
Chinese crested – This distinctive, hypoallergenic dog comes in two varieties: hairless and powderpuff. The hairless needs very little grooming since it has very little hair. The powderpuff requires daily brushing, but because of its short undercoat and veiled overcoat, grooming is typically very easy.
Irish water spaniel – The tallest of all spaniels, this playful pup has a curled, waterproof liver-colored coat. It only requires brushing every few weeks and trimming every few months.
Kerry blue terrier – The distinctive soft, wavy coat on this lively terrier can range in color from deep slate gray blue to light blue gray, according to AKC standards. They need to be brushed weekly and trimmed every month or so.
Lagotto Romagnolo – With a dense, curly coat that looks like wool, this Italian breed is low maintenance. It doesn’t shed and just requires regular trimming and bathing.
Peruvian Inca Orchid – This hairless breed, also simply called the Peruvian hairless dog, doesn’t shed, but it does require sunscreen and regular baths. They especially need lots of skin care when they are puppies.
Poodle – A favorite for people with allergies, this popular and intelligent breed comes in many sizes and colors. The poodle requires regular professional grooming to keep it looking snazzy.
Portuguese water dog – Dubbed “affectionate, athletic and adventurous” by the AKC, this pup has either a curly or wavy coat that doesn’t shed, but does require regular grooming.
Schnauzer – This friendly dog comes in a standard, giant and miniature version. His wiry coat must be groomed or stripped, along with regular brushing, but there’s no shedding.
Soft coated Wheaten terrier – This friendly terrier has a soft, wavy coat that needs regular grooming to keep out the mats.
Spanish water dog – This hardworking, herding breed has a distinctive curly coat that doesn’t need brushing or combing. You can clip it close or leave it long with tapered cords.
Xoloitzcuintli – One of the oldest and rarest breeds in the world, the “Xolo” or Mexican hairless comes in two varieties: hairless and coated. Coated Xolos only need occasional brushing, while the hairless variety needs just regular baths.