Have You Seen These Uncommon Non-Shedding Dog Breeds?


Most people probably know that poodles don’t shed. The Portuguese Water Dog, Maltese, Chinese Crested, and Mexican Hairless are other non-shedders that are fairly well-known. Some people have even developed cross-breeds like the Schnoodle in an effort to create a shed-free dog. But have you heard of these eight lesser-known breeds that are also non-shedding? Some of them are quite rare throughout the country, while others may be popular in a particular area and almost unknown elsewhere.

Affenpinscher (#147 on the AKC’s list of the top 190 most popular breeds by number of registrations)

Only the toy poodle ranked higher on this list of non-shedders than the ‘monkey terrier’. This spunky little breed is smart, funny, mischievous, and energetic. They’ll keep you in stitches with their expressive faces and antics. They need lots of firm, positive training – teaching them tricks or agility will help keep their minds and bodies actively engaged. Affenpinschers love a good challenge!

Basenji (#84 on the AKC list)

This breed may remind you of a cat with its elegant gracefulness, independent nature, inability to bark, the way it grooms itself, and its ability to climb. Yes, Basenjis can climb trees! In fact, these master escape artists can also climb fences. Once out of your yard, this agile and speedy African hunting breed is hard to catch. That’s one reason for consistent, positive training. These naturally standoffish dogs also need plenty of socialization from an early age.

Although Basenjis can’t bark, they do make a variety of other interesting sounds. These chatty canines are famous for their chortle and they also yodel!

Brussels Griffon (#94 on the list)

This little dog has enough personality for a dog ten times his size. The AKC describes him as “comically self-important” and that’s the impression he gives as he goes about his busy day. These charming little dogs are sociable and affectionate. And, really, who can resist that face?

Although they are friendly and curious non-shedding dogs, they’re also surprisingly good watchdogs. They’re very loyal to their family and need consistent training and socialization to help them be at their best with others.

Ibizan Hound (#165 )

‘Beezers’, as they are affectionately known, are from the Spanish island of Ibiza. Their aristocratic looks belie a silly sense of humor and affectionate nature.

These high energy sighthounds need lots of exercise. Their natural athleticism and intelligence lend themselves well to lure coursing, tracking, agility, and obedience. They get bored easily and need constant challenges. Their bright minds can think up lots of mischief if you leave them to their own devices!

Irish Water Spaniel (#164)

According to the Irish Water Spaniel Group of America, “IWS have powerful endurance and bold eagerness enlivened by a clownish sense of humor.” These dogs have a natural willingness to please and make wonderful family members when given proper training and socialization at an early age. They also need lots of exercise!

Unlike most of the other dogs on this list, the Irish Water Spaniel has a short, dense undercoat to keep it warm in freezing water. The outer ringlets tend to rest on top of furniture and carpeting rather than burrowing into them. Regular brushing will keep shedding from either coat minimal. The ringlets keep their distinctive shape through regular exposure to water.

Italian Greyhound (#74)

These graceful, elegant little dogs may look like the ultimate couch décor, but at heart they are true coursing hounds. The only thing they like better than chasing down prey is sitting in your lap. These  sweet-natured, playful pups absolutely crave affection and they will prance around you until they get it.

Although they love spending time with you, in typical sighthound fashion they are not particularly eager to please. They respond best to lots of upbeat praise and yummy treats. Early socialization is key in preventing timidity.

Their short, sleek, almost non-shedding coat comes in an array of colors and patterns and is very easy to keep clean and neat.

Saluki (#123)

Egyptian Pharaohs hunted with Salukis, an ancient breed even then. These graceful, dignified sighthounds have been companions of royalty for millennia. The modern Saluki is almost indistinguishable from those early hunters.

Speeding along at nearly 45 MPH, the elegant Saluki can outrace most other breeds of dogs. This makes them a natural candidate for lure coursing – an excellent way for them to express their ‘need for speed‘. When they’re not sprinting, Salukis enjoy a good nap on a cushy couch. In fact, their calm, gentle demeanor belies all that the speed inside.

They are often aloof with strangers and require lots of socialization early in life to develop a friendly, outgoing manner. Like other sighthounds, they have an independent spirit and need gentle, consistent training.

Tibetan Terrier (#101)

Despite its name, the Tibetan terrier isn’t a true terrier. According to the AKC, “Tibetan Terriers are Tibetan, but they’re not true terriers—not by blood, temperament, or job description.”  Like several other companion dog breeds that are too large for the toy group, the AKC places the Tibetan terrier in the non-sporting group.

These ancient ‘Holy Dogs of Tibet’ were bred in Buddhist monasteries as companions and watchdogs. Intelligent and loyal, they also worked as herding dogs and guardians of the nomadic flocks. A sweet, affectionate nature is tinged with a good deal of humor. These lively, sensitive dogs make great therapy dogs, sharing their joy in life with the patients they visit. Clever and eager to learn, they can also be the class clown in obedience class!

Despite their profuse, shaggy coat, Tibetan terriers are minimally-shedding. Those lush coats require a lot of grooming, however, to keep the dogs comfortable and looking their best. The same harsh climate that gave them their extravagant coat also endowed them with ‘snowshoe feet’, which the AKC describes as ‘unique’.

In order to find the perfect non-shedding dog for your home, consider these factors:

  • Temperment
  • Size
  • Activity level
  • Training requirements
  • Maintenance needs
  • Amount and type of grooming needed
  • Breed health and longevity

Whether your dog sheds constantly or not at all, contact us for the care your precious pooch deserves. Our large staff, including four veterinarians, are ready to take care of all your pet’s needs.

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