Although we are going to be looking at the best dog breeds that don't shed, we have to be up front: it's near impossible for any pet with hair to retain every single strand on their body. With that in mind, what we are really looking at are dog breeds that shed very, very little hair – amounts that can be picked off individually rather than clumps of fur which require you to run around with the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair.
Shedding is also natural. It's not a bad thing, nor usually a sign that your dog is unhealthy (although if a breed is shedding more hair than usual, it's worth a trip to the vet just in case). You can't prevent a dog which sheds from shedding either. Regular brushing, even with the breed we're covering here, will make a big difference, though.
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Originating from Tibet, Shih Tzus are little affectionate sweeties which love to jump up and sit quietly on your lap, making them one of the best dog breeds for remote workers. What you don't want are legs covered in hair when they decide to jump off again but, despite having a lot of fur, you won't need to reach for a lint roller. They only really shed when they change their coats as puppies and even then it's for a very short period.
Hailing from the Mediterranean island of Malta, these tiny lapdogs are also one of the best hypoallergenic dog breeds and, as with Shih Tzus, giving them a cuddle won't leave half of them behind on your body. They don't have an undercoat and their hair is lost lightly throughout the year but you do have to groom them regularly because that long white fur can quickly become dirty. It's also important to prevent their hair from matting by using the best dog brushes.
Not only are Poodles low shedding, they are also among the best hypoallergenic dog breeds. But that doesn't mean they're easy to groom. Quite the opposite in fact. Their single curly-haired coat can become tangled and matted and they will need a monthly trip to a professional groomer. But a weekly brush at home will make life easier, ensuring that any shed hair caught in their coat can be removed in a few strokes.
A Giant Schnauzer has a dense, wiry double coat and while this breed will molt, you won't find a lot of hair on furnishings, carpet and clothes. Again, so long as the hair is regularly brushed, it isn't too difficult to keep shedding under control. The main task, however, is to ensure the hair doesn't overgrow especially around the face, but investing in the best dog grooming kit and keeping it trimmed will help enormously.
Given the length of a Yorkshire Terrier's hair, most people would expect them to be heavy shedders. Instead, their long silky hair is one of the reasons why they don't shed much at all. Rather than go through a cycle of short-burst hair growth that gets pushed out seasonally, their single-coat of hair keeps growing at a steady rate. If any strands loosen, they just get caught. The only time you will see excess shedding is when puppies are transitioning to a full adult coat.
Just like their Giant cousins, any shedding from a Miniature Schnauzer will come from the breed's soft and fluffy undercoat. The fact this is covered over by coarse wiry hair, though, ensures this is as far as most of those loose strands will go. In fact, if you're looking to bring a Standard Schnauzer into your hour, you'll be in the exact same situation. You only need to get more active with a vacuum cleaner when they blow their coat in the Spring and Autumn but even then regular grooming minimizes the issue.
Look at all that hair. Surely that is going to shed everywhere – maybe even cover the entire sofa? But no! An Afghan Hound's single long-haired coat may look like a nightmare for anyone who is house proud but they are indeed a low shedding breed. That's not to say they are a low maintenance dog breed, though. You'll be reaching for the slicker brush, removing tangles and mats and ensuring the coat is kept clean and healthy.
Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs are easy to train, fun loving and active and they either have curly or wavy single coats. The lack of undercoat works in their (and your) favor but breeds with curly coats do require a lot of care both at home and in the salon. If you were considering bringing a Portuguese Water Dog into your home then you may want to look at the different dog coat types and how to care for them. Just remember that a Portie was once a resident of the White House, with Bo being a pet dog of the Obama family.
It's often said that Bichon Frises don't shed at all. But, as with most breeds, this isn't strictly true. They do shed but, as with Poodles, loose hairs become caught within their undercoat and, with regular brushing, you can ensure bits of fur aren't transferred all around your home. As a side benefit, this also makes them one of the best hypoallergenic dog breeds and, because they are highly intelligent, fun-loving and easy to train, they're perfect for first-time owners too.
The Lhasa Apso originates from the Himalayas in Tibet and they are one of a number of dogs with beards. Their excess facial hair doesn't overshed, though, and neither, come to that, does any of the other fur on this little breed's body. Although the Lhasa Apso's long coat requires maintenance including a bath every two to three weeks, very little hair will make its way on to your furnishings.
American Hairless Terrier
If you don't have hair, it's impossible to shed and that's the case with this adorable breed indigenous to the United States. Although American Hairless Terriers are born with light downy hair, it is shed within a few weeks of being born and all they are left with are eyebrows, some guard hair on the muzzle and whiskers. The important thing is to keep their skin clean and healthy.
You may perform a double-take when you first see a Bedlington Terrier since they're among the most unusual dog breeds. You won't be searching around your home for shed hair, though. Their short, coarse coat is as close to shed-proof as it can be but there's still grooming to be done. Yet given how they're one of the most affectionate dog breeds around, it's a great way to form a loving bond.
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David Crookes has been a journalist for more than 20 years and he has written for a host of magazines, newspapers, websites and books including World of Animals, BBC Earth, Dogs and Canines, Gadget and The Independent. Born in England, he lives in a household with two cats but he’s also keenly interested in the differences between the huge number of dog breeds — in fact, you can read many of his breed guides here on PetsRadar. With a lifelong passion for technology, too, he’s always on the lookout for useful devices that will allow people to spend more time with their pets.