Some dog breeds don't shed as much as other breeds. This fact is good news for two kinds of people—those who tend to get sneezy and sniffly around animals and those who don't want evidence of a dog all over their clothing and carefully-curated interiors. Hypoallergenic breeds can still trigger an allergic response but produce less allergy-causing dander—those tiny skin flakes are an allergy sufferer's Achilles heel. So, which dogs shed minimally and stay small enough for loads of cuddles and comfortable apartment living?
These small dogs are friendly, energetic, and brave. They reach just nine inches in length and weigh about seven pounds. It's easy to think of a Maltese as a prim and proper long-haired beauty. But it can retain its puppy cut for easier maintenance, and the different aesthetic may appeal to you more. Either way, your Maltese won't shed much.
The basenji is a good choice if you don't want a dog that will hit you over the head with its cuteness. Basenjis are hunting dogs from the Congo, so they're active if you're looking for a running buddy, although they can be willful. They have the added benefit of being relatively quiet, which is perfect for apartment living. These dogs aren't little balls of fluff, and their coats shed very little.
Poodles are OG dogs that breeders use to spawn multiple hybrids. They just have so much to offer, from their personality and intelligence to their looks. You can go over the top with the hairstyling if you want. Or you can teach a poodle to do backflips. Poodles come in various sizes and are less likely to set off allergies than other dog breeds. Amazing, huh?
If you're anything like us, it's impossible to say this dog breed's name without a thick Italian accent à la cacio e pepe. Bred to find game in the marshes of Romagna, Italy, the Lagotto Romagnolo has since pivoted to truffle hunting. This breed is pretty rare in the U.S., but if you can get your paws on one, you'll have a loving fur baby that doesn't shed much.
Shar-Peis have irresistible wrinkles and folds, and they rarely smell bad. They come in three varieties, with some more prone to seasonal shedding. You should fare okay if you look for Shar-Peis with short, prickly 'horse' coats. This ancient flat-faced breed from southern China makes a calm and loyal watchdog.
You know you're in for an interesting pooch with a name meaning 'monkey-like terrier'. Affenpinschers look like mini Ewoks, and they're smart and funny like primates. This toy breed's shaggy coat sheds during the change of seasons, but not very much. It smells fresh as a daisy, most of the time at least.
Hairy rather than furry, the Bichon-like Bolognese doesn't really shed, but you will need to groom yours on the regular to get rid of old hair. Another Italian breed, these lap dogs are outgoing and happy to socialize with other canines, but they're rare in the U.S. You'll be happy to know that the Bolognese isn't a big barker.
This small breed will help keep your decor spick and span. Brussels Griffons are cutie patooties that have either smooth or rough coats. They need frequent grooming but shed very little. Your Brussels Griffon will want to be around you often, so if you're looking for a little mascot, this is the dog for you.
Not one for conventional good looks, these hairless sighthounds are greyhound-like and affectionate. Peruvian Inca orchids will need bathing every two weeks or so. They come in coated varieties and different sizes and are solid options if you're looking for a small but athletic breed. Small varieties are just shy of 10 inches tall. PIOs are average barkers and make good watchdogs.
Terriers tend to be petite with coarse hair. Terrier mixes could have a parent that sheds a lot, but for the most part, terriers are low-shedding dogs. Bred as hunters, you'll need to take your terrier out for walks frequently if you live in an apartment. Consider these options for starters: Norwich terriers, Bedlington terriers, Tibetan terriers, Yorkshire terriers, and mini schnauzers. You'll need to research further to find the best matches for your lifestyle to ensure you can give your chosen dog breed a high quality of life.
Get your paws on the latest animal news and information