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Small And Toy Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed

Border Terrier

There are many small and toy dog breeds that don’t shed at all or shed minimally due to their hypoallergenic coat, which means that they are suited for sensitive and allergic people.

There are people that are sensitive and allergic to saliva, urine, dandruff and dog hair, and any of these things can cause asthma attacks to them.

For all these people we have a list of small and toy dog breeds that can be adopted to become your daily companion.

Small Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed Or Shed Only Minimally

The following list of dog breeds includes toy and small dog breeds that don’t shed at all or shed only minimally, so there is a possibility to own a dog breed from the list even if you are an allergic person to dog hair, etc.

1. Border Terrier

Border Terriers were originally bred in an area located at the border between Scotland and England, and were created for pest control and to hunt small animals.

These dogs are energetic, very sociable and affectionate, which means that they need your attention daily (they require interactive games for mental and physical stimulation, and between one and two hours of daily playing).

They need to be socialized from a young age, especially with other animals and people to tame their hunting instinct.

Border Terriers have two layers of coat that comes in various colors from dark, light, blue and tan, and they require grooming at least once a week.

The coat shouldn’t be clipped to avoid losing its color and texture, however, the coat can be stripped only by a qualified person.

These dogs can live between 12 and 15 years, and can suffer from various medical conditions. The most common being a skin allergy that can manifest in various ways (itchy ears caused by otitis, itchy paws, and itchiness in other parts of the body).

They can suffer from various hereditary conditions (epilepsy), and can also be prone to a slightly dislocated kneecap (a common condition in all terriers).

Having a hypoallergenic coat, these dogs shed only slightly, which means that they could a perfect companion for people with minimal allergy to dog hair.

2. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu was originally bred in the Buddhist monasteries of Tibet, and was considered a sacred dog, and a companion only for the Chinese nobility.

Shih Tzu puppy

Cute Shih Tzu puppy.

Even if we talk about a small dog, the Shih Tzu is very intelligent and has a sweet appearance, this would be the reason why this breed is so popular today.

Having a long and thick coat, they can be easily confused with another dog breed (the Lhasa Apso).

They have a great coat with flat and wavy hair, and also a good undercoat.

Being characterized as a very intelligent, very sociable and cheerful dog, the Shih Tzu is a perfect companion for families with children, however, the socialization process needs to be started early to avoid future conflicts with other dogs and animals.

Get a Shih Tzu only if you have time to spend with the dog, because they need your attention quite often (they don’t like to stay home alone for hours).

Their coat tends to get tangled, so they need to be brushed and groomed daily.

It is important to trim the hair over their eyes short to help them see with ease.

These dogs need a lot of company, so they need to live surrounded by the human family inside the home.

Shih Tzus don’t have any common canine disease, but they tend to suffer due to entropion, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia and even ear or eye infection.

These dogs can live around 16 years, and due their hypoallergenic coat that does not shed, it could a perfect companion for people allergic to dog hair.

3. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is part of the toy dog group and was created to be a small, attractive and faithful dog for people that want a charming companion around them all the time.

This tiny dog only wants to please its owner and therefore can be easily trained to learn all kinds of tricks.

However, they need to be socialized with other dogs, animals and people from a young age, to avoid becoming very vocal if you keep them inside the house for longer periods of time.

Their white, wool-like coat, can have overtones of other colors including grey, buff and apricot, while the undercoat catches the curls, and this is the reason why the coat of this tiny and lovely dog will shed only rarely.

You need to brush them daily, and to keep them in a very good shape (physically and mentally) you need to play with them between 30 minutes and one hour (preferably outside).

These dogs are prone to different medical conditions such as: otitis (an inflammation of the ear canal), urinary tract disorders (bladder stones) and little skin lumps.

The Bichon Frise can live between 13 and 15 years, and being dogs that rarely shed, they can be a perfect companion for allergic people.

4. Basenji

The Basenji is a dog that doesn’t bark, and acts more like a cat because is a fastidious groomer.

This is one of the oldest dog breeds, because they appear on Egyptian hieroglyphs and art.

In ancient times, they were brought from Central Africa up to the Nile and offered as gifts to the Pharaohs.
They are still used today by pygmies in Central Africa to hunt lions.

Being a very smart and stealthy dog, the Basenji can learn new tricks in a very short time, and is a perfect companion for active people.

Training a Basenji is not an easy task because they are very independent dogs (they act more like cats), but with time and dedication you can get a very educated doggy.

These are perfect for families with children where they will mainly bond (exactly like cats) with only one member of the family.

In terms of health, you need to avoid the lineages that are exposed to the Fanconi syndrome (a fatal genetic kidney disease).

However, a Basenji without this genetic disease, can be a very healthy dog.

Their coat with short hair, doesn’t shed very much, so they could be perfect companions for people with allergies to dog hair.

Because they don’t bark, they are perfect for the city, but only if you are an active person that spends at least one hour per day, walking and playing with the dog.

5. Bolognese

The Bolognese is a fluffy dog (exactly like the Bichon Frise) that has hair instead of fur, and was originally bred in Italy (Bologna) for the Italian aristocracy.

Bolognese puppy

A very cute Bolognese puppy

We have here a tiny dog with curly hair that flows in long, wavy locks, and makes it look more like a fairy tail dog.

Being pretty shy, this is a one-person dog that is very happy when sits in your lap, but needs to be socialized from an early age to become used with other small and large dogs, other animals and people.

Bolognese dogs are part of the toy dog group and were created as a great companion for a single person or for families with children (preferably older age children).

Having a coat that doesn’t shed, the Bolognese needs to be brushed pretty often (to remove the dead hair), and they also require daily grooming to make them look great all the time.

The Bolognese can live between 12 and 14 years, and is a generally healthy breed, but it can suffer from different allergies, retinal atrophy and cataract.

They usually live inside, but if you forget them in the house for more than a couple of hours, they can start barking pretty loud, which could cause problems with your neighbors.

Being a toy dog breed that doesn’t shed, the Bolognese is perfect for people with allergies.

6. Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is a cute little dog (even if some people consider it an ugly dog) that comes in two varieties: hairless and powderpuff.

The crest in their name refers to the plume of hair on the top of their head.

In terms of origins, some say that this breed comes from the Aztecs, while others say that Chinese traders found these dogs on the shores of Africa, and brought them to ports around the world for trade.

On ships they were used to hunt rats and other pests.

Being a small and lean dog, the Chinese Crested can come in any color or pattern, and instead of fur, has only a skin without hair, a patch of hair on the head, a little hair on the legs and partially on its tail.

These tiny hairless dogs are perfect for families, for elderly and even for disabled people because they don’t require much exercise per day.

In terms of health, they are generally healthy dogs (they live between 13 and 15 years), but because they are half naked, they require sunscreen and maybe a sweater in colder environments.

They are also prone to skin problems (rashes and allergies to wool), and they need to be protected with warm clothes during the cold season.

They require daily brushing and a bath once or twice a week to keep them clean and good looking.

The muzzle is usually shaved every two weeks for both types: the hairless and the powderpuff.

Even being a playful and lovely dog, you need to start the socialization training from an early age to get along with ease with other people, dogs and animals.

Being a dog that sheds minimally (the Powderpuff), the Chinese Crested is a perfect companion for people with allergies.

7. Havanese

This toy dog with silky-like coat, is an ancient dog with origins that can be traced to the Mediterranean as far as the 1st century AD.

Havanese puppy

A very cute Havanese puppy.

These dogs have traveled aboard Spanish trade ships to Cuba in the early 16th century, and become the Cuban Bichon.

Being a very lovely dog, the Havanese can come in a rainbow of colors (black, white, chocolate, silver or a combination of these colors).

Their unique silky coat is known as being wavy, soft and beautiful and their owners are keeping them short coated or long coated.

They have slightly shorter legs in the front, and an arched tail that curls over their back.

Havanese are best suited for indoor living and they are used with a good life.

They require a moderate amount of daily exercise and they are adaptable to the most environments.

You need to brush them several times per week to keep their coat clean and good looking.

This breed is prone to developing cataracts, and they could also suffer from progressive retinal atrophy (could lead to blindness).

The life expectancy is around 14 years.

You need to use a gentle hand when training them, and they are perfect dogs for families with older children.

Having a silky coat that doesn’t shed, Havanese could be the perfect companion of people with allergies to dog hair.

8. Lhasa Apso

This a tiny dog with flowing coat that covers its legs and makes it look like a supermodel.

These dogs need to be socialized from an early age because otherwise they tend to be aggressive with other animals and strangers.

Being a very old breed originating in the Himalayan mountains, the breed was very popular among the holy people and the Tibetan nobility, where they kept them as watchdogs.

The breed reached the United States only in the ’30s, due to a gift made by the Dalai Lama himself.

This tiny dog has a long two-layered coat that covers the head and the entire body reaching the floor, and comes in different colors such as: gold, cream and honey.

The tail is covered by long hair and flips over its back.

Many owners are keeping the coat long (a distinctive look of the breed), but others prefer to cut it shorter.

Its ears are hanging low and are covered by feathered fur, but even so, this tiny doggy can easily hear any suspicious noise.

Barking loud, these dogs will quickly alert its owners when a stranger appears.

A Lhasa ApSo weighs only 11 to 18 pounds, and a height between 10 to 11 inches.

In terms of health, these dogs are prone to cheery eye (when the third eyelid starts to swell), patellar luxation (a common problem in small breeds), different allergies, sebaceous adenitis (a serious genetic skin condition in dogs), progressive retinal atrophy and familial inherited renal dysplasia.

Lhasa Apso has a hypoallergenic coat that doesn’t shed, so this can be a perfect dog for people with allergies.

9. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers are part of the utility group, even if we talk about the smallest member of the Schnauzer family.

These dogs are affectionate and loyal by nature, and they can thrive in a home environment.

Miniature Schnauzer female

Miniature Schnauzers could be the perfect miniature guardian dogs.

Miniature Schnauzers are ideal dogs for people enjoying outdoor activities because they are very energetic.

Being very vocal, they will start barking loud to tell its owner that a stranger is around.

They form very strong bonds with the owners that spend time with them (for outside activities).

This cute dog has a wiry coat, and a thick, soft undercoat that sheds only minimally, which means that they need regular grooming.

Coat color can be black, black and silver, pepper and salt, but also white.

Socialization from an early age is important to reduce aggression and stubbornness.

Being smart and playful dogs, they enjoy an hour of exercise every day.

A Miniature Schnauzer reaches a height between 11 and 14 inches, weighs between 12 and 20 pounds, and can live between 12 and 15 years.

Miniature Schnauzers are prone to a small number of medical conditions such as: hereditary cataracts and skin allergies.

Having a coat that sheds only minimally, a Miniature Schnauzer is the perfect companion for people with allergies that are active and like outdoor activities.

10. Small and Toy Poodle

These cute tiny dogs are known as dogs that don’t shed due to their hypoallergenic coat.

In terms of origins, one theory says that the breed was first created in Germany, from there it traveled to France during the revolutionary wars, and from there to Spain, the UK and the Nederlands.

Of course that these small dogs differ only in size from the Standard Poodle, and they are all intelligent and easy to train dogs.

The Poodle is an active dog that is very happy when the owner spends time with him.
Its coat requires regular grooming to avoid mats and tangles.

These dogs are perfect companions for families with children and for active people.

Regarding their health, poodles are prone to hip dysplasia, eye disease (cataracts and glaucoma), different allergies, hormonal, digestive and congenital problems.

Small and toy poodles are tiny dogs with a lot of personality, and due to their hypoallergenic coat, they don’t shed, which makes them perfect companions of active people with allergies to dog hair.


Now that you know a few things about these lovely dogs, you can adopt one even if you are allergic to dog hair, saliva, urine and dandruff.

Article written by:

Darius Savin is a lifelong animal lover and protector and the chief editor of Checkmember. He writes and edits articles and is also the creator of the distribution maps for all the creatures featured here.