Are there really any non shedding small dogs? To bust a popular myth, all dogs shed some fur. Some shed infrequent, small quantities and others large, messy-to-clean-up clumps. However, there are hypoallergenic breeds, which are called this because they shed less hair and skin dander than other breeds. In most cases, allergy sufferers have fewer allergic reactions to these dogs.

Non-shedding Small Dogs & Allergy Suffers: A Perfect MatchCredit: Evah, royalty free license, via SXC, Evah, royalty free license, via SXC,

List of Non Shedding Dogs: Small Breeds

The American Kennel Club lists ten breeds on their list of breeds for people with allergies; however, to keep the discussion focused on small dogs, we will discuss only those breeds that weigh approximately 4 to 15 pounds. These dogs, listed in order from smallest to largest by average weight, are:

  • Maltese
  • Toy Poodles
  • Xoloitzcuintli
  • Chinese Crested
  • Bichon Frise
  • Miniature Schnauzer

When you purchase one of these dogs from a reliable breeder, their pedigree is your assurance of the predictability of certain breed characteristics like the animal’s size, weight, and coat. Their coats range from almost non-existent (hairless) to single coats to double coats.

Note: Unfortunately, the Obama's dog of choice, the Portuguese Water Dog, which is on the list of hypoallergenic breeds, did not make the cut for our list. The average weight of these dogs is between 35 and 60 pounds.  The Obama's needed a non shedding dog because of daughter Mailia's allergies. 


Maltese are happy, amiable dogs with a keen intelligence and fearless spirit. They are devoted and affectionate with family members and make good pets because they are easily trained and socialized.

Maltese are single coated dogs; their fur is long and flowing, with no kinks or curls. A daily brushing with a slicker dog brush or pin brush should suffice to keep dander and stray fur at minimal levels. To enhance the coat's natural shine, consider investing in a bristle brush to complete the grooming session.

Maltese Are Excellent Small Non-Shedding Dogs

MalteseCredit: Ann, CC BY SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons, Ann, CC BY SA-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons,

Toy Poodle

Toy poodles are diminutive versions of their larger sized family members, but being smaller does not mean that they are less intelligent than standard-sized poodles. As a breed, poodles have superior intelligence and are easily trained, making them excellent choices for both companion and show animals.

Their naturally curly coats are thick and dense and lay close to the skin. Their coats can be cut in a variety of clips: puppy, English Saddle, Continental, and Sporting. Pin brushes are the best choice for grooming a poodle’s curly coat.


The Ioloitzcuintli ( Xolo) is a hairless breed with firm, smooth skin and possibly a few stray hairs on the head and extremities. The coated Xolo has a short, barely noticeable coat. Grooming gloves are the best choice for this breed, and you may want to include a soft cloth to rub the skin and remove any remaining dander or loose fur.

Xolos are docile, stable dogs that are somewhat aloof with strangers. They are immensely loyal and efficient guard dogs.

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested, another hairless breed, comes in two types: hairless and Powder Puff. The hairless Chinese Cresteds have crests, plumes, and socks and a hairless body, while the Powder Puffs have a double coat. Groom the hairless variety with a grooming glove, but use a slicker or pin brush for the double coated one.

Chinese Cresteds are extremely people-oriented and affectionate. They are an ideal family dog because of their intense loyalty and loving natures and a perfect example of the type of small non shedding dogs that work best for reducing allergens.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise are double-coated dogs; they have an undercoat and an outer coat. Groom them with a daily brushing using a slicker or pin brush to reduce the risk of any loose hair escaping from the coat.

Bichon Frise make good pets because they are exceptionally intelligent and easily trained. They are courageous and very devoted to their families. Because they were originally working dogs, bred to herd sheep, they may occasionally try to round up and herd their people. Their fur is naturally curly and incredible soft, which gives them the appearance of a fluffy powder-puff.

Minature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers are also a double-coated breed. The outer coat has wiry fur, while the undercoat is soft and close to the skin. Have their coats professionally stripped biannually for best results. (The undercoat is removed, leaving the outer coat.) Porcupine brushes are the best grooming tool for wiry haired dogs.

They are members of the terrier family, which means they are smart, independent, marvelous with children and other pets, and extremely family-oriented.

Final Tips and Disclaimer

Now that you know more about some popular non-shedding small dogs, you are better prepared to decide if you and your family are ready to add a dog to your household. Please bear in mind that while these dogs produce less dander than most, they could still trigger an allergic response in some individuals. If you suffer from allergies, check with your allergist prior to purchasing a pet.