Some people’s experience with dogs is seen through red, itchy, watery eyes. They may love dogs, or have children who love dogs, yet they believe they will never be able to live with a pup. But that may not be the case: There are breeds that don’t shed (or shed minimally) and are considered hypoallergenic.
However, dogs that don’t shed doesn’t mean they need no or low maintenance. If you aren’t prepared to properly care for a dog, then a dog is not the best choice for a pet. Even dogs considered hypoallergenic may shed slightly. And they still need to have their coat cared for with regular brushing, bathing, and grooming.
Also, it’s not actually dog hair you’re allergic to; it’s dander. Pet dander is basically particles of dead skin that flake off into the air. This dander contains a protein that causes the immune system to go on the attack in people with dander allergies. A hypoallergenic dog is a dog that emits minimal dander.
For those looking for a medium-sized dog that doesn’t shed and won’t make you sneeze, here are a few for you.
1. Irish Terrier
Irish Terriers have a rough outer coat that is thick and wiry and a soft, fine undercoat. They don’t shed, but they do have to be brushed to remove excess hair. The Irish Terrier is a loyal, loving, fearless breed that make great watchdogs. Athletic and intelligent, they have the terrier attitude: willful, feisty, energetic, with a big personality. They love children but have a strong prey drive and may not be trustworthy around small animals like hamsters or gerbils.
Height: 18 inches; Weight: 25 to 27 pounds
2. Portuguese Water Dog
This breed has a curly or wavy coat that sheds little to not at all. Though they only need infrequent bathing, they do need to be groomed daily with a comb or wire brush, and the coat needs to be checked for debris and burrs after spending time outdoors. They are calm, affectionate, loyal, intelligent dogs who love the water (obvi!). They need lots of daily vigorous exercise. Besides swimming, they excel at dog sports like agility and tracking.
Height: 17 to 23 inches; Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
With their long, thick dreadlocks (or cords), the Puli is instantly recognizable. The cords are wooly, dense and waterproof. The Puli coat takes a lot of know-how and grooming. You will need to consult a professional groomer to learn how to take care of it. The breed is a happy, self-confident, affectionate, intelligent breed who looks much larger than he is due to the voluminous coat. They are herding dogs that need a lot of vigorous exercise.
Height: 16 to 17 inches: Weight: 25 to 35 pounds
4. Tibetan Terrier
This breed is not actually a terrier, but they are originally from Tibet. They have a long, fine outer coat and a thick, wooly undercoat. They shed little to nothing, but they do need serious grooming every day. Their hair should never be combed when dry but should be misted with conditioner first to prevent the hair breaking, and they need professional grooming monthly. These are herding dogs, enjoy being outdoors and active, and are very social.
Height: 15 to 16 inches; Weight: 18 to 30 pounds
5. Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier
This breed has a single silky, wavy coat. They require daily brushing and combing; mats should be pulled apart with the fingers. Professional grooming is needed every 4 to 6 weeks. The breed is fun-loving, exuberant, and energetic, and while they need a lot of daily exercise, they’re also perfectly happy couch potatoes afterward. They are good with children and with other animals, but they have a strong prey drive and will chase small animals outside.
Height: 17 to 19 inches; Weight: 30 to 40 pounds