One of the hassles of owning a dog is putting up with dog hair. It necessitates frequent vacuuming, it creates an unkempt appearance when it sticks to your clothes, and it might even prevent those with bad allergies from visiting your home. Some dog lovers are willing to put up with finding their furry friend’s hair everywhere, but others would prefer the hair to stay on the dog. If you find yourself part of the latter group, read on. You’ll find that owning a dog doesn’t mean you have to engage in a never-ending battle against dog hair.
It’s important to realize that “non-shedding” doesn’t mean a dog won’t lose hair at all. All dogs lose stray hairs from time to time, just like humans. Here, we’ll define “non-shedding” dogs as those who don’t go through shedding seasons, during which they lose significant amounts of hair. It’s also important to remember that not all non-shedding dogs are hypoallergenic. If allergies are a factor, be sure to find out which breeds are the least likely to aggregate the problem. In the meantime, here are some wonderful non-shedding breeds for your consideration.
There are actually three distinct Schnauzer breeds: the Miniature Schnauzer, the Standard Schnauzer, and the Giant Schnauzer. All three breeds are playful, easy to train, and highly intelligent. The American Kennel Club classifies Miniature Schnauzers as terriers, and they should stand no more than 14 inches high at the shoulder. Both Standard and Giant Schnauzers are classified by the American Kennel Club as working breeds. The Standard Schnauzer stands between 17.5 and 19.5 inches high, and the Giant Schnauzer, as its name suggests, is the largest, standing at between 23.5 and 27.5 inches tall. All three breeds have similar coarse, sometimes wiry top coats and soft undercoats that shed very little hair. Show Schnauzers must have their coats “stripped”, or plucked by hand with a special tool. If you don’t plan to show your dog, you can have his coat clipped and maintained by a groomer several times a year. Schnauzers to require fairly regular brushing to prevent tangles and mats on the longer parts of their coats.
Poodles also come in a variety of distinct and differently-sized breeds: Toy Poodles, Miniature Poodles, and Standard Poodles. Poodles are often considered the single most intelligent dog breed, and as such, they’re known for excelling at a variety of canine sports and activities. Toy Poodles are the tiniest of the Poodles, and must be under ten inches high at the shoulder, while Miniatures are taller than 10 but shorter than 15 inches high. Standard Poodles must stand over 15 inches high at the shoulder. Poodles have a soft, curly coat that sheds very little, meaning that their coats must be maintained with regular clipping and brushing. There are several elaborate show clips that can be done on dogs that compete in the show ring, but most pet-only owners opt to have a groomer do a lower-maintenance look. If the hair is kept longer, expect to spend a fair amount of time brushing your Poodle to prevent matting. If your Poodle’s hair is kept short, brushing can be a less-frequent affair.
West Highland White Terriers
Members of this breed, often affectionately referred to as “Westies”, are also considered non-shedding dogs. Westies are small dogs that stand at about 10 to 11 inches at the shoulder. They are known for their spunky, bright-eyed appearance and trademark white coats. Similar to Schnauzers, Westies have a soft undercoat and a wiry top coat, and show dogs must have their coats stripped by hand. House pets can have their coats clipped and require only a moderate amount of brushing to keep their coats free of tangles.
Old English Sheepdogs
Many people are surprised to learn that the Old English Sheepdog does not shed its coat out like most other long-haired breeds. Known for its masses of long, course, gray and white hair, this breed sheds few hairs at a time, much like people. Of course, due to the sheer amount of hair this breed has, it still requires extensive grooming. The Old English Sheepdog’s coat must be brushed out completely several times a week to prevent mats from forming. Show dogs must never be clipped, but pets can have their hair trimmed with clippers to keep it at a more manageable length.
Chinese Crested Dogs
There are two variations of this breed, known as the “Hairless” and the “Powderpuff” varieties. Both are small, typically quiet dogs standing at about 12 inches high at the shoulder. The Hairless Chinese Crested, as its name suggests, is mostly hairless, but it usually has long, soft hair on its head, legs, and tail. This hair sheds very little and can be maintained with occasional brushing. Take not that Hairless Chinese Crested Dogs can be prone to skin problems such as acne or dryness, so you may need to apply special creams to keep their skin healthy. The Powderpuff variety has a long, silky double coat covering its entire body. This hair also requires very little grooming, and an occasional brushing will suffice.
These are just a few of many fabulous non-shedding dog breeds that prove you don’t have to spend all your free time vacuuming up hair in order to enjoy having a dog. If you love dogs but don’t love cleaning up their stray hairs, consider looking into adopting a non-shedding dog!