10 Non Shed Dog Breeds
In Part one, I covered the requirements of owning a dog. Here in Part two, I will go over some of the more common breeds regarding shedding, non shedding breeds and the breeds that are more high maintenance over all. Included are also notes on trainability and personality.
The following breeds are only a small sample of breeds that are generally considered ‘no shed dog breeds’. Most dog owners of these breeds choose to have them clipped or trimmed in low maintenance type of trims. All of these breeds require daily and thorough combing to prevent tangling and severe matting of their coats. As a Professional Groomer for 12 years, I had to shave many of these breeds and crosses of these, because of severely matted coats.
With education, most of the owners of those dogs, chose regular short pet trims every 2 or three months to prevent the severe matting occuring again. Some chose shaved trims on a regular basis, with longer fluffy trims on the heads and tails. Only a few of my groomng clients, chose the longer styles which involved much scissoring on my behalf and much home combing on their behalf.
#1- Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a small dog from 10-20 lbs. white or cream in color, long hair, mostly curly. Happy playful personality, does well with all ages, often the breed of choice for families. Easily obedience trained but some can be more difficult to house or ‘potty’ train. The Bichon, can be a breed for first time dog owners.
This breed is often known as ‘the clown’, referring to their ability to make you laugh at their antics. Grooming requirements are high, coat needs daily combing if kept longer. Regardless of length, this curly coat needs to be trimmed every 2 months to maintain it’s condition.
The Maltese is small dog from 3-8 lbs, white in colour, long silky hair with no undercoat. Happy, playful personality, can be impatient and snappy with children, tends to be more on the barky side. Not a breed for the inexperienced dog owner.
This breed does best with older children and adults. The Maltese needs consistant but gentle training from puppyhood to teach him or her not to be a nuisance barker. The silky coat is prone to staining, especially under the eyes. Grooming requirements are high, coat needs daily combing if kept longer. Most owners prefer shorter trims every 2 months
.#3- Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is small dog from 10-18 lbs, colour varies greatly, long hair with undercoat. This breed has a short face with underbite, and shorter legs in proportion to it’s height. Generally a happy playful dog, some are more alert and barky than others.
This breed can do well with all ages. This breed is easily trained and loves people. Apart from grooming, this breed is good for the first time dog owner. Grooming requirements are high, coat needs daily combing if kept longer. Most owners prefer shorter trims every 2 months.
#4- Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso is small dog from 12-20 lbs, colour varies greatly, hair is dense and more coarse than the Shih Tzu. This Tibetan breed has a tendency to want to sit up high and was bred as a watch dog originally.
This breed is suspicious of strangers and needs very consistant training.Not a breed for the first time dog owner. Loyal and affectionate to their family.
Grooming requirements are medium to high, depending on the coarseness of the coat, some are softer than others. Grooming requirements are similiar to other low to no shedding dogs, needing daily combing when left longer. Most owners prefer shorter trims every 2 months.
The Poodle breed comes in toy, miniature, standard and giant. Colours vary greatly from solid to multi colours. Coats are curly, some more than others. The Poodle is considered one of the most intelligent breeds. In the last 25 years, the hunting instinct (retrieving) has been bred back into the standard poodle.
The Standard version of the Poodle, is the original form of this breed. The toy and miniature were the result of some cross breeding to achieve the smaller sizes. The toys and Miniatures have a tendency to be a bit barky and are not breeds for very young children. The Standard, with training, can be an ideal family dog.
This breed can excel in many dog sports and generally loves water. The Poodle’s curly coat needs regular home brushing/combing and professional grooming every 2 months. This breed is the favorite of Professional Groomers when creating new imaginative styles.
The Havanese breed is a toy size, generally between 10-16 lbs. Colours vary greatly from white to multi colours. This breed tends to attach to one person more, within a family and does not do well being left alone all day.
Easy to train when young, but they become more set in their ways as they get older. Generally a friendly affectionate breed, not overly barky at all.
The gait of this breed is unusual, looking somewhat springy, with a little hesitation or jerk inbetween strides. The Havanese coat is double coated but considered non shedding. The coat is light and silky, waving slightly. Grooming requirements are high, needing daily combing if left long and natural. Most owners prefer shorter trims every 2 months.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a toy size, generally not getting larger than 7 lbs. Colours are mostly Blue silver and tan, Blue silver and gold, or Black and gold or Black and tan. The coat takes 3-4 years to finally reach it’s true colours.
The Yorkie, as it’s often called, is a confidant, curious, active dog, loves attention. Due to their small size and protective personality, they are not recommended for children under the age of 8 years.
They are very smart and easy to train but tend to be barky. The Yorkie coat is generally a fine and silky coat, some more wavy, others more straight. I regularily groomed a pair of Yorkies belonging to the same person. One had more a cottony coat that matted easily and the other had a silkier more glossy coat that was easier maintenance. The Yorkie usually has their tails docked to a short length when a very young puppy. The reasoning is to keep the back area cleaner, but mostly it’s become tradition. Grooming requirements are high, needing daily combing if left long and natural. Most owner prefer shorter trims every 2 months.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium sized Irish breed, between 25-40 lbs, with males being at the larger end. Coat colours are black as puppies, gradually getting lighter in colour as the dog ages to a silver blue.
The Kerry has a single coat, wavy and feels like soft wool.The Kerry is not a dog for inexperienced dog owners, as it can be very dog aggressive without knowledgeable socialization and training. As Terriers have a high prey drive, they must be socialized with cats and puppies at an early age.
The breed is known for being loyal to family and gentle with children. The Kerry is a highly intelligent breed, and can be trained for almost any activity like agility, herding, guarding to companion dog. Grooming requirements are medium to high, needing a thorough comb and brush through a minimum of once a week, and professional trims every 2 months. The Kerry is often trimmed with the beards and long brows like the Schnauzer.
This Irish breed, like the Kerry Blue above, is between 25-45 lbs. Puppies are born with shades of red, brown, and mahogany but gradually lighten to shades of golds, like wheat.
The Irish wheatens have thinner silkier single coats, while the wheatens bred in North America have thicker wool like coats.
The soft coated Wheaten Terrier is not aggressive but tends to be hyper, and therefore needs a fair bit of exercise. This breed loves people and get along well with children as a general fact.
As Terriers have a high prey drive, they must be socialized with cats and puppies at an early age. The wheaten coat needs daily brushing, and regular professional trims.Most owner prefer shorter trims every 2 months.
This German breed, has three sizes, Giant, Standard and Miniature. As with the Poodle breed, the larger Schnauzer was interbred with smaller breeds to create the miniature breed.
The colours are generally shades of silver and black, a salt and pepper colouring but brown too. White or parti colouring is not accepted by the breed standard. The coat is a double coat, stiffer hairs on top, with soft under coat.
The Schnauzer, like the Terriers, was used as a ratter on farms, but also as guard or watch dog.Today, the Schnauzer is mostly a companion dog. The Schnauzer is not aggressive but must be trained not to bark excessively. Grooming the Schnauzer is similiar to the Terrier, body is either clipped short with longer leggings and beard/eyebrows, or hand stripping is used. See below. Professional grooming every 2 months is recommended.
10 Low Shed Dog Breeds
The following ‘low’ shedding dog breeds, again, are only a small sample, and are ALL Terriers. These breeds here generally have coarse or wire haired coats naturally. To keep the coarseness of the coats, hand stripping is required. Hand stripping involves using fingers or a special comb to pull the dead undercoat and dead top coat out by their roots. Shaving or close trimming, will result in soft coats which of course are more prone to matting too.
Shaving certain Terriers leaves the dead roots in place, often causing skin conditions like dermatitis. Still, for convenience, many dog owners choose to have the body areas of breeds like the Schnauzer, Scottish and West Highland Terriers trimmed close with longer layered coat on the head, legs and stomach areas
#1- Airedale Terrier
The Airedale is a British founded breed, known for it’s fearless and brave nature. Coat is double coated, harsh wiry top coat and soft undercoat.
Sizes are generally between 40-50lbs but there is a larger variety known as ‘Oorangs’, originally bred in the USA, that can be up to 100lbs. The Airedale is a highly intelligent breed that is independent and strong minded.
They can be excellant for families, as long as the main caregiver in the home is knowledgable and consistant with training, both children and dog. The Airedale gets along well with other dogs, cats, and other animals when raised with them. This breed is a jack of all trades, having been used as Police dogs, hunting dogs, retrieving dogs, you name it, they’ve probably done it. The coat is best hand stripped several times per year, removing the soft undercoat and dead hair from the roots. Clipping the coat leaves dead roots which can develop into skin irritations (dermatitis).
#2- Cairn Terrier
The Cairn is a Scottish founded breed, bred for ratting as all the smaller terriers were. They are a small dog averaging between 10-16 lbs with a shaggy double coat. Colours are cream, brindle, red, black or light gray.
The Cairn is an active playful dog that can do well in apartment living but still needs a daily walk. This breed generally does not like to be a lap dog. As a terrier breed, the Cairn has an independent spirit.
The Cairn can be willful and needs consistant training. This breed can do great with children and other dogs if raised with them.The Cairn’s hunting instinct is strong, therefore should not be allowed off leash unless in a fenced area. The Cairn’s coat should not be clipped but rather hand stripped several times per year.
#3- Lakeland Terrier
Another British breed, harder to find here in North America but worth mentioning here. The Lakeland is like a softer version of the Airedale, smaller at 17 lbs, but having the same texture of coat.
Double coated, harsh top coat and soft under coat. Colours vary from black and tan, blue, liver, wheaten, blue and tan.
Like most Terriers, the Lakeland is a great family companion when raised with children and other dogs/pets. The Lakeland is not argumentive or aggressive, but will stand it’s ground with another dog. The breed was originally bred to hunt foxes that were killing farmers’ chickens. The coat requires regular brushing at home and professional hand stripping a few times per year.
A Scottish breed, also bred for hunting small vermin like rats, the Westie, as many call them, has a gentle nature with people. The Westie is closely related to the Cairn Terrier but generally has a softer temperament.
The colour is always white and their size is generally between 15-20 lbs. The Westie can be a great dog for children, and gets along well with other dogs as a general rule. As with all dogs, training must be consistent.
The West Highland Terrier has a reputation of being one of the most friendly of Terriers. They do love the sound of their own voice, and should be discouraged from excessive barking with consistant training. This is a breed that is prone to skin conditions or allergies when not fed an excellant diet. For examples of healthy diets for dogs, you can turn to one of my pages Home prepared Raw dogfood or another page called Natural homemade dogfood. Grooming requirements are high, needing regular combing/brushing at home and professional grooming every 2 months. Hand stripping is preferable to clipping the body.
#5- Scottish Terrier
It makes sense that I include the Scottish Terrier next, another Terrier breed from Scotland. Where the Westie is white, the Scottie is darker, in Black, Brindle or more rarely, Wheaten (white is discouraged). The coat is wiry and coarse on the top coat with the softer under coat.
The Scottish Terrier (Scottie) is considered a diehard terrier, with a never give up attitude.The breed was originally bred to hunt Badgers, and other vermin. It takes a tough dog to take on a Badger!
A loving dog with people he trusts and generally aloof with strangers. Not a nuisance barker at all, needs firm and consistant training as this breed can be aggressive and territorial with other dogs. I would not consider this a breed for inexperienced dog owners. Could do well with children and other dogs when raised with them. The Scottish Terrier coat needs regular brushing at home and preferably hand stripping a few times per year.
#6- Welsh Terrier
This breed is often confused with the Airedale, at least in photos. The Welsh is less than half the size of an Airedale at about 20lbs but shares many characteristics. Colours are black and tan as you see here, coat is similiar, as double coated and wiry top coat.
Both can be great with children, when raised and trained with them. The Welsh terrier has a higher prey drive, and therefore is harder to train in obedience.
It should be mentioned that all Terriers have relatively high prey drive. The Welsh is a much older breed than the Airedale and is actually on the endangered list according to the purebreed registries. I would suggest that this is a breed not for the inexperienced dog owner.
The Welsh could be considered a ‘flashier’ dog, more animated and energetic. Bred to hunt and kill vermin, badgers and foxes but later became more of a companion breed. The Welsh Terrier is more likely to bark than an Airedale, therefore training must begin during puppyhood. Grooming requirements are the same as any double coated Terrier, regular home brushing and professional hand stripping several times a year.
#7- Wire Fox Terrier
The Fox Terrier, in this instance the Wire type, were bred to hunt foxes and vermin. This breed is predominantly white with brown and black markings, with a double coat, wirey on top, soft undercoat.
The Wire Fox Terrier size is 17-20 lbs generally. These Terriers form strong bonds with their human family, but need firm but positive training early on.
This breed needs plenty of exercise, whether it be running or exploring with you, or going for a walk at any time of day. The Fox Terrier is also a protective breed, there are many stories of rescuing their loved ones from various threats. Their wiry coat needs regular brushing and of course hand stripping several times per year.
#8- Norwich Terrier
The Norwich Terrier is a scrappy little Terrier, only 12 lbs generally, with the terrier coat, double coated, harsh wiry top coat and softer undercoat.
Their colours are Red, Black and Tan, Wheaten and Grizzle (mix of red & black). The Norwich has upright ears and is closely related to the Norfolk, which has drop ears.
The Norwich is very similiar to the Cairn Terrier but is a seperate breed.This breed will bark when confronted with something he or she perceives as a danger, but will make friends easily. As all Terriers, when raised to be social, they will live peacably with other pets.
The Norwich was traditionally raised in a pack, and has retained his dog friendliness to this day. Of course training and socialization will determine the end result too. This breed has small litters between 1-3 puppies, and as a result there is a short supply of Norwich puppies for sale. Beware of fraud, some Cairn Terrier breeders are passing their puppies off as Norwich Terriers so they can demand a higher price ($3000 and up). The Norwich Terrier is being seen more in Agility, Flyball and Earthdog competitions. Grooming requirements are medium, needing some thorough brushing at least weekly, and several hand stripping sessions per year to maintain the wiry rain repellant coat.
If you think the Australian Terrier looks familiar, it is because this breed is the root stock of the Yorkie, Dandie Dinmount, Skye and the Manchester terriers. This breed has the wiry top coat and softer under coat. Colours are Red or Blueblack and Tan.
Size is around the 14 lb mark. The Australian is considered one of the quietest and most intelligent of the small working terrier group. The Australian terrier has a longer coat than some wiry coated terriers, very upright large ears and what is described as an ‘attractive furry ruff’ around his neck.
The Aussie is more territorial, male to male, but otherwise gets along well with other dogs and pets (with socialization of course). This breed loves people but is known to be wary and reserved with strangers, making him or her ideal as a ‘watch dog’. Grooming requirements are medium, combing/brushing once a week at minimum and several hand stripping session per year.
#10- Norfolk Terrier
Meet the Norfolk Terrier, basically the same as the Norwich, only this breed has drop ears and the Norwich has upright ears. Same size and colouring, around 12 lbs, under a foot high. Comes in Red, Black and Tan, Wheaten, and Grizzle ( mix of red and black).
The Norfolk was bred as a ratting dog and many times were raised in packs. This breed gets along well with other dogs as a general rule but training and socialization will determine the end result.
The Norfolk is not an obsessive barker, but will bark when there is something he perceives as alarming.This breed, has small litters of between 1-3 puppies, resulting in a short supply. The price tag is often around the $3000 mark. As the Norwich, the Norfolk is tough little dog excelling in Earthdog trials, and does well in Agility and Flyball competitions too. Grooming requirements are medium, a combing and brushing every week. Several handstripping sessions per year to maintain the wiry rain resistant coat are also necessary.
Well, I am going to end this post here after giving you a list of 10 non shed breeds and 10 low shed breeds to start. I have either owned, boarded or groomed many of these breeds listed, but I learned a lot more researching them for this article. In part Three, the final installment of this series, I will present 10 of the seasonal shedding breeds. Until then, keep reading 🙂
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