15 Best Small Hypoallergenic Dogs That Don’t Shed

So you want to own a dog but you’re often restricted by the allergic reaction that seems to follow when one nears you.

Don’t worry, you are not alone.

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology stated that the number of persons with pet allergy rounds up to about 10% of the United States population.

Whilst there is no 100% hypoallergenic dog breed out there, it is possible to get one with a predictable low amount of shedding.

This article will reveal some of the best small hypoallergenic dogs that you may want to consider due to their low or non-shedding probability.

What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?

A hypoallergenic dog is simply a dog that is less prone to causing allergic reactions.

While this allergy reaction can be caused by many animals, dogs and cats are the main culprits, since they are often kept as pets.

People can become allergic to furry pets for the following reasons outlined below:

Coat Hairs 

Many pet allergies in people are caused by the dander on the skin of the pet, which clings to the hair.

A dog that possesses a long and loose coat can have its fur shed all over the room causing you to sneeze even after they have left the room.

Urine

A dog’s urine can also trigger an allergic reaction in humans. Their urine often contains proteins that may not go well with a human close to it.

Saliva

From the drooling of a dog to its usual saliva, there are substances that can induce allergy in some people.

This explains why some people’s skin begins to experience a breakout when they are licked by dogs.

A Californian veterinarian Bernadine Cruz explained that the irritation is caused by the protein content in a dog’s saliva, which can also be secreted through their coat.

The Best Small Hypoallergenic Dogs That Are Low or Non-Shedding

There are a few dogs that can be classified as hypoallergenic due to how little they shed.

When a dog sheds at a minimal rate and is backed up by frequent grooming procedures like bathing, trimming, and brushing, then, this can make them “Hypoallergenic”.

Also, when these dogs are crossbred with some other breeds, their offsprings are prone to be hypoallergenic.

Below is a list of the 15 best small hypoallergenic dog breeds that don’t shed much, listed according to the American Kennel Club.

These dog breeds are known to be less allergenic for people with dog allergies.

1. American Hairless Terrier

American Hairless Terrier Dog Standing Looking Aside
  • Lifespan: 14 to 16 years
  • Weight: 7 to 14 pounds
  • Height: 10 to 18 inches
  • Origin: United States

The American Hairless Terrier dog breed possesses a hairless coat classified as having a short dense coat.

Its coat is usually not hairless from birth. The light hair covering their entire body begins to shed right from their nose to other parts.

This usually begins from week six and continues until they are naked.

The breed is intelligent, cheerful, and active. They may require frequent grooming like bathing and nails/paws cleaning but an average amount of exercise is needed.

They can, however, do well around kids, making them suitable as companion pups.

2. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier Dog Breed
  • Lifespan: 13.5 years
  • Weight: 17 to 23 pounds
  • Height: 15 to 17 inches
  • Origin: England

Bedlington Terriers possess curled-up hard and wooly coat hair with a feather-like texture.

Their coat requires less grooming attention as they are minimal shedders with less odor, making them one of the small hypoallergenic dogs that are low shedding.

Rothbury terriers, as they are nicknamed, turn out as calm and lovable as they look.

They also may require an infrequent amount of exercise and playtime.

That said, it is certain that they can flourish well in city life as they do not need any extensive terrain for playtime.

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3. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise Dog Sitting on Grass Looking Aside
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 10 to 20 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 11 inches
  • Origin: Canary Island, Spain

Just imagine being able to adopt such a fluffy and adorable breed without having to bother about excessive allergic reactions when it is around.

The Bichon Frise possesses a white silky coat which is usually of medium length, with their tail hair often longer.

Their coat tends to shed at a minimum reducing the likeliness of an allergy problem.

Apart from their hypoallergenic nature, they are also known to be active, cheerful, and gentle.

Their long coats may require frequent grooming which can be taken care of by a professional groomer.

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4. Chinese Crested Dog

Chinese Crested Dog Standing on Grass
  • Lifespan: 13 to 15 years
  • Weight: 10 to 13 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 13 inches
  • Origin: China

Puff is a breed that occurs in the powder puff and the hairless dog variety.

While the former possesses a long fluffy coat which makes it resemble a terrier, the hairless variant is single coated with strands around its head, paws, and tail.

They require frequent grooming especially the double-coated to keep their fur maintained.

The breed also makes an adorable companion pup with its less shedding nature and ability to get along well with humans. They enjoy attention from their owners and can be very playful and gentle with kids. 

5. Coton de Tulear 

Coton de Tulear Pup Sitting on Couch
  • Lifespan: 14 to 16 years
  • Weight: 7 to 13.2 pounds
  • Height: 8 to 12 inches 
  • Origin: Madagascar

Isn’t this breed just gorgeous? They are very small-sized pups with a medium to long soft coat that has a cotton texture.

It is considered a hypoallergenic breed as they have less dander to result in an allergic reaction.

However, they may shed during their puppy stage.

As a bonus, you may want to consider this companion pooch for your home due to its happy and loyal temperament.

They can get along well with not only kids but with other dogs and pets. You may just need to give in extra attention to their grooming requirements.

6. Maltese

Portrait of Groomed Maltese Pup on Blue Background
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 7 to 9 pounds
  • Height: 8 to 10 inches
  • Origin: Central Mediterranean Region

Their pure white long coat which hangs down their body has a shiny, silky, and dense feel.

The adorable Maltese is classified among small hypoallergenic dogs that do not shed.

They are relatively intelligent, ranking 59th out of 79 dog breeds evaluated for intelligence.

This cute-looking breed is described by the American Kennel Club as brave, cheerful, and fearless.

However, you may want to pay attention to their frequent grooming needs to keep their coat looking well maintained.

Related:
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7. Miniature Schnauzer 

Miniature Schnauzer Lying on Mat
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 11 to 20 pounds
  • Height: 11 to 14 inches
  • Origin: Germany

This small-sized pup with an applaudable guarding instinct appears in black, silver black, white, salt, and pepper coat variety.

They are double-coated with a considerable amount of hair around their faces, ears, legs, and belly, compared to the other parts of their bodies.

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent, lively with versatile adaptable nature.

The breed can sometimes exhibit an aloof temperament but this is due to their watching instinct, which is more often displayed at the sight of strangers.

8. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Close Up of Hairless Peruvian Inca Orchid Dog
  • Lifespan: 11 to 12 years
  • Weight: 9 to 18 pounds
  • Height: 10 to 16 inches
  • Origin: Peru

This breed is known to come in small, medium, and large sizes.

Because of its hairless body, it is considered a hypoallergenic dog breed, although short hairs may appear on its head, feet, and tail.

The baldness of their skin makes them easily generate heat just like a water bottle with life in it.

This makes them a great cuddle buddy, especially in cold weather.

You may want to consider such a breed that is bound to stay loyal and protect its human family the best way it can.

9. Toy Poodle

Toy Poodle Pup Sitting Near Lake
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Weight: 14 to 17 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 11 inches
  • Origin: Germany/ France

This water pup has a coat that begins to matte when not properly cared for, instead of shedding.

This implies that they may need to be groomed on a regular basis.

Other than the toy variant, the breed also comes in miniature and standard sizes.

Toy Poodles are very intelligent and active, making them require a relative amount of physical and mental stimulation.

They are not just adorable but also make good companion pups.

At first sight of strangers, they may act a bit withdrawn but will blend in to become social in no time.

10. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu Pup Standing on Ground Looking Up
  • Lifespan: 10 to 18 years
  • Weight: 9 to 16 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 10.5 inches
  • Origin: Tibet

This breed has a sturdy appearance and a long coat dangling from its body almost reaching the floor.

Although hypoallergenic as they can be, their long coat requires enough attention with regular grooming to keep it from tangling.

They are affectionate and loyal dogs that get along well with family, kids, other dogs and pets.

This breed may not make an ideal guard dog for your home but they are definitely great companion canines.

11. Havanese

A Havanese with Long Curly Hair in a Portrait
  • Lifespan: 14 to 16 years
  • Weight: 7 to 14 pounds
  • Height: Approx 9 inches
  • Origin: Cuba/ Western Mediterranean Region

The Havanese dog breed has a long and soft coat that seems to be in abundance.

This toy dog has a hypoallergenic coat that comes in various colors.

Their abundant coat fur helps to protect against the sun on sunny days while they can be quite susceptible to cold during winter.

This makes their coat very important and as such, shouldn’t be trimmed low.

They may require regular grooming. Aside from that, you would have no challenges having this pup around as they are loyal and attached to their owners.

The breed requires a moderate amount of exercise and would always thrive when given adequate attention.

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12. Yorkshire Terrier

A Cute Furry Yorkshire Terrier Standing
  • Lifespan: 13 to 16 years
  • Weight: 4 to 7 pounds
  • Height: 8 to 9 inches
  • Origin: Yorkshire, England

This small terrier dog breed comes with long flowing coat hairs.

The silky, shiny, and straight Yorkshire Terrier coat is less likely to cause an allergic reaction as they are hypoallergenic.

However, these long flowing hairs may need you to groom them on a regular basis.

Their small nature does not limit them from being active, protective, and curious.

They are attention seekers that are more compatible with family with older people, rather than one with kids.

This is because of their not-so-submissive attitude. They are intelligent and highly trainable.

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13. Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher Dog Lying on Grass
  • Lifespan: 11 to 14 years
  • Weight: 7 to 13 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 12 inches
  • Origin: Germany

The Affenpinscher has a lovely dark and shaggy coat and a smushed face like a pug, making it have a close resemblance to a monkey.

Affie makes it to the list of small hypoallergenic dog breeds that don’t shed.

However, their hair growing cycle and shedding period varies by age and environment — as an inside or outside dog.

They are affectionate and cheerful but can be quite protective of their space, especially when their food or toys are involved.

Regular grooming and proper training can make them suitable home pups.

14. West Highland White Terrier

Three West Highland White Terrier Dogs Sitting on Wood
  • Lifespan: 12 to 17 years
  • Weight: 15 to 20 pounds
  • Height: 9 to 11 inches
  • Origin: Scotland

These small to medium sized pups have slightly longer legs than many other terriers, a fluffy yet dense undercoat and a less attractive outer coat that appears rough.

They are one of those small dog breeds with coats that require lots of grooming time but are less prone to causing an allergic reaction to their human owners.

While some of them can be friendly enough to get along with kids, a few others do prefer being on their own peacefully as they wouldn’t enjoy rough play like pulling of ears or furs.

Early and relentless training is required to help curb their stubborn personality.

15. Lhasa Apso

A Lhasa Apso Puppy Walking to the Lawn
  • Lifespan: 13 to 14 years
  • Weight: 13 to 15 pounds
  • Height: 10 to 11 inches
  • Origin: Tibet, China

This breed has a long and tough coat that comes in a variety of colors like black, brown, golden, slate, etc.

The Lhasa Apso is one of the many small pups that are less likely to cause an allergy with their furs all over the place. 

They are also known to have a friendly, playful, and devoted temperament, making them great companion pups suitable for apartment living.

It is necessary to pay attention to these pups and take them to the groomer regularly.

Moderate amount of exercise is also important to keep them fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is any dog 100% Hypoallergenic?

According to experts, there is no 100% hypoallergenic dog.

According to Dr. Tania Elliot, an allergist from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, many of these dogs that didn’t turn out as shedders are “hypoallergenic.”

People with pet allergy problems may get an allergic reaction from the fur on dogs’ skin, skin cells, or saliva.

However, many low and non-shedding dog breeds are less prone to causing allergies when kept in the home.

What is the difference between hypoallergenic and non hypoallergenic dogs?

Hypoallergenic dogs have fewer flakes of skin cells to litter around the home leading to little to no allergic reaction in their human owners.

On the other hand, dogs with loose fur and an increased amount of shedding causing allergies through their saliva, fur or urine are known as non-hypoallergenic dogs.

Hypoallergenic dogs are much more compatible with people that are sensitive and prone to pet allergies.

Does hypoallergenic dogs shed?

Having a pup that is known as hypoallergenic does not mean it doesn’t shed.

It only insinuates that it’s shedding level may just be at minimal during the shedding periods.

This is why regular grooming is necessary to help get rid of dead hairs and tangled hairs as too much tangling can encourage shedding.

How much are hypoallergenic dogs?

While many factors like the breed’s popularity and breeders affect the prices, you can get a hypoallergenic pup for as low as $500 to $3,000, or even more.

Getting a pup from a reputable breeder may always surface as the safest option, yet the most expensive option.

This may be worth the stress as you will get a lot of information about the pup you are getting.

Aside from purebred dogs, there are certain mixed breeds with the propensity of being hypoallergenic, just like their parent breeds.

You may likely encounter breeders trying to scam you by giving you a poorly mixed breed or the wrong breed that may end up being non-hypoallergenic.

Adopting a hypoallergenic dog breed from rescue shelters may also turn out to be more affordable. Aside from that, you’ll be providing a lovely home to a pup that needs it.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the best small hypoallergenic dog breeds that are less likely to be a threat to your sensitive health.

You do not need to deprive yourself of a pet dog because of the fear of these allergic reactions.

Information – they say – is key. If you are a lover of small pups, then you may be able to find yourself a well-suited one from this list.

However, it is also good that you find out which exact breed you may be repellent to. Some people may react differently to some of these dogs listed above.

You May Also Like:
14 Best Large Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

References:
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: Pet Allergy
Scientific American: What makes a dog hypoallergenic?
American Kennel Club: Hypoallergenic Dogs

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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