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Having a dog fills your home with love. It can also fill your home with excessive amounts of hair, depending on the breed.
Anyone looking for big dogs that don’t shed will inevitably become disappointed. These so-called “hypoallergenic” dogs must shed their hair at some point. In fact, all creatures do, including you. The difference is that hypoallergenic dogs shed less than the average dog.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t a dog’s hair that people are allergic to, but a protein that catches on your pet’s dandruff, which in turn sticks to their hair.
As a result, many people with allergies can cohabitate well with hypoallergenic dogs since they spread less of this allergy-producing protein. However, bringing a giant dog breed into your home that’s known for shedding less isn’t a fool-proof solution for allergy-prone animal lovers.
So, if you or a family member has dog allergies, it’s best to spend time around a hypoallergenic dog before you welcome one into your home. That way, you avoid the heartbreaking scenario of having to give your dog up for adoption if you discover that you still suffer from some allergies.
10 Big Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed Much
Even though studies show that 94.2% of homes with hypoallergenic dogs have some level of allergens in them, many owners with big dogs that don’t shed much stand by the fact that their pets can cohabitate well with an allergy-prone family member.
So, whether you have allergies or simply want to decrease your chances of clogging up your vacuum cleaner, we’ve rounded up ten of the best low-shedding large dog breeds for you and your family to consider.
One look at the Afghan Hound’s thick, long coat, and they wouldn’t strike you as the type of big dog that doesn’t shed much. However, they shed very little because they’re from cold mountainous regions. In these areas, they needed their coat to stay warm.
A lot of maintenance is needed to keep your Afghan Hound’s coat silky and knot-free. You should only brush your dog’s coat when it’s wet to avoid their hair from breaking. That means you should aim to bathe and brush your Afghan Hound twice a week.
As with human hair, you should brush your dog’s fur starting at the root, moving down to the tips to avoid breakage.
If you’re looking for big dogs that don’t shed and have low-maintenance coats, the Airedale Terrier is a great fit. They have a wire-like coat that sticks closely to their skin.
Historically, the Airedale Terrier had even shorter hair, which helped them stay agile while hunting game in England. Nowadays, this breed still has its stiff outer coat and softer inner fur, but breeders transformed this dog into having relatively long hair.
Airedale Terriers require a unique grooming technique. Because they shed so little, you need to perform hand stripping. That involves using a specialized knife to remove loose hair, which a groomer should do every six to eight weeks.
When people think of big dogs that are hypoallergenic, the Standard Poodle is among the most popular. They have a thick, curly coat. Many people enjoy bringing their poodles to the groomer to style their fur, keeping it trimmed short in many areas to create striking patterns and designs.
Back in the day, Standard Poodles needed their thick coat to keep them warm when swimming in cold European water. Since then, people bred these dogs to have either curly or wavy hair.
Brushing your Standard Poodle multiple times per week is crucial for preventing a matted coat, which is painful for your dog. You should also aim to take them to a groomer every four to six weeks for a clipping.
The wiry double coat of the Giant Schnauzer is one of the excellent large dogs that don’t shed much. Like the Airedale Terrier, they have a soft undercoat.
The coarse nature of the Giant Schnauzer’s outer fur historically helped them withstand cold German winters, where they originated. It also deters insects, rodents, and other pests from accessing their skin.
To keep your Giant Schnauzer’s coat in tip-top shape, groom them two to three times per week. You’ll also need to take them to a groomer every six weeks or so. Your groomer will give you a choice to either clip their coat or strip it entirely to help it maintain its glossy, flowy state.
The long, coiled cord coat of the Komondor makes them look like the last dog that would be good for people with allergies. However, despite being literal furballs, they shed very little.
Komondors hail from Hungary, and they have an oversized coat to protect them from the bites of wild animals. It also helps to keep them safe from prickly vegetation and cold weather.
If you’re considering bringing home a Komondor, it’s best to wait until they’re an adult—their anti-shedding abilities don’t kick in until they’re an adult and form their dreadlock-like cords. Regular washing is vital to keep your dog’s coat from becoming stained and matted. However, prepare yourself to have a wet dog for 2.5 days, as it takes them this long to dry.
A Goldendoodle’s coat varies according to its parents, so it ranges from straight to curly. In all cases, they have long hair, but the curly version has the least likelihood of shedding.
The Goldendoodle is a new breed developed in the 1990s. So, they don’t have an evolutionary reason for their coat. They have a human one. Goldendoodles have the loving personalities of Golden Retrievers and Labradors with the caring and low-shedding nature of the Poodle.
The specific techniques to groom your Goldendoodle may vary depending on their coat. However, Goldendoodles with long hair need a clipping every six to eight weeks and those with shorter hair up to every ten weeks.
Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)
What better way to bring hypoallergenic big dogs into your family than a dog that doesn’t have hair? People lovingly call the Peruvian Inca Orchid a “naked dog” because of its hairless body.
Depending on the way they bred the Peruvian Inca Orchid, your dog may come with no hair at all or some wiry, coarse hairs on their head, feet, and tail. The pre-Incas and Incas used these dogs for company and warmth, as the direct skin contact makes them a better option for warming them up than dogs with hair.
Peruvian Inca Orchids require minimal maintenance. You can bathe them with a gentle shampoo once a month to keep their pores clean, as these dogs sometimes develop acne. You also may need to apply a skin moisturizer to keep their skin from cracking.
Portuguese Water Dog
One of the best big dogs that don’t shed much is the Portuguese Water Dog (called “Portie” for short). As its name implies, this breed comes from Portugal and needs their dense, curly coat to keep them warm for helping their fisher owners.
There are two main ways to groom the Portie. One of those is the retriever clip (a mostly short-haired style), and another is the lion clip (letting the skin show on the hindquarters and muzzle).
You should aim to brush your Portie at least three times per week to keep their coat full and healthy. They’ll need a full trim about once every four weeks. Like so many of the breeds we’ve covered here, failing to keep your Portie on a regular grooming schedule can result in them having cysts or other skin infections.
Irish Water Spaniel
Unsurprisingly, the Irish Water Spaniel has its origins in Ireland, and they’re a dog bred for water sports. As a result, they have a waterproof coat.
The Irish Water Spaniel has a dense, curly coat. Their hair grows so long that their tight curls often cover their eyes if you don’t clip them. The only place where they lack a long coat is on their tail.
Giving your Irish Water Spaniel a full groom once per month will help them keep a healthy, unmatted coat.
Using a shampoo with conditioner will help make it easier for you to run a brush through their hair. Matting is a common issue with Irish Water Spaniels. If you notice clumped fur, use a steel comb to separate the hair gently.
Bouvier Des Flandres
The Bouvier Des Flandres has a thick, medium-long coat. Historically, their double coat served them well as work dogs in Flanders, Belgium, which kept them warm during harsh winters.
Traditionally, farmers docked the Bouvier’s bushy tail because it used to get in the way of their dogs pulling carts. Nowadays, people look down on this practice. Flanders, Belgium even declared docking illegal in 2006.
You’ll need to brush your Bouvier at least once per week to keep their coat as smooth as possible. You should also bring them to the groomer at least once every five weeks. That’s especially important because their hair can grow so long that it can make it difficult for them to see.
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