Wait, don’t all dogs shed?
Yes. Technically all dogs shed – because like us, they cast off microscopic bits of skin daily called dander.
But there ARE dogs who don’t shed fur regularly. That’s because they have HAIR, not fur. That fluffy soft undercoat of dogs with fur, sheds and along with it, drops dust, dander and all sorts of allergens throughout the home.
Fur vs Hair
There are two basic kinds of coats on dogs: single coats (hair) and double coats (fur).
Single coated dogs with hair (much like ours) DO lose hair just like we do. Hair will fall off and come out in combing. Not a lot at a time, and there’s no fluffy undercoat that’s continuously shedding. The coat is the same, on the surface and underneath.
Dogs with fur on the other hand, shed their fluffy undercoat seasonally or in some cases, non-stop! You can easily see the difference when you run your hand through the coat.
The length of the dog’s coat has nothing to do with how hypoallergenic he is or not. Even with a long coat, the Yorkie, Maltese and Morkie are all low-allergy pets.
Single coated dogs don’t shed much. Double coated dogs shed a lot. But there are always exceptions! Some double-coat dogs do NOT shed, such as the Miniature Schnauzer. They have a double coat; the exterior fur is wiry and the undercoat is softer, but doesn’t really drop off.
And of course… there are some single coat dogs, such as the Afghan Hound, who do in fact, shed.
It’s not about the hair or fur…
When all is said and done, dogs with a fluffy undercoat and coarse guard hairs (fur not hair) tend to shed a lot of hair, dander, dust and anything else that clings to their coats. And it’s not so much the hair/fur that’s the problem, it’s the dog DANDER.
It’s all about the dander, saliva and even urine. That’s what most people are allergic to and what can trigger an asthma attack.
Yorkies hardly shed at all and they have less “dander” — the stuff that makes us sneeze, than most dogs. Hair comes out mostly only when they are combed. Maltese are the same. Morkies, like their Yorkie and Maltese foundation breeds, are single-coated, non shedding dogs. So they can be tolerated little better by people who suffer from allergies.
Although technically there is no such thing as a non- or truly hypo-allergenic animal, since all shed some dander, the Morkie comes very close.
More popular small dog breeds that don’t shed
These are very popular small dogs, and all have single coats instead of double coats of fur. So their shedding is absolutely minimal. And because they’re so small, what they do shed, is hardly noticeable.
- Bichon Frise
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
Exotic small dog breeds that don’t shed
Some other small dogs that don’t shed include hairless varieties including the Chinese Crested; American Hairless, African Hairless and the Xoloitzcuintli from Mexico.
Other low-shedding dogs you don’t see a lot of are:
- Brussels Griffon
- Coton de Tulear
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Looking for a non-shedding pet? The Morkie, Yorkie and Maltese are all great choices. They are small and clean, and have hair not fur. Even when their coats are kept long, most people with allergies and asthma can easily tolerate them.
Wondering which dog to get – Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese?
In my ebook, Yorkie, Morkie or Maltese? Pick the perfect pet, you can read all about the 3 breeds, and decide if one is right for you and your family.
This is a 110-page e-book you’ll learn all about each dog — the Yorkshire Terrier, the Maltese dog and the Morkie — and how their behavior, qualities and concerns affect you the owner. Read more here on our ebooks page.