There are over 30 Terriers recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC), but are Terriers hypoallergenic? Certain breeds are more allergy-friendly than others — the coat types of Terriers’ are often a smart choice for people with allergies.
But are all Terriers hypoallergenic? No. Hence, not all Terriers are suitable for people with allergies. This is why we’ve put together this guide to help you distinguish between them.
With so many Terrier breeds in existence, it would be unrealistic to expect all of them to have the same coat type. In fact, the fur on one Terrier can be completely different from the coat of another from the same group. For example, Yorkshire Terriers have long, human-like hair, whereas the Airedale has a wiry textured outer coat, with a dense undercoat.
Typically, the Terrier’s coat will fall into one of the following categories:
Terriers with silky coats have hair that’s smooth and soft to the touch. They often only have a single coat and are unlikely to shed heavily. This type of coat has a similarity to human hair, and it can be straight, wavy, or curly.
Terriers with silky coats include the Yorkshire Terrier, Wheaten Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, and Kerry Blue Terrier.
Short-haired Terriers have fur that’s flat to their body and doesn’t grow very long. Terriers with short coats are often not the softest dogs to pet, as the fur has a slightly coarse texture on certain breeds.
Terriers with a short coat include the Pit Bull, Staffordshire Bull, Manchester, and the Smooth-haired Fox Terrier.
The most common type of fur you will find on the Terrier. Sometimes referred to as a ‘broken coat,’ wiry coats consist of a thick undercoat and guard hair with a bristly wire-like texture.
You’ll find a wiry coat on a Miniature Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Irish Terrier, and Welsh Terrier, among others.
There are Terrier breeds that don’t fit neatly into just one coat category. For example, West Highland White Terriers have short fur around their neck and shoulders, but the rest of their body is covered in a longer, wiry coat. What’s more, there are Terriers with a mix of long and short fur, or a coat that’s partially soft and partially wiry.
How Much Do Terriers Shed?
Just like all Terriers don’t share the same coat type, Terrier breeds don’t shed at the same pace either. However, in general, Terriers are considered mild-shedders and won’t cover your home in fur and trigger allergy symptoms.
Hypoallergenic Terrier dogs don’t tend to shed seasonally, and breeds with silky coats lose their hair in a similar way to humans.
Even non-hypo Terriers only shed minimally — these dogs don’t shed anywhere near as much as breeds like the Siberian Husky and Golden Retriever. However, they will lose enough hair and dander to potentially cause an allergic reaction.
The best Terrier breeds for low-shedding include the Airedale Terrier, Australian Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Cesky Terrier, and Border Terrier — to name just a few! Terriers are a great group of dogs for people with allergies, providing you pick the right breed.
Terrier Dog Breeds — Which Terriers Are Hypoallergenic?
The American Kennel Club currently recognizes more than 30 different breeds in the Terrier group or those with Terrier in their name. To help you separate the non-hypoallergenic from the hypoallergenic Terriers, we’ve put together this list — profiling each breed.
- Airedale Terrier
- American Hairless Terrier
- Australian Terrier
- Bedlington Terrier
- Border Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Cesky Terrier
- Dandie Dinmont Terrier
- Irish Terrier
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Lakeland Terrier
- Miniature Bull Terrier
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Norfolk Terrier
- Norwich Terrier
- Scottish Terrier
- Sealyham Terrier
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Welsh Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier
- Wire Fox Terrier
Airedales are the largest of this breed group and are nicknamed the King of the Terriers! These dogs have a wiry double coat that sheds minimally throughout the year.
Bubbly, confident and comical, Airedales love entertaining their owners and being in the company of their human family. And, while they’re loyal, they aren’t the most affectionate breed.
With a strong prey drive this breed can’t always be trusted off-leash. Plus, their independence and intelligence can sometimes cause issues with training — if the reward isn’t worth it, they won’t obey your commands!
As the name suggests, the American Hairless Terrier (AHT) doesn’t have a fur coat and is about as allergy-friendly as a dog can be — although you can find a coated variety. These small dogs have only been around since the 1970s but they’re one of the best dogs for people with allergies.
The AHT is intelligent and easy to train, they’re eager to please and thrive on rewards and praise.
Thanks to their hairless body, you don’t need to worry about a demanding grooming regime. However, weekly baths are advisable to keep their skin in good condition.
The American Staffordshire Bull Terrier — or AmStaff — is a loyal and confident dog full of character and personality. Despite common misconceptions, AmStaffs are friendly and gentle-natured, they’re also good with children and love to cuddle.
These dogs love to be mentally and physically stimulated and enjoy running around and playing.
And, while the AmStaff has a short, low-shedding coat, they release too much dander to be considered hypoallergenic.
Australian Terriers are small and spirited dogs, they’re full of energy and enjoy being active. This breed has a short, wiry double coat, but they rarely shed and release dander.
The Aussie makes a good watchdog — they’re curious and alert canine companions.
In theory, these dogs should be easy to train, as they’re very intelligent. But their stubbornness and strong-willed nature can make it challenging.
Bedlington Terriers are charming, loyal canine companions, and their alertness means they make excellent watchdogs. These tail-waggers are also affectionate, intelligent, and have a kind temperament.
With a unique appearance, the Bedlington’s curly coat is almost completely non-shedding.
Admittedly, they aren’t the most popular Terrier, but they make great pets, and their coat is perfect for people with allergies.
Border Terriers are small dogs that were originally bred to hunt foxes and other vermin. But despite their heritage, they’re loving pets and are often used as therapy dogs.
These bow-wows have a wiry hypoallergenic coat and won’t shed enough to exacerbate dog allergy symptoms.
While little dogs, they have bags of energy and love walkies or a play session in the yard. Plus, your Border Terrier may be stubborn and strong-willed, making training a little tricky at times!
Due to their heritage, the Boston Terrier is one of the few Terriers falling under AKC’s non-sporting classification.
The Boston is an affectionate dog that’s great with kids and an ideal family pooch. They don’t shed much but aren’t considered a hypoallergenic breed.
However, if you’re looking for a watchdog, the Boston Terrier is probably not going to be the best choice for you — they’re everyone’s best friend. These dogs are also quite high-energy and love to play non-stop.
8. Bull Terrier
Bull Terriers are one of the few Terrier dogs that aren’t hypoallergenic. They’re moderate to high shedders, and their fur is the kind that sticks to everything!
Shedding aside, Bull Terriers are powerful and brawny bow-wows with a mischievous side. And, while their appearance and past may seem intimidating to some, they make loyal canine companions.
If you meet their activity and affection needs, you’ll have a friend for life.
The Cairn Terrier possesses the typical Terrier attitude and temperament — playful, alert, energetic, and lovable.
Sporting an unkempt-looking coat, yet despite their shaggy appearance, the Cairn’s fur barely sheds.
While a Cairn loves nothing more than a good walk, their strong prey drive means they need to be kept on the leash when it’s time for walkies. What’s more, if you have other pets and small children, you may want to consider a different breed — they don’t always socialize well with other animals or little people.
The mellow Cesky Terrier is the National dog of the Czech Republic. These small dogs are more relaxed than other Terriers, and they have an affectionate yet adventurous nature.
The Cesky has a wavy and silky coat, and they’re one of the many hypoallergenic Terrier dogs.
If you have a Cesky Terrier, you will have a loyal protector and loving furry friend rolled into one. However, these dogs are hard to come by. Introduced to America in 2011, it’s estimated there are only 600 in the US — according to the AKC.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers are small, hypoallergenic, and typical of the Terrier breed — originally bred as hunting dogs. These tail-waggers aren’t as lively as some, they have a calm nature and a dignified and polite temperament.
With a soft and rough fur coat, the Dandie Dinmont comes in either a mustard or pepper shade.
Yet, most importantly for people with allergies, Dandies barely shed, and they won’t cover your home in allergens.
Unlike many Terrier dogs, the Glen of Imaal has a more relaxed personality and isn’t as energetic. But, they’re also non-hypoallergenic.
These Terriers are gentle yet bold, brave, strong, and adorable small-sized dogs. Glens are intelligent and easy to train, but their independent side can bring some challenges. These Terriers love to rough and tumble and are best suited to families with older children.
Glen of Imaal Terriers have a double coat and will need to be well-groomed to avoid mats and tangles, as well as to reduce shedding.
13. Irish Terrier
Irish Terriers are high-energy canines, developed in Ireland as messenger dogs for the First World War. Known as ‘daredevil doggys,’ they’re famous for their red coat and feisty temperament.
The Irish Terrier has a wiry double coat and is low shedding — an awesome canine companion if you have allergies. This Terrier is big on energy, big on love, and will make a loyal furry friend to all.
The Kerry Blue is another Terrier originating from Ireland. This breed has a similar build to the Welsh, Irish, and Airedale Terrier and is also allergy-friendly. They have a curly and wiry outer coat and very rarely shed.
This Terrier loves to be by your side. And, while their loyalty is unwavering, it can be problematic if you need to leave your pooch alone for several hours a day.
15. Lakeland Terrier
The Lakeland Terrier originated from the Lake District in the UK.
Friendly and confident, the Lakeland has big-dog energy in a small, athletic body. And, the stand-out feature of this breed is their rectangular head and striking jawline.
With a wiry and coarse coat, their fur can be a variety of colors, most commonly black and tan. Not forgetting, they’re also hypoallergenic.
The Manchester Terrier has a smooth and short coat. But don’t let the length fool you, these dogs shed heavily twice a year and moderately the rest of the time.
Sporting the look of a race dog, Manchesters also possess the prey drive and hunting instincts of most breeds in the Terrier group.
This dog will make an affectionate yet alert and playful four-legged friend.
The Miniature Bull Terrier differs in two key areas compared to the standard Bull — they’re much smaller and they’re hypoallergenic.
Thanks to the change in genetics during the breeding process, Mini Bulls are very low shedding. These pocket-size Terriers have a strong and stocky build but don’t possess the aggressive personality to match their appearance.
Mini Bull Terriers are inquisitive and have an independent side, they’re loving but only give affection on their own terms.
Miniature Schnauzers are the only Schnauzer breed categorized in the Terrier group.
Like the Standard and Giant Schnauzer, Minis have a wiry double coat, and the small amount of fur they shed becomes trapped between the layers.
This breed has an outgoing and friendly character, and their high intelligence means they’re very easy to train. Mini Schnauzers have the stocky yet sporty look of the Standard Schnauzer, just downsized!
19. Norfolk Terrier
Want an adorable little lapdog? While the perfect size for it, Norfolks are peppy, feisty, and energetic.
That said, the Norfolk Terrier will shower you with love. However, they may become jealous of other animals and people who also have strong bonds with their human.
Originally bred as working dogs, the Norfolk Terrier is an alert watchdog but they don’t fare well with other small animals in the house.
Norwich Terriers come in a tiny package, but they’re bursting with energy and fun.
These toy-size dogs are alert and gregarious, but they also make loving and protective family pets.
The Norwich has a short and wiry double coat, and they only shed mildly, barely enough to notice. Thanks to their fun and energetic nature, Norwich Terriers make great furry playmates for children.
Parson Russell Terriers are small but bold dogs, with high intelligence and a fearless attitude. These small Terriers look like cuddly soft toys, but they’re strong and tough canines originally bred for fox hunting.
PRTs are high-energy and are known for their yappiness, especially if they haven’t been socialized from a young age.
Plus, if you have allergies, they’re not the best choice. Their smooth double coat, although only sheds moderately, will cause issues for allergy sufferers.
Rat Terriers are small and playful exterminator dogs — hence their name. The Rat is one of the calmest Terriers, but they still have plenty of energy and need regular exercise.
The short and smooth coat of the Rat Terrier is low shedding but isn’t considered to be hypoallergenic. While these dogs will only shed mildly most of the year, they go through periods of heavy shedding in the spring and fall.
Russell Terriers are popular small dogs and make fun-loving and playful pets. Unfortunately for people with allergies, they shed a reasonable amount all year round and will release plenty of dander into your home.
This breed has either a broken, smooth, or wired-haired coat, none of which are hypoallergenic.
Jack Russells are alert and lively little dogs, but their energy doesn’t stop them from being loving and affectionate companions.
24. Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terriers are independent and spirited pooches. They’re famous for their perfect beard and short little legs — everyone can recognize the silhouette of a Scottie.
Although you don’t have to worry about your Scottish Terrier triggering an allergic reaction, be prepared to find training a little challenging.
Sealyham Terriers are small yet sturdy dogs and aren’t quite as feisty as other Terrier breeds. But they do make excellent watchdogs and are highly adaptable.
The Sealy has impressive facial hair and a wiry double coat, plus their fur is weatherproof and hardly sheds.
While a rare Welsh breed, if you can find one, you’ll have a cute and affectionate family dog.
Skye Terriers are affectionate family dogs with a very distinct appearance. Skyes have short legs, a long body, and sticky-up ears. Their long, double coat can be platinum, silver, gray, blue, or black.
These Scottish dogs are good-natured and brave but also make excellent tiny watchdogs. And, unlike many Terriers, they’re not particularly demanding on the activity scale.
Looking for a Terrier full of character with a gregarious attitude? The Smooth Fox Terrier will tick everything on your wishlist — unless you have dog allergies!
The square-shaped Smooth Fox isn’t hypoallergenic, their short, smooth coat will shed too much to be classed as allergy-friendly.
Like many other Terriers, Smooths make good watchdogs due to their alert and vocal nature. They also have the propensity to dig, so gardeners beware.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is intelligent and curious, and another loyal and loving pooch from the Green Isle.
These dogs are a similar shape to the other Irish-born Terriers and have a silky, medium-length coat. The Wheaten’s hypoallergenic coat is their stand-out feature, it’s wheat-like in color and wavier than the average Terrier coat.
Happy and friendly, Wheatens aren’t as wary around strangers as many other Terriers.
The strong and sturdy Staffie is not only a clever canine, but they also have a natural desire to please their humans. Staffies can be a best friend to a child and a loyal companion for seniors too.
However, don’t forget that they were originally bred for fighting, so proper training is a must.
And, while they have a smooth, short coat, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier isn’t a hypoallergenic dog.
30. Welsh Terrier
Welsh Terriers are very similar in appearance to the Airedale, they are just much smaller!
With the typical Terrier temperament, the Welsh is alert, spirited, and bursting with energy. Don’t choose this breed if you don’t want to spend a lot of time training and taking them for walks to burn off steam.
That said, a well-socialized and trained Welsh will make a friendly and affectionate pet.
The West Highland White Terrier is another originating from Scotland. Everyone loves the little white Westie, with their happy and entertaining personality.
These charming Terriers are easy to groom and have a low-shedding, medium-length, double coat.
Westies are full of life and need to be kept on their leash during walkies due to their strong prey drive.
32. Wire Fox Terrier
The last but no means least dog in the Terrier group — the friendly and gregarious Wire Fox Terrier. Like many Terriers, the Wire Fox was bred to hunt and continues to possess a strong prey drive today.
Training your Wire Fox can be tricky, but with consistency and plenty of praise, these Terriers can be tamed.
And, with a wiry double-coat, the few hairs the Wire Fox sheds will become trapped between the layers.
What’s the Difference Between Hypoallergenic and Non-Hypoallergenic Terriers?
After reading the Terrier breed profiles, it’s clear to see that the majority of Terriers are hypoallergenic. The main difference between hypoallergenic Terriers and non-hypoallergenic Terriers is the coat type.
Terriers with wiry coats won’t release as much dander into the air and their surroundings. Wiry coats are more hypoallergenic because any hair that does shed will become caught up beneath the guard hairs. The same is true for Terriers with a curly coat, when the dead hair and dander fall away, it stays trapped in the coat, not floating around your house and resting on the furniture.
And, long and silky-coated Terriers also don’t shed enough to be a problem — their hair falls out like human hair.
Non-hypoallergenic Terriers are those that shed more heavily and have a straight outer coat and soft undercoat. While these Terriers are still moderate shedders compared to breeds like the Akita, German Shepherd, and Labrador, they lose too much fur to be considered allergy-friendly and hypoallergenic.
Terriers have different coats, but many breeds in the Terrier group are low-shedding and won’t lose enough hair to cause an allergic reaction.
These dogs make fun and energetic pets, just make sure you pick the right one if you have allergies!
Are Terriers hypoallergenic? When it comes to Terriers, there are plenty of pooches to choose from! If you have dog allergies, you’ll be pleased to hear that most Terriers are hypoallergenic.
Are Terriers Hypoallergenic? FAQs
What Terriers Are Hypoallergenic?
There are thirty plus different Terrier breeds — check out our list of hypoallergenic and non-hypoallergenic Terriers above.
Are Terriers Good for Allergies?
Not all Terriers are hypoallergenic, but many Terrier breeds are low-shedding and won’t trigger allergy symptoms. Many of this breed group have a wiry coat and only shed minimally throughout the year.
The best way to know if a certain dog breed will trigger your allergies is to spend time with your chosen breed before making your decision.
Why Is My Terrier Shedding So Much?
If your Terrier is shedding more than usual, they may have a health condition that needs to be treated. Thyroid issues, sunburn, dog allergies, parasites, and fungal infections can all result in abnormal shedding. A poor diet can also cause your dog’s hair to fall out, as can stress and anxiety.
Are Terriers Good Pets?
If you want an adventurous dog, a Terrier may be the breed for you. Terriers were bred as working dogs and love to be on the go. These canines are often full of energy and won’t tolerate being cuddled up on your lap for long.
However, while Terriers are outgoing and confident, they may not get on well with other pets. And, certain breeds are also known to have an aggressive side, many bark excessively, and possess the inherent instinct to dig.
Is It Ok To Shave a Terrier?
Shaving your Terrier isn’t advisable — it can cause more harm than good. A dog’s coat keeps their skin protected from sunburn and insect bites, and once shaven, their skin is at risk. Coat care is breed specific, so if you’re unsure how to look after it, take them to a professional groomer.
What Is the Most Friendly Hypoallergenic Dog?
Some of the friendliest breeds of hypoallergenic dogs are: