When buying a larger dog breed, there are plenty of factors to consider. For example, will the dog fit comfortably in your home? Or, how much exercise will your new best friend need? Yet, if you suffer from allergies, you should also be asking, are there any large dogs that don’t shed?
Large dogs make incredible furry companions, but choose the wrong breed, and you could end up with a house full of hair. In contrast, owners of big dogs that don’t shed, reap the benefits of a large dog, but don’t have to deal with hair and dander causing allergies and making a mess.
Considering how fluffy and hairy some bigger dogs are, it’s amazing that several large non shedding dog breeds can make perfect family pets. In this article, I will share why dogs shed, the benefits of owning light shedding big dogs, and list seven of the best non shedding big dogs.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
If you’re looking for non shedding large dog breeds, you first need to know this one important fact — all dogs shed. Whether you own a tiny chihuahua or the biggest non shedding dog breed you can find, your pet dog will shed dead skin cells and hair.
Thus, large shedless dogs don’t actually exist.
However, there are several big dogs that don’t shed very much, and these are better-suited pets for people with dog allergies. Big dogs that shed the least are often referred to as hypoallergenic — they don’t shed enough to trigger dog allergy symptoms.
Shedding is an imperative part of a dog’s biology, over time hair breaks down and needs to be replaced. The old hair falls out so new healthy fur can grow through. Dogs also shed dead skin cells — dander, which is the main cause of most dog-related allergies.
Did you know, a dog’s hair has a life cycle of its own?
It’s actively growing in the anagen phase, the hairs have stopped growing and remain in place during the catagen phase and begin to fall out (shed) during the telogen phase. Some dogs have hair that moves through its life cycle quickly and frequently, resulting in more dog hair floating around the house making a mess, and causing allergies.
Dogs also experience seasonal shedding, this is when they shed their winter coat in time for the warmer months over the spring and summer. Big non shedding dogs may not lose a lot of fur during the seasonal change, this is one reason why they’re better suited for pet owners with allergies.
Benefits of Large Breed Dogs That Don’t Shed
Luckily for dog lovers who suffer from allergies, there are lots of low shedding large dogs. Large non shedding breeds can make a wonderful addition to your family and they make lovely pets without the stress of allergies.
Large dogs that don’t shed much have various benefits:
- They don’t trigger allergy symptoms — as the majority of dog allergies are caused by dogs shedding their hair and dander, no shedding big dogs are much less likely to aggravate their owner’s allergies.
- Less mess — dog hair can get everywhere, it can stick to your furniture, clothes and cover the floor. Large dogs that shed the least don’t lose as much fur, so your house will be cleaner and there won’t be tons of hair everywhere.
- All the fun of a big dog — some people like small dogs and others want a giant four-legged friend. Big dogs can suit families who enjoy long walks. And, the presence of a large dog can be an advantage if you’re looking for a family guard dog.
Best Large Non Shedding Dogs
If you’re looking to add a big furry friend to your family but don’t want the dander and fur exacerbating allergies. Here are my top picks of the best large breed non shedding dogs.
Afghan Hounds make an amazing hypoallergenic large dog breed. Don’t be fooled by their long silky coat as it’s subject to surprisingly little shedding and even has low dander. But the downside of their luscious locks is that they require an awful lot of grooming — you’re talking at least several hours a week.
These majestic dogs were originally bred to hunt small game. Although they’re a large breed, Afghan Hounds are very quick and have excellent eyesight.
Temperament wise they can appear a little standoffish, even to their nearest and dearest, but they may also surprise you with the secret loving, goofy side of their nature.
You may be surprised to learn that Poodles don’t actually shed considering their coat is so curly. They have a single coat that’s almost wool-like, but they don’t have an undercoat. A Poodle’s hair keeps on growing — similar to human hair. This makes them ideal pets for people looking for large breed dogs that don’t shed.
They’re a welcome addition to any family — intelligent, easy to train due to their need to please, and love to be active. A couple of 30-minute walks a day should keep an adult poodle happy and also healthy.
These dogs also love the water, so if you’re a family that loves the great outdoors, this large breed non shedding pooch will be there by your side.
The Portuguese Water Dog is one of the happiest non shedding large breed dogs. These pooches have a happy-go-lucky nature, and they love older children, adults, and even strangers they meet on their daily walks.
This bow-wow may not be the biggest non shedding dog, but this breed loves long walkies and also enjoys swimming and playing fetch.
With a single coat that barely sheds, it grows continuously like some of the other breeds on this list. However, these dogs still require grooming 2-3 times a week.
And, if you’re considering a Portie because of allergies, a bit of advice — spend some time with one of these beauts, even their fur may cause you problems.
Like the Portuguese Water Dog, the Irish Water Spaniel loves to swim and doesn’t shed much hair. They’re not the largest non shedding dog, yet male Irish Water Spaniels can weigh as much as 70 pounds, so not exactly small either.
This breed is fun-loving and ideal for families. They are known for playing the clown but will be an incredibly loyal companion.
Their coat is double layered and made up of long dense curls that are naturally water repellent with a soft inner layer to keep them warm.
Despite the appearance of their thick and dense fur, Giant Schnauzers are low shedding large dogs.
Like other Schnauzer breeds, the Giant Schnauzer is an intelligent dog and makes a lovely furry companion. It’s important to be aware that although they’re friendly, highly intelligent, and trainable, Giant Schnauzers can also be stubborn at times.
That said, if you’re seeking a large dog that doesn’t shed too much to join your family, a fur-baby like this would be a fantastic choice.
Airedale terriers are the largest of the terrier dog breed that doesn’t shed. Bearing a double coat — the outer layer is made up of coarse hair and covers the softer inner layer. Although they don’t shed, their coat will need to be stripped around every 3-6 months to keep it in tip-top condition.
These dogs are full of personality and known to be a little goofy at times. Don’t be fooled though, these clowns are very intelligent, making them trainable. Due to their personality, they are also a super breed to have around children.
An Airedale terrier will need plenty of daily exercise to remain healthy and happy. It’s important to know that while they’re very loving, Airedales can be quite stubborn and like to be given lots of independence.
For a dog that truly does not shed, go for a tail-wagger with a definite lack of hair. This breed is one of the most ancient around and is better known as the Mexican Hairless dog. Bearing very little fur, they make the perfect companion for those looking for a dog that doesn’t shed.
The Xolo is a loyal dog that possesses a real protective side, meaning they could potentially also make a great guard dog. They will need quite a bit of exercise but as they are easily trainable and intelligent they can make a great addition to any household.
These dogs do come in two coat types — hairless and coated. However, even the latter is still considered hypoallergenic and non shedding.
If you want a big dog but suffer from allergies, as we’ve seen, there are many large non shedding breed dogs to choose from —Terriers, Schnauzers to Poodles, and Hounds. You’re sure to find a breed to suit your lifestyle perfectly.
Remember, all dogs shed fur and dead skin cells, yet hypoallergenic dogs don’t shed as much or as regularly as other dogs.
Whether you’re looking for a dog that likes a lot of exercise or one with a relaxed and happy personality — don’t give up hope, one of the best large dogs that don’t shed is waiting for you.
Large Dogs That Don’t Shed FAQs
“What Big Dog Breeds Shed the Least?”
You can’t stop your dog from shedding completely, all dogs shed to a certain degree. However, some large dog breeds shed very little, such as:
- Afghan Hound.
- Airedale Terrier.
- Bouvier des Flandres.
- Standard Poodle.
For more details, why not check our list of large hypoallergenic dogs.
“What Is the Biggest Hypoallergenic Dog?”
One of the biggest hypoallergenic breeds is the Giant Schnauzer, which can weigh up to 90 pounds.
“Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?”
While there is no actual breed of dog that is 100 percent hypoallergenic, some breeds come close — the Labradoodle being one of them. Their tightly curled coat doesn’t shed but does need consistent grooming.
“What Is the Calmest Non Shedding Dog?”
There are more non shedding dogs than most people realize and the calmest of these dogs are the:
“What Is the Most Low-maintenance Big Dog?”
Although a dog is classified as low-maintenance it doesn’t mean they’re hypoallergenic. To give you an idea, here a few examples:
- Australian Cattle Dog.
- Italian Greyhound.
- Bull Terrier.
- Labrador Retriever.
“What Is the Best Non-Shedding Dog for a Family?”
The following dogs are considered some of the best non-shedding dogs for families: