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Which Dog Breeds Shed the Least?

Learn why dogs shed and which shed the least.

Many people think about shedding before they get a new dog. Dogs that shed a lot can create additional work in the home, more time may need to be spent grooming the dog, and people who are sensitive to dog fur may wish to seek out dogs that shed less.

Other people may not be as concerned about shedding but want to be sure that the dog breed they choose is well-suited for the climate in which they live.

Why Do Dogs Shed?

Dogs have fur to help them with body temperature regulation, to help protect their skin from injury, and to help them navigate around barriers.

Dog breeds that evolved in cold, wet climates often have an undercoat, which is soft fur next to their skin. It provides insulation both in cold and hot weather, and it is sometimes called a double coat.

Dogs shed when their hairs stop growing, so they can grow new, healthier hairs. Dogs with undercoats usually shed heavily when the seasons change during spring and fall. Dogs without undercoats usually shed all year but less at one time.

Can You Decrease Your Dog's Shedding?

You will sometimes see products that are advertised as decreasing a dog's shedding. However, shedding is good for your dog's skin and fur, so it's not a good idea to do anything to interfere with it.

Routine brushing of dogs that shed year-round can help control how much fur ends up in the environment. Using an undercoat rake on a double coated dog that's "blowing" his coat during a season change can help remove more at once rather than allowing it to shed more slowly all over the house.

Brushing daily during heavy shedding seasons is best for keeping your dog comfortable and best controlling the hair load in your environment.

Should You Shave Your Dog?

Shaving a dog that is shedding his undercoat is not recommended. The coat helps protect the dog's skin from sunburn, sun-related cancer, and it also helps regulate body temperature both in cold and hot weather. Shaving a dog's coat at the wrong time can interfere with hair growth and cause uneven or disturbed regrowth. You can learn more here: "Dog Shaving: Helpful or Harmful?"

Do Some Dogs Shed Less?

Dog breeds with undercoats are considered the heaviest shedders. They include:

  • Retrievers
  • German shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Malamutes
  • Chow chows
  • Akitas
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Newfoundlands

Some dog breeds that are considered by many to shed the least include:

  • Poodles
  • Chihuahuas
  • Bichons
  • Maltese

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