Most popular dog breeds that don't shed

May 11, 2021
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Most popular dog breeds that don't shed

Dogs love unconditionally, guard the house, force us outside, and are great additions to an Instagram feed. But even the cutest pups can lead to sneezing fits, runny noses, or worse. Between 10% and 20% of the world's population is allergic to dogs and cats. And for those with asthma, the prevalence of dog allergies is even higher.

While no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic, some breeds cause less of a reaction to allergy sufferers. Breeds with coats that only shed a little bit or not at all may produce less pet dander—one common trigger for those with allergies. For the sniffler in your family, Stacker compiled a list of the 26 most popular dog breeds that don’t shed based on 2020 data from the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Hypoallergenic Dogs list; those that don't have a ranking are either not registered with the AKC, or they are newly registered this year.

These pups have luscious locks and voluminous curls, long beards and dramatic bangs. They do need to be groomed, but they won’t get fur all over your furniture.

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Peruvian Inca orchid

- AKC breed popularity: unrankedout of 195
- Height: 9.75-15.75 inches (small) 15.75-19.75 inches (medium) 19.75-25.75 inches (large)
- Weight: 8.5-17.5 pounds (small) 17.5-26.5 pounds (medium) 26.5-55 pounds (large)
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Miscellaneous Class

This Peruvian hound is built to hunt, with great agility, intelligence, and eyesight. But what distinguishes the Inca orchid is its coat—or lack thereof. These dogs come in a hairless variety with different skin colors and no more than a mohawk down the center of their heads. They’re definitely different—strange but elegant, like the Sphynx cat.

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Russian tsvetnaya bolonka

- AKC breed popularity: unranked
- Height: 9-10 inches
- Weight: 4.5-11 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-16 years
- Group: Foundation Stock Service

Tsvetnaya bolonka (which translates to “colored lap dogs”) are small companions bred to live in a family. They’re smart, easy-going, and great with kids. Though you can trace the breed’s origins to the 18th century, the Russian tsvetnaya bolonka’s popularity really took off in the 1960s when Nikita Khrushchev relaxed restrictions on small dog breeding. They come in a few different colors, and are known for their long, wavy hair.

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Bolognese

- AKC breed popularity: unranked
- Height: 10-12 inches
- Weight: 5.5-9 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Foundation Stock Service

These 5- to 10-pound dogs sport extra-fluffy white hair. As their name suggests, these little meatballs are Italian through and through, dating as far back as the 11th century. They’re popular today, but they were an especially big deal during the Renaissance: Cosimo de' Medici sent eight Bolognese to influential noblemen in Brussels.

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Barbado da Terceira

- AKC breed popularity: unranked
- Height: 20.5-22 inches (male), 19-21 inches (female)
- Weight: 55-60 pounds (male), 46-57 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Foundation Stock Service

This herding breed is known for being intelligent and easy to train, though these dogs require daily exercise, supervision, and mental and physical stimulation. The Barbado da Terceira can form tight bonds with its owners and does not enjoy being left alone. 

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Irish water spaniel

- AKC breed popularity: 174
- Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21-23 inches (female)
- Weight: 55-68 pounds (male), 45-58 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 12-13 years
- Group: Sporting Group

These unique-looking water dogs have webbed feet, and are one of the best swimming breeds. The Irish water spaniel is an incredible retriever, originally bred to fetch waterfowl, and is playful in the home. These dogs are best known for their tight and curly hair, floppy ears, and long, skinny tail.

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Affenpinschers

- AKC breed popularity: 163
- Height: 9-11.5 inches
- Weight: 7-10 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Toy Group

The affenpinscher—German for “monkey dog” or “ape terrier”—is also called diablotin moustachu, or “mustached little devil,” in French. But while they’re loyal, adorable, and hypoallergenic, don’t be fooled into thinking these petite dogs are easy to train.

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Löwchen

- AKC breed popularity: 161
- Height: 11-13 inches
- Weight: 10-15 pounds
- Life expectancy: 15+ years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group

The löwchen, German for “little lion,” is a toy breed designed for companionship. The dogs are agile, smart, and easily trainable.

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Barbets

- AKC breed popularity: 145
- Height: 19-24.5 inches
- Weight: 35-65 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Sporting Group

This French hunting dog is best known for his robust coat of curls. Bred to retrieve water game, these dogs have webbed paws and are great swimmers. Barbets are mentioned as far back as the 14th century but nearly went extinct during World War I and II—it took an active push by some dedicated breeders to bring them back.

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Bedlington terriers

- AKC breed popularity: 141
- Height: 15-17.5 inches
- Weight: 17-23 pounds
- Life expectancy: 11-16 years
- Group: Terrier Group

These English terriers were bred to work in the mines, chasing down rats and other pests that lurked underground. Today, they are admired for their unique look that's especially pronounced when the dogs are groomed for competitions. Bedlington terriers are energetic family dogs who love to play.

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Kerry blue terriers

- AKC breed popularity: 133
- Height: 18-19.5 inches (male), 17.5-19 inches (female)
- Weight: 33-40 pounds (male), females weigh slightly less than males
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Terrier Group

This medium-sized, Irish terrier was originally used for work on farms. Today, the curly haired, long-bearded dogs with “blue” coats (lighter slate-gray that look blueish in some light) are famous for their performances in dog shows. Kerry blue terriers are very intelligent.

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Xoloitzcuintli

- AKC breed popularity: 131
- Height: 10-14 inches (toy), 14-18 inches (miniature), 18-23 inches (standard)
- Weight: 10-15 pounds (toy), 15-30 pounds (miniature), 30-55 pounds (standard)
- Life expectancy: 13-18 years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group

This ancient Mexican dog traces its roots to the Aztecs (it’s named for the Aztec dog-headed god Xolotl). Though there are short-haired variations, this dog is best known as a sturdy, tough and loving hairless breed. Xolos come in three sizes in a variety of colors, and are wonderfully expressive (aided by the wrinkles that form on their forehead).

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American hairless terriers

- AKC breed popularity: 129
- Height: 12-16 inches
- Weight: 12-16 pounds
- Life expectancy: 14-16 years
- Group: Terrier Group

Though these dogs do come in a short-haired variety, the American hairless terrier is best known for its lack of fur. The breed is feisty, energetic, and playful. This breed is relatively new: The first American hairless terrier was born into a litter of rat terriers in 1972. A couple bought the hairless spotted pup and, after a few generations, managed to breed two hairless ancestors and create the new breed in 1983.

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Afghan hounds

- AKC breed popularity: 122
- Height: 25-27 inches
- Weight: 50-60 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Hound Group

These tall hound dogs are best known for their silky coats, which resemble long human hair. The breed is ancient, tracing its roots to pre-written history (a myth claims Afghan hounds were the dogs that made it onto Noah’s Ark). Afghan hounds began to appear in western Europe when British soldiers brought them over in the 1800s. They are not easy pets to own but are favorites among dog owners who participate in shows.

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Standard schnauzers

- AKC breed popularity: 92
- Height: 18.5-19.5 inches (male), 17.5-18.5 inches (female)
- Weight: 35-50 pounds (male), 30-45 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 13-16 years
- Group: Working Group

These medium-sized German dogs are built for farms, but make great pets, too. They were bred in the Middle Ages to work on farms throughout Bavaria (they were ratters, herders, hunters, and stood guard). The standard schnauzer is an excellent watchdog, and fantastically energetic—they still love to herd and chase things.

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Lagotto Romagnolo

- AKC breed popularity: 88
- Height: 17-19 inches (male), 16-18 inches (female)
- Weight: 28.5-35 pounds (male), 24-31 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 15-17 years
- Group: Sporting Group

The Italian-name Lagotto Romagnolo translates to “Lake Dog from Romagna” (a historical region east of Florence), where these curly haired dogs were bred as waterfowl retrievers. Today, the breed is best known for its exceptional nose. Lagotto Romagnolos are sometimes referred to as Italian truffle dogs because they can be trained to track down the valuable truffles that grow in the Italian countryside. They are regarded as the best truffle-tracking breed in the world.

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Coton de Tulear

- AKC breed popularity: 80
- Height: 10-11 inches (male), 9-10 inches (female)
- Weight: 9-15 pounds (male), 8-13 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 15-19 years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group

The Coton de Tulear, referred to as "The Royal Dog of Madagascar,” is named for the African island’s seaport, Tulear. The white lapdog is known for its soft coat and strong connection to its owners. The dogs were exclusively kept by the island’s nobles for years and bred pure for generations. As a result, they are quite universally skilled at walking on their hind legs and are known to make odd vocalizations.

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Chinese crested

- AKC breed popularity: 79
- Height: 11-13 inches
- Weight: 8-12 pounds
- Life expectancy: 13-18 years
- Group: Toy Group

The Chinese crested breed comes in a coated variety (called “powder puff” after their poof of silky hair), but is much more famous for the hairless variety. Hairless Chinese crested dogs are small dogs with exposed spotted skin and a spiky hairdo. Their feet and tails are adorned with fluffy hair. The Chinese crested breed has been around too long to trace its origin, but it seems likely its ancestor was a large, hairless dog from Africa. Through years of breeding, they’ve become truly unlikely looking companions.

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Giant schnauzers

- AKC breed popularity: 67
- Height: 25.5-27.5 inches (male), 23.5-25.5 inches (female)
- Weight: 60-85 pounds (male), 55-75 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Working Group

This breed is called “giant,” but that's only when compared to the other two variations of schnauzers. In fact, the 55- to 85-pound guard dogs can be fantastic medium-sized pets. The giant schnauzer variation was bred in the mid-19th century in Germany’s Alps. They initially were used as sheepdogs, but these bearded companions became favored as guard dogs, owing to their intelligence and territorial nature.

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Soft-coated Wheaten terrier

- AKC breed popularity: 58
- Height: 18-19 inches (male), 17-18 inches (female)
- Weight: 35-40 pounds (male), 30-35 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 12-14 years
- Group: Terrier Group

This Irish terrier has a thick, soft coat and billy goat beard that would make 2010 Brad Pitt jealous. Like its canine relatives, the Kerry blue and Irish terriers, the soft-coated Wheaten terrier was bred to work on Ireland’s farms. To this day the medium-sized dogs instinctually want to herd, chase rats, and guard—although they've also grown quite accustomed to belly rubs and watching TV.

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Portuguese water dogs

- AKC breed popularity: 49
- Height: 20-23 inches (male), 17-21 inches (female)
- Weight: 42-60 pounds (male), 35-50 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 11-13 years
- Group: Working Group

This curly, medium-sized breed was bred to be the fisherman’s “Swiss Army knife” dog: forcing fish into nets, swimming messages to the shore, retrieving lost gear, and more. Today, the extremely intelligent and trainable dogs, with their hypoallergenic curly black hair, have become popular house pets. While in the White House, the Obamas adopted two Portuguese water dogs named Bo and Sunny who by all accounts were very good First Dogs.

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Bichon frise

- AKC breed popularity: 45
- Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
- Weight: 12-18 pounds
- Life expectancy: 14-15 years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group

Bichon frise are built to be lap dogs—small, friendly, and cute, with a fluffy coat. Since the 13th century, these dogs have traveled in elite circles aboard the laps of nobles and royalty in Spain, France, and Italy. Legend has it that France’s King Henry III loved his Bichon so much that he carried him around in a basket wherever he went. Later on, bichons moved out of their royal quarters and proved themselves as trainable performers in the circus, and then in showbiz.

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Maltese

- AKC breed popularity: 38
- Height: 7-9 inches
- Weight: under 7 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Toy Group

The Maltese is arguably the oldest-known lap dog. These white, elegant pups with long, soft hair have been gracing elite laps for thousands of years. The Maltese is named for Malta, the island south of Sicily that has been a strategic port for many centuries. Aristocrats and royals in the Roman, Greek, and other empires were particularly fond of these toy dogs. A warning, though: In less-regal households, their penchant for aggressive guarding can be anything but ideal.

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Miniature schnauzers

- AKC breed popularity: 19
- Height: 12-14 inches
- Weight: 11-20 pounds
- Life expectancy: 12-15 years
- Group: Terrier Group

Miniature schnauzers were established in Germany in the 1800s. The little dogs make wonderful family members and are known to be sociable, smart, and sweet.

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Yorkshire terriers

- AKC breed popularity: 13
- Height: 7-8 inches
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Life expectancy: 11-15 years
- Group: Toy Group

Yorkshire terriers are among the smallest of their type. They make great pets for first-time dog owners because of how little maintenance they require and their friendly disposition.

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Poodle (toy)

- AKC breed popularity: 6
- Height: No more than 10 inches
- Weight: 4-6 pounds
- Life expectancy: 10-18 years
- Group: Toy Group

Toy poodles pack a lot of punch into a tiny package. Smart and easily trained, these sweet dogs are great at agility sports and have among the longest life spans of any dog.

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Poodle (miniature)

- AKC breed popularity: 6
- Height: 10-15 inches
- Weight: 10-15 pounds
- Life expectancy: 10-18 years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group

Miniature poodles weigh in at twice that of toy poodles and are excellent athletes. They’re considered one of the easiest-to-train dog breeds.

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Poodle (standard)

- AKC breed popularity: 6
- Height: Over 15 inches (standard)
- Weight: 60-70 pounds (male), 40-50 pounds (female)
- Life expectancy: 10-18 years
- Group: Non-Sporting Group

Poodles were originally bred as German duck hunters, and are so beloved they were fully adopted by the French and made that country's national dog. The poodle is highly trainable and extremely intelligent, which has made it a favorite companion dog for years. It still retains some of its farm roots, however: These dogs are agile, great swimmers, and good retrievers. 

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