Many dog lovers are drawn to large breeds for their imposing presence and big-hearted companionship. However, shedding can be a deterrent for some, particularly those with allergies or sensitivities to pet hair. There aren’t really any dog breeds that don’t shed at all. Fortunately, though, there are several large dog breeds that are known for minimal shedding.
The Afghan Hound is a unique and distinctive breed known for its long, silky coat, elegant appearance, and aloof yet charming demeanor. This breed has roots that trace back thousands of years, originally bred for hunting in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan.
Their beautiful flowing coats served not only as a striking feature but also provided necessary protection against the harsh climate. Standing up to 27 inches tall at the shoulder, Afghan Hounds carry themselves with a regal dignity. Despite their poised and somewhat reserved nature, Afghan Hounds are also known for their surprising athleticism and speed.
They require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Grooming an Afghan Hound is no small task; their long coats need regular, even daily, attention to prevent matting and to maintain their lustrous appearance. With their independent spirit, they can be a bit challenging to train compared to other breeds, but they form deep bonds with their families and make for an exceptionally loyal pet.
Greyhounds are renowned for their speed, agility, and graceful physiques. These athletic dogs are one of the oldest breeds known to humankind, with depictions in ancient Egyptian art dating back to 2900 BC. Bred originally for coursing, they are best known today for their prominence in dog racing, reaching speeds up to 45 miles per hour.
Despite their reputation for speed, Greyhounds are surprisingly gentle and laid-back, and they can even be a bit couch-potato-like when they’re not racing around. They are typically around 27–30 inches tall at the shoulder and have a distinctively lean, muscular build that contributes to their exceptional speed. Their short coat is easy to care for, coming in a variety of colors, and they shed minimally.
While they love a good sprint, Greyhounds don’t require extensive exercise and are often quite content to lounge with their human companions. Their docile nature and friendly disposition make them wonderful pets, although potential owners should be aware that their strong prey drive may not make them suitable for homes with small pets.
The Briard is a large, rugged, and powerful dog breed known for its versatility and intelligence. Originating from France, Briards were initially bred as herding dogs, charged with protecting livestock from predators and thieves. With their long, luxurious coats, they are often easily recognizable.
Their coats, which come in several colors, require regular brushing to prevent matting but offer the advantage of being low-shedding. Standing between 22 and 27 inches tall at the shoulder, Briards are built for endurance rather than speed, and they possess a quick and agile nature.
They are known for their loyalty and protective instincts, which make them excellent family pets. However, their intelligence and independence can make them somewhat challenging to train. Therefore, they are best suited for individuals or families who can provide consistent, positive obedience training. Regular mental and physical stimulation is essential for this active and intelligent breed to keep them content and well-behaved.
The Giant Schnauzer is an imposing and robust breed known for its intelligence, strength, and spirited personality. As the largest of the three Schnauzer breeds, it stands between 23.5 and 27.5 inches tall at the shoulder and has a dense, wiry coat that comes in solid black or pepper and salt.
Originally bred in Germany for driving cattle and as a guard dog, the Giant Schnauzer has since proven its versatility, excelling in roles such as police and service work, as well as in various dog sports. This breed’s coat is weather-resistant and does not shed excessively, but it does require regular grooming, including clipping or hand-stripping, to keep it looking its best.
The Giant Schnauzer is a loyal and protective breed, often forming strong bonds with its family. However, their high energy levels and mental agility necessitate a good amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation, making them a breed better suited for active individuals or families.
Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog is a robust, medium-sized breed known for its love of water and remarkable swimming ability. Originally bred to assist fishermen in Portugal, these dogs were trained to herd fish into nets, retrieve lost tackle, and even deliver messages between ships and shore.
Standing between 17 to 23 inches tall at the shoulder, they possess a dense, curly or wavy coat that comes in a variety of colors and is known to be hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with allergies. Their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting, but they are a low-shedding breed.
Portuguese Water Dogs are intelligent, playful, and extremely loyal, often forming strong bonds with their human family. They are full of energy and require plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation, making them well-suited to active individuals or families. They’re also highly trainable and have been successful in various dog sports and even service roles.
The Komondor is a unique and distinctive breed, known for its protective nature and its unusual, corded coat that resembles dreadlocks or a mop. Originally bred in Hungary to guard livestock, the Komondor’s corded coat served a dual purpose – providing protection from harsh weather conditions and helping it blend in with the sheep it guarded.
These dogs are large and muscular, typically standing around 25 to 27 inches tall at the shoulder, though males can sometimes be even larger. Despite their imposing size, Komondors are known to be quite calm and reserved, although they are also very protective of their families. Their coat does not shed much, but it does require specific care to keep the cords clean and well-formed.
Given their history as independent working dogs, they can be somewhat reserved and are best suited to homes with large yards and families who understand their need for moderate exercise and mental stimulation. Training should start early to ensure they grow into well-behaved, confident dogs.
The Poodle, recognized in three sizes: standard, Miniature, and toy, is an exceptionally intelligent and versatile breed known for its distinctive curly coat and remarkable trainability.
This breed originated in Germany for use as a water retriever but was further developed in France, where it gained its iconic status. Standard Poodles are the largest of the three, standing over 15 inches tall at the shoulder, while Toy Poodles are the smallest, typically standing up to 10 inches.
Poodles are well known for their hypoallergenic coats, which come in a variety of colors and require regular grooming to prevent matting and maintain their distinctive clipped look. They hardly shed, making them suitable for individuals with allergies.
Poodles are highly trainable and excel in various activities, including obedience, agility, and even circus performances. Their keen intelligence, paired with their friendly and outgoing nature, makes them excellent family pets. However, they do require both physical and mental stimulation due to their active and intelligent nature.
The Saluki, also known as the Persian Greyhound or Gazelle Hound, is a breed of dog that is noted for its speed, endurance, and grace. Originating from the Middle East, this breed has a rich history dating back to ancient times and is often associated with royalty and nobility.
Salukis are sighthounds, traditionally used for hunting and chasing game over long distances. They have a slim, athletic build, standing between 23 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder, with a deep chest and long, slender legs designed for rapid acceleration. Their coat is short and silky, requiring minimal grooming, and they can be either smooth or “feathered” types, the latter having long hair on the ears and tail.
Despite their athletic prowess, Salukis have a quiet and gentle demeanor at home and are known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners. However, due to their strong hunting instincts, they need secure spaces to run and exercise, and training should focus on utilizing their natural instincts in a controlled manner.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized breed, known for its distinctive soft, silky, and wavy coat that comes in a warm wheaten or pale beige color. Hailing from Ireland, this breed was originally a versatile farm dog, used for herding and guarding livestock, and hunting pests.
Standing at approximately 17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder, they have a compact and balanced build that is both powerful and graceful. The Wheaten’s coat does not shed much and is considered hypoallergenic, but it does require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.
They are well-loved for their friendly, energetic, and cheerful demeanor, making them great family pets. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are intelligent and can be a bit stubborn, so consistent, positive reinforcement training methods work best.
They are quite active and require a good amount of daily exercise to keep them happy and well-behaved. Despite their energetic nature, they are also known to be quite adaptable, doing well in both city apartments and larger rural homes as long as they get enough exercise and companionship.
Grooming Is Still Necessary
All these breeds require regular grooming to keep their coats in top condition. It’s important to note that no breed is entirely hypoallergenic, as allergens are found in dander, urine, and saliva, not just the dog’s hair. However, even those with allergies are generally okay with dogs labeled hypoallergenic.