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If you suffer from dog allergies, I empathize with you.
Luckily for you, there are many small dogs suitable for someone with certain allergies.
Today, we are diving into the most popular dogs for allergy sufferers.
What are hypoallergenic dogs?
First things first, there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog.
But, when people refer to “hypoallergenic dogs”, they usually mean a dog that either has:
- Low-levels of shedding
- Low-levels of pet dander
For allergy sufferers, it’s not the fur or hair that causes an allergic reaction, it’s the dander; the fur is just the transmitter. So, when searching for a dog when you have alergies, it’s essential to find one who has low-to-no shedding or has minimal dander.
Keep in mind that your allergies can also be caused by the dog’s saliva. And if that’s the case, getting a dog that doesn’t shed or that has a low level of pet dander won’t help your allergies.
So, it’s important to determine what you’re allergic to before committing to a dog.
26 small “hypoallergenic” dog breeds (aka dog breeds with low shedding or low dander)
Let’s jump right into our 26 cute (and small) dog breeds:
1. Bichon Frise
Height: 9 – 11 inches
Weight: 7 – 12 pounds
The Bichon Frise is well known for its curly locks and friendly personality. On top of that, this dog breed doesn’t shed and is hypoallergenic. Although they are small dogs, they have a lot of energy and love to play.
We love the Bichon Frise due to their cheerful yet sensitive nature, making them perfect for families with small children. They are also relatively easy to train due to their intelligence.
They will be a great addition to your household if you are looking for a cheerful, hypoallergenic dog.
2. Toy Poodle
Height: 9 – 11 inches
Weight: 4 – 6 pounds
When people search for small dogs that don’t shed, the Toy Poodle often tops the list.
The Toy Poodle is one of the three size variants of Poodles, and is the smallest of the bunch. Toy Poodles are well-loved due to their goofiness and small stature.
Toy Poodles are highly intelligent and lively. They make great family pets for people with children and they’ll adore chasing and playing with the kids. Toy Poodles are easy to train, so that makes it a plus point.
Being hypoallergenic, the Toy Poodle is perfect for homes whose occupants might have allergies.
3. Miniature Schnauzer
Height: 12 – 14 inches
Weight: 11 – 20 pounds
If you’re looking for a spunky and fun-loving companion, look no further than the Miniature Schnauzer! This small hypoallergenic dog is full of energy and has a heart of gold.
The Miniature Schnauzer is a great family dog, as they love children and get along well with other animals. They are also relatively easy to train. However, they do require regular exercise and plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Overall, the Miniature Schnauzer makes an excellent companion for anyone who is active and loves spending time outdoors. If you’re looking for a furry friend to join you on all your adventures, the Miniature Schnauzer is the perfect pup for you!
4. Coton de Tulear
Height: 8 – 12 inches
Weight: 9 – 15 pounds
The Coton de Tulear is one of the most adorable dogs you’ll ever see.
With its fluffy white coat and big black eyes, the Coton de Tulear is hard to resist. But there’s more to this breed than just its good looks.
The Coton de Tulear is a intelligent breed that is easy to train. They are also known for being very affectionate and loving, making them great companions. If you’re looking for a new furry friend, the Coton de Tulear might be just the right fit for you.
One might mistake the Coton de Tulear for a Bichon Frise since they both have the same color for their coat. However, both dogs share a similarity in the sense that both of them are small hypoallergenic dogs.
Owners love the Coton de Tulear due to their playful and cute outlook, which warms many hearts. Their sweet yet clownish personality means that there will not be a lack of entertainment in your house if you get them as a pet.
(Coton is French for “cotton” and the port of Tulear is where the Coton de Tulear originated from).
5. Chinese Crested
Height: 11 – 13 inches
Weight: 8 – 12 pounds
If you want a show-stopping dog, look no further than The Chinese Crested. The Chinese Crested can be born with or without hair, giving them a remarkably unique appearance! And as a bonus, both breeds are hypoallergenic!
Chinese Crested is well known for their ability to be the perfect couch partner. Still, they love the occasional trip outdoors. If you are not in the know, you might mistake the Chihuahua for a Chinese Crested since they share a similar stature.
However, if you’re looking for dogs that don’t shed, you’ll be surprised to know that a Chinese Crested actually sheds, despite not having very much hair.
6. Shih Tzu
Height: 9 – 10.5 inches
Weight: 9 – 16 pounds
If you’re looking for a lazy hypoallergenic dog, let me introduce you to the Shihtzu.
Shih Tzus are well known for their homeliness as they generally do not like exercising. They can be perfectly lazy at home, and yet they still do not care for anything else in the world except for their sleep. I think we can all relate…
If you are looking for a small and quiet dog who enjoys lazing around, then the Shih Tzu will be perfect for you.
7. Cairn Terrier
Height: 9 – 10 inches
Weight: 13 – 18 pounds
The Cairn Terrier is one of the world’s oldest dog breeds and are well-loved by their owners. A cairn terrier is a small, short-legged dog.
They have a weather-resistant outer coat of harsh, stiff hair with a soft, dense undercoat. The most common colors are gray or grayish brown, but they can also be black, wheaten, brindle, or red.
Cairn terriers were originally bred in the Scottish Highlands to hunt foxes and other small animals that lived among the rocky cairns. They are still used for hunting in some parts of the world, but they are more commonly kept as pets.
Cairn terriers are active dogs that need plenty of exercise and stimulation. They are intelligent and quick learners, which makes them good candidates for obedience training and other activities such as agility.
Being a small hypoallergenic dog, the Cairn Terrier is perfect for apartments. Their low energy-levels mean they don’t need much space to run and make great dogs for smaller living spaces.
Despite their small stature, Cairn Terrier’s make excellent guard dogs as they are alert, independent, and fearless.
Height: 16 – 17 inches
Weight: 22 – 24 pounds
Although the Basenji is technically a medium-sized dog, we’ve included them on our list of small hypoallergnic dogs because they aren’t much larger than some of the others on the list.
The Basenji is predominately a hunting dog with a working-breed demeanor. They have a bottomless pit of energy and you can bet you’ll be busy if you choose to welcome one into your home!
Basenjis are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature. They make great family pets and are excellent with children. Basenjis are also known for their intelligence and trainability. Although they need plenty of exercise, they also enjoy relaxing. They are a fairly quiet breed, with the exception of the occasional bark during play or excitement.
Grooming a Basenji can be easy since their shedding is minimal. Basenji’s are immaculate at self-cleaning (much like a cat) and they take care of most of their grooming needs.
This hypoallergenic dog is suitable for families as this dog breed is known for its fierce sense of loyalty.
9. West Highland Terrier
Height: 10 – 11 inches
Weight: 13 – 22 pounds
Looking for a furry friend that will make you laugh? Meet the West Highland Terrier—another non-shedding dog that originates from Scotland! These pups are known for their playful and spunky personalities and will keep you entertained all day long.
Westies are loyal companions. They love to play fetch and go for walks, but are just as content cuddling up on the couch.
Their hypoallergenic coat is easy to take care of, but it does require regular brushing and grooming.
Westies have a high prey drive and love to chase squirrels and other small animals. With their high-energy levels, you’ll need to make sure they are well-exercised.
Height: 8.5 – 11.5 inches
Weight: 7 – 13 pounds
The Havanese is the national dog of Cuba and is sure to melt your heart. Despite having long, silky hair, this petite pooch is non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
Havanese dogs are known for their gentle and loving personalities. Although they may be small, don’t let their size fool you—these dogs are full of energy and love to play. The Havanese is also an intelligent breed, making them easy to train. If you’re looking for a loyal and affectionate companion, the Havanese is the perfect dog for you.
11. Yorkshire Terrier
Height: 6 – 7 inches
Weight: 4 – 7 pounds
If you want a super small hypoallergenic dog, you’ll love the Yorkshire Terrier, otherwise known as the Yorkie. Though they are small in size, the Yorkshire Terrier’s bark can pack quite a punch.
They are the smallest of the Toy Terriers and are usually less than 7 pounds. They have a glossy, long, silky coat that you can keep long or short depending on your preference.
Yorkies are also incredibly intelligent and will pick up training quickly. Owners love the Yorkie because they do not shed much, making them perfect for families who want to keep their furniture fur-free.
They can be affectionate towards your children, but you will still need to be mindful when putting the dog near the children without supervision as Yorkies can be dominate at times!
12. Bedlington Terrier
Height: 15.5 – 16.5 inches
Weight: 17 – 23 pounds
Another showstopper is the Bedlington Terrier. The Bedlington terrier is a small hypoallergenic dog with a lamb-like coat and a unique appearance. This breed of dog is known for being very friendly and loving, making them great companions for families of all ages. They are also very intelligent and easy to train, and require moderate to high-levels of exercise. As they don’t shed, they make a great dog for allergy sufferers.
Bedlington Terriers have a life expectancy of only about 10 years, which is a little lower than the average for other small dog breeds on our list, however, with the right care, you can ensure a Bedlington Terrier lives as long as possible
13. Small Doodles
Last but not least on the list of small hypoallergenic dogs are Doodles. A Doodle is a cross between a Poodle and another dog. While Doodles can come in standard sizes, you can also find plenty of small Poodle mixes, resulting from a miniature Poodle bred with another breed. Mini Doodles are hypoallergenic and non-shedding and are great for people who like Poodles but want something a bit different.
Doodles are affectionate and intelligent, but their true personalities vary depending on their parent breeds.
We’ve put together 13 guides on each small Doodle-breed dog below, rounding our list of small hypoallergenic dogs out to 26! Click through the different links to learn about each one in depth:
- Mini Sheepadoodles
- Mini Goldendoodles
- Teacup Goldendoodles
- Mini Bernedoodles
- Mini Labradoodles
- Mini Aussiedoodles
- Shih Poos
You can also read our guide to on Terrier Poodle mixes if you’re interested in a hypoallergenic terrier dog.
Lastly, search through our list of Doodle rescues if you’d like to adopt a Doodle dog.
Finding a hypoallergenic dog
When it comes to finding a new furry friend, those with allergies have extra considerations to take into account. Here are a few tips on how to choose a hypoallergenic dog that’s right for you and your family.
First, consider what type of coat you’re looking for. Do you want a short coat or long coat? Each type of coat has different allergen levels. For example, Poodles have a very low allergen level due to their tight curls, whereas a dog with wavy hair might have more allergens than a Poodle.
Next, think about size. Some people are allergic to dog dander, which is found in skin cells shed by all dogs regardless of size or breed. However, larger dogs tend to shed more dander than smaller ones since they’re larger.
Lastly, try to meet different dog breeds in person to see which ones you react too. It’s always best to spend time with a dog before adding one to your home to be sure they won’t cause your allergies to flair up.
Allergy sufferers no longer need to go without a dog in their home. With so many small dogs to choose from, you’re bound to find a loving hypoallergenic breed of dog to add to your family.
There are also many large hypoallergenic dogs if you’d prefer to get a larger companion!
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About the Author:
Dana owns a Sheepadoodle and a rescue merle Labradoodle. Her first dog growing up was a white Toy Poodle and she’s loved dogs ever since. She has years of experience fostering dogs and has helped find homes for a variety of different breeds, both large and small! After seeing so many dogs end up unwanted and in shelters, she began blogging about different dog breeds (specifically Doodle dogs, since that’s what she knows best) to help people make informed choices when adding a new member to their family.
When Dana’s not brushing her Doodles’ hair (it takes a lot of time for two!) you can find her playing nose work games and fetch with her two amazing pups.
Learn more about her here.