Hypoallergenic Small Dog Breeds

Giving the popularity of this article on big dogs that don’t shed, I thought it was time to cover hypoallergenic small dog breeds. I mean, as of 2020, some 50 million households owned at least one dog.

Considering that dogs are the most popular pet in the United States — and that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reported that an estimated three in 10 people with allergies are allergic to pets — it was worth covering these smaller furry friends.

For instance, many people don’t get a pup because of their sensitivity to dander and other pet allergens. keep them from getting a pup, regardless of how much they may want one.

Most popular small dog breeds that won’t make you sneeze

Here’s some good news for those allergy-prone would-be owners: There are a handful of smaller dog breeds that are actually hypoallergenic. They are low-shedding or have a coat that more closely mirrors human hair than dog fur.

Breeds with these traits are more suitable for those with animal sensitivities. And, hopefully, their presence won’t leave you sneezing or with watery eyes.

Nom Nom, the fresh dog food company, has determined the most popular small hypoallergenic dogs using recent American Kennel Club dog breed popularity rankings and dog breed characteristics.

Each dog breed on this list is registered by the American Kennel Club, is small in size, and sheds minimally — a common cause of allergies in pet owners.


Lowchen or little lion dog. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: 10-15 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 15+ years
  • Temperament: affectionate, outgoing, positive

Löwchen have been a favorite breed among Europeans since at least the 15th century, thanks to their lively and affectionate personalities and portable size. German for “little lion,” these dogs earn their name thanks to their distinctive haircuts. They usually include a clipped through the hindquarters and tail with a full mane. The breed is a descendant of the same ancient line that produced bichon frise and Maltese pups.


small hypoallergenic dogs Affenpinscher
Affenpinscher. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 9-11.5 inches
  • Weight: 7-10 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: confident, famously funny, fearless

Affenpinschers are unique in both looks and temperament. Short, with a wiry coat, the terrier-like breed, whose name means “monkey dog” or “ape terrier” in German, was allegedly the inspiration for the teddy bear-like Ewoks in “Star Wars.” They are confident, willful and entertaining. And they are a small dog breed that lives a long time.

Supposedly, this breed is good with cats, too.

Bedlington terrier

Bedlington terrier
Bedlington terrier. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 15-17.5 inches
  • Weight: 17-23 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-16 years
  • Temperament: loyal, charming, frollicking

An active family is a requirement for Bedlington terriers. That’s because these dogs need plenty of regular exercise to be happy.

Initially bred to be a rodent-catching working dog, the modern iteration of the breed is lithe, charming and full of life. While they resemble little lambs with their white curly fur — I think they look like poodles — Bedlingtons are known to be fiercely protective and very loyal.

American hairless terrier

American hairless terrier
American hairless terrier. Photo credit: Canva
  • Height: 12-16 inches
  • Weight: 12-16 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 14-16 years
  • Temperament: energetic, alert, curious

Although the name might imply otherwise, some American hairless terriers can have a short, wiry coat — though some are truly, completely hairless. Easy to train, eager to please and requiring minimal exercise, the breed makes for a low-key pet that is just as happy to go on long walks as it is to cuddle up on the couch. And, without hair, there is definitely no shedding.

Coton de tulear

Coton de tulear
Coton de tulear. Photo credit: Canva.
  • – Height: 10-11 inches (male), 9-10 inches (female)
  • – Weight: 9-15 pounds (male), 8-13 pounds (female)
  • – Life expectancy: 15-19 years
  • – Temperament: charming, bright, happy-go-lucky

Once the official dog of Madagascar’s noble class, Coton de Tulear were discovered by continental Europeans in the 1960s and have been internationally beloved ever since. Known for their clownish and playful personalities, the breed develops incredibly close bonds with their humans, and make excellent companions. Their soft white coat is hypoallergenic but requires consistent grooming in order to avoid matting and excessive shedding. And they are 100% adorable.

Chinese crested

Chinese crested dog
Chinese crested. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: 8-12 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 13-18 years
  • Temperament: affectionate, alert, lively

Chinese-crested dogs have existed for so long, experts have no idea where, or how, they were first bred. Typically hairless except for tufts on the head, ankles and tail, the dogs are fine-boned, graceful and odorless.

They make an excellent family pet. These dogs tend to be in-tune with their owner’s emotions and rhythms, and are known to make excellent therapy dogs.

Bichon frise

Bichon frise
Bichon frise. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 9.5-11.5 inches
  • Weight: 12-18 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 14-15 years
  • Temperament: playful, curious, peppy

Despite being beloved by European nobles and enjoying successful careers as circus and showbiz performers, bichon frise have faced near extinction a number of times. Fortunately for modern dog owners, the comical, loyal and happy-go-lucky breed fought on. Today, it is one of the most popular small dog breeds.

Their hallmark white coat requires frequent professional grooming. However, when cared for properly, the Bichon frise rarely sheds — making them fairly hypoallergenic.


Maltese. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 7-9 inches
  • Weight: under 7 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: gentle, playful, charming

The Maltese is another adorable small hypoallergenic dog with white fur.

Since the 4th and 5th centuries B.C., Maltese have been among the most popular dog breeds in the world. Well-proportioned, athletic and praised for their loyal and playful personalities, the dogs had admirers in ancient Greece, Rome and China.

Miniature schnauzer

hypoallergenic small dog breeds featured image Miniature schnauzer
Miniature schnauzer. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 12-14 inches
  • Weight: 11-20 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: friendly, smart, obedient

Miniature schnauzers were once employed as farm dogs, responsible for catching rodents and keeping their owners company throughout a long day’s work. Today, these pups make ideal family dogs, thanks to their friendly and intelligent personalities. The modern iteration of the low-shed dog is also as equally suited to apartment life as it once was to rural farm life, requiring only moderate exercise.

Yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire terrier
Yorkshire terrier. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 7-8 inches
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-15 years
  • Temperament: affectionate, sprightly, tomboyish

A true personality breed, Yorkshire terriers are feisty, fierce and friendly despite their delicate appearance. This is the dog breed I grew up with.

Their signature long coat is more akin to human hair than dog fur, which makes them low-allergen (albeit high-maintenance). These pups are favorites among city dwellers, thanks to their compact size and low exercise requirements.

Toy poodle

Toy poodle
Toy poodles. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: no more than 10 inches
  • Weight: 4-6 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-18 years
  • Temperament: agile, intelligent, self-confident

The smallest iteration of the poodle, toy poodles were first bred in America in the 20th century for city dwellers. Smart, athletic and outgoing, these dogs have human-like personalities and are very people-oriented, making them easy to train.

An active dog, toy poodles require plenty of exercise. In fact, they enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, jogging and playing games with their people.

Miniature poodle

Miniature poodle
Miniature poodle. Photo credit: Canva.
  • Height: 10-15 inches
  • Weight: 10-15 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-18 years
  • Temperament: active, proud, very smart

What’s the difference between a toy poodle and a miniature poodle? About five to 10 pounds and a few inches. Even though miniature sounds smaller to a toy — or at least it does to me — miniature poodles are actually bigger than toy poodles.

The national dog of France, miniature poodles were bred down from their standard cousins several hundred years ago. Similar in personality to toy poodles, miniatures also share the same low-shed coat.

Whether the owner chooses to keep them in a Continental clip or a sporting clip, the dogs require daily grooming and frequent trips to a professional. This is necessary to avoid matting and excess fur loss.

This story originally appeared on Nom Nom and was produced and distributed in partnership with Stacker Studio. This article has been re-published pursuant to a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.

Leave a Comment