Small hypoallergenic dogs are breeds preferred by those who suffer from allergies. Dogs that shed hair can often cause problems in these people, which puts them off from wanting to live with a dog at home. Many small dogs shed such a little amount of hair, that they can be a great option for those with allergies. Let’s take a look at which small hypoallergenic dog breeds are preferred by those who have issues with allergens.
Let us begin by dissecting the use of the word ‘hypoallergenic’ as it is not quite as straightforward as many believe. The reality is that the only hypoallergenic dogs are hairless breeds, as they can’t shed what they don’t have.
Those who are allergic to dogs are not allergic to their fur, but rather to the proteins that can be found in skin cells, saliva, and urine. The reason that dog hair causes a reaction, is that dogs will transfer the protein through saliva when they lick and clean their bodies.
This is why dogs that don’t shed, cause far fewer issues than those who do. Those with fur can shed fluffy pet dander, causing an allergic reaction in humans. Dander from dogs is an issue because it remains airborne for a long time, and is then inhaled.
The small hypoallergenic dogs you’ll find on this list are not 100% hypoallergenic, but they are still ideal options for allergy sufferers. This is because of how little dander the dogs give off and how little they shed.
When classifying a dog as ‘small’, we are talking about dogs weighing less than 14kg fully grown. If you thought that you could never have a dog because of your allergies, think again.
Best Hypoallergenic Small Dogs
We should preface this by saying that many more small hypoallergenic dogs are available than those listed here. We have compiled this list based on those that will not cause allergy sufferers issues and those that will give owners the most love and loyalty.
American Hairless Terrier
If you are looking for a dog that is brimming with energy and life, look no further than the American hairless terrier. Oddly enough, some American terriers do have a little bit of hair, despite being classed with other hairless breeds.
The American hairless terrier is a small dog that will weigh no more than 7kg fully grown. Standing at a diminutive 18 inches tall, what this dog lacks in size it more than makes up for in character.
This is a great family dog thanks to its loyal and protective nature, especially of kids. The American hairless terrier is a hypoallergenic dog, and even those with some hair do not shed very much at all. These dogs were originally bred to be companion dogs, and they excel at doing just that.
The Bedlington terrier is one of the strangest-looking dog breeds on this list, with the appearance of a newborn lamb. These dogs have an interesting history, having been used in racing, hunting, and even as alert dogs at various times throughout their history.
The good news for those who suffer from allergies is that the Bedlington terrier is not a shedder. This breed has a curly coat, just like a lamb, and it is every bit as coarse too, although soft to the touch.
These dogs may need to be groomed and have a haircut once every couple of months, but they won’t shed a lot of hair, no matter what time of year it is. Much like other small hypoallergenic dogs, these have a life expectancy of between 12-14 years. Bedlington terriers make for great family pets and behave very well with other dogs.
The Bichon Frise has the appearance of a cuddly toy and is arguably the most attractive pooch on this list. Behind that fluffy exterior, however, is an emotionally strong and sturdy dog, with a real lust for life. Small dog breeds don’t get much cuter than the Bichon Frise.
These are playful dogs with plenty of energy and full of affection, making for an ideal small dog breed for your home and family. The Bichon Frise will grow to between 10 and 12 inches and weigh between 5-8kg fully grown.
Despite their fluffy white coat, these dogs hardly shed at all, and you’ll be pressed to find any hair left behind. These adorable dogs are perfect if you have dog allergies.
The Cairn Scottish terrier originates from the rugged and often icy-cold Scottish Highlands. This dog breed was originally utilized for burrowing into the earth, forcing out foxes and other prey for hunting.
This is a very energetic and curious dog breed that loves to be part of the family unit. Cairn terriers generally grow to a height of around 11 inches, and a length of anywhere between 14 and 16 inches.
These are compact dogs that have a real spring in their step. This dog has a shabby hypoallergenic coat that very rarely sheds at all, making it an ideal dog for those who do suffer from allergies.
Dog lovers often enjoy having this kind of Scottish terrier in the home because of the personality that they bring. A Cairn terrier can relax on your lap relaxing one minute and be zipping around the place with excitement the next.
The Chinese Crested dog breed looks like no other and can be spotted from very far away thanks to its little crested tuft on the crown of its head. This hypoallergenic breed is hairless with the exception of its furry feet, tail, and of course that stylish, tied-up ponytail.
Despite their classy appearance, these dogs love to play and run about, frolicking with other dogs and getting muddy if it has the chance. Despite its penchant to get dirty, the Chinese crested is a very clean dog that doesn’t require much from owners.
Hypoallergenic breeds like this still require some grooming, despite what many think. Because it doesn’t have much hair, some think that the Chinese crested doesn’t need a good brushing from time to time. This isn’t the case and you will have to give this dog a regular grooming routine.
Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear or ‘Royal Dog of Madagascar’ is a name you may not be familiar with, but you will undoubtedly recognize the dog when you see it. The physical characteristics of this dog are similar to those of the Bichon Frise.
These fluffy, beautiful-looking dogs are a bundle of joy around the home and fiercely loyal to their owner. Those who own Coton de Tulear dogs often speak about their foolish and comedic behaviors, as well as their tight connection to those they live with.
This pooch will grow to around 10 or 11 inches and you can expect it to weigh no more than 6kg. Even though their coats are incredibly fluffy, this is very much a hypoallergenic dog because they shed very little.
Yet another small hypoallergenic breed in the Bichon family is the Havanese, a low-shedding dog that is a great companion to its owner. Havanese dogs are the national dog of Cuba and they are only native to this country.
These small hypoallergenic dogs are most often owned by people living in busy cities or small dwellings. This is because the Havanese dog doesn’t need much space or exercise, making them an ideal urban pet.
These small dogs very rarely grow beyond 12 inches, and fully grown you can expect them to weigh 6kg at the absolute most. Female Havanese often weigh in at around the 5kg mark. These hypoallergenic dogs have a silky coat and almost none of that dog fur will shed.
In terms of their nature, the Havanese is an outgoing, energetic, and very curious little dogs. They are happy on their own but they love company and attach themselves quickly to families and new owners.
The Löwchen has been a popular pet across Europe for almost half a millennium. These beautiful little dogs were bred intentionally to be companion dogs for the aristocracy.
The Löwchen’s name translates as ‘little lion dog’ which goes some way to describe the visual appearance of this small hypoallergenic dog. Allergy sufferers can count on minimal dander from these dogs, despite their long and wavy torso hair.
Löwchens are certainly considered small dogs, although they are on the larger side of that scale. You can expect these pooches to grow up to 15 inches in height, and a fully grown adult could weigh up to 9kg.
This breed has an odd shape, being set at what appears to be a 45-degree angle from hind legs to its hind. The front legs are straight, and this is what allows this particular dog to be so nimble.
As you can probably imagine, the Löwchen is a fantastic companion and is also very good with small children. This dog does shed but it is unlikely to trigger allergies with its dander, especially if it is regularly groomed.
Of all the hypoallergenic dog breeds on this list, the Maltese is one of the most popular among dog owners. Despite its impressive, long, and silky coat, this is a pooch that will not cause any issues for allergy sufferers.
The Maltese dog has been around for more than 2000 years, pretty impressive. One of the only drawbacks of owning this dog is that they don’t do well on their own. Separation anxiety is very common among this breed.
For some, this is seen as a negative, but it just means that your pooch wants to spend more time with your and the family. You may not think it, but there is less dander that comes from Maltese dogs than most dogs on this list.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds don’t get much cuter or more loving than Maltese dogs, and they do make great family dogs. In terms of stature, these dogs grow to around 8 or 9 inches and will weigh between 2.5 and 3.5kg as fully-grown adults.
If you are on the lookout for a small hypoallergenic dog that is compact, full of life, and utterly fearless, this is a great bet.
There are three Schnauzer breeds you will probably have heard of; the Standard Schnauzer, Giant Schnauzer, and our focus today which is the Miniature Schnauzer. This is the only hypoallergenic dog breed of the three, and they are a solid option for anyone worried about an allergic reaction to pet dander.
Originally Schnauzers were bred to be working dogs, often used to hunt. Miniature schnauzers came about because the smallest in the litter were often chosen to burrow for vermin such as rabbits.
This is a dog that is ideal for anyone with kids at home, as they are tough and robust. A miniature schnauzer has a wiry coat that comes in three color patterns: black, white, and black, or black and silver. This dog breed will grow to around 13 or 14 inches in size, weighing in at anywhere from 5 to 8kg.
This is a quiet dog that is very observant, deals well with being alone, but also loves to be surrounded by people. If you are worried about dog dander then this could be a great choice for you, as the miniature schnauzer doesn’t lose a great deal of fur.
Toy poodles are every bit as fun as they sound. These tiny dogs won’t grow beyond the 10-inch mark and make ideal lap dogs and companions. A toy poodle can be much more than just a handbag pooch, however, and they have incredibly athletic bodies.
To those who don’t know, toy poodles are considered smaller than miniature poodles. Generally, miniature poodles grow up to 15 inches, much larger than the toy variety. These dogs don’t weigh any more than 3kg and are one of the lightest dogs on this list.
Not only is this a good option if you are seeking a hypoallergenic dog breed, but they also bring a lot of character to your home. If you want soft dog fur, beauty, low shedding habits, and intelligence, look no further than this little poodle.
One of the best hypoallergenic small dog options is the Shih Tzu, a dog that has been keeping its owner company for over 1000 years. Much like others dogs in this list, the Shih Tzu was bred as a companion for Chinese nobility. These days it is a great lapdog that can offer love, loyalty, and plenty of laughter.
Of all the hypoallergenic small dogs you could consider, the Shih Tzu requires the least amount of grooming, as they take care of themselves for the most part.
This dog will grow to around 10 or 11 inches and could weigh as much as 7kg or as little as 4kg. These are very low-maintenance dogs that won’t cause you any problems or any allergic reactions.
It should be said that if you are looking for a playful and energetic dog, this isn’t it. Shih Tzus like looking good and relaxing on your lap, and they do this very well indeed!
West Highland Terrier
One of the most energetic of the small hypoallergenic dog breeds on this list is the West Highland terrier, with its seemingly everlasting engine. These terriers were bred to as hunters like so many other small breeds, and you’d think that they were still on the hunt given how much energy they’ve got.
Despite their small stature, these are robust and tough dogs that are great for the rough and tumble lifestyle that small children may give them. These dogs grow to around 10 inches and will weigh between 7 and 10kg as adults.
Westies don’t need much from their owners and are happy on their own or with others. Given the amount of energy that they have, you will need to make sure that this terrier gets lots of exercise. In terms of dander and shedding, these terriers give off very little indeed.
A Yorkshire terrier gives off even less dander than its West Highland cousin and is a great option for those who suffer from allergies. These dogs were also bred to go after rats in small holes and burrows, hence their small size.
These days Yorkshire terriers don’t have that kind of energy and are very chilled-out pooches. Yorkies mix well with other dogs and they are very feisty and brave. They can make quite good guard dogs despite their size, alerting owners to unwelcome guests.
These dogs won’t grow beyond the 7-inch mark, and at most will weigh 3.5kg. Much like other small hypoallergenic dogs on this list, the Yorkie does have a long lifespan, between 12 and 16 years.
The Yorkshire terrier has a long, smooth, and silky coat, with the appearance of well-kept human hair. Thankfully it doesn’t shed very much of it at all, which is great news for allergy sufferers.
If you do struggle with allergies then make sure that you do some research before you decide which breed of dog is the right one for you. Remember that a non-shedding dog doesn’t exist, but you can find plenty of dogs that won’t cause you any issues.
These listed small dogs are fantastic examples of the kinds of dogs you could bring home without them triggering your allergies. It is always worthwhile checking with a vet to ensure that any pooch is welcomed into the home and that you can be almost sure to avoid an allergic reaction. And remember, there are always pet hair removal tools like we sell here at PetLovers that do a great job of picking up the left over dander and loose hair.