What Type of Dogs Have Hair Not Fur?

By Kimberly Kilmer

There are at least 36 breeds of dogs that grow hair in lieu of fur. Many of these breeds are registered with the American Kennel Club, while some are less commonly known. If they aren't trimmed, hair coats can grow to indeterminate lengths. However, a few of these breeds are predominantly hairless. Many do not shed. Several of these breeds are even hypoallergenic.

Large Breed Dogs

a standard poodle

standard poodle with ball image by MichMac from Fotolia.com

Of the large breed dogs, the hair coats are curly, flowing and straight, wiry and rough, and nearly hairless. The standard poodle, Portuguese water dog and Irish water spaniel possess curly hair coats. The bearded collie grows a flowing straight coat. Wiry rough coats can be found in the airedale and giant schnauzer. The standard xoloitzcuintli, commonly referred to as the xolo, and the Peruvian inca orchid are predominately hairless breeds with straight hair growing only on some parts of their bodies. The xolo does come in a coated variety in addition to the hairless version. Grooming needs are particular to each breed, with most needing monthly grooming or daily care.

Medium Breed Dogs

a standard schnauzer

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The widest variety of hair-coated breeds can be found in the medium group. With ratters, herders, companion pets, working breeds and small working hounds, this group is diverse. Curly coats can be found on the miniature poodle and logatto romagnolo; wiry rough coats on the bedlington terrier, kerry blue terrier, wirehaired fox terrier and standard schnauzer; and more flowing straight coats on the Tibetan terrier, Polish lowland sheepdog (which is also referred to as a PON), lowchen, lhasa apso, miniature coated xolo and soft coated wheaten terrier. The only hairless variety in this group is the hairless variety of miniature xolo.

Three unusual hair coats can be found in the medium-sized group. The basenji has a very short soft coat. The coats belonging to the puli and bergamasco, both of which are herding breeds, will almost naturally fall into rastafarian style cords if left to continually grow.

Small and Toy Breed Dogs

a high-style Yorkshire terrier

dog yorkshire terrier carrying a piece of wood image by svehlik from Fotolia.com

Of the small and toy breeds with hair coats, several quite popular breeds are included. The miniature poodle, bichon frise, maltese, yorkshire terrier, miniature schnauzer, shih-tzu and havenese have differing coat characteristics, but are widely accepted as wonderful small companion pets with monthly grooming needs.

The less commonly known of these small and toy hair breeds are the Bolognese (also referred to as the bichon Bolognese), the Brussels griffon, both hairless and puff varieties of the Chinese crested and toy xolo, the coton de tulear and the dandie dinmont terrier.