There are at least two good reasons to choose a puppy who doesn't shed much. For some the main concern is that heavy shedding means a lot of vacuuming. For others, allergies are the concern. A light-shedding breed allows allergy sufferers to enjoy the pleasures of dog ownership without the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
It's perhaps hard to believe that the poodle, with her carefully styled coat, is one of the lightest-shedding dogs around—indeed, some say non-shedding. This makes the poodle a popular breed for those with allergies. However, when it comes to grooming needs, she requires more attention, so prepare to visit the groomer with her every six to eight weeks. You'll also need to brush her daily to prevent her thick, curly hair from matting.
The Bichon Family
Small, cute, affectionate and perfect for apartment life, the various members of the bichon family are light shedders despite having fluffy coats. The best known of the breed are the bichon frise and the Maltese. The Bolognese and Coton de Tuléar are less well known but have similar coats. However, a bichon-type dog does need a fair amount of regular professional grooming, plus daily brushing and combing at home to keep his coat in good order.
Water dogs have thick, curly coats. The best known are the Portuguese and Spanish varieties. You'll hardly ever find his hair on your furniture or floors, and all members of the breed family are recommended for allergy sufferers. He does need to visit a professional groomer to have his thick coat clipped, and breed experts advise regular brushing and combing at home. However, he doesn't need as much pet parlor pampering as a poodle because his coat grows more slowly.
If you're a large-dog lover, there are a few breeds you should consider for their light shedding and low grooming needs. The Great Dane needs minimal grooming to keep his coat in tip-top condition, and although you might find yourself tripping over him around the house, you won't find his hair everywhere. The Doberman, Rhodesian ridgeback and vizsla are other big pooches who don't leave too many hairs behind them, and need only a weekly brushing to remove dead hairs.
By Eleanor McKenzie
About the Author
Based in London, Eleanor McKenzie has been writing lifestyle-related books and articles since 1998. Her articles have appeared in the "Palm Beach Times" and she is the author of numerous books published by Hamlyn U.K., including "Healing Reiki" and "Pilates System." She holds a Master of Arts in informational studies from London University.