Breed Info · Essential Guide

The Best Small Dogs that Don’t Shed

Small Dogs that don't Shed Australia

Those who’ve owned a breed that sheds heavily will know you could almost make another dog out of the excess hair. The balls that float around your living room aren’t dissimilar to tumbleweed in the desert, and no matter how much you vacuum it still keeps coming. That’s why many people prefer small dogs that don’t shed (or at least don’t shed very much).


It’s worth noting that some small breeds barely shed but they still need grooming. Double-coated breeds tend to collect dead hair, and without regular brushing. Without a regular brush many dogs can get knotty or unkempt, and even as a puppy it’s worth getting them used to a regular brush.

Top grooming tips

  • Start young – there’s no time like the puppy phase to get your dog used to grooming.
  • Make it a game – dogs love attention, so the best way to make grooming fun is to make it a game. Give them lots of praise.
  • Regular brushing – habit is the best policy. Regular brushing will keep your dog’s coat tidy and free of knots.
  • Short sessions – don’t overdo it. It doesn’t take long for a dog to get bored or annoyed, and once the fun is over it may be hard for subsequent grooming sessions.
  • Use the right brush – use a high quality brush appropriate for the specific coat of your dog.

Hypoallergenic small dogs

It’s a misconception that dog hair is the true cause of allergies. If you prone to allergies from dogs then simply opting for a dog which doesn’t shed might not be the right answer. Often it’s the flakes of dead skin, known as dander, which cause allergies. In some circumstances a person may be allergic to the saliva or urine of a specific breed.

To avoid adopting a dog that may cause you allergies, try spending time around a similar breed owned by a friend, a prospective puppy at a breeder, or a prospective dog at a shelter.

Our definitive list of Australian small dogs that don’t shed

So, if you’re looking to adopt a low-shedding small breed in Australia, then here’s a list of your options:

  • Airedale Terrier
  • Australian Cobberdog
  • Australian “Aussie” Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Chinese Crested
  • Dachschund
  • Havanese
  • Irish Terrier
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Maltese Shih Tzu
  • Miniature Dachschund
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Moodle
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Puli
  • Schnauzer
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Toy Poodle
  • Welsh Terrier
  • West Highland “Westie” Terrier
  • Whippet
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Food for thought

An often overlooked aspect of a beautiful and glossy coat is diet. When you’re in the dog park keep an eye out for dogs with both a glossy coat or a dull coat. Without being confrontational, it’s worth slipping in the question of “what food do you feed them?”, and you may see a correlation between diet and coat. Dog’s fed one of the many wheat or cereal grain dry foods tend to have a dull, matted coat, whereas dogs fed a premium diet rich in meat, fish, and omega fatty acids will often have a silky buoyant coat.

Just like us, dogs are what they eat. Refer to our list of best dog food in Australia for some great tips.

The small dog grooming FAQ

We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the best small dogs that don’t shed. If this information has been useful, please share with others!

How often should small dogs be groomed?

Depending on the breed and coat of your dog it may be worth grooming as frequently as 4 to 6 weeks to prevent matting. For many dogs a short cut can last 2 to 3 months.

What is the healthiest non-shedding small dog?

The Top 5 Australian hypoallergenic small breed dogs in 2021 are Miniature Schnauzer, Bichon Frise, West Highland Terrier (Westy), and Scottish Terrier.

Can you groom a small dog at home?

It’s easy to groom a small dog at home, but it’s best to start young, use a proper brush applicable to your breed’s coat, and make it as enjoyable as possible for your dog.

How much does it cost to groom a small dog?

In Australia in 2021, expect to pay between $45 and $180 for professional grooming. Prices vary depending on breed and coat, and factor in extras such as nail clipping, flea treatment, and teeth cleaning.

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