The Facts and Nothing but the Facts, Please!
The real facts reveal that there is no such thing as 100% non-shedding dogs. However, don't despair! There are numerous breeds that even though not 100% non-shedding, shed very little hair. By the way, even hairless dogs shed. While they don't have hair to shed, they do shed skins cells (dander) that many people are allergic to. The fact of the matter is that while no dogs are totally non-shedding, there are many that shed so little that people with allergies to "pets" often get by fine with these breeds of dogs in the home.
What Exactly Defines Non-Shedding?
There is no exact definition for the term non-shedding but it is generally accepted to mean "a light shedder". Those breeds that are light shedders do not cause allergy sensitivity issues like a normal or heavy shedding dog would. They also can lay down on a couch or carpet and not leave a pile of hair in their wake. Commonly non-shedding dogs are single coated and not the double coated breeds although there are a few exceptions. Hairless dogs are considered to be light shedders or non-shedding.
Do you Chase Arnie the Goldendoodle off the Couch?
Does it bother you when Arnie the Goldendoodle gets on the couch or the upholstered living room chairs? If you are only chasing Arnie off the furniture because you think she may shed and leave a trail of hair, relax. Arnie happens to be one of the mixed breeds that are considered non shedding; Golden Retriever bred to a Poodle. One of the real advantages to owning non shedding dogs is that they shed so little that they are not a real hair threat to your furniture. Since they shed so little, their hair does not detract from cleanliness of the home. Meticulous housekeepers most likely would be far happier with a non shedding breed than one that sheds normally.
Allergy Sufferers in the Home?
Many adult allergy suffers believe they cannot welcome a dog into their home due to hair shedding issues. Parents of children with allergies often are reluctant to have a dog in their home due to the risk of their child encountering an allergic reaction to the dog. Sadly many children with allergies grow up in homes completely devoid of pets and never enjoy the love and companionship that pets provide. One of the remarkable things about non shedding breeds is that most allergy suffers can tolerate them.
Be a Little More Specific, Please!
Let's be a lot more specific about allergy suffers and dogs. All the talk is about shedding hair but the interesting fact is that it isn't the hair but what is on the hair that causes allergy problems. Dander and saliva on shed hair are the two major culprits for causing allergic reaction. Dander is essentially dead skin cells that are constantly being sloughed just like human skin. Dog dander sticks to the dog hairs and when the hair is shed it will be loaded with dander. This is why non shedders are less likely to cause allergic reaction; since they are not shedding the dander laden hair, there is less dander released into the home environment.
Note: It is a scientific fact that the majority of those who are "allergic to dogs" are also allergic to other environmental factors such as dust, pollen and mold (all of which dogs are exposed to outdoors and may track indoors on their coats or feet).
Saliva is an important allergen bearing medium. Dogs can spread allergens through their saliva in a couple of ways. Dogs clean themselves by washing with their tongue which of course, leaves saliva on their hair. Along with dander, saliva sticks to the dog's hair. In a dog that sheds the allergen bearing hair both saliva and dander are present to cause problems in an allergen sensitive person. A dog that barks incessantly is constantly spreading saliva and is as bad for allergy sufferers as shed hair. If you are an allergen sensitive person, look for a quiet dog.
Interested But Skeptical?
The best course of action to take if you are interested in getting a non shedding dog for your home is to find a breeder near you. Call the breeder and discuss your reasons for specifically desiring a non shedding dog. Most breeders will gladly allow you to go to their facility and spend time with their dogs. By spending time before committing you may be saving the dog from the trauma of being returned if you find you cannot tolerate them.
For More Information
Go online for the most comprehensive listings of breeds and cross breeds that are considered non or low shedding. Online you will also find valuable tips to help allergy sufferers ensure that Arnie carries as few allergens as possible.