So you’re looking to pick a new member for your family and you have a distinct quality that you’re looking for: doesn’t shed. And you’re sitting there wanting to adopt a dog that’s bigger than most, but do big dogs that don’t shed exist?
Today’s your lucky day because yes, they do!
While it’s a fact that any dog that has fur sheds, these big dogs shed relatively less and don’t require you to have a vacuum handy to clean up fur lying around your home. If you’re worried about allergens, which I can totally relate to, then these light shedding big dogs are good options for you.
A Word of Caution on Low Shedding Dogs
Despite the distinct advantage that these dog breeds shed very little, you’ll have to make up for it by grooming them to avoid getting their hair matted. And because they’re large dogs, you’ll be spending more time grooming them than you would smaller dog breeds.
Grooming for these dogs is a significant matter because of the very fact that they don’t shed much. That means hair and dirt can easily get trapped in their coats, and you need to help keep those from accumulating and causing mats through grooming.
Brushing is the primary way that you could help keep your dog’s fur from getting matted. Apart from brushing, grooming also includes trimming your dog’s fur as well as bathing your dog. Here’s our handy guide on how often you should bathe your dog.
Before you decide to adopt a big dog that doesn’t shed much, consider if you have time to groom them (though, spoiler alert, some of the dogs we mention are very low maintenance) and you will all be happier in the long run.
7 Big Dogs That Don’t Shed
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, here are 7 big dogs that don’t shed (or shed very little)!
If you ever wanted a sheepdog or the giant equivalent of a Shih Tzu with its characteristic fur that looks like a mop, then a Komondor might be the right dog breed for you.
The good news is that the coarse white hair of Komondors doesn’t need brushing to maintain. Instead, you have to trim it every once in awhile, and even then you don’t have to do it that often.
Fun fact, the reason why a Komondor’s fur is coarse is because they’re dreadlocks. Cool, right?
On the downside, white fur means that it’s more than likely to get dirty which means more frequent baths. And because of the texture of their coat, Komondors take more time and effort to get all dried up after a bath.
Additionally, here are some points that you should consider before deciding to get a Komondor of your own:
- They need to be extensively socialized from the get go. This is because they have a tendency of being aggressive towards humans and other dogs that are not familiar to them.
- On the plus side of this personality is that they are very much devoted to their family and will protect them and their home at all costs.
- If the socialization is done well, your Komondor will grow up to be a calm and devoted dog.
- Because of the extensive nature of training and socialization that is required for Komondor owners as well as their size, they are not an advisable choice for first time or more timid dog moms and dads.
2. Giant Schnauzer
“I like schnauzers, but can I get one in a larger size?”
Why yes, yes you can!
Giant Schnauzers are the largest of all the types of Schnauzers. Their coat needs to be brushed at least one to three times a week. Fur trimming and stripping need to be done at least once a month to keep a Giant Schnauzer’s fur neat and easy to maintain.
Again, here are some things to consider about Giant Schnauzers before you become a dog parent to one:
- They are very similar to Komondors when it comes to being protective of their family. As such, they also need to be socialized. Again, they are not recommended as a first time pet or if you’re a dog parent who is very timid when it comes to training your dogs.
- They thrive when they live indoors as your companions, but they also need to have access to a fenced yard where they can run around in due to their active nature. That, or you take them for long walks daily. A lack of exercise can make them misbehave and hard to handle.
- Giant Schnauzers are very intelligent dogs, and they learn best when you use firm positive reinforcement based methods. They are also good at spotting inconsistencies in your training method so remain consistent!
3. Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers are also known as Blackies and their coat color is… you guessed it, black!
If you want a non-shedding dog that’s even bigger than the ones we’ve been talking about (like if the Giant Schnauzer isn’t giant enough!), this dog breed may be for you. The advantage of owning Blackies is that their coarse double coat requires very low maintenance.
Both brushing and trimming only need to be done a few times a year, talk about being low maintenance, right?
So what else do you have to consider when picking a Black Russian Terrier?
- Training them is very easy, as they are very responsive to firm direction. That, and they are predisposed to performing tasks.
- Like the previous two breeds, Blackies have a tendency to be overprotective of their owners. This means that they too need to be socialized from an early age. When done properly, Blackies can tolerate living with other canines in their homes and will respond well to strangers, dogs and humans alike.
- In picking Blackies, it’s good to choose one who has a just right temperament. That means choosing the one who is most well-rounded. Not too aggressive towards its littermates and not the one who is cowering in the corner. Looking at one of the parents’ temperaments will give you a good idea of what your pup’s temperament will be as they grow up.
- They also function well as indoor dogs as they crave attention and guidance.
4. Bouvier des Flandres
Another breed that has a long black coat, the Bouvier des Flandres requires a bit more maintenance than the other breeds that we have seen so far. That’s because their coats are really thick. Regular brushing is necessary to keep the dirt from getting trapped in it.
Because they take a lot of effort to bathe, these dogs can be bathed only when it is absolutely necessary. Trimming the coat is advisable, especially the fur around a Bouvier des Flandres’ paws.
Things to take note about the breed:
- They are herding dogs, so they like to protect their families as well. These dogs like being part of everything that’s going on, and become destructive and misbehave when left alone for a long time.
- They don’t express affection by being active, rather they show you their devotion quietly.
- This breed has a strong personality which needs a confident, consistent, and firm owner. Still, it’s best to express this consistency and firmness with a gentle approach.
- Early socialization is also required, though maybe not as extensive as with Komondors.
5. Airedale Terrier
Also aptly known as the “King of the Terriers” due to their large size, these terriers possess a double coat: soft fur underneath a coarse upper coat. It’s the top coat that needs maintenance, requiring a stripping at least once a year and regular brushing.
Their grooming is going to be quite costly, so either prepare for spending a lot on grooming services or learn how to do it yourself to save up on costs.
Things to take note of about Airedale Terriers:
- They have a propensity for chewing, digging, barking, and collecting human memorabilia.
- They need daily exercise to work off the high amount of energy that they have. This also means that they need to have access to a large fenced yard for them to run around in.
- Airedale Terriers are mostly independent, yet still love being able to spend time with their family. They are very kid-friendly as well.
- Socialization is also needed, as they have a tendency to become quarrelsome with humans and dogs that they are not familiar with.
6. Standard Poodle
Yes, poodles also come in a large size! The Standard Poodle looks very similar to their smaller counterparts and has the same thick and curly fur.
Their thick fur may require you to get a professional groomer to help manage and trim your dog’s coat every few weeks. Apart from that, you also need to do some of the regular grooming by brushing and bathing your poodle.
What you need to know before choosing a Standard Poodle:
- They need to be trained to obey your commands. You can start off with these 6 basic commands and move on to more complicated ones over time, as your poodle needs to constantly learn. Otherwise, they have a tendency for destructive behavior when bored.
- Be a good but gentle leader to your poodle, apart from teaching them the commands, you also need to be firm that they follow your commands.
7. Irish Water Spaniel
Spaniels also come in a larger variety, and those are the Irish Water Spaniels. As you may surmise from their name, this breed loves to swim and even comes with a waterproof coat.
Their curly fur needs regular brushing (at least once a week) to keep it from matting, and you need to have your Irish Water Spaniel’s fur trimmed every few months. Trimming further keeps their fur clean and neat-looking.
Take note of these things before getting an Irish Water Spaniel:
- Like most of the dogs on this list, this breed requires proper socialization. This is because of their headstrong personalities, which can be problematic for first time dog parents.
- They are also very active and require to be exercised daily.
- At most, they can be reserved around strangers, but never aggressive or overly shy.
- However, it may not be a good idea to have smaller pets around this breed.
Big dogs that don’t shed as much as the others do exist, but there are a lot of other things that you have to consider when choosing one to adopt. One of those things is the amount of time that you are willing to spend grooming your new fur baby as it can be a bit trickier due to their size. Luckily, a lot of them only need occasional trimming, but others need regular brushing and bathing.
A lot of these breeds are also very active and need extensive socialization in order to avoid becoming aggressive towards strangers and other dogs, so you have to be willing to do so as larger dogs are harder to control when they start active aggressive.
If you’re a first-time dog parent and don’t think that you are yet up to the challenge of owning a large one, you can still consider getting a smaller, more manageable dog breed that doesn’t shed. After all, new dog parents shouldn’t bite off more than they can chew just because they want a specific kind of dog. You won’t do your pup any favors if you end up taking him to a shelter because you couldn’t properly train him. But we don’t have to tell you that, that’s why you’re here!
What’s your experience with big dogs that don’t shed? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Want access to hundreds of dog training videos from a pro? Check out Doggy Dan’s website.