There’s a huge range of amazing hunting dogs out there, but if you’re looking for a breed that doesn’t shed, then that list starts to get dramatically smaller! Many hunting and retrieving breeds have dense double coats that shed profusely. If you have allergies or simply don’t want to spend hours every week stripping out your dog’s coat, then a hunting breed that doesn’t shed can be a better idea!
It’s important to note that there are very few truly non-shedding breeds, with the Portuguese Water Dog on this list being a rare example. Most breeds shed a little, even the Poodle, so a more accurate term is “low-shedding.” We’ve rounded up 16 of the best non- and low-shedding breeds of hunting dogs.
If you’ve been dreaming of a sighthound to take lure coursing or a Retriever for gundog trials, we’ve rounded up 16 of the best hunting dog breeds with seriously low-maintenance coats. We’ve even included a dog breed to help you hunt out the elusive and extremely valuable truffle!
1. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
You might see this breed referred to as the “supreme gundog,” and it’s an accurate summation of their incredible hunting abilities. Their tough and wiry coats shed very little but can benefit from stripping now and again. Griffons are motivated dogs with a strong prey drive. Whether you want to hunt furred game, waterfowl, or upland birds, this breed will want to help you succeed!
2. Standard Poodle
The Standard Poodle is an ever-popular breed, famed for its hypoallergenic coat. They shed very little, with loose hairs being caught within their coat rather than falling out. The Poodle is a fantastic choice as a retrieving dog because this is what the breed was originally intended for. Their intelligence, exceptional swimming ability, and independence make them great hunting companions.
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3. Rhodesian Ridgeback
These sleek dogs started life as lion hunters, meaning they have a strong prey drive and independent spirit that owners must be sure they can handle. This is a breed for an experienced owner who knows how to work effectively with large dog breeds. The short coat of the Ridgeback will shed a little but won’t require much grooming other than a weekly brush down.
The Visla is a Hungarian gun dog with exceptional endurance and loyalty. Their short coats will shed a little with the changing seasons but are generally low maintenance. The Visla shares similarities with Retrievers and Pointers and excels at many different hunting activities. For retrieving waterfowl, lure coursing, barn hunts, tracking, and lure coursing, this breed is perfect.
The Pudelpointer is a German breed created by crossing the Pointer and Poodle. They can have smooth, wire, or rough coats that shed only a little seasonally. Pudelpointers love hunting and retrieval work that involves water. They are self-motivated and enjoy the challenge of working in the field. Pudelpointers are easy-going and willing to please their owners.
6. American Water Spaniel
The medium-sized American Water Spaniel combines the best of both the Retriever and Spaniel into a water dog designed to work in the cold waters of the Great Lakes. The waterproof coat of the American Water Spaniel only sheds a little and can be kept in control with a weekly brush. This breed is well suited to field trials, dock diving, and more.
7. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is the largest of the spaniels, with a hypoallergenic curly coat. They do shed a little bit, but as with most curly-coated breeds, this is caught within their coat. These hardworking dogs love to please their owners and will enjoy sporting activities like doc diving, retrieval work, and any other activity that involves mental and physical challenges.
8. Border Terrier
The scrappy little Border Terrier has a double coat that doesn’t shed much most of the year, but you will have to be prepared for loose hairs come shedding season! The Border Terriers’ original purpose was to chase down foxes and flush them into the open. Their plucky and energetic nature makes them a wonderful and brave yet small hunting companion.
9. Curly Coated Retriever
One of the oldest gundog breeds, the Curly is an energetic and intelligent breed who loves to work. Positive reinforcement training methods work best with this breed, and they do need a knowledgeable owner. Their tightly curled coats do shed seasonally but are easy to maintain, and most owners recommend not to brush their coats at all.
10. Lagotto Romagnolo
If you’re looking to hunt non-moving yet still edible prey, then you might need the help of Italy’s “truffle dog.” The curly coat if this breed sheds very little, but they do need brushing to prevent mats from forming. These pups excel at search-and-rescue and scent work and of course, truffle hunting!
11. Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound is simply built for endurance. Their long silky coats do require a great deal of maintenance, but they do not shed much. These sighthounds are an ancient breed designed to chase after their prey for many miles. Their prey drive is incredibly high, so off-leash walking is not advised when you’re not actively training or hunting. If they see something, they’ll go after it!
12. Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog was originally bred to help fishermen by swimming out to direct fish into waiting nets, retrieve lost tackle, and swim messages from ship to shore. Their hypoallergenic and non-shedding coats can be clipped into a low-maintenance retriever clip. These enthusiastic and large dogs need plenty of exercise, and of course, love working in the water!
13. Cirneco dell’ Etna
The sleek and speedy Cirneco dell-Etna is a coursing breed from Sicily. They are small, exceptionally fast, and independent. As a sighthound, they need plenty of training and excel at lure coursing, tracking, and hunting. They have a strong prey drive. Their short coats shed minimally and only need a grooming session once a week to stay in good condition.
14. German Wirehaired Pointer
The German Wirehaired Pointer has a rough coat that only sheds minimally with the changing of the seasons. This clever breed loves plenty of training, exercise, and time with their families. Their weather-resistant coats are well suited to hunting in all conditions, and these dogs excel at hunting both on land and in water.
15. Black Russian Terrier
The large and courageous Black Russian Terrier makes an exceptional hunting dog when paired with an experienced handler. They do shed a little, but most of the hairs will be caught in their coats. These powerful dogs can turn their paw to almost any activity you’d want to train them for! Black Russian Terriers are excellent at sports.
16. Dogo Argentino
The strong and muscular Dogo Argentino was bred to hunt in a pack and chase down prey, including puma and wild boar. Their short coats shed very little, so you won’t need to spend time grooming or cleaning up stray hairs. This breed was developed in the 1920s but was only accepted into the American Kennel Club in 2020 as their 195th breed.
We hope you enjoyed our roundup of 16 of the best hunting dog breeds that don’t shed at all or shed very little. Who knows, perhaps your dream dog is in there!
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
- 1. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
- 2. Standard Poodle
- 3. Rhodesian Ridgeback
- 4. Visla
- 5. Pudelpointer
- 6. American Water Spaniel
- 7. Irish Water Spaniel
- 8. Border Terrier
- 9. Curly Coated Retriever
- 10. Lagotto Romagnolo
- 11. Afghan Hound
- 12. Portuguese Water Dog
- 13. Cirneco dell’ Etna
- 14. German Wirehaired Pointer
- 15. Black Russian Terrier
- 16. Dogo Argentino