Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but intelligence is harder to argue. Perhaps you’ve always wanted a whip-smart dog who listens to commands and consistently impresses you with its braininess. More so, you’d love it if they were low-shedding.
Which dog breeds fit the bill?
Here’s the list:
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Afghan Hound
- German Shorthaired Pointer
- Standard Schnauzer
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Yorkshire Terrier
Although intelligence is something that every dog will possess in different quantities, the following 10 breeds are beloved for their smarts as well as their lack of shedding. I’ll talk more about these exceptional breeds ahead, so keep reading!
Known for being very eager to learn, extremely trainable, and incredibly smart, a Poodle will be happy to spend hours mastering commands. The dog’s athleticism means you can teach the Poodle more advanced instructions too.
This dog feels prideful when it accomplishes its feats, which is something you two can bask in together!
Although it sounds like it doesn’t get any better, it does indeed. Poodles are some of the lowest-shedding dogs due to their wiry, single-layered coats.
I should note that the upkeep of that coat can be challenging, especially if you want your Poodle to sport a show-dog cut. However, you can always take your dog to the groomer’s if you’d rather not do the trimming.
The dog with the butterfly ears known as the Papillon is a small French breed with a long, flowing coat.
That coat is low-shedding for two reasons; number one, the Pap is single-coated. Second, the longer a dog’s fur grows, the more delayed its hair cell turnover.
Even grooming the Papillon isn’t a challenge. That gives you more time to enjoy with this sweet, cheerful, and intelligent canine companion.
The Pap has a can-do attitude and can try to take charge, so keep that in mind when training this pup!
3. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer looks worldly and wise with its thick eyebrows and flowing “facial hair.” The dog is indeed as intelligent as you would assume.
According to the Nationwide PetHealthZone, when tested, the Miniature Schnauzer learned commands after repeating them between five and 15 times.
Then, when asked to respond to commands, the dog did as requested in more than 85 percent of instances.
Although the Mini Schnauzer is double-coated and thus sheds seasonally, since he’s not a big dog, the amount of shedding isn’t a huge deal.
That said, grooming a Miniature Schnauzer will take up time, as the dog needs brushing nearly every day and plenty of detangling to its knot-prone fur.
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4. Afghan Hound
With its flowing locks, the Afghan Hound is a sight to behold. This gorgeous dog is also one of the smartest breeds you can find.
However, smart does not always mean trainable, and I want to make that distinction clear. The Afghan Hound is quite stubborn, so you have to be ready to contend with that. Verbally disciplining the dog makes it even more reluctant to listen.
As is the case with the Papillion, the reason the Afghan Hound sheds so minimally is due to the style of its coat. That is, the coat is long and single-layered. An extended hair growth cycle is at play here as well.
Further, the Afghan Hound doesn’t shed seasonally, which does your upholstery and wardrobe a big favor.
You’ll have to get into a habit of brushing and bathing this dog frequently to keep its luxurious coat free of knots and mats, but it’s worth it.
5. German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Shorthaired Pointer is a hunting breed that originates from Germany. Capable of traversing the water and land with equal precision, a breed like this of course must possess great smarts. Indeed, the GSP does!
More so than only bright, the German Shorthaired Pointer is playful to boot. That combination makes him an excellent companion.
His short fur doesn’t shed much but do expect more hair around the house when the GSP blows his coat first in the late spring and then in the fall in preparation for winter.
Grooming this dog is exceptionally simple due to the breed’s curtailed coat length.
6. Standard Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer isn’t the only smart Schnauzer to talk about! The Standard Schnauzer proves that brains are a Schnauzer thing, as this spirited breed is known for its intelligence.
You have to be careful with your Standard Schnauzer to prevent its intelligence from becoming a double-edged sword. Some especially mischievous Standard Schnauzers will use their smarts to come up with creative ways to disobey you.
Maybe a doggy behavioral training session or several would benefit your Standard Schnauzer!
At least this dog’s wiry, dense coat doesn’t shed much.
The reason? Wiry fur is known for coming out in lesser amounts than other fur textures. The Standard Schnauzer is double-coated though, so expect more fur with seasonal shifts.
7. Irish Water Spaniel
From one wiry breed to another, the Irish Water Spaniel is equally as low-shedding as the Standard Schnauzer.
The IWS is a seasonal shedder as well, but its wiry coat contains a lot of its hair so it doesn’t make a mess all over the house.
Frequent grooming will control the Irish Water Spaniel’s shed fur, but its double-layered wiry coat can be challenging to brush through.
Just how smart of a breed is the IWS? This dog has a curiosity to match its smarts. Further, the Irish Water Spaniel has a winning personality, as he knows when to be goofy. This breed is often described as the clown of the Spaniels!
If you’re looking for a low-shedding dog breed that barely requires maintenance, that would be the Vizsla.
This mid-sized Hungarian hunting and sporting dog has incredibly short fur. When it comes out, you should barely notice, especially if your dog is being groomed regularly and has a clean bill of health from your vet.
Active and smart, the Vizsla is always up for a good challenge, so hopefully, you have plenty to provide. This breed must be kept mentally and physically busy or bad behaviors can come out such as digging and chewing on things in the house.
The dreadlocked Puli has what is known as a corded coat. These cords twist into thick strands across this large dog’s body.
Since the cords are comprised of loose hair, shedding is rare in dreadlocked breeds like the Puli.
Although you wouldn’t think so by looking at this dog, the Puli is highly active. Backing up its athletic streak is awesome intelligence. The Puli is so smart he can even be a little manipulative sometimes, so watch out!
You will be in for quite the time-consuming project when you groom your Puli. You can brush the dog’s coat using a bristle brush, but hand-done care is better. You want to look for knots and tangles and work them out of the double-coated cords.
10. Yorkshire Terrier
Many people find it hard not to fall in love with the Yorkshire Terrier. This adorable tiny dog, known affectionately as the Yorkie, is an English dog that weighs under 10 pounds in maturity.
You can keep your Yorkie’s fur short and cropped or grow it long and flowing akin to an Afghan Terrier. The breed’s single coat will prevent too much shedding in either instance.
The Yorkie is described as being hard-working, obedient, adaptive, and instinctive, making this cutesy lap dog overall quite a formidable pup in the brains department.
Grooming your Yorkie will take more effort than training her. You should brush her glossy fur every day if your Yorkie has a longer coat. Combing a few times per week if your dog has a shorter coat is fine.
The 10 dog breeds on this list are renowned for their big brains and small piles of fur left behind from shedding. They altogether make wonderful pets who will challenge and inspire you!
I do want to take a moment to reiterate that although the above breeds are beloved for their brains, that doesn’t mean your pup will be keen right out of the gate. More than likely, you’ll have to commit many hours to train them and later refine that training.
Further, the 10 breeds on this list are supposed to shed minimally, but even that’s not a guarantee. Regular brushing, occasional bathing, hydration, and a balanced diet are key in keeping your dog’s shedding under control.