Small dogs are more than just adorable (although they are very much that), but manageable as well. You could easily pick them up and carry them anywhere.
If your ideal dog is between 30 and 40 pounds and low-shedding, what are your options?
Here’s the list:
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Glen of Imaal Terrier
- Standard Schnauzer
- American Water Spaniel
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Tibetan Terrier
Ahead, I’ll provide more information on each of these seven low-shedding, lightweight breeds so you can decide which one might be right for you. I’ll also talk about grooming requirements for every dog on the list, to give you an idea of what to expect before adopting.
1. Kerry Blue Terrier
Starting my list is the Kerry Blue Terrier, a dog breed from Ireland with a trademark blue-gray coat. Males weigh 33 to 40 pounds and females the same, so this pup is right within your desired weight range.
What makes the Kerry Blue Terrier a low shedder?
It’s all due to the density and texture of its coat, which is wiry and wavy. Like many Terriers, the inclusion of wiry fur prevents the Kerry Blue from releasing mass amounts of hair.
The fur your Kerry Blue will shed from time to time is caught within its coat, which is why brushing is such a big part of its maintenance (more on this in a minute).
Besides that, the Kerry Blue is a single-coated dog, so seasonal shedding doesn’t happen.
Okay, getting back to maintenance now, you should brush your Kerry Blue Terrier at least once a week.
Trimming the dog is difficult since the breed standards call for a close-cropped body with wider fur at the legs and plenty of fur around the eyes, nose, and muzzle. Don’t feel like you have to trim your Kerry Blue yourself. You can always bring them to a groomer!
2. Glen of Imaal Terrier
If you’re interested in a low-shedding, low-weight Terrier that’s easier to groom than the Kerry Blue, may I recommend the Glen of Imaal Terrier?
This sweet dog is double-coated, so he sheds more compared to the Kerry Blue, but not excessively. Once again, that’s due to the wiry texture of the Glen of Imaal Terrier’s coat.
Grooming this 35-pound dog requires weekly brushing with a tool like a pin brush. I’d recommend ramping up the rate of brushing in the summer and winter when your Glen of Imaal Terrier begins its seasonal shedding routine.
This Terrier has furnishings across its body, including on the face and neck as well as on his legs and belly. These are longer areas of fur that are smooth to the touch. Brush the furnishings with extra focus.
Be ready to hand-strip this dog too, but only three times per year at most.
Recommended: Go here to see our top-rated dog hair blow dryers
3. Standard Schnauzer
Moving away from Terriers for a bit, the next dog I recommend is the Standard Schnauzer.
Females weigh 31 to 44 pounds and males the same. If you keep your Schnauzer exercised and feed them a nutritious, balanced diet, their weight shouldn’t go beyond 40 pounds.
Despite that he’s not a Terrier, the Standard Schnauzer still features a wiry coat that’s plenty dense. As you know by now, that coat texture is conducive to low rates of shedding.
However, this breed does shed a bit seasonally, so ready yourself (and your vacuum cleaner) for that.
The Schnauzer makes the American Kennel Club list of the most hypoallergenic dogs, but please remember that no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic.
Grooming your Standard Schnauzer may prove moderately more challenging than cleaning up his fur. Every day, you should brush your dog. This controls shedding while also ensuring that tangles and knots can’t develop.
About annually, plan to hand strip your Schnauzer.
4. American Water Spaniel
Hailing from Wisconsin, the American Water Spaniel or AWS checks all the boxes.
I’d consider this breed quite low-shedding despite that American Water Spaniels are double-coated and thus will experience some degree of seasonal shedding.
Compared to some dogs though that will release mountains of fur, it’s not anything near that bad with an AWS.
The AWS is lightweight too. Males weigh 30 to 45 pounds and females 25 to 40 pounds. If you want an American Water Spaniel that for sure shouldn’t exceed 40 pounds, then adopt a female!
Once you bring your lovely dog home, brush her weekly or twice weekly with a pin brush to keep her curly coat free of knots. Increase the rate of brushing when she blows her coat seasonally.
Many of the dogs I’ve talked about don’t shed much, but they’re hard to groom. That’s not the case with the streamlined Whippet.
Its smooth, short coat requires brushing using a bristle brush or a rubber hand mitt one to two times per week and that’s it. In doing so, you’re spreading skin oils across your Whippet’s body so their coat looks shiny and beautiful!
Whippets usually aren’t heavy dogs, as they’re 15 pounds at their lightest, but bigger Whippets can weigh up to 40 pounds.
What about the Whippet’s rate of shedding? This breed might not have wiry fur, but his coat length does him a lot of favors regarding how much he sheds. It isn’t much.
Do expect an uptick in shedding around summer and winter.
That’s right, the Whippet is a seasonal shedder! With a single coat though, the dog won’t release egregious amounts of fur.
6. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Cuddly and cute, you can add two more adjectives to describe the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier: low-weight and low-shedding.
Male Wheaten Terriers hit the sweet spot at 35 to 40 pounds on average. Females are lighter at 30 to 35 pounds.
A single-coated breed, the Irish variety of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has silky fur that has a more pronounced growth cycle.
Dogs grow hair in four stages. The longer it takes for the hair growth cycle to progress from one of those four stages to the next, the longer a dog keeps its hair attached to its body.
The American version of the Wheaten Terrier has a wirier coat that also prohibits excessive shedding.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier requires a lot of your time and attention for maintenance. Use a slicker brush or a pin brush to comb your dog several times per week. Brushing is also important for resisting knots in the smooth fur of some varieties of Wheaten Terriers.
7. Tibetan Terrier
Last but certainly not least is the Tibetan Terrier, which is yet another Terrier that does indeed come from Tibet. These dogs can weigh up to 31 pounds.
Grooming a Tibetan Terrier requires regular brushing with a slicker brush that can get through both layers of the dog’s fur. Make sure you plunk your Terrier in the tub about monthly as well!
Double-coated dogs usually spell trouble if you want to avoid shedding, but not the Tibetan Terrier. His undercoat is thicker and woolier, so shedding isn’t really an issue. You may have to tidy up after your dog as the seasons change though!
There you have it, seven incredible dog breeds who weigh between 30 and 40 pounds and each shed minimally. Some of these dogs are also easy to groom on top of everything else, which is part of what makes them wonderful companions.
I should note that just because a dog is supposed to weigh 30 to 40 pounds doesn’t mean they can't get overweight, so it's important to provide exercise for your dog (at least 30 minutes of activity per day) and feed them a well-rounded diet full of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
If you own one of these breeds and they balloon up past 40 pounds, it might be worth setting an appointment with your dog’s vet. And if you'd like some tips on reducing excessive hair loss in your dog, check out our complete shedding guide.