Top 10 Cleanest Dog Breeds

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
Dogs are pretty messy creatures, so when you’re looking for one that’s neat and tidy, you’re in for the hunt. That’s why we’ve made a clean sweep of the top 10 cleanest dog breed.

What defines a clean dog to you?

One that doesn’t shed? A pooch that’s fastidious about self-grooming? How about a dog that never tracks dirt and mud into the house or that eats daintily without leaving food all over the kitchen floor? And where do drool and slobber fall on the list? While my Schnoodles are non-shedding (my Dyson thanks them), they’ve decided my sofa is the best way to wipe off wet, muddy paws after a run in the yard so to me, in spite of the lack of flying fur, their cleanliness scale ranking lands somewhere between not-so-great and spectacular-fail.

And are we talking naturally clean or easy to clean? The possibilities are endless and while no one pooch can possibly tick all the boxes some are certainly labelled as cleaner than all the others. So, let’s take a deeper dive to find out what makes for a pristine pup. Our list of top 10 cleanest breeds includes the super clean dog, the pretty clean dog and the cleaner than most of the other dog breeds… in no particular order.

  1. American Hairless Terrier

Okay, let’s state the obvious. No hair, no shedding. This pooch was a blip of nature that originated in a litter back in 1972. But that fur-challenged mini-mite was feisty, playful and considered healthy so he was bred to produce more hairless terriers. Today this super active Louisiana native with the over-sized and always-alert ears is a full-fledged member of the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock Service that tracks rare pure-breds. The upside to this pooch? You can put the vacuum away. The downside? Just like humans he has sensitive skin that needs to be constantly protected from sunburn. (Photo credit: art nick/Shutterstock)

  1. Bichon Frise

Even with his ultra-fluffy coat, this little kipper that hales from 18th century France is actually a non-shedding pooch so no clean-up necessary. But it gets better because he also has naturally clean skin that doesn’t get a build-up of sebaceous oils and produce that stinky smell so many dogs can experience. These days, this mini-mutt with the seriously checkered past that includes circus performer and Belgian street dog, is a full-fledged member of the American Kennel Club. The upside to this small guy? Cute and clean little dog. The downside? He’s all-white and let’s face it, even the most fastidious dog can’t resist rolling in something. (Photo credit: Vasilyev Alexandr/Shutterstock)

3. Basenji

This handsome looking native of Africa with the super-short, easy-care coat and quiet, cat-like personality requires minimal grooming which seems to be the common denominator with our cleanest dogs list. But for me it’s his compact, tightly curled tail that forms a neat little butt bun and can never be blamed for knocking things over that gives him extra points on the clean dog list. He also sports a pair of super-sized, upright ears that won’t harbor dirt or debris and produce that funky smell that comes with floppy eared pooches. The upside? This pooch is quiet and easy to housebreak. The downside? He’s high energy and will totally rearrange your place if left on his own too long. (Photo credit: Grisha Bruev/Shutterstock)

4. Japanese Chin

Now if a cat were a dog, he’d be a Chin. Seriously, this pooch – rumored to have originated in China but been cultivated in Japan – is not only a super agile little critter that can pounce all over your furniture like a cat, but he actually grooms himself in the feline manner by licking one paw at a time to remove dust, dirt and debris then uses it to clean his face. In fact, this dog can even develop hairballs as a result! But no dog is purrfect and this pint-sized pup with the aristocratic background also sheds like a cat. The upside with this dog? He won’t track dirt around the house. The downside? Get out the lint brush. (Photo credit: Marie Charouzova/Shutterstock)

5. Greyhound

Be honest, this dog just looks neat and tidy, doesn’t he? Maybe it’s his super short coat that needs minimal brushing to keep loose hair in check. Or maybe it’s because he doesn’t drool or slobber so no messy pools to mop up. Perhaps it’s that this quiet pooch with the ultra lithe frame is so agile that he can enter a room without knocking things over with a big wagging tail or jump-on-everyone type of personality. Truth be known, this lazy boy just loves to settle in for an afternoon snooze so maybe its that he confines any fluff and fur to that one sofa cushion. The upside? You’ll never even know he’s there. The downside? He’s a couch potato so you’ll need to decorate around him. (Photo credit: Elena Vasilchenko/Shutterstock)

6. Chow Chow

Surprised? So how did this massive ball of orange fluff and fur make a list of clean dogs? Well, to begin with, he’s an easy pooch to housebreak and that means no puddles (and other stuff) to deal with. He’s also fastidious when it comes to cleaning himself and has been described as almost cat-like when it comes to his approach to grooming. Further, this powerful pooch with this serious furrow also has very little doggy odor and while he’s still going to shed, it’s a seasonal thing so you get a reprieve throughout most of the year. The upside with this pooch: A big ball of playful, clean fun. The downside? Shedding season is always just around the corner. (Photo credit: Khomiak/Shutterstock)

  1. Poodle

Whether you’re dealing with the Toy, the Miniature or the Standard sized Poodle, this curly-cue native of Germany is a non- to low-shedder and is even considered hypo-allergenic which makes him an ideal pooch pick for those who can’t be around pet dander. So, lets give him a brownie point for minimal fluff clean-up and for being friendly to allergy sufferers. But this poofy pooch also doesn’t drool, is a snap to housetrain and because standard grooming practices tend to see his fur clipped around the face, he’s also not going to leave a trail of water across the floor from his dish to your favorite chair. The upside to this dog? Ticks all the cleanliness boxes. The downside? Super sensitive and needs you around. Always. (Photo credit: Lim Tiaw Leong/Shutterstock)

  1. Dalmatian

He’s big, he’s hairy and he sheds, so what qualifies this larger breed dog for any sort of list that includes the word clean? Well, it’s actually his coat. Yes, he requires brushing but his fine, super-short hair actually prevents dust from clinging and being transferred from the street or yard, into your home. He also has natural oils that repel dried mud so he never gets that dirty, crusted-over “patina” that most of our dogs do when they roll in muck. This hygienic boy with the crisp, black and white spotted coat is also fastidious about licking and grooming himself and is exceptionally easy to house-train which means no messy puddles. The upside to this pooch? He’s practically self-cleaning. The downside? He’ll trash your house if you leave him on his own for too long. (Photo credit: Alexander Vow/Shutterstock)

  1. Shiba Inu

Another cat wannabe, the Japanese Shiba Inu is known for his fastidious, time-consuming approach to grooming himself and, when he feels it necessary, every other animal in the household. Now if he could only sweep floors and do dishes! Yes, this fox-like pooch with the aloof, stubborn, cat-like personality also ticks the no-drool box and is considered extra dainty when it comes to eating and drinking – no flying kibble or droplets around this dog’s bowl. When you add in ease of house-training it’s no surprise this independent-natured pooch made the list of top clean breeds. The upside to this pristine pooch? He grooms every other pet in the house. The downside? They may not want him to. (Photo credit: Akbudak Rimma/Shutterstock)

  1. Bedlington Terrier

While you may think this dog in sheep’s clothing is a close relative of the Poodle, you’d be wrong. He’s actually close kin to the Whippet (yes!) and like most terriers, was bred to hunt vermin. This uniquely handsome boy claims his place on the list of cleanest breeds not only because of his minimal shedding but his highly trainable nature which makes house-breaking a snap and eliminates messy indoor clean-up. Today this native of England and American Kennel Club member loves nothing more than to hang with his family and keep those messy squirrels in check. The upside to this dog? Dramatically curly non-shedding coat. The downside? Dramatically curly non-shedding coat that grows like crazy and needs frequent clipping. (Photo credit: Evdoha_spb/Shutterstock)

Tips for Helping Your Dog Stay Clean?

Even the cleanest dog can use a little help to keep himself looking and feeling his best and that’s where you as his pet parent come in. We’ve assembled a few tips to help you and your pooch keep him looking and smelling clean and fresh.

  • If your pooch has longer fur, make sure to brush him 3 to 4 times a week to remove tangles and mattes that can trap smelly dirt and debris.
  • While bathing is typically “as needed”, sometimes a bath is the only way you’re going to be able to clean him up so be sure to use a quality shampoo designed for dogs.
  • Floppy ears can develop a funky smell so always inspect and clean on a weekly basis to remove dirt and avoid potential infection.
  • Brushing teeth is not cosmetic and smaller dogs in particular can be prone to dental decay which results in seriously bad breath. Plan to brush 2 to 3 times a week.
  • Grooming faces with beards and moustaches can help prevent wet food from sticking to beaks and water from being trailed across the floor. A professional groomer can help you out with this.
  • For flat-faced breeds, invest in an angled food dish that allows him to eat without having to wear his dinner.
  • Professional grooming can include “hygiene” cuts that address the nether-regions and help prevent smelly butts.
  • Lots of exercise will help curb anxiety and destructive behaviors as well as give him a chance to relieve himself someplace other than the living room floor.
  • Proper diet can make a big difference in breath, defecation frequency and upset tummies that result in flatulence. Is your dog on the right diet?
  • Pet beds typically have zippers so be sure to wash his bedding, blankets and toys periodically to minimize that funky smell that can come from drool, dirt and dander.
  • Regular vet check-ups will help spot problems that may hinder his ability to groom properly, cause excessive drooling and smelly digestive issues. Never miss his annual check-up.
Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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