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Last week, I opened up my Internet to a major news site’s home page. As the headline photos and headlines scrolled by I was intrigued by a picture of a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog leaping through the air with the title, “25 Dog Breeds that Shed the Least.” At first, I thought that I must be mistaken about the breed or that perhaps an editor had just chosen a stock photo of a dog that would capture people’s attention. I opened the story and, sure enough, there was the beautiful Ridgeback listed as a breed that sheds very little.

As I scrolled through the 25 dogs listed, I found several other breeds, such as the Pointer, listed as either “low shedding” or “shed just twice a year.” As a shelter worker who constantly advocates potential pet owners educating themselves on their particular species and breed choices, I was very disappointed that such a popular new source would spread such misinformation.

I also spoke with a friend that had owned Pointers. When I mentioned the news story to her, she had the same reaction I did when told about Pointers making the list. She remembers having short, spiky hairs stuck in every soft surface of her house and clothing. Along with the seasonal shedding, they would also have bouts of excessive shedding when they got nervous – commonly referred to as “blowing their coats.”

Chihuahuas also were on the list. They may be tiny, but they also are very capable of leaving their fur all over you and your house.

A number of the dogs listed were said to require “minimal grooming.” This would be a much more accurate description of dogs like Ridgebacks and Pointers, although they can do a pretty good job of stinking up the joint if they don’t have regular baths.

I guess I was especially upset with this story because I know that many people are just starting to think about bringing a new pet into their home for Christmas. I would hate for them to be so misled by that story that they might make a bad decision on a particular breed. Shedding is a big issue for a lot of people, and it can be the cause of many pets being relegated to becoming outdoor pets.

Source: Beware misleading information when choosing a pet

Posted in 2015, SJRAS Articles