Best dog for allergies

Thankfully, the days are gone when an allergic person was told to “just get rid of the dog.” Doctors now realize that many people would rather endure a little sniffling than live without a dog, and they can work with you to minimize your symptoms.

That said, breathing is underrated until you can’t do it. If your allergies are significant enough to set off a life-threatening asthma attack, you may be better off with a pet fish or turtle. But if your allergies aren’t that bad, you can still have (and enjoy) a canine pal.

Contents

Causes

Contrary to popular belief, dog hair doesn’t exactly cause allergies. It’s usually dander–tiny scales from animal hair, skin, or feathers–that gets people wheezing. Dust and pollen often hitchhike on dander, making it even more allergenic. Some people are also allergic to dog saliva or urine.

Because dander is the true culprit, the idea that low-shedding dogs are hypoallergenic isn’t really true. All dogs have dander, even hairless ones. Low-shedding dogs tend to release less of it than heavy shedders, but they can still cause an allergic reaction.

You may be allergic to all dogs or just to some breeds, or to some dogs in one breed but not others. The only way to know how you’ll react to a specific dog is to spend time with him.

How to treat your allergies

Ideally, the first step is to make sure that dogs are really what’s causing the problem. The only way to do that is to live without dogs–in a home that’s dander-free–for two months and see how you feel. If you’re truly allergic, the following tips may give you some relief:

  • Most importantly, don’t let your dog sleep in your bedroom, and never in your bed. Keep the door closed and clean the room thoroughly.
  • Animal allergens are sticky, so regularly remove the dog’s bed, pull up rugs, and scrub the walls, floors, and woodwork.
  • If possible, go with bare floors instead of allergen-trapping carpeting. If you don’t like bare floors, use throw rugs that can be washed in hot water.
  • Vacuum often and wear a dust mask when you do it. Invest in a good vacuum with a HEPA filter.
  • Cover your vents with cheesecloth, at least the ones in your bedroom.
  • Keep your dog off furniture or cover it with fabric that you wash frequently in hot water.
  • Forced-air heating and air conditioning can spread allergens, so add an air cleaner with a HEPA filter to central heating and air conditioning and run it at least four hours a day. An electrostatic filter will also remove airborne particles the size of animal allergens.
  • Washing the dog every week may reduce allergens in your dog’s fur, but may not help your symptoms. Have a friend or groomer do it if it makes you wheezy or sneezy.
  • Have someone else brush your dog outside.

When it’s time to see a physician

See an allergist if you have asthma or significant allergies. An allergist can give you shots to reduce your sensitivity to dander, but be aware, they’re expensive and it takes a long time to complete enough shots to make a difference.

When it’s time to see a vet

Your dog’s dry skin can cause irritation and itchiness, which in turn causes extra scratching, which releases more dander than usual. So, keeping your dog’s skin healthy can help your allergies.

Many conditions cause a dog’s skin to dry out, such as mange, metabolic disorders, hormonal disorders, allergies to fleas and dust mites, hot spots, and most kinds of dermatitis. Your vet can help you diagnose and treat the problem. Here are some tactics you can try on your own as well:

  • Have a friend or groomer brush the dog regularly to release more oil into his coat.
  • Add essential fatty acids to his diet.
  • Go with high-quality, healthy dog food, not the cheap stuff.
  • Only bathe your dog when necessary, using a moisturizing dog shampoo, not human shampoo.
  • Try sprays or wipes that reduce dander on your dog, such as Dander Free.

If you’re looking for a new dog

The following breeds tend to be easier on people with allergies, according to the American Kennel Club:

  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese Crested
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Poodle (any size)
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Schnauzer (any size)
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Xoloitzcuintli

For more detailed info on the allergy factor of various breeds, check out Sneeze-Free Dog Breeds: Allergy Management and Breed Selection for the Allergic Dog Lover, by Diane Morgan.

Still, remember that the only way to tell if you’re going to react to a dog is to spend time with that particular dog and watch for reactions. And of course, if it’s saliva or urine you’re allergic to, any kind of dog may provoke an allergic reaction.

Best and Worst Dog Breeds for People With Allergies

What do you do when you love dogs, but you or a family member is allergic? You do what many people do: Get one of a number of dog breeds touted as hypoallergenic. They’re described as the best types of dogs for people with dog allergies because they tend to shed less than other breeds.

Pet hair or pet dander is a common cause of allergic rhinitis, a chronic disease that affects 40 million to 60 million Americans and more than 600 million people worldwide. Commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis happens when the body overreacts to something that does not cause a problem in other people.

More than 200 million people worldwide also suffer from allergy-related asthma, and researchers say both conditions are underdiagnosed and undertreated (probably because people would rather live with itching, sneezing, and wheezing than give up their beloved pets!).

Most people are not actually allergic to dog hair. Rather, they’re allergic to dander (flakes on the dog’s skin) or saliva. Hair does have something to do with it, though: Sometimes other indoor allergens like dust, or outdoor allergens like grass or tree pollen, can build up on a dog’s furry coat and trigger allergy symptoms like sneezing, congestion, nasal swelling, asthma and rashes. Many people with dog allergies complain about red, itchy eyes.

There are theories that suggest that children who are exposed to pets during early infancy may be less likely have dog or cat allergies later on. But if a child already has a dog allergy, bringing a new puppy to your home would not be beneficial.

If you already have a dog, here are a few tips to prevent pet allergies:

  • Keep the dog outside. It may take weeks or months before your house is free of pet allergens.
  • Keep your dog clean and bathe it weekly in warm water. This may reduce the amount of dog dander and dog saliva deposited throughout your home.
  • Get a groomer to bathe your dog so you’re not exposed to the allergens.
  • Wash the dog’s bedding weekly to remove excess dander.
  • Keep the dog out of the bedroom and off the bed during sleep.

If you’re on the hunt for a hypoallergenic dog that won’t leave you watery-eyed, you’ll need to do your research and perhaps an in-home test-drive to make sure your new pup doesn’t trigger an allergy or asthma attack.

Don’t go straight for the breeds of dogs with shorter coats, and don’t count out shaggy pups. There are many types of hypoallergenic dogs — some with more hair, some with less.

Here’s some more information on the best (and worst) breeds for people with dog allergies.

Can you be allergic to a certain breed of dog?

Animal dander

There is a slight misunderstanding about what causes pet allergies as most people assume the problem lies with the animal’s fur when this simply isn’t the case. Instead the problem lies with animal dander which is the urine, saliva and dead skin cells that animals shed.

Dander can cause a whole host of problems for those with a pet allergy including itching, redness around the eyes and a sore head as the immune system over-reacts to the substance. Also, if this dander reaches the nasal passages it can result in a blocked nose, sneezing and even a sore throat.

Hypoallergenic breeds

It has been suggested that hypoallergenic breeds such as the poodle, Maltese and labradoodle are less likely to bring on allergy symptoms. This, it is suggested, is because of their smaller size, their type of fur or their length of fur. However, overall the term hypoallergenic breed is quite problematic.

Firstly, allergies are caused by dander which all dogs produce so even if you chose a hypoallergenic breed, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to control your allergy. This is backed up by study conducted by the Henry Ford Hospital in 2011 as researchers found that there were no significant difference between hypoallergenic dogs and non-hypoallergenic dogs in terms of their allergen levels.1

See my blog ‘What’s the best breed of dog for allergy sufferers?’ for more information.

So, can I be allergic to a certain breed of dog?

The answer to this question is not clear cut. On one hand it is possible to be allergic to a certain breed of dog because that individual may produce lots of dander. However, on the other hand, two dogs of the same breed can produce different levels of dander so you could find you are allergic to one and not the other. Therefore, overall the breed has less influence over allergy symptoms as the problem lies with the amount of dander being produced.

Also, as all dogs produce dander, they all have the potential to bring out allergy symptoms. This means there is no such thing as an allergy-free dog, or an allergy-inducing dog as, regardless of the breed, you can’t really avoid the problem.

Managing dog allergies

If you require a helping hand to manage you allergy symptoms, we have a few herbal remedies that might help.

Our Neem Cream for example, soothes and calms redness, itching, pain, discomfort and irritation on the skin that dog dander may have caused.

Also, our Moisturising Eye Drops can aid dry, tired and irritated eyes that can arise due to dander.

For more tips on controlling your pet allergy, have a look at my blog ‘Top tips for dog owners living with a pet allergy’.

1 https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110707161738.htm

Yes, but they don’t appear to be common, although German Shepherds are among the more common breeds.

What do people mean by a hypoallergenic dog?

The American Kennel Club or AKC defines a hypoallergenic dog as one having a non-shedding coat that produces little dander. As all dogs have skin and produce dander, there is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog.

Dogs belonging to certain breeds, however, produce fewer allergens than others, and these dogs are described as hypoallergenic.

According to the staff writer on WebMD, both dog and cat allergies are caused by exposure to the animal’s dander, urine, and saliva.

The Allergy Center of Connecticut reports that proteins found in the dog’s urine, saliva, and skin are the cause of dog allergies. Scientists have so far identified six proteins that cause allergic reactions: Can f 1, Can f 2, Can f 3, Can f 4, Can f 5, and Can f 6.

Are German Shepherds hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, no. In fact, Dr. Melanie Grundy, a veterinarian who writes for “Central Pet Care,” lists German Shepherds as one of the worst breeds for people with dog allergies. Other problematic breeds for people with allergies include the following:

  • St Bernard
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Golden Retriever
  • English Bulldog
  • Boston Terrier
  • Basset Hound
  • Cocker Spaniel

Dogs belonging to these breeds either shed a lot, drool a lot or are susceptible to skin problems that increase the amount of dander they produce.

According to Nat Berman, a writer for PuppyToob,” German Shepherds made the list of “20 of the Worst Dog Breeds If You Have Allergies” because they produce more dander than many other breeds. They also have a thick coat that sheds constantly throughout the year.

What dog breeds are hypoallergenic?

According to the AKC, hypoallergenic breeds include the following:

  • Afghan Hound
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese Crested
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Maltese
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Schnauzer
  • Xoloitzcuintli

These breeds shed less than others. Since dander is often attached to hair or fur, low-shedding dogs produce less dander and are thus less likely to trigger allergies.

It should be noted, however, that while the AKC recognizes over 200 dog breeds, they list only 26 breeds as hypoallergenic.

Some of these breeds, like the Poodle and the Yorkshire Terrier, are fairly common. Others, like the Bolognese or Affenpinscher, are comparatively rare.

Can mixes by hypoallergenic?

Mixes cross or hybrids are the results of crossing two purebred dog breeds to get the best traits of those breeds.

Many such mixes were created by crossing the hypoallergenic Poodle with another breed. The popular Labradoodle is an example of such a crossing.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a particular Labradoodle will inherit its poodle parent’s hypoallergenic traits; it can just as easily be as allergenic as a Labrador Retriever.

How many German Shepherd mixes are there?

There are many German Shepherd mixes. Kelly Siedhof, who works with guide dogs and writes for “K9DEB,” lists 21 German Shepherd mixes.

German Shepherds are noted for their intelligence, loyalty, and urge to protect, so they are a popular parent breed for mixes.

The Dog Breed Info website provides an even longer list of German Shepherd mixes. Unfortunately, many of them would be bad for people with allergies.

As already mentioned, German Shepherds tend to trigger allergic reactions in people. So do dogs like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers.

Crossing a German Shepherd with either of these would produce a mix that would be just as likely to cause allergies as either parent breed.

The only way to produce a hypoallergenic German Shepherd mix is to cross a German Shepherd with a hypoallergenic dog like a Poodle. In fact, such a dog does exist.

The Shepadoodle is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Standard Poodle, which is the largest of the three poodles. It is the best-known and most common hypoallergenic German Shepherd mix.

Other German Shepherd mixes that might be hypoallergenic include the Sheptese and the German Yorkie Shepherd.

The Sheptese is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Maltese, while the German Yorkie Shepherd is a cross between a German Shepherd and a Yorkshire Terrier.

Some of the other terriers are also hypoallergenic, so crossing them with a German Shepherd could produce a hypoallergenic German Shepherd mix.

Hypothetically, someone could also produce a hypoallergenic German Shepherd mix by crossing a German Shepherd with any of the other listed hypoallergenic dogs, such as the Giant Schnauzer or the Irish Water Spaniel.

What is the Shepadoodle like?

Shepadoodles are medium-sized to large dogs that can stand between 22 and 28 inches at the shoulder.

They typically weigh between 50 to 90 pounds, but some behemoths can weigh as much as 125 pounds. Their coats can be sable, gray, black, tan, or cream, and they have medium-length hair that is wavy or curly.

The PetGuide website includes more information about the Shepadoodle, which was developed by the US Army back in the 1960s as a police dog.

Both German Shepherds and Poodles originated as working breeds in Germany. While German Shepherds were bred to herd sheep, Poodles were used to help hunt waterfowl.

As a hypoallergenic German Shepherd mix, Shepadoodles were bred to have the intelligence of their parent breeds and the non-shedding coat of the Poodle.

Shepadoodles inherited a lot of intelligence from both parent breeds, and they can be used as service animals. They are also loyal and eager to please, so they can be easily trained.

Shepadoodles are energetic like both parent breeds and thus need a lot of exercises. Their alertness makes them good watchdogs, but it also means they can take time to warm up to unfamiliar people.

Shepadoodles are friendly and affectionate dogs that get along well with children and other pets. They even like cats.

While Shepadoodles are generally healthy, they can develop some of the genetic disorders seen in their parent breeds, like von Willebrand’s disorder and hip dysplasia.

The former is a type of hemophilia, which is a blood disease in which the blood does not clot properly. Shepadoodles are also prone to fleas and ticks if they aren’t properly groomed.

A healthy Shepadoodle typically lives 12 to 14 years.

The following video shows what Shepadoodles look like as puppies:

The next video is that of an older Shepadoodle undergoing training:

What kind of care does a Shepadoodle need?

Both Poodles and German Shepherds tend to have sensitive stomachs, so Shepadoodles need high-quality dog food.

It’s best to keep a puppy on the type of dog food used by the breeder before gradually switching to another brand. Adult Shepadoodles need three or four cups of dry dog food every day.

A Shepadoodle’s curly coat will require a lot of grooming, just like a Poodle’s. They need to be brushed every day to prevent tangles and mats, and they also need regular baths.

They should be given a buzz cut in the summer to let their skin breathe. A Shepadoodle should be given cod liver oil every day to keep their skin from getting too dry during winter or in cold environments.

Shepadoodles can grow quite large, so they should be socialized and trained from an early age. If the owner doesn’t know how to train a big dog, they should hire a trainer to help them.

Shepadoodles have strong pack instincts and thus respond well to somebody they see as the pack leader. They can do very well in agility and obedience training.

Shepadoodles need plenty of exercises to prevent obesity and keep them calm and happy. They thus need long walks, regular visits to dog parks, and lots of playtimes. They enjoy toys.

How can you tell that a German Shepherd mix is hypoallergenic?

According to Mike Clark, a writer for the Dog Time website, different coat types can affect how hypoallergenic a dog is.

First off, some dogs have fur while others have hair. The fur is denser and shorter than hair, and dogs with fur tend to shed more than dogs with hair. They thus spread more allergens than do dogs with hair.

Dogs with hair can have straight, wavy, or curly coats. Dogs with curly coats are generally among the better choices for people with allergies as their curls trap both dander and loose hair.

Any allergens produced by the dog stay near the dog and aren’t dispersed into the air. This is one reason booth Poodles and Shepadoodles tend to be hypoallergenic.

In the case of the Shepadoodle the “How to Train the Dog” website advises a prospective owner to examine the dog’s coat to make sure that this hypoallergenic German Shepherd mix really is hypoallergenic.

All Shepadoodles will shed less and produce less dander than German Shepherds. There will, however, be dogs with coats more like those of German Shepherds and others with coats more like those of poodles.

The dogs with the curly, Poodle-like coats will be the most hypoallergenic.

Dogs That Are Hypoallergenic? These Breeds Come Close

So, you want a dog but have an allergy attack whenever you’re around one? You’re not alone! According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as much as 10% of the population in the U.S. is allergic to dogs. While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, it’s possible to find less-allergenic dog breeds. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat that produces less dander. Dander, which clings to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in people. Even though dogs that are hypoallergenic don’t truly exist, many breeds make it possible to enjoy the companionship of a dog, even if you suffer from allergies.

There are also ways to prepare your home to help keep allergens at bay when you have a dog. Be sure to wash your pet’s bed often, keep up with his grooming, and don’t let him sleep on your bed. It’s also helpful to remove heavy carpets and drapes that can trap dander. Vacuum cleaners for pet hair also help remove allergens, and some can even groom the hair and dander right from your dog.

Best Breeds for Allergy Sufferers

Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds are known for being aloof and dignified. They require regular exercise and grooming. They should be bathed and brushed twice a week.

American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier is a lively, friendly, and intelligent companion. The breed does well with children and is also good for city dwellers due to their minimal exercise needs — regular walks and indoor playtime will do. They also need regular bathing and nail trimming.

Bedlington Terrier
The gentle, loveable Bedlington Terrier is known for its curly, wooly coat that resembles a lamb’s. The breed doesn’t need intense exercise — regular playtime and daily walks will do.

Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a naturally gentle, happy, playful dog that loves activity. The Bichon’s hair continually grows and doesn’t shed, so regular grooming is important to prevent mats.

Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested is an alert, playful dog that thrives on human companionship. They are small and do well in families with gentle children. Cresteds shed little to no hair.

Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear is a small, hardy dog that is happy, eager to please, and loyal. The breed gets along well with other dogs and children. Their long coat requires daily grooming.

Giant Schnauzer
The Giant Schnauzer is intelligent and can be territorial, naturally feeling protective of its family. The breed needs a lot of exercise and loves having a job to do. They require regular grooming.

Irish Water Spaniel
This strong, intelligent breed is the clown of the spaniel family. Irish Water Spaniels are active and energetic, needing daily exercise. Their water-repellant double coat requires brushing every few weeks.

Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier is energetic and fun-loving. The breed enjoys being part of an active family that can provide daily exercise. Their coats need regular brushing and trimming.

Lagotto Romagnolo
The Lagotto Romagnolo is a happy dog with tons of energy, needing plenty of activity. They are affectionate and devoted to their owners. Their thick curly coat is similar to that of a Poodle. They require trimming and regular brushing to prevent mats.

Maltese
Though small, the Maltese is known for being brave, playful, and fearless. They have long, silky white hair that needs to be brushed daily to prevent mats.

Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer has a natural protective nature that makes it a great watchdog. The breed is smart and cheerful, and adapts well to different living environments. Their double coat requires clipping.

Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)
The Peruvian Inca Orchid can be hairless or coated — the hairless variety does well with allergy sufferers. They also come in three different sizes small, medium, and large. The breed is loyal and protective of its family. They also have a great deal of energy, needing regular activity. They have minimal grooming needs.

Poodle
The Poodle comes in three size varieties — Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The breed is exceptionally smart and active, needing daily exercise. Their trademark coat requires regular professional grooming.

Portuguese Water Dog
An athletic breed, the Portuguese Water Dog needs vigorous daily exercise and would do best with a very active family. PWDs are intelligent, loyal workers. Their waterproof coat requires regular maintenance.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
This happy dog is active and needs plenty of exercise daily. The breed adapts well to city, country, or suburban living, and does well with children. They have a silky, soft coat that needs regular grooming to prevent mats.

Spanish Water Dog
The Spanish Water Dog is a lively, hardworking dog with natural protective instincts. They are a high energy breed that does best with an active family. They require little grooming for their curly, wooly coat. No brushing is needed, but at least once a year they should be shaved down.

Standard Schnauzer
The Standard Schnauzer is a sociable, affectionate breed that has a fondness for kids. They are athletic dogs that need daily exercise. Their beard and leg hair should be brushed often to prevent mats.

Xoloitzcuintli
The Xoloitzcuintli comes in three sizes — toy, miniature, and standard. They also come in two varieties — hairless and coated. The hairless has a smooth, tough, protective skin and the coated has a short, flat coat. They’re calm, tranquil, and attentive, and can also be aloof. They have moderate exercise and grooming needs.

Are you an avid dog person, but suffer from dog allergy? Well, you are not alone in your misfortune. According to studies, about 10% of the people in the US are allergic to pets.

Thankfully, there are some dog breeds which are considered more suitable for people suffering from allergies induced by the dog’s hair or dander.

Even though there are no dogs which are 100% hypoallergenic, there are certain breeds which have little or non-shedding coats, which means that less hair and dander is released in the air of your home or on your furniture.

With the growing instances of children and adults suffering from pet allergies, the popularity of hypoallergenic dogs has been increasing in the last years.

Having a dog allergy does not necessarily mean that you can’t enjoy the loving company of a four-legged friend. But adopting a hypoallergenic dog can make life so much easier on you and on your family too.

Hypoallergenic Dogs

Here are the most common breeds.

Tibetan terrier

Tibetan-Terriers are the living proof that hypoallergenic doesn’t always mean having no hair at all. This breed sheds very little hair but does require quite a bit of grooming.

The breed originated in the Buddhist monasteries in Tibet. These beautiful fluffy dogs with flat snowshoe-like feet for walking on snow are absolutely charming.

They are medium-sized or small dogs with a sensitive, smart, and affectionate character.

The double coat doesn’t shed too much, but they do require regular grooming. They make excellent loyal pets and are quite reliable watchdogs.

Maltese Terrier

These gorgeous white fluffy dogs will shed very little hair on your furniture and clothes.

They are fun to cuddle, play with, and to watch as they walk as if they are floating on a puffy white little cloud. You should be careful with the tiny Maltese puppies, especially if you have small kids because there is a risk of hurting them during rough play.

As a whole, the Maltese terriers are among the gentlest dog breeds. Then again, they do enjoy playtime and walks, so they are suitable for people with all types of lifestyles.

The Maltese are loving, playful, and energetic pups, which are perfect companions for people with dog allergies.

Shih Tzu

The Shih-Tzu breed is known for its loyalty and friendliness. It too is a non-shedding dog breed suitable for families with members suffering from dog allergies.

These small “lion dogs” were bred back in ancient China. They are compact little dogs but have rather strong bodies hidden beneath the soft luxurious hair. Yes, the hair will come off, but only when you brush them or when it is broken.

The Shih Tzu is a gentle and loving lap dog that can get along with all family members, kids included. It is quite a loyal and dedicated companion, which makes it one of the top preferred hypoallergenic small breeds.

Tibetan Terriers

When you see a Tibetan terrier, the last thing you may think is that this is a hypoallergenic breed, because it is very fluffy and hairy. But in reality, these dogs shed very little hair if their double coats are properly and regularly groomed.

The ancient breed first originated in Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and has since become quite a popular companion dog breed around the world.

These medium-sized pups have snowshoe-shaped flat feet, which add to their charm. They are known to be very intelligent, affectionate and sensitive dogs and are very loyal pets as well as excellent watchdogs.

Giant Schnauzer

If you suffer from dog allergies but love large sized pups, then the Giant Schnauzer could be the perfect choice for a pet for you.

These loyal and intelligent working dogs can reach a height of 23.5 to 27.5 inches at the shoulder, so they are true to their name – Giants.

They have impressive double coats and beards and eyebrows, with the outer coat being harsh and wiry, and the undercoat soft and thick. Although they do require regular grooming, clipping, and stripping, they are not heavy shedders. This makes them suitable for homes where there are people with pet allergies.

Keep in mind that these big dogs require quite a lot of exercise. They are perfect companions for active owners or families who love running, cycling, hiking and spending time outdoors.

They are highly protective guard dogs, so taking up a Giant Schnauzer is not recommended for first-time or timid dog owners.

Brussels Griffon

These small expressive dogs have become famous stars on TV and in various movies thanks to their cuteness, their human-like facial expressions, and their overall charm.

Thankfully for people with allergies, the Brussels-Griffon is another non-shedding dog, which is suitable for people looking for hypoallergenic pets.

The Brussels Griffon is an excellent watchdog, but has a friendly disposition and is excellent with adults and children alike.

The dogs from this breed do tend to bond with one particular person more than with others, but this doesn’t stop them from being one of the most suitable hypoallergenic dogs for any home.

Portuguese Water Dog

One of the most famous dogs from this breed is Bo – President Obama’s dog. The Portuguese Water Dog is a relatively rare breed, but because these dogs shed very little, they are becoming increasingly popular among people looking for hypoallergenic pets.

They are robust, medium-sized dogs which are very energetic and can work both on the ground and in the water for hours.

Apart from the fact that they are strong swimmers which were used to gather fishnets and to send messages from one boat to another, these dogs are incredibly intelligent and very easy and prone to training.

This makes them excellent pets for people who love to live active lives and don’t mind spending time playing with and training the dog.

Poodle (Toy, Miniature, and Standard)

The Poodle is one of the most popular dog breeds on a global level for a large number of reasons. It makes this list because this breed is not only hypoallergenic, but it is virtually odor-free as well.

The harsh curly coats of these sweet creatures need to be clipped or corded regularly. Whether standard, toy, or miniature, the Poodle has a characteristic proud and dignified gait, which makes it almost regal like.

Poodles are recognized as highly intelligent, trainable and with a comedic streak. They are friendly and sociable dogs which love human companionship and are especially affectionate with kids.

West Highland White Terrier

Although Westies do shed some of their double coat, they are still considered a hypoallergenic breed.

These wonderful small-sized pups are quite active and friendly little terriers. Their body shape, with the short legs and compactness, is highly recognizable. So is their sweet furry white face with sparkling eyes and a button-like nose.

Westies are happy and curious little dogs, which are very affectionate with their humans. Unfortunately, the breed does not get along very well with small animals, which is something to keep in mind if you have smaller pets.

A Westie does make a fun and loving companion though and is a perfect dog to welcome to a home where there are people with dog allergies.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon-Frise is the ultimate hypoallergenic lap dog. It is easy to train, independent, and friendly animal. The striking puffy white appearance of the Bichon Frise is due to its double coat which consists of a curly and coarse outer coat combined with a soft and dense undercoat. It doesn’t shed, and with a proper cut, this breed is very easy to maintain and emits little to none hairs and dander, which are the leading causes of most dog allergies.

Overall, this breed is a great pet, thanks to its merry character and its agility. It is easy to train and is a playful and friendly dog which will fit in perfectly in a household with people with allergies.

Havanese

If you want a small dog which will always stay close to you and yet won’t trigger your dog allergy, you may want to get a Havanese. These dogs originated in Cuba and are extremely cute, small, short-legged dogs with hypoallergenic double coats.

They are very social canines, which have a very distinguishable lively gait.

Overall, the Havanese is a quiet and gentle dog, but it won’t mind some wild and rowdy play time too.

They will always be a step away from their owner and will always be alert if strangers are approaching. You will not have trouble training your Havanese pup, as the breed is brilliant and attentive.

Chinese Crested

Both varieties of the Chinese-Crested breed – hairless or powderpuff shed minimally and are excellent pets for apartments where people with dog allergies live. The reason is that they do not require vigorous exercise and can live without a backyard.

They are friendly with all family members, children, and even with cats. You can train your Chinese Crested pet pretty quickly, but remember to use a gentle approach as it is a sensitive dog which is willing to please.

These elegant and slender dogs are perfect lap dogs, great companions and are very good with other dogs, strangers, and pets.

Scottish Terrier

Scotties have one of the most recognizable silhouettes in the world of dogs. They are compact, short-legged, and yet large-boned terriers, which are the perfect combination of power all packed up in a small package. The distinctive hairy eyebrows and beard perfectly add to the sharp and keen expression of this breed.

Thanks to its low shedding double coat, the Scottish-Terrier is one of the top preferred dogs for people suffering from allergies.

They are rather independent and quite territorial, but Scotties makes a loyal companion. They are a low-shed breed with a hypoallergenic coat and require minimal grooming, which makes them perfect pets. They are always ready for action and are quite fearless. Still, they become strongly devoted and affectionate with their families, and despite being a bit stubborn are great, fun, and loving hypoallergenic pets to have.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn-Terriers are sturdy and happy dogs which originally came from Scotland. They have a very distinctive outer wire coat which is not only hypoallergenic, but it also repels water too. Another fun fact is that the color of the coat of your Cairn terrier can change several times over the years.

These short-legged terriers are quite hardy and active. They have wider heads than other terriers and a foxlike face, which makes them one of the cutest terriers around.

Although they can be quite stubborn and bold, the Cairn terrier makes great pets, as long as you provide them with daily exercise.

Keep in mind that the Cairn Terrier is bred to chase vermin, so you may want to restrict it from contact with smaller animals.

It does enjoy playing with children, so your kids will be happy with their furry little play friend, and you will be allergy-free if you adopt a Cairn terrier.

Labradoodle

Since Labrador retrievers are not hypoallergenic, if you are a fan of this breed but suffer from allergies, you can get a cute Labradoodle instead. It is a perfect combination between the Labrador retriever and the hypoallergenic Poodle.

It is an active, friendly, and exceptionally cute dog, which is perfect for a family pet.

In order to make sure that your Labradoodle pup is truly hypoallergenic and won’t shed, ask the breeders whether the parents were low -shedding, and opt for a second-generation Labradoodle which has Labradoodles as parents.

Once you add a Labradoodle to your household, be ready for a lot of fun, games, and affection from your new cute family member!

Schnauzer (Miniature or Standard)

The mini and standard Schnauzers are also low shedding dogs, which are an excellent option for people with dog allergies. They are amazingly smart, loyal, and full of energy. Schnauzers are excellent watchdogs and are very popular companions due to their hypoallergenic coat and their endless loyalty.

They are sturdy, robust, and have square-shaped bodies. Since they were bred as ratters, they are very fast and can run at long distances.

The specific outer long wiry coat which is especially lengthier on their feet, eyebrows and muzzle make them amazingly attractive dogs.

Pups from this breed get along with other animals, enjoy children and are very clever dogs which can be perfect hypoallergenic companions.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are toy type terriers with long coats, which like many of their terrier cousins shed very little. They are preferred as pets due to their compact size, their hypoallergenic qualities, as well as their charm of course.

These tiny terriers are very devoted and loyal companions, which sometimes perceive themselves as large dogs.

Their beautiful tan and steel blue coat parts at the muzzle and throughout their entire bodies up to the jolly tails.

They get along with older children and with other pets. Due to their small size and their somewhat bold character, you should supervise them with very young children.

They thrive better indoors and prefer warmer climates.

If you want a hypoallergenic pet which can be both a lap dog and enjoys brisk walks and outdoor games, you should definitely think about adding a Yorkie to your family.

Australian Silky Terrier

The Australian-Silky-Terrier is often mistaken for a Yorkie, but even though they do look alike and both are low-shedding hypoallergenic breeds, there are some differences.

The Aussie is a mini working terrier which is quite bold despite its size. It is longer than it is taller, and even though it has quite thin bones is a strong little dog.

Its straight, silky single coat follows the lines of the body rather than falling down straight to the floor like in Yorkies.

The silky terrier is definitely not a calm little lap dog. It is quite playful, curious, and always ready for action. Unfortunately, it has the tendency to show aggression to other pets and dogs, but it is a mischievous and clever little fella, which will never leave you bored.

Basenji

The Basenji is well known for two specific traits – the fact that it doesn’t bark, and also that it likes to thoroughly groom itself like a cat.

What you may not know about Basenjis is that they shed very little, require very little grooming, and can make perfect hypoallergenic pets.

They are small elegant hunting hound dogs which are quite energetic and intelligent. They can charm just about anyone with their shiny short coats, the curled tails, and the very expressive eyes combined with their cute wrinkled foreheads.

If you can deal with the strange howling noise which they make instead of barking, and the fact that they will spend hours grooming themselves like felines, as well as with their need for everyday long walks and exercise, the Basenjis are perfect for people who have dog allergies.

Airedale Terrier

If you are allergic to dogs and want a large-sized hypoallergenic dog, you should opt for the King of Terriers – the Airedale.

This is recognized as one of the most versatile breeds and is a great hunter, companion, and athlete. It is the largest of all terriers and can reach up to 23 inches at the shoulder. Its wiry dense coat is tan colored with black markings and sheds very little.

Airedales are incredibly intelligent dogs, which you can read immediately when you look into their dark eyes.

They are very patient with children but being typical terriers, they are determined watchdogs which will do everything to protect you and your home. They are perfect for dynamic people who like long walks, hikes, sports, and outdoor activities.

Samoyed

The Samoyed is another large dog breed which is suitable for people with allergies. It can thrive well in an apartment, but you will need to provide it with sufficient exercise. Its amazing sparkling white, long, and thick coat will draw attention wherever you go.

The most typical feature of Sammies is their ever-smiling face. Actually, the fact that the corners of their mouths are permanently curved up is due to the fact that they were bred in freezing temperatures in Siberia and is a feature that prevents them from drooling and thus from icicles forming around their mouths.

Whatever the reason for this amazing smile is, there is no doubt that your Samoyed will always bring a smile to the face of anybody who sees them.

They are not suitable for very warm climates.

Overall, they are smart, affectionate and social dogs which can be a bit mischievous so that they will need a lot of love and training. You should definitely establish yourself as the alpha dog if you want to have control over this gorgeous but large dog.

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound is like a gentle miniature greyhound, which is a very affectionate, playful and alert companion. Although it is more of a decorative lap dog, it still has the instinct of a hound and has a pursuit instinct.

These slender and small dogs have very long, thin legs and sleek, curvy lines. This, combined with the beautiful coat and the expressive eyes and loving nature makes them perfect pets. Even if you have an allergy, you can still enjoy the company of the Italian greyhound, because it sheds very little which makes it hypoallergenic.

It is sensitive to cold and doesn’t require too much outdoor time, so if you are a couch potato – you should go for this breed.

Overall, if you want an elegant, gentle and loving lapdog that will not trigger your allergies, you should get an Italian Greyhound.

Afghan Hound

This is one of the most eye-catching dog breeds. It is aristocratic, but as regal, it appearance can be, the Afghan Hound can be quite a comedian as well.

Afghan hounds are very loyal, elegant dogs that have silky, thick floating coats. Thankfully to people with allergies, they shed very little, and thus as one of the preferred dogs that not shed.

These are quite tall dogs, which can reach a height of 27 inches at the shoulder. They are bred for hunting in the harsh Afghan terrains, which is the reason for the huge paw pads which act as shock absorbents.

They are not suitable for people who prefer spending most of their time indoors. If you have a yard or have the will and time to take long walks and spend time outdoors, the Afghan Hound could become your best furry friend.

Final words

These are some of the most popular hypoallergenic dogs which will not shed and emit too much dander and hairs which can trigger allergic reactions in people diagnosed with dog allergy.

Of course, every dog is different, and every person is different, so there is no guarantee that you will not experience any symptoms of dog allergy whatsoever if you get one of these dogs.

Thankfully, there are ways to limit the release of allergens and the accumulation of dander and hair in your home.

Here are some quick tips on how to do that:

  • Bathe your dog once a week – you can use mild dog shampoo or just water, to wash away any loose hairs and dander
  • Remove any carpeting and opt for hard floors which are easy to clean and wash
  • If you can’t live without your carpet, make sure you deep clean it on a regular basis
  • Vacuum the floors and furniture frequently, using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
  • Use an air purifier and vent filters which will capture and eliminate any airborne dander and hair
  • Wash the beddings of your dog at least once weekly
  • If possible, don’t allow the dog inside the bedroom of the person allergic to dogs, so there is a “Safe place” for them in the house
  • Keep in mind, that the smaller the dog – the less hair and dander it will produce
  • Ask your doctor for medication which will help suppress the allergic symptoms and prevent breakouts

Overall, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, but with the proper precautions taken, allergic people can happily live in the same home as their beloved pet.

If you can’t live without a dog companion and have allergies, make sure to pick one of these or any other hypoallergenic breed, so that you can live comfortably together and enjoy each other’s presence and love!

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Allergy-Free Dogs

For many people with allergies, owning a dog or cat can be difficult. Even visiting friends or relatives who are pet owners can be extremely challenging.

Pet dander can be a severe trigger for allergy symptoms. If you’re allergic to pet dander, you may have watery eyes, sneezing, wheezing, or even hives. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that as many as 30 percent of Americans have some kind of pet allergy. They also note that it’s more common to be allergic to cats than dogs. However, people with pet allergies can successfully become pet owners if they take a few precautions. One of these precautions is to choose a dog breed that’s mostly, if not completely, allergen-free.

“Hypoallergenic breeds” gained attention in 2009 when the First Family adopted a Portuguese water dog. But are any dog breeds completely hypoallergenic? The science indicates that how a person reacts to canine dander depends on the individual circumstances and not on any particular breed.

Choose a suitable breed

There isn’t a breed of dog that is 100 percent hypoallergenic. There are breeds that have what the American Kennel Club (AKC) calls a “predictable, non-shedding coat.” These breeds tend to be more suitable for people with allergies because they don’t shed. As a result, they create less skin dander. The dander is the main element in the dog’s hair that causes people to have allergy symptoms.

The breeds the AKC suggests for people with allergies include:

  • Afghan hound
  • American hairless terrier
  • Bedlington terrier
  • Bichon frise
  • Chinese crested
  • Coton de tulear
  • Schnauzer (giant, standard, miniature)
  • Irish water spaniel
  • Kerry blue terrier
  • Lagotto romagnolo
  • Maltese
  • Peruvian Inca orchid (hairless)
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese water dog
  • Soft coated wheaten terrier
  • Spanish water dog
  • Xoloitzcuintli

It’s important to avoid so-called “designer dogs” when you’re researching dog breeds. These dogs are usually poodles mixed with other breeds. The coats of these hybrid breeds are less predictable than those of pure breeds. Also, it’s unclear whether there’s any significant difference in the levels of allergen produced by any of the breeds listed above.

Be wary of claims

It’s easy to be confused by conflicting information about allergy-free breeds. Some sources may overstate claims of allergy-free breeds. Again, no breed of dog is completely allergy-free. Also, depending on the source, there’s a wide variety in the breeds noted as being allergy-friendly.

There’s a great deal of evidence that shows clear differences in dander and allergen levels from one animal to another (dogs and cats, for example). However, no one has ever been able to determine clear differences between the breeds of any one animal. The list provided by the American Kennel Club includes breeds with non-shedding coats, which produce less dander. However, they all still produce some dander, and no study has proven whether the dander of one breed is less allergenic than another. Individual dogs may have more or less dander and be more or less allergenic, depending on their genes or other factors. But a dog’s breed isn’t a reliable indicator of how allergic a person may be to any given dog.

Be prepared for your new best friend

Carefully consider the kind of dog that might be best for all your needs, not just your allergies. Look into the behavior and personality traits of the dog breeds recommended by the American Kennel Club for people with allergies.

After doing some research and choosing the breed that’s best for you, try to prepare your living space for the dog. If you can, avoid drapes, rugs, furniture with thick upholstery, or any extra carpet or fabric that might catch and trap dander.

Groom your dog regularly to reduce the amount of dander. Cleaning any dog beds or other areas the dog frequents, sweeping, and vacuuming will also help keep the dander levels down. An important step is to limit the areas where your dog is allowed to be. If you have allergies, you shouldn’t allow the dog on your bed, or even in your bedroom. The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggests washing your hands after each time you touch the dog. Also, high quality air filters can help to reduce the amount of allergens in the air in your house.

No breed of dog will be totally allergen-free. However, if you’re willing to be a little more diligent about dander, you can enjoy some great canine companionship regardless of your allergies.

Best and Worst Dog Breeds for People with Allergies

Uptown Staff

October 9th •

Most people love dogs, even those who are allergic! So how do you get the full experience of dog ownership when being near one causes a sneezing fit?

Take after the Obamas and adopt a hypoallergenic dog like Bo and Sunny. Dog breeds that are known to be hypoallergenic are said to be the best pets for allergy sufferers because they shed less than others.

As the most common chronic condition, allergic rhinitis (pet allergies) affects over 600 million people around the world. Over a third of these people also suffer from asthma, both of which experts in the field say are under-diagnosed and under-treated. This might be due to the fact that pet lovers would rather sneeze and itch than give up their beloved furry friend!

The majority of symptomatic individuals are allergic to the pet’s saliva or flakes on the skin (dander), not the actual fur. However, fur might still be part of the problem — indoor and outdoor allergens such as dust and pollen can build up in a dog’s coat and cause allergy symptoms upon contact.

Experts say that the hype over health benefits may be unjustified for some hypoallergenic breeds. If you’re looking for a pup that won’t leave you runny-nosed and teary-eyed, you should do thorough research and and an in-home trial if possible; this will help you figure out first-hand if your new pet will trigger any symptoms. Don’t let the fur factor scare you — less fur isn’t necessarily better, so give some shaggy dogs a chance too!

The best breeds for people with dog allergies

1) Australian Labradoodle
At the top of the list, Australian Labradoodles are the best dogs for people with allergies because of how easy it is to maintain their coats. In addition to being hypoallergenic, non-shedding, and super soft, Labradoodles with wool coats pick up less outdoor allergens than other breeds.

2) Goldendoodle
Tied with the Australian Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle is another great dog for those with allergies due to its low to no-shed coat. Also known as Curly Retrievers, Groodles, or Goldenoodles, their coats are longer, wavier, and shed a bit less than Labradoodles. Doodles with a more poodle-like coat are the best option, since dander will get trapped closer to the dog’s skin instead of floating around the house. If dander is the main issue, a Goldendoodle would be the perfect choice for your new companion.

3) Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is another breed known for its low maintenance coat. Their curly fur doesn’t produce as much dander as others, which makes them another viable option for those who suffer from allergies.

4) Schnauzer
Getting rid of pet dander is a vital part of maintaining a healthy home environment for those who experience dog allergy symptoms. Carpets tend to trap and collect dander over time, so vacuuming daily can help keep allergen levels down. You can cut time off of your cleaning routine by replacing carpets with vinyl, hardwood, or tile flooring. Schnauzers are another breed that don’t produce as much dander, so choosing one as a companion could lighten the load of your daily chores.

5) Maltese
You may find comfort in snuggling up next to a warm, fuzzy pup at bedtime, but this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your allergy symptoms. The bedroom of someone with dog allergies — especially the bed itself — should be totally off limits to your pooch. Setting up a separate sleeping area is an ideal solution, and smaller dogs make it a lot easier to do so. As a small toy breed, the Maltese would be a good choice if you like your canines fun-sized.

6) Xoloitzcuintli
Xoloit-whatzitcalled? The Xoloitzcuintli — or Xolo for short — can be an unusual but great choice for those with dog allergies. Some Xolos have short coats while others can be mostly hairless. They don’t require much grooming, and they are one of the rarest and oldest breeds in existence.

7) Portuguese Water Dog
With the presidential seal of approval, Bo the Portuguese Water Dog was chosen to live alongside the Obama family in the White House since Barack’s daughter is allergic. These web-footed, waterproof dogs are built to be outside, so they are a viable option for the most severe allergy sufferers. The Portuguese will be perfectly happy living outdoors if you provide fresh water, shelter, and plenty of room to play.

The worst breeds for people with dog allergies

1) German Shepherd
Regular grooming and bathing will reduce dander’s allergic effects. There is a delicate balance to this, however: insufficient washing can result in more dander, but so can excessive washing. Too much bathing may also result in dry skin, which will trigger scratching that leaves skin dust floating through the air. German Shepherds are a breed that is more prone to dry skin, so they may not be the best choice for an allergic owner.

2) Bulldog and Saint Bernard
What do these breeds have in common? Slobber! If saliva is your allergic trigger, avoid dogs that are known for their excessive drooling. Regardless of which dog you choose, discourage them from licking. You can also soak toys in soapy, hot water every week to reduce the amount of saliva getting rolled, dragged, and thrown around the house.

3) Pekingese
A Pekingese pup tends to be harder to potty train than other dogs. Of course having accidents all over the house is an undesirable trait, but it’s even worse for those with allergies. Dog urine is another allergic trigger that not many people think of. When you find an accident, clean it up as soon as possible. Be sure to wear gloves and use an enzyme cleaner or bleach to remove all traces of urine and sanitize the area.

4) Boston Terrier
Humans aren’t the only ones with allergies! Boston Terriers are popular pets, but they tend to have allergies that give them watery eyes and itchy skin. You may want to avoid these dogs due to their own allergic symptoms and excessive mucus.

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Who doesn’t love to cuddle with their favorite fluffy friend?

Dogs are great companions, but can be a problem for those with allergies or asthma. While some people are allergic to dog fur, it tends to be pet dander or saliva that’s the culprit. However, the fur on your dog can be like a lightning rod for indoor allergens, giving them a place for these particles to collect, making your dog a walking (and cuddling) sneeze trigger.

There are no dogs that are 100% hypoallergenic, but hopefully our sneeze scale will help you decide which will be the best fit for your household. If you are thinking about adopting or rescuing a dog, a test period in your home can be a good way to find out how your allergies or asthma react to your potential new pet.

Xoloitzcuintli

The best thing about these dogs for those with allergies is that they have very little fur to capture allergens. Aside from the one in five that are born with hair (due to hairlessness being a recessive gene), you’ll only find hair on a Xolo’s head, back, and tail.

Sneeze Scale: 1 out of 5
Fun Fact: This is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world at over 3,000 years.
Honorable mention: The Hairless Chinese Crested for its distinct lack of hair.

Poodle

These fluffy dogs are known for having hair rather than fur, meaning less dander and no shedding. Their waterproof coat traps hair before it falls out, and tends to keep outdoor allergens from coming indoors on their coat. Because of this feature, they are a popular dog to cross breed, which is how we have goldendoodles, labradoodles, and oodles of other varieties.

Sneeze scale: 2 out of 5
Fun fact: Their fanciful (and sometimes froofy) follicles serve a purpose. Because these hunting dogs would frequently jump into freezing cold water, poodles needed hair around their joints and vital organs to keep them warm, but less hair everywhere else to prevent them from getting weighed down.
Honorable mention: The Portuguese Water Dog, which also sports a waterproof coat.

Schnauzer

Despite its dapper facial hair, this bearded breed is known to produce less dander than other breeds. Less dander means less sneezing and itching for those with a pet dander allergy. Bonus points for the miniature schnauzer—their smaller frame means even less dander to worry about.

Sneeze scale: 3 out of 5
Fun Fact: Their name comes from the “schnauze,” which means snout or muzzle in German.
Honorable mention: The Bedlington Terrier. This lamb-like breed also produces very little dander.

St. Bernard

These gentle giants tend to be one of the slobberiest dogs, which can be a big dilemma for those allergic to dog saliva.

Sneeze scale: 4 out of 5
Fun fact: A representation of a St. Bernard named Barry can be found in the Natural History Museum in Berne, Switzerland to commemorate the dog that saved over 40 people in the Swiss Alps in the early 1800s.
Honorable mention: The similarly slobbery Bulldog breed.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Beloved by English royalty, corgis are prone to heavy shedding. This is due to their double coat, used to keep them warm while they would herd cattle and sheep year-round. Because of their smaller size, however, they have less total fur to shed, dropping them slightly on our sneeze scale.

Sneeze scale: 4 out of 5
Fun Fact: According to Welsh lore, fairies would ride corgis into battle. The white fur around a corgi’s neck, usually sandwiched between tan or black fur, is referred to as a fairy saddle.
Honorable mention: Boston Terriers are another small pup that can pack a punch. This breed is allergy-prone, which gives them itchy skin and watery eyes — a combo that’s less than ideal for allergy-prone humans.

Newfoundland

This breed has the trifecta of allergy-triggering traits. They exhibit year-round heavy shedding and constant drooling, plus, they have an extremely large body. This means more total hair and drool to deposit.

Sneeze scale: 5 out of 5
Fun fact: Captain Meriwether Lewis had a Newfoundland named Seaman that joined Lewis and Clark on their westward expedition.
Honorable mention: Also coming from chilly origins, Siberian Huskies have a thick double coat that perpetually sheds, along with a seasonal “coat blow” where an entire coat falls out to make way for the next season’s coat underneath.

While some dogs are more allergy-friendly than others, no matter what breed of dog you may have, you may need to take extra measures to keep your air clean. Deep clean your carpet and upholstery seasonally, become best friends with your broom and vacuum cleaner, and use a HEPA air filter to ensure that 99.97 percent of particulate matter is removed from the air in your home.

30+ Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds for Allergy Sufferers

If you’re a dog allergy sufferer and are looking for a hypoallergenic dog breed, you’ve come to the right place. If you’ve always had to admire dogs from a distance because of allergy symptoms, you’re not alone.

Many of us are allergic to dogs—up to 10 percent of humans, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

As one of the unlucky sufferers, you know exactly how debilitating and frustrating an adverse allergic reaction can be.

Luckily, there is a wide variety of hypoallergenic dog breeds and mixes.

Some of these breeds shed less than others. And others don’t produce as much dander.

Also, for unknown reasons, some breeds’ allergens do not trigger the same severe reactions as others.

But keep in mind that every allergy sufferer is different.

The only way to know for sure if you can tolerate a breed on this list is to spend some time with one and gauge your reaction.

A WORD OF CAUTION:

It’s important to note here that for this purpose, “hypo” means “less” or “low.” Hypoallergenic does not mean “nonallergenic.”

No breed is 100% nonallergenic.

But many people with mild to moderate pet allergies can tolerate breeds on this list of hypoallergenic breeds and hypoallergenic crossbreeds.

Table of Contents

What Causes Dog Allergies?

Potential sources of dog allergens (the particles that trigger allergies) include their fur, dead skin flakes (dander), saliva, and urine.

Many people believe that it’s the hair a dog sheds that causes their symptoms. In most cases, it’s actually a protein found in the dog’s hair, skin, saliva, and urine that causes allergic symptoms.

This protein sticks to the skin and hair that a dog sheds. It’s not the hair itself that causes the problem. This means that short-haired dogs are as likely to cause allergic symptoms as long-haired dogs.

Which is a good thing! It means that if you’re an allergy sufferer, you aren’t restricted to hypoallergenic dog breeds with short hair, as you may have heard. There is variety in the types of hypoallergenic dog breeds that you may be able to tolerate.

Following is a list of hypoallergenic dog breeds classified by size. Whether you’re looking for a lapdog, a family dog, or an adventure partner, chances are good that you’ll find a breed here that will work for you.

So let’s find you a dog!

Hypoallergenic Toy Breeds

The Chinese Crested is a toy breed that weighs about 12 pounds. Its playful and affectionate temperament make this tiny treasure an excellent choice for a companion dog or a family with children. The Crested has an unusual gene mutation that affects its hair coat. Some dogs may be completely devoid of body fur. Others have a little, and still, others have a full coat that sheds very little.

Best for: Nearly anyone who would enjoy a low-energy, devoted companion.

Cost estimate: $800 to $1000

A sense of humor and air of self-importance make this smart and comical 8- to 12-pound dog fun to live with. The Brussels Griffon forms intense bonds with its owners. There are two varieties—rough coat and smooth coat. The rough coat is better for allergy sufferers, but it must be hand-stripped every few months.

Best for: Families without young children. This guy loves attention and isn’t keen on sharing the spotlight.

Cost estimate: $800 to $1000

At 12-15 pounds, this dog is one of the classic “little dogs with a big attitude.” The Yorkie is a favorite with people who love a one-person lapdog. But they can be possessive and very protective. They don’t shed, but be forewarned: That long, silky hair requires a lot of maintenance.

Best for: Because of their tiny size, Yorkies are fragile dogs. They are best for families with no small children. Not for urine allergy sufferers, as Yorkies are notoriously hard to housetrain.

Cost estimate: $1200 to $1500

Lhasa Apso

The average weight of a Lhasa Apso is 12-18 pounds. The Lhasa is an intelligent and independent breed with a sensitive nature. The Lhasa is a training challenge as the breed is prone to anxiety. It’s not a shedder, but its long hair is high-maintenance.

Best for: Experienced dog owners who can balance firm and gentle discipline; families without young children, families who can tolerate barking.

Cost estimate: $1200 to over $5000 for show-quality

Often called just the Silky Terrier, this 8- to 10-pound dog is smart, feisty, very affectionate, and people-oriented. It’s prone to separation anxiety but overall is a great family pet. Their long, silky hair needs frequent brushing, but they are minimal shedders.

Best for: Families with no young children, families where someone is home during the day, households with no small pets.

Cost estimate: $1000 to $2000

Toy Poodle

Weighing about 5 pounds and known for its intelligence and playfulness, the Toy Poodle is easy to train and one of the most popular family dogs. The Toy Poodle is the smallest of three Poodle sizes, the others being the Miniature and Standard Poodles. All three share a similar temperament, and all are hypoallergenic. However, their curly coats require a lot of grooming.

Best for: Families without small children (because of the Toy Poodle’s size), families who can commit to firm obedience training.

Cost estimate: $750 to $1200

Maltese

The Maltese also weighs in at about 5 pounds. It’s active, energetic, fearless, but gentle. The Maltese makes an excellent companion dog. Its silky white coat does require regular maintenance.

Best for: People looking for the “perfect” lapdog. The Maltese is a fragile dog, so families without small children are best.

Cost estimate: $500 to $1000

Hypoallergenic Small Breeds

The Bichon Frise weighs around 15 pounds. It is active, highly intelligent, and can do well in most environments. Can be prone to separation anxiety or fear aggression. The Bichon sheds very little but requires a vigorous daily brushing.

Best for: Homes where someone is home during the day, first-time dog owners, families with kids, city or apartment dwellers.

Cost estimate: $600 to $2500

Miniature Poodle

The Miniature Poodle is one of the three sizes of Poodle that are considered one breed. The only difference between the three Poodles is their size; the Miniature weighs 15-17 pounds. See Toy Poodle above for a full description.

Best for: Families who can commit to firm obedience training. Otherwise great family dogs.

Cost estimate: $2000 to $8000

The Shih Tzu, the “lion dog of China,” weighs in at 8-16 pounds. It’s a happy, spunky, and loyal lapdog that loves to cuddle. It’s also a low shedder. However, its hair grows very long, so it needs a lot of maintenance or regular trips to the groomer.

Best for: Those who would enjoy a “Velcro” dog, those who have patience with housetraining and occasional stubbornness. Especially good companion for the elderly.

Cost estimate: Anywhere from $500 to $1000 for pet-quality, up to $2000 to even $10,000 for show-quality.

Weighing from 16 to 20 pounds, the Westie is cheerful, comical, and friendly. It’s also independent and self-confident, which can make training a bit challenging. Some are good with kids, and some are not. Minimal shedding.

Best for: Dog owners with some experience to deal with their independence. Those who enjoy small dogs with lots of personality. Some individuals are best for families without small children.

Cost estimate: $900 to $1200

Havanese

The Havanese (7-13 pounds) is a comical, outgoing, and affectionate dog that loves to play. They need to be near their people and shouldn’t be left alone for long. They have nonshedding coats.

Best for: Nearly any household where someone is home during the day. Especially suitable for young families and people who live alone. Excellent companions for seniors.

Cost estimate: $1000 to $1500

The Scottie weighs 18-22 pounds. It’s very independent, even for a terrier. They’re high-spirited with loads of personality but also have a dignified air that some call aloof. Many are one-person dogs.

Best for: People who can be firm with training, homes with no small pets.

Cost estimate: $800 to $1400

The Cairn Terrier weighs in at 13-14 pounds. The Cairn is an affectionate breed that loves kids and is friendly to people and other dogs. He’s on the independent side, but with proper training, it’s an excellent family companion. As a wiry-coated terrier, it sheds less than other breeds.

Best for: Nearly anyone who can commit to firm training.

Cost estimate: $700 to $1000

The slight and fragile Italian Greyhound weighs from 8 to 15 pounds. Its temperament is affectionate, playful, and intelligent. It tends to be submissive, sensitive, and eager to please.

Best for: Families without small children, quiet households, families who can commit to firm but gentle training.

Cost estimate: $500 to $1000

The intelligent, lean, and athletic Basenji weighs about 23 pounds. They’re affectionate and friendly but independent. As a bonus, the Basenji is the only hypoallergenic dog breed that doesn’t bark. Basenji are minimal shedders, and they’re even self-grooming!

Best for: Active families, for a Basenji is no couch potato. Excellent for apartment dwellers and very good with kids.

Cost estimate: $800 to $1750, or as high as $4500 for a show-quality pup.

Bedlington Terrier

At about 20 pounds and sporting very curly fur, the Bedlington looks a lot like a small lamb. This is a smart, energetic, exceedingly brave breed that has hardly any health problems. Its curly fur sheds minimally, but daily brushing is required to prevent matting.

Best for: His sweet, gentle nature makes him a good choice for most families, including first-time dog owners. He’s even suitable for apartment living.

Cost estimate: $1000 to $3000

Coton de Tulear

The Coton is a smart little 8- to 13-pound dog with a happy, fun-loving personality. It’s friendly, affectionate, and playful, loves kids, and is a good apartment dog.

Best for: Nearly anyone who would enjoy a bright and fiercely devoted small dog with a cheerful disposition. Cotons also make excellent therapy dogs.

Cost estimate: $2000 to $4000 for a puppy.

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer, at about 11 to 20 pounds, combines high activity with high intelligence. It is outgoing, playful, and smart but can be stubborn. It sheds very little but needs daily brushing to prevent matting.

Best for: Active families. Families with some training experience and no young children or small pets. Families who can tolerate barking.

Cost estimate: $500 to $2700.

Hypoallergenic Medium-Sized Breeds

The Portuguese Water Dog averages 50-60 pounds. They were the “first dog” of the Obamas’ White House and one-time fisherman’s helper. These dogs are friendly, affectionate, obedient, and athletic. Their curly coats are nonshedding.

Best for: Active families who can give an energetic and intelligent dog the attention it needs.

Cost estimate: Expect to pay a lot for a PWD puppy; anywhere from $2000 to $6000.

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier (20-24 pounds) is not an actual terrier, but it has the hypoallergenic features that many terriers are known for. This breed is gentle and affectionate and enjoys children but can also be anxious and independent.

Best for: Owners who can commit to firm training, families where someone is home during the day, families with children, apartment dwellers.

Cost Estimate: $700 to $1000

Standard Schnauzer

Weighing 35-45 pounds, the Standard Schnauzer is devoted, good-natured, and playful. It’s intelligent, so it’s easy to train, but independent.

Best for: Families who can commit to firm but gentle training, families with no small pets in the home.

Cost estimate: $400 to $1500

Standard Poodle

This largest version of the Poodle weighs 40-70 pounds (males larger than females). See Toy Poodle above for description. See also Standard Poodle for more information.

Best for: Great family dog for those who can commit to firm obedience training.

Cost estimate: $2000 to $5000

Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier

The Wheaten, which weighs about 40 pounds, has a temperament that’s hard to beat—gentle, friendly, affectionate, and playful—but can be prone to separation anxiety. They shed minimally but do need a lot of grooming.

Best for: Active families with kids, families where someone is home during the day.

Cost estimate: $800 to $1000

Lagotto Romagnolo

This 25- to 30-pound Italian breed has an endearingly sweet and loving personality. The Lagotto is intensely loyal, eager to please, and easy to train but can be shy and sensitive. It’s curly hair sheds minimally but needs regular brushing.

Best for: Active families with children, families with time to properly socialize to strangers and young children.

Cost estimate: $1500 to $2000

The Airedale weighs 50-70 pounds. It’s an intelligent, independent, and outgoing dog that’s not easy to train. He is friendly and enjoys kids but can be stubborn.

Best for: Experienced dog owners, active families, OK with kids.

Cost Estimate: $1800 for pet-quality, up to $5000 for show-quality.

The Samoyed (40-55 pounds) is social, playful, and very friendly. It can be independent and stubborn. It sheds a lot but produces very little dander.

Best for: Active families, families who can commit to obedience training and firm boundaries.

Cost estimate: $600 to $1500

Hypoallergenic Large Breeds

Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel weighs in at around 60 pounds. This breed is affectionate and good with children. It is relatively easy to train and, while energetic, has a strong instinct to please. It hardly sheds. Surprisingly, brushing and grooming requirements are not very high.

Best for: Families who are willing to socialize well, as this breed is prone to anxiety. Families who can tolerate a barker.

Cost estimate: $800 to $1000

These silky beauties weigh 50-60 pounds. The elegant and dignified Afghan has a sweet and loyal temperament. They are affectionate, playful, and kid-friendly. But they can also be independent and stubborn. They don’t shed, but not surprisingly, they need a lot of grooming.

Best for: Dog owners with some training experience, as they are sensitive and can be challenging. Families with time to spend with their dog. Homes with no small pets. Despite its size, the Afghan is perfectly happy to live in an apartment.

Cost estimate: Around $1350

These 75-pound dogs are dominant, smart, and independent. They have a strong protective instinct and need a lot of socialization. They shed minimally but need regular brushing.

Best for: Families with some dog training experience, families with no young children. Families with time for proper socialization.

Cost estimate: $1800 to $5500.

Poodle Mixes

The Poodle may well be the hero of the hypoallergenic dog world. Breeds like the Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Bichpoo, Yorkie Poo, and a host of others, share many poodle traits—intelligence, friendliness, and to some degree, hypoallergenicity.

Goldendoodles

Because the Poodle comes in three sizes, many of the Poodle crossbreeds come in several sizes, as well. The Poodle is also considered to be the second most intelligent breed (second only to the Border Collie).

Add to that the Poodle’s excellent all-around temperament and many Poodle mixes make great hypoallergenic dog breeds for families. It’s hard to go wrong with a Poodle mixed with nearly any breed.

However, because they are mixes, individual dogs will inherit the Poodle’s hypoallergenicity in different measures. Some will be hypoallergenic and others not so much. Even if both parent breeds are hypoallergenic, you will need to test individual dogs.

But there’s something for nearly everyone in this group. You’ll find many Poodle Mixes in our breed articles. You may very well find your perfect hypoallergenic breed here.

Worst Dogs for People with Allergies

There are different types of pet allergies, and everyone reacts differently to allergens. But some breeds are known to exacerbate sensitivities to specific allergens more than others.

Dander Allergens

For dander sensitivities, the worst breeds are those that shed heavily or have short coats that don’t trap dander as longer coats do (which allows dander to float in the air more freely).

These include the following breeds:

  • German Shepherd
  • Basset Hound
  • Dachshund
  • Bulldog
  • Siberian Husky
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Springer Spaniel
  • Newfoundland
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Akita
  • Chow Chow
  • Boxer
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Boston Terrier
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Pomeranian
  • St. Bernard
  • Bloodhound
  • Doberman Pinscher

Saliva Allergens

If you suffer from a saliva allergy, you will want to avoid dogs that drool heavily:

4 Newfoundland Puppies

  • St. Bernard
  • Boston Terrier
  • Newfoundland
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Bulldog
  • Boxer
  • Bloodhound

Urine Allergens

If you react to allergens in dog urine, dogs that are hard to housetrain are likely to cause you problems. These include:

  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranian
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Hypoallergenic Dog Breed Test

Unfortunately, when it comes to dog allergies, there is no magic bullet. No breed is 100% hypoallergenic. The breed that works well for you may trigger symptoms in another family member.

The best way to find out if a particular breed is compatible with your family is to test it by spending some time with one if at all possible.

If you don’t know someone who has the breed you’re considering, bring all family members with you when you visit a breeder. You will need to judge everyone’s reaction to the dog.

If you adopt from a shelter, it may be harder to judge potential symptoms when there are many breeds in the same space. If possible, separate the dog you’re interested in from the other dogs in the shelter while you test for symptoms. Have a family member not known to be allergic bring the dog to you while you remain outside.

This is not a foolproof method, as the dog may be carrying allergens from other dogs in the shelter. But if you don’t experience a reaction, you’ll know you’ve found your breed.

Tips for Controlling Allergen Exposure in Your Home

So, you’ve found a breed you think your family can live with, and you’ve brought it home. But even with a hypoallergenic dog breed, you or a family member may still be triggered.

Depending on how severe those symptoms are, your family may decide to try to control symptoms rather than rehome the dog.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are five steps you can take that may make living with a dog comfortable for all family members.

  1. Restrict the dog’s access. If one person in the family has symptoms, make that person’s room a “dog-free” zone. Use allergy-resistant pillow and mattress covers and a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner.
  2. Use HEPA air cleaners in the rest of the house also. Avoiding or removing rugs, carpets, curtains, etc., can be helpful, as these tend to capture dander from the air. Frequent vacuuming of surfaces that can’t be replaced will also help.
  3. See that your pet gets weekly baths to remove old skin cells (dander). Ask your vet to recommend a safe and effective shampoo. Quality matters here.
  4. Don’t assume the dog is the source of the allergic symptoms. See an allergist to get tested specifically for dog dander. There could be other allergens in your home causing or contributing to, the allergic reaction.
  5. Consider allergy treatment. There are several options available that can relieve allergy symptoms. They include allergy shots (immunotherapy), nasal inhalers (steroids and antihistamines), and antihistamine pills (such as Benadryl).

A Final Word About Hypoalle

Most dog lovers can’t imagine life without them. It’s heartbreaking when allergies force you to live without the unparalleled love and companionship that dogs offer to the humans who care for them.

With any luck, you’ll find at least one breed on our list that might work for you and your family. And when you do, you will no longer have to keep your distance because of sneezing and watering eyes.

And one more lucky dog will have found its forever home—with you!

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