23 'Hypoallergenic' Dogs Perfect for People with Allergies
People who sneeze, itch, and sniffle around their canine companions are often eager for more information on hypoallergenic dogs, believing this group of pets won't cause allergic reactions.
However, studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics indicate "there is no evidence to classify certain dog breeds as hypoallergenic." This is because all dogs naturally produce a series of proteins that potentially aggravate a person's immune response, especially if they're already prone to allergies. The most common protein is Can f 1, often found in dog saliva, urine, and skin debris known as dander.
Jerry Klein, DVM, is the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC). "Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a true, completely hypoallergenic dog," he says. "Different breeds cause different reactions. Some people may respond strongly to one breed and less so to another." Additionally, many people who are allergic to dogs also have reactions to cats.
Best ‘Hypoallergenic’ Dogs
Klein strongly recommends spending time with a pooch that catches your fancy before bringing her home. "At the AKC, we want the decision to get a dog to be thought out and not impulsive. Finding the right match is imperative to create a lifelong home." To find the best dogs for allergies, first foster an animal, visit a breeder or a friend with a pup you like, or attend a local dog show.
As you search for the dog who's a perfect non-sneezy fit for you, you might start with these 'hypoallergenic' dog breeds that generally inspire lower levels of allergic reactions.
With a nickname like "monkey dog," she must be a lot of fun, right? Frisky and fearless, the rare affenpinscher (or just 'affen') has wiry fur that's easy to care for without a lot of shedding, but you have to brush her often. An easy trade-off for a gentle yet active companion for mature adults ready to keep their minds stimulated with new tricks.
Her regal bearing and silky flowing hair make an Afghan hound a beauty to behold. As a single-coated breed, this sensitive and loyal pooch is less likely to shed. But her long locks need frequent grooming, especially after a brisk run, so if you're the person most allergic in the family, ask someone else to help. Then you can spend more quality time with this delightful independent thinker with a cuddly side.
American Hairless Terrier
Bright-eyed, intelligent, and protective, the American hairless terrier is a delightful playmate for both children and adults. There are two varieties: hairless and short-coated, both of which produce some dander, but the hairless may be a good choice for people with mild allergies.
This native of the African Congo is a fastidious breed that doesn't slobber a lot, so your overall exposure to Can f 1 might be less with her than other dogs. The Basenji is a feisty, active companion who loves to run, hit the trail, and chase—just wipe her down with a towel afterward!
With a glance, this precious pooch almost looks like a lamb, considering his long, fuzzy ears and soft curly coat. Devoted Bedlingtons love to romp and snuggle and are one of few breeds which seem to produce less dander than others.
If you want a cute, fluffy pup that doesn't shed, the happy-go-lucky bichon frise makes a wonderful pal. She has hair that continually grows instead of shedding, so while she needs regular grooming to look spiffy, she's also less likely to produce airborne dander.
Both the hairless and the coated "powderpuff" toy Chinese cresteds are absolute delights! They're unusual, fun, and super affectionate—wanting to be wherever their humans are at all times. Since they hardly shed at all, they might be one of the best dogs for allergy sufferers. Regular teeth cleaning and dental checkups are a must for hairless Chinese cresteds, as they can be prone to missing, overcrowded, or decaying teeth.
RELATED: How to Reduce Pet Allergens at Home
Coton de Tulear
A true loyal family pet, a coton de Tulear, which hails from Madagascar, has long wisps of snow-white hair that require daily gentle brushing, but she rarely sheds. She's a hearty, animated breed that loves to dash about with children and other dogs.
The beloved goldendoodle, a golden retriever and poodle hybrid, earns popularity points for his affectionate nature as well as his beautiful (and allergen-friendly!) coat. Thanks to their poodle parent breed, goldendoodles are typically considered "hypoallergenic" and a low-shedding breed (but because of the variation in hybrid breeds, it's impossible to guarantee each pup will have the same low-shedding coat).
For owners who want a big dog that doesn't shed, a doodle that's 75-percent standard poodle and 25-percent golden retriever (known as an F1B goldendoodle) is a good option. These inherit a curlier poodle coat that's better for those with dog allergies. Other poodle hybrid breeds could make a potentially hypoallergenic pup include the Labradoodle, Bernedoodle, Aussiedoodle, and more.
Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish water spaniel sports soft, tight brown curls as part of her thick double coat. She's another breed considered low-dander, so hopefully people with dog allergies won't have trouble grooming her weekly. Funny and curious, she's a great addition to an active, outgoing family.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Because his sleek, wavy coat doesn't shed, a Kerry needs regular brushing and clipping. Fortunately, he produces little dander. He's an energetic, loyal, happy dog that loves to have tasks—keep this smart guy occupied with puzzle toys!—and hang out with all his favorite humans.
RELATED: 16 of the Smartest Dog Breeds
With a thick coat similiar in curly texture to a poodle, the Lagotto Romagnolo is a outdoor-loving doggo with a keen talent: truffle hunting! While this might not be necessary in your daily life, at least you'll have an athletic, even-tempered, and long-living canine companion to explore with across any type of terrain. Steady attention to grooming keeps their fur from matting.
This dainty and affectionate cutie sweeps the floor with her luxurious silky white coat. Oh sure, you'll have to primp a Maltese, but she doesn't shed much or give off a lot dander, so hopefully your sneezes are replaced by giggles at her playful antics.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Also known as a Pio, the Peruvian Inca Orchid can be hairless or short-coated, resulting in less floating dander, which is why she's considered a great choice for a "hypoallergenic" dog. Whether you choose a small, medium, or large variety, she's a loving, intelligent, and spry companion—long games of fetch are preferred!
Poodles are often the first breeds we think of when searching for the best hypoallergenic dogs, especially since the toy, miniature, and standard sizes all have curly, tightly-woven coats less prone to shedding and dander release. As an added bonus, poodles of all sizes are highly intelligent, athletic, and entertaining.
Portuguese Water Dog
With her agile mind and pleasing disposition, a Portuguese water dog is easy to train and eager to do whatever her humans ask. She's often in high demand as one of the favorite hypoallergenic dog breeds for families because of her low dander production and curly dense coat that rarely sheds.
Any type of schnauzer—be she miniature, standard, or giant—will fit the requirements of a protective, loyal, and energetic pooch who's good with children. All three varieties also produce less dander and shedding than other breeds. Bonus!
For people who desire a sweet, elegant lapdog that's no dummy, a shih tzu is the perfect choice. After a massive shedding once she leaves puppyhood, there won't be a lot of her hair floating around, but you'll need to set up a regular grooming routine for snazzy haircuts.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Another top allergy-free(ish) possibility for folks who like friendly, active working dogs is the wheaten. These attentive terriers originated in Ireland, where they were known as a "poor man's dog" popular with commoners. Their coats are actually longer and more wavy than other terriers, so keep a brush and comb handy.
Spanish Water Dog
Allergy sufferers deserve to take a second look at the lovable floppy mop known as the Spanish water dog. Completely devoted to her humans, this charming canine is as happy trotting on land as she is swimming! As long as she's doing any type of movement with you, she's one content pupper. Surprisingly, you don't need to brush, comb, or give her a blow-out: blot her with a towel after a bath and let her air dry to maintain her curls.
Wire Fox Terrier
Wire fox terriers have never met anyone they didn't love. These spunky, amusing, and high energy pups are great with kids and other dogs, too, but might be most appreciated by an active and experienced dog owner with mild allergies. Fox terriers have thick, wiry outer coats and fine undercoats but don't shed much with consistent grooming.
Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)
You have many choices with the Xolo: toy, miniature, or standard sizes; as well as coated or hairless varieties; and numerous color combinations! She's quiet, thoughtful, and attentive, and doesn't need much grooming except for the occasional bath and brush. And make sure to lather on the sunblock—she needs good SPF protection to avoid sunburn.
With a whole bunch of feisty personality packed into a pint-sized body, bubbly Yorkies are quite popular. Unlike other terriers with wiry fur, they have silky coats that resemble human hair, so they need a little more grooming, but it keeps shedding to a minimum. More opportunities for snuggles!
Also consult an allergist about specialized testing to see just what type of protein you're reacting to, which might ultimately influence the hypoallergenic doggo you bring home.