When someone is allergic to dogs, it doesn’t exactly mean that their body produces an immune response because of the animal itself, but because of particular allergens it produces. The most common allergens are proteins found in their saliva, dandruff and sebaceous glands on their dermis, and consequently on their hair.
If you or someone in your family is allergic to the proteins in the dandruff and skin of your dog, you’ll be happy to know that there are hypoallergenic dog breeds. This means that the risk of getting an allergic reaction from these dogs is much lower because they produce less dandruff and barely shed any hair.
Keep reading this article and discover what are the best 10 hypoallergenic dog breeds for allergic families.
What are hypoallergenic dog breeds?
As we mention, there are some hypoallergenic dog breeds that are perfect for allergic families. However, we must point out that “hypoallergenic” doesn’t mean they won’t cause an allergic reaction at all, but that they produce fewer allergens and thus an allergic person will tolerate them better.
Still, every case of allergies is different and not all hypoallergenic dog breeds will cause the same reaction to everyone; even if it’s lower, the risk of an allergic reaction still exists even with the ten breeds we will discuss.
Most of the dogs in this list are breeds that don’t shed hair, hairless breeds and breeds that do not produce dander. If the allergen that triggers your reaction is saliva, you must consult your doctor to find out whether you will be able to enjoy keeping a dog as a pet – it will depend on how serious your allergy is.
American Hairless Terrier
The first in our ranking of the best hypoallergenic dog breeds is the American Hairless Terrier. They tend to be a good match for allergic families because they don’t have any hair and don’t produce any dander.
Although the American Hairless Terrier is a relatively rare breed, they are really intelligent, affectionate and active dogs that are sure to be a welcome addition to the family. American Hairless Terriers are about 40 cm (16 in) tall and have sculpted, elegant bodies. This hypoallergenic dog is easy to train and very playful, so you’re sure to spend long, happy hours running around with your pet.
The popular Yorkshire Terrier or Yorkie is the perfect breed for allergic families that live in flats. This dog barely sheds any hair, so they won’t leave allergens all over your home. However, you’ll have to monitor your Yorkshire Terrier’s hygiene closely and brush them every day to prevent their coat from getting tangled and dirty.
“Bichon” does not refer to a breed, but a group of small and curly-coated hypoallergenic breeds related to the poodle that include the Bichon Frise, the Bolognese, the Coton de Tulear and the Maltese dogs.
Bichon dogs are among the best breeds for allergic families because they don’t shed hair despite what their fluffy coat may lead you to think. They require specific care, such as daily brushing and monitoring their eyes and tear ducts, but they are clever, alert and playful and perfect for families with children. The Bichon Frise and the Maltese dog are among the smallest dog breeds in the world.
Schnauzers are very popular breeds because of their peculiar appearance, easy training and variety of sizes – miniature, standard and giant – meaning there is a Schnauzer for any home size. Besides all those qualities, Schnauzer dogs are among the best hypoallergenic breeds for allergic families because they barely shed any hair.
Schnauzer dogs are loving, active and playful, and they require a family that can pay attention to them and show them love, since they can easily become sad and even depressed.
Like “Bichon”, “Water dog” is not a breed but a type of dog recognizable for its curly or corded woolly coat that barely sheds. These hypoallergenic breeds got their name because they were originally bred to help hunters to flush and retrieve prey in the water, so they usually love swimming.
The best water dog breeds for allergic families include the Barbet, the Lagotto Romagnolo, the Poodle, the Portuguese water dog and the Spanish water dog.
Water dogs need to be brushed regularly with a specific brush for their hair type; ask your local pet shot for advice on the best brands. We recommend going to a professional dog groomer that can trim their hair correctly and recommend a good shampoo.
The Shih Tzu is a very popular native Chinese dog breed. Shih Tzu dogs are suitable both for allergic families and for asthmatic people, as they don’t shed any hair.
In general, the Shih Tzu is a very affectionate, active and intelligent dog that loves being surrounded by people. To keep their hypoallergenic coat in the best condition you must ensure it is trimmed regularly by a professional and brush it daily.
Both English and Italian Greyhounds have very short coats that do not usually cause allergic reactions. If you’re looking for a small, quiet dog that’s easy to train, the Italian Greyhound is the perfect breed for you. If you prefer bigger dogs, you’ll be happy with an English Greyhound.
Greyhounds are known for their noble, loyal and faithful character. They require lots of exercise, but they never cause any commotions at home. If you adopt a Greyhound, you’ll find in your new hypoallergenic pet a lifelong companion that will offer you all their love.
Samoyeds may fool you with their voluminous, beautiful white double coats; while they do shed hair when the seasons change, the Samoyed is considered an hypoallergenic breed because it barely produces dandruff, one of the most common allergens.
If you’re one of those people who gets frustrated when they find dead hair all over their home, a Samoyed may not be the best dog breed for you. However, if you’re willing to deal with that and your allergy is not too serious, you will find a loving, playful and literally huge friend in the Samoyed.
The Airedale, Bingley or Waterside Terrier is the largest terrier breed. This hypoallergenic dog is perfect for allergic families, as the Airedale Terrier doesn’t shed any hair, although they require weekly brushing and regular trimming to keep their coats neat.
Airedale Terriers are independent and extremely intelligent, and if socialized correctly they become truly affectionate and perfect pets for children and can even cohabitate with other pets. Luckily, their cleverness makes Airedale Terriers very easy and willing to train.
The Basenji is the final dog on our list. Known as the “barkless dog” from Africa, this dog doesn’t shed and produces very little dander. They can be hard to train, like most hounds), but they are loveable pups. Although they don’t usually bark, they can still be very noisy, making sounds like yodels, whines, and even screams!
We don’t recommend the Basenji if you live in a small space, as they are pretty active indoors. However, if youcan provide them with a large apartment or a garden, you will have a satisfied pup.
Other hypoallergenic dog breeds
Those are the best 10 hypoallergenic dog breeds for allergic families, but there are more. If you suffer from dog allergies, you may also consider adopting one of the following breeds:
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bearded Collie
- Cairn Terrier
- Crested Chinese dog
- Dandie Dimmont Terrier
- Fox Terrier
- Kerry or Irish Blue Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Peruvian Hairless dog
- Scottish or Aberdeen Terrier, Scottie
- Sealyham Terrier
- Welsh Terrier
- West Highland White Terrier, Westie