Atchoo! There’s nothing worse than spotting a cute dog, going to say hello and ending up sneezing due to your allergies. But, are hypoallergenic dogs the solution for pet lovers with allergies?
It is thought that three in ten Americans suffer with dog allergies to varying degrees of severity.
The allergy is not caused by pet hair (as commonly thought), but by dander (i.e. dead skin). Dander is often introduced to the environment on pet hair that has been shed, hence the confusion. Allergies may also be caused by pet saliva or urine too.
Consequently, those who suffer from allergies should purchase a hypoallergenic dog as these animals tend to produce a lower level of dander and therefore may not trigger an allergic reaction.
To try and ease the issue, here is a list of 30+ dogs that don’t shed because they are considered to be hypoallergenic.
Table of Contents
Small Hypoallergenic Dogs
Intelligent, Affectionate, Social
The Maltese Poodle mix, or “Maltipoo”, is the ultimate companion dog! The Maltese is one of the oldest companion dogs and so it makes sense that the Maltipoo thrives on human attention. Despite their fluffy white coats, these hypoallergenic dogs are very low shedding and tend to be an excellent match for allergy suffers.
Loving, Intelligent, Fun
Teacup Poodles are an even smaller version of the Poodle! This tiny pup is ideal for apartment dwellers who would love their own hypoallergenic dog but do not have the space for one! All the intelligence and fun of the Poodle, in a smaller package – what more could you want?
Friendly, Clever, Loving
A miniature version of their standard sized cousins, the Miniature Labradoodle is often referred to as “the most loving dog in the world”! Originally bred to be a hypoallergenic service dog, the Labradoodle is a perfect match for families looking for dogs that don’t shed.
Social, Gentle, Sweet
What happens when you combine the national dog of Cuba with the national dog of France? Why the Havapoo of course! Like the Maltipoo, these adorable little dogs are known for their cuddly and affectionate nature. They are also known to be very intelligent and love to please, and as a result make excellent candidates for obedience trials.
Fun, Playful, Loving
Just because you are allergic to dogs it doesn’t mean you can’t have a fluffy dog! The Bichon Frise Poodle mix, or “Bichpoo” is known for his thick curly hypoallergenic coat. These dogs are loyal and devoted companions, who are very intelligent in nature and pick up tricks very quickly.
Wire Haired Fox Terrier
Active, Clever, Playful
Although he bares a striking resemblance to the Smooth Haired Fox Terrier, the two breeds are not closely related. The Wire Haired Fox Terrier is known primarily for two things: energy and intelligence. These dogs are always ready for a great adventure! They are also very intelligent, their sharp minds will pick up on basic obedience with ease making them a great choice for first time owners.
Energetic, Friendly, Intelligent
The second most popular “Doodle” after the Labradoodle, the Miniature Goldendoodle is the perfect family dog for those who don’t have the space to keep a larger pet. This dog is patient and kind, and their larger cousins are often used as emotional support animals. The Goldendoodles coat is soft to the touch, and like all Poodle mixes, very often hypoallergenic!
Affectionate, Devoted, Happy
The Maltese is thought to be one of the oldest breeds of lapdog in the world due to their cuddly nature. The Teacup Maltese is no different! While both versions of the breed are hypoallergenic dogs, the Teacup Maltese is low energy and high cuddling, making them the perfect pet for those who are home a lot. Plus, who doesn’t love a cute fluffy and tiny white dog?
Australian Silky Terrier
Active, Playful, Curious
Although often mistaken as a Yorkshire Terrier, the Australian Silky Terrier is anything but! These dogs are playful and fun, combining the best elements of a Terrier and a lapdog. While they do love to nap on their owners lap, these active dogs need lots of exercise, both walks and play!
Hairless Chinese Crested Dog
Sweet, Affectionate, Playful
What better solution for an allergy to dog fur than a hairless dog! The Hairless Chinese Crested Dog may be a little odd looking, but don’t let that put you off! These sweet little dogs are incredibly good natured, they love nothing more than a good cuddle and thrive off their owner’s attention. They are also very good with children, other dogs and pets, meaning they fit perfectly into anyone’s life.
Medium Hypoallergenic Dogs
People-Oriented, Active, Skittish
The Italian Greyhound is not 100% hypoallergenic, however their coat is short and fine and as a result those who suffer from mild dog allergies may be okay with this breed. This breed is often noted for their owner-oriented behavior. This being said, a well socialized Italian Greyhound will enjoy the company of all people, although ideally, they should not be kept in home with small children or pets.
Clever, Devoted, Stubborn
The Schnoodle is usually a cross between a Miniature Schnauzer and a Miniature Poodle, but occasionally they are a cross between a Giant Schnauzer and Standard Poodle. They are widely regarded as an excellent match for allergy sufferers. Their obedient and affectionate nature makes them an excellent choice for owners from all walks of life.
Loyal, Social, Friendly
A cross between an Irish Setter and a Poodle, the Irish Doodle is more than just an adorable face! This dog is known for their quiet and social nature. They love to be involved in the action and are great with kids – which makes sense as the only people who love to play as much as the Irish Doodle are children!
Portuguese Water Dog
Loyal, Social, Friendly
Since Barak Obama brought one of these adorable dogs to the White House (in the form of Bo) popularity for this adorable breed has been on the rise! These active dogs were first bred to help fishermen with their nets and so are a great match for families who enjoy outdoor activities and are looking for dogs that don’t shed.
Fun, Affectionate, Kind
Often mistaken for a teddy bear, the Whoodle is a cross between a Wheaton Terrier and a Poodle. They are a perfect family pet due to their affectionate and playful nature, with the added bonus that they are easy to train. As well as this, the Whoodle’s lower exercise requirements also make them a great choice for seniors or singles looking for a dog that doesn’t shed.
Confident, Lively, Active
One of the oldest Terriers in the world, the Cairn Terrier also has one of the world’s funniest coats! Not only is it hypoallergenic and water repellent, the coat also changes color throughout their lifetime! They are fearless in personality; nothing sets this pup on edge! They are ideal for active families with older children who are looking for a lively hypoallergenic dog!
West Highland Terrier
Self-assured, Loyal, Social
Affectionately nicknamed the “Westie”, the West Highland Terrier is a hardy breed who are known for their independent nature. Unlike other breeds on this list, they are not a great match with young children or other household pets as they have a very low tolerance for rough play. However, in an adult only household this hypoallergenic dog thrives! They are extremely loyal and protective, although more often than not the most they will protect you from is a passing car.
Affectionate, Gentle, Energetic
Despite their name, the Tibetan Terrier is not actually a terrier, but rather a companion dog! Historically, Tibetan Terriers were never bought or sold, but given as gifts to promote good fortune. The Tibetan Terrier makes an excellent lapdog for those looking for a low maintenance canine companion. They are not fond of strangers or younger children, but when socialized correctly they may warm somewhat to them.
Adventurous, Stubborn, Playful
As fun to say as they are to own, the Affenpinscher is often called “The Monkey Dog”. These little dogs are almost Terrier like in personality, they are very toy and food oriented and do not like to share. This means they are not a good match for homes with other pets or young children. Despite this, the Affenpinscher is loyal and playful in nature, loving nothing more than to be by the side of their best companion.
Fearless, Friendly, Gentle
The Komondor is also called “the mop dog” and its not hard to guess why! These dogs aren’t hypoallergenic… per se. They do shed but their hair gets trapped in their thick coat and mats, creating the mop like look we know and love! Consequently, this dog might be suitable for those who suffer from mild dog allergies.
Big Hypoallergenic Dogs
Social, Loving, Fun
The Australian Labradoodle was first seen in 1988 after being bred as a hypoallergenic service dog. Unlike the standard Labradoodle, the Australian Labradoodle has spaniels bred into the early generations of the breed. They are also almost always hypoallergenic thanks to the selective breeding programme in place. These dogs are known for their incredibly loyal nature, doing incredibly well with families. They love to play, and their patient and kind nature means they will happily put up with all kinds of antics!
Clever, Silly, Loving
The Labradoodle (as the name implies) is a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador. They have been extremely popular since they were first seen in 1992, after the popularity of the Australian Labradoodle. Like their Australian Cousins, these dogs are known to be incredibly loving and social, being a great match for active families. Labradoodles are ultimately massive goofballs; they love to please and are at their happiest when their owners are happy.
Kind, Patient, Affectionate
The Goldendoodle was first seen in 1969, however it was not popular until the 1990’s alongside the popularity of the Labradoodle. Like the Labradoodle, the aim of this breed was the create a hypoallergenic service animal. Consequently, the Goldendoodle is smart and kind, the perfect family pup. They have the patience of a saint and will often deal with antics from children that even their parents can’t handle, all with a smile on their faces.
Playful, Smart, Energetic
A cross between a Male Old English Sheepdog and a Female Poodle, Sheepadoodles are more than just ball of fluff, they are obedient, intelligent, calm and kind. Their coats may come with huge grooming routines, but on the whole these dogs are mostly hypoallergenic. An excellent companion for those who have an active routine and the time to dedicate to their training.
Aloof, Curious, Active
The Basenji is something of the black sheep of the dog world. These funny dogs are known for three things: their inability to bark, their strange, cat-like grooming routine and their hypoallergenic coat. These dogs are a great match for an active, experienced single who has no other pets and a large, securely fenced yard.
Fun, Intelligent, Loyal
The Bernedoodle is one of the most adaptable canines on this list. They come in three convenient sizes: Standard, Miniature and Tiny, there is a Bernedoodle for everyone! These dogs are somewhat mischievous, they are known for their playful nature, owning a Bernedoodle comes with a requirement for endless games!
Smart, Obedient, Happy
A cross between the Australian Shepherd Dog and a Poodle, the Aussiedoodle is known for its playful and fun nature. These clever dogs love to be active, and so are a great match for canine sports such as agility, obedience or flyball. Aussiedoodles are also known to be somewhat whimsical, on occasion they are known to develop a sense of humour and play jokes on their owners!
Independent, Intelligent, Loyal
Affectionately nicknamed “The King of the Terriers”, the Airedale is a gentle giant. To their owners, they are playful and affectionate, loving being by their side. However, their terrier nature means they are also somewhat aloof. They are a good match for people who are away from home for periods but have time to exercise this active dog!
Friendly, Happy, Playful
This breed may be one of the happiest in the world. Ever famous for their “Samie Smile”, this social dog thrives on human attention and are generally at their happiest when being cuddled. They have long puppyhoods, loving to play well into their twilight years. This playful spirit makes them an excellent match for homes with other pets or young children.
Silly, Independent, Regal
It’s easy to spot the Afghan Hound from a mile away, this breed may be one of the most iconic breeds. Their long, blond locks may be a lot, but contrary to belief this breed is hypoallergenic. Despite their devilishly handsome looks, this dog breed can be incredibly clownlike! They are also notoriously difficult to train, and so are best suited to an experience dog owner.
Hypoallergenic Dogs FAQs
By definition, hypoallergenic means that something is relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction; relatively unlikely, not guaranteed not to.
So, what are hypoallergenic dogs? Why do they exist? Which breeds are most hypoallergenic and where can you find them?
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?
A hypoallergenic dog is a dog who is less likely to cause a reaction in humans suffering with allergies.
What some people don’t realize, is humans aren’t allergic to dog fur or hair. They are allergic to a protein found in dog urine and saliva.
These proteins are small particles which disperse into the air.
Most hypoallergenic dogs have a curly coat. The tight curls will trap hair and dander reducing how much they shed and the particles being dispersed.
It could also be argued that because the coats are such high maintenance in terms of grooming, the regular brushing and visits to the grooming salon reduce the overall hair and dander shed.
The frequent baths would also regularly remove the allergens attached to the coat. Therefore less allergens found on the dog, fewer to transfer to yourself or the environment.
Which Dogs Are Hypoallergenic?
Those breeds with a curly coat are classed as hypoallergenic dogs.
There are also those that, if left to grow, would be long coated. These are usually silky coated dogs and because of this they too are classed as dogs that don’t shed.
What To Look For When Buying A Hypoallergenic Dog?
Just like if you were buying any other dog, you would extend the same thoroughness for a hypoallergenic dog.
Consider the temperament and personality of the dog you are interested in:
- How will they fit into your lifestyle?
- Do you have kids or other pets?
- Will the dog be amenable to others in the home?
- Where do you live?
- Do you have a big enough space for them?
Smaller hypoallergenic dogs can happily live in an apartment, but if you were to go for the Goldendoodle, they would need a little more space with easy access to the outdoors.
Some other things you should consider:
- How active are they as a breed?
- Can you easily fulfil their exercise requirements?
- How intelligent and trainable are they?
- How experienced are you as a handler?
The Poodle is the second most intelligent dog, after the Border Collie, do you know how quickly he learns new things?
Do you have the time and knowledge to keep his smart mind occupied?
Once you’ve established the breed that suits you and your lifestyle, where you buy him from needs the same research too.
Designer cross breeds are the most at risk of being bred in a puppy farm, largely because of the premium price tag that often comes with them.
If you are opting for a Doodle of sorts, ask people you trust for recommendations. You can even ask local veterinarians or dog professionals.
All reputable breeders should provide continued support and guidance once you take your pup home, giving you the best chance to raise a well-rounded dog.
Why You Should Adopt A Hypoallergenic Dog?
For some, you may prefer to adopt instead of shop.
If you decide to opt for a designer hypoallergenic dog, because they are often the most risk of being found in puppy farms, choosing to adopt an ex-puppy-farm dog will give them a chance at a life they never knew existed!
Unsold puppies or unwell puppies are often abandoned as the breeders don’t want to cover the cost of food or medical expenses too.
If you have settled on a particular dog that doesn’t shed, search for breed specific shelters or rescue organizations.
There are many state and country wide shelters, so you may even find the perfect addition is worth travelling for.
A hypoallergenic dog is simply a dog breed which is less likely to cause a reaction in human.
As you can see, hypoallergenic dogs come in all different shapes and sizes.
There really is a breed for everyone!
By taking extra precautions, and adopting a hypoallergenic dog, even allergy sufferers can have the canine companion of their dreams.
What are your thoughts on hypoallergenic dogs? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below.