Got Allergies? Here Are the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
While dogs are known to be man’s best friend, people who suffer from allergies might not share this sentiment. Between 15 – 30 percent of Americans are allergic to pets. A majority of those people are allergic to cats instead of dogs, but there are still many who react negatively to doggy dander.
Fortunately, there are hypoallergenic dogs, which can provide allergic pet lovers with all of the affection, without a majority of the symptoms.
The secret to hypoallergenic dogs is that they shed very little, or not at all, producing less dander. This makes them less likely to cause serious allergic attacks, especially if owners bathe them regularly.
While hypoallergenic dogs are easier on people with allergies, the bottom line is, there is no dog breed that is 100% hypoallergenic. A dog’s saliva and skin can still trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive people. Before choosing a hypoallergenic dog, you should discuss your options with a doctor, and visit with the dog to test for allergic reactions prior to adoption.
Hypoallergenic dogs come in all sizes, breeds, and hair lengths, providing you with plenty of choices. Many people mistakenly believe that longer-haired dogs will be worse for their allergies than short-haired dogs, but that is not the case.
You should be careful when adopting a hypoallergenic dog from a shelter, because many shelter dogs are mixed breeds, so it is impossible to tell if a dog is truly hypoallergenic. If you’re looking for hypoallergenic dogs, your best bet is to work with a breeder.
Large Breeds That Don’t Shed
Looking for large breed dogs that don’t shed?
Here are some of our favorites:
The Airedale Terrier stands about 23 inches tall and weighs about 45 pounds. This breed excels in protection, agility, and obedience, and it is an active and athletic dog that needs regular exercise. The Airedale is good with children and loyal and protective of its family, and is willing to accept outsiders once its family has welcomed them. This intelligent dog is highly trainable and should be socialized from a young age. For more information about the Airedale Terrier, check out Choosing an Airedale.
Bouvier Des Flandres
This is a large dog, measuring 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 90 pounds. This is a working breed, best as a guard or police dog. Bouvier Des Flandres can be aggressive with strangers, but are protective of children. They learn commands easily, but can be strong willed with less assertive owners. They require regular exercise, and have long, shaggy coats that need regular brushing and trimming.
The Giant Schnauzer averages about 23 to 27 inches in height and weighs between 65 to 100 pounds. They have a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. This handsome bearded dog has a wiry and dense double coat that requires regular brushing and occasional grooming. A fiercely loyal breed, they’re very protective of their human companions and make excellent guard or watch dogs. This is an active dog that needs daily exercise.
Irish Water Spaniel
Standing between 21 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 45 and 65 pounds, this large, intelligent breed of dog loves the water. Its tight, curly, hypoallergenic coat should be brushed and groomed regularly to prevent matting. This loving dog bonds closely with its family and is anxious to please, but it is naturally reserved around strangers. Irish Water Spaniels require plenty of social interaction to keep them entertained. To learn more about this breed, read Choosing an Irish Water Spaniel.
The Komondor stands about 25 to 31 inches tall and weighs about 70 to 80 pounds. This breed looks like a big dust mop with a long, soft white coat that is corded into dreadlocks. Komondors are at their best when they are working. If they are left without a job, they become bored very quickly. A great guardian, the Komondor is loyal, devoted, and protective, safeguarding their family, home, and possessions. They are easily trainable, but because of their protective nature, may not be gentle enough for every family.
The Saluki stands about 23 to 28 inches high and weighs up to 65 pounds. Its coat is smooth, soft, and silky. The Saluki requires occasional brushing about once a week. Salukis are friendly, loving, and gentle. They do not tolerate roughhousing and do better with older, gentle children. This breed is devoted to its family members and often has one special person. They’re so attached to their loved ones that they can become depressed if left alone for long periods of time. To learn more about this breed, check out Choosing a Saluki.
The Standard Poodle stands about 15 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 45 and 70 pounds. This breed has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. They have thick, curly, short hair. Poodles should be brushed on a daily basis and need regular grooming. This is a very intelligent breed that learns quickly. They are very friendly dogs and make great companions. Always obedient, poodles get along well with children and enjoy being around other people and animals. To learn more about the Standard Poodle, go to Choosing a Standard Poodle.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
Also known as a Griff, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon stands about 20 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 60 pounds. This active dog is a strong swimmer and an excellent water retriever. It has a rough double coat that needs to be brushed twice a week. Friendly and easy to train, this intelligent and obedient dog is deeply devoted to its family. Extremely sociable, the Griff gets along well with children and other dogs, but does not do well with cats and other small pets.
If a breed is hypoallergenic, you may wonder if mixed-breed versions of these dogs also have that same trait. The answer is… maybe. It depends on which traits the hybrid dog has inherited from which parent. In fact, different puppies in the same litter may or may not be hypoallergenic, depending on which type of coat they have inherited.
Small Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Small hypoallergenic dogs make great companions. Take a look at these tiny and allergen-free friends:
This small hypoallergenic breed is a truly non-shedding small dog, making it an ideal pet for people with allergies. It has a sweet disposition and is a very popular house dog that resembles a white powder puff. This intelligent dog learns quickly. The Bichon Frise is a playful, happy dog that is extremely affectionate and loving. To learn more about the Bichon Frise, read Choosing a Bichon Frise.
The Cairn Terrier stands 10 inches high and weighs about 13 to 14 pounds. The most famous Cairn Terrier is Toto from “The Wizard of Oz.” This is a very active breed with lots of energy to burn. They are very intelligent dogs that have a loving, playful nature, and they make great companions for both adults and children. This breed is easy to train and they love to learn new tricks, but they are known to have a stubborn streak. To learn more about the Cairn Terrier, check out Choosing a Cairn Terrier.
Coton De Tulear
The Coton De Tulear originated in Madagascar. It is about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs between 8 and 13 pounds. This smart pup has a life expectancy of about 14 years. Since it’s a small dog that doesn’t shed, it makes a great pet for allergy sufferers. The Coton De Tulear has a gentle nature – it is sweet and cuddly. A real people pleaser, this dog enjoys spending time with its family and cuddling up on the couch. Cotons are good with gentle, mature children.
The Havanese stands about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs about 7 to 14 pounds. Its life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years. This small dog originated in Cuba and is hypoallergenic. Havanese are loving lap dogs that always want to be with family, so much so that they bark and howl when left alone. This breed gets along with people and animals of all ages and types. They are smart, eager to please, and very trainable.
The Maltese stands about 8 to 10 inches high and weighs between 4 and 7 pounds, making it one of the smallest of the toy breeds. The life expectancy of a Maltese is about 12 to 15 years. This is an elegant and energetic small dog that can become very attached to its owners. They have a protective nature, making them suspicious of strangers. This breed is highly intelligent and easily trained. The Maltese has a long, soft, white coat and is low shedding. To learn more about the Maltese breed, go to Choosing a Maltese.
The Miniature Schnauzer stands about 12 to 14 inches high and weighs about 10 to 15 pounds. With a long beard and bushy eyebrows, this is a very popular breed that truly enjoys the company of people and loves to be the center of attention. These active and intelligent dogs are affectionate and make wonderful companions. They are protective of their family and wary of strangers. The Miniature Schnauzer learns quickly, but can be very stubborn.
The Shih Tzu (which means “little lion”) stands about 9 to 11 inches high and weighs about 9 to 16 pounds. It has a life expectancy of about 10 to 16 years. This breed was developed in China and has a very recognizable appearance. The loveable Shih Tzu is playful and always wants to be the center of attention. These good-natured dogs will follow you around the house and make for great companions. The Shih Tzu is compatible with people of all ages, children, and other pets. To learn more about this breed, check out Choosing a Shih Tzu.
The Toy Poodle is one of the most popular house pet breeds. They stand up to 10 inches tall and weigh about 6 to 9 pounds. Poodles rank as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are eager to please their owners and very easily trained. The Toy Poodle is outgoing and friendly with plenty of energy. They enjoy being around people of all ages, including children. This dog has a hypoallergenic coat with little to no shedding. Still, you’ll need to brush this dog every day and visit the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain that fluffy coat. To learn more about the Toy Poodle, read Choosing a Toy Poodle.
The Yorkshire Terrier or “Yorkie” is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. This breed stands about 7 to 9 inches high, weighs about 4 to 7 pounds, and has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. The Yorkie is smart, self-confident, spunky, and often the center of attention, despite being difficult to housebreak. These small dogs are big on personality and make loving companions. This lovable lap dog has lots of energy and loves to play. The Yorkie’s silky coat should be brushed daily, and many owners will clip their Yorkshire Terriers to reduce the amount of grooming needed. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Yorkshire Terrier.
Try These Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs
These wonderful medium-sized dogs will make a great addition to your family. They’re not too big and not too small, and easy on the allergies.
The Irish Terrier stands about 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 25 to 27 pounds. It has a life expectancy of about 12 to 16 years. This is an active, energetic, and spunky dog. This breed of terrier is easy to train and makes a good watchdog, but they may bark excessively if not trained from an early age. They’re a great family dog that is wonderful with children, but incompatible with other dogs. The Irish Terrier can get along with cats if raised with them from puppyhood, but because of their strong hunting drive, they are not good with smaller animals like hamsters. To learn more about the Irish Terrier, check out Choosing an Irish Terrier.
Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier stands between 17 and 19 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 33 and 40 pounds. This working breed comes from Ireland and has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. They have soft, thick, wavy hair with little to no shedding, despite requiring daily brushing to avoid mats. The unique coloring of this breed is a bluish-gray. They make a great family dog that bonds well with children, but the breed may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners. They can become aggressive with other dogs and are not known to back down from a fight. To learn more about the Kerry Blue Terrier, go to Choosing a Kerry Blue Terrier.
The Lakeland Terrier (pictured above) stands about 13 to 14 inches high at the shoulder and weighs about 15 to 17 pounds. It has an average life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. The Lakeland Terrier is friendly and affectionate, making it a great companion. They are very intelligent, but capable of being stubborn. This breed gets along well with people, children, and other dogs, but is reserved around strangers. They are active and require daily exercise to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. Lakeland Terriers are also very possessive about their food and toys. The Lakie excels as a watchdog, but excessive barking can become a problem.
The Puli stands about 16 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 23 and 38 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of about 10 to 15 years. Puli have a unique corded coat that looks like a giant mop, giving them a larger-than-life appearance. This affectionate companion dog is very loyal to its family, but wary of strangers. With an instinct to protect and herd, they act as guardians of children and other family pets. They are also very sensitive to the needs of the sick and elderly, making them great therapy dogs. To learn more about the Puli, check out Choosing a Puli.
The Standard Schnauzer stands about 17 to 20 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 30 and 45 pounds. This breed has an average life expectancy of about 13 to 16 years. Native to Germany, the Schnauzer is a good hunter and herder. This breed makes a wonderful companion dog that will follow you wherever you go. They are extremely intelligent, active, and especially good with children. These dogs insist on being part of family activities. They learn quickly and are eager to please, making them very good therapy dogs. However, they are known to be stubborn, making them a little difficult to housetrain.
The Tibetan Terrier stands about 14 to 16 inches high at the shoulder and weighs about 20 to 28 pounds. Its average life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years. Although this breed is called a “terrier,” it is not related to the terrier breeds. They originated in Tibet, where they were regarded as a good luck charm. The Tibetan Terrier is affectionate and loves being around people. They are best suited to homes with school-age children who understand how to properly handle a dog, and love to be the center of attention. They also do well with other dogs and pets, especially when raised together. To learn more about the Tibetan Terrier, go to Choosing a Tibetan Terrier.
These Hypoallergenic Dog Mixes May Keep the Sneezing at Bay
Designer dogs and hybrid dogs are becoming more and more popular.
If you are an allergy sufferer, consider these low-shedding dog mixes:
A cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle breeds, the Labradoodle was originally developed to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. They come in three different sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle used for their first generation breeding. The Standard Labradoodle stands 22 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 65 pounds. The Medium Labradoodle stands 17 to 20 inches high and weighs 30 to 45 pounds. The Miniature Labradoodle stands 14 to 16 inches high and weighs about 15 to 25 pounds. This dog breed is friendly, playful, intelligent, and easy to train. This is an excellent dog for first-time dog owners, and their shaggy, curly coat doesn’t shed, which is great for those with allergies. To learn more about the Labradoodle, check out Choosing a Labradoodle.
Developed in the 1980s, the Schnoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Schnauzer, and was bred to be a low-shedding dog. Since both the Poodle and the Schnauzer come in three different sizes, the size of the Schnoodle can vary greatly, though the average Schnoodle only weighs about 20 pounds. This is a smart, cheerful, and active breed that is eager to please. They love to play with children and are always the center of attention.
This fun-loving designer dog is a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. It stands between 7 and 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 3 and 14 pounds. They are excellent companion dogs that love being in the company of family. This is also a good dog for allergy sufferers because it has limited dander and is low shedding. This breed is intelligent, making Yorkipoos quick learners – although they do have a stubborn streak. Due to a gentle and loving disposition, Yorkipoos are good with the elderly and make good therapy dogs.
A cross between a Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle, the Maltipoo stands about 8 to 14 inches high and weighs between 5 and 20 pounds. This designer dog is gentle and very affectionate, making it a good therapy dog. They are great with the elderly and with older children who know how to handle them carefully, and they also get along with other dogs and pets. Since both the Maltese and the Poodle are hypoallergenic dogs, the Maltipoo sheds very little. The intelligent Maltipoo is easy to train and is a good dog for first-time pet owners.
The Cockapoo comes in a variety of sizes. The Teacup size stands under 10 inches tall and weighs about 6 pounds. The Toy Cockapoo stands about 10 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds. The Miniature Cockapoo stands between 11 and 14 inches high and weighs 13 to 18 pounds. The Standard Cockapoo stands at least 15 inches high and weighs more than 19 pounds. A cross between the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel, this easy going lap dog loves people, children, other dogs, and pets. The Cockapoo is intelligent and easy to train, and they make a great therapy dog. To learn more about the Cockapoo, go to Choosing a Cockapoo.
If you find out you’re allergic after getting a dog, it may be best to consider rehoming. To learn more about rehoming, go to What Is Rehoming for Pets?