Are Some Dog Breeds Less Allergenic?

As we said in our previous post, no dogs or cats are hypoallergenic. In spite of the hype, there are no dog breeds that are allergen-free. While some people feel that certain small dog breeds as well as “designer dog breeds” created with poodle mixes are less problematic to people with allergies, in reality all dogs can create allergic reactions in sensitive people. Smaller dogs may create less dander due to their smaller size but they still have the potential to generate an allergic reaction. After all, allergies aren’t triggered by the fur itself but by a reaction to the dander (created by skin and saliva), urine, and feces.

Some breeds, however, are LESS likely to cause an allergic reaction. Here are some of the breeds that are often heralded as less allergic due to the characteristics of their coats:

  • Bedlington Terrier. Resembling a lamb, the Bedlington Terrier has a curly coat.
  • Bichon Frisé. The curly-coated Bichon, as seen in the photo above, is favored by many who are allergic.
  • Border Terrier. The wire coat of the Border Terrier makes it attractive for those looking for a hypoallergenic dog.
  • Chinese Crested. The hairless version of this small dog breed is often favored by those looking to diminish their allergic reaction; there’s also a Powderpuff version of the Chinese Crested with some hair.
  • Irish Water Spaniel. The largest of the spaniels, the Irish Water Spaniel makes a good choice for owners looking for a large dog with few shedding problems.
  • Kerry Blue Terrier. This mid-size dog is known for its soft, wavy coat with no undercoat.
  • Komondor. A corded dog (think dreadlocks), the Komondor’s cords hold the shed hair so the shedding is reduced.
  • Maltese. With little shedding, the Maltese has no undercoat and silky hair that can grow long; most owners keep the hair trimmed to a “puppy cut.”
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid (Peruvian Hairless Dog). Peruvian lore says that this hairless dog can help those with asthma.
  • Poodles. The curly coat of the poodles (miniature, toy, and standard) means less shedding; these dogs also don’t have an undercoat to shed. Less shedding means that dander isn’t as distributed throughout your home.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs. “First Dog” Bo was famously selected due to the less allergenic factors of his curly coat.
  • Puli. Another corded dog, the Puli’s cords also help diminish shedding.
  • Schnauzer. The Schnauzer comes in three sizes; their wiry coat helps reduce allergic reaction to them.
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Not only does this terrier have a single coat but it also has very little hair.
  • Yorkshire Terrier. With very little shedding, the Yorkie has straight, silky hair.
  • Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless Dog). This hairless dog comes in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard.

Don’t forget that each of these breeds has a breed-specific rescue to help find homeless puppies and dogs a forever home. Resources such as PetFinder.com and Adopt-A-Pet can point you to a rescue specifically for the breed you’re seeking!