Some people would happily own dogs but are unfortunate enough to be allergic to them. This can obviously be very devastating for people who love animals and man’s best friend in particular. However, with so many dog lovers suffering from allergies to their favourite canines, dog breeders have developed breeds over the years with the specific purpose of them being suitable for allergy suffers.
Although the term hypo-allergenic is often misused and placed alongside the term ‘100%’, there are no dogs out there that can actually meet this claim. However, there are many that are close to being completely hypo-allergenic and if you are wondering which dog breeds have this particular quality, wonder no more.
We have put together a list of what we consider to be the 10 best hypo-allergenic dog breeds.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Originally bred in the Republic if Ireland to control vermin such as hares, otters, foxes, badgers, rabbits and rats; these terriers have gone on to be used as working dogs with sheep and cattle and guard dogs. They have also become companion pets to many people and one even won the Crufts dog show in 2000. Kerry Blue Terriers are not only intriguing and handsome looking dogs, but they also do not shed much fur. This makes them ideal for families and individuals looking for a good-natured dog that won’t trigger allergies.
A breed that was originally and specifically bred to achieve that stunning look of a silky thick coat and long ears for living in the cold climates of Afghanistan’s mountainous region, Afghan Hounds, are simply gorgeous sight hounds with a long coat that flows and is amazing to run your hands through. They actually look like they might be a heavy shedding breed. However, looks can be deceiving, as they shed very little.
It’s not just smaller breeds that are less likely to be shedders, as there are some larger breeds with hypo-allergenic qualities. Like Giant Schnauzers, for instance. First bred in Germany during the 17th century, Giant Schnauzers were used as working dogs on farms for guarding the property and driving cattle and other livestock. They have wiry coats that not only shed a minimal amount, but are highly weather resistant. Giant Schnauzers are also known for their boundless energy and thirst for adventure, so would suit families and individuals looking for a very active dog to take on long walks and play games with.
How cute are these little critters? For obvious reasons, they are a popular choice with people who suffer from allergies looking for a compromise that means they can own a dog without triggering a reaction. Mainly because they have very little hair at all. As the name suggests, Chinese Crested Dogs originate from China. There are even coated varieties of this breed, known as Powderpuffs, who are born in the same litter as hairless and don’t shed very much fur at all.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
These handsome fellas are named after the fact that they have particularly soft coats that look a lot more like hair than fur. Also known as the Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, as they originate from Ireland. They have a similar looking coat to the aforementioned Kerry Blue Terriers and are perfect for families as they are good natured dogs with a friendly disposition.
Portuguese Water Dog
A breed that obviously originates from Portugal – the Algarve region to be precise, that were mainly trained to drive fish into their fishermen owner’s nets, retrieving both broken nets and lost tackle, and acting as either as a courier between ships or ships and shore. Although they were already known as attractive dogs, Portuguese Water Dogs gained some extra press time when one of the most powerful and important men in the world choose one of them as his official presidential dog. You may remember Barack Obama and his family took on the ownership of a Portuguese Water Dog and its not hard to see why, with their hypo-allergenic qualities and fun personality.
The Labradoodle is a mixed breed. No, scratch that – THE mixed breed. Labradoodles were actually first conceived with the purpose of breeding a dog that would be suitable for sufferers of allergies and kick-started the designer dog movement. They are an attractive blend of standard Poodles and Labradors.
The translation of this companion dog breed’s name should not be particularly surprising, when you consider how they are normally used, as the name is English means ‘curly lap dog’. It is really hard to look at a Bichon Frise and not saw ‘Awww’, don’t you think? This is just one of the reasons these small dogs are the perfect choice for families with children and those without who are looking for a small dog with a big personality. As noted, they are particularly famous for being lap and handbag dogs, thanks to their gentle temperament and very compact size. Another reason they are so popular is that because they shed very little, they are very hypo-allergenic.
As the name suggests, these stunning little dogs are named after the European country Malta and originate from that part of the world. Maltese are small and completely white dogs that, like others mentioned on this list, have coats that resemble hair more than fur. So along with their attractive docile personality and compact size, the fact that they are particularly hypo-allergenic has made them a very popular breed for those suffering from allergies.
You could have probably guessed how we’d round out our list. Poodles are one of the best pure breed choice for allergy sufferers. Whether you are looking for a larger dog or smaller one, Poodles are a great option as both standard size and toy size varieties of this breed shed a minimal amount of their coat. Further to this great benefit, they are known to be highly intelligent and therefore easy to train and a great addition to a family.