If you or someone in your family always wanted a dog, but allergies are an issue, there's hope. While no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic, there are several breeds which are far less likely to bother people prone to pet dander allergies. Before bringing home one of these potential family members, spend time with the dog or members of the breed to ensure allergies aren't a problem.
The poodle's tight, curly coat requires regular professional grooming, but the hairs don't shed. That makes the breed -- whether toy, miniature or standard-sized -- a good choice for people with allergies. The American Kennel Club breed standard permits 10 different solid colors. The poodle is one of the smartest breeds, loyal and usually easy to train.
- Labradoodle - a poodle and Labrador retriever mix.
- Goldendoodle - a poodle and golden retriever cross.
- Cockapoo - a cross between a poodle and a cocker spaniel.
- Schnoodle - a miniature or standard schnauzer and poodle mix.
- Yorkie-poo - a poodle and Yorkshire terrier cross.
- Pomapoo- a cross between a poodle and a Pomeranian.
These mixes are often referred to as "designer dogs," but they are not purebred. Poodle crosses are similar to Forrest Gump's comment about a box of chocolates, in that "You never know what you're going to get," exactly in terms of size and appearance. However, these dogs might have hybrid vigor, which means they are a stronger specimen because of a wider gene pool.
The Chinese Crested
The toy Chinese crested appears in two varieties: hairless and powder-puff. The latter has fine hair all over the body, but the hairless is bald, with the exception of the tail, feet and a tuft on the head. This is a friendly, lively breed, although too fragile a pet for small children.
The Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington terrier resembles a lamb. These medium-size dogs sport curly coats with extra hair on the head, giving them that sheep-like appearance. Bedlington terriers are good with kids and other dogs and make fine watchdogs, but don't like their ovine looks deceive you - they are true terriers and possess a strong prey drive when it comes to smaller animals. Acceptable colors include liver, tan, sandy and blue, or a combination of two of these shades.
The Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese water dog is another breed with a coat of tight curls, although a wavy coat is also permitted in the breed standard. Because Malia Obama suffers from allergies, it was the breed of choice for her family when they moved into the White House. This is a strong, athletic, good-natured medium size canine, with a coat of white, black or brown or a mix of these colors.
A few adjustments increase the odds that a non-shedding dog won't trigger allergies. Keep the dog out of the bedroom. That's all of the time, not just when the allergic person is sleeping. Bathe the dog regularly to remove excess dander, and ask your vet about food and supplements to keep skin healthy and dander down. Vacuum the house often, using a high quality vacuum with a HEPA filter. If the allergic person is willing, he can ask the doctor about undergoing immunotherapy shots to lessen any reaction
No matter what breed you get from rare and pure to mixed and mutt (btw, we LOVE mutts!), be sure to treat your dog well -- they deserve it!. Come check out our "Shop By Breed" section here for a wide range of products made specifically for your breed