What dogs are hypoallergenic?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 9, 2024

When it comes to choosing a dog for individuals with allergies, the term "hypoallergenic" often comes up. While no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, certain breeds are known to produce fewer allergens than others, making them more suitable for allergy sufferers. This article delves into various hypoallergenic dog breeds, the characteristics that make them less likely to trigger allergies, and some rarely known details about living with these breeds.

Understanding Allergies and Dogs

Dog allergies are typically triggered by proteins found in a dog's skin cells (dander), saliva, and urine. Contrary to popular belief, it's not the fur itself that causes allergies, but the dander that sticks to the fur. Hypoallergenic dogs are those that shed less dander and hair, thus reducing the amount of allergens in the environment.

Popular Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds


The Poodle is one of the most well-known hypoallergenic breeds. Available in three sizes—Standard, Miniature, and Toy—Poodles have a curly, non-shedding coat that traps dander. Regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat in top condition and reduce allergens.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small, cheerful dog with a fluffy, curly coat. Similar to the Poodle, their coat doesn't shed much, making them a good choice for those with allergies. Regular grooming and bathing help maintain their hypoallergenic quality.


Schnauzers come in three sizes: Giant, Standard, and Miniature. Their wiry coat sheds minimally, reducing the spread of dander. Regular grooming, including hand-stripping, helps manage their hypoallergenic properties.


The Maltese is a toy breed with a long, silky coat that sheds very little. Despite their elegant appearance, they are relatively low-maintenance in terms of allergens. Frequent brushing and occasional baths help keep their coat free of dander.

Portuguese Water Dog

Known for their curly, water-resistant coat, Portuguese Water Dogs produce less dander, making them a popular choice for allergy sufferers. These active dogs require regular grooming to maintain their coat's hypoallergenic quality.

Lesser-Known Hypoallergenic Breeds

Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian breed known for truffle hunting, has a dense, curly coat that sheds little and traps dander. Regular grooming is essential to keep their coat in good condition and reduce allergens.


The Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican Hairless Dog, comes in three sizes and can be either hairless or coated. The hairless variety is particularly suitable for those with allergies, as they produce minimal dander. The coated variety sheds very little and requires regular grooming.

Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel has a curly, water-resistant coat that sheds minimally. This breed is known for its hypoallergenic properties, but regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat free of mats and reduce dander.

Peruvian Inca Orchid

The Peruvian Inca Orchid, available in both hairless and coated varieties, is another excellent choice for allergy sufferers. The hairless variety produces very little dander, while the coated variety requires regular grooming to minimize allergens.

Characteristics of Hypoallergenic Dogs

Several factors contribute to a dog's hypoallergenic qualities:

  • Minimal Shedding: Dogs that shed less hair typically release fewer allergens into the environment.
  • Curly or Wiry Coat: Curly or wiry coats tend to trap dander, preventing it from becoming airborne.
  • Low Saliva Production: Some breeds produce less saliva, reducing the spread of allergens through licking.

Living with Hypoallergenic Dogs

Even with hypoallergenic breeds, it's essential to take additional steps to minimize allergens in your home:

  • Regular Grooming: Frequent brushing and bathing help reduce the amount of dander on your dog's coat.
  • Cleaning: Vacuuming and dusting regularly can help remove allergens from your home.
  • Air Purifiers: Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help capture airborne allergens.
  • Designated Areas: Keeping your dog out of certain areas, such as the bedroom, can reduce allergen exposure.

Rarely Known Details

While many people are aware of popular hypoallergenic breeds, some less-known facts can help in making an informed decision:

  • Diet and Allergies: A dog's diet can influence the amount of dander they produce. High-quality, hypoallergenic dog food can improve skin health and reduce dander.
  • Individual Variability: Allergic reactions can vary from person to person. Spending time with a dog before adopting can help determine if they trigger allergies.
  • Crossbreeds: Some crossbreeds, such as Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever and Poodle mix), inherit hypoallergenic traits from their parent breeds. However, the degree of hypoallergenicity can vary.

Choosing a hypoallergenic dog involves more than just picking a breed. It requires understanding individual needs, grooming, and household management. The right combination can lead to a harmonious relationship between allergy sufferers and their canine companions.

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