No dog is truly hypoallergenic, but some breeds are less likely to set off allergic reactions. They might shed less, grow a different type of hair, produce less dander or drool less. Typically, the smaller the dog, the fewer allergens produced.
Here are the some allergy-friendly dog breeds:
1. Poodles, all sizes
Super-smart, vivacious, people-loving Poodles learn quickly, especially sports and tricks. Poodles have harsh, curly, dense coats that hold onto dead hair until it’s brushed out. Brush thoroughly weekly, and either learn how to clip the coat or seek professional grooming every four to six weeks. (Similarly coated, allergy-friendly dogs: Bichon Frise, Irish Water Spaniel, Lagotto Romagnolo, Portuguese Water Dog.)
2. Miniature Schnauzer
The Mini Schnauzer is an intelligent, watchful, willing-to-please family dog with a curiosity and zest for life. Its rough, wiry double coat needs either professional hand-stripping (using a bladelike tool to remove loose, dead hair) or clipping every five to eight weeks. Clippered coats must be brushed at least weekly. (Similarly coated, allergy-friendly dog: Airedale Terrier.)
3. Chinese Crested, Hairless
This exotic-looking, 10- to 13-pound dog is hairless except for the flowing, silky fur on its head crest, tail plume and socks. Highly affectionate and playful, the Chinese Crested loves children and being part of daily activities. Brush furnishings weekly; bathe every two weeks; apply moisturizer and sunblock to skin as needed (Similarly coated, allergy-friendly dogs: Peruvian Inca Orchid, Xoloitzcuintli.)
A true companion, this tiny, sweet, delightful dog simply wants to please you. The Maltese’s lovely, straight, silky, white coat requires brushing at least every other day, especially when kept long, with weekly baths. It needs scissoring and clipping every four to eight weeks. (Similarly coated, allergy-friendly dogs: Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier.)
This athletic, 70- to 85-pound herding dog develops long, funky hair strips (flocks) that sweep the ground by the time it’s 5 years old. The Bergamasco is highly active, smart, alert and willing to please, yet also an independent thinker that’s good with kids. Bathe your Bergamasco every four months, and allow plenty of drying time. (Similarly coated, allergy-friendly dog: Puli.)
6. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
An outstanding family dog, this medium-sized, sociable, adventurous dog is calmer than other terriers. The SCWT’s soft, profuse, slightly wavy coat sheds minimally. Brush at least twice a week, and bathe and trim every four to six weeks. (Similarly coated, allergy-friendly dog: Kerry Blue Terrier.)
How you’ll react to a breed or dog is as individual as a snowflake. Before you purchase a dog, visit a breeder or rescue and watch for allergy symptoms.
Decide how much allergic reaction you’re willing to endure, work with an allergist, and consider allergy medication or desensitization injections.