There are many dog lovers out there that think being allergic to dogs means that they have to give up on the idea of keeping one due to their condition. The good news is, there are dogs out there, known as "hypoallergenic dogs", that are less likely to trigger your allergies due to minimal shedding of their coats.
These breeds may be a safer option for those vulnerable to an allergic reaction to dogs, but it should be noted that they are still not 100% hypoallergenic. Allergens can be found in a dog's saliva and urine as well as their fur, so there is no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic dog.
Here is our top ten list of dog breeds that are more suitable for those who suffer from pet allergies.
These dogs with a funny name are a hybrid of two breeds - the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle (standard, toy or miniature).
The two breeds were purposly crossbred to provide a hypoallergenic guide dog for a visually impaired lady living in Hawaii in the 1980s. Following the success of this story, programmes were established with the aim of consistently breeding dogs with low allergens.
The demand for the Labradoodle as both assistance dogs and family pets has grown over the years and it is now recognised as one of the most popular breeds of dogs, thanks to the friendly nature of the dog, easy trainability and of course... it's low-shedding coat.
This breed is extremely popular amongst people that suffer from pet allergies. Maltese dogs are covered with more of a hair than a fur and they do not have an undercoat, which means there is very little shedding. On the downside, they require a lot of grooming as their hair can easily become matted.
The breed gets it's name from Malta where it was first recognised as a breed and it is known as one of the most ancient dog breeds in the world, with Darwin estimating them to date back to 6000BC.
Portuguese Water Dog
These dogs became highly popular in the US after the breed was personally chosen by former President, Barack Obama. There’s no doubt the choice was right, as these dogs are great family friends a wonderful choice for those suffering from allergies, as their fur is mostly non-shedding.
Their coat is naturally designed to stay thick and protect the dog when swimming in cold water and it only has one layer, so there is no shedding during summer months.
Portuguese Water Dog Facts
Originally bred as water dogs with a knack for retrieving, Poodles are one of the most popular companions in the US. They are highly intelligent and require a lot of mental stimulation as well as physical exercise to prevent them from becoming bored. They are easy to train and love to learn new tricks, making them ideal for a family pet.
They are a great option for those with allergies as their coat has minimal shedding, however it does require regular professional grooming.
The Afghan Hound has a distinctive, elegant appearance with a lean build and long, silky coat. They are considered one of the oldest breeds of dog around today, originating from Afghanistan. They were imported to the US in the 1920's and originally used as hunting dogs, but nowadays they are mostly kept as domestic pets.
Despite their coat being long and high maintenance, it sheds very little making it less likely to spread allergens around the home.
Afghan Hound Facts
The Bichon Frise is an adorable breed that has become one of the most popular in the world thanks to its affectionate, playful and loyal nature. They thrive on being around people and love to be the centre of attention.
Despite being small, they have a lot of energy and require daily exercise. The Bichon is also a very intelligent breed, which makes them easy to train but means they will become easily bored without mental stimulation.
Their coat is similar to a Poodle's coat and similarly, it doesn't shed very much making the breed ideal for those with allergies.
Bichon Frise Facts
The Giant Schnauzer has a distinctive look that makes them appear to be strong and agile. To some their appearance may come across as aggressive but infact they are quite the opposite. As with any dog, they would rarely display any aggression unless they feel threatened.
They are energetic and highly intelligent, which makes them a great breed for agility training. Although they were originally bred as cattle herding dogs and later used as guard dogs, they are now more often known as family pets due to their loyal and playful nature.
They possess a wiry textured coat which sheds very little, which makes it one of the top hypoallergenic dogs.
Giant Schnauzer Facts
Kerry Blue Terrier
This breed hails from Ireland and has the usual qualities of a terrier; high energy, fearless, loving and good-natured. They are great around people including children, however they are prone to be aggressive towards other dogs.
They are a very active breed that require a lot of exercise every day and would be suitable for a jogging or cycling companion.
Although their fur does not shed, they must be brushed on a daily basis to keep the coat clean and prevent any matting.
Kerry Blue Terrier Facts
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Similar to the Kerry Blue Terrier, this breed also originates from Ireland and was originally bred to work on farms. Affectionately known as the "Wheatie", they have a quite a happy-go-lucky personality which isn't commonly seen amongst terriers, making them wonderful family pets.
They love to dig, so be sure to keep them occupied or risk finding holes in your garden! (Click here for tips on teaching your dog not to dig in the garden)
Their coat sheds very little but requires daily brushing to remove knots and tangles. They also require professional grooming from time to time.
Soft Coated Wheaten Facts
The Chinese Crested is a small, elegant breed that comes in two varieties; the Hairless and Powderpuff. The Hairless has fur around its face and legs but has none the rest of its body, whereas the Powderpuff has a full coat. The benefits for people who suffer with allergies are pretty self explanatory!
The love to be around people and are great with children so long as they are handled carefully. They can be needy, which makes them prone to seperation anxiety and unsuitable for being left for lengthy periods.
Chinese Crested Facts
To eliminate the risk of being affected by any kind of allergy completely, make sure to clean the house every couple of days and air all the rooms every day. All the dog breeds described above are minimal fur shedders, but some amount of hair inevitably falls onto the carpets, putting you in a slight risk zone if you don’t take it out as soon as possible.
Be sure to take care of the dog's grooming needs, especially between seasons when the structure of the fur or hair changes.
And finally, when choosing a dog make sure to guide yourself not only by the dog being hypoallergenic, but also pay attention to the temperament, trainability and activeness of the animal, as the dog you pick is about to become a friend and a family member for the rest of its life.
Further reading: Hypoallergenic Dog Breed