Dogs are great! Not everyone would agree that their shedding is excellent, though. For those with allergies or those that just don’t want a house full of hair, a hypoallergenic dog could be the answer. Which breed speaks to you?
Let’s take a closer look at some great options for hypoallergenic dog breeds. Getting a dog is a significant decision, and a bit of education on the breed can help guide you in the right direction.
Criteria for Hypoallergenic Classification
Hypoallergenic is a fairly new term that has grown popular in the world of pets. What makes a dog hypoallergenic? Though there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs, some breeds, more than others, are much less aggravating to humans’ allergies.
Dog breeds that are hypoallergenic grow what is described as hair, rather than fur, or have a coat that does not shed.
A hypoallergenic dog may have no hair, like the hairless Chinese Crested dog, or it may have a ton of hair like the Puli. Though there are a lot more than 29 hypoallergenic breeds, the following are a good variety of non- shedding dogs in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
The Poodle is one of the most popular of the hypoallergenic dog breeds. The Poodle is also the most common breed used in designer breeding.
Because of the body in their hair, they do need frequent grooming. They should be bathed every few weeks and have a blowout when styled. Shaved Poodles are the most popular, and it also keeps down on the grooming demands.
Guessing which breed of dog is hypoallergenic is not always easy. However, the Chinese Crested Dog is hairless, which makes it a dead giveaway. There is just a bit of hair on its head and tail.
The Chinese Crested Dog also comes in a “Powderpuff” variety, which is not hairless at all. The Powderpuff has luxuriously silky hair all over its body. Bathing should be done more frequently with a Chinese Crested, vs. other breeds due to skin issues.
The Bichon Frise (Bee-Shawn Free-say) is a toy breed of hypoallergenic dogs. Their fluffy white hair makes them look slightly larger than they are. The Bichon can also have cream or apricot mixed into their white coat.
They are playful and happy-go-lucky. This small breed can grow up to 15 lbs. The Bichon Frise make wonderful companions. However, due to their strong bond with their owner, they are prone to getting separation anxiety.
Grooming is not as high maintenance as you might think. Though, if they tend to get dirty, they can be bathed more frequently. Cleaning around their eyes will help reduce tear stains on their bright white coat.
Daily brushing can help maintain their fluffy coat and prevent painful matting. When brushing, first lightly mist their coat with water or a hair detangler for dogs. Bichon should not be dry brushed, or it will pull their hair, and be a painful experience for them.
Coton De Tulear
The Coton De Tulear is also known as The Royal Dog of Madagascar. The Coton is often mistaken for Maltese. They are a happy go lucky toy breed that has cotton-like hair and can weigh up to 15 lbs.
Grooming needs are demanding for this playful pup. They come in white, black, lemon, grey, or tricolor. Due to the amount and texture of their coat, grooming can be challenging.
An interesting fact about the Coton is that they have a longer life expectancy than most other breeds (up to 19 years.)
The Maltese are a toy breed with silky white hair that grows down to the floor if properly maintained. Do you know the beautiful little white dogs at the dog shows? That is the Maltese. They are known for their luxurious locks and regal manners.
The Maltese is a lovable lap dog. A lap dog that will not leave your lap full of fur. This docile, intelligent dog is both fearless and gentle. Loyal to the point of being territorial of their owner.
Grooming needs are pretty demanding on Maltese owners. Daily brushing, perhaps several times a day, if the hair is long, or activity is rigorous.
Tear stain prevention is also quite important with this breed. If not properly maintained, a Maltese can lose their pure white appearance around their eyes and face. Wipes, trimming, and special shampoo help defend against harsh dark staining.
West Highland Terrier
Affectionately known as the Westie, this charming breed of Scottish dog is considered a medium-sized dog, as the males can get up to 22 lbs.
The Westie has a double coat of white fur that requires monthly grooming to keep them looking fresh. The topcoat is coarse hair, whereas the undercoat is much softer.
A lot of dogs with double coats tend to shed excessively. However, the Westie does not shed, making it a great option for those that are allergic.
Most dogs in the terrier family have similar looks. The Bedlington Terrier, however, has a unique look mostly due to the shape of their head.
The Bedlington Terrier is a prestigious breed, often shown in dog shows, and used in dog sports like racing. They are considered a small breed and come in a variety of colors.
Grooming a Bedlington Terrier can be compared to that of a Standard Poodle. They will often have shaved bodies, with a highly styled head and legs. Grooming of this breed should be left to the professionals and should be done at least once a month.
The Yorkshire Terrier is a toy-sized breed of dog whose history dates to being the lapdog of distinguished women of Great Britain in the Victorian era. The maximum weight of 7 lbs, the Yorkshire Terrier, is almost all fur.
This breed can give us hair envy, with their long silky locks. When properly maintained, Yorkshire’s hair is some of the most beautiful in the dog community—often embellished with bows and pretty hair accessories to keep their hair out of their eyes and give them a bit of bling.
Though they are mild-mannered and regal, they can also be quite feisty, like most other tiny dogs. The Yorkie is named for the place their popularity originated, Yorkshire, England.
Grooming for the Yorkshire Terrier is a big job. Frequent brushing, trimming, and hair care is a must. Yorkies hair can be a mixture of colors such as black, tan, blue, and gold.
The Scottie, as it is affectionately known, is a small, yet sturdy breed of hypoallergenic dog. Most commonly black, their rough, wiry hair can also be brindle or wheaten. And, as they age, they may grow distinguished grey hairs, especially around their face.
The Scottish Terrier has become a symbol of Scotland, red bowties, and even the Monopoly board game. Humans have taken to this loveable breed, and they have shifted from rat chasers to beloved best friends.
Scotties are mild-mannered, and their grooming should start as a puppy to get them used to it. When performing in dog shows, a Scottie may have long locks that flow to the floor. However, most Scotties are kept trimmed up to make maintaining their hair much easier.
Wire Hair Fox Terrier
Wiry haired dog breeds such as the Wire Hair Fox Terrier require a special type of grooming. They were initially bred to have coats that would be resilient to thorns and other rough objects in the forest while they are on hunting trips with their owners.
The time-consuming technique used for wiry coated dogs is called hand stripping. Hand stripping is when the hairs that should have been shed are pulled out. This will prevent pain and infection. It can be done by hand or with a special tool called a grooming knife.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The medium size cuddly Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier originates from Ireland. It has a soft double coat that needs daily brushing to prevent knots and matting.
Though they do tend to be headstrong, they are reasonably easy to train. This breed works as a herder, security, and also very active. Beware, the Wheaten terriers are jumpers, especially when they get excited
Fun fact: When bred with a Poodle, it becomes a Whoodle.
Nicknamed the “Monkey Terrier,” the Affenpinscher is an adorable toy breed. The most common is black. However, they can also be silver, tan, red, and beige.
Hard to believe that this cute little dog was originally bred for such a nasty job as chasing rats out of barns and homes. That instinct may come in hand, should there ever be a pest in your house.
Best suited for a family without small children in it. Though they are a playful breed, the Affenpinscher tends to have a low tolerance for children that tease or play rough with them.
Due to their “beard” and unique fur, they can be tricky to groom. Grooming does not have to be done often, though it does require some hand-stripping and two types of combs. Here is a helpful guide to grooming the Affenpinscher.
Did you know that the Havanese is the national dog of Cuba? They possess some of the most sought-after traits in a dog. They are playful, affectionate, intelligent, and make superior companions.
The Havanese is worth every minute that it takes to groom them. What is so unique about the Havanese is that their coat can grow into dreadlocked cords, or it can grow long and silky. You can also keep a Havanese’s hair trimmed short, which makes for easier grooming.
This breed is in the Toy group and can weigh up to 15 lbs. Unlike most other small dogs, the Havanese is not much of a barker.
Portuguese Water Dog
The hard-working, yet fun-loving Portuguese Water Dog is a fine example of a hypoallergenic breed. Weighing up to 60 lbs, this dog makes the perfect mate for a fisherman’s boat. They are trained to retrieve, and also to hunt. In addition to being a valuable employee, they also make incredible companions and family pets.
Grooming of the Portuguese Water Dog is relatively low maintenance, as they usually get a short cut or a full-body buzz. If allowed to grow in, their coat is full of soft curls. The Portuguese Water Dogs come in black, white, chocolate brown, or a mixture.
Irish Water Spaniel
This is one of the largest of the Spaniels, weighing up to 65 lbs. Their liver-colored coat is soft and can be costly if allowed to grow. Their coat is heavy and needs brushing a few times per week.
The Irish Water Spaniel was bred to hunt yet has webbed toes to help it swim. After going in the water, be sure to clean their ears, as they are prone to ear infections. They are energetic and need plenty of exercises.
When they get home, they like to think that they are a lap dog. A 65 lb lap dog. Big on cuddling with their owners yet have a low tolerance for strangers and can get aggressive if not trained properly.
Spanish Water Dog
This working dog from Spain has an important job guarding property and livestock and is also used as a sheepdog. Given their name, they are trained for water retrieval, as well.
Their fur can be groomed in a variety of different styles or left to grow out into a wavy coat. The Spanish Water Dog comes in solid colors or black, white, beige, or brown. It can also be a mix of colors.
A toy breed from Tibet that can weigh up to 16 lbs., the Shih Tzu loves to be the center of attention. With a silky coat that can grow to the floor, they visually demand the attention of the room without even trying.
With a full-grown out coat, the amount of grooming can be overwhelming. It takes a lot of dedication to keep the Shih Tzu’s perfect coat perfect looking. Though they are hypoallergenic and will not shed at home, they do shed some of their dead hair in the bath.
Once groomed, a Shih Tzu can resume being their lovely little selves, but with style.
The Puli is a unique looking breed due to its coat being entirely dreadlocked. The correct term for their hair is cords. Even though it’s corded locks cover its face, his medium-sized breed of dog is used for herding. Supposedly they have a great sight, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
The Puli is not born with cords. Around nine months old, the Puli’s undercoat and topcoat begin to twist around each other, eventually forming cords. Since the dog’s skin can get pulled and pinch during the growing of the cords, this is a time when owners must pay close attention to their dog’s coat.
The incredible Komondor is a large breed. 100+ lbs of pure flock guardian magic. Though they guard all types of livestock, they are often used for protecting sheep. The Komondor can easily blend in with a flock of sheep, making it easier to hide from predators before they scare them away.
Their coat acts as armor against any predators that might come after them, such as bears and wolves. Their coats do not start to cord up until two years old. Because they are all white and have corded coats, they are nicknamed “mop dogs.” Their coat is the heaviest of all dog breeds.
A Komondor may look like they rarely get groomed. However, keeping up with those cords is a lot of work.
Splitting a Komondor’s cords is essential and should be done by hand. Keeping their cords trimmed up is easier to maintain than long cords. In addition to splitting cords, and deep cleaning, Komondors need to be thoroughly dried after a bath. They can have up to 2,000 cords!
They are also good swimmers. When submerged in water, their cords float on top. They may be tough hard-working dogs, yet they are surprisingly affectionate family dogs. They are bred to be overprotective and will need proper training. Not great with other canine companions.
Here is a cool video about the Komondor’s history that dates back an incredible 3000 years!
This toy breed from Russia has a long coat of “hair,” which is often held back out of their face with a bow or clip. The hair can be brown, black, or white. And, is often multicolored.
The Balonka has very human-like eyes. They are big, round, and seem to stare right into your heart. Their grooming needs are quite demanding. However, daily brushings can be a bonding experience for owners and pets.
Bouvier des Flandres
This large breed of working dog comes from Belgium and is completely hypoallergenic. The Bouvier Des Flanders loves to work hard at whatever task you give them. From policing the streets to protecting the flocks.
The grooming of a Bouvier des Flanders is relatively low maintenance. Though they are well behaved while getting groomed, they can weigh up to 90 lbs, which could require an extra set of hands for hair trimming and nail cutting.
Pay special attention to cleaning their ears. The Bouvier has thick heavy hair and can trap moisture in the ears, causing infections.
Thankfully this French breed is hypoallergenic. Medium-sized, and weighing up to about 60 lbs, the Barbet makes a wonderful companion and watchdog.
Their name comes from the French word for beard, which may give you some clue as to the length of their hair. To trim their beard and other areas, the Barbet should see the groomer once a month and get frequent brushings at home.
This beautiful breed comes in black, white, fawn, grey, and brown. The Barbet has webbed toes, which make it easier to swim and retrieve waterfowl during hunting trips. Because of its enthusiastic approach to everything, it is affectionately known as the “mud dog.”
This unique small breed comes from Belgium. Weighing not more than 10 lbs, this pint-sized pup has a huge personality. Starting with the character of their faces, they seem to have a mind of their own and look almost human-like.
When groomed, the Griffon Bruxellois may grow a beard or be all trimmed up. Due to their shortened muzzle, the Griffin may have some breathing issues, but other than that is a healthy small, hypoallergenic breed.
The definition of a designer breed dog is one that is crossbred with two purebreds to bring out the best qualities in both breeds. They are said to be healthier, as well as generally being hypoallergenic.
For more information on designer breeds, check out this website.
This mixed breed was the first-ever designer dog. The Labrador Retriever was crossed with the Poodle. The Labradoodle’s size can vary, depending on if they have been crossed with a Miniature, Toy, or Standard Poodle.
Colors vary in the brown family, and they can weigh up to 45 lbs. Grooming requires daily brushing and getting a full groom every six weeks.
The beloved and charismatic Goldendoodle is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. They are quite intelligent and often used as guide dogs and therapy dogs.
Though they do not shed, that doesn’t mean they are low maintenance when it comes to grooming. Goldendoodles have soft wavy fur that needs daily brushing and frequent grooming.
Both the Aussiedoodle and Mini Aussiedoodle are hypoallergenic. The Australian Shepherd, Poodle mix results in a soft wavy hair that comes in a variety of colors. Intelligent and affectionate, these dogs make wonderful companions.
Grooming needs for this great dog are reasonably low maintenance. They should have everything cleaned and trimmed up every three months, with weekly brushings at home.
The designer breeds a mix of Miniature Poodle, and Maltese brings us the adorable, Maltipoo. This hypoallergenic dog is sweet, incredibly intelligent, and loyal.
The Maltese heritage allows the Maltipoo to grow a long coat. However, their Miniature Poodle heritage makes their hair wavy, unlike the Maltese’s hair, which is poker straight.
Grooming can be low maintenance with a short haircut. A short cut will still require home brushing. The Maltipoo has what is considered “hai,” and not “fur.” Neglecting to brush them will result in knots just like humans get.
The Cavachon is a mix between Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Bichon Frise. They average 12-18 lbs but can weigh up to 25 lbs. Cavachon makes wonderful family pets and will keep everyone entertained.
Grooming should include frequent ear cleaning, as the Cavachon is prone to ear infections. Their soft fur requires brushing at home and a trip to the groomer every few months.
Due to the wide variety of colors that the parents come in, the Cavachon may be born with one color coat, and change as they get older.
Chihuahua and Yorkshire Terrier mix. They are considered to be hypoallergenic, yet they do shed a little bit. Proper grooming and diet can help to keep it to a minimum.
This Toy designer breed is a ray of sunshine. Up to 15 lbs. Of active, playful, intelligent, and even silly dogs. Chorkies are extremely loyal. Loyalty is great. It can make them aggressive to those that come close to their owner, though.
Reasons for Having A Hypoallergenic Dog
The most common reason that someone would want a hypoallergenic dog over a dog that sheds its fur is that they, or someone in their household, is allergic. What they tend to be allergic to is not the hair itself, but the dander that is attached to the hair and spreads when they shed.
Did you know that you can inquire with your breeder as to whether your dog has a bloodline trait of shedding or not? In addition to no-minimal shedding, hypoallergenic dogs tend to be low odor. However, a poor diet or certain illness can make any pet smell bad.
How to Reduce Your Dog’s Allergens?
There are a few things that a pet owner can do to further reduce the presence of allergens on the family pet. Just a few tweaks to the grooming, food, and exercise routines can ensure a pup stays healthy and hypoallergenic.
- Healthy diet- An unhealthy diet results in unhealthy skin & hair, amongst other issues. Make sure you are reading labels carefully and asking your veterinarian for advice when choosing a food for your dog—being especially careful to avoid foods with coloring and artificial ingredients.
- Reduce stress- Just like with humans, excess stress can make a dog lose it’s hair, even in a hypoallergenic dog.
- Frequent grooming- Some breeds more than others need frequent grooming. While certain breeds need to be brushed and bathed to keep up on their shedding, others will have skin issues if they get bathed at all. Ask your breeder or veterinarian how frequently you should be bathing your pet for their level of activity.
- Use products designed for dogs- Using shampoos and other products designed for humans may be irritating to a dog’s sensitive skin. Dog shampoo is made with different ingredients than that made for a human. Fragrances and harsh chemicals should be avoided to keep the dog’s skin and coat healthy. An unhealthy coat could lead to shedding and irritation.
- Quality bedding- A pet typically spends most of their day napping. Therefore, the quality of their bedding makes a difference in their health.
- Medications- If your pet is on prescription medications, they can lose hair as a side effect of certain medications.
Once we realize just how many dog breeds are hypoallergenic, we can choose which breed is right for us, our family, and our lifestyle. Allergy sufferers do not have to suffer any longer. Owning a pet is possible, thanks to the non-shedding breeds.