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Allergic to Dogs

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Advice about Pets > Allergic to Dogs



Non-allergenic dog

Feb 2007

I would like to buy a dog for our family, but my daughter has an allergy to dogs. We thought about buying a hybrid breed, but after reading the ''designer dog fight'' article in the New York times we are against it. We logged on to Puppy Haven's website and could not believe our eyes. How terrible! Any suggestions for a non allergenic pure bred dog other than a poodle or bichon? anon


My wife is allergic to many kinds of dogs. We got a Westie (West Highland White Terrier) and she did fine with it. Another terrier breed that is supposed to be hypo-allergenic is the soft- coated wheaten terrier. When we were looking for a dog, I found a couple of websites that helped identify which breeds were hypo- allergenic. Terrier fan
Tibetan Terriers are great non-allergenic dogs! They do not shed, and their fur is more like hair. They are 25-30 lbs, very smart and loving. They do need alot of grooming. Deirdre
You might try a small whippet or a large, muscular Italian Greyhound (at least 15 pounds-the smaller ones might be too delicate for some children). These dogs have very little hair and do not get dry skin easily, so there is little dander from dead skin. Also, because their coats have little natural oil, they can take frequent baths, which makes them even more hypo-allergenic. They love the warm water, and my sons always loved bathing them. They dry quickly. They also have very little odor and are super-loving. DuBose
I would also consider if your daughter has allergies to pollens, grasses, etc (or the severity of her allergies) because dogs manage to bring in much of that other stuff after a romp at the park. That NY Times article was insane indeed! always vacuuming
There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog! This website explains the situation best, and has good advice about breeds. It's a very short article--just a couple of paragraphs--but very important to read, because unfortunantly many people give up new dogs that they had thought would not be a problem, allergy-wise.

http://dogs.about.com/od/dogbreeds/a/hypoallergenic.htm

In short: ''What does ''hypoallergenic'' really mean? To be hypoallergenic is to have a decreased tendency to cause allergies. Hypo means less, not none. Hypoallergenic dog breeds will still produce allergens, but because of their coat type, will typically produce less than others. People with severe allergies and asthma will still be affected by a hypoallergenic dog.'' If the allergies are mild, many breeds are suggested on the website. Please research carefully


My allergic (but rich) friend has a French bulldog. Short fur or hair, low sneeze factor, but very expensive since they are an unusual breed. Very loving, sweet, don't need huge runs or exercise needs, stay under 25 pounds generally. In later age, or if you have stairs, lower back problems can develop since these dogs are short-legged. Frenchies can be overbred and you could get a really dumb one, but my friend's dog was wily and darn funny, trainable, and they are eye-catching/odd/handsome dogs. No dog in my life now though
We have a wire haired fox terrier because of my husband's allergies. They are so cute but hard to train! Crazy about my allergin free pooch
Some dogs have ''hair'' not ''fur''. Consider a Portguese Water Dog (curly or wavy hair) - very active. Poodle (toy, miniture or standard) - very gentle with kids or Bichon Frise. Hair continues to grow like hair on your head. Will knot if not combed or brushed, but does not have the same alergy components as fur. We have a toy poodle and she is just great! Lots of fun and no shedding. Also hair dogs don't have such a ''dog smell'' as other dogs. Poodle Mom
I just wanted to give my two cents regarding ''non allergic'' dogs. My daughter was at a home and was playing with a poodle. Her skin became very red and itchy. Of course, everyone looked at me and said ''what food did you give to her?'' When I mentioned it may be the dog, the owner was rather insulted and the response was...NO...people are not allergic to this type of dog because it does not have fur. Well, another episode (much worse) and emergency room later....it WAS the ''non allergic'' dog. The doctor told me that it is not hair or fur, but the dandruff from the skin and to keep her away from all dogs at that point. She is allergic to most animals, some more than others. So, something to keep in mind when told that an animal is ''non allergic.''
Hello! Sorry for the delay, I didn't see the post until today. Years ago I did some research on ''hypo-allergenic'' dogs. But what makes you allergic, might not make the next person allergic. After visiting with a few different breeds, we fell in love with border terriers. Their coats did not set off my husband's allergies. I don't have a problem with their coats either, but their salivia makes my skin itchy and red. So I don't let the dogs lick me and I'm fine too. The best thing to do is find families with a few breeds that interest you and see if they'll let you spend some play time with their dog. Hope that helps, Robin Robin

Dog breeds that are hypo-allergenic?

July 1999

I've heard that schnauzers, Westies, and poodles are hypo-allergenic dogs.


We have friends who are allergic to dogs and cats but did some research and found that "standard poodles" (the big ones!) are the best/most non allergenic type of dog. Standards are also very intelligent and probably great with kids. Our friends finally found one and now have a terrific pet and no problems with allergies. I think standard poodles can be quite expensive though. Good luck! -- Lisa
If you are thinking of a dog for a asthmatic child w/acute allergies to fur there are only two breeds to consider -- Poodles being one of these. My extended family acquired one over a year and a half ago and have not experienced any of the asthma/allergy problems they had experienced previously with other furry animals. If acquired from a reputable breeder, you may be surprised to find that they do not necessarily fit the sterotype they've been given as yapping, puffballs of hair. And if you don't cut/groom your poodle as a show dog they look like anyother cute hairy dog. One other great thing about poodles (bred in three sizes: toy, miniature and standard) is that they do not shed (they do need to be brushed daily, etc.). Consult your Allergist; and for info on poodles, see the American Kennel Club website, http://www.akc.org/poodle.htm -- Eleanor
This is in response to Melinda who asked about pets for her daughter. I have a friend who has had forever had allergies to dogs. About 5 years ago, my friend bought a Portugese Water Dog--it kind of looks like a hairy version of a standard poodle. I don't know a lot about them, but Portugese Water Dogs apparently have hair instead of fur. So, they don't shed like most dogs. And my friend had no allergic reaction to them. I understand there are several similar breeds that do not cause allergic reactions in people who are severely allergic to dogs. Good luck. --Diana
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