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Best Types of Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

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Hypoallergenic dog breeds are a topic of much debate in the dog world. While some (especially irresponsible breeders) will claim that non-shedding breeds are hypoallergenic, they still trigger dog allergies in many people.

In today's article, we'll review ten hypoallergenic or shedding-free dog breeds. We'll also discuss the credibility of calling dogs hypoallergenic, and whether they can still cause your allergies.

Are any dog breeds truly hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, many so-called "hypoallergenic" dog breeds can cause dog allergies in some people. That's because dog allergies aren't caused by fur, but by dander — and all dogs have them, regardless of their coat type.

Some say hypoallergenic breeds give them more symptoms, while others find their symptoms vary from dog to dog.

Before adopting, please visit the dog for a while. Give them some good butt and ear scratches, get dander in the air, and touch your face to make sure none of these trigger symptoms.

That way, if you can't stand the allergy symptoms popping up around them, you'll know before bringing your dog home, rather than breaking them and your own heart.

Having said that, here are some dog breeds that don't shed their hair if you find them more prone to allergies!

1. Poodle

teacup poodle
A teacup poodle.

©Eloine Chapman/Shutterstock.com

Poodles have fluffy, curly hair. Their eyes are dark and intelligent; their ears are floppy. Their bodies are soft and their chests are deep.

Poodles come in two sizes, the standard poodle and the miniature poodle. Standard height is over 15 inches and weighs 40-70 lbs. Miniature Poodles are 10-15 inches tall and weigh 10-15 pounds.

Although they are stereotyped as arrogant dogs, poodles are actually bred for work. They are loving, outgoing and energetic.

2. Shih Tzu

On the other hand, the Shih Tzu is a pug. They only need light exercise, such as short daily walks.

Playful and friendly with family members, these dogs can sometimes be wary of strangers. Shih Tzus tend to be easy to train, but sometimes they can be stubborn and like to have things their own way. It is important to avoid aversive training methods and instead use positive reinforcement while ignoring or changing their cute begging and other unwanted behaviors!

Shih Tzus weigh only 9-16 pounds, making them small dogs. They have long coats designed that some dog guardians prefer, while others are cut short for easier maintenance. They have floppy ears, large eyes and, unfortunately, short noses.

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Due to their short noses, these dogs are prone to various health problems. Shih Tzus are not ethical, so if you're thinking of adopting one, I recommend looking for a rescue dog.

3. Maltese

teacup maltese
Teacup dogs have small mouths, stomachs, and bladders, so they require a specific diet and feeding routine.

© Merais/Shutterstock.com

Maltese stands 7-9 inches tall and weighs less than 7 lbs. These puppies are white and have a straight, silky coat.

They have large eyes and curly tails and are often seen in cute ponytails so that the fur doesn't hide their faces.

While you won't find them taking down thieves, they do make great watchdogs and may become your own hilarious security siren.

They are known for being gentle, clingy, intelligent and stubborn. Training can be a challenge, so be sure to be patient and use non-strength training methods.

Some Maltese were bred to have brachycephalic or squashed noses. If you adopt from a breeder, make sure they breed responsibly – part of that is breeding dogs with longer noses so they don't suffer from breathing difficulties and other health issues associated with brachycephalic breeds.

Adopting rescue Maltese is much better and you don't have to worry about supporting unethical breeding. However, still be aware that dogs with shorter noses may require more veterinary care.

4. Schnauzer

Like the Poodle, the Schnauzer comes in two sizes. Standard Schnauzers are 17.5-19.5 inches tall and weigh 30-50 pounds, while Miniature Schnauzers are only 12-14 inches and weigh 11-20 pounds.

Both types of Schnauzers have distinctive, sturdy coats. To keep a shedless Schnauzer, you'll need to have them hand-shedded by an experienced groomer and maintain it daily by brushing and plucking the dead fur.

While the fur can be clipped short, this can damage the fur, making it softer and increasing the amount of hair shed by the dog.

Schnauzers are protective, eager to please, and affectionate with their families. They can be wary of strangers and can be very outspoken!

5. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier
Smaller breeds like Chihuahuas and Yorkshire Terriers are prone to retaining baby teeth for extended periods of time.

© Anna Vasiljeva/Shutterstock.com

Yorkshire terriers, or Yorkies, have straight, shiny coats. They may look like little princes and princesses, but the American Kennel Club actually calls the breed "boyish."

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They are friendly with almost everyone, playful and full of energy. Yorkies are generally easy to train and adapt well to new situations.

They have erect triangular ears, big intelligent eyes and short noses. As mentioned above, brachycephalic animals have inherent health problems that affect their daily lives. That said, I highly recommend adopting a Yorkie from a rescue or shelter rather than shopping with a breeder.

6. Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog, or Portie, has long, curly fur. They stand 17-23 inches tall and weigh 35-60 lbs.

These dogs are adventurous and energetic. They are friendly, easygoing, and eager to please.

Porties have floppy ears and hair that will fall into the eyes if not styled. They can be partially shaved, like the poodle, leaving some hairs left shaggy and long.

As the name suggests, these working dogs love the water. Activities like swimming or playing in the sprinkler are great for them!

7. Scottish Terrier

what eats snakes
The Scottish Terrier, bred in Scotland, used to hunt foxes, badgers and many burrowing animals.

© iStock.com/kostya6969

These dogs, also known as Scots, are about 10 inches tall and weigh 18-22 lbs. They are best known for their long "whiskers" and fur that curls over their eyes like eyelashes when cut on the runway.

Their coats must be stripped by hand once a month by experienced beauticians. While it is possible to cut it, this will damage the coat. Dogs whose coats were sheared also shed more than those who were hand-skinned.

Scots are very affectionate with their families. They are playful and need plenty of daily exercise, including walks and hands-on play.

Because of their intelligence, you may find training a challenge. Be sure to change it often, keep training sessions short, and avoid harsh training methods.

8. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terriers, also known as Westies, are small white dogs. They are 10-11 inches tall and weigh 15-20 lbs.

Westies are known for being funny, lively and clingy. They do best in homes where someone is home most of the day and should not be left alone for long periods of time.

They are playful, energetic, and very outspoken. It's a good idea to train your Westie to stop barking, but don't expect them to be completely quiet as it's not in their nature.

This is another dog, if you want to keep most of their coats from shedding, you should strip them by hand.

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9. Hypoallergenic dog breed: Havanese

Havanese (Canis familiaris) - lying on the grass
Havanese are small, only 8.5-11.5 inches and 7-13 lbs.

©Sandra Huber/Shutterstock.com

The Havanese has a straight, shaggy coat. They are very small, only 8.5-11.5 inches and 7-13 lbs.

These dogs tend to be friendly with everyone, from strangers to children to other pets. Of course, it is important to be careful introducing dogs to others, especially to children and other animals. No dog or child should be left unattended at any time.

These dogs may be cheerful, but they're playful, eager to please, and just plain adorable! They only need moderate exercise.

10. Afghan Hound

Last but not least, the Afghan Hound is a large dog. They have a shoulder width of 25-27 inches and a weight of 50-60 lbs.

These sighthounds were bred to use their vision to hunt. Their bodies are built to chase prey, so they are light and agile.

It is important to keep them enclosed or tethered. Otherwise, they will take off as fast as they can!

Like most sighthounds, the Afghan Hound has a reputation for being very aloof and "cat-like." They can be trained using powerless techniques by finding ways to keep them interested.

While they need a lot of exercise, they have a great "off switch" and will happily hang out at home the rest of the time. It is important to them to have a large, enclosed backyard where they can run as much as they want. You won't be able to keep up with the fastest of this breed, they have to run like they were bred!

That completes our list of hypoallergenic dog breeds. Keep in mind that different people deal with dog allergies differently, and although shedding is rare, the dogs on this list may still turn you off.
Adopting a dog is a lifetime commitment, so please don't take the decision lightly!


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about the author

I'm an animal writer for four years with a focus on educational pet content. I wish our furry, feathered and scaly friends the best care! In my free time, I'm usually outside gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.

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