They say dogs are man's best friend, but they can be the worst enemies of people with allergies. Dog allergies can bring sneezing, itchy eyes, stuffy noses, and skin rashes. Dog allergies are caused by proteins found in dog hair, dander, saliva, and urine, or the dust and pollen they carry into houses. Although there are no completely hypoallergenic dogs, there are breeds that generally cause fewer reactions in allergic people. Low-allergy dogs allow people to experience the joy of a furry companion without allergy symptoms.
The most famous Portuguese water dog is former First Dog, Bo, who lived in the White House with the Obamas. Water dogs are excellent swimmers who worked alongside Portuguese fishermen for centuries. As a working dog, they do need plenty of exercise and will happily play fetch or join you for a run. Loyal, affectionate, and good with children, Portuguese water dogs are also low shedders, making them a good pick for people with allergies.
Poodles come in standard, miniature and toy size, but all are known for their intelligence, making them easy to train. Competition dogs require a specific pattern of clipping, which can give the impression of delicacy, but poodles are actually a very active and fun breed. Their coat mats when left alone, so even family dogs need regular grooming. Poodles also need plenty of exercise and prefer to spend most of their time around people.
Poodles have become a popular dog to breed with other dogs, and many of these mixes are low-allergy breeds. The labradoodle, a Labrador-poodle mix, was originally bred to be a guide dog for people with allergies and was the breed that started the trend. Other breeds include the Goldendoodle, Schnoodle, Yorkipoo, and cockapoo. First-generation mixes are those with one poodle parent and one parent of another breed. First-generation mixes may not have the low-allergy characteristics of their poodle parent, though breed characteristics become more predictable in subsequent generations.
Also known as westies, West Highland white terriers are a big personality in a little dog. They have an independent and stubborn streak that can make them hard to train and need to be regularly socialized from the time they are puppies. Although they do not often look to their humans for direction, they are still loyal and will sound the alarm when strangers arrive. Their white coat needs to be clipped regularly, but sheds rarely and does not hold dirt.
The modern Maltese terrier is a companion dog that is devoted to its owner and fits perfectly in most laps. They are highly intelligent but can be prone to barking. Maltese terriers are active indoors and are well-suited to apartment living, although they still need regular walks. Known for their long, silky coat, they need daily grooming or a regular clip to stay neat. Despite this, they are low shedders. The Maltipoo, a Maltese-poodle mix, is another good choice for those with allergies.
People who prefer not to worry about any coat can look to the Chinese crested breed. The hairless variety only has hair on their head, tail, and feet, leading to a distinctive appearance. Although mostly hairless, the breed still needs regular maintenance, including bathing to keep the skin healthy. They are a happy and alert dog that make loving companions. They have a higher body temperature than most dogs, making them perfect for laps.
The Komondor's most striking feature is its double-coat that develops into cords at 8-10 months of age. Bred to guard sheep, they are protective of their family and guarded with strangers, with a tendency to follow their humans. Owners need to take time to separate cords as they develop, so they remain thin, and most trim them regularly, so they do not trail on the ground. The tight cords mean that individual hairs that irritate allergies are rarely shed, though whole cords may occasionally fall off.
Basenjis are a short-haired dog native to Africa. They do not bark, but they make a unique noise referred to as a yodel. They are also low-allergy, which may make them appealing to prospective dog owners. Despite this, they can be difficult to train and, without plenty of exercise, may turn to digging and chewing to stay entertained. With early socialization to other animals and people, they can be good companions that are easy to care for and loyal to their families.
Airedale Terriers are known as the king of terriers, partly because of their size, which originally came from mixing terriers with hounds. This mix also softened their personalities, and although they can have the stubbornness of terriers, they generally get on better with other dogs than most terrier breeds. Airedales need plenty of mental and physical stimulation, and many owners combine training with exercise. They are protective of their families and enjoy human company.
Known affectionately as Iggies by their owners, Italian Greyhounds are a miniature greyhound that needs little grooming or exercise. They are gentle but can be aloof with strangers. Italian greyhounds that do not get enough attention may become shy or hyperactive, but when properly cared for, their sweet disposition shines through. Their short coat means that they get cold easily and need sweaters or jackets during the winter months.
These small, fluffy dogs are known for their cheerful demeanor and loving nature. Bichon Frises make excellent companions, especially for people with allergies, as they have a hypoallergenic coat that doesn't shed much. However, their curly hair does require regular grooming to prevent matting.
They are intelligent and trainable, making them great for families with children or seniors looking for a friendly companion.
Shih Tzus are affectionate, playful, and adaptable dogs that are well-suited for apartment living. They have a long, luxurious coat that requires daily brushing, but because they are low-shedders, they are a good choice for people with allergies. Shih Tzus have a friendly and outgoing temperament, making them great for families and people who enjoy having a sociable pet.
The Havanese breed is known for its silky coat and expressive eyes, as well as its friendly and playful nature. They make excellent companions for people with allergies, as their non-shedding coat is hypoallergenic and affords lots of cute styles like the Teddy Bear Cut and cording. Havanese dogs are adaptable and can thrive in both urban and rural settings. They enjoy spending time with their human family.
These medium-sized dogs are known for their soft, wavy coat and playful, energetic temperament. Soft-coated Wheaten terriers have a low-shedding coat that is considered hypoallergenic and requires regular grooming to maintain its texture and appearance.
As intelligent and energetic dogs, Wheaten terriers need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Afghan Hounds are an elegant and ancient breed known for their long, flowing coat and dignified demeanor. Although they have a lot of hair, their coat is hypoallergenic and does not shed much, making them suitable for allergy sufferers.
Afghan hounds are independent and require consistent training, but they can be loyal and affectionate companions.
Cairn terriers are small, energetic dogs with wiry, weather-resistant coats; they shed minimally but require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy. Their hypoallergenic fur makes them a good choice for people with allergies. These dogs are intelligent, curious, and enjoy spending time outdoors exploring. Cairn terriers thrive on consistent training and socialization with other dogs and people.
The Bouvier des Flandres is a large, sturdy dog breed known for its protective and loyal nature. Their thick, double coat is hypoallergenic and does not shed much, making them suitable for people with allergies. However, they do need regular grooming to prevent matting and to maintain their coat's health.
Bouvier des Flandres dogs are intelligent and require consistent training, as well as ample exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
Whippets are a medium-sized, slender breed that is affectionate and gentle. They have a short, smooth coat that sheds minimally, making them a good option for allergy sufferers. Whippets are known for their speed and agility, and although they enjoy bursts of exercise and play, they also appreciate lounging around the house with their owners.
Early socialization is crucial for this breed, as they can be reserved around strangers and other dogs.
The Scottish terrier, also known as the "Scottie," is a small, sturdy dog with a distinctive wiry coat that doesn't shed much, making them suitable for those with allergies. They are independent, intelligent, and loyal to their families. Regular grooming is required to maintain their unique appearance, and they need consistent training and socialization to manage their strong-willed nature.
Scottish terriers are excellent watchdogs, and with proper exercise and mental stimulation, they make great companions.
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