Does being around dogs make you rapid fire sneeze? Look no further, my watery-eyed friend. We’ve got the ultimate guide to hypoallergenic dogs. You can have your cake and eat it too!
Owning a dog is a very big responsibility and special time you will remember for a lifetime. You don’t have to be deprived of this because some dogs make you itchy and scratchy. There is hope. You too, my allergy ridden amigo, can get the elite status of owning a dog.
What Is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
Let’s break down what hypoallergenic means and how it pertains to an animal. The dictionary defines hypoallergenic as “relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction”. That seems a little vague but it basically means, if you have a high potential for having an allergic reaction, this item will probably not affect you negatively.
So, how does that apply to a dog? Well, if you are usually allergic to dogs, you might be less allergic, have less of a reaction, or no reaction to a hypoallergenic dog. Some of the dogs were bred to be hypoallergenic while others are naturally this way.
Why Do I Need a Hypoallergenic Dog?
Are you an allergy sufferer? Even if you have seasonal allergies, dogs can cause somewhat of an issue for you. Between their dander and their hair, dogs can be an allergy nuisance for some humans. Some are more allergic to dogs than others.
If you are allergic to pet dander, getting a hypoallergenic dog gives you a shot at being a dog owner. Hooray! Now, what kind of dogs are hypoallergenic? Let’s take a look.
Our Top 20 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
There are a LOT of different breeds of hypoallergenic dogs available. Hypoallergenic dogs can come in all different sizes, shapes, and hair types. We’ve narrowed down our top 20 picks for hypoallergenic dogs and a little bit about each one.
The poodle is an obvious choice. Their curly cue hair makes them a prime candidate for less shedding and thus, fewer allergens. You have the option of getting them in either toy, miniature, or standard size.
The poodle is both smart and athletic making it an easy dog to train. They are also very loyal, making them a great family pet. Poodles do tend to shy away from strangers and bark regularly at them. They are rarely aggressive, but their distrust of strangers can spook people.
Overall, the poodle is a great dog and very hypoallergenic. Keeping their hair well groomed and short will keep your sneezes at bay. I would highly recommend the poodle as a hypoallergenic dog.
The Maltese are a beautiful small dog that is, you guessed it, hypoallergenic! It’s notable floor length hair is a dream for those looking for style and class along with relief from their allergies.
This dog breed is very loveable and only about 7 pounds. While they are docile, they are also very agile. They are friendly and smart. The Maltese is a bit of a princess type personality, though. They like to get their way. When training, you will want to keep that in mind.
Keeping the Maltese well groomed, having plenty of treats for rewards on hand, and a sense of humor will keep you happy and your nose unstuffed.
This bold dog breed screams class. When I think of a Schnauzer, I think of a tiny gentleman. They are hypoallergenic because they tend to shed so little. Their short wiry outercoat tends to catch any of their soft undercoat hairs so they don’t end up your nose.
Known as intelligent and active, they do need an outlet for their energy. They would be happy to chase squirrels in your backyard or go for a daily walk. Schnauzers are good family dogs but can be willful. When training, you will want to use a firm hand so they know who is the alpha.
Upkeep with the Schnauzer is fairly low key. Keeping them well bathed and brushed will help eliminate that furry undercoat and keep you sniffle free. They would make a wonderful addition to any household due to their size and low allergen level.
4. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise looks a little bit like a puffball. They are often described as wooly. Their outer layer of hair traps their underlayer that sheds. If kept well groomed, they are a beautiful dog that is relatively shed free.
The Bichon wants to be loved. If they aren’t the center of attention, they will often find a way to bring the attention back to them. This can be endearing and fun for kids and adults alike. Although, if left alone too long or in a crate, they can become destructive and aggressive.
As long as you give them adequate love and attention, the Bichon Frise is an excellent addition to your home. Most owners will opt for a professional groomer but you can certainly keep them well kept on your own.
5. West Highland White Terrier
The West Highland White Terrier can be seen as a very distinguished dog. They have a dense and wiry coat making them virtually shed free. The Westy will keep your sneezes at bay and your waistline in check due to their love of the outdoors.
They are intelligent, active, and independent. This can make them both easy to care for and difficult at the same time. While intelligent, they can often be seen as willful. They require at least 20 minutes of exercise per day so they don’t get aggressive.
As long as their activity levels are met, most Westies will be happy with a bone or toy on their own. They aren’t known to be big snugglers. Despite all of this, they are an excellent family dog and very loyal.
The Samoyed is a middle-sized dog that was actually bred to protect reindeer. While that sounds rough and tough, the Samoyed, or Sammy, is actually a very gentle dog. They are very playful.
The Samoyed usually weighs between 30-65 pounds depending on sex and breeding. The Sammy is good with other pets and kids alike making them a choice pick for a family pet.
Vigorous exercise is needed daily to avoid them getting frustrated, destroying your house, and becoming aggressive. Their grooming needs are very high. If you don’t have the time or money to invest into their grooming, this may not be the pet for you.
7. Italian Greyhound
Probably most well known for a race dog, the Italian Greyhound is indeed hypoallergenic. They tend to hardly shed OR drool at all. That’s a double bonus! They have become more popular in the last few years because of the highlighting of race dog cruelty.
You would think that the Italian Greyhound would need a ton of exercise. However, they are actually known as quite lazy to pet owners. While they do need some exercise, they will be more than happy to snuggle up on the couch and have a movie day with you.
The Italian Greyhound has a pleasant and loveable demeanor. Their small size, only about 11 pounds max, and coach potato status make them perfect for any home. Great for families, couples, or lone wolves, the Italian Greyhound is a wonderful pick for a hypoallergenic dog.
8. Chinese Crested
There are actually two different varieties of the Chinese Crested, the powder puff and the hairless. The powder puff has a coat of very soft hair that is hypoallergenic. The hairless is, well, hairless!
Both breeds are considered hypoallergenic, but the powder puff is actually less so. The dander on the hairless breed can cause some issues with allergy sufferers. On the bright side, both are basically shed free, small dogs (11 pounds), and easy to care for.
The Chinese Crested is notoriously happy and playful without much for needs besides love. This breed will bond with you very quickly and strongly. The one thing to watch out for with them is socialization with others. If you don’t get adequate socialization for them starting at a young age, they may become aggressive towards strangers.
9. Afghan Hound
If you haven’t seen an Afghan Hound before, just think of Axel Rose or any other 90’s rock band. They have sleek and beautiful hair and are known as the Barbie dolls of the dog world. Because of their gorgeous locks, they are relatively shed free making them a prime pick for a hypoallergenic dog.
While they are beautiful, they can be stubborn. Are we surprised? This seems to be true with every species! The Afghan Hound can be difficult to train because their temperament can be best described as aloof. If they don’t want to do something, they may not even acknowledge you.
The Afghan Hound also needs a lot of exercise. They were originally bred to be a hunting dog and are rather large, weighing at around 57-75 pounds. If not exercised well and regularly, they can become frustrated and destructive. They also need grooming almost daily. If you don’t have time to groom them, this is definitely not the dog for you.
There’s my mop. Oh wait, that’s a Puli! Notoriously known to look like a mop, the Puli has a very unique looking coat. This allows it to be hypoallergenic with very little shedding. It’s also only about 25-30 pounds so will fit well into most homes.
The Puli is both energetic and loyal, making it a great watchdog. It does well with families and has a very mild temper. However, it can have a stubborn streak so make sure you establish dominance and maintain consistency from the get-go.
It may seem that the grooming for this particular breed would be difficult. However, there is no brushing involved! All you need to do is make sure to keep their chords or dreadlocks separated. That will help keep them from becoming matted together. Bathing a Puli can be a crazy ordeal and take up a large chunk of time. It’s recommended to take them to a groomer or do it very infrequently.
11. Spanish Water Dog
Don’t let the name fool you, the Spanish Water Dog was not actually bred to do anything in the water. It was originally a herding dog for small livestock. However, they are good at retrieving things from the water!
They have a curly wooly coat that is hypoallergenic and easy to maintain. In fact, grooming can be summed up to getting a nice shave once a year. That combined with its low shedding and pet dander make it a prime candidate for those with pet allergies.
The Spanish Water Dog is athletic and intelligent. It needs plenty of exercise and a firm hand with training. They are also known as a guardian dog which means they can become aggressive toward strangers but stay loyal with their family.
12. Polish Lowland Sheepdog
When I see a picture of a Polish Lowland Sheepdog, I think of Peter Pan and their family dog, Nanny. It makes me smile and feel nostalgic. I can see the fascination with wanting this type of dog.
Not only are they an excellent family dog, but they are hypoallergenic as well. Their long hair makes them shedding far and in-between. It’s important to note that this particular breed needs a lot of exercise. In fact, if you can’t commit to a pretty steep exercise routine, you are better off getting another dog.
The Polish Lowland Sheepdog will become a huge problem if they don’t get enough exercise. Aggression, destruction, and more are going to be commonplace. However, if given adequate exercise, this breed is loveable, entertaining, and loyal.
13. American Hairless Terrier
Being hairless isn’t so great in the human world, but in the dog world, it ain’t nothing. The American Hairless Terrier has no hair, just freckles! You would think that it wouldn’t be that attractive of a dog, but it’s actually pretty darn cute.
The upkeep on grooming for this dog is virtually none. All you need to worry about it sunscreen. Whoever thought you would need sunscreen for a dog?
Beyond being hairless, they are athletic and fun-loving. The American Hairless Terrier is a great family pet and very easy to take care of. I would highly recommend this dog for those who have more severe dog allergies.
14. Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear has very minimal shedding while maintaining a pretty coat. Sometimes, that can be a tall order, but the Coton de Tulear pulls it off beautifully. Reaching only a maximum weight of about 13 pounds, they are small, lively, and easy to care for.
The grooming on the Coton de Tulear is fairly minimal. While they don’t shed much, brushing them every few days will virtually eliminate all shedding. If you do this in combination with bathing them every few weeks, you should have minimal allergy issues.
The Coton de Tulear is lively, energetic, and playful. They have a loving demeanor as long as you provide adequate socialization. They can be vocal though, so that’s something to keep in mind if you are bringing them home to an apartment or small neighborhood.
15. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel will make you smile. Just the way they look is a little goofy. I love that they are a hypoallergenic breed because they are just so fun. This breed is mid-sized at about 45-65 lbs. It’s great for a variety of households.
The curly hair resembles that of a poodle. It does require brushing and grooming. As with any hypoallergenic dog, the more you can adhere to their grooming requirements, the fewer allergy issues you will have. It’s also recommended this breed get a trim a few times per year.
The Irish Water Spaniel is known to be a bit of a clown. As long as they are around people and have something to do, these dogs will not let you down in the entertainment arena. Keep in mind that they like to have a job and you will have a fun-loving dog for their lifespan.
16. Lagotto Romagnolo
The Lagotto Romagnolo is a wonderful pick for those who struggle pretty badly with pet allergies. They are known to shed very little and also drool very little. If you have a dog allergy, you know that drool can pose an issue as much as hair or pet dander can. Luckily the Lagotto Romagnolo has little of both.
They are a fairly small dog weighing in around 30 pounds. They are also very active and intelligent. You will want to make sure they have a good outlet for exercise though they will be happy living in a smaller home because of their size.
The Lagotto Romagnolo is known for it’s charming and inquisitive nature. Keeping them mentally stimulated will be your biggest issue. Getting them outdoors and doing activities will keep them happy and healthy.
17. Peruvian Inca Orchid
Another hairless dog breed, the Peruvian Inca Orchid is sure to keep the sneezes away. It’s a very noble looking dog. It’s got a fairly mild demeanor and is for easy to upkeep.
Grooming is pretty nonexistent with this dog breed. All you need to do is give them a bath every once and awhile. Although, because they are hairless, you may actually need to apply some oil or lotion so their skin doesn’t get too dry. You will also want to apply sunscreen to them if you plan on being outside for a long time.
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is both sensitive and loving. It doesn’t need a firm hand. They are easy to train and eager to please. This makes them a very easy dog to deal with.
The Xoloitzcuintli, or Mexican Hairless Dog, is another dog that comes in a few different varieties. You can get a miniature, toy, or standard size. They also come hairless or can have a wiry coat similar to a schnauzer. All varieties are hypoallergenic.
The Xolo is a dream to train because they are both sensitive and eager to please. The only behavioral issue you may encounter is stranger wariness and separation anxiety. They are very loyal to their owners and need to be properly socialized to avoid these issues.
Grooming is pretty straight forward. As with other hairless dog breeds, bathing and moisture protection are the most you need to do. Making sure their skin stays clean and well moisturized should be your top priority.
19. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier has a very distinct look. With a longer nose and sometimes goofy expression, they are one of those so ugly they are cute kind of dogs. It actually looks similar to a lamb! They have a very dense coat but it is surprisingly soft.
Looking similar to a lamb, they actually have a similar disposition as well. They are very affectionate. While this is often desirable among dogs if you don’t give them enough attention they will start acting out. Make sure you have the time to devote to this kind of breed.
The Bedlington’s grooming is similar to that of other dogs with the curly cue hair. Frequent brushing and bathing keep their coats nice. A good trim a couple times per year helps keep their shedding and dander down as well.
20. Shih Tzu
I bet you already knew the Shih Tzu was hypoallergenic. Many people buy this breed for that specific reason. They are a pretty little dog that often is adorned with bows and the like to accent their pretty coat.
The Shih Tzu has a hair like coat. Most dogs with this type of coat have a double layer. The softer under layer that is most likely to shed gets caught up in the hair like outer layer making shedding virtually nonexistent. As long as you brush them and get them groomed regularly, you will have little allergy issues.
The Shih Tzu is in the toy breed because they only get up to about 16 pounds. It makes them easy to keep in smaller homes. They are usually friendly and outgoing but can be vocal and protective if you don’t socialize them well from the start.
Things to Look for Before Buying a Hypoallergenic Dog
Always, always look at the breeding. Just like buying any dog, you want to be able to see the parents and know about any health issues. This can be challenging but it is well worth it.
Also, if you are allergic to dogs, I would try and spend some time around that specific breed and see how your allergies fair. If you get sneezy or your eyes begin to water, you will know that while that breed may be hypoallergenic, it’s not quite good enough for you and your allergies.
Check, double check, and triple check their grooming requirements. Some of these dogs require a professional groomer or at least a very seasoned pet owner. If you don’t have the time or money to invest in their grooming, it is best to pick another breed.
The hypoallergenic dog breeds are mainly small to medium size dogs which don’t usually get joint problems. However some of these size dogs do get stiff joints as they age. We recommend you look after your dog and give them a great nights sleep on a orthopedic dog bed to help their joints as they grow older.
Finally, as with buying any dog, check into their demeanor, training requirements, and exercise requirements. This will save you a lot of struggle and heartache down the road. Stop problems before they start!
Have allergies to dogs? No big deal! You too can be a dog owner. Just keep in mind our buying tips and you will be set with a new pup in no time. Hypoallergenic dogs are the ultimate dog for a number of reasons.
Pretty much every hypoallergenic dog is beautiful. Even if they are hairless, they are still quite attractive breeds. They also all seem to have pleasant demeanors. While every dog is different and can have its own personality, training them right from the start will go a long way.
Getting a hypoallergenic dog doesn’t have to mean getting a mediocre dog. As you can see from our list, there are is a huge variety of size, shapes, and demeanors to choose from. There’s one for everyone!