10 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

When my friend Mike said he was getting a Goldendoodle, my first question was, “Golden-what?” Then he told me all about how his allergies prevented him from owning all but a handful of dogs. And the Goldendoodle (which goes by the wickedly cool name of Loki) was his top choice.

Contrary to popular belief, people who are allergic to dogs and cats aren’t allergic to their fur. These pets release fluids and shed dander that contain allergens.

And while pet hair isn’t an allergen, it can collect dander. And there are proteins in the dander, saliva or urine of a dog that are allergens.

But that doesn’t mean dog lovers who suffer allergies have to live in misery if they want to own a pet. These 10 hypoallergenic dog breeds might just let you enjoy a furry companion without all the furry problems.

1. Goldendoodle / Labradoodle

As the name implies, this is a cross between a Golden Retriever and a standard poodle; it’s also a low-allergen dog. As Mike put it, this was a larger dog than most of the pets on this list, which suited him. They’re also ridiculously cute.

2. American Hairless Terrier

Perhaps the safest bet on this list, the American hairless terrier has… you guessed it… absolutely no hair, and no dander. If the fluffy fur of the poodle, Bichon frise or Labradoodle are too much for you, this little guy could be your next best friend.

3. Bichon Frise

The secret of the Bichon Frise’s success (at least as far as allergies are concerned) is its curled coat, which makes it tough for dander to escape. These small, friendly and generally happy dogs are widely available.

4. Miniature Poodle

While we’re on the subject of small and cuddly, the miniature poodle deserves a mention. All poodles are good bets for allergy sufferers because, just like the Bichon Frise, they have tightly curled coats that entangles dander and keeps it from detaching and floating out into your personal space. They also shed very little… and the miniature poodle sheds even less than standard poodles.

5. Portuguese Water Dog

An ancient breed, this dog was considered the faithful companion of fishermen along the Iberian peninsula for centuries. That may not matter much to allergy sufferes, but the fact that it sheds even less fur than poodles should be of some interest. The Obama family’s dogs, Sunny and Bo, are Portuguese water dog, chosen because Malia Obama happens to suffer allergies.

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