The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Owning a dog can be a true gift — dogs provide undying emotional support, love and laughs. They'll be there for you through anything and will inspire you with their resilience. However, one downside of these four-legged friends is that they can shed — an issue for those of us with allergies.  If you're looking to adopt a puppy but are sensitive or allergic to dog hair, know you still have options! Did you know 15% of the population has dog allergies? The good news is, there are also over 20 dog breeds considered optimal for those who have them. While some dog breeds don't shed at all, many are considered hypoallergenic due to the minimal amount of fluff they produce.  Although no dog is completely dander-free, there are several breeds proven to produce few to no allergy symptoms in their owners. Today, these breeds are known as "hypoallergenic" due to their compatibility with the dander-sensitive population.

Hypoallergenic Dogs That Don't Shed 

Consider these 27 dog breeds if you're looking for a hypoallergenic dog that doesn't shed:
  • Lagotto Romagnolo: These Italian water dogs are known for sniffing out expensive truffles in the Italian sub-region of Romagna. 
  • Portuguese Water Dog: Portuguese water dogs are eager and fit companions built for working as a fisherman's helper.
  • Labradoodle: Originally bred to be hypoallergenic guide dogs, this cross between a labrador and a poodle is incredibly affectionate, smart and friendly. 
  • Basenji: This short-haired dog is lightly built, short-backed and was initially found in the Congo. 
  • Schnauzer: Standard schnauzers are willful, bold and high-spirited farm dogs from Germany. 
  • Bouvier des Flandres: The bouvier des flandres was originally bred to be a versatile farm dog in Flanders, Belgium. They were used for farm work such as cart pulling and sheep herding. Today, this breed makes popular police and guard dogs. 
  • Barbet: As the archetypal water dog of France, the barbet appears in artwork as early as the 16th century. 
  • Irish Water Spaniel: The coat of this breed is naturally water-repellent and low shedding. The Irish water spaniel is often called the clown of the spaniel family due to the tuft of hair between its eyes. 
  • West Highland White Terrier: The west highland white terrier shares roots with other terriers of Scotland and is known for its short legs, strong teeth and long nails. These dogs have a soft white undercoat and are ideal for people with allergies looking to adopt a pet. 
  • Yorkshire Terrier: These pets are known for their silky, floor-length coats of blue and gold. Yorkshire terriers make great family pets and personal companions and are incredibly affectionate. 
  • Coton de Tuléar: Coton de Tuléars are charming dogs that have a clownish personality and love a good time. They stand between nine and 11 inches high and have beautiful cottony coats. 
  • Afghan Hound: Afghan hounds are known for being aloof, dignified and comical all at once. Their exotic face and dramatic soft coat lend them a fashion-model build. 
  • Komondor: Komondors, also known as Hungarian sheepdogs, are large with white-colored coats and a keen instinct for protection. 
  • Poodle: Poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds in the world. As an affectionate family dog, poodles are also known for their elegance, ancient history and regal attitude. 
  • Shih Tzu: This low shedding dog is a prized companion with a sturdy build and lively disposition.  
  • Bichon Frisé: These dogs have a lot of love to give and almost look like a child's toy with their fluffy white coats. 
  • Tibetan Terrier: Tibetan terrier pets are medium-sized, low shedding and profusely coated. They're highly adaptable and love to be companions and friends. 
  • Havanese: These intensely charming dogs are native to Cuba. With long tails, sturdy builds, silky hair and expressive eyes, Havanese dogs are prized for their cuddly size and all-around friendliness. 
  • Lakeland Terrier: The Lakeland terrier is known for his intelligence and problem-solving ability. These dogs will always love a mental or physical challenge and are best suited for an active lifestyle.
  • Border Terrier: Border terriers are hard-working and have powerful drives to hunt and dig. They're also easy to groom and are affectionate family dogs. 
  • Chinese Crested: These small, exotic-looking dogs are found in two variants: the genetically recessive powderpuff, who has a full coat, and the hairless, with silky hair on the feet, tail and head. Both of these variants can sometimes be found in the same litter. 
  • Maltese: Maltese dogs are eager, friendly and covered from head to foot in a blanket of long, silky white hair. 
  • Lhasa Apso: This ancient breed served as sentinels at monasteries isolated high in the Himalayas. Lhasa apsos can be aloof with strangers but lighthearted and comical around their human family. 
  • Brussels Griffon: Brussels griffons make excellent watchdogs, but they are not the best guard dogs due to their small size. Brussels griffon dogs are smart, low shedding pets with a sense of humor and lively personality. 
  • Welsh Terrier: This "square dog" has a coarse, wiry-textured coat and a massive zest for life. Originally bred to hunt independently, Welsh terriers are equipped with a large amount of self-determination and liveliness.
  • Scottish Terrier: Scottish terriers are quite sensitive to praise and blame and are also intelligent, independent and comical family dogs. The Scottish terrier does not shed as much as short-coated breeds because his hair just keeps growing. Regular grooming is recommended for these dogs. 
  • Irish Terrier: Irish terriers are medium-sized dogs. They are bold, courageous and stouthearted. At home, Irish terriers are known for being affectionate and loyal.
Sometimes, although the list of hypoallergenic dogs is quite extensive, allergy symptoms may crop up now and again. To stay allergy-free around your pup, try washing your dog often, vacuuming weekly and keeping your pet out of the bedroom. Learn how to live with dogs and allergies in our blog post, or head to aafa.org

Low Shedding Dogs

If you're sensitive to dandruff but don't want to limit your options when it comes to adopting a puppy, you may want to consider dogs that shed their skin cells every 21 days instead of every three or four days. Single-layer coat dogs include wire-haired fox terriers and vizslas, along with other breeds such as: 
  • Airedale Terrier: As the largest of all terriers, the male airedale terrier stands at about 23 inches at the shoulder. These terriers were initially bred to catch rats and otters in the region between the Wharfe and Aire Rivers. 
  • Chihuahua: Chihuahuas have terrier-like demeanors and have a variety of coat types and colors. They're incredibly graceful, expressive and lively. 
  • Papillon: Papillons are bossy, intelligent and funny dogs of singular beauty. 
  • Australian Terrier: The Australian terrier is intelligent, spirited and brave. 
  • Italian Greyhound: These dogs are the miniature version of greyhounds and have an elegant grace that comes from their long, fine-boned legs. 
  • American Water Spaniel: American water spaniels love to hunt and swim. They're an excellent choice if you're looking for upbeat, spirited hypoallergenic dogs that love the outdoors. 
  • Affenpinscher: The intelligence and demeanor of affenpinschers make them excellent house pets. This breed was developed to rid kitchens and stables of rodents.
Poodles are widely known for being one of the smartest non-shedding dogs, actually making the top 10 list in Dr. Stanley Coren's book, "The Intelligence of Dogs." Not far behind is the low-shedding vizsla, an energetic Hungarian pointer dog prized for its athleticism and loyalty.  Vizslas are extremely smart and gentle in temperament. While they mature at a slower pace than other breeds, their relatively long lifespan of 12 to 14 years promises a lengthy and faithful companionship.

What Does It Mean When a Breed Is Listed as Hypoallergenic?

Breeders who talk about hypoallergenic dogs refer to breeds that shed very little and have only one coat instead of two. Interestingly, the fur isn't the actual problem for people with pet allergies. It's the proteins that stick to the dander and fur that's released from the dog's body and then breathed by allergy sufferers. A dog type may be hypoallergenic if it rarely sheds or sheds so little that most individuals with allergies can handle living with the animal. However, no canine breed is 100% hypoallergenic for all people who experience pet allergies related to dander. Some breeds just get closer than others to being hypoallergenic.

Are Vizslas Hypoallergenic?

Vizslas are one of the original hypoallergenic dogs, so if you're looking to grow your family by adopting one of these pups, you're in luck! Vizslas lack the undercoat of fluffy hairs that grow close to the skin of most mammals.  While this breed does shed, their hair is so short as to not be visible on furniture and clothing. They're also considered one of the cleanest dogs in the world due to their short single coat. For this reason, many families or individuals with allergies or sensitivities adopt this breed. While there is no guarantee you will not have an allergic reaction to these dogs, the chances are generally very slim.   Since the vizsla lacks an undercoat, this breed is more susceptible to cold and should have access to the house or a heated shelter unless you're in a temperate climate. Fortunately, these family-oriented dogs love being near their people and rarely bark unless provoked, so they make great housepets. 

Why Vizslas Are Considered Mostly Hypoallergenic

If you explore lists of the most hypoallergenic dog breeds, you may or may not see the vizsla named. Vizslas aren't technically considered as close to being hypoallergenic as other types of dogs. But they remain a common choice among pet owners with mild to moderate allergies. What makes vizslas generally hypoallergenic? It's their fur. You'll notice that vizslas have smooth, almost silky, coats that are short and dense. Vizslas don't shed all the time, making it easier to keep up with cleaning their fur when released. Vizslas lack an undercoat, which causes them to get cold, especially in chilly climates or unpleasant weather. However, their lack of undercoat means they won't be shedding twice the amount of hair as other breeds.

Tips to Reduce Dander as a Vizsla Owner

Do you wonder how you can happily live with a vizsla, despite being allergic to dog dander and possibly fur? A few tips should help you minimize the chances of having an unwanted physical reaction. First, vacuum all the places your vizsla hangs out at least once a day or so. Removing the fur and dander will lessen the amount that can build up in the air and get into your nose. Secondly, groom your vizsla and toss any hair that comes out during grooming. Make grooming an opportunity to bond with your pet. Vizslas love being with their humans and will gladly let you pamper them! Third, keep a few rooms vizsla-free, if possible. These will become spots you can go to if you feel like your allergies are beginning to act up. Ensure your vizsla understands that these areas are off-limits by implementing loving obedience training from the first moment you bring your vizsla into your home.

Healthier Living for Allergy Sufferers Who Own Hungarian Vizslas

The bottom line is that vizslas can be good choices for allergy sufferers. Talk to your physician about the extent of your pet allergies before making your final decision to bring home any dog. However, if you decide that you want a Hungarian hypoallergenic vizsla as a companion, you'll appreciate the love and joy that your new friend brings.

Fill out an Information Request for a Purebred Vizsla Puppy 

If you have questions about hypoallergenic dogs or are looking to add one of our vizsla puppies to your home, feel free to reach out to our team at Golden Meadows Retrievers today! For over 25 years, Golden Meadows has been breeding and showing top quality golden retriever and vizsla puppies. We train our puppies with early socialization skills, including ENS, or early neurological stimulation. Complete our puppy info request if you'd like assistance in finding the perfect dog to join your family.

The Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds