By Terri Estes

There are several dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic or low allergy. These breeds produce fewer allergens in their skin, saliva and urine, making them a better choice for people with allergies. It is important to understand that no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic and some people with allergies may still have a reaction to these breeds.

Among the most popular hypoallergenic breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) include: the Poodle, Bichon Frise, Maltese, Shih Tzu, Portuguese Water Dog, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Chinese Crested and the Irish Water Spaniel. The most popular of these breeds is the Poodle. According to the AKC, the Poodle has ranked among the top ten most popular dog breed in the country for many years. The breed is known for its intelligence, elegance and of course, its hypoallergenic coat which sheds minimally and produces less dander than other breeds. Poodles also come in three sizes, standard, miniature and toy, making them a versatile breed for different lifestyles. They come in a variety of colors as well. The Bichon Frise, Maltese and Shih Tzu follow behind the Poodle in popularity of hypoallergenic pups. 

Rudy McVeigh

The Bichon is a small white dog weighing on average 12 to 18 lbs. They have an enthusiastic personality and a friendly nature. This dog is a lover, not a fighter, and is known for their friendly and charming demeaner.

The Maltese usually weighs less than seven pounds and is a true lap dog with a gentle temperament. Most dogs were bred to perform a certain job. This is not the case with the Maltese. Their sole role is to keep you happy as they have done for royal families throughout history.

The Shih Tzu usually weighs 9 to 16 pounds and comes in many colors. This breed has a short muzzle with an underbite. It is a very docile dog that gets along with people and other pets. Rarely will you find a snippy Shih Tzu.

There are designer dogs, or hybrids, that are mixed breeds that were bred specifically for their hypoallergenic traits and became very popular in the 1990s and 2000s. Unlike some mixed breeds, these dogs are generally bred from two purebred parents. One of the first popular designer dogs was the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle, now known as the Labradoodle. This dog was bred to be friendly and energetic like a Lab, and smart and hypoallergenic like a Poodle.  Other popular hypoallergenic designer dogs include the Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever/Poodle), Cockapoo (Cocker Spaniel/Poodle) and Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle). These designer hypoallergenic breeds meet the needs and desires of many individuals and families who want a type of dog, but because of allergies, cannot live in a home with it. New types of designer dogs are popping up every year.

It is important to note that not all designer dogs and mixed breeds are created responsibly and ethically, and there is always a risk of genetic health issues and temperament problems if breeding is not done carefully. And of course, there is never a guarantee that the desired outcome of this breeding will occur. 


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