Poodle

A toy poodle by a fire (Photo by Steven Van Elk on Unsplash)

For dog lovers with allergies, finding a furry companion can be a challenging endeavor. However, hope is not lost, as there are several hypoallergenic dog breeds that produce fewer allergens, making them a more suitable choice for those prone to dander-inducing sniffles. In this article, we will explore some of the best hypoallergenic dog breeds that not only provide unwavering companionship but also minimize the risk of triggering allergic reactions.

For the worst cases of dog allergies, scientists are getting close to developing a dog allergy vaccine. Dog allergies keep many prospective pet owners from adopting a furry friend, but scientists are now one step closer to changing all that. Researchers from Osaka Prefecture University say they’ve identified a series of molecules that may explain why people have allergic reactions to dogs and also reveal how to cure them.

This vaccine could be great for many families unable to have a dog based on these allergies as owning a dog (or cat) can protect children from developing food allergies of their own! Having a family cat or dog protects young children against food allergies — even before they’re born, a new study reveals. Researchers in Japan note the number of kids seeking treatment for allergies is soaring in recent years, with more than one in 10 now having a problem. As doctors struggle to cope, the new report finds pets could help solve the problem, reducing allergy risks by around 15 percent.

Similarly, approximately 15 percent of the population is allergic to dogs or cats. An estimated one-third of Americans who are allergic to cats (about two million people) live with at least one cat in their household anyway. 

Even though all dogs are the “best dogs”, StudyFinds set out to do the research for you, visiting 10 expert websites to put together this list of the best hypoallergenic dog breeds if you struggle with allergies. If you’ve got your own suggestions, please leave them in the comments below! Please note that before looking into owning one of these breeds, consult with your doctor if it will be safe for your health.

The List: Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds, According to Experts

1. Poodle

This breed is known for its hypoallergenic coat, which produces less dander. “Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs. In fact, all three size variations of Poodles, including the standard, miniature and toy, are hypoallergenic. Thanks to their unique low-shedding coats, less allergens will be released into the air when a Poodle sheds. As a result, allergic reactions are way less likely to be triggered in humans,” mentions The Smart Canine.

A brown poodle
A brown poodle (Photo by Tra Tran on Unsplash)

“The poodle is certainly a one-of-a-kind dog breed,” says Native Pet. “The answer is technically yes, poodles do shed. Every dog does to some extent. (And even hairless breeds give off dander.) However, because of the nature of their coat, the poodle sheds far less than other breeds. That makes them a great choice for allergy sufferers.”

Past their hypoallergenic qualities, “Poodles are good family dogs — fun, energetic, smart and easy to train. They do best with plenty of exercise for both mind and body and prefer to be with people most of the time. They are not good kennel dogs. Socialization should begin early and include other people, other pets and the grooming routine,” says Hill’s Pet Nutrition.

2. Bichon Frise

These small and playful dogs have a coat that is low-shedding and hypoallergenic, making them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. American Kennel Club breaks it down like this, “The small but sturdy and resilient Bichon Frise stands among the world’s great ‘personality dogs.’ Since antiquity, these irresistible canine comedians have relied on charm, beauty, and intelligence to weather history’s ups and downs. A good-size Bichon will stand a shade under a foot tall at the shoulder. The breed’s glory is a white hypoallergenic coat, plush and velvety to the touch, featuring rounded head hair that sets off the large, dark eyes and black leathers of the nose and lips.”

A Bichon Frise laying in the grass
A Bichon Frise laying in the grass (Photo by Matt Briney on Unsplash)

“Although the Bichon Frise is said to have a non-shedding coat, all dogs shed to some degree — but this breed appears to shed less than many others. However, that doesn’t mean he’s a ‘non- or hypoallergenic breed.’ It’s a dog’s dander — flakes of skin — that triggers allergic reactions in humans, not the coat,” says Vet Street.

They are a dog for everyone, “Intelligent, affectionate, and incredibly cute, the bichon frise could easily be mistaken for a child’s toy. This happy-go-lucky breed originated in the Mediterranean islands, which could be why they’re so easygoing and fun-loving. Bichons are the perfect companion for families, elderly couples, and everyone in between,” adds Daily Paws.

3. Portuguese Water Dog

This breed has a waterproof and non-shedding coat that is hypoallergenic, making it a great option for people with allergies. “If you’re thinking about getting a Portuguese Water Dog, the good news is this pup is a great match for households with children. Plus, since this dog sports a hypoallergenic coat, they’re an especially good fit for owners suffering from allergies,” says Neater Pets

An active dog that you can go on adventures with, “The Portuguese water dog is a medium-sized working breed from Portugal with floppy ears, facial hair, and wavy or curly hypoallergenic fur. Since these dogs don’t shed significantly, they’re a preferred breed among people with mild to moderate allergies. Portuguese water dogs are also a high-energy breed, so they’re best suited for active owners seeking a companion for outdoor activities,” writes The Spruce Pets.

Their coat is talked about here by Orvis, “The Portuguese Water Dog has a thick coat with no undercoat. The hair may be curly or wavy and comes in black with or without white markings, brown, and occasionally white. As the PWD has hair rather than fur, it will continue to grow if left unclipped. Because it is a low-shedding breed that produces less dander, the Portuguese Water Dog is considered a hypoallergenic dog and may trigger fewer allergic reactions.”

4. Maltese

These cute and affectionate dogs have a long, silky coat that is hypoallergenic. “The single coat of hair means that any allergies that you may have with dogs may be less severe; however, do keep in mind that there is no such thing as a 100% hypo-allergenic dog. This is because many people are allergic to the proteins found in a dog’s saliva, and this is present whether you are talking about a Maltese or a Chow-Chow,” claims Pet Maltese.

A Maltese laying in the grass
A Maltese laying in the grass (Photo by dole777 on Unsplash)

As further context on their coat, My Family Vet says, “The Maltese is famed for its silky white coat that reaches all the way to the floor. Often, owners decide to have their coats clipped to make them easier to manage. You might expect them to be serial shedders, but the Maltese has a different undercoat to most dogs, meaning that they shed less than average.”

Other than their coat, Hill’s Pet Nutrition adds, “The Maltese is gentle, affectionate, intelligent, responsive and trusting. A good family dog, Maltese are lively, playful, vigorous, and they generally enjoys learning tricks. They can be snappy with raucous children. The petite build of the Maltese belies its fearless presence.”

5. Basenji

This breed has a short and fine coat that produces less dander, making it a hypoallergenic option for those with allergies. Petsmont explains some background behind the breed: “They are an ancient breed after all. The presence of this breed has been noted in Africa and Egypt. They were used as hunting dogs for the tribe in these early civilizations. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that the Basenji made its way to the United States. That was when the first one was brought to America from Egypt, as a ‘gift from the pharaohs of the Nile’.”

A Basenji licking his lips
A Basenji licking his lips (Photo by Hannah Lindahl on Unsplash)

“The Basenji is a great dog for living in the city as long as the dog gets enough exercise. The breed is very versatile and can adjust to living in an apartment or in a house. This African dog breed has a very short and hypoallergenic coat,” states Dog Breeds 911.

American Kennel Club talks about how great they look, “Basenjis are small, graceful hounds standing 16 or 17 inches at the shoulder. They are recognizable by their glistening short coat, tightly curled tail, and wrinkled forehead and expressive almond-shaped eyes that convey a variety of subtle, humanlike emotions. Basenjis are a lovely sight at a standstill but more impressive yet at a fast trot, when they exhibit the long, smooth strides of a mini-racehorse.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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33 Comments

  1. Monika Olaf says:

    Please STOP promoting every day pedigrees!
    Hundreds Thousands dogs are waiting in shelter cages to be adopted some for years.
    Thousands adoptable are killed for space every day for lack of funds.
    HOW about to show some compassion and PROMOTE adoption?
    NOT once I saw articles promoting these poor abandoned animals but PLENTY promoting more breeding.
    Should they be killed only because they are not hypoallergenic breeds?!

    1. Mars says:

      There are plenty of hypoallergenic dogs, including discarded purebreds of most of these breeds, in shelters. I have several friends who have rescued poodles from another friend’s poodle and poodle mix rescue. I will admit I only skimmed this article, but I doubt it says anywhere NOT to rescue. Also, while I’m sure some places surely struggle with overcrowding and lack of funds, many places actually lack dogs to adopt out, especially of a specific category like hypoallergenic. Choosing one option over the other doesn’t mean you endorse suffering. Birthing your own children over adopting or not donating every spare cent of yours doesn’t mean you want foster kids or underprivileged people to suffer

    2. Rhonda says:

      Thank You!

    3. MS CPDT-KA says:

      There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic breed. Some breeds may have less dander. Grooming is important.

      1. Possum says:

        They chose a more recent import but ignored a glaringly obvious breed. This breed was the original police and military dog, flock herder and guardian, tracker and by far probably the one breed consistently that will search for cadavers. Replaced by German Shedders that often are gun shy, become crippled at 6-7 , when my 14 year old dog is still working, and hunting! This breed will hunt birds in field, retrieve waterfowl, blood track. They also despite being amazing family dogs, are excellent ratters, bear dogs and hog dogs. I agree poodles should be at top of list but, airedales excell at everything we think a shepherd should do plus actually hunt and as herders, make great baby sitters. My oldest still hunts, and worked this hurricane season. He turned 18 in July and still flies after a frisbee. Several ‘dales lived at the Whitehouse. Disney kept a pack of them as he was a very active, personable and creative guy. Shame, shame for leaving ‘dales and Yorkies ( bred from them) as well as Welsh terriers. Maybe even the doodles should be mentioned, to be fair.. and that brings me to going to the shelter to get a amazing mix ! I have a Welsh/ Airedale pup I’m starting now..what a fun joy getting to know this surprise mix breed..love with a open heart, not somebody else’s limited script and life is so much more rewarding

  2. Nicole Lepoutre-Baldocchi says:

    I asked the owner of a Portuguese Water Dog what was the secret to handling a PWD. He said that you had to be a very interesting person. My brother owned a PWD and said she was a real handful.

  3. Linda says:

    Seems you forgot the schnauzers!

    1. Stacey says:

      Was just going to say that! Had them most of my life! Have two rescued ones right now!

    2. HappyFitDog Crew says:

      Agree, gotta include the Schnauzers. They all have a similar wiry and dense double coat that minimizes shedding. As a result, fewer allergens are released into the environment, making them hypoallergenic.

  4. Jason says:

    I have Havanese dogs and they are great for people with allergies but are always neglected on these lists. No idea why

    1. Diana Tolleson says:

      Me either Jason. I think the havanese dogs are all round best. They are happy, loving, smart, hypoallergenic, loyal and the best kept secret in the dog world.

  5. Luis says:

    Not true first and better dog hypoallergenic is the Coton de Tulear

    1. Billy says:

      I totally agree. Our little girl was super allergic to many things as a baby and young girl. Like most children she wanted a dog, but because of her allergies we were hesitant because we didn’t want it to end in heartbreak for her and the dog. But thank God we chose the Coton de Tular. Now 15 years later, our little girl has grown out of most of her allergies, and is away in college, but our Coton is still a little loveable character always ready to cuddle.

  6. Mars says:

    I’m surprised and relieved to see no designer breeds were on this list, rightly so. The most highly touted are only a gamble at being potentially hypoallergenic, while being far more at risk for health and behavioral issues. I will say I don’t recommend a basenji for most people, simply because the amount of energy those dogs have is insane. My friend has a ten year-old 3/4 basenji 1/4 super mutt and he still has not slowed down. He regularly escapes their yard somehow and tries to hunt down coyotes and foxes. Unless you want a dog to work and work and work every day for at least a decade, I wouldn’t recommend that breed.

  7. Emily Starr says:

    Basenji is a sight hound bred in Africa to run after fast game.
    They don’t make good kid dogs because they are very aloof and distractable. Not cuddlers.

    1. NinaB says:

      👍🏼👍🏼 Most aloof dogs I’ve ever seen in my life! And I think they are very hard to train. I took care of my friend’s when she was in the hospital. Would walk it for ages, wouldn’t do its “business.” As soon as we got in the house and it was off leash, it would squat and look right at me and pee! 😤

  8. David Secord says:

    What about the Shih Tzu. I am extremely allergic to dogs but not our two Shih Tzu’s. They have beautiful hair just like humans and barely sheds.

    1. Mary says:

      Ditto. My Shih tzu barely sheds, or smells, has sweet breath and gets groomed every 3 months, plus is EASY to train. The most wonderful dog I’ve ever had!!

  9. Bullshit says:

    This is bullshit. I bought a poodle at the pet store and came home and my son was 100 percent allergic. I had to give away the dog and continue making payments.

    1. Mars says:

      I’m sorry that happened to you, unfortunately your first mistake was going to Petland (I assume). They are sales people first and foremost. They don’t care if the dog is best for you, they want a sale. They are also not well bred dogs, despite what they tell you. You were likely, although not guaranteed, sold a poodle mutt that looked more like a poodle. A responsible breeder would likely be willing to do a prior visit to make sure the new dog won’t cause any issues, and then would 100% take it back if it needed returned. I hope you have better luck in the future

    2. Nanashi says:

      No dog is completely free of allergens. Hypoallergenic means that it generates less allergens than other dogs due to low shedding coats. Hypo- means less or lower. If you got a true purebred poodle, then it’s simply a matter of your son’s allergies being too severe to not be triggered even by a poodle. The article mentions all of this information. But as someone previously mentioned, you may have been sold a poodle mutt since no pet store should ever be trusted. Good purebred dogs come directly from professional ethical dog breeders.

    3. NinaB says:

      Many, many dogs in pet stores come from puppy mills (google puppy mills on YouTube and be prepared to be sickened.)

    4. Allergic to everything says:

      Please get your son allergy shots . Taking them changed my life for the better.

  10. Carmen Pascual says:

    Everyone forgets the sweet Chinese Crested Powder Puff. And yes there are many rescues out there. This breed is small, graceful, smart, loyal and not yappers. Beautiful dogs.

  11. John says:

    What about the doodle?

  12. Bill says:

    My Bichon Frise has been a wonderful companion for me in retirement. She is attached to me completely, day and night. When I walk her she is very tolerant of other dogs we encounter. I groom her every eight weeks but don’t do the classic Bichon cut. I give her a short clip all the way around and she looks quite cute. Bichons do require regular grooming, every 6-8 weeks, so be aware of the expense involved. My Daisy has been worth it.

  13. William S says:

    Schnauzers come in three sizes. All 3 are considered low allergen dogs Each has distinctive characteristics and needs.

    1. NinaB says:

      Wonderful dogs as well!

  14. Jill Coblentz says:

    I have a Mi-Ki and used to have 2 until I lost one last year due to age. They are wonderful, small hypo-allergenic dogs that weigh around 10 pounds when fully grown. They are not a well known breed but are very sweet and she’d minimally. They’re not tappers and are easy to train. They are part Maltese, Papillon and some other breeds mixed together. I can’t say enough about how wonderful they are. I also have an 8 year old Beagle that I rescued from the shelter. She’s a sweet dog also but she does shed quite a bit. I never see Mi-Ki dogs mentioned in these columns but they’re great for apartment living and for senior citizens.

  15. Jill Coblentz says:

    I have a Mi-Ki and used to have 2 until I lost one last year due to age. They are wonderful, small hypo-allergenic dogs that weigh around 10 pounds when fully grown. They are not a well known breed but are very sweet and shed minimally. They’re not yappers and are easy to train. They are part Maltese, Papillon and some other breeds mixed together. I can’t say enough about how wonderful they are. I also have an 8 year old Beagle that I rescued from the shelter. She’s a sweet dog also but she does shed quite a bit. I never see Mi-Ki dogs mentioned in these columns but they’re great for apartment living and for senior citizens.

  16. Frederick Franzella says:

    How come you did not mention Shih-Tzu I am highly allergic to dogs but Shih-Tzu do not bother me at all. I have three of them

  17. NinaB says:

    Most terriers (schnauzers, Scotties, Airedales, wheatens, Welsh, wire foxes) are good for people with allergies as well.

  18. Suzanne says:

    Bichons are great companion dogs. Our 16 year old died last year and it was like losing a family member
    Now we have Sherlock, a 2 year old Bichon that we dearly love. These dogs will follow you around from room to room. Would not recommend leaving one alone for any length of time. Sherlock likes to chew leather shoes when he is alone.