Hypoallergenic dogs became famous after President Obama first chose the Portuguese water dog for his daughter, an allergy suffer.
If you are looking for a list of completely hypoallergenic breeds of small dogs, you should know that there is no such thing so beware if someone tries to sell you a dog claiming it to be completely hypoallergenic, run, don’t walk.
With that said, there are dog breeds that produce less dander and one that sheds less than others.
Keep in mind that dander is not the only thing that triggers allergies in people. Skin and saliva are also involved, so if a dog barks a lot, drools a lot or licks a lot, they can trigger an allergic response.
To complicate matters further, there seems to be individual differences at work, meaning that one so called hypoallergenic breed of dog that works well for one person may cause an allergic response in another person.
Do a quick search on the web and you will find as many different dogs on the “hypoallergenic” list as there are lists themselves.
Of the small breed dogs, there are a few that are likely to be good with allergy sufferers.
Toy Poodles produce less dander and do not shed. When poodles are bred with other breeds that also carry these characteristics, the offspring are more likely to be considered hypoallergenic dogs such as Malti-poos, Shi-poo, Bich-poo or Yorkie-poo.
When poodles are matched with dogs that produce more dander, there is no guarantee that the offspring will carry the characteristics of the poodle or other dog.
Terriers as a group might also be a good choice for a person allergic to dogs. Their dense wiry coat does not shed much and they too produce less dander. Small dogs in this category include Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Cairn Terriers, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Tibetan Terriers and West Highland White Terriers.
Although they produce dander, pound for pound, the amount of dander produced is small compared to larger breeds so they land in the category of hypoallergenic dogs.
Another group of dogs you might like to check out include those that are low shedders such as Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, and Havanese. I personally have allergies, but have been able to live well with multiple Shih Tzu dogs over the last 40 years!
According to the American Kennel Club there are 11 breeds that they consider to be more hypoallergenic of which 7 of them are small breed dogs:
To be sure, before deciding on a hypoallergenic breed, visit several breeders, spend some time with the dogs, holding, petting and interacting with them. Then and only then will you know for sure if this is the right dog for you.
If you have severe allergies, the best way to assure you don’t suffer is to live in a sterile environment, free of all pets.
But that is just not an option for most dog lovers. You can still have a dog, but there are some precautions you should take that will make living with your beloved dog much easier.