Today we have dogs in all shapes and sizes, long fur, short fur, fur that is silky and fur that is rough. Unfortunately it is that fur that causes some with allergies to become ill when their furry friends are near, and with the new “designer” breeds of dogs there emerges the claim that some of these dogs are hypoallergenic.
Allergies to pets can occur not just from their fur, but from their saliva and skin as well. As with humans, pets will lose skin as well as fur when they shed, and allergies are most often caused by the skin cells rather than the fur. Someone experiencing an allergic reaction will have difficulty breathing and may begin to wheeze, experience a runny nose and their eyes will feel itchy and begin to water. The allergy may only affect the skin which can result in raised red rashes. If the allergic reaction is particularly severe a person may need to visit an emergency room if they are having a problem with breathing.
There are particular breeds of dogs that seem to trigger allergies much less than others, and some of these dogs have been cross-bred specifically due to their lack of allergic reactions, along with their intelligence. One such mixed breed is the Labradoodle which is a cross between a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever. The Poodle is well known for its lack of shedding and intelligence, while the lab is known for its intelligence and gentle disposition.
While there are dogs that are known for their lack of shedding such as the Poodle, the Maltese, and the Cairn Terrier, there are no dogs that are hypoallergenic. The dogs which tend to shed less are gaining a reputation as being hypoallergenic, but in fact no animal should have that label. Dogs that shed less and are tolerated by those with allergies tend to be smaller, with the exception of the Airedale Terrier and the Bergamasco.
The Bergamasco is a striking looking animal whose fur grows into what looks like long dreadlocks. Once the coat has fully matted they only require a bath every so often (be prepared to wait quite a while as it dries). Because of the way their coat mats up they shed very little, which places them in the pseudo hypoallergenic category. Another plus for some people is that they are a large dog and can grow up to 80 pounds, which some people prefer over smaller dogs. If it is a larger dog that fits the bill but you’re still concerned about allergies look for one with a curly coat as they tend to shed less often.
Large dog breeds can be a ton of fun and some make great companions for children. Both the Golden and Labrador Retrievers have a reputation for their intelligence, loyalty, and gentleness. They are both sporting dogs and can be trained to hunt and retrieve game. The Labrador Retriever is also well known for its tracking ability which makes it ideal for working with police and the military.