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Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

7 min read

By Katherine George

Most people with allergies forgo the experience of owning a dog. This is because a lot of dogs shed which makes living with one a major challenge. Fortunately, we have good news! Certain breeds do not shed as much and can offer the opportunity to enjoy fun playdates and warm snuggles without any sneezing or sniffling.

Although no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, there is a certain threshold people with allergies can tolerate. Even for people without allergies, dogs that shed less can be more desirable since there is less clean up associated with them. For those who are interested, here’s a list of 15 hypoallergenic dog breeds that would make the perfect furry (or non-furry) companion…

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

The soft-coated wheaten terrier radiates happiness, amicability, and unwavering loyalty. But in addition to all these pleasantries they can also display a hint of stubbornness. However, for families committed to training and an energetic lifestyle, these dogs make excellent companions.

Thanks to their single coat, soft-coated wheaten terriers shed very infrequently, but does require some maintenance. Regular grooming is necessary to prevent matting, so make sure to have combs, brushes and other tools on hand.

Afghan Hound

According to Reader’s Digest, this ancient breed was initially bred for mountainous terrain in Afghanistan. These affectionate hounds have minimal shedding, but their lengthy coats demand careful upkeep. Their glossy, long hair can easily become tangled without regular attention. Be prepared to do several hours of brushing each week!

Even though they are high maintenance in terms of grooming, afghan hounds are very loyal, independent, and charming dogs. Since they are also very large and speedy dogs, they require a large fenced in yard and plenty of exercise.

American Hairless Terrier

Brimming with intelligence, curiosity and a playful spirit, these canines offer unwavering guardianship to their owners, making them excellent watchdogs. The American Hairless Terrier is available in both hairless and coated varieties, and their grooming requirements are minimal.

Of course the hairless terriers are best for allergy sufferers. These are as hypoallergenic as a dog can get! But for those who choose one of the coated varieties, even these dogs shed infrequently. A brief brushing with a soft-bristle brush once a week and intermittent baths is all that’s needed to maintain their hygiene.

Portuguese Water Dog

People are likely more familiar with these charming, medium-sized dogs thanks to the Obama’s. During their time in the White House, Sunny and Bo Obama were the “First Dogs” of America as their lovable family pets. However, we don’t have to live in the White House to appreciate their playful and easygoing personalities. They make a fantastic addition to any household.

Even people who reside in a smaller space can feel comfortable owning a Portuguese water dog as they adjust well to apartment living. Although they will still require daily walks to keep them healthy and happy.

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington terriers have unique puffs of fur at the top of their heads which gives this sweet-looking breed a lamb-like appearance. These gentle and affectionate terriers are ideal watchdogs and companions for downtime. They are gentle, lovable, and fairly active, and prefer to be the center of attention within their families. They make great family pets and are among the best dog breeds for kids.

To achieve the perfect appearance for dog shows, professionals spend a significant amount of time styling their curly and woolly coat. However, pet owners who prefer a low-maintenance look can choose a shorter clip that is easier to maintain. Reader’s Digest warns that while they don’t shed much, regular clipping is necessary to maintain its fast-growing fur.


Weighing in at an average of only 7-pounds, this ancient Greek breed is the epitome of a “lap dog.” Despite their extensive cuddle sessions, pet owners won’t be sneezing around this dog thanks to their hypoallergenic all-white coat. You have the option of styling their soft fur into a sport trim or letting it grow long. It all depends on maintenance preferences.

The Maltese breed is highly adaptable and surprisingly fearless, making it a great watchdog. In fact, PetMD warns that despite their innocent appearance, this little dog is feisty, bold, and unafraid to take on larger dogs.


All poodles are considered hypoallergenic, regardless of whether they are standard, toy, or minature versions. This offers pet owners the flexibility to select the perfect poodle for their personal preferences and lifestyle. Not only are poodles highly intelligent, but they are also straightforward to train, which makes them one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States.

Additionally, the classic “poodle clip” not only makes them look cute but also serves a practical purpose – it protects their joints and vital organs while swimming, a favorite past time for these water-loving dogs.

Bichon Frise

Bichons are one of the top choices recommended by the American Kennel Club for individuals with allergies. This type of dog was selectively bred to be hypoallergenic. Bichon Frise are fluffy white dogs who get their name from the French word for “fluffy white dog” and are known for being affectionate, cuddly little companions.

Additionally, their small size makes them an ideal fit for all living spaces, including smaller ones such as apartments and townhomes. However, regular brushing, monthly baths, and frequent haircuts are necessary for the Bichon Frise.

Irish Water Spaniel

We often associate hypoallergenic dogs with terriers or little, miniature sized toy dogs. This doesn’t have to be the case! People who want to own a larger dog but suffer from allergies can turn to the Irish water spaniel. They are members of the sporting group, and unsurprisingly, they enjoy water.

These dogs are natural swimmers with water-resistant coats, which not only helps to prevent allergens from affecting their owners, but also enables them to spend long hours playing in the pool.

Colton de Tulear

This delightful companion breed pronounced as “co-TAWN-day two-LEE-are,” will stick to their owners like a cheerful little shadow. Known for forming strong bonds with their owners, the American Kennel Club describes them as charming, bright, and happy-go-lucky. Their behavior can also be silly and clownish as they often make unique sounds and walk on their hind legs.

As the “royal dog of Madagascar,” the colton de tulear supposedly descended from canines who survived an ancient shipwreck close to Madagascar. Thanks to their white, soft hair they have a strong resemblance to bichons. Unlike fur on most dogs, theirs is considered hypoallergenic since it barely sheds and rarely causes allergies. However, its long coat requires daily maintenance.


With their cheerful and inquisitive nature, Havanese dogs have long, silky coats that can come in a range of colors. This breed does offer some different options when it comes to grooming. While most prefer to leave the coat untouched, some may choose to cord it, weaving it into dreadlocks akin to a puli. Alternatively, others may opt for a shorter cut to minimize upkeep time.

Fortunately, since this bred doesn’t shed much, both options are viable. In addition to their grooming options, the Havanese are known for being adaptable, intelligent, outgoing, and social. This means they make exceptional pets who are particularly well-suited for urban living.

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is a breed that is easily identifiable by its feathered tail and feet. You can get them as hairless or powderpuff. Anyone who has trouble with pet hair will want to choose the hairless variety. They make excellent housemates and are unlikely to cause allergies because they only have hair on their feet, tail, and head.

Even the powderpuff are unlike other hairy breeds thanks to their shorter undercoat and a veil overlay outer coat that makes brushing a breeze. If choosing the powderpuff, just know they require daily brushing whereas the hairless variety is less prone to shedding and doggy odor.

Although they may have a face that some consider unappealing, you’re sure to develop a deep affection for this furry friend.

West Highland Terrier

According to Dog Time, West Highland Terriers were originally bred for hunting and ratting. As a result, they can be very independent thinkers. Despite their solo nature, they still have very silly personalities that make bonding easy. Similar to other terrier breeds, Westies have a lively and inquisitive demeanor, but with the added benefit of minimal shedding.

As a robust dog, they possesses a cheerful and upbeat attitude that is guaranteed to keep owners amused with their playful antics. In addition to all that, the Westies portable size and friendly nature makes them one of the most sought-after terrier breeds.

Lhasa Apso

Named for the sacred city of lhasa in Tibet, Lhasa Apsos’s may exhibit a cheerful disposition, but they were initially bred as guard dogs for Buddhist monasteries and palaces, explains the American Kennel Club. They are a popular choice for people who live in smaller spaces, such as an apartment thanks to their miniature size and the fact that they don’t require a ton of exercise.

What’s interesting about this dog is that their stunning coats can grow long enough to touch the ground. Don’t worry, despite their long hair, they are still hypoallergenic dogs. If opting to maintain a longer fur length, owners must bathe them at least twice a month and brush their coat frequently to prevent matting.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry blue terriers derive their name from their coat color which showcases rich hues of blue and gray. With its sharp vigilance, versatility, and lively demeanor, this dog serves as an excellent watchdog and loyal family companion. Typically, Kerries crave companionship with their owners and will eagerly partake in any activity.

Similar to other terrier breeds, these refined dogs are non-shedding. However, their hypoallergenic coats require thorough brushing once a week and trimming every four to six weeks. Additionally, intermittent baths help maintain their cleanliness and overall appearance.

Senior Managing Editor

Katherine is the Senior Managing Editor of ActiveBeat and Childhood. She is constantly striving to live a more active and healthy life, from eating healthy, exercising, and just spending more time outdoors. She enjoys cooking (with wine), walking her dog, reading, and recently joined a yoga studio!

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