The western world is full of dog lovers. Unfortunately, many have allergies which mean that they cannot experience the joys of our four legged friends as much as they would like. However, there are many breeds available that have very short fur or none at all or shed so rarely that it has no effect on allergies. Bearing this in mind, crossbreeds are being created to increase accessibility for dog lovers with allergies. Here are ten of the best and most popular examples:
There are three variations on this breed: the miniature, the standard and the giant. Originally from Germany in the 15th century, they are believed to have been bred from a variation of the poodle. Very terrier-like in appearance, they have long wiry hair but do not shed too often meaning cleaner carpets and no health problems for the allergy sufferers. They are incredibly energetic dogs so do require a lot of exercise, keeping you fit and healthy in the process.
West Highland Terrier
Small, sturdy dogs that have long hair but do not shed very often, they are loyal and affection family pets sometimes prone to small dog syndrome. ‘Westies’ are a popular breed of small dog in the United Kingdom (where they are believed to have been bred). When you have more than one dog in the house this breed will often thrust itself into the role of diplomat, encouraging others to get along and berating those who misbehave. Self-assured and energetic, they need keeping in check by firm owners.
The Poodle also comes in three sizes: the toy, the miniature and the standard (or Giant Poodle). Often seen as feminine dogs, the giant versions are powerful and relatively masculine in appearance. Their tough, wiry hair is ideal for those with allergies. They shed very rarely and are good dogs to take out for lengthy walks. Crossbreeding and popularity of the larger version in recent years have moved them firmly into the zone of family dog.
Labradors are very popular dogs, they are fun loving, affectionate and easy to train. Unfortunately, they seem to shed hair all year around which means they are one of the worst breeds for people with allergies. However, this mix of Labrador and Poodle has the best of both worlds; they are affection and playful like the Labrador and though they have long hair, it is tough and wiry and less likely to shed ‘ traits it inherits from the Poodle. They are an incredibly popular breed at present.
They were once favoured as racing dogs and are like miniature Greyhounds. They probably came about from the selective crossing of Greyhound variations which is why they are so similar. Variations are the standard Greyhound (which are much larger than the whippet) and the Italian Greyhound (much smaller). In all cases, they have very short hair and shed rarely which is good both for the house and for your allergies. You’ll also not experience that ‘wet dog’ smell so common to most other breeds.
A small dog without the complex, the Bichon Frise is a lovely and affectionate dog that revels in human company. They are of French origin and believed to be the result of crossbreeding between smaller poodles and the Barbet. Again, being a poodle cross it has thick and curly hair and sheds rarely. Its loyalty and superb temperament led to it being adopted as official mascot of the French Kennel Club. Tintin’s dog Snowy (or Milou in French) is one of these breeds.
The Basenji are known as the ‘barkless dog’ due to the unusual sound that they make compared to other dogs ‘ it is more like a yodel or a tuneful howl. They are energetic and have a certain graceful appearance and motion. Its descent is not clear but they are believed to have been selectively bred in Central Africa specifically for hunting and the loss of the bark could be part of the ‘selecting out’ to make it a better hunter, not alerting prey to a hunting party. The breed has very short hair.
Left untrimmed or having any treatment or care of the coat, the Havanese looks rather like a tough walking carpet. They are small in stature and have long, thick, silky hair which they rarely shed making it an ideal small dog. They are great companions in a family home and enjoy being around children. In fact, they are one of the most sociable breeds you could possibly have in your home. They are a breed of the Bichon category and the national animal of Cuba ‘ hence the name.
American Hairless Terrier
The reason this breed is superb for people with allergies is rather obvious ‘ it has no hair at all. Descended of the Rat Terrier, which in turn is bred from a whole host of English terrier types, the first to arrive in North America was likely to have been sent over during the reign of Henry VIII. Both are considered American breeds and therefore not really seen outside of North America. Both are energetic and ideal farm dogs.
A breed of dog that comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes, it is the most well-known of the Central and South American hairless breeds. Originally believed to have descended from, or having a cousin relationship of the Chinese Crested, recent tests have shown this not to be the case. It was also discovered to have been native to Mexico for over 3000 years. Some have a very small amount of hair on the head but otherwise, there is none.
Humans have always selectively crossbred their favourite dog breeds to combine their favourite physical and personality traits into a new breed. Keeping allergies in mind, many of these new crosses are being bred specifically so that those who have adverse health effects of exposure to dog hair can experience new enjoyment or to continue to enjoy the pleasures of having an animal in their lives. There are many more breeds you might be able to own but also make sure to check just how hypoallergenic certain dogs are.