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Friday, 28 February 2014

Breed advice for allergy sufferers

My family and I are desperate for a dog. I’ve always lived with dogs, and my two boys (11 and 6) would love a dog. We live in a perfect place for a dog - we have a large, secure garden, surrounded by woodland.

My husband also wants a dog - but he is allergic to many things. Cats really set him off and some dogs, so we want to make sure we get the right dog for him. How can we find a hypoallergenic breed? Someone mentioned to me that there’s no such thing! How can we reduce his chances of reacting?

K West, by email


  1. I was allergic to dogs before my Border Terrier, who is a hypoallergenic breed. He has also helped me overcome my allergy of non-hypoallergenic breeds, too! It seems a miracle, but it has happened. Once you've chosen your hypoallergenic breed, its just a case of finding a breeder/centre who breeds/has them.

  2. Hi there. Please have a look at the Allergy Myth page on our website.
    Unfortunately it is correct that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, as a recent study has proved.
    Allergies can be caused by the coat, the dander and even the saliva of dogs.
    It is a myth that Poodles don't shed. They DO shed ..... all year round. That is why Poodles require regular bathing and grooming or their coats become felted like a sheep's fleece.
    It is also futile testing for allergies with puppies as all dogs will change to their adult coat at around 8 month old, onwards and the adult coat is usually very different to the puppy coat.
    If you want to have a dog, the best thing you can do is visit, and have contact with, an available adult dog and see if there is any reaction. Bear in mind that it can take up to 48 hours after the visit for the allergy to manifest itself so don't rush into any decision.
    Good luck with your hunt for a suitable dog but please be aware that it may take some time before you find one that will suit you.

  3. We have Poodles and I strongly suggest you visit a Poodle home and test your reaction as very many people who have allergies are fine with them However just check there are no cats or pet birds in the home as this could trigger a reaction.