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Top 29 hypoallergenic dog breeds for people with allergies


According to the CDC, people who have pets exercise more, experience less stress and are happier in general. But people with pet allergies can’t experience these benefits without stuffy noses, coughing, watery eyes and skin rashes.

If this sounds like you, then there’s good news. Pet owners and the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognize some breeds as hypoallergenic, meaning they’re less likely to trigger allergies in their human companions.

No dog is guaranteed not to cause allergic reactions and scientific evidence on hypoallergenic dogs is limited. If you have a pet allergy and want to adopt a dog, use this list as a starting point, but practice other habits like good pet hygiene and taking antihistamines to manage your allergy.

1. Affenpinscher

Affenpinschers are small dogs with mischievous personalities.
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Affenpinschers are small, sturdy dogs with distinctive monkey-like faces. They’re known for their playful, affectionate and sometimes mischievous nature.

Affenpinschers also have wiry coats that require minimal maintenance, reducing the spread of allergens through your house.

Learn more about dog breeds

2. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound
An Afghan hound at the NEC Arena on March 9, 2018, in Birmingham, England. Afghan hounds are a dignified and loyal breed that has an average life span of 12.
Leon Neal/Getty

Afghan hounds have royal origins, and they act like it. These dogs possess a dignified and aloof demeanor with a strong, aristocratic presence.

They also have long, silky coats that resemble human hair. Like other dogs with this hair type, they shed minimally, making them hypoallergenic.

3. American Hairless Terrier

An American Hairless Terrier
An American Hairless Terrier
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The American hairless terrier is a small to medium-sized breed known for its lack of a traditional coat, appearing either completely hairless or with short, smooth fur.

Like other hairless dogs, this breed sheds minimally, making it a great choice for dog lovers with allergies. Just make sure you protect them from harsh sunlight and cold temperatures since they don’t have bushy coats.

4. Barbet

Barbet on white background
Barbet dogs have wooly, water-resistant coats.
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Barbet dogs are a medium to large-sized breed recognized for their curly, woolly and water-resistant coat. They are enthusiastic, intelligent and excel in various canine activities such as retrieving, swimming and agility.

Their loyal and sociable nature makes them excellent hypoallergenic dogs for active families.

5. Basenji

Basenji dog standing on grass
Basenjis can’t bark like most dogs, but they can make other sounds.
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Basenjis have a short coat and a larynx that can’t produce typical barking sounds, though they can make other vocalizations like croaking, yelping and howling. These dogs are intelligent and curious, requiring consistent training and mental stimulation.

Basenjis have short coats and excellent grooming habits that make them great dogs for people with allergies.

6. Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier
A Bedlington Terrier at the Cruft’s dog show at the NEC Arena on March 9, 2018, in Birmingham, England. Bedlington terriers need to be clipped every two months and brushed once or twice a week.
Leon Neal/Getty

It’s easy to mistake these dogs for lambs thanks to their wooly coats. Though once you bring a Bedlington terrier into your family, you’ll have no doubt about their canine heritage.

These dogs are affectionate, energetic and intelligent, making them great hypoallergenic dogs for families.

7. Bergamasco Shepherd

Bergamasco shepherds originated in the Italian Alps as sheep herders. Today, they make vigilant, intelligent pets who are determined to please their masters.

Bergamasco shepherds have distinct, shaggy coats that protect them from the weather. Their unique coats can also cause them to shed differently from other dogs, sparing owners with allergies.

8. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a little white dog originating from the Mediterranean with soft corkscrew curls
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Bichons are playful, outgoing and thrive on human companionship, making them excellent family pets. Their white, powder-puff appearance, complete with a plumed tail and dark, expressive eyes, gives them an endearing look.

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These dogs have soft white coats that produce less dander, making them hypoallergenic.

9. Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon standing on grass
Brussels griffons are small, bearded dogs.
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Brussels Griffons are small dogs with large eyes and bearded muzzles. They’re recognized for their distinctive, almost human-like expressions. These dogs are affectionate, lively and full of personality, displaying a confident and sometimes stubborn attitude.

Brussels griffons come with smooth and wiry coats. The wiry variation is hypoallergenic—avoid the smooth-coated griffons if you have allergies.

10. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terriers are affectionate dogs.
Matthew Eisman/Getty

Cairn terriers are small but sturdy dogs known for their spirited and curious nature. They’re playful and have plenty of attitude for dogs their size. These terriers are adaptable and thrive in city and country living environments if they receive enough mental and physical stimulation.

Cairn terriers have shaggy, weather-resistant double coats that are hypoallergenic. However, they need regular brushing to avoid matting. Brush your cairn terrier in a well-ventilated area if you’re allergic.

11. Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested Dog
A Chinese Crested Dog at a competition on August 26, 2018, in Leipzig, Germany.
Jens Schlueter/Getty

Chinese crested dogs come in two variations: hairless and coated. The hairless breed can make affectionate and entertaining pets for people with allergies.

Like other hairless pups, Chinese crested dogs don’t get any protection from their coats. They may need sun protection in the summer and doggy sweaters to keep warm in the winter.

12. Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear
A Coton de Tulear dog at the NEC Arena on March 10, 2017, in Birmingham, England. Coton de Tulear dogs need to be gently brushed to the skin every day.
Matt Cardy/Getty

Originating from Madagascar, these dogs have big, round eyes and happy, friendly expressions. Cotons are affectionate, social and thrive on human companionship, making them wonderful family pets.

Cotons have fluffy, cotton-like coats that are soft and hypoallergenic. They also need regular grooming.

13. Giant Schnauzer

Giant schnauzer
Giant schnauzers are very obedient dogs.
Drew Angerer/Getty

Giant Schnauzers are impressive, robust dogs known for their size, strength and distinctive beards. Their large eyebrows give them a dignified and imposing appearance. These dogs are intelligent and respond well to training.

Growing up to 95 pounds in some cases, this breed is one of the largest hypoallergenic dogs available.

14. Goldendoodle

Goldendoodle standing on grass looking up
Goldendooles are a mix between poodles and golden retrievers.
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These dogs are a hybrid of golden retrievers and poodles. Goldendoodles come in many sizes due to the different poodle sizes (toy, miniature and standard) used in breeding.

Although they aren’t officially recognized as a breed, many people with allergies adopt these unique dogs for their low-shedding, sometimes curly coats.

However, the lack of official breeding standards means that the goldendoodle you adopt may not have the traits you expect.

15. Havanese

Havanese
Havanese dogs love staying close to their owners.
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Havanese dogs are charming, small-sized companions known for their long, silky and profuse coats that come in various colors. Their expressive dark eyes, soft ears and plumed tail add to their captivating appearance.

Their cheerful and gentle nature, combined with their hypoallergenic coat, makes them cherished pets for those seeking a loving companion.

16. Irish Water Spaniel

English cocker spaniel in green grass
Irish spaniels have soft, curly coats.
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Irish water spaniels are characterized by their intelligence, loyalty and playful demeanor. They’re great working dogs and wonderful companions for active families.

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Irish water spaniels have curly, dense coats that shed minimally, reducing the spread of dander.

17. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso running on grass
Lhasa apsos have incredibly long coats.
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Lhasa apsos are small dogs with dark, deep-set eyes that give them an intelligent and expressive look. They are alert, playful and devoted to their families. Like many small dogs, they can be stubborn, but that’s part of what makes them endearing.

Lhasa apsos have thick, luxurious double coats that are hypoallergenic. However, their dense coats also require regular grooming for their health and appearance.

18. Maltese

Maltese toy dog
The Maltese toy dog has been a popular pet in Mediterranean countries for centuries
kimrawicz/Getty Images

Maltese dogs are small and elegant companions with dark eyes and a black button nose set against a white, slightly rounded head. Originating from Malta, they’re affectionate, gentle and thrive on human companionship, making them fantastic lap dogs and family pets.

These dogs have long, silky coats with no undercoat, making them a low-shedding breed perfect for people with allergies.

19. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers are easily trainable and very obedient.
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty

Miniature schnauzers are small dogs with bushy eyebrows and distinct beards that give them a serious and dignified appearance. They are intelligent, alert and always ready to sound the alarm, making them good guard dogs.

Like their larger cousin, the giant schnauzer, miniature schnauzers have wiry, hypoallergenic double coats.

20. Peruvian Inca Orchid

Peruvian Inca orchids have slender builds that are sleek and elegant. They are affectionate, loyal and often bond closely with their families, displaying a gentle and sensitive nature.

Peruvian Inca orchids are hairless dogs that shed minimally, so they’re good for people with allergies. However, as with other hairless dogs, make sure you give them extra protection from the elements—like sun protection and dog sweaters to keep warm.

21. Poodle

Despite their looks Poodles are not divas
Despite their looks Poodles are not divas.
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Poodles are an elegant and intelligent breed known for their performance in competitions. They are playful dogs that come in all sizes, from toy poodles that weigh less than 6 pounds to the standard size, which can grow up to 60 pounds.

Despite their reputation as aloof show dogs, they’re one of the friendliest dog breeds you can get. Their curly hypoallergenic coats make them great for those with allergic family members.

22. Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs love being with their family.
Christopher Furlong/Getty

Portuguese water dogs have a robust build and webbed feet, making them exceptional swimmers. These dogs need plenty of mental and physical stimulation, but they respond well to training and excel in canine sports and activities.

Their curly or wavy coats are hypoallergenic, making them great dogs for allergic families who enjoy spending time on the water.

23. Samoyed

Samoyed dog running on snow
Samoyeds are white fluffy dogs that require regular grooming.
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You might mistake this dog for a cloud as it comes bounding towards you. But no—it’s just the friendly and gentle Samoyed with its long white coat. These dogs are intelligent and loyal, making them great family guard dogs.

You might be surprised to learn these dogs are also hypoallergenic, despite their fluffy coats. However, their coats need regular grooming to stay clean and tidy.

24. Scottish Terrier

Scottish terrier NYC dog show 2010
A Scottish terrier seen at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 16, 2010.
Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Scottish terriers, also known as “Scotties,” are sturdy dogs with prominent beards, bushy eyebrows and brimming with confidence. They were bred in Scotland as vermin hunters, but today their intelligence, strong wills and loyalty make them good guard dogs and companions.

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Scotties have wiry hypoallergenic coats that come in black, brindle or wheaten shades.

25. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu was reportedly bred from Tibetan breeds to become pets for Chinese emperors
Kurt Pas/Getty Images

Shih Tzus are small dogs with big personalities. They’re great companion dogs that love attention, thanks to their friendly, outgoing nature. They’re also very independent, so they won’t mind being left alone for short periods.

Shih Tzus have long, flowing double coats that are hypoallergenic.

26. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaton Terriers have thick, full coats.
Matthew Eisman/WireImage/Getty

Wheaten terriers are lively, affectionate and playful, keeping their puppy-like spirit throughout their lives. Studies show they’re one of the more aggressive breeds. However, with good socialization and training, they can be great family pets.

These dogs have soft, silky and abundant coats. However, they don’t have an undercoat, making them good for people with allergies.

27. West Highland Terrier

West Highland White Terriers
The West Highland White Terrier small dog breed make for intelligent and confident companions
iagodina/Getty Images

West highland terriers, or “Westies,” are compact dogs with spirited, confident personalities. They were originally bred as vermin hunters, but today their loyalty and adaptability make them good family guard dogs.

Westies have distinctive, white hypoallergenic coats.

28. Xoloitzcuintli

 xoloitzcuintli dog Mexican breed
A xoloitzcuintli seen at the National Pet Show on November 4, 2017 in Birmingham, England in the U.K.
Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage via Getty Images

Rather than trying to pronounce their name, you can call these dogs Xolos. They’ve existed in Mexico for over 3,000 years. They can be aloof with strangers but show great loyalty to their families.

These dogs are hairless, except for small tufts of fur on their heads, making them great for owners with allergies. Make sure to keep them warm in the winter, since these dogs are used to the hot Mexican climate.

29. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers pack an energetic punch in a small package
prohor08/Getty Images

Yorkies are small, elegant dogs that originated in England. Despite their size, they can display tons of courage. They’re also affectionate and form strong bonds with their families.

Yorkies have fine, silky hypoallergenic coats, but they require regular grooming.

Hypoallergenic Dogs by Size

If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, you have options in every size range.

Small Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

These hypoallergenic dogs usually weigh less than 20 pounds:

  • Affenpinscher
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Bolognese
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Chinese Crested
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Havanese
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Maltese
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Miniature Poodles
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • West Highland Terrier
  • Xoloitzcuintli
  • Yorkshire Terrier

Medium Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

These hypoallergenic dogs weigh between 20 and 50 pounds as adults:

  • Afghan Hound
  • Barbet
  • Basenji
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Goldendoodle
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Large Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

These hypoallergenic dogs can grow larger than 50 pounds:

  • Bergamasco Shepherd
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Large Poodles
  • Samoyed

How to Manage Dog Allergies

No dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic—even hypoallergenic dogs can trigger allergic reactions.

A study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found no significant differences in airborne dander levels between breeds.

If you have allergies, but want a dog, don’t rely on breed alone to manage allergic reactions. Instead, practice these habits to mitigate allergies:

  • Clean regularly. All dogs—including hypoallergenic dogs—shed and spread dander. You can minimize the amount of allergy-causing dander in your house by vacuuming often and using a HEPA air purifier.
  • Avoid licking. Dogs can show their love with licks, but their saliva can trigger allergic reactions. Train them to show affection in other ways to avoid rashes on your face.
  • Bathe your pet. Keeping your dog clean can reduce the number of allergens they spread around the house. Make sure you don’t wash your dog too much—washing more than once a week can make your dog’s skin dry and flaky, spreading more dander.
  • Take an antihistamine. Antihistamines like Benadryl block the receptors in your body that trigger allergic reactions. Talk to your doctor if you plan to take an antihistamine or any drug long-term to prevent pet allergies.

Hypoallergenic Dog Breed FAQs

Still wondering about hypoallergenic dogs? Check out the answers to these common questions:

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Shed?

All dogs shed, including hypoallergenic dogs. Many people think that hypoallergenic dogs shed less, but it’s not clear that breeding influences shedding rate.

“There was no evidence for differential shedding of allergen by dogs grouped as hypoallergenic,” wrote researchers in a study for the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. However, they add the caveat that additional research into hypoallergenic dogs is warranted.

Are Goldendoodles Hypoallergenic?

Goldendoodles are a hybrid of poodles and golden retrievers. Breeders have combined these dogs’ genetics hoping to mix poodles’ hypoallergenic properties with golden retrievers’ loving demeanors.

Many owners recognize these dogs as hypoallergenic thanks to their heritage. However, there are no standards for this mixed breed. So if you adopt a goldendoodle, you cannot be sure you’re receiving a hypoallergenic dog.

What Are the Best Hypoallergenic Family Dogs?

Gentleness, friendliness and trainability are important qualities for family dogs. Good hypoallergenic breeds with these traits include:

  • Barbet
  • Bedlington terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Goldendoodle
  • Lhasa apso
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese water dog
  • Yorkshire terrier

Are There Any Hypoallergenic Guard Dogs?

Some hypoallergenic dogs have traits that make for great guard dogs, like obedience, intelligence and protective behavior.

  • Bergamasco shepherd
  • Giant schnauzer
  • Miniature schnauzer
  • Samoyed
  • Scottish terrier
  • West highland terrier

Are Mixed-Breed Dogs Hypoallergenic?

Breeders sometimes mix hypoallergenic dogs with non-hypoallergenic dogs hoping to create mixed breeds that produce less dander, like one side of their lineage. This process produces breeds like:

  • Goldendoodle
  • Mastipoo
  • Cockapoo
  • Morkie

However, there isn’t much research into the supposed hypoallergenic properties of these dogs. Nor are there breed standards for these hybrids. So if you get one, there’s no guarantee it’s hypoallergenic.