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Dog Breeds for Families with Allergies

Love dogs, but hate their dander? If you want a pup but can't help but sneeze due to allergy issues, it's time to look at dog breeds for families with allergies.

By Rowan MarleyPublished 7 years ago 6 min read

Allergies can make a good dog a bad choice for your family, and that's a sad fact of life. The fact is that many would-be dog owners often believe that having a puppy is out of reach for them, just because they have allergies to pet dander.

Believe it or not, even people who are heavily allergic to dogs can still own a dog in many cases. The key to being able to have your own canine companion is to look at dog breeds that have been specially bred to be hypoallergenic.

Most allergies are triggered by dog dander and not dog fur. It's often surprising how many dog breeds out there are actually bred to have little to no dander whatsoever.

Though there are no dogs that are 100% hypoallergenic, the fact is that having a dog breed that's deemed hypoallergenic can help reduce sniffles, sneezing, and coughing. If you don't know where to start, take a look at some of the best dog breeds for families with allergies—such as the ones below!

Bichon Frise

The little, spunky Bichon Frise is one of the best dog breeds for families with allergies, and also happens to be one of the top choices for apartment-dwelling dog lovers.

Little Bichons produce almost no dander, and are cited by the AKC as a hypoallergenic breed. If that alone isn't a big enough perk, these pups also rarely shed. However, their hair continuously grows, so you will have to groom them regularly.

Bichons Frises are known for being playful, alert and incredibly charming dogs that adapt well to change. If you love gentle dogs that work well with kids, a Bichon Frise is your best bet.

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hounds are the large, long-haired dogs that have that sleek, elegant, almost statuesque look to them. They are not the dogs you'd expect to see on a list of dog breeds for families with allergies, but believe it or not, they're deemed hypoallergenic.

These beautiful dogs are not good for apartment living, primarily because they need space to run. Highly active but extremely dignified, Afghan Hounds are often better suited to suburban homes with older children.

That being said, these are some of the most loyal (albeit aloof) dogs you'll ever see.

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is a dog that's known for its very unusual fur patterns, its funky attitude, and the fact that it's mostly bald. The baldness might have tipped you off that it's one of the better dog breeds for families with allergies out there — but this breed has so much more to offer than just being hypoallergenic.

These funky-looking dogs are incredibly expressive, love to follow their humans around, and are known for being a perfect mix between a "dog and cat" type of personality. If you love dogs that are mellow, sweet, and entertaining, a Chinese Crested is a perfect fit.

Giant Schnauzer

If you aren't feeling the idea of having to settle for a dog that's petite due to allergies, then never fear—Schnauzers are here! More specifically, you might want to check out the Giant Schnauzer as a family dog option.

According to the AKC, the Giant Schnauzer might be one of the best picks among dog breeds for families with allergies, especially if you have hyper kids.

This very active, alert, and intelligent breed is known for being a "working dog," which makes them ideal for families who have farms, large yards, or kids who love to run around. They easily learn tricks and are excellent guard dogs, too.

If you want a smaller Schnauzer, don't worry, you're still good! Mini Schnauzers also got high ranks by the AKC for hypoallergenic fur.

Irish Water Spaniel

For many people, there's something about spaniel breeds that melts their hearts. Maybe it's the soulful eyes, the soft fur they have, or just their overall sweet demeanor, but spaniels really are incredibly popular dogs with almost every demographic.

And, thankfully, there are spaniel dog breeds for families with allergies. The curly-haired Irish Water Spaniel is known for rarely shedding, producing low amounts of dander, and also providing lots of love to the right family.

These inquisitive, moderately active pups are easily trained and absolutely love to swim. So, if you live near the beach, this might just be the best swimming buddy you can adopt!

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terriers are excellent dogs for just about every kind of lifestyle. They also happen to be one of the more surprising dog breeds for families with allergies. After all, they tend to have so much hair that you can't usually see their eyes!

Though they were meant to hunt and retrieve, these medium-sized dogs are now perfectly adapted to suburban living as well. City dwellers might find the Kerry Blue to be a bit large—but otherwise perfectly content inside an apartment setting.

Mellow yet active, and overwhelmingly goofy, having a Kerry Blue Terrier will always lead you to tons of fun.


These little adorable fluffs are considered to be one of the best "beginner dogs" out there — and we can totally see why. Ideal for city apartments, suburban homes, and even rural ranches, the Maltese is a dog breed that's incredibly flexible in terms of lifestyle.

If you're a new potential dog owner and are looking for a lapdog that rules, you're in luck! Along with being relatively easy to train, easy to groom, and an overall happy-go-lucky breed, the Maltese also has been cited as one of the best dog breeds for families with allergies.


Poodles are one of those dog breeds you either love or hate. They can be a bit "frou-frou" for certain people, but we'd be lying if we didn't say they were excellent companion dogs. Poodles are a dog breed that loves exercise, and that means they're ideal for families with an active lifestyle.

Their curly hair and low dander production also happens to make them a hypoallergenic breed. Devoted, child-friendly, and cute as pie, poodles might be one of the best dog breeds for families with allergies.

It's worth noting that poodles come in a variety of sizes. Larger poodles tend to be much more calm than toy sizes, but they all are generally seen to be excellent family-friendly pets.

Italian Greyhounds

Most of the dog breeds for families with allergies are classic cuddlers, like Poodles and Shih Tzus. Italian Greyhounds, with their endearingly large eyes and slender frames, aren't quite the typical family-friendly pooch you'd expect to see, but they are incredible family pets.

Sweet natured and bred for companionship, Italian Greyhounds are the kind of dogs that are just as comfy sitting on your lap as they are running around a dog part. They produce very little dander, and are shorthaired, too.

So, all in all, they're a very allergy-friendly dog breed that offers a lot of love to the right owner.


These giant puffy clouds of fur are proof that not all of the dog breeds for families with allergies have to be short haired. In fact, they also prove that curly-haired dogs aren't the only dogs that are hypoallergenic.

Samoyeds have a lot of fur, and give kids plenty of opportunity to run their hands through them. They're affectionate, playful, and make for amazing family dogs — as long as you love being active!

If you're looking for a large dog with the good looks of a Husky without the allergy attacks you get near them, adopting a Samoyed is a perfect choice for your family.

Portuguese Water Dog

The dog of choice for former president Barack Obama, the Portuguese Water Dog often gets mistaken for a large black poodle. But, don't let the curly hair fool you — this family-friendly dog has a totally different personality than your typical poodle.

Portuguese Water Dogs are warm, gentle dogs that are pretty playful. They also happen to adore swimming in water, and have webbed toes that help them paddle along.

This presidential dog is one of the best dog breeds for families with allergies, or just people who really love hitting the beach with their furry family members.


The Xoloitzcuintli (don't ask us how to pronounce it) or Mexican Hairless Dog is one of the world's rarest and most historic breeds. This hairless dog breed currently is known as the oldest dog breed to have been found in America, and once was associated with Aztec royalty.

Affectionate, quiet, and "natural born healers," Xolos are great dogs for kids who tend to have anxiety. They do well with children, but are best supervised with smaller kids. Overall, they're both a status symbol and awesome companion, all rolled into one cute dog.

Since they have little hair and almost zero dander, they also are one of the best dog breeds for families with allergies.


About the Creator

Rowan Marley

Rowan Marley is a 20-year-old sports enthusiast who hails from Brooklyn. When he's not hitting up a local Zumba class, he's drinking organic smoothies. That's just how he rolls.

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