There's no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. That said, some breeds are less likely to cause allergic reactions in sensitive people than others. Individuals who sneeze and wheeze in the presence of other dogs might be just fine with a Lhasa apso.
People whose eyes water and sinuses clog in the presence of dogs aren't necessarily allergic to the hair. Dog dander and saliva are just as likely to trigger reactions in sensitive individuals. The American Lhasa Apso Club advises that potential owners suffering from allergies, asthma or similar conditions check with their doctors before bringing a Lhasa into the household. If you or a family member are allergic to dogs, try to find a Lhasa owner who will let you spend some time in their home with their dog to see how you react.
One reason the Lhasa gained a reputation as a hypoallergenic canine is because the breed doesn't shed much. Less shed hair means less dander in the environment. Lhasas have a single coat. Double-coated breeds shed more and cause more allergic reactions. The breed tends to have lower dander levels overall, along with fewer reactions to their saliva. One key to keeping dander levels down is frequent grooming and bathing.
Lhasas require a lot of grooming, perhaps even more so if they live in a house with a sensitive individual. Show dogs with long coats mean countless hours at the groomer. Even if you keep your Lhasa's coat short, it needs daily combing and brushing. Any coat neglect quickly results in matted hair. If you have an allergic person in your home, bathe your Lhasa every couple of weeks.
While a dog that doesn't produce much of an allergic reaction might top your list of traits, other considerations come into play. Lhasa apsos are known for their independence and aloof manner. While your average canine's life purpose is pleasing his owner, that's not on the top of the Lhasa's "to do" list. While intelligent, Lhasa's aren't particularly obedient. That means training from an early age is a necessity, even if it means taking classes with other dogs that might trigger your allergies.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.