If you suffer from allergies or asthma and you love dogs, you know how discouraging it is to have an allergy or asthma attack when you're around man's best friend. However, a number of dogs don't shed so they produce little dander -- the culprit of your allergies and asthma.
It's not the hair on a dog that causes your allergic or asthmatic attack. It's the result from protein in the saliva and urine sticking to the dander or flaky dead skin cells that causes the reaction. Non-shedding dogs do not produce as much dander and therefore you are less likely to have a reaction. However, no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic. The only way to know if you will have an allergic or asthmatic attack is to visit the breeder for several hours and see if you are sensitive to the dogs' dander.
The toy poodle, always among the 10 most popular dogs according to the American Kennel Club, is also among the AKC's Top 10 hypoallergenic dogs. The poodle is an intelligent, loyal dog that has to be clipped regularly or his hair will mat. The Chinese crested dog is either a hairless or a "powderpuff." Both hairless and powderpuff crave companionship. The hairless is prone to sunburn and skin irritations. The Xoloitzcuintli is one of the oldest breeds of dogs. This hairless breed is calm and attentive, and makes an excellent companion. The Bichon Frise is a playful and loveable dog that, like the poodle, will need clipping to prevent matting. The Maltese is a gentle but energetic dog. Clipping is necessary for this one, as well.
The miniature poodle like the toy poodle is a popular dog. It too requires grooming to prevent matting. The miniature and standard schnauzers are part of the terrier group, so they have lots of energy. Grooming their coat is a necessity. The Wheaton terrier is an energetic dog that is larger than the schnauzer and true to the terrier breed -- intelligent and protective. Yes, he will need to be clipped periodically, as is the case with most hypoallergenic dogs.
The Portuguese water dog is an athletic, hairy dog, so he requires lots of exercise and his coat requires regular maintenance. The Irish water spaniel loves to please. You'll need to keep his coat trimmed to minimize risk of allergic reaction. The Bedlington terrier is gentle and mild. Though he is a terrier, he isn't as energetic as other terriers. His coat needs to be clipped periodically, as well. The kerry blue terrier is high-energy and a good family dog; however, he does not like cats or small dogs. Grooming his coat is necessary, also.
Each of the aforementioned dogs is an AKC recommended breed. The pedigrees of AKC-registered dogs go back at least 100 years. Though behaviors and energy levels are established in the breed, all dogs have their own individualities and will vary in personality and activity level. The American Kennel Club does not guarantee that any of the non-shedding dogs will prevent allergic or asthmatic attacks. All dogs have dander, and all dogs with hair shed to some extent. Besides the AKC-registered breeds, you may want to consider hybrid dogs -- dogs that are the blend of two breeds. You will want a hybrid that is a mix of two non-shedding dogs.
Pauline Gill is a retired teacher with more than 25 years of experience teaching English to high school students. She holds a bachelor's degree in language arts and a Master of Education degree. Gill is also an award-winning fiction author.