Dog lovers that have pet related allergies are often stuck between their desire to have a family pet and their desire to keep allergy symptoms under control. It is easy to understand why so many people are tempted to go pick out a new puppy this spring when breeders advertise “hypo-allergenic” breeds. Before you write that check to a breeder, you may want to take a closer look at a study published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy last year that suggests there is no such thing as a hypo-allergenic breed.

There is no official list of hypo-allergenic breeds, but the American Kennel Club suggests 11 “hypoallergenic canine candidates” which include:

  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese Crested
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Poodles (all sizes)
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Schnauzer (all sizes)
  • Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier
  • Xoloitzcuintli

While these breeds may shed less, due to the type of coat they have, the study showed that there was no statistically significant differences in the levels of Canis familiaris, or Can f1, which is the major dog allergen, in homes with only dogs found on the list and any other breed of dog.

Sixty of the 161 A.K.C. recognized breeds were listed as hypoallergenic in one web resource or another. These breeds produced no less Can f1 than mixed breeds or the other 101 breeds recognized by the AKC.

Dr. Cole, an epidemiologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, said: “You can’t be assured that some breed is going to produce less allergen than another. Allergists, based on their experience, really think that it’s just individual dogs who have some variations based on genetics or behavior, who produce more allergens than others. But it’s not going to be a breed classification that predicts that.”

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT