Not all dog breeds trigger watery eyes and sneezes, however; some shed less, have less dander or don’t have any fur at all! We found the top 10 best — and cutest — nonallergenic dogs.
Allergies are different for everyone, so do your research. Check out WebMD for details on the causes of dog allergies. Also check out the official AKC-approved list of hypoallergenic breeds
, or visit the Breeder Retriever
for tons of breed information and puppy-parenting tips.
These dog breeds make perfect pets for people with allergies
This dog is a sneezing owner’s dream come true. This breed does shed, but you’ll find no doggy odor or dander, making these dogs the perfect option for people with allergies. They’re known for being laid-back, gentle and “smiley,” so they’re great around kids.
They’re usually around 21 inches tall and about 40 pounds, and they’re very active indoors. Apartment life is OK as long as they get plenty of exercise, but make note that unlike many of the other dogs on this list, Samoyeds have a nice, thick coat of fur, so they love cold weather (and cuddling… in fact, they’re bred to do it!).
The Chinese crested
The most efficient way to avoid dog-induced allergies is to get a dog without any, or with very little, hair. You can’t go wrong with the Chinese crested; they barely shed at all. They do produce dander and can be a little clingy, but they’re very good with children.
When you’re searching for one, be advised that there’s actually a powderpuff variety that does have hair, but they’re almost equally allergy-friendly. They’re just harder to care for because their fur can mat if you don’t brush it properly. Both varieties need to wear sweaters in cold weather, but they’re excellent apartment dogs, at 12 inches high and about 10 pounds on average, and need only frequent exercise rather than a backyard to frolic in.
This breed doesn’t shed or bark, they have very little dander, and they’re darling, so they’re a great choice. They do sometimes make an odd yodeling noise, and they can be hard to train (like most hounds). But this stubborn demeanor comes packed with a lot of lovable personality.
I don’t recommend getting a basenji if you live in tight quarters, as he’s pretty active indoors, but it’s great if you have a large apartment conducive to activity or a backyard. He may be only as big as 17 inches and 26 pounds, but it’s not a good idea to trust him around non-canine animals or kids who aren’t well versed in showing dogs they’re the alpha.
The Italian greyhound
This cute little Italian dog has a thin coat, so he barely sheds, and it’s easy to keep him clean of allergens. The breed is very playful and loyal and does not need a big yard. They’re extremely sensitive to cold, though, so this isn’t a good breed for a family living in a chilly climate. In many climates, they’re the perfect dog if you need justification to dress your pet in cute sweaters.
Much smaller than the greyhounds that usually come to mind, this little cutie maxes out at about 15 inches high and 10 pounds.
Like the schnauzer, the poodle comes in three sizes: standard, miniature and toy. They do not shed, but they do require a lot of grooming and care. They’re easy to train, but the smaller ones can get a little yappy. That said, poodles of any size are remarkably intelligent and typically very strong at any size.
If a poodle is too prissy for your liking, try a labradoodle. They have the hypoallergenic coat of a poodle, but on a Labrador’s body.
The Shih tzu
Despite those long, silky locks, this breed sheds very lightly. Although they need a lot of grooming, they are affectionate, kind and easygoing. But be wary: Shih tzus tend to become jealous of babies and toddlers, so protect your other little loved ones from their insecurity. Even though they’re only up to 11 inches and 16 pounds, they may not be the best fit for families with small kids who don’t know how to act around dogs (or if your dog isn’t properly obedience-trained).
These pups are also prone to a host of health problems that can add to the amount of maintenance they require, especially as they get older.
The Bedlington Terrier
Although at first glance he looks more like a lamb than a dog, the Bedlington terrier could be the perfect canine addition to a laid-back family. These do not shed and are very mild-mannered.
Maxing out at 17 inches and 23 pounds, they do very well in apartments as long as there’s plenty of room to play.
The Yorkshire terrier
Don’t have a big yard? Then a Yorkie is perfect for you! They are content playing and cuddling with you indoors. This pup doesn’t shed or have a lot of dander. She does require heavy grooming, however, so keep the brush in hand when she paws at your lap.
Most people love this breed for its adorably tiny size — at just about 7 pounds and 6 or 7 inches tall, she’s for sure a purse-size pup.
These shed-less pups are great for the owner who loves to be the center of attention — or the kid who loves playing follow-the-leader. The schnauzer loves his owners so much that he won’t let them out of his sight, so expect to have a buddy by your side at all times. He does need a firm hand, though, to balance his stubborn, energetic and protective temper. Schnauzers come in three sizes: standard, giant and miniature.
While you can pick your size, do know that the giant model, as a larger dog, may not live quite as long as smaller ones (though not by much).
The Bichon Frise
Don’t let the puffy coat fool you. These little marshmallows are jolly, easy to train and don’t shed. As long as you brush their curly tresses, they won’t shower dander and dust. The bichon frise is great for a family wanting a small, cheerful dog as an easygoing companion.
Perfect for apartments, they tend to max out at a petite 12 inches tall and weigh only 7 to 12 pounds but can generally get plenty of exercise indoors. They also live a very long life, at 15 or more years.