Put Away the Tissues: A Guide to Allergy-Friendly Purebred Dog Breeds

10 minute read By Lucy Hughes
Reviewed by: Pawrade Team
May 07, 2024

a small dog with a hat

“Oh, what a cute puppy! Can I pet it?”

You lean in to give the puppy some cuddles and “scritches.” Instead of being covered in just puppy kisses, you see you’re covered in angry red welts starting to swell, making you give yourself “scritches” this time! Your nose begins to tickle, and your eyes start to itch. 

“A-choo! Oh, no! How in the world can anyone be allergic to puppies? What cruel joke is this?” 

If you love snuggling with puppies but have unpleasant effects afterward, you’ve unfortunately found out you are allergic to dogs. 

Does this dash your hopes of becoming a puppy owner? Not necessarily. 

Most of us know dogs with the word “doodle” or ending in “-poo” crossbreeds are allergy-friendly since they are mixed with the hypoallergenic Poodle, such as Cavapoo or Mini Goldendoodle dogs. Doodle dogs tend to shed less because they have hair instead of fur and shed less dander. But what about other purebred allergy-friendly hypoallergenic dog breeds

If you want to adopt a furry canine friend that won’t negatively affect your health, you should consider some purebred breeds beyond the doodle mixes. When you learn more about what causes people to be allergic to dogs, dogs that grow hair instead of fur, and dog breed options, you can put away the tissue box and antihistamines. 

Don’t let your allergies dash your dreams of owning a puppy. Check out these purebred hypoallergenic dog breeds to stay sneeze-free. 

maltesecrazyhair (1).webp

What Causes Someone to be Allergic to Dogs? 

It’s always important to understand what happens in your body when you experience an intense allergic reaction to some dogs. 

Allergies from dogs are not caused by the hair or fur itself as many people may assume. Instead, allergies are sourced from dander, the dead, dried flakes shed from your pet’s skin. Dander contains a microscopic protein also present in glands on the skin and the urine and saliva of animals. This protein causes a reaction in your body when touched or inhaled.

Pet dander can be present anywhere your dog is near you, including swirling in the air, and is commonly found in upholstery, floors, dog beds, and other surfaces in a home. For most people with pet allergies, it’s not enough to remove a dog from a particular room or run a vacuum through once before an allergic visitor comes over. 

What’s the difference between dog fur and a coat of hair? 

Other than hairless dogs, puppies will either have a single coat or a double coat of fur or hair. That’s right – some dogs grow hair instead of fur. Like humans, a hair coat must be trimmed, brushed, combed, washed, and conditioned. Some breeds with wiry hair are hand-stripped rather than brushed or combed, a process when dead hairs are plucked by hand. Hair is less likely to shed than fur and traps dander better than a fur coat. People with allergies should look to either hairless dogs or low-to-no-shedding dogs with a coat of hair. 


Allergy-friendly dogs make excellent Branch Managers

Misconceptions About Hypoallergenic Dogs

You’ll refer to us calling allergy-friendly dog breeds as “hypoallergenic,” but there’s more to that adjective than most people think it entails. The term “hypoallergenic” is defined as “relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction,” not “does not cause an allergic reaction.” It simply means these dog breeds are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction in most, not completely allergy-free.  

All dogs produce saliva and urine, meaning no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic and guaranteed completely safe for those with allergies. However, the less dander present, the better the chance the dog does not trigger a strong reaction (or any reaction for some people). This is particularly true for small dog breeds.

If you suffer from severe allergies, it’s always best to be around the breed you’re considering before you give a puppy a forever home. You wouldn’t want to have to rehome a puppy you’ve so carefully picked out, so do your due diligence first to prevent medical issues – and heartbreak. 

Hypoallergenic Dogs For People With Allergies

Owning a puppy is truly a joy and enhances our well-being in many ways, and we’d hate for you to miss out. While not a comprehensive list, here are some hypoallergenic dogs for people with allergies. These breeds can be great family dogs, apartment dogs, emotional support dogs, or breeds suitable for first-time owners and individuals, families, and seniors. They’re all amazing companions!   


Miniature Schnauzer

A Miniature Schnauzer is a spirited little dog with a salt and pepper coat that is a friendly companion. Miniature Schnauzers are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners. Their bushy beards and expressive eyebrows give these terriers human-like qualities. Instead of being brushed, owners can handstrip dead hairs from their hard, wiry coats to prevent matting and tangling. Owners can choose trim styles and often opt for cuts leaving little beards on their muzzles.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise, also called a Bichon, is a small, peppy dog known for its cotton-like white hypoallergenic coat. Owners can style them in several ways, from a perfect puffball to a short clip. Bichons want to be near you in all they do and are up for anything as long as it’s with you. They are highly trainable and impressed crowds with their special tricks long ago. A Bichon Frise has a happy-go-lucky personality and makes an excellent companion for first-time owners, and their confidence and size make them ideal city dogs. Bichons are adaptable companions who get along with other pets and children, but be sure to supervise them around young children.

curioustonguemaltese (1).webp


A Maltese dog is a small, elegant toy dog breed known for its long, silky white coat and lively personality. Originating in the Mediterranean, Maltese were one of the first dogs to be bred specifically for companionship instead of having another purpose. Maltese are affectionate and friendly and often form strong bonds with their owners. Their size, low-to-no-shedding hair, friendly nature, and adaptability to various living situations make a Maltese dog a great choice for different living situations and first-time dog owners. Their playful nature means they get along with children who know how to treat them safely. 

cotondetulearvariety (1).webp

Coton de Tulear

Another fluffy white dog you might not have heard of is the Coton de Tulear. Hailing from Madagascar, these puppies have a coat of hair that feels like soft cotton and is like touching what a cloud should feel if it were solid. Owners can opt to keep their light, airy coat a medium or long length. Coton de Tulears are curious and have bright, inquisitive eyes. Their positive and carefree attitude makes them fantastic, empathetic emotional support dogs guaranteed to lift spirits. Coton de Tulears are friendly and view everyone as a new playmate. 


Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is one of the smallest toy breeds known for its stunning long, silky coat and feisty, smart personality. These curious little pups make great watchdogs. The silky, single coat of a Yorkie will need trimming every 4-6 weeks at home or with a professional groomer, and daily brushing of their long hair is recommended. Owners can choose several hairstyles, and putting in a topknot with a bow is a popular choice. Yorkshire Terriers are fantastic inside dogs and are the perfect size for apartment dwellers.

2shihtzus (1).webp

Shih Tzu

A Shih Tzu puppy is a perky, happy toy breed that is a joy to be around. They have large eyes, short snouts, and silky hair. Owners can opt to keep their hair long and flowing, but most opt for a short clipped coat for easy maintenance. A Shih Tzu’s coat color can change from puppyhood to adulthood due to several factors. Shih Tzus are known for their funny, confident attitudes as well as their loyal dispositions. Shih Tzus are adaptable to any lifestyle and make great companions for first-time dog owners. They do well in apartment living and are relatively quiet. Shih Tzus do great with children and other pets and are friendly with strangers. 

Italian Greyhound 

Italian Greyhounds, also called Iggys, are a unique and endearing breed with a rich history, delicate physique, and a gentle disposition. Their combination of elegance and athleticism, along with their affectionate nature, make them popular pets for those looking for a companion dog. Italian Greyhounds have a short, sleek coat that hardly sheds, a great feature in an allergy-friendly dog. They are also small, weighing 7-14 lbs. and standing 13-15 in. tall. Italian Greyhounds are perfect for a variety of living situations and first-time owners. They’re called “Velcro” dogs because they love being beside their owners and should not be left alone for long periods. 

Lagotto Romagnolo 

Another interesting rare dog breed is the Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian dog bred specifically to hunt truffles. One distinguishing feature of a Lagotto Romagnolo is its dense, wooly, curly hypoallergenic coat, and people often mistake them for a Doodle mix. Their coat has a similar texture as human hair and doesn’t shed much. It can easily form mats, so it’s important to brush them daily. Lagotto Romagnolo owners tend to keep their coats in curly ringlets with a natural-looking cut rather than opt to clip them short or fluff out their curls. While they are still prized for their skills as enthusiastic and efficient workers, Lagotto Romagnolos form a strong bond with their owners and get along well with children and other pets. 


Portuguese Water Dog 

Portuguese Water Dogs are adventurous, athletic dogs bred to assist fishermen in Portugal and nearby countries. Their waterproof coats require maintenance and can range from tight and curly to long and wavy. Regardless of coat type, a Portuguese Water Dog will need regular grooming to keep their coats shiny and mat-free. They have webbed paws and powerful legs designed to easily swim through choppy waters and wade through swampland and marshes. As such, Portuguese Water Dogs have a rich history of water rescues. One of the most famous pairs of Portuguese Water Dogs belonged to Barak Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia, during their two terms in the White House. Another popular program called the Baseball Aquatic Retrieval Korps (BARK for short) employed Portuguese Water Dogs to retrieve foul balls from the San Francisco Giants stadium when Barry Bonds and other players hit balls into McCovey Cove. 

3havanesepuppies (1).webp


Havanese dogs are a lively small breed known for their cheerful personality and luxurious coats once prized by the Cuban aristocracy. These lovable little charmers steal hearts with their vivacious personalities, infectious enthusiasm, and cuddly good looks. Havanese dogs look like a bundle of fluff, with a thick, soft, flowing silky double coat that will need regular brushing and trims. Havanese are a great choice for both first-time and experienced dog owners. Havanese are smart, outgoing, and cheerful, and their low maintenance status makes them suitable for all types of living situations. Thanks to their gentle and empathetic nature, Havanese make fantastic therapy dogs. 



Other Allergy-Friendly Dog Breeds

Before we write an entire book on the subject, here is a list of 10 “honorable mentions” of popular and rare dog breeds that are allergy-friendly: 

Find a Hypoallergenic Puppy at Pawrade

Don’t know where to start? Our Puppy Concierge Team is here to help you choose the most allergy-friendly puppies for sale to meet your needs. Put away the tissues and enjoy a puppy sneeze-free!


Lucy Hughes profile picture

Lucy Hughes

Lucy Hughes has been teaching and writing professionally for half her life. She has a passion for helping people choose a puppy and lead an exciting life with their new furry companion. She enjoys spending quality time with her family and her beloved Golden Retriever, Bowie.

All Author Posts

Hypoallergenic Puppies For Sale