Some owners prefer to have clean dog breeds for several reasons, with allergy being the most obvious. According to research by Sanny K. Chan and Donald Y. M. Leung (2018), 10 to 20 percent of dog owners are allergic to dogs.
So, if you are looking for a list of hypoallergenic dogs best for people with allergies, you are in the right place. Let’s talk about the 22 cleanest dog breeds.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?
Hypoallergenic dog breeds do not exactly mean that they cannot cause allergies at all. In fact, you can only be sure if you are allergic to dogs or not once you spent enough time with them. According to a study led by Charlotte E. Nicholas, et.al, no dogs are 100% allergen-free or hypoallergenic.
If a dog is labeled hypoallergenic, it can have some of the characteristics below:
- Have short, single-layered fur – a single undercoat will not allow dander to linger around your dog’s skin
- Low shedding – some breeds don’t shed too much which means that dogs also have less dander and fur roaming around the house
- Hairless – hairless dogs are also less likely to keep dirt and other allergens in their body
Dr. Lynn Buzhardt, from VCA Hospitals, said that there are only certain dogs that are less likely to stimulate allergies. However, even if a dog is labeled hypoallergenic, it still doesn’t mean that it will not stimulate your allergy.
Moreover, allergies in humans are not breed-specific. It means that if you feel allergic to a Boston terrier one time, it doesn’t mean that you will have the same attack with other Boston terriers. It is because dogs do not produce the same proteins responsible for human allergies.
Top 22 Cleanest Dog Breeds
Now that the misconception about hypoallergenic puppies is gone, let’s talk about the breeds of dogs that are less likely to stimulate allergies. Here are the 22 cleanest dog breeds that you will love:
1. Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise is the American Kennel Club’s top cleanest dog. Its name is French for “fluffy white dog.” These cute cotton balls are small in size which makes them suitable for families with small homes or with living with the elderly and children.
Bichon Frise is an excellent companion and lap dog. They are also good with other dogs and some animals if socialize properly. Bichons shed infrequently making them hypoallergenic and easy to groom. With their charming and adaptable personality, Bichons are a great choice if you are a first-time owner.
Bichons are not prone to joint problems. However, the most common diseases that they can have are bladder infections and allergies.
2. American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo Dog comes in three sizes – toy, miniature, and standard. It has good physical looks and body build which makes it a total package for dog owners. Amerikan Eskimo Dogs are neither aggressive nor shy. They are smart, friendly, and alert. Eskies can be a little conservative when it comes to making new friends.
It has a distinctive lion-like ruff around the shoulders and chest, a seemingly smiling face, and deep thoughtful eyes. Some Eskies have markings called ‘biscuit cream.’ Eskimo Dogs can have behavioral problems if not trained and socialized properly. Eskies are one of the most trainable dogs and they are also children-friendly.
Although Eskies have long fur, they shed moderately and are still considered clean. According to the American Eskimo Dogs Club, puppies should undergo eye and hip screening as they are prone to developing ailments when they turn 2 years old.
3. Miniature Schnauzer
Based on its name, Miniature Schnauzer is the smallest of the Schnauzer breed. However, they are still very energetic and outgoing making them great guard dogs. These dogs shed minimally despite having a double coat. Regular grooming and brushing are necessary to keep their coat clean.
The fur of Miniature Schnauzer should be clipped to avoid irritating their eyes. Their eyebrows and a bushy beard give them an adorable appearance and expression. Their coat can have black and silver and salt and pepper patterns. Some Minis are just solid black.
Minis are intelligent, friendly, and energetic dogs. They are a good addition to families living in an apartment or with children. They are generally healthy but can also be prone to some ailments.
Affenpinschers are wiry-haired dogs. They have low-maintenance coats since their coats do not grow very quickly. Affenpinschers are low to moderate shedders. Their coats are neat but shaggy and can also come in different colors.
These dogs are highly trainable, confident, great companions, and funny. The Affens are also amusing, curious, and loyal to their owners. Due to their comedic nature and apish look, they are called ‘ape terriers’ and ‘monkey dogs.’ Affens can be domineering, but they are affectionate and loyal.
Poodle is one of the most popular dog breeds on the AKC’s list. It is available in a toy, miniature, and standard sizes. Poodles are versatile, smart, and family-oriented dogs. Poodles shed minimally every few weeks and owners tend to keep their Poodles’ coats short to make them easier to groom.
If you want their coats to be long, you should have time to brush them regularly to prevent mats. When their fur sheds, it is usually trapped within their curly fur, hence, preventing it from spreading around the house. On the flip side, if you don’t brush off the trapped hair, then it will accumulate dirt and dander.
6. American Foxhound
American Foxhound was bred to hunt foxes in Virginia. They are rangy hunter which is known for endurance, work ethic, and speed. Nevertheless, they are still good companions and they get along well with children and other pets.
You can tell the difference between American and British Foxhounds by their length. The American Foxhounds have longer and more finely boned legs. Their back is also slightly arched lower. American Foxhounds are athletic and sweet in nature.
Since they are used to outdoor training, they need lots of exercise. If there is not enough stimulation, they can get destructive and depressed. American Foxhounds are moderate shedders and hypoallergenic dogs. Lastly, they are also prone to a hereditary blood disorder.
7. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apso is a thousand-year-old lavishly coated breed. Lhasas served at monasteries and palaces in the Himalayas. Lhasas may be small but they have an aristocratic bearing. They are confident, intelligent, complex, comedians with family members, but aloof with strangers.
They are known for their flat-hanging, floor-length coat that is parted in the middle and falls into each side of their body. Their tail curls over the back, a distinct characteristic of Tibetan dog breeds. Lhasas are considered elegant, serenely well-balanced, and exotic.
Nevertheless, their long fur sheds gradually and minimally, just like Yorkshire Terrier, so you don’t have to worry about it. You wouldn’t even notice that your Lhasa Apso is shedding. However, you have to make sure that they receive proper grooming and baths to prevent dry and dull fur. Brushing their long hair can also prevent tangles which can lead to more shedding. Trimming is also a good solution.
8. Scottish Terrier
Scotties have vivid personalities. They are independent, high-spirited companions. Scottish Terriers are very persistent, hence, the nickname ‘the Diehard.’ They have distinctive furnishings on their legs, lower bodies, and beards. Their aloofness with strangers makes them effective watchdogs. They also have high hunting skills.
Scotties have a thick undercoat and a wiry but soft topcoat that sheds minimally. The wiry top of their coat collects the loose hair, preventing it from spreading around the house. However, you should still brush the coat of your Scottie to keep it in good condition.
9. Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds are one of the best hypoallergenic dogs. Their silky hair sheds very minimally. As puppies, Afghan Hounds have short, fuzzy coats. When they get older, they will grow longer and become silky which requires regular brushing and grooming.
Their long hair serves as a protection against the harsh mountain climate where they were originally from. Their body is built for hunting and protecting. They have huge paw-pads that can abord shock when they are running around the terrain. They are loyal to their family and have a dignified aristocratic appearance.
10. Yorkshire Terrier
A Yorkshire Terrier is a native breed to the UK. It is one of the most popular dog breeds today in the US. Before living their lives as lap dogs, they were ratters in mills and mines. Yorkies are known for their gorgeously long hair.
This toy-sized breed has a compact body, with a floor-length, rich-gold tan and steel blue coat. They are low-shedding dogs making them hypoallergenic and low maintenance. Their long coat should be groomed regularly to prevent tangling and keep them in the right condition.
Yorkies are feisty little dogs. They have a tendency to become bossy. They need constant training and socialization at a very young age to avoid unwanted behaviors.
Basenjis are also known as ‘barkless dogs.’ When it is excited it does not bark but makes a yodel sound. They are smart, independent, fun, and easily recognizable dogs because of their curly tail and wrinkled forehead. Basenjis are hypoallergenic dogs with short, triple-colored coats.
They need little grooming since they are also occasional shedders. Plus, they don’t have a smelly odor that’s why you can bathe them when they get dirty. A quarter of Basenji dogs carry a gene for progressive retinal atrophy and a gene for Fanconi Syndrome which can be cured if caught early.
Beagles are excellent companions and hunting dogs. They are funny, happy-go-lucky, and loving dogs. Since they are bred to hunt in packs, they enjoy the company and outdoor activities. Beagles have big-brown hazel eyes, houndy ears, and adorable faces. They have easy-to-groom short coats.
Beagles are known to be born with a rare Musladin-Leuke Syndrome (MLS. It is a disease that can affect multiple body systems and connective tissues. Always surround your Beagle with family members and other pets.
13. West Highland Terrier
West Highland Terrier has a wiry topcoat and silky bottom coat, just like Scotties. Therefore, they need plenty of brushing to prevent tangling and other issues. You can also take your dog to a professional groomer to get a trim. Westies are confident, active, funny, smart, and adorable home pets.
It has a compact body, carrot-shaped tail, and dark piercing eyes. Under its silky coat hides courage and playfulness. They are used to hunt rats and other underground rodents. Their high independence can make training difficult. Therefore, it is advisable to start at an early age.
14. American Hairless Terrier
Obviously, they are hairless which makes them hypoallergenic dogs. American Hairless Terriers have a coat color variety. They don’t shed too much. Their ears need protection from the sun. So, make sure that they can get the right sunburn protection.
They are playful and curious. Its skin is smooth and warm. If the weather is cold, your American Hairless Terrier will not be able to warm itself up especially if you are outside.
15. Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu has big expressive eyes and sweet expressions. It is also known as the ‘lion dog.’ Shih Tzus coats can come in different colors. They require regular grooming to keep their coat clean and healthy. They are known to be good with children.
This dog breed spent most of its days in a royal palace. They are a good pet if you live in a house with a small backyard or in an apartment.
16. Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois is a great worker and loyal companion. They are smart, versatile, and confident. A Mal has an alert herder’s stand and is square-built. Their coat color ranges from a rich fawn to mahogany with moderate shedding. They have black ears and dark Belgian chocolate eyes.
Belgian Malinois needs plenty of exercise and other activities. According to the American Belgian Malinois Club, they are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia because of their height and weight. But aside from that, they are free from genetic disorders.
17. Biewer Terrier
The Biewer Terrier is a tri-colored toy breed, with elegant long hair. It is a very dedicated and loyal dog to its family. It is also friendly to strangers. Biewer is an athletic dog. It is an excellent vermin hunter. They can also be feisty and have a childlike attitude. They love having toys to carry wherever they go.
It is a low-shedding and hypoallergenic dog. Like Bichons, it may develop patellar luxation as it ages. They also have sensitive stomachs. But, overall, they are happy and healthy little dogs.
Whippet is another low-shedding, low-maintenance dog breed. It requires weekly grooming using a rubber brush is enough making them suitable for owners who do not have much time for grooming. Whippets have sleek, sweet faces.
It has a trim waist, deep chest, arched neck, slim but sturdy legs, and a lean head. It enjoys the company of people. They love a yard to play in but they can also thrive in an apartment as long as they can have walks and other exercises.
Maltese is a hypoallergenic dog with white coats. They are low shedding dogs but require plenty of grooming and brushing to keep their coat untangled and clean. They are loving companion dogs. This tiny dog has a playful and charming personality.
Maltese are adaptable dogs. They can be good watchdogs since they are alert and fearless. They are also agile and willful.
20. Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs are athletic, water-loving, and smart dog companions. These medium-sized dogs can be trained easily. They have curly hair that sheds seasonally. They are also hypoallergenic dogs. Regular grooming is necessary to prevent triggering your allergic reaction.
Some dog owners decide to cut their Portuguese Water Dog’s hair short to easily groom it. Some of them may have very long hair, some have wavy hair, and others have shorter hair. These coats can be groomed differently. If your Portuguese Water Dog joins in dog shows, its hair should be clipped.
21. Border Collie
The Border Collie is known to be one of the smartest dogs in the world. They are also work-oriented and need to be occupied most of the time, looking around with their ‘herding eyes.’ Collies have lots of energy that they should use for their daily activities. They are well-balanced and agile dogs.
Border Collies have both rough and smooth coat that has a variety of patterns and colors. Their shedding is seasonal and they are easy to groom. They are good with people – owners and friends alike, especially if introduced properly.
According to the American Border Collie Association, 2.5 percent of Border Collies may develop Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA). It is a rare condition, but it is best to get your dog checked by a vet if you notice some signs.
22. Giant Schnauzer
Giant Schnauzers are great companions and excellent workers. They are very trainable, intelligent, and loyal dogs. They shed minimally and are good for humans with mild allergies. Allergens can be minimized with proper brushing and grooming.
A Giant Schnauzer is willful and strong, with a square frame and protective coat. Nevertheless, they are still affectionate and wonderful buddies. They are full of stamina and energy. You can bring this dog during your walks and other forms of exercise.
How to Choose the Right Hypoallergenic Dogs
To be sure if you are choosing the right dog for you, here are some points to consider. These things will help the dog to find a loving home as well.
Type of Home
Even before deciding which dog to get, you should consider your home set-up. If you live in an apartment, make sure that they allow dogs and what are the specifications. If you live in a close neighborhood, study the community rules and responsibilities that you need to shoulder.
Shedding levels can range from low to high. Know how much you can tolerate then choose a dog that is in that shedding range. The dog breeds on the list are all low to moderate shedders. Consider your ability to groom as well. Even if a dog is a low shedder, it still needs thorough grooming.
Some dogs need lots of exercise or outdoor activities. If you do not have a very active outdoor life, then you should get a dog that only requires short daily walks. Otherwise, both of you will suffer. A dog that does not have enough physical and mental stimulation can develop unwanted behaviors.
Your schedule also matters. Dogs love routine and you will benefit from it as well. Make sure that you can your dog enough time for cuddles, feeding, and other activities at home. Dogs can also be trained to have alone time.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds do not necessarily mean that dogs cannot trigger your allergy. It only means that they can less likely stimulate it. The cleanest dog breeds above are hypoallergenic and affectionate.