Non-allergetic dog breeds?

Old 03-23-07, 07:01 AM
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Non-allergetic dog breeds?


I'm interested in rescueing a large 80 - 100lb lab mix, but my housemate says he's allergic to dogs. He doesn't know much about his situation, but he thinks it's 'dogs that shed'. Others have told me that there's a certain allergen that most dogs possess and that it's not the shedding that causes the problem; rather, it's that dogs that do shed are 'usually' dogs that also possess this allergen.

Could anybody shed more light on this? I know each person is different, but I assume there is general body of knowledge about dog allergies.

MORE IMPORTANTLY - I don't want to pay for a special breed - that's against my principle of wanting to rescue a dog - but are there are large breeds with the temperment of labs that are known as good choices for people with allergies?

I've been planning to foster a dog for a temporary period to 'test' out how I feel about it, so I'll probably just have to try dogs out by trial-and-error and maybe find one that doesn't set him off.

I don't want to run the housemate off b/c I need the rent!

Old 03-23-07, 10:54 AM
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People are allergic to the dander in the fur, which shedding breeds tend to put off with the fur they throw, which is why people think they are allergic to shedding pets, not all pets. Shorthairs sometimes shed more than longhairs so that unfortunately is not a good thing to go by. Stress can also cause pets to "throw fur" so don't necessarily take the first couple days the dog is with you as a sign it's a shedding pet - I've seen people pull handfuls of hair out of a non-shedding cat or dog simply because the pet was stressed for being at the vet.

Low-allergen dogs include poodles (standard poodles are awesome, energetic pups, kind of like labs) and the hairless ones (chihuahuas). I am sure there are more, those are just the ones that come to mind. My little Cairn didn't shed too much, but needed to be stripped twice a year to keep her coat clean, and she had a ton of energy... she would kick our butts on any hike. Lab-like? No. Tons of personality, energy? yes. Stubborn? You don't know stubborn until you live with a Cairn! But I digress...

I personally would try two things - chat with a local shelter. You can often put in a request for a specific breed, though there may be a waiting list. If you choose one where the pets are on "death row" you may be saving a life that would otherwise end. Or you can choose to go with a breed-specific rescue group.

The second thing I would do is encourage your roommate to get tested for allergies, and try allergy shots. I was horribly allergic to tons of stuff, including cats and dogs. I mean off the scale allergic. In bed sick with flulike symptoms if I went near critters. After about 2 years of allergy shots, I was "cured". So cured I worked in a vet's office and only had problems if a pet threw fur in my nose, which tickled and made me sneeze. Zero allergy issues with pets. Not everyone is "cured" but it's worth a shot (pun intended) if it means the possibility of living without allergies!

Good luck, and thank you for commiting to rescuing a dog!
Old 03-29-07, 09:27 PM
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Kudos for going the rescue route. We had a shepherd collie mix for 14 years that we got from the pound - what a great dog. When considering a new pup we found that our young son had severe pet allergies so we researched the "hypo-allergenic" breeds. We were, like you, not partial to the yappers and narrowed it down to either a Bouvier des Flanders (60-80lbs.) or a Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier (40-50lbs.) both are said to have good dispositions. As these are pure breds it was difficult to find any that needed rescueing - we had a line on an unwanted Bouvier but the owner backed out so we ended up buying a Wheaton. He does not shed at all and does not affect my son's allergies in the least. He is a little high strung but he's only one, grooming is also a down side. Hope this is useful.

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