Are Airedales Hypoallergenic?

YES! They are! And the reason is simple. Airedale Terriers shed less, and they produce far less dander than most other dog breeds. That’s what makes them hypoallergenic.

But, bear in mind, it does not make them completely allergy-free. Let’s explain.

A hypoallergenic dog breed will always create fewer allergy triggers for owners who are sensitive to dogs. If you’ve been dying to get a pooch, but have been holding back because of allergies and the fear of runny, swollen sinuses, and burning, scratchy eyes, the Airedale Terrier may well be a breed you want to take a look at.

The Airedale Terrier sheds considerably less than other dogs, and this helps tremendously if you’re allergy-prone, but, again, remember, allergy-free dogs are a misnomer.

What does hypoallergenic actually mean?

In short, the word itself implies a decreased tendency towards causing allergies. It applies to all kinds of things – cleaning supplies, skincare ranges, and fabrics for everyday use, including clothes.

So, you can apply it to a dog or dog breed too, within the same parameters.

If you suffer from allergies, and these are easily triggered by dogs, a hypoallergenic dog or breed will be less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than a non-hypoallergenic dog or breed.

I know this is not a Latin lesson – so forgive me, but understanding the concept is all about managing your own expectations and not opening yourself up to huge disappointment. Hypo really means less. So, the dog or breed is LESS likely to cause an allergic reaction. It doesn’t mean non – so it doesn’t imply the complete absence of the possibility of an allergic reaction.

There aren’t any hard and fast rules or definitions for why a dog or breed should be classified as hypoallergenic.

How do these allergies work anyway?

Are Airedales Hypoallergenic

This all goes back to the cause of allergies. An allergic reaction happens when your body has a reaction to specific substances. These can be pollens, certain foods, dogs – the list is almost endless.

The instant your body comes into contact with these substances, it releases a flood of anti-bodies, which go (usually) to the site of the contact, and defends your body against what it perceives as a threat.

Typically, your body tries to get rid of the substance, hence the runny nose or teary eyes. The increased production of mucus and tears are the body’s attempts to wash the negative substance out of the contact site. Or, in other cases, the welts and redness on your skin are caused by the white blood cells rushing to the scene to put up a defense.

Why do dogs trigger these reactions?

The guys in the white lab coats aren’t exactly sure what triggers the specific reactions to specific substances, or why it impacts different people differently, but they do know that prolonged exposure generally makes the reaction more adverse and extreme.

In the case of a dog, people wrongly (and, in a way, correctly) believe it is the hair that causes the reaction.

Well, it’s not the hair. That’s where the assumption is wrong. But it IS the substances that are transported by the hair. And that’s where they’re right.

The allergen produced by dogs is a combination of proteins that the dog excretes in its urine, saliva, and feces.

These proteins are carried into the environment in several ways:

  • Through dandruff – just like humans, dogs produce dead skin cells that dry and come off when the pooch rubs against something. Or when you cuddle and stroke them.
  • Slobber and drool – these stick to all kinds of surfaces, even in minute quantities. When your pooch licks you, or nibbles at you, the exposure doubles and triples.
  • Shedding – just like we shed, dogs also shed their hair. We just don’t notice our shedding so much because we mostly have hair on our heads – so it covers a much smaller surface area. And, also because most of the hair we shed washes away when we take a shower or a bath. A dog’s hair will fall where it comes out, and stick to clothing, furniture, carpeting, pretty much anything to dog comes into contact with.

So, why is the Airedale Terrier considered hypoallergenic?

Are Airedales Hypoallergenic

By now you know anything less likely to trigger an allergic reaction is considered hypoallergenic. And you also know that the dog’s drool, hair, and dandruff carries the allergy-causing proteins that make you sneeze, itch, and has you in tears – basically, just makes you feel miserable.

Any dog or breed that has less of any of these three – drool, shedding, and dandruff – would be hypoallergenic.

And, (drumroll, please) the Airedale Terrier is DEFINITELY in this category!

Less dandruff

Dandruff in dogs (as it is in humans) consists of dead skin cells. Airedale Terriers have hair. They don’t have fur. So, they naturally produce very low levels of dander. And less dander from them means less exposure for you.

When you cuddle your Airedale, you’ll end up picking up far fewer dead skin cells.

However, there is a caveat. Just like with us, dander is so fine, it’s almost weightless. So, it tends to drift in the air, much like dust. And this dust can get in your nose, mouth, and eyes. And from there it can and probably will trigger an allergic reaction.

But, because the Airedale Terrier produces substantially less dander, the exposure is less, and you’re less likely to have a reaction.

Slobber and drool

These dogs are really neat! They don’t drool much at all. There is the traditional Pavlov trigger, sure – when they smell food or are hungry, their bodies will naturally produce saliva. Your body does the same. But it is negligible.

Less drool produced, means less to trigger a reaction for you!

Less shedding

The coat of an Airedale Terrier is really short and wiry. As long as you have a proper maintenance routine – in other words bathing the dog at least once a week and brushing it regularly – it will shed very little.

Temperature changes do cause a dog’s coat to change – this is how they prepare for seasonal changes, but this is infrequent and predictable, so you can take precautions.

When you brush your dog’s hair regularly, small quantities of dead hair are removed. This also helps prevent the build-up of dander.

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So, less shedding, substantially lower levels of dander, and hardly any shedding makes the Airedale Terrier markedly more hypoallergenic than most dog breeds.

How about people with existing allergies?

Are Airedales Hypoallergenic

An Airedale Terriers is a good choice for anybody with allergies. As far as dog breeds go. But that does not mean you won’t have an allergic reaction at all.

Provided you remember that hypoallergenic does not mean allergy-free, and as long as you understand that you can personally do a lot of things to lessen your chances of having an allergic reaction, you’re on the right track.

Factors that play a big role include:

  • Small-space living – this means that all allergenic compounds will be concentrated in a smaller area, and if you share that area with your dog, removing yourself from the source of the allergen (as is always recommended) may not be as easy as going into another room.
  • The cleanliness and godliness equation – if you bathe and brush your dog regularly, you’re reaping the benefits. If you don’t, you’ll also reap the benefits, but they won’t be the ones you want …
  • Seasonal changes – these are completely out of your control. But they don’t last long.
  • Individual dogs – Airedale Terriers (in fact, any dog) is as individual as we humans are. No two are alike. So, in the same way that we have similar traits because we’re homo sapience, Airedales have similar traits because, well, they’re Airedales. But they’re NOT exactly the same. Some individual dogs may drool, or shed, or produce more dander than others.

The Airedale Terrier is much more than the sum of its hypoallergenic qualities

Matching the breed with the right individual is one of the most important aspects of a happy human-pooch relationship.

So, consider this:

Airedales are:

  • Full of energy
  • Sometimes stubborn
  • Large and often rowdy
  • Fantastically family-oriented

Add that to the fact that the breed is hypoallergenic, and you have a more complete picture when you get around to making your choice. If those character traits appeal to you, and you’re sure that’s the kind of things you’re looking for in a pooch, then the Airedale Terrier is your friend for life.

A parting shot

Selecting the right dog and breed for you and your family is a little like selecting a life partner. Sure, hypoallergenic is important to you, but so are a whole bunch of other character traits.

Bear all of those in mind when you’re making your choice. Spend a bit of time with an Airedale before you take one home. Most breeders will be only too happy to arrange this for you. See if you guys get along, if your energy matches, and if there’s that twinkle in the eye when you look at each other.

You’ll know soon enough!

If not, there are many other hypoallergenic breeds around, and they all have different characters. Your ideal companion is out there.

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