Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs

With small-scale living becoming more popular and our increasing exposure to allergens in the atmosphere around us, many people are opting for hypoallergenic dogs as pets. If you’re not sure what a hypoallergenic dog is, read on – there is a full explanation at the end of this article.

Medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs are a favorite choice. They hardly shed and are much less likely to spread allergens through your home.

Getting the right hypoallergenic dog can be a costly exercise – many new owners end up spending thousands of dollars for a pooch. No dog can be 100% hypoallergenic. All dogs produce a bit of dander. But hypoallergenic canines are still a way better choice for anyone who suffers from allergic reactions.

We’ve put together a list of medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs to make your choice a little easier. And a whole lot more fun.

1. Maltese Terrier

Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs

The velvety white coat of these little mutts makes them a firm favorite. They hardly shed, so your furniture and clothes will be safe if you have one of these around your home. They’re small enough for apartment living, energetic, and have a creative and playful nature. Above all, they’re one of the most loving little dogs around.

No one knows exactly where the breed originates, but it is thought to have been bred for Roman ladies as a rodent control measure. Go figure!

2. Tibetan Terrier

Many people think hypoallergenic dogs have to be hairless. They couldn’t be more wrong, and the Tibetan terrier proves the point. While they’re bushy creatures, they hardly shed. That is – as long as you keep up with their grooming requirements.

Nomadic herders used them to manage farm stock way back when the earth was flat, and they’re also used for companionship and as guard dogs by Buddhist monks.

3. Brussels Griffon

These guys are just about as friendly as they get. And they make great watchdogs as well! They’re virtually non-shedding and considered a perfect pet for families.

You’ll see them on television shows and in movies a lot. This is because their little faces are so incredibly expressive.

4. Shih Tzu

Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs

The Shih Tzu is loyal to a fault and also one of the friendliest canines around. It hardly sheds, but grooming regularly is a prerequisite to retain their hypoallergenic qualities.

If you have a look at Chinese art, you’ll recognize them from images on porcelain. They are known in China as the Lion Dog.

5. Soft-coated wheaten terrier

It is full to the brim of unbridled energy. This terrier is also a deeply happy dog, known for its clever nature. They’re brilliant at tracking and they’re often used as therapy dogs. When properly trained they can do really well at obedience and agility contests.

They’re originally from Ireland where they guarded livestock, hunted pests like rats, and even herded farm animals. Many called them the poor man’s wolfhound.

6. Portuguese Water Dog

Put energetic, loyal, and hypoallergenic into one sentence, and it can be abbreviated as the Portuguese water dog. They don’t shed provided they’re subjected to a proper grooming routine. Coat maintenance is paramount with this breed.

You don’t see these all that often, but they shot to fame when then US President Obama and his wife got one for their daughter at his inauguration.

7. West Highland white terrier

Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs

The West Highland white terrier is a double-coated canine. It’s also called a Westie. This breed is hardy and loyal to its owners, and they make fantastic watchdogs because of their alert nature.

They shed very little, and many consider them an excellent hypoallergenic breed. They hail from Scotland and are a cross between a Scottish Terrier and a Cairn Terrier. The Westie was originally bred for hunting.

8. Poodle

Poodles are really popular around the globe. They come in various sizes from toys and miniatures to standard.

They’re as hypoallergenic as a dog can be, and are famed for their intelligence. They make perfect inside dogs because they don’t smell!

9. Kerry blue terrier

This breed is also called the Irish Blue Terrier, and they were originally bed as an all-purpose dog. Around the house, they were used for hunting, rodent control, herding, and guarding.

Their coat is almost as fine as human hair. When they’re born, they have a black coat, but at around the two-year mark, the hair turns blue.

10. Bichon Frise

Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs

The Bichon Frise is a really laid-back breed. They’re independent-minded, super-easy to train, and they’re really social by nature.

Coat maintenance is essential to retain their hypoallergenic qualities. Many owners opt to keep their coats at a short clip to make this easier.

The translation of their name is “curly lap dog”. They’re real water babies and were often used as companions for sailors on long oceanic journeys.

What exactly are hypoallergenic dogs?

Hypoallergenic dogs have had attention for a long time, but the term shot into the popular lexicon when the 10-year old daughter of then-president Barack Obama got one as a pet.

Malia suffers from allergies and eventually picked a Goldendoodle.

To try to make the concepts around hypoallergenic dogs a little clearer, we’ll attempt to answer a few questions.

Why do dogs cause allergies in some people?

This is really not about the dog’s hair, as many people believe. And yet it is. Confused yet? Let’s explain.

The typical allergic reactions to dogs arise because of a human sensitivity to proteins dogs excrete and secrete. These proteins are found in the dog’s saliva and are transferred to the coat when the dog licks itself. That’s how it sticks to the hair and creates the misconception that the strands of hair are responsible for allergic reactions.

Why are hypoallergenic dogs a good option for allergy-prone people?

Firstly, there really isn’t such a thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. But certain dogs have better hypoallergenic properties than others. The breeds we touched on above, are all known for their great hypoallergenic qualities.

Shedding is the first, and probably the most important factor that comes into play here. The less a dog sheds, the less likely it is that the allergy-causing proteins will end up on or near you.

The second factor that plays a role is dander production. Again, no dog is completely free of dander, just as no human being is!

Dander is really nothing more than dead skin cells and hairs that drop off our bodies. As humans, we don’t really notice, because much of that takes place in the bath or when we shower and is then washed down the drain.

With dogs it is different – they shed these dead cells and hairs as they go through life, so it ends up pretty much everywhere the dog moves.

Grooming is essential to control dander in any dog, but bear in mind that hypoallergenic dogs produce much less dander than regular dogs. This is partly why they’re so good for allergy-prone humans.

Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs

What type of dog should an allergy sufferer choose?

The reactivity of every allergic person will differ from dog to dog, and from breed to breed. This has to do with the different levels of the reaction-causing proteins the dogs carry in their saliva.

Some dogs are universally considered less allergenic. These include Kerry Blue Terriers, Schnauzers, Bichons, Lhasa Apsos, and Poodles. Typically, these dogs shed very little, and if they are washed and groomed regularly the levels of the allergen proteins on their coats can be managed really effectively.

When hypoallergenic dogs are mated with non-hypoallergenic breeds, the offspring loses the hypoallergenic qualities.

It’s odd – because some people could have violent allergic reactions to a poodle, but present with absolutely no symptoms when they come into contact with a German Shepherd. Reactions to dogs are as individual as the allergy sufferers.

Is the Peruvian Hairless Dog the best hypoallergenic choice?

Obviously, these dogs won’t be shedding a lot. But the culprit proteins will still be secreted through their skins, and that is the problem. Remember – it’s not the hair that causes the allergies, it’s the proteins that end up on the hair.

Is there a hypoallergenic difference between purebred and cross-bred dogs?

None at all. Whether a dog is purebred or crossbred doesn’t have a bearing on its hypoallergenic qualities. That said, selective breeding and bloodline management may increase these qualities in breeds and in individual dogs.

Is it wise to get a hypoallergenic dog from a shelter?

A shelter dog is always a great option. And there certainly is no issue with getting a hypoallergenic canine companion from a shelter. As long as you care for the dog properly, and make sure you have the best possible grooming routine once it is in your care, you’ll get along famously.

What should you do once you bring a dog home?

There are several things you can do to make sure you prevent allergic reactions, even if you get a hypoallergenic pup.

  • Try to keep the dog from the bedrooms of allergy sufferers
  • Make sure that hands are always washed after spending time with the dog, or even just after touching it
  • Make sure to vacuum as regularly as possible
  • Air purifiers are great to prevent the unnecessary spread of allergens

These tips come from people with extensive experience of both allergies and pets. Most of these people ban pets from their bedrooms, and all of them use air purifiers as a preventative measure. Hand washing is considered essential because we all tend to touch our faces and eyes much more than we realize!

Ironically, these people also adhere to the hygiene hypothesis, which says that regular exposure to environments and animals that are considered allergy-causing, may actually reduce the risks of developing allergies!

Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs

How many people are actually allergic to animals?

This is an interesting one. This kind of sensitivity is one of the most frequently diagnosed allergies.

Estimates range between 15% and 20% of the population of any given country. If you take the population of the United States of America at around 250 million people, it would mean that up to sixty million people are affected to a greater or lesser degree when they’re exposed to animals.

Many physicians even consider these estimates to err on the low side. These allergies are probably the most common physical ailment caused by pets and other animals.

At the same time, pet ownership has climbed to a record high. The pet population in the United States currently stands at an estimated 160 million. Most common among these are obviously cats and dogs.

Vets estimate that the feline population in the country has more than tripled over the past ten years. These furry ones now make up around sixty percent of all patients vets see in their practices.

A parting shot

No matter how you slice it, an allergy is a horrible thing. It is limiting and robs the sufferer of many freedoms.

That said, with careful and wise choices, it shouldn’t be allowed to rob you of the companionship and pleasure of owning a pet. The list of medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs in this article should give you a proper starting point on your journey to canine companionship!

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