50 of the Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds for Families
Every four-legged friend is perfectly suited to an owner — unless, of course, that owner is allergic to dogs. Fortunately, there’s plenty of breeds suitable for families looking for a pet that kids can play with for hours, without needing a box of tissues.
It’s important to note, though, that no dog is absolutely and entirely hypoallergenic. While all dogs shed fur, some are less likely to do so than others. Even then, it is the dog hair and dander (dead skin particles that flake from dogs) that causes the allergic reaction rather than the shedding. So, regular baths can solve this problem.
With that in mind, here are some amazing hypoallergenic dog breeds that will make the whole family happy, even allergy sufferers.
An ideal smaller dog, the Scottish terrier only requires trimming twice yearly. They're very low maintenance!
They do have a tendency to be stubborn, but they're also immensely loyal and sturdy with long lifespans and robust health.
Whether full-sized or miniature, this breed is intelligent and loyal. They love to play and to be near you.
Miniature schnauzers are particularly suitable as indoor dogs, but keep in mind that they may need regular hair cuts in order to maintain an allergy-free home.
Despite looking like fluffy cotton balls, the Maltese is a dog breed that doesn't shed nearly as much as most dogs.
The toy Maltese is hugely popular and, with a lifespan of around 14 years, they are a long-term commitment bringing many years of love and dedication.
A hugely popular breed, poodles of all varieties and sizes (toy, miniature and standard) need regular clipping for their gorgeous curly hair, but they don't shed much at all.
Known for their intelligence and attentiveness, these are dogs that love to be in your company rather than left alone for long periods. This makes them the ideal family pet or companion for those who have the time to spend with them.
These tiny parcels of fur and fun are full of energy and enthusiasm. Yorkies, as they're fondly known, are both great for very active owners and also for apartment living.
Whichever they prefer will largely depend on the personality of your particular pet.
The Brussels griffon barely sheds. Classified as a toy dog breed, they very rarely weigh in at over 10 pounds.
With a cartoon-like huge head and smaller body, their exaggerated faces and eyes are hugely endearing, and kids will adore them. They are very affectionate dogs and love to be walked and cuddled.
These sleek and graceful dogs shed no hair, only requiring their coats to be rubbed with a towel to keep them groomed and shiny. Even though their grey fur color is the most recognizable, Italian greyhounds come in a number of shades.
They are content without a backyard and make good apartment or small-house pets. Their lack of hair, however, does mean that they are not ideally suited to cold climates.
With its waterproof, fuzzy coat, the Norwich terrier doesn't shed a lot. An English dog, they were originally bred to help catch foxes and drive rats out of farm sheds. Their diminutive size allowed them to get into fox dens to drive the foxes out for hunting purposes.
Naturally, they're very active and have a keen eye. While they certainly do well outdoors, they're also suited to living indoors in their family home.
Also bred to assist farmers with eradicating foxes and rats, these confident and energetic dogs have a desire to be active throughout the day. With thick, tough coats, Lakeland terriers don't need much grooming, and they don't shed much.
They are loyal and attentive, hoping to protect their family and home.
Originally from China, Shih Tzus make up for their small stature with big personalities. They are high-maintenance, though, as their long hair requires daily brushing and regular trims.
While they are wonderful apartment dogs, they are quite active and respond best to attention and daily walks. Their calm and friendly nature makes them a great breed for younger kids.
Portuguese Water Dog
Named appropriately, these active and vivacious dogs love to play in the water. Their strong build and webbed feet make them natural swimmers.
Hailing from Portugal's Algarve region, they are considered a "working dog" by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and you can depend on their obedience and loyalty.
With tough, wiry coats, Irish terriers barely shed, so they're easy to maintain. The breed also has a reputation for being easy to train and good with children.
This may seem incongruous, but they were bred for hunting and were once named Irish sporting terriers. As such, they do need two daily walks, being better suited to those who like to be active.
These dogs are enormously popular in Sweden. Highly active, this breed is also high maintenance, and its coat does need regular grooming and trimming despite barely shedding hair at all.
Wonderful family dogs, the Lagotto Romagnolo is very sociable, friendly and affectionate.
With their long, wavy coats, Tibetan terriers make beautiful pets. They were even considered holy by the Buddhist lamas of Tibet and a symbol of good luck.
Even though they don't shed much, Tibetan terriers do require regular brushing so that their coats remain smooth and unmatted. Because they were bred in cold climates, they can still withstand the cold better than some breeds.
Looking much like greyhounds, the whippet is fast and energetic. They are low maintenance in regards to grooming, only requiring a towel rub to keep their sleek look.
With gentle and friendly dispositions, the whippet is a wonderful family dog. Best suited to having a backyard and room to race about, these dogs are not ideally suited to an apartment.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
These big dogs are easy to maintain with coats that barely shed, requiring little grooming. A sporting breed, these dogs are very athletic and enjoy running and swimming.
For families with ample outdoor space and who like to keep active in the great outdoors, the wirehaired pointing griffon is a great choice for a pet.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Their unique blue-grey coloring defines the Kerry blue terrier, even though they do vary from dark grey to pale blue-grey. Intelligent and responsive, these are dogs that benefit from well-planned training and confident commands.
These are highly active dogs that are best suited to energetic and active owners with ample outdoor space.
Irish Water Spaniel
Because they require regular grooming, these dogs are not low maintenance, but they are low shedding. A sporting dog, the Irish water spaniel needs regular walks and loves to keep active with its owners.
Playful and confident in nature, these dogs make wonderfully loyal family pets.
With their distinctive rope-like coats, the Komondor were bred to be livestock guardians. Their loyal and protective nature is wonderfully suited to families with younger children.
Intelligent and independent, these dogs love to be active but can also look after themselves if left to their own devices.
Originating in the Scottish Highlands, the Cairn terrier is one of Scotland's earliest breeds of working dog. Their name is derived from their original role as hunting dogs, as they would chase quarry between the cairns in the highlands.
They come in black, cream, grey, wheaten, red and brindle shades.
The smallest version of the schnauzer, miniature schnauzers are intelligent, affectionate and full of energy.
They love to be around their human family and are just as happy walking with you as curling up on your lap or on the bed. They're happy as apartment dogs for those living in smaller spaces.
These dogs come in two varieties: powderpuff and hairless. The powderpuff has fur while the hairless doesn't, but both can be born in the same litter.
Tending to live 12 to 14 years, the Chinese Crested breed comes in a combination of colors with a great deal of variation between dogs.
This adorable, rough-coated breed of small dog was initially bred as a fox and vermin hunter. Perhaps this is behind their fearlessness and obedient nature.
They come in a variety of colorings, from tan through wheaten, red and blue-grey.
The Havanese is Cuba's national dog. They have a very soft double coat, which can make their small stature and sturdy bodies appear bigger than they actually are.
They are considered to be curious and enthusiastic by nature, making ideal family pets and companion dogs.
Like many terriers, the Welsh terrier was initially bred as a hunting dog, but in recent times, it is predominantly bred for showing. They are much less common than other terrier breeds, being listed as in danger of dying out by the United Kingdom’s Kennel Club due to the fact that only 325 are registered annually, as opposed to tens of thousands of the most popular breeds.
This breed doesn't shed and has two layers of coat: one that insulates against the cold and the rough top coat that protects from the elements.
Coton de Tulear
A city of Madagascar, Tulear is behind the name of the Coton de Tulear breed. Their coats resemble the fluffy look of cotton, and the dogs often come in white, gray, black or tricolor shades.
They are playful and intelligent by reputation and love to be around people.
Wire Fox Terrier
The wire fox terrier has a distinctive coat that’s rough and uneven. They are typically white with brown markings around their face and ears, usually with a large patch of color or black around the saddle.
They are energetic and require a lot of exercise and attention in order not to get bored and restless. They're ideal for families that have members who can spend a good amount of time with them, as they're not happy being left alone for hours.
Lowchens are also known as “little lion dogs” for their signature big mane and distinctive socks. There are fewer than a couple of hundred registered dogs worldwide every year, though greater than the 65 registered in 1973.
While they are typically very active and playful, they are also quiet dogs that love being in company of their human companions.
The national dog of the Czech Republic, Cesky terriers are protective of their owners and not always friendly to strangers, so they make excellent watchdogs. But they are easily trained, according to the AKC.
They are not as commonly found outside of the Czech Republic, though, with only about 600 in the U.S.
Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka
With a height of 9 to 10 inches, these diminutive dogs make up for their size with enormous personalities. Their name translates to "Russian-colored lapdog," which describes their purpose.
Originally bred to be an ideal apartment dog, they are friendly and tend to get along with people and other animals without fault. They are also good with children, according to the AKC.
A rare breed of dog, the Sealyham terrier was initially bred as a working dog in Wales. They became popular amongst Hollywood celebrities and the British Royal Family after the First World War, but have since declined in popularity.
Only 43 puppies were registered in the United Kingdom in 2008. They are typically white, and they have a non-shedding coat, like many terriers.
This exotically named dog is also known as a Mexican hairless dog (or "Xolo" for short). There are toy, miniature and standard variations of the breed. It also comes in either coated or hairless variations, with both sometimes being born in the same litter.
They are intelligent, curious and high energy by nature and appreciate plenty of exercise and attention. They benefit from structured training and a safe, secure environment to prevent their escape (they're quite wily).
Peruvian Inca Orchid
A hairless breed, these dogs are typically chocolate brown, grey, copper or mottled. Though affectionate with their family, they can be wary of strangers, and their tendency is to protect women and children in particular.
They are intolerant of extreme temperatures and quite sensitive due to the lack of a protective coat, but they are clean and easy to wash with a sponge. They naturally lack fleas or other parasites and also lack the dander that can cause allergies in humans.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
A Scottish terrier, this small breed of dog has a long body with short legs and a distinctive tuft of hair on top of their head. Their rough coat is usually pepper or mustard in color.
They are better suited to older children, as they can be friendly but a little abrasive. Their name comes from a character in Sir Walter Scott's novel, “Guy Mannering.”
Bred as a working dog with the purpose of hunting small prey like squirrels and raccoons, the Mountain Cur is also used for hunting bigger prey like bear and wild boar. They are typically farm dogs, part of the hound group, and are mainly bred in Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.
Their short coats are usually blue, black, yellow, brown or a combination. They can be easily trained and are loyal to their masters. They are trained to protect, though, and become anxious and irritable if not given the opportunity to hunt, guard or round up livestock.
Originating in the Italian Alps, the Bergamasco is happy to be around kids and other animals. It is described by the AKC as both independent and eager to please, patient and protective.
They are strong, sturdy dogs designed as sheepdogs. Their coat is distinctive with flocks of woven hair that give the impression of layered mats, which is meant to protect against the cold and predators.
A small breed of dog that was developed in Australia, the Australian terrier is thought to have ancestral roots in Great Britain. They come in blue, silver or tan with some variation in the colors and markings.
They are reputed to be easily trained due to their intelligence and obedience. They also interact well with children and babies.
You can expect quite the personality to come with this breed. While small in stature, they are known for being charming comedians.
Plus, their irresistibly fluffy, white coats are soft to pet, while also being hypoallergenic.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Having originated in Ireland, soft coated wheaten terriers can be quite stubborn, but they’re also friendly and deeply devoted to their owners.
While their velvety coat is low-shedding, it does require daily care to avoid matting.
Less than a foot in height, the affenpinscher resembles an impish toy. In fact, its name translates to “monkey-like terrier” in German.
Terrier-like in appearance and character, these little dogs are loving and loyal. Though their coat is full and fluffy, they are classified as hypoallergenic.
Approximately 35 to 65 pounds, the barbet is a medium-size dog with a sporty, active temperament. They’re best suited to owners who are happy to exercise their dog twice daily and who will provide them space for their energetic nature.
Barbet dogs have long, thick, curly coats, and regular grooming is required.
With Italian origins, this playful breed is loyal, calm in temperament and provides an excellent companion for families and older relatives. They like to be with their owners, so being home alone isn't good for this breed.
Much respected by royals and noblemen during Roman times. Bolognese dogs were given as presents between wealthy and powerful nobles. Their long coat is fluffy and white.
A popular hybrid breed, the labradoodle is the result of crossbreeding the labrador retriever and a poodle (miniature or standard). The ideal family pet, they are quite active and very friendly.
Their coat requires regular grooming, but they don't shed. In fact, a lot of poodle hybrids don’t. From one to the next, this breed can look very different with some having curlier hair, while others resemble the more shaggy retrievers.
With that in mind, it's important to remember that mixed breeds can be less hypoallergenic than others, depending on how much of one dog's traits they have over the other. In this instance, a shaggier, retriever-like labradoodle is likely to be less hypoallergenic than its more poodle-like counterpart.
Another mixed breed, goldendoodle (or groodles) are a combination of the poodle and golden retriever breeds. They are both hypoallergenic and low-shedding. Highly social and friendly, they are also easy to train and love to spend time at home with you.
They do require daily exercise, and depending on their particular nature, they may not be ideal for small apartments since they are typically quite energetic.
It’s a Bernese mountain dog crossed with a poodle, in case you're wondering what a Bernedoodle is. These hypoallergenic dogs are ideal for families and children.
They're energetic and love to play, though they bore easily and don't like to be left alone for extended periods. The Bernedoodle loves other pets so the answer to boredom may be to partner them with another dog.
The Kyi-Leo is the happy result of interbreeding a Maltese and a Lhasa apso. Small and toy-like their coat is usually black and white or sometimes white and tan, tending to grow quite long. Their hair is wavy and considered hypoallergenic.
They are placid by nature and great family dogs, able to be left alone for hours at a time without becoming restless or upset.
An adorable combination of Cavalier King Charles spaniels and poodles, the Cavapoo is also known as a Cavoodle. These are low-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs. Typically quite small, the size of your Cavapoo will depend on whether it has been bred with a miniature or toy poodle.
Cavapoos have a life expectancy between 13 and 15 years. They're both intelligent and sociable, enjoying walks and also spending time at home with you.
This mixed breed is a cross between a bichon frise and a Shih Tzu, the Shichon has a dense, fluffy coat that may be apricot, black, cream, gray, white, chocolate, tan, red or silver.
They require grooming around the eye area to ensure their hair doesn't affect their vision or lead to infection. Their affectionate and loving nature makes them an ideal dog for families with young children.
One of the most popular toy dog breeds, the Shih Poo is a cross between a miniature poodle and a Shih Tzu. Playful and loyal, this is an ideal breed for families and children.
A highly intelligent breed, Shih Poos are easy to train and adapt to new behaviors and routines where necessary.
The Cavachon is the result of breeding a Cavalier King Charles spaniel with a Shih Tzu. Buoyant, energetic and loyal, these small dogs are full of love and enthusiasm.
Both the Cavalier King Charles and the Shih Tzu are hypoallergenic, as is the Cavachon. Much like the Shichon in nature, these are ideal family pets.