The best dog breeds for asthma and allergies

Updated March 23, 2017

Allergic reactions and asthma have many different potential triggers, one of which is pet dander. Dogs produce dander, or tiny dead skin cells that slough off of the dog's skin and may trigger the immune response of people who suffer from allergies and asthma. Fortunately for dog lovers, while no breed of dog is entirely "hypoallergenic," certain breeds do come close. These breeds produce less dander and are less likely to cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma attacks.

Bichon Frise

More commonly referred to as bichons, the bichon frise is a small, white dog with a dense coat. It does not shed, and according to the American Kennel Club, it is one of the best breeds if you suffer from allergies. Although it weighs in at only 3.18 to 5.9 Kilogram, it is far more active than its small size would suggest. It has a gentle disposition and makes a great family dog. Regular grooming is a must to prevent its continually growing coat from becoming matted.


The Maltese is a little dog with long, flowing white coats. It requires frequent grooming to keep its coat free of knots and snarls. According to the American Kennel Club, it must be brushed every day. Typically ranging from 4 to 6 pounds, the Maltese is gentle, active and fearless. It is known as being the "gentlest mannered of all little dogs," according to the American Kennel Club. These personality characteristics, combined with its allergy friendly coat, make it a terrific family pet, especially when one or more members of the family suffer from allergies or asthma.


Poodles come in three distinct sizes: toy, miniature and standard. According to the American Kennel Club, all three varieties have allergy friendly coats. A poodle requires extensive professional grooming to keep its coat from becoming matted. The poodle is the most popular of the allergy friendly breeds. There's a reason this breed spent over 20 years as the most popular dog in America, according to the American Kennel Club registrations statistics. It is smart, easy to train and ideal if you suffer from asthma and allergies.

Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese water dog originated in Portugal, as the name suggests. It was initially bred as a working dog to assist fishermen on their boats and perform various tasks in the water. It has a waterproof coat and extraordinary stamina. Its lush coat is considered allergy friendly, but it requires much grooming and upkeep. The dog ranges in size from 35 to 60 pounds and is energetic and easy to train. This breed received an increase in popularity in 2010, when a dog of this breed was chosen as the allergy friendly canine member of U.S. President Barack Obama's family.


This small dog with a big name is ideal if you are looking for an allergy friendly dog or simply a dog that does not shed. This dog can be either hairless or coated, and the hairless variety is the most popular for asthma and allergy sufferers. It can be toy, miniature or standard sized, and it's usually calm and observant. Its attentive nature makes it a good guard dog and excellent pet.

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About the Author

Morgan Owens has a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice, and minors in biology and psychology. She attended Boston University and is currently applying to law school for matriculation in 2014. Her articles have been published on numerous informational websites.