Best And Worst Dog Breeds For Allergies and Asthma

Last Updated on March 9, 2024

When you’re looking for your next fur baby, the most important thing that affects your choice is your lifestyle, including any health issues. For example, pet hair and dander may trigger allergies and can even worsen asthma symptoms. Find out the best and worst dog breeds for allergies and asthma.

There are breeds of dogs that can potentially worsen your symptoms such as heavy shedders and high dander dogs. These include Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. You might stick with a more hypoallergic breed such as Terriers or Bichon Frise.

Up to 10% of people in the whole world suffer from asthma, the stats being relatively the same for worldwide pet allergies. But having these issues certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t have a fur baby of your own!

There are many dog breeds across the world, all with completely different coats. Some breeds will trigger allergies and asthma symptoms much more than others.  To help with you’re choice, keep reading to learn the best and worst dog breeds for people with allergies and asthma.

See also – Best Dust Mops for Dog Hair

How Pets Can Affect Breathing Issues Like Asthma:

Pet allergies can show themselves in many ways, such as an itchy throat and a runny nose. But, in severe cases, symptoms can include rashes and labored breathing. Plus, if someone in your home already has a breathing issue like asthma, excessive pet hair can worsen those symptoms too.

We can even be allergic to pet saliva which might show itself as red and irritated skin any place your dog licks you.

More Than Just Hair:

It’s often mistaken that dog hair is the only trigger to pet allergies, but most pet allergies are actually due to dander, not pet hair. Dander is made from dead skin cells and attaches to dog hair.

When you disturb the fur by petting your pup, not only do release the loose hair, but the dander gets all over your hands and in the air. Doing this is what triggers pet dander allergies and asthma.

There’s No Such Thing As Hypoallergenic:

In theory, hypoallergenic means that a product (or dog, in this case), is completely free of allergens. But, if you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find something more along the lines of “least likely to trigger an allergic reaction.”

This means that any dog breed that is classified as hypoallergenic may cause an allergic reaction, but it’s much less likely to when compared to other breeds. This could be because they shed less or because they distribute less dander than the rest. 

Best Dog Breeds For Allergies and Asthma:

There are more than 20 other hypoallergenic breeds, according to the American Kennel Club, from hairless all the way to longhaired breeds, including:

best dog breeds for allergies and asthma

1.  American Hairless Terrier

As a hairless dog breed, the American hairless is number one on the list. These bug-eyed and bald little pups are confident and peppy, and also make for an amazing security system.  

2. Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is a curly-coated dog with an arched back, similarly, shaped to a Greyhound. These friendly pups don’t shed and make an entertaining, fun little fur baby. However, prepare for the expense. These are some of the most expensive pups to purchase.

3. Bichon Frise

The bouncy Bichon is a friendly pup that you can easily train and is very social. Their coat is hypoallergenic but still needs regular grooming to keep it looking its best.

4. Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish Water Spaniel is a confident and energetic dog that is a pleasure to have in any home. Their tight curls lock in all dirt, dander, and dead hair, making them hypoallergenic, but this also means they will need to be groomed regularly.

5. Labradoodle

Labradoodles have become a very popular mixed breed for many of their redeeming qualities. With the friendly personality of a Labrador Retriever and the hypoallergenic coat of a Poodle, they make a perfect blend of the two very loved breeds.

6. Schnauzer

There are three Schnauzer variants: the miniature, standard, and giant Schnauzer, which all distribute the same bright personality and hypoallergenic coat with curly, wiry hair. While their hair is allergy-friendly, it does require grooming twice a week in order to stay in tip-top shape and keep free of dander.

7. Poodle

With their curls and stature, the smart and confident Poodle always stands out. As mentioned, this curly coat is hypoallergenic throughout the miniature and standard poodles. This coat paired with their trainability makes them perfect for a perfect paw-tner for apartment life too!

8.  Spanish Water Dog

The Spanish Water Dog is a fun-loving large breed with a curly coat that needs little grooming and doesn’t shed. They’re fun-loving and energetic, and as a working breed, they prefer to be outdoors, which means a bath may be in order from time to time.

9. Afghan Hound

Surprise, surprise! The breed with the longest hair is actually one of the most infrequent shedders of the bunch! Because their coat is, long thin and silky, it’s quite high maintenance. However, a couple of baths a week is surely worth a coat that beautiful and allergy friendly. 

10.  Chinese Crested Terrier

The peppy Chinese Crested Terrier is another known hairless breed, but there is a long-haired variant as well. The long-haired Chinese Crested Terrier has a long and silky coat, but it’s very thin and is hypoallergenic, just like the hairless version.

Worst Dogs Breeds For Asthma and Pet Allergies:

Now that you know some of the best breeds, it’s time to look at the worst breeds for people with asthma and pet allergies. These are heavily shedding breeds that are known to disturb allergies.

worst dog breeds for allergies and asthma

1. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are highly trainable dogs that are very loyal to their paw-rents. However, their coat is thick and sheds a lot, which will trigger allergies and asthma. These dogs are known for excessive dander.

2. Basset Hound

The lovable Basset Hound is famous for its adorably long ears and a droopy face. But these pups are also well-known for causing allergic reactions. Not only does their thin coat shed a lot of dander, but their drool can also cause a reaction to saliva allergies.

3. Dalmatian

The peppy Dalmatian is famous for its spotted coat. These pups are high energy and need lots of outdoor activity, which leads to constant dander and some shedding. Because of their thin coat, the dander has nowhere else to go but the floor and the air.

4. Dachshund

Another breed with both long and short haired variants, the Dachshund is an adorable lapdog with tiny legs and a long body. However, both the short and long-haired versions shed a lot, and are known to produce a lot of dander. 

5. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and it pains me to put them on the list. Their fluffy coats are beautiful, but they are one of the most frequent shedders. Not only does their thick coat promote dander, but many Golden Retrievers are also known to get skin conditions like flakes and dandruff, which can also affect your allergies.  

Related Posts – 10 Dogs that Shed the Most and Best Low Maintenance Dog Breeds


Having pets and pet allergies or even asthma can be a nightmare. Whether your dog is small or big, longhaired or shorthaired, they are destined to shed. Luckily, there are lots of wonderful breeds that are considered hypoallergenic, which trigger far fewer allergic or asthmatic flare-ups.

A runny nose is one thing, not being able to breathe is completely different and dangerous. If you have pet allergies or asthma and you have your eye on a particular breed, you’re going to want to search up their coat characteristics, especially how much they shed.

Hypoallergenic dogs aren’t 100% guaranteed to be allergen-free, but compared to heavier shedding dogs, the reactions are minimal. These dogs usually have a wiry coat like a terrier or curls that trap the dander and loose hair, like poodles.

If you live with allergies or asthma, you’ll want to avoid the heavy shedders like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and even thinly coated breeds like the Dalmatian because of excessive allergy triggers.

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