Just because you’re allergic to dogs doesn’t mean you don’t love them! For those who suffer pet allergies but still want the love and companionship that a four-legged partner can offer, hypoallergenic dogs seem to be the perfect pet. Often, those allergic to dogs will search for the ideal hypoallergenic breed in hopes of finding their forever friend.
Most people know that Poodles are considered to be one of the most hypoallergenic breeds. But Poodles can be overly emotional and sensitive, loud, notoriously difficult to groom, susceptible to several health concerns, and more.
Thankfully, there are many Poodle crossbreeds, some of which are also labeled hypoallergenic. If you’ve heard about Goldendoodles, a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle, you might be wondering if they’re the answer to your hypoallergenic canine needs. The answer is that while some Goldendoodles can be considered hypoallergenic, not all are. Read on while we dig deeper into this somewhat complex subject.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Before we can discuss whether Goldendoodles are truly hypoallergenic, we need to define the term. For a long time, people believed that hypoallergenic dogs didn’t release the dander that most people with pet allergies are actually allergic to. This was believed because the dogs that were labeled as hypoallergenic didn’t shed.
In 2012, a study was completed to see if dogs that are considered hypoallergenic were truly releasing lower amounts of the allergen that causes pet allergies. The allergen is known as Canis familiaris allergen, but is shortened to Can f 1.
As it turns out, hypoallergenic breeds don’t release less of the Can f 1 allergen than other breeds. In fact, they release more! The caveat is that these differences didn’t result in higher environmental exposure to canine allergens. The result is that there was no difference found between hypoallergenic breeds and non-hypoallergenic breeds when concentrations of allergens were measured on the floor and in the air.
So, hypoallergenic dogs still release the allergens that cause pet allergies, even more so than non-hypoallergenic breeds. But because they don’t shed, they still only release the same amount of allergens as other breeds. The one exception to this rule was Labradoodles, though the researchers couldn’t find a clear reason why.
Are Any Dog Breeds Hypoallergenic?
Based on the data from that study, it stands to reason that no dog breeds are truly hypoallergenic. The concept of hypoallergenic breeds was based almost entirely on the fact that these breeds don’t shed. It was believed that since they didn’t shed, they must not release as many allergens as other breeds. That has been proven false, so what does hypoallergenic really mean?
In truth, hypoallergenic essentially refers to dog breeds that don’t shed, or that shed only a limited amount compared to other breeds. This can still be a beneficial trait, though it might not be the saving grace that allergy sufferers hoped for.
Are Goldendoodles Hypoallergenic?
As we’ve already shown, hypoallergenic dogs are really just dogs who don’t shed. So, the question is, do Goldendoodles shed? In reality, the answer depends very much on the dog’s genetic makeup.
If your Goldendoodle takes more after the Poodle side of the family, then they likely won’t shed and could be considered hypoallergenic. Generally, Goldendoodles that have been backcrossed again with Poodles will be more disposed to this trait. First-generation Goldendoodles are 50% Poodle and 50% Golden Retriever, lessening the chances of getting a dog that doesn’t shed.
How to Reduce Pet Allergens
If you were hoping the Goldendoodle was your ticket to allergy-free pet living, then you may have been disappointed to learn that hypoallergenic dogs still release the Can f 1 allergen. But don’t worry, there are still a couple of routes you can take that will allow you to enjoy the life of a pet owner without all of those pesky allergies.
The first solution is to talk to your doctor. Allergen immunotherapy could allow you to live allergy-free with your four-legged best friend. These allergy shots are easy to take and can help control your symptoms.
You can also reduce pet allergens in the home through several methods. First, remove the carpeting! Carpet holds far more pet allergens than hard flooring options. You can also use an air purifier, helping to remove the pet allergens from the air.
In truth, no dogs are really hypoallergenic, as even hypoallergenic breeds release plenty of pet allergens. What actually separates these dogs from others is that they don’t shed. So, do Goldendoodles shed? Not all of them. If you get a Goldendoodle that’s more Poodle than Retriever, usually one that’s been backcrossed again with a Poodle, then you’re very likely to have a dog that displays typical hypoallergenic properties.
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