The Labradoodle is an incredibly popular ‘designer’ hybrid breed dog that originated in Australia and were originally created to be used as service dogs. This may seem odd since the Labrador has always been incredibly successful in this area, but the addition of the Poodle did have a purpose.
With up to 10% of all Americans having an allergy to dogs, this meant that a certain percentage of those would be people in need of a service dog, a problem I’m sure you’d agree? Labradors, you see, are rather heavy shedders, and not at all hypo-allergenic.
Because of this, service dogs, somehow had to be made more hypoallergenic. So, the Royal Guide Dogs Association in Australia came up with a bright idea. They would breed the Labrador with the Poodle to create an allergy-free (Poodle) hybrid that would still have a service dog (Labrador) success.
The result of the Royal Guide Dogs Association, Australia’s efforts was a smart and sociable dog who not only possessed the correct nature for a service dog but was also more hypo-allergenic than the Labrador. However, this does not mean this experiment in hybrid breeding was perfect, and still begs the question ‘are Labradoodles hypoallergenic?’
Due to the nature of cross-breeding, and it not being completely predictable, there are no guarantees that you will end up with an allergy-friendly or hypoallergenic if you breed a Labrador with a Poodle. Some Labradoodles will be more allergy-friendly than others, and some not at all. In fact, there is not a dog or a dog breed out there that is truly hypoallergenic, but some breeds are reputably better than others. This, however, will depend on the type of your dog allergy.
Different Types Of Dog Allergy
Before you choose a Labradoodle based on it being hypoallergenic, you should really discover what your allergy to dogs is. After all, being even partially hypoallergenic will only help if your allergy is to dogs hair or dander.
Besides hair and dander, you could also be allergic to the protein found in a dog’s urine or saliva, or things that they may carry with them from outside. Grass, pollen, dust, and dirt all have a knack for clinging onto dogs hair and may be the cause of your allergy.
To determine exactly what your allergy is it would be best to consult a doctor, or you could, if possible, also arrange to spend twenty-four hours with a Labradoodle.
Twenty-Four Hours With A Labradoodle
In order to ensure that this visit from a Labradoodle provides you with the correct answer to the exact nature of your allergy, you will need to make certain that you are spending time with the correct type of Labradoodle. There are, after all, three types; flat-coated, fleeces coated, and wool coated, with the latter two being the most hypoallergenic.
If after twenty-four hours you have shown no sign of allergy, you can safely assume that it is dogs hair or dander that was causing the problem. This means that a more hypoallergenic breed such as the Labradoodle is a suitable pet for you. Great News!
You will also, no doubt, have fallen in love with this wonderful breed over the last twenty-four hours. After all, they are an affectionate and devoted breed that approaches life at a 100 miles per hour. They are also intelligent, gentle, and want to be friends with everyone, but will need proper training and socialization. Exercise wise they will require thirty to sixty minutes to keep them fit and healthy. They are not prone to any illnesses in particular, but will still require regular health check-ups with your vet.
Choosing A Labradoodle
As previously stated not all Labradoodles are created equal in the hypoallergenic stakes. Some are less likely to cause allergic reactions to hair and dander than others. The following is a guide of the best ‘type’ of Labradoodle to look out for. It is all in the generation that they are as you will see.
Labrador Bred To Poodle
Known as first-generation breeding, the mating of a Labrador with a Poodle can produce puppies with two different coat textures. The first is a flat-coated which has a wiry feel, and the second a fleece coat with a harsh but slightly softer feel. Both these coats shed differently and in different amounts, meaning the level of allergy to them will differ. Unfortunately, however, there is no scientific proof, despite research, that either of these coats is particularly hypoallergenic.
Tip: Avoid the first generation bred Labradoodles if you need an allergy-friendly breed.
Labradoodle (first generation) Bred To Poodle
By purchasing a puppy bred from a Labradoodle and Poodle, known as the second generation, you are increasing the chances of it being allergy-friendly. After all, now 75% of the coat genes should be from the Poodle. However, though this is a better option to a Labrador bred with a Poodle, it is still no sure bet. Being allergy-friendly is still only a 50% shot.
Tip: Be sure to check that you are purchasing a second-generation Labradoodle and Poodle bred puppy, as often first-generation Labradoodles are bred with other first-generation Labradoodles and offered also as the second generation.
Labradoodle (second generation) Bred To Labradoodles (second generation) Or Poodles
By the time a third-generation Labroodle is bred, it is entirely feasible to know whether or not your puppy will shed. This is due to it taking three generations to consistently breed non-shedding Labradoodles. Always check with third generations, however, that the parents and grandparents were/are non-shedding before buying your pup.
Tip: Occasionally, even third-generation Labradoodle puppies may shed slightly, so if you can find fourth, fifth, or sixth generation, it would be even better.
Reducing Allergy Symptoms
If you still find yourself suffering allergy symptoms* when owning a Labradoodle, there are some easy steps you can take to reduce them.
Remember: Your allergy is to your dog’s hair/dander which is similar to dandruff on humans. When your Labradoodle sheds hair they also renew their top layer of skin. This skin (dander) is then free to circulate in the air and can attach to pretty much everything. This happens, approximately, once every twenty-one days with breeds like Labradoodles (low / non-shedding) making it easier to keep your home dander free.
- Wash your Labradoodles beds, blankets, rugs etcetera on a regular basis.
- Use a highly efficient HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) cleaner in your home.
- Replace the air filters in your home frequently.
- Bathe your Labradoodle using an anti-allergenic shampoo every four weeks.
- Brush your dog four to five times a week with a good quality brush or comb. We highly recommend the Furminator.
- Have a room in your home that is ‘allergy-free’ that you can retreat to. This means prohibiting dog access to this area completely.
- Consult with your doctor about taking antihistamines or having allergy shots on a regular basis.
*Symptoms may include itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, face puffiness, irritated skin, and more.
Other Possible Hypoallergenic Breeds
Yorkshire Terrier – As they have no undercoat that sheds the Yorkshire Terrier is less likely to cause allergies in humans. They do, however, require frequent trimming and grooming of their human hair like coat.
Poodle – An obvious choice considering they were the light to the non-shedding option chosen to breed with the Labrador to create a hypoallergenic service dog. Poodles coats hold onto any dead hair or dander making it easy to be rid off by simply grooming.
Affenpinscher – This breed does shed, but since they have a wiry coat only need occasional grooming to rid them of old, dead hair.
Hairless Chinese Crested – Less hair, less chance of an allergic reaction! This breed requires very little grooming to ensure little or no hair is shed making them extremely allergy-friendly.
Komondor – Perhaps a surprising choice considering the incredible coat on this breed. However, with hair that is so tightly formed into a cord, traditional shedding is highly unlikely. Rather, you can expect a whole cord to possibly fall off, but not individual, allergy irritating hairs.
Saluki – Requiring little to no grooming with a coat that is very short, the Saluki sheds little to no hair. They are also an exceptionally ‘pretty’ dog very popular with Egyptian royalty.
Goldendoodle – Sometimes called the Groodle, this breed is another hybrid ‘designer’ creation. It mixes the Poodle with the Golden Retriever and takes on the characteristics of the Poodle’s coat.
Tibetan Terriers – Distinguished by their long. Wavy, and straight coats, this breed sheds very little. They do, however, require regular grooming to keep their long hair from becoming a tangled mess.
Italian Greyhound – Perhaps the easiest of all dog breeds to groom. They shed no hair, and require only a rubdown with a towel to keep their fine silky coats shiny.
Maltese – A toy breed that has become incredibly popular, the Maltese sheds very, very little. You will never find their gorgeous white hair covering your clothing or furnishings.