Although there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, non-shedding dogs often don’t trigger allergies in sensitive people.
Poodles come in three distinct sizes: Toy poodles stand 10 inches high or less at the shoulder in maturity; miniature poodles range from above 10 inches to 15 inches tall; and the standard poodle stands over 15 inches high. The breed also has various coat colors.
Don’t be fooled by a poodle’s often elaborate hairstyle. This is an energetic, loyal and very intelligent dog. Because of their non-shedding hair, this breed is often crossed with others to produce similar coats. The poodle puts the “oodle” in those designer dog names, although some mixes use the suffix “poo” instead.
Labradoodles and goldendoodles
The Labrador retriever consistently ranks first in American Kennel Club (AKC) registrations, making it America’s most popular dog breed. The golden retriever is regularly one of the top five breeds. Why wouldn’t you want to share your life with a Lab or a golden, both of whom make fine family pets? One compelling reason is that both of these lovely dogs shed quite a bit. Enter the Labradoodle and the goldendoodle! These hybrids result from crossing a Lab or a golden with a poodle, generally the standard variety. Cross a poodle with a Lab or golden and you’ll get a smart, athletic, good-natured dog with a curly, non-shedding coat. Although these crosses are common, keep in mind that they are not purebred dogs and there is no official breed standard.
Other poodle crosses
While it’s possible to cross a poodle with any purebred dog, various hybrids are in particular demand. These include the following:
- Chih-poo — A mix of poodle and Chihuahua, the result is small and saucy.
- Cockapoo — This poodle and cocker spaniel mix makes a fine family pet.
- Peke-a-poo — This poodle and Pekingese cross makes an excellent lap dog.
- Schnoodle — The poodle and schnauzer cross generally produces smart, protective dogs. The size of the schnoodle depends on whether the parents were smaller or standard poodles or schnauzers.
More non-shedding breeds
Other breeds that don’t shed include the small, friendly, charming bichon frise, a white powder puff of a canine. If you’re looking for a larger, active dog, consider the Irish water spaniel. Known as the “clown” of the spaniel family, the Irish water spaniel resembles a brown standard poodle with a rat-like tail. The Portuguese water dog is another athletic breed with a water-resistant coat. The affectionate, medium-size Lagotto Romagnolo also looks like a poodle and the breed comes in various shades of brown, with or without white or orange markings.
Trips to the groomer
There’s one downside to the non-shedding dog. Just because a dog doesn’t shed doesn’t mean his hair doesn’t grow. It does grow, profusely, and without trips to the groomer every two to three months he’s likely to become a matted, shaggy mess. This is an additional cost to consider when buying or adopting a non-shedding dog. You can save money over time by taking basic dog grooming classes and doing the job on your own.
Little or no hair
Some dogs have little or no hair, so neither shedding nor grooming is an issue. The following are some hairless breeds:
- Xoloitzcuintli — better known as the Mexican hairless, the AKC describes this medium-size breed as “loyal, alert and calm.”
- Chinese crested — the hairless version of this lively, affectionate toy breed sports tufts on the head, tail and legs.
- American hairless terrier — this small dog has a true terrier personality. He’s full of energy, curious and loves to hunt rodents.
No matter which poodle, hybrid or non-shedding dog you choose, you’ll have a wonderful companion, and your furniture and carpeting will be free of dog hair.
—The Alternative Daily