Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?
It’s safe to say that the majority of Labradoodles are not completely hypoallergenic.
However, it varies from one litter to the next. Through careful breeding selection you can nearly guarantee a hypo litter. The truth lies within your specific pups pedigree and genetics.
We’ll explain why there is a variance between litters and your allergic reactions further on in this article.
What about shedding?
Labradoodles are – for the most part – are a non shedding dog. But that can also vary.
Thankfully there’s some methodology to ensure you’re getting a hypo (and non shedding) dog.
Let’s take a quick look at what causes allergies, and what creates a hypoallergenic dog breed. Then we can more clearly solve the mystery of the Labradoodle.
What Causes Allergies?
When we think of allergies with pets we naturally assume it’s the hair causing it. But in fact, it’s pet dander.
Dander is created from dead skin particles that naturally flake off and become airborne. These skin particles contain proteins that cause our body to react. Some dogs produce minimal dander and we call those: hypoallergenic breeds.
All Dogs Produce Pet Dander
No dog is 100% hypoallergenic, as they will always produce some level of pet dander.
However, many allergy sufferers will be able to better tolerate a dog with minimal dander. We can also use grooming and cleaning tactics to further reduce dander (and our allergic reactions as a result).
Allergens are also found in saliva and urine. Therefore, a dog that’s quite ‘drooly’ may present a bigger problem for you.
Why some Labradoodles are Hypoallergenic and some are not
It all comes down to genetics and pedigree. And in many cases; it’s a roll of the dice.
But what does that actually mean?
Think of it this way:
– Poodles are considered hypoallergenic, and produce minimal dander.
– Labrador Retrievers are a double-coated, shedding dog that produces significant dander.
Mixing the two breeds (which created our Labradoodle), will expectantly have mixed results.
How Do I Get a Hypoallergenic Labradoodle?
Want a guaranteed non shedding, hypo Labradoodle?
Then you’ll need one from a 3rd generation litter. Meaning both parents, AND both grandparents, must also be non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
Having a single shedding dog within the line can alter litters for generations.
Guaranteed hypo puppies are only accomplished through careful breeding. Which means you’ll need to contact a reputable breeder with full access to their dogs pedigree. You may find that breeders that guarantee a hypo Labradoodle also charge an exorbitant price for their services.
However, there is a second (less scientific) approach…
And that’s to take the pup home for a week or two and measure your reaction. But giving a Labradoodle back after a week might be a little heart wrenching (as they’re easy to fall in love with).
Reducing Pet Dander and Allergic Reactions
Even the most hypoallergenic breeds can still trigger allergic reactions if you don’t follow regular grooming and cleaning practices. As stated above, we react to the buildup of dead skin particles. It’s in our best interest to keep our homes and pup free of these allergens.
Bathing your dog – Your #1 Defense
Regular bathing is our number-one defense towards reducing allergens.
Allergen-related proteins build up within their coat and can release when disturbed. Bathing too often can lead to dry skin (and even more airborne particles), so it’s all about finding that perfect balance.
We recommend a routine of bathing your Labradoodle once every 4 to 6 weeks.
Will Shaving My Labradoodle Reduce My Allergies?
While shaving a double-coated breed (such as a Labrador) can be detrimental to your dogs health, shaving a single-coated dog (such as a Labradoodle) won’t have any long lasting negative effects.
But will it help with allergies? Maybe.
Dead skin particles tend to become trapped within long hairs and release in a concentrated dose. You could argue that a short trim will reduce the build up of allergens. However, doodles that receive regular bathing may not have this issue in the first place.
Here’s another thing to consider: shave downs further expose the skin.
A short haircut does not reduce dander production, but simply reduces the likelihood it becomes trapped within their coat. Where do all those particles go? Most likely among your furniture and blankets.
What’s the ideal groom for allergy sufferers?
Remember that bathing is our main defence. But with that in mind; reducing coat length may be beneficial in reducing a build up of allergens. You may find an improvement with a short to medium-length trim, but not a complete shave down.
Experiment with coat length and stay in close contact with your groomer.
Clean Your Home
Unsurprisingly, scientific research has repeatedly shown that regularly cleaning your home results in less allergens (source). Simply following a routine of vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning can significantly reduce your reactions.
Small Vs. Big Dogs
Getting a smaller dog typically lead to less allergens. Why? The theory is that there is less surface area producing skin particles and dander. Also, small dogs are naturally easier to clean and therefore receive more bathing.
Remember that Labradoodles can grow to be very big dogs. And there’s are lot more dander producing skin on a big dog.
Perhaps after reading this you’ve decided to steer away from a mixed breed, and go for a breed that is guaranteed hypo.
Here’s a few dogs that look and act similar but are less likely to cause a reaction:
The natural alternative to a Labradoodle is the Standard Poodle. Extremely intelligent and kind, but also athletic, the Poodle is an amazing companion.
Portuguese Water Dog
Athletic, intelligent, friendly, and clever; Porties are wonderful companions that love people and other pets. But more than anything they love being in the water.