The original reason for the popularity of Labradoodles and later all ‘oodles was that they are “hypoallergenic”.
This wasn’t why I started breeding them back in the day and I have always been uncomfortable with claims about hypoallergenic dogs. I think the results of this survey have been useful if only for providing a final answer to this question. Overall 85.9% of 375 respondents reported that their dog didn’t cause allergies at all. This graph is the result for all the dogs who’s owners answered this question. But our results confirm that shedding is a significant factor in allergenicity. Of the 158 people who own non shedding dogs we found that 96% of them reported no allergies. This declined as the shedding increased: 85.9% in dogs that shed “a bit”, 76.4% in dogs that shed “moderately”, 72% in dogs which shed “a lot” and 69% in dogs which shed “horrendously”. Allergies reported were predominantly hay fever symptoms (86%) then Asthma (18%) and skin rashes (10%).
The only serious allergies occurred in 2 families whose dogs were non or low shedding. This is an important reminder that while shedding is a major factor there is no absolute guarantee, in families with serious allergies, that they will not be allergic to a non-shedding dog.
So- I believe we have clearly established from this survey is that there is a strong link between shedding and allergenicity. Non shedding dogs are “hypoallergenic”. The take home message, if you have allergies, is that you should have a non shedding dog. We have also established that the best indicator of a non shedding coat is a curly coat which grows all the time – like a poodle.