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I want a dog but my husband is allergic

I know it would make me more active and I've wanted one my whole life. Any ideas?

Fri. Aug 18, 2:24pm

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I am the allergic one in our house and I can honestly say I am SO thankful my husband understands that it just isn't a good idea. My kids pressure us to get pets but I would be sick constantly with them around. Do you have a friend who has a dog? You could always "borrow" them for a walk or run.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 2:26 PM

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you can become a friend of a local shelter. they are always looking for people to play with and walk their housed dogs.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 2:26 PM

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If you don't have any local shelters try running an advertisement for free dog walks between specified hours. I'll bet you get some calls, then not only can you change up where you're walking but you can get the experience of playing with different pooches :)

Friday, August 18, 2006, 2:31 PM

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There are a few breeds which do not cause allergic reactions. I will attach a link with a list of some of them. I can also give you some generalizations about the list from what I know off hand about dogs.

There are lots of terriers on this list. Terriers are tenacious and determined. They're very fiesty. They don't need a lot of grooming since their coats tend to be short and wiry. They need plenty of exercise and activities to keep their minds busy. Most were bred to do things like dig out vermin in the countryside (terra = earth). They can be yappy and they can also be hole (and couch) diggers. Most of them, even the smaller ones (Cairn, Border), would be suitable walking/running companions. I have a pit bull terrier and I love him! He treks along for my 10 mile runs on the weekends with no complaint.

There are also a few toy dogs on this last - aka lap dogs. These include Bichon, Chinese Crested, Maltese, Malti-poo, Miniature Poodle, Shih Tzu and Toy Poodle. None of these dogs would really need a lot of exercise, and some are even a little fragile.

Some of the bigger dogs on the list who would love a LOT of exercise include the water spaniels, the schnauzers and the labradoodle. I know a few families with Portugese Water Spaniels and I think they are very nice dogs.

Seems there are a lot of foreign breeds on the list as well. I am only familiar with the basenji - a small-medium size dog that is considered "bark-less" and the puli - a large dog whose coat grows into dreadlocks.


Friday, August 18, 2006, 2:41 PM

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I'm allergic and I agree with the above poster - if you get one of the low-shedders your allergies may be ok.

Here's an idea....

I REALLY wanted a boxer but wasn't sure how my allergies would react.... I volunteered to foster which gave me an opportunity to "test-run" the dog to see how my allergies would be and it also gave us the opportunity to make sure she fitted in with our family!! Boxers don't have the undercoat like shepherds, labs etc. and she doesn't bother me. I am EXTREMELY allergic to all that flying hair the undercoat breeds shed a couple times a year!!!!! The other bonus is she doesn't need to go to the groomer for haircuts.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 3:22 PM

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Generally, poodles and poodle mixes do not shed, so they're often good for people with allergies. But I agree with the poster above - do something where you can do a "test run." There's nothing sadder than having to get rid of a puppy after a month because of allergies!

Friday, August 18, 2006, 3:58 PM

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I would love a dog too, but my husband is extremely allergic. I cannot bear witnessing him labor for breath, constantly blow his nose and just generally be miserable. He has said we can get one if I am willing to have full responsibility for the dog and keep the house spotlessly clean and as dander-free as possible (not really a stretch since he is allergic to dust and I keep the house pretty spotless anyway), however I am not willing to put him through even minimal discomfort when he's really not that crazy about dogs.

That said I we have many friends and family members who have pets and he reacts to varying degrees. His sister has a boxer and he is pretty good with her. We were even able to spend the night, but the dog was never allowed to be in the guest room so it was a fairly dander-free room (although he still had symptoms for 2 days afterwards). That is something else - make your bedroom or office (or both) off-limits to the animal so the allergy-sufferer has someplace to 'retreat' to when things get bad (and during certain times of the year they will). My brother has 2 cats that he seems to be building somewhat of a tolerance to - he can now be around them for up to 3 hrs before it gets bad enough that he has to go outside. In this case my husband volunteers to go over because they have a baby and it's not always convenient for them to come to us - he stays for as long as he can tolerate it and they vacume and clean beforehand. So definitely see if you can make a 'trial run' before you make any lasting decisions because how happy will you be if your husband is physically suffering so you could have a dog? Personally I can't do that to mine, not even a little bit, so we are an allergy free zone and I get my puppy and kitty-lovin' elsewhere.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 4:33 PM

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OP, here. These are amazing amazing suggestions.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 4:35 PM

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Same situation here. I volunteer at the humane society twice a month or so for a couple of hours at a time. You can just go, and play with the cats or take the dogs outside and pet them to your heart's content. I love it and I think that it fills my need to have a pet. Occasionally one of them is so cute that I want to bring them home, so I just play with them for a long time. :-) And without a pet, we don't have to worry about being away from home for extended periods of time.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 5:06 PM

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Jumping to the bottom here --

Both my daughter and I are allergic to dogs and can be asthmatic. For years we really wanted a dog. After much research, phone calls, debating, we decided on a goldendoodle, which is half golden retriever and half poodle. We got our dog as a pup and she is now one and a half. We have *no* allergy problems -- actually, it was wierd -- the second day after we brought her home, my eyes starting itching and I thought "OH NO!" By the third day, that was over, and no problem since. (I don't know what that was about.)

Goldendoodles are *very* active, need lots and lots (and lots) of running and walking and playing. They are way too smart and wiley (that's the poodle), can be quite bossy (is that poodle-ish also?), understand way too much, are always a step ahead, understand commands faster than any other dog I've seen, and can be trouble if not exercised enough (how many torn up trash bags have I picked up...) We had to go through a long series of dog training classes because she had the upperhand for a while. Now she's calmed down and is a wonder. She and I go on off-leash walks together almost everyday through fields, orchards, and woods. I'm very happy to have her.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 9:27 PM

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Ther enew designer breeds are ok but people are taking them WAY to far and most are becoming VERY inbred. These backyard breeders are selling them with no concren for puppies health and most have varying degrees of birth defects, please watch out!
PLEASE adopt if you get a pet o............r find a GOOD breeder.

Friday, August 18, 2006, 10:33 PM

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Portuguese Water Dog

Portuguese Water Dogs, look like poodles on steroids, but people with allergies rarely have problems with them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006, 3:38 PM

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Link to

Be very careful with labradoodles, they are not all like the 9:27 poster, many of the new owners still have allergy problems.

Here is a link to They have ALL kinds of dogs available for adoption, in your area. Most of the organizations on will allow you to "test" the dog for 3-5 days, if they don't I would worry about the organization. I volunteer for a dog and cat fostering organization and we always let people "test" the dog.


Sunday, August 20, 2006, 4:02 PM

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My friend with an asthmatic daughter has a bichon frise..they have hair, not "fur", and are non-allergy inducing. However, they need monthly professional grooming and weekly grooming by the owner! They're also expensive. People get Labradoodles and golden doodles and all the other poodle mixes because of the same reason, poodles have "hair", not fur, from what I understand. But poodles are the smartest dogs, and they're not easy to train! That's why they mix them with more docile breedles like labs and golden retrievers. Good luck!

Sunday, August 20, 2006, 9:05 PM

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I think there are many good suggestions here. I have lots of allergies and have to medicate year-round, but since getting married (13+ years ago), live with dogs anyway. I think different people are sensitive to different things about animals. I've now lived for 13+ years with long-coated dogs, of which the least bothersome allergy-wise was a Shetland Sheepdog (aka Sheltie). I think people's allergy sensitivities vary and what works for one may be a disaster for another.
I forget if anyone mentioned the Schnauzer, but they are good dogs for waling with you all day, and low-dander. Like Poodles, they need professional grooming ($$$) once in a while.
Don't buy from a breeder who won't let you return the dog if your vet finds health issues. And don't get a dog unless you intend to take care of it for its whole life, including its final illness. It won't all be fun and play times

Sunday, August 20, 2006, 10:52 PM

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volunteer at a shelter or something.

I am highly allergic to pets and don't think it wouldn be fair to have one in the house. A few years ago a roommate did not heed my pleas to maintain a pet free household and brought home a cat. Not fair to me (allergies) or the cat (who I couldn't play with and came to resent). The living situation quickly deteriorated.

Monday, August 21, 2006, 9:44 AM

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I have dogs

And personally while I can take them on a walk they are no extra motivation. I have Beagles which are highly active but they don't beg to go out. I once read a story of a woman who's dog would bring her the leash then insist until it could go and that would be motivation but my dogs don't do that. If I ask them they'll go but they never beg and they never ask me.

I think volunteering at a local shelter or doing the free dog walking would actually be better motivation than getting a dog. By doing that you are making a committment to the shelter or the dog owner. You get the dog companion to go walking with, you get the motivation of you promised you would be there so you can't back out, and your dh's allergies are spared. Plus dogs are expensive! I spend $30 a month on food, I spend $60 every 2 months on grooming, then there is vet bills and medications and supplies etc. I don't know volunteering just seems like an all around win situation.

Monday, August 21, 2006, 11:00 AM

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Poodles or bichon frises might be your best bet. I think that's why there are so many poddle mixes. Be careful of the mixes, though-they might still cause a reaction.
I'm not a fan of the smaller dogs, but I do love the Standard Poodles.
Volunteering is also an excellent idea! I did this for two years and now work every other weekend at a shelter. I love it!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006, 4:23 PM

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Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Among the dog breeds that don't shed include Bichon Frise, Toy Poodle, Mini Schnauzer, Shih Tzu and the Maltese Terrier.


Sunday, March 09, 2008, 2:59 AM

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Monday, March 10, 2008, 8:21 AM

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We have a shih-tzu, who I love, and who is hypoallergenic (hair, not fur, as above.) But, please, don't get a dog because you need motivation to get outside and exercise. Get a dog b/c you want a dog. Remember, you have to walk that dog when it isn't a great day for exercising too. You have to walk him/her when it's snowy/rainy and wouldn't be safe for jogging (as well as all the time you'll spend bathing the dog/washing the floors after it's out in the mud/snow/rain), and that may take away from time you could spend at a gym. So just b/c the dog may help you to exercise when it's nice out, it may hamper it when it's not nice out, so it's really not going to add to your overall fitness if you aren't already motivated.

Monday, March 10, 2008, 5:58 PM

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I have a Havanese. My bf is really allergic to dogs, but these don't shed.

They are a terrific breed! I have pictures of him as my profile pictures.

I have a public log. Search jenn604 and then click my profile.

Monday, March 10, 2008, 6:40 PM

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I'm the PP

Forgot to mention .. Havanese are classified as "Toy Breed" (same family as the Bichon, Maltese, Cotton)

He goes on super long walks with me....4+ hours - no problem for him. He loves his long walks. We go every night for minimum 30 minutes and on the weekends...even longer. Take this past weekend for example. Saturday 3h 30 minute walk, Sunday 2h 15 minute walk.

Monday, March 10, 2008, 6:45 PM

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Are you still looking for a dog?

Im not sure where you live, but Im breeding my poodle just for people like you. AT NO COST. Im allergic also and was about to purchase a teddy bear dog for $800. I got really lucky my friend had a neighbor that couldn't keep her poodle. I got Chloe' for $50!! So now to return the favor Im breeding my dog for those dog lovers who are allergic. She wont have puppies till the spring, this will be her first time
Madison, WI

Friday, December 31, 2010, 7:39 PM

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Those short haired dogs usually end up being find for allergic people.

Friday, December 31, 2010, 8:31 PM

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the non allergy dog theory

I am allergic to dogs, and deathly allergic to cats, and asked about this. Come to find out, that after paying thousands for an allergen free dog, you still may be allergic to their dander anyway. Its not necessarily the fur, or whatever, but what causes the allergic reaction, is dander, saliva, urine, etc.. just the essence of the animal.

Saturday, January 01, 2011, 7:26 PM

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