Fur or Foe? The Real Deal on Australian Shepherds and Allergies 

Here in the United States, we love our pets! Dogs and cats are the most popular pets and data shows that a sizable chunk of households keep dogs. Australian Shepherds are among the more popular breeds, as they are great, sweet, family-friendly dogs. 

Australian Shepherds and Allergies 

Unfortunately, many Americans suffer from dog allergies. This leads to people who are allergic to dogs searching for so-called hypoallergenic dog breeds. Hypoallergenic dog breeds are advertised as not causing allergic reactions or greatly reducing allergic reactions in dogs.

Are Australian Shepherds one of these hypoallergenic breeds? In this guide, we’ll cover what hypoallergenic means, if Australian Shepherds are hypoallergenic, and how to reduce your allergic responses to dogs. Read on to learn more! 

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

Hypoallergenic means that something is unlikely to cause an allergic response. Often, when a dog breed is referred to as hypoallergenic, it means that a dog is less likely to cause a person with pet allergies to have a reaction. 

Is Hypoallergenic Really Even a Thing?

Several popular dog breeds are called hypoallergenic, including poodles, bichon frises, Yorkshire terriers, and schnauzers. Do these popular dogs actually reduce allergic reactions? Unfortunately, no dog breed causes zero allergic responses. 

According to one study, there is a lack of data showing that so-called hypoallergenic dog breeds actually reduce allergic reactions. Every dog produces proteins in saliva and dead skin cells that cause allergies, so even hairless breeds can cause allergies. 

What Can Trigger Dog Allergies in Humans?

are golden retrievers hypoallergenic

People with allergies to dogs are actually allergic to proteins made by the dog. There are several different dog proteins. Sometimes a person can be allergic to one kind of protein, but not others. 

“People can develop allergies to anything, including dogs. It’s not the fur itself that causes the allergic reaction but rather proteins found in the dog’s dander, urine, and saliva. Additionally, the dog’s breed, age, and gender can all impact the severity of a person’s reaction,” said Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian and founder of Animal Acupuncture in New York City.

People can develop allergies to anything, including dogs. It’s not the fur itself that causes the allergic reaction but rather proteins found in the dog’s dander, urine, and saliva.

Dr. Rachel Barrack, licensed veterinarian

One example is the dog protein Can f 5. There is research showing that this protein is only made by male dogs. If you are allergic to this protein, you can avoid it by adopting female dogs only. However, it isn’t always that simple.

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Sometimes it is difficult to know what proteins you are allergic to. There are a few things dog allergy sufferers should try to avoid. Saliva and urine, fur, dead skin flakes, and carpets and furniture covered with dog hair should all be avoided if possible. A large amount of dander and fur in your home is a common trigger.

Top Tips for Dog Owners With Allergies

What can you do if you are allergic to your beloved dog? There are several things you can do so that you can keep your canine companion even though you have allergies. Try some of the following things to reduce your allergic responses:

air filter
  • Conduct regular house cleaning sessions
  • Vacuum regularly to get rid of pet hair
  • Keep over-the-counter allergy medication on hand for allergic reactions
  • Consider choosing a dog breed that sheds less
  • Ask your doctor about getting allergy shots to reduce attacks
  • Wash your dog frequently. Not sure how often, here’s a quick quiz you can take to determine how often you should wash your dog.

Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic Dogs?

are Australian Shepherds hypoallergenic?

So, are Australian Shepherds hypoallergenic? Unfortunately, no. Breeds considered hypoallergenic typically don’t shed much, and Australian Shepherds shed quite a bit. In fact, Australian Shepherds have a double coat and typically shed twice yearly. More shedding means more fur and dander in your home, which means more allergy attacks for you if you have this breed. 

How can I Reduce my Allergy Triggers to a Australian Shepherds?

Just because you have dog allergies, doesn’t mean you can’t have a Australian Shepherds. There are a few ways you can help reduce your allergies and still have one as a pet. Follow this advice if you are allergic to Australian Shepherds:

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1. Make sure you bath the dog regularly

Australian Shepherd getting bathe

Bathing helps get rid of dead skin cells 

2. Keep him groomed and brushed regularly

Australian Shepherd grooming

3. Do your grooming outside, and use gloves if needed

Australian Shepherd grooming outside
Source: hepper blog

4. Stay on top of pests; more scratching means more dander flying everywhere

Australian Shepherd scratching himself

5. Vacuum your carpet and furniture often

vacuum

What Dog Breeds are the Most Hypoallergenic?

These dog breeds are considered to be the most hypoallergenic, according to the AKC.

  • Chinese crested
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Giant schnauzer
  • Irish water spaniel
  • American hairless terrier
  • Barbado da Terceira
  • Barbet
  • Bedlington terrier
  • Affenpinscher
  • Afghan hound

What Dog Breeds are the Least Hypoallergenic?

are golden retrievers hypoallergenic

Some dog breeds are not recommended for allergy sufferers. Most of these breeds shed or drool a lot. Breeds to avoid if you have dog allergies include:

  • Basset hound
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bulldog
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian Husky

FAQ

What are the Signs of Dog Allergies?

Do you have dog allergies? The symptoms of dog allergies are no fun and can make you miserable. The following is a list of signs that you may suffer from dog allergies:

-Sneezing 
-Runny or stuffy nose
-Coughing
-Short of breath
-Red, itchy eyes
-Watery eyes 
-Skin rash or hives

Talking to your doctor is always a good idea if you suspect that you have dog allergies. They may be able to recommend medication strategies for reducing allergy attacks. 

Can You be Allergic to Australian Shepherds and Not Other Breeds?

Humans can be allergic to different dog breeds for different reasons. Mainly, it depends on the particular dog proteins you are allergic to. So yes, it is possible to be allergic to one breed but not another. 

Are Australian Shepherds hypoallergenic?

No, Australian Shepherds are not considered hypoallergenic due to their thick double coat that sheds year-round.

Do Australian Shepherds shed a lot?

Yes, Australian Shepherds shed a lot due to their thick double coat. They require regular grooming to manage their shedding.

Is it possible to have an Australian Shepherd with a hypoallergenic coat?

No, there is no such thing as an Australian Shepherd with a hypoallergenic coat. All Australian Shepherds have a double coat that sheds.

Are there any breeds that are similar to Australian Shepherds but hypoallergenic?

Breeds such as Poodles, Bichon Frises, and Portuguese Water Dogs are often recommended as hypoallergenic alternatives to Australian Shepherds.

Can regular grooming reduce the shedding of an Australian Shepherd?

Yes, regular grooming can help to reduce the amount of shedding of an Australian Shepherd. Regular brushing and grooming can help to remove loose hair and dander.

Are there any hypoallergenic products that can help with owning an Australian Shepherd?

There are some hypoallergenic products, such as air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, that can help to reduce allergens in the home.

Are there any Australian Shepherd mixes that are hypoallergenic?

It is possible for an Australian Shepherd mix to be hypoallergenic if it inherits a coat type from the non-Australian Shepherd parent that sheds less dander.

Is it possible for a person with allergies to develop an allergy to their Australian Shepherd over time?

Yes, it is possible for a person with allergies to develop an allergy to their Australian Shepherd over time, especially if they are exposed to the dog frequently.

What should I consider before getting an Australian Shepherd if I have allergies?

If you have allergies, you should consider spending time around Australian Shepherds and other breeds to see which ones you are most comfortable around. You should also talk to your doctor about your allergies and any potential risks associated with owning a dog.


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