Allergies - Asthma in particular, and what dog to buy:|
How much hair does it shed? Who cares! It is not the amount of hair shed that causes allergy problems. It is the amount of dander shed which is the main culprit, especially for those who suffer from asthma.
Many asthmatics have dogs that shed, (the author included - 4 dogs, all the same breed, all living in the house and living together with us.) without any allergy problems caused by the dog(s).
It is very important that you do some homework on various breeds, then when you have narrowed it down to some "hypoallergenic dogs" or "non-allergic breeds" that are of interest, you should visit those breeders for a sensitivity test.
Make an appointment and go directly to the breeder's house without visiting any other dogs en route. Go inside where the dogs live. Stay at least 20 to 30 minutes unless you have an attack. If no attack, go directly home or whatever, but do not visit any other dogs for several hours to eliminate the possibility of a delayed reaction. The breeder should only have one breed of dog living in that house, otherwise if you are allergic, the test is inconclusive, - it might have been be the other breed.
Here is a short list of dogs known to be okay with asthma sufferers because they shed very little dander. In no particular order, plus some extra comments.
1. Poodles, Standard and Miniature excellent with kids, bonds to whole family, excellent watchdog, highly trainable and sheds very little hair. Standard Poodle Miniature
2. Poodles, Toy, small fragile bones, therefore caution around rambunctious children - perhaps better suited for mature people, tends to bond to one person, excellent watchdog, highly trainable and sheds very little hair. Toy Poodle
3. Chihuahuas, small fragile bones, therefore caution around rambunctious children - perhaps better suited for adults, tends to bond to one person, excellent watchdog, average trainability. They do shed a bit. Chihuahua
4. Portuguese Water Dogs, good with kids, tends to bond to one person, average watchdog, average trainability. Sheds a little. Portuguese Water Dog
5. Irish Terrier, excellent with kids, bonds to whole family, excellent watchdog, highly trainable, and sheds very little. Don't care for other dogs of same sex. Irish Terrier
6. Bichon Frise, excellent with kids, bonds to whole family, excellent watchdog, average trainability, and sheds very little. Bichon Frise
There are most likely other hypoallergenic dogs but I am unaware of them.