Do allergy free dog breeds exist?

Allergy Free Dog

A dog that has no allergies himself and won't develop one either.

Allergen Free Dog

When you're allergic to dogs, you can tolerate these kind of breeds.

Now do allergy free dog breeds and allergen free dogs exist? Let's first focus on the allergy free dogs. The answer is just a plain and simple "No".

Golden Retriever dog more frequent allergic? Are Golden Retrievers genetically predisposed to allergies?

Every dog can become allergic or intolerant and it is very difficult (not to say impossible) to estimate the chances. Unfortunately… since allergies cause great discomfort. And watching your dog suffer is causing great discomfort for you as well.

Breed predisposition for development of allergies

Certain dog breeds do appear to have a higher chance at developing allergies including dog food induced allergies. This is called breed predisposition.

Several breeds are known to be genetically predisposed to allergy. Among these are:

Bulldog predisposed to allergies? Cute little bulldog
  • All terriers (Jack Russell, Boston Terrier, Cairn Terrier,…)
  • All bulldogs (British Bulldog, American Bulldog)
  • Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever
  • Boxer
  • Schnauzer, Cocker Spaniel, Beagle
  • Irish Setter
  • Dalmatian
  • Lhasa Apso, Poodles, Shih Tzu

It is unclear whether this is true for inhalant allergy only or whether the results can be extrapolated to dog food induced allergy as well. A study in Colorado State University did show that retrievers may be at greater risk specifically for development of dog food allergies.

Do not confuse this list with the hypo allergenic dog breeds. Though for some unknown reason it looks like there is a large overlap between hypo allergenic dogs and dogs that themselves are predisposed to allergies.

This is the other way around: People who are allergic to dogs are looking for ALLERGEN free dog breeds. So dogs that shed less or have less dander and saliva. Actually these are better described as low allergen dog breeds, as a dog still is a dog! Or one would have to choose for AIBO, the Japanese Robot Dog.

Other predisposing factors for dog allergies


No sex-predisposition is found between male and female dogs when it comes to the development of allergy symptoms. Also no difference is found whether the dog is neutered or intact. So allergy does not discriminate by sex.


Age of onset of allergy symptoms is very variable ranging from 5 months to 12 years of age (peeking between 2 and 6 years). Experts now feel that at least 33% of allergy cases appear in dogs less than one year of age.

Pets are not born with allergies. Instead they develop allergies to food ingredients (typically proteins or preservatives) that have been eaten for a longer time. When untreated or when you keep feeding the same dog food your dog has gotten allergic to, the symptoms typically worsen as your dog gets older.

Presence of other immune disorders?

Many animals that suffer from dog food induced allergy are also allergic to other allergens (inhalant or contact allergies). It appears their immune system is on 'overreact' mode and is then likely to overreact to more allergens.

Conclusion on allergy free dog breeds

non-shedding poodle Low allergen non-shedding poodle

In conclusion, little is known about the exact predisposing factors in dog food allergies.

Research studies aren't always conclusive but so far it seems certain breeds are indeed predisposed to develop allergies in general, including dog food induced allergies.

For sure we can state that ALLERGEN free dog breeds do not exist and the same goes for ALLERGY free dog breeds. Well… except for AIBO of course, a dog that fits both categories!

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