Let’s start with the definition. According to Wikipedia:
Hypoallergenic, meaning "below normal" or "slightly" allergenic, was a term first used in a cosmetics campaign in 1953. It is used to describe items (especially cosmetics and textiles) that cause or are claimed to cause fewer allergic reactions. Hypoallergenic pets still produce allergens, but because of their coat type or absence of fur or absence of a gene that produces a certain protein, typically produce fewer allergens than others of the same species. People with severe allergies and asthma may still be affected by a hypoallergenic pet.
Merriam-Webster.com gives us:
: having little likelihood of causing an allergic response <hypoallergenic cosmetics> <hypoallergenic foods>
I believe it would be safe to sum up a Hypoallergenic Dog is a Dog that has a “below normal” chance of producing an allergic reaction.
Based on Wiki’s definition, there is still the chance of it being “slightly” allergenic.
The next step would be to define what is “normal” so that we know what is “below normal”. When I did a search on dog allergies, I was not able to come up with much on a ‘scale’ of how bad breeds are in comparison with each other.
Though there were a couple of “top ten offender” lists, for the most part, it seems like there is the bulk of dogs out there that fall under the ‘normal’ list of producing an allergic reaction.
Where the search became interesting, is looking further for “allergy-friendly” dogs. Here, I was able to find site after site listing dogs that are “considered good for allergy sufferers”. The same breeds showed up repeatedly on non-related sites with very little variation to the lists. Most sites make a special note of the Hybrid Dogs.
Interesting. It would seem the public opinion is there are dogs who produce a “below normal” chance of producing an allergic reaction. That sounds familiar.
I found it funny how on the same website that would provide a list considered ‘ good for allergy sufferers’, I would read lines like “there is no such thing as a true hypoallergenic dog”. So what is the problem?
I think it stems back to the definition of the word. There are people out there who associate hypoallergenic with non-allergenic. Take this quote from AKC.org:
“While no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic, there are many breeds which the American Kennel Club (AKC®) suggests people with allergies consider.”
If all it means to be hypoallergenic is that it has “little likelihood” or a “below normal” chance of producing an allergic reaction, then doesn’t it make sense that it either does or does not do this? How is there room for a percentage to be allocated to it?
The sentence would read true if it said “While no dog is 100 percent non-allergenic, there are many breeds that are hypoallergenic. Meaning, they have a below normal chance of producing an allergic reaction.”
The AKC is made up of intelligent, experienced, well-respected people in the dog breeding world. If they are confusing hypoallergenic with non-allergenic, then who else is following their lead?
The message that needs to be spread is that:
What are the top selling hypoallergenic dogs in North America today? Well, they happen to be your Designer Dogs. They are those great Poodle Cross breeds. Including, but not limited to Goldendoodles and Labradoodles.
So raise your banner high. Be proud of your hypoallergenic dog! Not only do they exist, but their numbers are growing because we have discovered what great dogs they really are!!
Hypoallergenic Dogs is a term used a lot. Purebred breeders attempt to discredit it. Designer Dog breeders use it to promote the allergy-friendly nature of their crossbreeds. What is a person to believe?