Corgi make great pets but they’re not hypoallergenic.
There are two varieties of the breed: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
You can tell them apart by a Pembroke’s docked tail, while Cardigan’s have bushy tails similar to in texture to a fox.
These adorable little dogs are loved around the world for their big smiles, beautiful eyes, small stature and fluffy booties.
They can make great family pets if you’ve got older children, while they are sociable dogs that do well with other canines.
These small dogs originated in Wales, although how they got to the United Kingdom is a point of much debate.
Popularised by Queen Elizabeth II who had over 30 of these dogs throughout her decorated reign, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are the 13th most popular breed in the United States (the Cardigan variety rank 68th).
Editor's note: The content on this website is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as veterinary, medical or professional advice. There's no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog in spite of claims that breeders might make. It’s always best to speak with your vet or your doctor before deciding to get a dog if you suspect you may have allergies to pets.
In this article, we’ll examine why Corgis, both Cardigans and Pembrokes, aren’t hypoallergenic.
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What does hypoallergenic mean?
Before we look at whether Corgis are hypoallergenic or any dog for that matter, we need to get a complete and thorough understanding of the word hypoallergenic.
The term was first coined by the cosmetic industry in the 1950s to describe certain beauty and make up products that were less likely to cause an allergic reaction to other ones.
You may have spotted ‘hypoallergenic’ written on a back of a product or on a product’s label.
While hypoallergenic means something is less likely or unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, it’s not comprehensive assurance that an allergic reaction may not occur.
What is a hypoallergenic dog?
Nearly 10 per cent of the United States’ population suffer with an allergy to dogs. Over 80 million people own dogs in the United States, which amounts to nearly a quarter of the population with a canine in their homes.
Naturally for someone with an allergy to dogs, you’ll want to find a breed that is less likely to trigger your allergies. Hence why hypoallergenic dogs are a routinely searched term online.
The American Kennel Club make it clear that there’s no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog. However, they do suggest 19 dog breeds that are more hypoallergenic than most other dogs.
Some of the breeds include the Poodle, the Irish Water Spaniel and the Schnauzer.
What makes a dog hypoallergenic?
When you think of a hypoallergenic dog breed, you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t shed a lot. Hence why Poodles (and Doodles) are loved by people with allergies. They’ve got a low shedding coat.
While dog hair can be problematic for those with dog allergies (as well as dog owners who don’t want to regularly groom their pooch or get the hoover out daily), it’s only part of the problem.
Dander is one of the big culprits with regards to triggering someone’s allergy to dogs. It’s microscopic pieces of dead skin that can be transported through the air and can enter our mucous membranes (nose and lungs).
Dog hair can carry a lot of dander, as well as pollen, salvia and other allergens. As you can see, the relationship between dog hair and dander is intertwined.
Salvia can be another trigger for people who are allergic to dogs, so a slobbery breed like the English Bulldog may not be a good fit.
Are Corgis hypoallergenic?
Neither the Cardigan Welsh Corgi nor the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are hypoallergenic. The AKC suggest 19 dog breeds that are good for allergy sufferers, while Britain’s Kennel Club have a list on their website with even more options. Cardigan and Pembroke Corgis don’t feature on the list.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi shedding
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi has a thick double coat that sheds regularly.
They’ve got a soft inner coat to keep them warm, while their outer coat is more versatile to keep out the elements.
According to AKC, this variety of Corgi will shed on a daily basis, which means the owner will be required to do a lot of maintenance work.
They usually shed at the end of spring/the start of summer with the changing of the season as they blow out their coat.
Corgi owners are advised to brush their Pembrokes on a daily basis to dislodge dead or loose hair. During shedding season, regular baths can help to get rid of dead hair.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi shedding
Cardigan Welsh Corgi don’t have quite as bad a reputation for shedding as the Pembroke Welsh Corgi. They’re considered moderate-to-high shedders.
They’ll shed with the changing of the seasons, unlike Pembrokes who shed all year round. Cardigan Welsh Corgi will require a weekly brushing to maintain the appearance and health of their coats.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds
As we mentioned above, the AKC list 19 breeds that they recommend for people with an allergy to dogs.
The Kennel Club, meanwhile, goes even further with 31 different types of dog that don’t shed a lot. They are:
• Lagotto Romagnolo
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Spanish Water Dog
• Bouvier des Flandres
• Giant Schnauzer
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Russian Black Terrier
• Hungarian Puli
• Bichon Frise
• Chinese Crested
• Coton de Tulear
• Yorkshire Terrier
• Lhasa Apso
• Intermediate Mexican Hairless
• Miniature Mexican Hairless
• Standard Mexican Hairless
• Miniature Schnauzer
• Standard Poodle
• Toy Poodle
• Miniature Poodle
• Shih Tzu
• Tibetan Terrier
• Bedlington Terrier
• Dandie Dinmont Terrier
• Glen of Imaal Terrier
• Sealyham Terrier
• Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Designer dogs have become increasingly popular over the past few decades.
For example, Poodles have been bred with a variety of different breeds to create ‘hypoallergenic’ hybrid dogs.
Goldendoodles were first bred in the late 1960s but have become more popular since the 1980s. They were developed with the purpose of helping people in need of hypoallergenic service and therapy animals.
One such hybrid breed is the Corgi poo. This is a mix between a Corgi and a Poodle. While these designer dogs are often called hypoallergenic, it can depend on whether they take after their Corgi or Poodle parent with regards to their coat.
Anything else to consider?
While some dog breeds are described as hypoallergenic and they may be a good fit for some allergy sufferers, it doesn’t mean they’ll be ideal for everyone who suffers around canines.
Each individual dog is different, as is each individual person.
It’s a good idea to contact your local health expert to discuss getting a dog before purchasing a pup if you think you’ve got an allergy to dogs or suffer from asthma.
Furthermore, you can ask a breeder if their dogs have a history of being more hypoallergenic than other dog breeds.
If you’re thinking about a Corgi as a pet, there are a number of great reasons to opt for the breed: they’re very smart, they’re sociable, true companions and are very loyal.
However, for those with an allergy to dogs, you may want to think again about getting a Cardigan Welsh Corgi or Pembroke Welsh Corgi. These dogs aren’t hypoallergenic.
They both shed to varying degrees, with their dog fur carrying allergens such as dander and salvia.
While there’s no dog breed that’s completely hypoallergenic, Corgi aren’t considered a good fit for allergy sufferers.