Are Dobermans Hypoallergenic?
Doberman running in the woods (Photo: Adobe Stock)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on September 10, 2019
Fact Checked This article was fact checked by one of our writers on September 10, 2019.

Dobermans are a German breed of dog that aren’t hypoallergenic.

They’re renowned for their powerful physique, natural instinct to protect and their high intelligence levels.

Dobermans are the 17th most popular dog breed in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.

These dogs often serve a purpose within our society as military dogs, police dogs or service animals.

If you’re thinking about getting a Doberman but you suffer with an allergy to dogs, you’ll want to know whether they’ve got hypoallergenic qualities.

In this article, we’re going to take a close look at whether Dobermans are hypoallergenic, how much Dobermans shed and what are the grooming requirements for these German dogs.

We’ll break this article into the following sections:

• What does hypoallergenic mean?
• What are hypoallergenic dogs?
• What causes an allergy to dogs?
• What are the symptoms?
• Are Dobermans hypoallergenic?
• Do Dobermans shed a lot?
• Doberman maintenance
• Hypoallergenic dog breeds
• Anything else to consider?
• In conclusion

Let’s see whether the Doberman makes it into the AKC’s list of 19 hypoallergenic dog breeds.

What does hypoallergenic mean?

The word hypoallergenic was first used by the cosmetic industry in the 1950s, although you’ll often see hypoallergenic used alongside a dog breed in the 21st century.

Cosmetic companies would use hypoallergenic to denote a product that was less likely to cause an allergic reaction than another product to help consumers with sensitive skin or prone to allergies.

Although a cosmetic product could be described as hypoallergenic, it doesn’t mean it’s 100 per cent hypoallergenic. So it could still cause an allergic reaction but is less likely to do so.

In order to get a clear and thorough understanding of the word hypoallergenic, let’s take a look at how WebMD.com’s definition of the term:

If you see “hypoallergenic” on makeup or a skin care label, it means that that maker claims its product causes fewer allergic reactions than other ones. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is allergy-proof or gentler for your skin. The U.S. government doesn’t have standards that products must meet in order to put “hypoallergenic” on the label.

Given the influx of hybrid dogs such as the Golden Doodle, you’ll regularly hear the term “hypoallergenic” used alongside a number of dog breeds and cross breeds.

What are hypoallergenic dogs?

A hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. They’re particularly popular amongst people who have an allergies to dogs.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology claim that 10 per cent of the US population is allergic to dogs (although more Americans are allergic to cats). That equates to 32 million people in the USA who have an allergic reaction to canines.

Given there is thought to be around 150 million people in the USA who own a dog, we can assume that there’s significant number of Americans with a canine in their home despite allergies to dogs.

If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog and you’ve spotted an advertisement for such a pooch, approach with extreme caution.

The American Kennel Club underline on their website that there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed. The AKC explain:

While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, there are a variety of breeds that do well with allergy sufferers. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat which produces less dander.

Although the AKC insist there’s no completely hypoallergenic dog, the AKC do recommend 19 different dog breeds that have more hypoallergenic qualities than other canines.

What causes an allergy to dogs?

So you want a dog but you suspect you’re allergic to four-legged furry friends. What triggers the allergic reaction?

Instinctively, you may think dog hair is the biggest culprit where dog allergies are concerned. Usually, people will be eager to find a low shedding dog if they get a sniffly nose around dogs.

While dog hair plays a big part, the hair itself isn’t necessarily the chief allergen. Instead, it’s usually your dog’s dander that triggers an allergic reaction.

The American Lung Association provide the following definition for dander:

Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers.

Some dogs don’t produce as much dander as other canines.

Alternatively, breeds such as Poodles have unique coats that manage to retain the dander until their groomed.

Other dogs like the Mexican Hairless Dog are suited to allergy sufferers because you can wash the dander of their bodies due to their lack of hair.

What are the symptoms?

Even if you’ve never been officially diagnosed with an allergy to dogs, you might be aware of the some of the symptoms. Other dog lovers may have no clue.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology provide some symptoms that could indicate you’ve got an allergy to dogs:

• Sneezing or a runny or stuffy nose.
• Facial pain (from nasal congestion)
• Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
• Watery, red or itchy eyes.
• Skin rash or hives.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms around dogs, you should make an appointment with your local doctor to discuss further.

Are Dobermans hypoallergenic?

The Dobie Team (Photo: @thedobieteam / Instagram)
The Dobie Team (Photo: @thedobieteam / Instagram)

Dobermans aren’t considered a hypoallergenic dog breed.

So if you know you’ve got an allergy to dogs, you may want to avoid the Doberman breed.

Alternatively, you could consider a Doberman Poodle Mix, otherwise known as Doodleman. They could inherit the hypoallergenic qualities of their Poodle parent. However, there’s no guarantee every Doodleman will have hypoallergenic qualities.

Do Dobermans shed a lot?

The Doberman breed have a smooth-haired coat that is short, hard, thick and close lying.

They’re moderate-to-regular shedders, so be prepared to find pet hair on the furniture, in the corners of your home or on the steps of your staircase.

You should regularly brush your Doberman’s coat to maintain its health.

The American Kennel Club suggest a quick daily brush with a short-bristled brush or a grooming mitt to get rid of dead hair in their coat.

Doberman maintenance

Dobermans don’t produce much of an odor. The German breed are generally considered to be pretty clean canines.

They require a bath every three or four months. Alternatively, you can use a wet cloth to wipe down your Doberman.

Other maintenance includes cleaning your dog’s ears and brush their teeth on a regular basis.

Hypoallergenic dog breeds

Both the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in England offer recommendations for those looking to acquire an hypoallergenic dog.

Let’s start with the AKC’S list of 19 breeds:

• Affenpinchser
• Afghan Hound
• American Hairless Terrier
• Barbet
• Bedlington Terrier
• Bichon Frise
• Bolognese
• Chinese Crested
• Coton de Tulear
• Giant Schnauzer
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Kerry Blue Terrier
• Lagotto Romagnolo
• Maltese
• Peruvian Inca Orchid
• Poodle
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka
• Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
• Schnauzer
• Xoloitzcuintli

England’s Kennel Club offer an more extensive list of 31 breeds:

• Lagotto Romagnolo
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Spanish Water Dog
• Bouvier des Flandres
• Giant Schnauzer
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Russian Black Terrier
• Hungarian Puli
• Komondor
• Bichon Frise
• Bolognese
• Chinese Crested
• Coton de Tulear
• Havanese
• Maltese
• 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

Anything else to consider?

If you believe you could potentially have an allergy to dogs, you should contact your local health expert such as a doctor to learn more.

Although some breeders might claim their dogs are 100 per cent hypoallergenic, as we’ve already touched upon, the AKC insist there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog.

Experienced breeders can usually tell between eight and twelve weeks whether a puppy is likely to be hypoallergenic.

If you want to learn more about Dobermans and how much they shed, you can always contact Doberman owners on Instagram to find out more.

In conclusion

So there we have it, Dobermans aren’t a hypoallergenic dog breed.

They’re moderate shedders that require some maintenance.

However, Dobermans are considered a relatively clean breed.