Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?

helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on July 21, 2020

Labradoodles are often described as hypoallergenic dogs.

They’re a cross between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle (standard, miniature and toy) that can shed to varying degrees.

The Labrador is usually crossed with a Poodle to create a low-shedding dog that is loving, playful and smart.

Their high intelligence levels means that Labradoodles can make great dogs for someone with a disability who needs a dog to assist with their daily lives but has allergies to dogs.

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.

The Labradoodle was created by Wally Conron in the 1980s and have become hugely popular dogs around the world thanks to their good temperament and hypoallergenic qualities.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at why the Labradoodle is often considered a hypoallergenic breed, how much they shed and their grooming requirements.

We’ll hear from Copper and Lily (@copper.and.lily), Oreo (@oreodoodledo), Bram (@abradoodle_bram), Savanna and Mango (@labradoodlemystique) and Semmy (@labradoodlesemmy).

What does hypoallergenic mean?

The word hypoallergenic was a term first coined by the cosmetic industry in the 1950s to denote a beauty product that was less likely to trigger someone’s allergies.

While these hypoallergenic cosmetic products were more suitable for people with sensitive skin or other allergies, there was no guarantee that an allergic reaction wouldn’t occur.

So we can see that hypoallergenic products don’t guarantee some type of reaction won’t occur, so they should be used cautiously in spite of claims that companies might make.

Medical advice website Healthline provide a definition on their website.

Hypoallergenic means a product contains few allergy-producing substances known as allergens.

We found an even more detailed definition of the word hypoallergenic on medical website WebMD for 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.

What are hypoallergenic dogs?

Poodle's are the second smartest dogs in the world (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Poodle’s are the second smartest dogs in the world (Photo: Adobe Stock)

While hypoallergenic was a word initially used to denote a cosmetic product that was less likely to trigger a person’s allergies, the term is often used alongside dog breeds in the 21st century.

A quick search on Google shows nearly 9.1 million results for the search term, “hypoallergenic dogs”.

We must underline that the American Kennel Club state clearly on their website that there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog breed in spite of what might claims you may read from breeders online.

The American dog organization writes on their website:

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.

The AKC list 19 breeds online that they consider to be more hypoallergenic than other canines. The Kennel Club in the UK name over 30 varieties of dogs on their website.

For example, the Poodle is considered a hypoallergenic breed by the AKC. However, each member of the Poodle family can be hypoallergenic to varying degrees.

What causes an allergy to dogs?

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America write on their website that as many as three in 10 people in the USA have an allergic reaction to cats or dogs.

When you consider there are 90 million dog owners in the States, you’d have to assume some of these pet parents have canine companions despite having some allergies.

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reiterate the stance of the American Kennel Club that no dog is truly hypoallergenic despite what you may read online.

People with dog allergies may be more sensitive to some breeds of dogs than others. Some people may be allergic to all dogs. People may think certain breeds of dogs are “hypoallergenic,” but a truly non-allergic dog or cat does not exist.

When you think about dog allergies, you’ll probably immediately point the finger at dog hair. This is a potential allergen that can trigger someone’s allergies to canines.

However, dander rather than dog hair tends to be the biggest culprit where allergies to pups is concerned.

For those who have never previously encountered the term pet dander, the American Lung Association provide a useful definition of the word.

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.

Different dog breeds and different dogs within the breed can produce varying levels of dander. For instance, the Poodle is considered a dog that doesn’t produce a lot of dander and the little that they do is usually caught in their tight curls. The Mexican Hairless Dog has no hair so their dander can simply be wiped away.

While pet hair and dander are usually the two biggest causes of allergies in dogs, other allergens include pollen that dogs may bring in on their coat from outside, as well as dog saliva and urine.

What are the symptoms?

At this point, we need to recommend anyone who thinks they may suffer with allergies to dogs that they should contact their local doctor to learn more about the risks and treatment. This article doesn’t constitute medical or professional advice.

There are some well-known symptoms of pet allergies that you can keep an eye out for if you suspect you get an allergy flare up when you’re around other furry friends.

Mayo Clinic write on their website that dog allergies are usually triggered by dander or pet hair. Here are some of the symptoms that the respected medical website write:

• Sneezing
• Runny nose
• Itchy, red or watery eyes
• Nasal congestion
• Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat
• Postnasal drip
• Cough
• Facial pressure and pain
• Frequent awakening
• Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes
• In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

Are Labradoodles hypoallergenic?

Copper and Lily the Labradoodles (Photo: @copper.and.lily / Instagram)

Copper and Lily the Labradoodles (Photo: @copper.and.lily / Instagram)

Labradoodles are often dubbed as a hypoallergenic dog breed. The reason for this is the influence of the Poodle parent. As we touched upon above, Poodles are considered hypoallergenic in comparison to other dog breeds. However, Labradoodles can be hypoallergenic to varying levels.

Oreo’s dad (@oreodoodledo) gave his verdict on whether Labradoodles are hypoallergenic.

No dog is really hypoallergenic, but some dogs are definitely better for allergies. It’s all about how much poodle is in the mix. The more ‘diluted’ the Labrador gene in a Labradoodle the better it would be for allergy to dog hair. But a lot of dog allergies come from the dander (dead skin) that comes off of a dog, so you can’t always be sure.

Do Labradoodles shed a lot?

Oreo the Labradoodle (Photo: @oreodoodledo / Instagram)

Oreo the Labradoodle (Photo: @oreodoodledo / Instagram)

As you’ve probably figured out by now, most Labradoodles don’t shed a lot. Again, the influence of the Poodle parent’s genes usually result in a low-shedding Labradoodle. You can also get a F1B Labradoodle that is a mix between a F1 (first generation) Labradoodle and a Poodle to result in a dog that is even more likely to be hypoallergenic. Labradors aren’t a hypoallergenic breed given they’re moderate shedders. So there’s no guarantee that Labradoodles will be low shedding dogs.

Sonja gave us an insight into Semmy’s (@labradoodlesemmy) shedding.

Labradoodles normally do not shed any fur; they are anti-allergic dogs! In our close-knit friend group we have someone who is allergic to many things, and he is not allergic to Semmy! Some Labradoodles can shed a small amount, this is due to their genetics being more related to the Labrador than to the Poodle.

Labradoodles care and grooming

Semmy the Labradoodle (Photo: @doodle.semmy / Instagram)

Semmy the Labradoodle (Photo: @doodle.semmy / Instagram)

So the good news is you’re likely to have a dog that doesn’t shed a lot, Labradoodles have significant care and grooming needs. Labradoodles need to be brushed on a daily basis or at least three times a week to maintain the quality of their coat. It’s important to regularly groom your Labradoodle to prevent their coat from becoming matted or tangled. By having a brushing schedule, you can reduce the chances of a skin infection occurring. Labradoodles can have coats that are trimmed to different lengths. Some Labradoodle owners will elect to use a professional groomer to maintain the health, look and quality of their dog’s coat.

Savanna and Mango (@labradoodlemystique) are usually brushed every day.

Labradoodles need regular grooming. Daily or at least every other day combing and brushing if their coat is longer to maintain a mat free coat. I always comb/brush the dogs prior to any water play also to check for mats or tangles. Getting mats wet makes them worse. Mango and Savanna are groomed regularly about every 6 weeks; bath, blow-dry, trim or cut, nails, sanitary cut . Because they are therapy dogs at the hospital they do get more baths than normal.

Jackie provided us with the average cost of grooming Mango and Savannah.

The price depends a lot on the the geographical area, but it seems that $80-$120 per dog is fairly normal. Another consideration in price can be the ’state’ the dog is in – so if it’s matted, etc and the owner doesn’t want the dog shaved, dematting (not recommended) can be more costly. There are so many great how to videos on the internet, so with COVID we have moved from professional grooming too DIY. The cost of dryer, shears, scissors, clippers, combs, grooming table can be recouped in just a matter of a few groomings. It can take anywhere from 2-5 hours to groom a labradoodle properly.

Hypoallergenic dog breeds

The American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club put forward a number of different breeds for dog lovers who are looking to find a hypoallergenic breed.

The AKC list 19 different varieties of dogs on their website.

• 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

The Kennel Club offer a more exhaustive list of 31 types of dogs:

• 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?

Bram the Labradoodle (Photo: @labradoodle_bram / Instagram)

Bram the Labradoodle (Photo: @labradoodle_bram / Instagram)

In our experience, the most effective way to learn more about a dog breed or cross breed is by speaking to current owners of the canine in question.

We find that dog owners are usually forthcoming with information to help potential pet parents learn more about a dog breed.

For instance, Simone gave us an insight into Bram’s (@abradoodle_bram) grooming routine.

You need to brush the coat every day. You have to cut their hair very often. Eating is difficult at times.

Sonja added that Semmy’s (@labradoodlesemmy) coat can often be affected by allergies to food.

Their furry coat can felt if not taken good care of, hip dysplasia. We have also noticed that Labradoodles with a lighter coloured coat are more vulnerable and can become allergic to certain types of foods.

In conclusion

Copper and Lily the Labradoodles (Photo: @copper.and.lily / Instagram)

Copper and Lily the Labradoodles (Photo: @copper.and.lily / Instagram)

We’ve reached the end of our feature on whether Labradoodles are hypoallergenic.

They’re usually low-shedding dogs that won’t leave a trail of hair on the floor or leave lots of hair on your clothes.

While Labradoodles don’t shed a lot, they require a lot of grooming so you’ll need to be prepared to brush your Labradoodle every day.

By brushing their hair on a daily basis, you can reduce the chances of their coat becoming matted or tangled.