Are Samoyeds Hypoallergenic?
Sally the Samoyed (Photo: @scotlandwithfluffywolf)
helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on July 23, 2019
Fact Checked

Samoyeds are one of 14 breeds thought to have genetic footprints closest to wolves.

These fluffy, light colored dogs originated in north western Russia but are proving increasingly popular around the word in the 21st century.

Samoyeds have a reputation for being an incredibly friendly breed that can quickly become bonded to their owners.

They make great family pets due to the deep bond that is forged between family members and these Spitz dogs.

Nearly 10 per cent of the United States population are allergic to dogs, which equates to roughly 33 million Americans.

Given over 80 million people own dogs in the USA, it’s only natural that a lot of Americans have researched hypoallergenic dogs.

In this article, we’ll take a look at whether Samoyeds are hypoallergenic, whether they shed and how much grooming is required for these beautiful dogs.

We’ll break down this article into the following section in order to provide a thorough answer:

• What does hypoallergenic mean?
• What is a hypoallergenic dog?
• What are the symptoms of dog allergies?
• What causes dog allergies?
• What is a Samoyed?
• Are Samoyeds hypoallergenic?
• Do Samoyeds shed?
• What Samoyed owners have to say
• Hypoallergenic dog breeds
• Anything else to consider?
• In conclusion

What does hypoallergenic mean?

Hypoallergenic is a term that was first used by the cosmetic industry back in the early 1950s.

If you regularly buy cosmetic products, there’s a good chance you’ve previously come across the term hypoallergenic.

However, for dog owners who don’t regularly use skincare or healthcare products, it could be an alien word.

Hypoallergenic was used by the cosmetic companies to denote a product that was less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

So while there was no guarantee that an allergic response wouldn’t occur, the chances of said reaction were less likely than other products.

The same term has been applied to certain dog breeds, although there’s a lot of misinformation and false advertising around purported “hypoallergenic” dog breeds.

What is a hypoallergenic dog?

As you’ve probably figured out already, a hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

However, the American Kennel Club make it abundantly clear on their website that there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog.

So if you read a blurb from a breeder claiming that their puppies are 100 per cent hypoallergenic, it’s a false claim.

Although the AKC emphasise that no dog is completely hypoallergenic, they do put forward a list of breeds that tend to be a better fit for allergy sufferers.

The United Kingdom’s Kennel Club have an even more extensive list of dog breeds that could be a good fit for a would-be dog owner with allergy problems.

What are the symptoms of dog allergies?

If you haven’t been diagnosed with an allergy to dogs, you’ll need to watch out for some tell-tell signs. These symptoms include:

•coughing and wheezing
• red and/or itchy eyes
• runny, itchy, and/or stuffy nose
• sneezing
• hives

If you experience any of these symptoms around dogs, you should contact your local doctor to get a proper diagnosis.

What causes dog allergies?

Before we delve into Samoyed breed, let’s get an understanding of what factors can cause an allergic reaction to our four-legged friends.

When considering dog allergies, you’d be forgiven for thinking dog hair was the big culprit.

While a canine’s fur can be problematic for some allergy suffers, it’s usually not the biggest factor.

Dander tends to be the biggest allergen. These are tiny pieces of dead skin microscopic in size that a dog secretes. The little flakes became airborne and enter our bodies through the mucous membranes (nose and lungs). Due to their minute size, they go undetected by the human eye.

For humans with an oversensitive immune system, their bodies will try to attack the harmless dog dander, resulting in side effects such as watery eyes and sneezing.

Although dander tends to be the biggest culprit, salvia and urine can also be allergens. Even if you adopt a low-shedding dog that doesn’t omit much dander, their salvia or urine could trigger a reaction.

What is a Samoyed?

Sally the Samoyed (Photo: @scotlandwithfluffywolf)

Samoyeds are a Spitz breed that originated in the north western region of Russia centuries ago. They were bred by the Samoyede tribes people to hunt reindeer and later herd reindeer.

They formed a close bond with these ancient people and were treated like part of the tribe, even huddling with the humans to retain body heat in the inhospitable weather conditions.

Samoyeds were used by explorers to pull sleds in the Arctic and Antartica, resulting in their exportation to the United Kingdom and further afield. The first Samoyed was registered with the AKC in 1906.

These dogs are best known for their trademark smiles and fluffy, white fur, but they can also be found in biscuit, white and biscuit and cream.

Are Samoyeds hypoallergenic?

As we mentioned above, no dog is completely hypoallergenic.

However, Samoyeds are not considered a breed that is a good fit for those with allergies to dogs.

Do Samoyeds shed?

This historic breed regularly shed so they’re not considered hypoallergenic.

Samoyeds have a straight outer coat and a soft, thick undercoat. These double coated dogs are considered heavy shedders.

However, their inner coat will blow out once or twice a year. It will usually occur in spring and autumn at the changing of the seasons.

They require brushing at least three or four times a week when they’re shedding. Be prepared to get the vacuum out on a daily basis!

Grooming is necessary to ensure their coat doesn’t become matted or tangled, while it also helps to remove allergens or dirt inadvertently collected while outdoors.

You should bathe a Samoyed at least twice a year, although members of the breed with a penchant for rolling in mud will need more frequent baths.

What Samoyed owners have to say

We spoke to Sally the Samoyed about whether the Samoyed breed are hypoallergenic in an interview in 2019. Here’s what her owner Claire Roulston had to say:

They are NOT hypoallergenic. This is a widely held belief that is not true. Firstly no animal is truly hypoallergenic. Secondly this myth came about because Samoyeds have less dander than most dogs (but a LOT more hair shedding). The main cause of rehoming are families that believe the hypoallergenic hype and get a Samoyed, only to find out the children/spouse/parent who wasn’t allergic to the puppy fur is now highly allergic to the adult dog.

The Samoyed Club of America goes on to warn potential Samoyed owners that the breed do shed contrary to popular belief:

Too many new owners are being sold on Samoyeds being “easy” to keep clean, they never get dirty, never shed, never have odor and need never be bathed! This is misrepresentation of the breed. Unless under close supervision, they are not easy to keep clean; they do shed, as much as a bushel in two combings; let them run through a barnyard and they will smell as offensive as one.

Hypoallergenic dog breeds

The AKC and the Kennel Club both have lists of dogs that they consider to be more hypoallergenic than most other breeds.

The Kennel Club (UK) list 31 different 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

The AKC has a shorter list comprised 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

Anything else to consider?

If you’ve got an allergy to dogs, you should speak to your local doctor before you decide to bring a canine home.

Breeders can often give you an insight into the likelihood of their puppies being hypoallergenic.

If you want to learn more about Samoyeds, you can always contact a Samoyed owner through Instagram. In our experience, most are willing to provide helpful information.

In conclusion

Sally the Samoyed (Photo: @scotlandwithfluffywolf)

Samoyeds are not hypoallergenic, so if you suffer with allergies or asthma, they’re probably not the breed for you.

The Spitz dogs have a double coat and they blow out their inner layer once or twice a year.

As a result, they produce a lot of hair that could be carrying allergens such as dander or pollen.