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12 Best Hypoallergenic Dogs for First-Time Owners (With Pictures)

Rachael Gerkensmeyer

By Rachael Gerkensmeyer

Purebred Apricot curly poodle dog

Dogs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and have many different types of coats. While some dogs shed excessively and cause severe allergy symptoms in human companions who have allergies, some shed very little and are considered hypoallergenic, meaning they don’t tend to cause problems for people who suffer from allergies.

But just because a dog happens to be considered hypoallergenic doesn’t mean that they are an ideal breed for someone who’s never owned a dog before. So, we put together a list of 12 hypoallergenic dogs that are perfect for first-time owners. Check them out!

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The 12 Best Hypoallergenic Dogs for First-Time Owners:

1. The Maltese

Maltese dog playing in the grass
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  8–10 inches; 6.5–9 pounds
Temperament:  Intelligent, affectionate, loyal
Trainability:  Easy

The Maltese is a cute, small dog breed with plenty of personality and intelligence. This breed is loving and sociable, gets along well with kids, and is always eager to please. Their intelligence makes it easy to train them, and they are particularly known to excel at obedience and agility training.

You don’t need to be an experienced dog owner to get your Maltese to “come,” “sit,” or “stay.” These dogs love adventure but don’t mind spending many of their days in the comfort of their home and yard. The one downside is that these dogs must be brushed daily and get trims or haircuts at least occasionally to keep their coats under control.

  • Sociable
  • Gets along with kids
  • Easy to train
  • Requires moderate to hard grooming maintenance

2. The Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
Image Credit: Debra Anderson, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  12–14 inches; 12–20 pounds
Temperament:  Lively, friendly, independent
Trainability:  Moderate

Miniature Schnauzers are exciting dogs that love to interact and spend time with their family members. They are quick learners, which means basic training doesn’t typically require the need for professional help. Schnauzers are hardy dogs, so there’s no need to be dainty around them. They can be home alone while you work, but they will want to go on adventures during your time off.

One problem to consider is that these dogs can get bored easily, so it’s important to rotate their toys and ensure that there is always something new lying around to play with and/or investigate. These don’t have to be anything fancy — a cardboard box makes for a great occasional toy!

  • Eager to please
  • Quick learners
  • Hardy
  • Can get bored quickly

3. The Poodle

black standard poodle
Image Credit: No-longer-here, Pixabay
Adult Size:  18–24 inches; 30–70 pounds
Temperament:  Active, fun-loving, goofy
Trainability:  Easy

This bold dog breed makes for a great show dog, but that’s not the Poodle is all about. Poodles are extremely smart and take well to training, like most of the breeds on this list. Beyond that, they have an uncanny ability to “read the room” and understand how to behave in different social situations.

Poodles can stay home alone during the normal workweek without getting too lonely if you give them attention while they are around. One warning to heed is that Poodles are active. They love to get exercise, so be prepared to go on long daily walks and weekend adventures. Since Poodles were bred as water retrievers, they like to swim, so it’s a bonus if you have a pool at home or live near an ocean or lake to swim in.

  • Smart and observant
  • Gets along well in various social situations
  • Doesn’t mind staying home alone
  • Active and require plenty of exercise

4. The Irish Water Spaniel

Typical Irish Water Spaniel_Nikolai Belyakov_shutterstock
Image Credit: Nikolai Belyakov, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  20–24 inches; 45–65 pounds
Temperament:  Inquisitive, alert, loyal
Trainability:  Easy

These lovable water dogs are adventurous, kind, and full of life. They can be easily trained, and they don’t mind goofing around with older kids, but they aren’t thrilled with the shenanigans of younger children. They can get along with other dogs but should be socialized from a young age to achieve a happy household with multiple dogs in it.

If you love to hunt, this is the dog for you. They enjoy being the backbone of a good hunting trip. However, hunting isn’t necessary to keep these dogs happy. A fun camping trip, a road trip to the mountains, a day at the beach, and even a jaunt at the dog park are all things that will help keep this dog happy and healthy throughout their life.

  • Lovable
  • Easy to train
  • Adventurous
  • Must be socialized at a young age
  • May not get along well with young children

5. The Affenpinscher

Image Credit: idamkilde, Pixabay
Adult Size:  9–12 inches; 7–10 pounds
Temperament:  Courageous, feisty, independent
Trainability:  Easy to moderate

This dog breed has a bad reputation for being hard to train because of their independence. So, you might need help from a professional trainer in the obedience area. That said, the Affenpinscher’s independence makes them easy to manage when you work full time and have a social life on the weekends.

A brisk walk before or after work and the occasional adventure outdoors is all it takes to make this breed happy, as well as you two spending quality time together whenever you’re at home. These dogs tend to get along great with kids of all ages, but the older they get, the less patience they have for high-energy interactions.

  • Great with kids
  • Independent
  • Sociable
  • May require professional training

6. The Basenji

healthy basenji dog standing in the field
Image Credit: Aleksandr Tarlõkov, Pixabay
Adult Size:  15–17 inches; 20–24 pounds
Temperament:  Affectionate, independent, curious
Trainability:  Moderate

If you do your research and know what to expect, the Basenji can make a great hypoallergenic pet for first-time owners. They are known for being quirky, active, and always on the lookout for attention. They can be stubborn during training sessions, though, so it’s important to enroll them in obedience training classes while they are still puppies.

When well-trained and exercised, these dogs will happily hang out at home and meld into the family dynamic. They are loyal to their family members and can make good watchdogs. They are known for grooming themselves well and rarely ever stink. They are high-spirited too, which can help put you in a good mood after a long and hard day.

  • Quirky and fun
  • Loves attention
  • Loyal to family members
  • Can be quirky and stubborn

7. The Labradoodle

Labradoodle in a desert garden
Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  20–24 inches; 50–65 pounds
Temperament:  Outgoing, easy-going, friendly
Trainability:  Easy

The Labradoodle offers the best of what the Poodle and the Labrador have to offer. They are hypoallergenic, loyal, extremely smart, active, and sociable. These dogs get along great with kids of all ages, and they don’t mind spending time alone. Labradoodles are probably the easiest dogs on this list to obedience train.

These dogs come in a variety of different colors, including black, apricot, and silver. Most have a wavy coat, while others have curly or straight coats. While they don’t tend to shed, they do require regular brushing to keep their coats in good shape. This breed is a great choice when looking for a service or therapy dog. However, they don’t make great watchdogs.

  • Optimistic personality
  • Easy to train
  • Comes in different colors and coat types
  • Not great watchdogs

8. The Wire Fox Terrier

Wirehaired Fox Terrier squinting in the sun
Image By: Kozlik, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  13–16 inches; 13–20 pounds
Temperament:  Lively, sociable, easily bored
Trainability:  Easy

Wire Fox Terriers don’t know when to quit when it comes to playtime. They seem to have boundless energy, but regular walks and plenty of attention at home should help keep them balanced. These loyal dogs will stick by your side in social situations, and they don’t mind meeting new people when they feel secure about their surroundings.

These dogs have dense, wiry coats with white coats and colored markings They love to work, so it’s a good idea to give them a job in the yard when you are out there working. They are happiest in a home filled with people and activity. They can be noisy when they feel like they’re lacking attention.

  • Playful
  • Loyal
  • Fun to work in the yard with
  • Can be noisy

9. The Havanese

havanese lying on grass
Image Credit: Dorottya Mathe, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  8.5–11.5 inches; 7–13 pounds
Temperament:  Happy, affectionate, eager
Trainability:  Easy

These beautiful dogs have long, silky hair, doughy eyes, and cuddly bodies that make them extremely popular pets among households of all shapes and sizes. These dogs are easy to train, they love practicing on agility courses, and they will never say no to an outdoor adventure. They like to stick close to their human companions, so you’ll never feel lonely while spending time at home.

The Havanese is an adaptable dog that can sense the room and understand how to respond to social situations. They’re kid friendly, they get along well with other dogs and cats, and they are generally easy to groom. They can get quite lazy, however, which may lead to weight gain as they age, so diet and exercise must be a priority.

  • Adaptable
  • Intuitive
  • Kid friendly
  • Tends to become overweight

10. The Border Terrier

border terrier
Image Credit: Colin Seddon, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  11–16 inches; 11–16 pounds
Temperament:  Obedient, even-tempered, energetic
Trainability:  Easy

This fearless dog breed is never afraid to take on new challenges or engage in new social situations. The Border Terrier is even-tempered, making them easy to manage and train as time goes on. They have a harsh coat that doesn’t feel great to the touch but does keep them protected in harsh weather outdoors.

They are usually easy to keep clean and healthy, as they are hardy and self-sufficient when it comes to grooming. They are quite active, so they should get at least an hour of exercise each day, rain or shine. Anything less and they are bound to get bored and become destructive inside the home.

  • Fearless
  • Family oriented
  • Can hold up well to harsh weather conditions
  • Can get destructive without sufficient exercise

11. The Brussels Griffon

brussels griffon
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock
Adult Size:  10–12 inches; 8–12 pounds
Temperament:  Full sun/partial shade
Trainability:  Easy

The Brussels Griffon is made up of a few breeds, including the Affenpinscher, the Pug, and the English Toy Spaniel. These sturdy dogs are athletic and agile despite their small size. As a sensitive breed, these dogs do not respond well to harsh reprimands, but rather to positive reinforcement and patience.

Since these dogs like to be in on all the action, owners should have a relaxed lifestyle with plenty of room for adventures and social outings together. This is a smart and loyal breed that takes well to obedience training and socializing with other people and dogs. Do note that they can develop bad behavior to try and get attention.

  • Sturdy build for outdoor adventures
  • Smart
  • Eager to please
  • May behave badly to get attention

12. The Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier lying outdoor
Image Credit: Kokaleinen, Pixabay
Adult Size:  6–8 inches; 2–7 pounds
Temperament:  Feisty, affectionate, brave
Trainability:  Moderate

This is a self-assured dog that doesn’t need coaxing to come out of their shell. They tend to have an adventurous spirit and an endearing personality that makes people quickly fall in love with them. Their tiny size doesn’t stop them from trying to warn strangers away that they find suspicious.

Yorkshire Terriers get along well with other animals and love to play games like fetch and hide-and-seek. They are rarely aggressive, yet they tend to think that they are bigger than they really are, which can get them in trouble when playtime with larger dogs gets rough.

  • Socially adaptable
  • Rarely aggressive
  • Loves to cuddle
  • Can get hurt when playing with larger dogs

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There are many hypoallergenic dogs out there that are well-suited for first-time owners. The challenge is determining which breed is the best option for your household and lifestyle. It’s a good idea to research any breed that you are considering adopting and to meet the dog in person to see how you get along before making any long-term commitments.

Featured Image Credit: Linas T, Shutterstock

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