Certain dog breeds are described and marketed as being "hypoallergenic" on the basis of anecdotal reports that these dogs are better tolerated by patients allergic to dogs.
These observations were investigated by comparing Can f 1 (major dog [Canis familiaris] allergen) levels in hair and coat samples and in the home environment of various hypoallergenic (Labradoodle, Poodle, Spanish Waterdog, and Airedale terrier) and non-hypoallergenic dogs (Labrador retriever and a control group).
Hair and coat samples were obtained from dogs, and settled floor and airborne dust samples were taken from the dogs' homes. Can f 1 concentrations were measured by using ELISA, and results were analyzed by using multiple linear regression analyses.
Significantly higher Can f 1 concentrations were found in hair and coat samples of hypoallergenic dogs (n = 196, geometric mean [GM], 2.26 μg/g, geometric standard deviation [GSD], 0.73, and GM, 27.04 μg/g, GSD, 0.57, respectively) than of non-hypoallergenic dogs (n = 160, GM, 0.77 μg/g, GSD, 0.71, and GM, 12.98 μg/g, GSD, 0.76, respectively). Differences between breeds were small, relative to the variability within a breed. Can f 1 levels in settled floor dust samples were lower for Labradoodles, but no differences were found between the other groups. No differences in airborne levels were found between breeds.
So-called hypoallergenic dogs had higher Can f 1 levels in hair and coat samples than did control breeds. These differences did not lead to higher levels of environmental exposure to dog allergens. There is no evidence for the classification of certain dog breeds as being "hypoallergenic."