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My partner and I have been looking at getting a new dog; our son has allergies, so we have been focusing on hypoallergenic puppies. We instantly fell in love with the Bernedoodle breed.

The problem is there seem to be conflicting reports as to whether or not a Bernedoodle is hypoallergenic. We do not want to spend lots of money on a pet to find out it cannot live in the same house with our son. So how can I find out if a dog is truly hypoallergenic?

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  • Possible duplicate of What should I look for in a dog if my family is allergic?. No dog breed is ever 100% hypoallergenic. It always depends on the severity of the allergy a person has and the individual characteristics of the dog. The linked post proposed a mini pig as an hypoallergenic alternative to dogs.
    – Elmy
    Jul 23 at 10:45
  • Best way is to live with them a month, if it is allowed. One month is a good enough time for your immune system detect and form a response against the dog hair/saliva. Note that it will go worse in time, i.e., the immune response will go stronger as time progresses upto a point.
    – C.Koca
    Jul 28 at 15:05
  • Also, I am allergic to cats yet I have a cat. With some medication in spring time (I also have hay fever) I manage. Your son might be okay, depending on other allergies he has. My immune response goes berserk with long haired cats in springs, so several allergens will be way more intolerable.
    – C.Koca
    Jul 28 at 15:05
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Like @Elmy mentioned in the comments, "No dog breed is ever 100% hypoallergenic."

When someone is allergic to a dog, it's likely to be things like dander and saliva versus the fur. Each person will react differently to the same dog and the same person can react differently to any dog. Even though there are certain breeds that are known for being more hypoallergenic than others, there's no breed that can guarantee no allergies for everyone. It's the individual person that may or may not get affected.

Try an allergy test

Sometimes figuring out exactly what a person's allergies are, can help narrow your options. Try getting an allergy test to determine all allergies that might affect your son. More often than not, people with allergies are allergic to more than 1 thing. It's the combination of all allergies that could be giving the person symptoms.

For example, if your son is allergic to pollen and dogs, limiting the pollen exposure might be enough to not show any reaction to dogs. Another example why this might be helpful from the American Kennel Club:

For example, some people are only sensitive to a dog protein called Can f 5, which is only produced by male dogs. Up to 30% of people who only have a Can f 5 sensitivity may be able to tolerate a female dog or a male dog that has been neutered. Armed with this detailed information about your allergies, you will be in a much better position to make a responsible decision about dog ownership.

That same link also offers a list of recommended breeds for allergies.

Interact with the puppy

Some people will even react differently to different dogs of the same breed. The best way to test if your son is allergic to a dog is to have him physically interact with the dog/puppy in question. He has to spend some time around the dog, playing with the dog, petting the dog and then see if your son has a reaction.


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    This is so true. I am allergic to cats, but it only becomes unbearable in the spring with all other allergens.
    – C.Koca
    Jul 28 at 15:03

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