Hypo- allergenic means less-allergenic. A person is usually allergic to dander (the more shedding the more dander) or saliva, and sometimes urine. We can’t get rid of saliva, of course, but as shedding produces dander, we can help with dander by producing the *non and low shedding dogs.
Some people cannot be around, even the low amount of dander that the non-shedding dogs produce. Others are comfortable with smaller dogs; due to less amount of dander because of less mass, but not the larger dogs with larger body mass.
People are falsely told that if it has a Poodle in, it won’t shed. That would be like saying that if one parent has curly hair their babies will be born with curly hair. Genetic works basically the same in canines as it does in humans.
There are 78 chromosomes in a dog; 39 from each parent. Imagine putting 39 pink marbles and 39 black marbles in a jar and randomly pulling out 39 marbles. The odds would be that you get close to an even number of both pink and black marbles. It is, however, theoretically possible - thought highly unlikely - to select 39 of the same color marbles. You can see, therefore, that getting a *non-shedding dog for a shedding AND non-shedding parent is somewhat of a “crap shoot”. If your allergies are mild this may work for you. However, if one has severe allergy to dander, simply having a Poodle mix may not be good enough.
However, there are dominant genes and the Poodle coat is such gene. In that marble analogy, let’s illustrate that by making 5 of the 39 black marbles larger -to represent the *non-shedding genes. That being the case, if you were to reach in and arbitrarily grab 39 marbles it is more likely that you would grab some of the larger marbles. Therefore, thought it can’t be guaranteed, it is somewhat more likely to get a non shedding pup with a Poodle cross. By this model, a smaller marble could represent a recessive gene – one that isn’t as likely to come through.
There is a little test to do, if the breeder hasn’t brushed the pup in the last 24 hours, to use to predict how the pup is presently shedding. Wet your hand and just shake off the excess water. With your wet hand, stroke the pup from neck to tail three times using a gentle pressure. There will most always be some hair because dead hair doe have to go somewhere but this is a count to give a general idea of how much shedding to expect:
1-6 hairs - *no shed
7-15 hairs - very light shed
16-25 hairs - light shed
26-35 hairs - moderate shed
36 or more hairs - heavy shedder
The Labradoodle and Goldendoodle first generation – or F1 – pup might work for mild someone with mild allergies. However, if allergies are severe it is advisable to look for a F1b- first generation doodle bred back to the Poodle. F1b’s are said to be 95% less like to shed than their purebred shedding grandparents. Still, the only way to guarantee any specific trait is for it to come from both parent and at least three generation back. (For more information see the Doodle Clarification article on this site.)
The best smaller breed dogs that *don't shed are Poodle, Bichon Frise, Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Yorkshire Terrier, Silky Terrier, and the Maltese. We have a number of these mixes and well as F1b Doodles.
Though we refer to some dogs as “non-shedding”, in reality every creature – canines and humans - sheds. Hair goes through a four stage life cycle. How long the shed cycle is in a dog determines if and how much they shed. A creature with a short shed cycle is considered “non-shedding”.