Getting a dog can be a wonderful but also troublesome time in a person’s life.
There are a lot of things to consider for both families or individuals aiming to own a dog.
When it comes to people who suffer from allergies, they have to be especially careful about what dog breed they introduce into their homes.
Many dog breeds around can have a severe negative impact on allergy sufferers.
The best thing those people can hope for is getting a hypoallergenic dog. But, are there any out there?
The Doberman Pinscher is a muscular and powerful large-sized dog. They are fearless, loyal, obedient, and built for great endurance and speed.
Always alert, these dogs also make excellent guard dogs. But are they hypoallergenic? And how much do they shed?
Even if none of your family members has problems with dogs, there is the issue of shedding.
Every owner would want as little work as possible when it comes to cleaning their home of unwanted dog hairs.
To get to the bottom of these topics, in this article, we’ll explore how much these German dogs actually shed and if their coat is hypoallergenic at all.
For starters, we have to determine what the term hypoallergenic actually means, so we will take it from there.
What does hypoallergenic mean?
Nowadays, the term is often used to describe specific dog breeds, but the first time it was used was in the cosmetic industry in the 1950s.
Cosmetic companies used the term hypoallergenic to label a product that was less likely to cause allergic reactions.
This way, people with sensitive skin or who are prone to allergies knew to pick those products over ones that were not labeled hypoallergenic.
This, however, didn’t mean that products described as hypoallergenic could not cause allergies.
There were no guarantees, and they could still cause allergic reactions, but the chance of doing so was less.
So, in short, if you see the word hypoallergenic on some type of makeup or skincare product, it simply means that the manufacturer claims that the product causes fewer allergic reactions than others.
That being said, you should be aware that the United States government doesn’t have standards a product should meet to be marked as hypoallergenic.
Because of this, many people get confused about which dog breeds are hypoallergenic and which are not.
To break down the source of this possible confusion, let’s take a look at what dogs are considered to be hypoallergenic.
What are hypoallergenic dogs?
A dog is considered hypoallergenic if it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
This makes them extremely popular amongst people who have dog-related allergies.
Even though more Americans are allergic to cats, about ten percent of the US population is allergic to dogs (according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology).
This means that around 32 million people in the USA have some sort of allergic reaction to canines.
With approximately 150 million people in the USA owning a dog, we can assume that a large portion of them lives with a furry companion despite having allergies.
If you are one of those people, and you want your next dog to be hypoallergenic, pay close attention to the rest of this section, as it might save you from making a poor decision.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) specifically states on their website that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed.
They explain that while no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, some dog breeds can do well with allergy sufferers.
These dog breeds have a low-shedding or non-shedding coat, which produces less dander.
This means that if you spot an advert for a hypoallergenic pooch, you should approach with extreme caution, as there is no way to predict to what extent this statement is true.
Although the American Kennel Club states that there is no completely hypoallergenic dog, it does recommend 19 different canine breeds that are considered more hypoallergenic than others.
Sadly, Dobermans are not one of them. These dogs are considered to be quite bad for people suffering from pet allergies.
Because of their thin and short coat, they tend to shed a lot and spread allergens in their hair throughout the house.
That being said, this isn’t the end of the world. There are ways you can influence the amount of shedding and maybe make your Doberman more hypoallergenic.
Who knows? Maybe you can lead a normal allergy-free life with your furry German friend.
To find out, let’s explore how these and other dogs cause allergies in humans.
How can Dobermans cause allergies?
Aside from people who are considering getting one of these dogs, many current Doberman owners who suffer around their dogs don’t know what they can do to make their lives a little easier.
To start tackling this and any other problems, first, it is crucial to understand how exactly Dobermans and other dogs cause allergic reactions in people.
It is not always just the dog’s dander floating around the house. There are other things to take into consideration when determining how hypoallergenic a dog is.
Aspects to take into account when determining the level of hypoallergenic qualities are the following:
• Dander levels
• The size of the dog
Doberman’s usually have lower amounts of dander, but the genetics of every individual dog makes a big difference in the dander levels.
Since they have short hair and a thin coat, the shedding levels are usually moderate for these dogs.
Also, Dobermans are considered clean dogs and usually don’t exhibit a lot of drooling. But, they are a large dog breed, and the larger the dog, the more hair they shed.
That being said, Dobermans are unique in the allergy-causing department. Usually, they don’t cause allergic reactions because of the large tuffs of their hair floating through the air but for some other reason.
Let’s shed a little light on the most common reasons why people have allergic reactions to Dobermans:
• Their fur causes skin irritations.
Most Dobermans have short and sharp fur that can sometimes pierce the top layers of their owners’ softer skin.
Anytime the top layer of your skin is pierced by something, you risk hives and other irritations.
This often happens on Doberman owners’ feet who walk around their house barefoot or on their arms when hugging or playing with their dog.
Even though this rarely occurs, it can happen to anyone.
• They bring in something from outside on their coat.
Like most other dogs, Dobermans are playful doggies who love to run and play in nature.
This means that they can roll in the fresh-cut grass, poison ivy, poison oak, sumac, or other plants with irritants without you noticing.
When this happens, the oils from these plants find their way into your home from your dog’s coat.
Combine these irritant oils with the short and sharp hair on your dog’s fur, and you can see how easily you could have a bad reaction without knowing what caused it.
These pooches can have adverse reactions simply from pollen in the air. If this occurs, your dog might sneeze up a storm in your house or rub its face on your furniture in an attempt to scratch the itch.
Contact with saliva can cause skin irritation to those who have sensitive skin. And you can imagine how much saliva a dog can leave from sneezing and rubbing its nose or mouth on your couch.
This is why you should always be aware and test your dog for allergies. It will make your life and the life of your furry friend a lot easier.
• Dobermans have sensitive skin themselves.
For instance, some owners reported that their Dobermans are sensitive to metal.
Before they realized this, they fed their dogs from a metal bowl, and the skin on the bottom of their chin would dry out. The part of the chin that comes in contact with the bottom of the metal bowl would also show red bumps.
Dried skin like this can lead to more dander in the air, which, in turn, leads to more allergens flying around.
If you notice any of these symptoms on your pup, make sure to contact your vet and determine the exact cause.
When it comes to allergies relating to sinus irritations, Dobermans are quite alright.
They shed predictably throughout the year, are relatively clean dogs, and don’t shed much compared to many other dog breeds.
If we were to score how hypoallergenic Dobermans are based only on how they affect allergies related to sinus irritations, we would have to place them pretty high. But, this is not the case.
A hypoallergenic dog must be good with other sources of allergies, not just with sinus-related ones.
The Dobermans’ tendency for causing skin irritations drags their score down into the bad category for people who suffer from dog allergies.
So, if your problems with allergies come more from your nostrils and less from your skin, you might be able to get away with having a Doberman as your canine companion.
What are the symptoms of allergies?
Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with allergies related to dogs, you might already know some of the symptoms. On the other hand, some dog lovers may have no clue.
So, to even the playing field, let’s list some of the most common symptoms that can indicate an allergy to dogs:
• Uncontrollable sneezing
• Facial pain (nasal congestion)
• Chest tightness
• Shortness of breath
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Skin rashes or hives
• Watery, red, or itchy eyes
It is worth noting that even if you haven’t had any problems in the past, you might develop an allergy at some point in your life.
If you notice any of these symptoms, it may be an indicator that you have a dog-related allergy, and you should make an appointment with your doctor to see what can be done.
Do Dobermans shed a lot?
This German breed of dog has a smooth-haired and close-lying coat that is short and hard. This makes them moderate-to-regular shedding dogs.
If you decide to get one of these German canines, be prepared to find dog hair on your furniture, in the farthest corners of your home, and on the steps of your staircase.
To maintain your dog’s coat health appropriately, you should stick to a regular brushing routine. It is recommended that you use a short-bristled brush or a grooming mitt daily to get rid of dead hair in its coat.
Are Dobermans hypoallergenic?
Seeing what we’ve described so far, you might have already guessed that Dobermans aren’t really a hypoallergenic dog breed.
They might be a tough companion for allergy sufferers in general.
So, if you know you have a dog-related allergy, you might want to skip out on owning one of these pooches.
However, if you really want some of the Doberman qualities in a dog, you might want to consider getting a Doberman Poodle mix, also known as a Doodleman.
These hybrid dogs can inherit the hypoallergenic qualities of the Poodle side in their parent mix. Although, there is no guarantee.
The best thing you can do is dig a little deeper into the Poodle mix generations and find out which one is the most likely to have hypoallergenic offspring.
Adjusting to your Doberman
Just because you had an allergic reaction to one Dobie that you met on a walk one day doesn’t mean that you are allergic to all Dobermans.
The genetics of every individual dog plays a huge role, and the key is to find the specific dog that will not cause a reaction with you.
Even if you think you’ve made a perfect choice and bring your new puppy home, you may discover yourself reacting to that dog after some time.
This is very common among Doberman owners, and many have reported being allergic to their pups when they first brought them home but adjusted to them later on.
The period to adjust to your new pup can be between six and eight weeks. During this time, your body naturally builds up a tolerance, especially if you are around your pup all the time.
So, if you are suffering around your pup during the first few days or weeks, you might just need to tough it out and let time do its magic.
How to choose a Doberman puppy that won’t cause a reaction
Obviously, the best way to approach this problem is to find a specific dog that doesn’t seem to give you any problems. But, this is easier said than done.
When you start searching for your future pup, ask the breeder if you could spend some time with its parents.
If the parents don’t cause any eye or skin irritation, or sinus problems, there is a higher chance that their pups won’t either.
If you have no luck this way, and all the parents or pups still cause you allergies, you can always try another type of Doberman.
This is when you experience mild shock because you never knew that there are different types, did you?
Well, we are happy to inform you that there certainly are! There are many types and colors of Doberman that you can choose from, all with different characteristics.
For instance, the American breed of Doberman is the most common, but you can also find the European breed. The European Dobermans are slightly thicker and have a broader head and snout.
The differences in these two types sometimes extend to their coats and skin, meaning that the fur of the European Doberman is often softer and less irritating than that of their American cousins.
So, if an American Dobie gives you problems with allergies, try the European kind and see how it goes.
How to make a Doberman more hypoallergenic
Fortunately for every current and future owner of the Doberman dog breed suffering from allergies, we are happy to say that you can take steps to reduce the severity of the problem.
Here are some things you can try:
• Wait – As we mentioned earlier, even if you have a reaction to your Dobie initially, it can go down or disappear completely after some time.
Your body may just need time to adjust to the dog, and you will know if this is the case after about six to eight weeks.
• Keep good grooming habits – Regularly brushing your dog can make a huge difference in keeping the amount of dander in your home at low levels.
It might be obvious, but we should mention that grooming and brushing should be done outside. In addition to brushing, bathing your Doberman can help reduce the skin flakes on their coat and alleviate your allergies.
Shampooing your pup with baby shampoo once a month should be more than enough.
• Vacuum regularly – Even if your dog is a low-shedding breed, vacuuming is a must. With a Doberman, daily vacuuming is recommended, especially if you suffer from pet-related allergies.
Getting a hand-held vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter will help you immensely in the battle against flying allergens.
• Try different dog foods – Since the type of food your dog eats can significantly affect their coat, you should try experimenting with different foods.
Of course, if you do it too often, it might have a different effect than the one you hoped for. And, try to do it gradually, so your dog doesn’t get an upset stomach.
• Use baby wipes to wipe down their coat – Using unscented baby wipes on your dog’s coat daily will help reduce the number of allergens your pup brings into the house.
• Use injected or oral flea and tick medications – If you are already using a flea and tick treatment for your pooch that is applied directly to their coat, you might want to switch to the one in the form of a pill or injection.
Before you do any of these, however, it is important that you consult your vet.
• Wear long sleeves – This one is pretty straightforward but can be quite effective.
Since most allergic reactions to Dobermans come from skin irritations due to their fur, simply covering your arms while playing with your pup can make a big difference in protecting your skin.
If you’ve tried all of these and still have problems, you can opt for using medications to alleviate some of the reactions you are experiencing.
For example, some owners state that cortisone creams are an effective way of reducing skin reactions.
Similarly, many owners have found relief with Claritin-D or Benedryl, which are both over-the-counter allergy medications for sinus and eye-related irritations.
If all else fails, consider going to a trained allergist. These professionals will test you to see if it is, in fact, your dog that you are allergic to or something else.
Also, they might be able to give you an injection of allergy medication that can prevent symptoms for longer periods.
Dog breeds that are more hypoallergenic than the Doberman
The fact is that there is really no replacement for a Doberman Pinscher because they are truly unique dogs.
That being said, there are dog breeds that might have similar characteristics to a Doberman but are more hypoallergenic.
For many highly sensitive allergy sufferers, here are some options:
• American Hairless Terrier – As its name suggests, these dogs are hairless and are widely considered as the best breed for people with severe allergies.
They are medium-sized dogs that can weigh up to 25 pounds in adulthood.
• Xoloitzcuintle – This dog is also known as simply “Xolo” or “Mexican Hairless Dog,” and since it is hairless, it can be the perfect choice for allergy sufferers.
One of the things that might help you choose this dog breed is that they can almost pass for a smaller Doberman from a distance.
This is because they have no fur, weigh around 44 pounds in adulthood, and have ears that naturally stand up. Also, like Dobermans, they are very loyal and obedient and make great watchdogs.
• Italian Greyhound – The Doberman Pinscher actually has some Greyhound genes in its genetic makeup, and Greyhounds are considered one of the best dogs for people sensitive to the dander in pet hair.
So, you can see how the Italian Greyhound can be the perfect option for people who want a dog similar to a Doberman, but that’s much better for their allergies.
• Giant schnauzer – The Schnauzer is considered to be a dog breed with the least amount of dander. It also has a double coat that doesn’t shed at all.
Besides, these dogs are highly intelligent, making them very easy to train and a great working breed.
Even though there isn’t really a replacement for the beloved Doberman Pinscher, there are still similar options for people highly sensitive to them.
However, most people should be able to resolve their allergies to Dobermans using the methods we provided in this article.
If you still want a dog but don’t want to risk it, and you think that getting a Doberman is just not worth the trouble, we’ve got you covered.
Here is the list of the American Kennel Club’s most hypoallergenic dog breeds, excluding the ones we already mentioned:
• Afghan Hound
• Bedlington Terrier
• Bichon Frise
• Chinese Crested
• Coton de Tulear
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Kerry Blue Terrier
• Lagoto Romagnolo
• Peruvian Inca Orchid
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka
• Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Even though Dobermans are considered a clean breed, they are moderate shedders and require some maintenance.
They can be great family pets for homes whose members have sensitive nostrils but a little less so for those with sensitive skin.
That being said, with the methods we provided in this article, you should be able to live with a Doberman even if you have mild allergies.
But, the main question of if Dobermans are hypoallergenic is still answered with a no.
These dogs are not considered hypoallergenic since they can cause allergic reactions in humans.