German Shepherds are a beloved breed known for their intelligence, loyalty, and protective nature. However, potential dog owners who suffer from allergies may want to think twice when bringing home a German Shepherd.
Are German Shepherds hypoallergenic? This question comes up often, and the quick answer is that, No, German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic.
In this article, we will dive deeper into the reasons why German Shepherds may cause your allergies to act up and what you can do to minimize the impact of your allergies. Lastly, we’ll look at some hypoallergenic breeds that are safe for people with allergies.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
Dog allergies are a common problem for many people and can be triggered by various factors. In fact, 10 – 20% of the population worldwide is allergic to dogs and/or cats.
The primary cause of dog allergies is the proteins found in a dog’s skin cells, urine, and saliva. These proteins, known as allergens, can become airborne. If inhaled, this can lead to an allergic reaction in some people that might look like signs of asthma, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing.
Other factors contributing to dog allergies include dander, which are tiny flakes of skin that dogs shed, and oils produced by their skin and fur. Certain dog breeds tend to produce more allergens than others, making them more likely to cause an allergic reaction.
It’s important to remember that not everyone is allergic to dogs and that the level of allergy symptoms can be different from one person to the other. Understanding the causes of dog allergies is the first step in determining if the German Shepherd is a good dog for you. Below, we’ll talk about some of the things you can do to minimize the allergens around your home.
Why Aren’t German Shepherds Hypoallergenic?
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, contrary to popular belief, German Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. The concept of a hypoallergenic dog refers to a breed that produces fewer allergens and is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in people.
Just like any other breed of dog, German Shepherds produce allergens in their skin cells, urine, and saliva, which can trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.
Additionally, German Shepherds shed regularly, which can increase the amount of dander and hair in your home and worsen allergy symptoms. We’ll talk more about German Shepherd shedding below.
Can German Shepherd Hybrids Be Hypoallergenic?
German Shepherd hybrids, also known as designer dogs, are a mix of German Shepherd and another breed.
One of the most common German Shepherd hybrids that are known to be hypoallergenic is the Shepadoodle, which is a German Shepherd Poodle mix.
However, the level of hypoallergenicity in any hybrid dog depends on the specific mix of breeds and their individual characteristics. It is possible that a German Shepherd hybrid may produce fewer allergens and be less likely to cause an allergic reaction than a purebred German Shepherd, but this can vary greatly from dog to dog.
It’s important to remember that no dog is completely hypoallergenic and that even a hybrid dog can still trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.
Before considering a German Shepherd hybrid like the Shepadoodle, it is a good idea to spend time with the dog and observe your allergy symptoms to determine if they are a good fit for you.
What Coat Type Do German Shepherds Have?
German Shepherds have a double-layer coat that is dense and weather-resistant. The outer layer of their coat is made up of coarser, longer hairs that protect them from the elements, while the inner layer is soft and insulating.
Their coat is very thick and requires regular grooming to maintain its good condition. Grooming is important because it helps to prevent matting and tangling, as well as keep their coat clean and free from dirt, debris, and parasites.
Like many dogs, German Shepherds come in a variety of colors, including black, sable, and black and tan, and their coat can range from short to medium length.
Are German Shepherds Heavy Shedders?
Yes, German Shepherds are known to be very heavy shedders. With their thick, double-layer coat, they shed year-round, with heavier shedding occurring during the spring and fall seasons.
This means that there will be a constant presence of hair and dander around the house, which can be a problem for individuals with allergies. Well, talk about one solution to this problem in the later sections that I found.
To help manage the shedding around the house, it’s recommended to brush your German Shepherd regularly to remove their loose hair. Below is one of my favorite dog brushes that I use all the time on my German Shepherd and chocolate labrador. It’s amazing just how much hair this brush removes!
Is There A German Shepherd That Does Not Shed?
While German Shepherds are a popular breed, it’s important to note that they do shed. Shedding is a natural process for all dogs and helps keep their coat healthy.
However, the amount and frequency of shedding can vary based on factors like age, gender, health, and the season.
It’s not possible to completely prevent a German Shepherd from shedding. Still, as previously mentioned, regular grooming and proper care, like using a de-shedding brush, can help reduce the amount of shedding.
If you’re sensitive to pet hair and dander, you may want to consider a low-shedding or hypoallergenic breed. These breeds are known for producing less hair and dander, making them a great choice for individuals with pet allergies. We’ll look at some of the top hypoallergenic breeds towards the end of the article.
What Can You Do If You’re Allergic to German Shepherds?
If you are allergic to German Shepherds, it can be difficult to live with or be around these dogs. However, you can do a few things to manage your allergy symptoms.
Identify the Triggers
The first step is to identify the specific allergens that trigger your symptoms. This could be pet dander, hair, urine, or saliva. Once you have identified the allergens, you can take steps to minimize your exposure to them.
For example, if you’re allergic to dog dander, you can use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to reduce the amount of dander in the air. I personally own the Winix Air Purifier, which I run 24/7 in my bedroom.
If you’re allergic to pet hair, you can vacuum regularly and use a de-shedding brush like the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs we mentioned about above.
Allergic to Dog Hair? Buy a Robot Vaccum
If you don’t have the time or the desire to continuously vacuum your home, I highly recommend purchasing a robot vacuum like the one below.
I have two dogs at home, a German Shepherd and a chocolate labrador, and wow, does my Roomba j7+ do an amazing job at cleaning up all of the dog hair!
I personally set my Roomba up on a schedule to vacuum my whole house 4 times a week, and one of the cool things about this Roomba is that it has object detection so that if your dog has an accident, it won’t run it over, tracking it through the house!
Lastly, you can try to use allergy medications, such as antihistamines like the over-the-counter medication, Allegra, to relieve symptoms. You could also try undergoing immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, to build up your tolerance to pet allergens over time.
Alternative Dog Breeds For People With Allergies
For individuals with allergies, it can be challenging to find a dog breed that won’t trigger symptoms.
However, there are several breeds that are often recommended for people with allergies because they produce less dander and shed less hair. Some of the top hypoallergenic dog breeds include:
The breeds above are just a few examples of the many hypoallergenic dog breeds that are available. Check out the video below on the top 10 cutest hypoallergenic dog breeds, or check out our articles on the 12 best small hypoallergenic dogs and the 10 best big hypoallergenic dogs.
So, are German Shepherd hypoallergenic? Well, as we’ve discussed in the article today, they are not hypoallergenic due to their heavy shedding and dander production.
However, there is hope if you are allergic to German Shepherds, with medication, proper grooming, vacuuming, and an air purifier with a HEPA filter, it is possible to minimize the impact of the shedding and dander that comes with owning a German Shepherd.
For individuals with allergies, alternative hypoallergenic dog breeds, such as Poodles, Bichon Frises, Malteses, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers, might be a better option for you.
I hope this article helped answer some of your questions regarding Germans Shepherds. If you still have questions, please feel free to reach out to us on our social media!