The Smallest Hypoallergenic Dog Breed In The World

It has long been observed that a boy's best friend is his mother, perhaps most famously by Norman Bates, a man known for his maternal devotion, among other things. We're also told that the dog is man's best friend, but those were times of gender insensitivity. So let's just say that some people like some dogs and leave it at that.

Oh, but we can't, and you probably knew that. Because people and dogs have had a relationship dating back a very, very long time. Perhaps thousands of years, though if you've ever house-trained a puppy it can seem like thousands of years.

Lassie. Benji. Rin-tin-tin. Bullet, the German Shepherd who played second fiddle to Trigger in the life of Roy Rogers. Many of us grew up with a concept of canine-as-bestest-buddy-ever. Dogs are wicked smart, and loyal, which makes most humans love them. Unless, of course, you're allergic. And according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), about 10 percent of you are.

So the search is on for a dog — um, it wouldn't be Lassie; sorry — who doesn't provoke an allergic reaction. So many breeds to choose from. Or are there?

The toy poodle is a safe bet

It's tough, because according to WebMD, the issue isn't the hair, or whether or not the dog sheds copiously. The human's allergic reaction is caused most often by flakes of skin. And while not all dogs have a lot of hair, all dogs have skin. Or they'd better, anyway, because the alternative is kind of gross.

That raises the question of the hypoallergenic dog, which isn't a question so much as a a matter of degree, in reality. Some dogs shed less than others –- it's the skin flakes attached to the shedding hair that cause the most problems for the canine-sensitive.

Oh, and size can be an issue for some people, too. That's relative –- there's an obesity crisis in this country, folks, and it's not limited to people.

There are lots of good candidates out there for diminutive, non-sniffle-evoking dogs. One of the very smallest is the Bolognese, which weighs between 5.5 and 9 pounds. Even smaller is the toy poodle, weighing in at 4-6 pounds. Slightly larger at 7-10 pounds is the affenpinscher, which we include here just because we like saying the name out loud.