Study Shows Hypoallergenic Dogs Aren't Hypoallergenic, Still Dogs

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Researchers at Detroit’s Henry Ford’s Department of Public Health Sciences have announced the results of their study looking at allergen output of so-called hypoallergenic dogs. The results are not good for people who have invested in labradoodles solely for their alleged lack of allergens.

According to the study, which will be published online in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, covered some 60 households. Of these, 11 had hypoallergenic dogs. For the experiment, the researchers gathered dust samples that they analyzed for the Canis familiaris 1 (Can f 1) allergen. While scientists found some variation between individual dogs, there was no measurable difference between the so-called hypoallergenic dogs and other canines.

The researchers behind the study pointed out that there is no single list of hypoallergenic dogs. Instead, many different sources — including the American Kennel Club — label breeds that do not shed much, or at all, and do not expel excessive saliva. However, the study seems to indicate that these traits seem to do little to reduce allergens. In their study, the researchers compared both pure-bred and mixed-bred dogs of varying parentage.

While the study looks bad for the popular breeds of dog claimed to be easier on allergy sufferers, the researchers did offer one ray of hope. The study’s senior author Christine Cole Johnson said in a release:

Based on previous allergy studies conducted here at Henry Ford, exposure to a dog early in life provides protection against dog allergy development.

So if you have allergies, get a dog so your kids won’t. Perfect!

(CBC via Gizmodo, NYTimes, image is an American Hairless Terrier in a sweater via Mace Ojala)

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