Dog lovers agree that everyone, everywhere, should have a dog. Dogs make great companions, work associates, and friends. But it is a sad truth that many people are allergic to dogs. And while there is not too much that many people can do to effectively control their allergies enough to have a dog in the house all the time, there is a solution that can severely undermine the dog hair allergy: the Portuguese Water Dog.
Most people who have dog allergies are allergic to the dog's hair. And with most dog breeds, especially ones with long hair, the coat sheds, particularly in warm weather. This leaves a layer of hair all over the house, and no amount of vacuuming can ever be enough to pick it all up. The Portuguese Water Dog, even though he has medium length hair, is considered hypoallergenic because he doesn't shed like other dogs of his coat-type.
The Portuguese Water Dog has a special coat that is made for water. Because his coat is naturally the way it is, he does not shed. Shedding would make the hair thinner and then the dog would not have been protected from the cold of the ocean waters that he was frequently swimming in. Thus, the Portuguese Water Dog does not shed. Granted if the hair follicle dies, the hair will fall out, just like it does on human beings. But the hair does not spontaneously shed in the summer months as it does with other dog breeds.
The Portuguese Water Dog's coat also only has one layer. This helps with the shedding or lack thereof because there is not an undercoat to lose during the warm summer months. The single coat allows the dog to have all the temperature control he needs and therefore he doesn't need to shed.
Something else that can really help people with allergies who want to adopt or purchase a Portuguese Water Dog is the dog's coat cut. Grooming the Portuguese Water Dog in a specific way will reduce the hair even more. There are two types of cuts for the Portuguese Water Dog: the lion cut leave long hair on the dog's tail, front legs and most of the head. The other more effective cut for the prevention of dog hair allergies is the retriever cut, which reduces the length of the dog's coat to about one inch all over the entirely of the dog's body. With the cut the Portuguese Water Dog will lose less hair and will be even more human allergy friendly.
While the fact that the Portuguese Water Dog does not shed is very important, it is equally as important to remember that he is not medically hypoallergenic. Rather, he is virtually hypoallergenic, meaning that his lack of shedding greatly reduces allergic reactions. Consult a veterinarian about how to make the dog medically hypoallergenic.