Whether you suffer from allergies, have an aversion to dog hair or are simply fascinated by these darling dogs, a hairless dog may be for you. It's important to note that every allergy sufferer and every dog are different, meaning purchasing a hairless dog doesn't always mean you're getting a “hypoallergenic" dog. This article, will cover the basics of the different hairless breeds along with a method you can use to test your possible allergic reaction to a dog before you buy.
There are several different breeds of hairless dog breeds:
1. American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier is a sweet, active, loving and playful breed. This darling dog loves to snuggle, and they, like all hairless breeds, can be particularly sensitive to the cold. Always pack a sweater and sunscreen if you're going for a walk.
2. Chinese Crested Dog
These 10-pound little devils are absolute comedians. The Chinese Crested not only looks like a punk rocker, he's got the spunky personality too. With their Mohawks and jaunty little walks, the Chinese Crested will win its way into your heart.
3. Peruvian Inca Orchids or Peruvian Hairless
The Peruvian Inca Orchid is the largest hairless breed, weighing in at an average 26-50 pounds. They make great companions and are known for being wonderful with children. Like most hairless breeds, they require regular bathing and moisturizing.
4. Xoloitzcuintlis or Mexican Hairless
The Xolo, as it's sometimes called, comes in both three varieties; toy (less than 13 inches), miniature (less than 18 inches) and standard (18-23 inches). The breed originated in Mexico and is known for its hardy build, spunky disposition and trainability. This intelligent breed excels at obedience training and simply loves to please. Again, like most hairless dogs, Xolo owners need to watch out for skin conditions and acne breakouts.
5. Hairless Khala
The Hairless Khala is a hound breed that comes in two varieties; a smaller, mid-size breed and then a Standard Khala. As a sight hound, they're known for speed and an extremely high chase instinct. This graceful breed is quite rare, so finding a breeder with an available puppy may be difficult.
Testing Your Allergic Reaction to a Hairless Dog:
There is no dog or breed that is 100% hypoallergenic. Because different people have different levels of allergies and can be allergic to different characteristics, like saliva, dander or hair - there's no way to know exactly what kind of reaction someone's going to have with a particular breed. However, because hairless breeds tend to produce less dander, they're often more suitable for allergy sufferers and tend to be a better fit than heavy shedders. Before you buy though, you should test how you react to the dog.
Try visiting your prospective breeders’ home and informing them about your allergies. Pick a breeder that only breeds or houses the one particular breed (you don't want an errant Golden Retriever messing up your allergy test). Ask questions and spend a lot of time interacting with the dogs. Let them lick you and rub against you. To really test your reaction, wait at least 24 hours to see if you have a delayed reaction. If you're still unsure, try multiple visits.
In the end, hairless breeds may not be for everyone, but they make darling and lovely pets for all animal lovers, not just allergy sufferers!
CS Swarens is the president of Find a Pet Online. 800 998-7065
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