The Hypoallergenic Myth
One of the first facts people come out with about Cockapoos is, they are hypoallergenic! It has become something of a self-perpetuating myth. And it isn’t true.
People who suffer from allergies and want a dog, sensibly research dog breeds that shed less than other breeds. The key phrase here is shed less.
Cockapoos, because of the Poodle parent, do shed less than most dogs. And that is a reason Poodles are a popular dog to breed (also because of their intelligence).
But adverts that proclaim the virtue of Cockapoos, as “suitable for people with allergies” are making a false statement.
Why it’s a ridiculous statement to make
There are a number of reasons its wrong for breeders to advertise the hypoallergenic myth.
- Due to the variations in a Cockapoo coat, it’s hard to predict what sort of coat the puppy will grow into.
- There are considerable variations of coat type within every litter
- The coat will vary dependant on whether the pup is a first cross (F1) or second or third cross (F2-3)
- A Cockapoo may not shed much (like a Poodle), or he may shed more like a Cocker.
Don’t be fooled by a Cockapoo puppy. Little puppies don’t shed, but when their adult coat comes in it may well provoke an allergic reaction.
There is a series of allergens (other than a Cockapoo’s coat) that can set off someone’s allergies. Dander (scales of dead skin), saliva and urine can easily trigger a reaction.
If you are prone to allergies and really want a dog, this is the best advice for you to follow:
- Do choose a breed with a Poodle or Schnauzer Parent as they are low shedders and come in three sizes all the way down to miniature. The smaller the dog = less hair to shed.
- Contact someone that has the breed you’re interested in and ask if you can visit or borrow the dog for a few hours. Make sure that is the only pet around, so you’re sure no other pets are triggering a reaction.
Remember that allergy testing with puppies is pointless because puppies don’t shed hair.
If you have a preference for a particular coat type, fleece for example, spend time with a Cockapoo with that coat type. A Wavy or Flat Coat Cockapoo will shed more as they are closer genetically to the Cocker Spaniel. So, find a friend or breeder who can give you exposure to that coat type.
Once you’re with the dog
When you meet the dog, he will probably want to greet you so give him a good stroke and let him lick your hands. It’s important you let him lick your bare skin to see if you have a reaction to the saliva. Bring your licked hand up and touch your cheeks.
And remember to take your allergy medicine with you in case you do have a reaction.
Only after 24 hours of having no symptoms can you consider yourself okay as having no reaction.
- If you are prone to allergies I recommend having your Cockapoo groomed away from your home to avoid hair and allergens circulating.
- The fleece style Cockapoo Coat should ideally be clipped short to prevent carrying allergens on the coat put there from licking.
- Once allergy season kicks in, bathe your Cockapoo frequently to get rid of pollen and other allergens from the coat.
- There are wet-wipes available designed to remove allergens from the coat between bath times.
Do take the time to allergy check yourself and your family for the dog breed and Coat type you are interested in. There’s nothing worse than giving a dog a home then having to give him up because of an allergic reaction. It is avoidable.
If you do react to a dog’s saliva or urine, you probably won’t ever find a suitable dog.