With their brachycephalic (mushed faces) and their giant 'bunny’ ears,' there is little doubt that for a small dog - Pekingese dogs rank high on the cute scale. Their lively, sometimes obstinate nature means they have big personalities too.
But are Pekingese hypoallergenic dogs? Are they suitable for someone with pet and dander allergies?
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Are Pekingese Hypoallergenic Dogs?
The very simple answer here is no and despite being a toy breed, Pekingese dogs are not hypoallergenic. The Pekingese has s double layered coat and sheds a lot requiring a daily dose of grooming and brushing.
In fact, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, no matter what you might have read on social media.
There are, however, breeds that are far less likely to aggravate dog allergies in humans (as we'll go into more detail about in a moment) but perky Pekingese pups are not among them.
What Dogs Are Completely Hypoallergenic?
In short, any dog can provoke an allergic reaction in humans prone to such things, because every dog naturally produces the allergens - of which seven have been identified by scientific research - that trigger such things.
Any claims that any dog breed is 'completely' hypoallergenic are patently false.
Dog allergies in humans are fairly misunderstood by the general population.
For example, lots of people think that the allergy is directly related to a pup's fur, and therefore dogs with short coats and very little hair must be closer to hypoallergenic, and that maybe, just maybe, if they do something drastic like shave off their pup's fur, or opt for a hairless dog breed, they can 'DIY' a hypoallergenic canine companion.
None of this is the case, however, as the allergens that are the problem here are contained in canine saliva. And all dogs have saliva.
Researchers are working on a dog allergy vaccine by the way, but that work is still ongoing and a long way from reaping a noticeable reward.
The identification of one of the seven 'dog allergens' discovered over the years as being the one that causes up to 75% of allergic reactions in humans is a great start.
While they have determined that Can f 1 (the allergens are labeled Can f 1-7) is the real problem, researchers are yet to isolate its IgE epitopes. These are the specific sections of antigens that the immune system recognizes and uses to stimulate or 'determine' an immune response.
Once they do, a vaccine may well be possible. In the future, genetic engineering may be helpful too. But at the moment the best an allergic would be pup parent can hope for is a pup who will spread far fewer allergens around their home.
Why Isn't a Pekingese Hypoallergenic?
For all of their positives - and there are a lot, as any Pekingese pet parent can tell you - being the type of dog who will not spread a lot of allergens across their environment are not among them.
Pekingese Pups Shed a Lot
Part of the aesthetic appeal of the Pekingese as a breed is their long silky coat and their luxuriantly furry ears. And while not all long-haired dogs shed a great deal, the Pekingese does.
The Pekingese has a lot of hair on its body and features two coats, an outer coat which is coarse and an undercoat which is softer.
They are also rather fussy about keeping themselves clean and groom themselves a lot with their tongue. Given their double layered coats and high amount of shedding, grooming and brushing should be done on a daily basis to be mat-free and fit.
This means that their fur is usually covered in saliva, and therefore allergens. When you pet them, the allergens will end up on your fingers, and as they shed, the allergens on their fur will end up all over your home (and in the air).
This is true of all pups, but in some cases less of a problem.
Pekingese Pups are Quite Snuffly
Pekingese dogs fall into a category of dog breeds known as brachycephalic.
These dogs have shorter snouts or flat noses and narrower nostrils and smaller airways as a result. Which can make them snuffly and snotty-nosed, which will spread even more allergens.
5 Low Dander Toy Breeds For Allergy Sufferers
As we have mentioned now several times, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed.
Even a Mexican Hairless pup can trigger dog allergies in humans. Coat type or hair length is often not a factor either, as some long-haired dog breeds are considered quite hypoallergenic.
What can make a real difference in how hypoallergenic a pup can be considered is how much it sheds, and therefore how much allergen-covered fur and dander it leaves in its wake.
If you are looking for a toy breed because you want a small dog - maybe you live in an apartment or just like tiny Chinese breed pups - the following breeds are all generally considered more hypoallergenic than a Pekingese (and many other dog breeds).
Although their name means little lion in English, the Shi Tzu is a happy, lively little pup who was one of the first known breeds specifically bred to be a lap dog, dating back to Ancient China. They are great family pets and, despite their diminutive size, can be quite effective guard dogs.
Although they have long, luxuriant coats Shi Tzus really don't shed, which is a big plus if you are looking for a hypoallergenic toy breed. They also don't drool much - and therefore won't spread too much allergen heavy saliva - and they have a small, uptilting nose that makes them less prone to snuffles.
The Lhasa Apsos of today are descended from dogs who used to roam monasteries high in the Himalayas over a thousand years ago, serving as lively, but intelligent companions to monks. They love to be pampered and to be the center of attention and do very well in small spaces.
These quirky pups are another toy-sized breed who do not shed much, and they also are not the biggest fans of a great deal of formal exercise, meaning that they won't need to spend as much time at the dog park, where they may pick up allergens from other dogs.
Technically a hairless dog breed, the very distinctive looking Chinese Crested actually comes in three forms: the Powderpuff, the Hairless and the Hairy-Hairless. It is the Hairy Hairless that were the pups considered royal dogs in Ancient China.
This difference in sub-species means that some Chinese Crested dogs actually have a lot of hair, but usually only in certain spots - around their ears, tail, and feet - and most are groomed to be hairless across the rest of their little bodies. They also have very long, aquiline noses which allows them to breathe easier than many other toy breed dogs.
Terriers in general are bright, lively, and very smart, and this is certainly true of the silky terrier. They are happier outdoors than many toy breed dogs, and given the chance often revert to the hunting behavior that their ancestors were bred for.
As their name suggests, these toy terriers have long silky coats but they really don't shed and they don't drool. They do need regular grooming, as is the case for most of the other pups we've mentioned, but if you restrict that to a specific area - preferably outside - you can keep the spread of potential allergens to a minimum.
If you really want a Pekingnese pup, but allergies are a concern, then a Pekepoo might be an option. A Peekapoo is a mix between the Pekingese and the Poodle dog breeds.
The mix produces a fantastic companion dog, and one that sheds a lot less.
However, these 'designer dogs' can be hard to find, and expensive if you do.
How To Reduce Allergic Reactions to Almost Any Dog
If you want to reduce the likelihood that visitors to your home, who might be allergic to dogs, are affected by your pup, wherever breed they might be, there are some things you can do to reduce the spread of offending allergens that are both easy to implement and quite effective.
These include all the following:
- Keep Your Pup Off the Furniture: If you want to minimize the spread of allergens you should not allow your pup to make himself comfortable on your furniture. This may take some extra training, but if allergies are a concern the effort will be worth it.
- Use HEPA Filters in Your HVAC Systems: Most heating and air conditioning systems make use of filters to remove pollutants from the air and help protect the systems themselves. Swapping a standard filter for a HEPA filter - which is designed to trap up to 99% of the dust and allergens in the air - will help reduce the spread of dog allergens, making your home's air cleaner and easier for allergy sufferers to breathe.
- Groom Your Pup Outside: All of the toy breed dogs we just mentioned need frequent grooming, and often that once-a-month trip to the professionals is not enough to prevent matting and tangles. You can reduce the spread of dander and allergens by making sure you only brush your dog's fur outdoors, or, at the very least, in a designated area like a mudroom or basement.