Low Allergy Dogs – Choosing a Cross Breed

You know this is something I come back to again and again.  Why?  Because people just aren’t getting the right information.

It really bothers me when people are told about supposed low allergy cross breeds that aren’t actually low allergy.

I met a couple with a Cockerpoo in the woods.  A Cockerpoo is a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle.  The crossing gives a high energy, fun, intelligent small dog with a bit more grace than a spaniel.  It was a lovely furry little thing – my dogs loved to meet it and it loved to meet them.

I walked along with the couple chatting about dogs for a while.  They told me their daughter was allergic to dogs and had got a Cockerpoo thinking it would be safe for her.  And she had a bad reaction to it.

That came as no suprise – because Cocker Spaniels are NOT low allergy.  Why does anybody think that crossing a low allergy dog with one that isn’t low allergy produces a low allergy dog?   It can do, but it’s NOT guaranteed.  That’s because you’re mixing their genetics at random. 

You could get a litter of pups that all had the low allergy characteristics of the poodle.  Or you might get a litter of pups that were all allergy-affecting.  And because you have cocker spaniel genes there, even if you breed only cockerpoos to cockerpoos, there is always the chance you will get the spaniel’s allergy-affecting characteristics coming through the breed line at some point.

I’m not against cross breeds – far from it!  I have two at home myself!  But where there is a mix of low allergy and not low allergy dogs in a breeding,  people with allergies who come to see the puppies should be properly informed so they understand the risks and can test appropriately. 

In fact it’s no good testing against puppies at all – and my book explains why!

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