Choosing A Dog For Allergies – Are Brindle Boxers Hypoallergenic?

I had this question recently from a lady on my e-mail list and thought it would make a great blog post for everyone looking for hypoallergenic, low allergy and non-shedding dogs.

Thank you for giving me this opourtunity before i start looking – can you tell me about a brindle boxer? A breeder my friend just told me her dog is ready to have her babies are they in that catagory? ”  Sue

Thanks Sue for this great question.  The answer to this is NO.

Brindle boxer dogs (or any colour boxer dog) are not hypoallergenic.  They are not listed by any of the major international Kennel Clubs as being hypoallergenic, non-shedding or otherwise good for allergy sufferers.

Here are the reasons:

  1. Boxers, with their drooping jowls, tend to produce lots of saliva.  It depends on the ‘jowliness’ of the dog, but for some, they will often show long strings of saliva dangling from their mouths.  Saliva is a major cause of allergic reactions for people with dog (or general pet) allergies.  In fact for some people their allergic reaction to saliva is far more pronounced than their reaction to dog hair or dog dander. You only have to review the comments on the internet to find people describing that one of the less pleasant aspects of living with a boxer is the dog drool around the house at mouth height! 
  2. Some Boxers can groom themselves a lot.  This means saliva can be  transferred in large quantities to the coat hair.  This self-grooming effect is one of the reasons why the American Kennel Club removed Basenjis from the list of possible hypoallergenic dogs.
  3. Despite having a very short coat, Boxers are classed as ‘shedding’ dogs.  The extent of described shedding varies, but is generally ‘moderate’ shedding.  They shed twice per year, in spring for a thinner summer coat, and autumn (fall) for a thicker winter coat.  However they also shed lightly and constantly throughout the year.

Boxers are great family dogs with lots of fun and enthusiasm – and needing lots of exercise too (2 hours per day or more)!  They make good watchdogs as they can be suspicious of strangers.  They are intelligent and trainable (if you make it fun and interesting) but also have a stubborn streak.  Great for outdoorsy country folk and active families with older children.

If you’re looking for a medium sized, active hypoallergenic (non-shedding, low allergy) family dog which has similar characteristics to a Boxer, why not think about these alternatives:

  • Airedale Terrier (but watch for aggressiveness)
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Standard Poodle
  • Hungarian Puli
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Standard Schnauzer
  • Irish Soft Coated (Wheaten) Terrier

If you have any more questions like this, please e-mail me at

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