Let’s face it: as human beings, most of us have a natural disposition towards dogs as pets.  After all, it’s often been pointed out that domesticated dogs have been a feature of ancient human communities, perhaps aiding in hunts, protecting encampments, and serving as transportation (in the case of sled dogs).  The point is, regardless of wherever you may be from or what cultural factors have shaped your family tree – dogs have probably rested at the feet of your ancestors.   In other words, when your kids start yammering on about wanting to get a puppy, it might not be their curiosity that’s prompting them, but their heritage.

Having said that, actually owning a dog is yet another story, especially for those (like myself) who suffer from animal dander-related allergies.  It can be especially frustrating to want to keep furry, lovable pets around yet not be able to do so due to ongoing health concerns.  All is not lost of course, as there are certain breeds which don’t shed hair and might be adequately labeled “hypoallergenic”.  Here are some great family dogs to keep in mind if you’re in pursuit of a new pooch.

Yorkshire Terrier

With their wispy, curls of often golden-colored hair, you’d expect the incredibly cute Yorkshire terrier to be one of the breeds that’s most prone to shedding.  Of course if you did that, you’d be wrong – they’re actually one of the more lax examples when it comes to shedding.  Regular brushings are definitely recommended with Yorkies though, as their hair can become tangled and wadded together rather easily if left unchecked.

Dachshund

Often referred to as “wiener dogs” in some parts of the world, given their distinctive hot dog-like appearance, the Dachshund is a great breed for people with bad allergies.  Aside from their easy-to-keep-groomed nature, these dogs are great house pets and tend to be fairly intelligent as well.  Those with extremely small children might not favor a Dachshund however as they can be somewhat impatient.  But that shouldn’t stop anyone with older kids from adopting one of these great dogs though.

Shih Tzu

With its distinctive shortened nose and bright eyes, the tiny and adorable Shih Tzu is a great family pet that’s considered to be a “non-shedding” dog.  Again, as with any pet with longer hair, regular brushing will be necessary if one wants to avoid tangled messes and so forth.  Personality wise, this dog breed is very versatile – some are a bit bossy while others are as friendly as can be, in either case they always make delightful pets.

Boston Terrier

Looking somewhat like a mixture between a miniature bulldog and a pug, the Boston terrier is perhaps one of the best breeds a family can adopt.   With relatively short hair that’s not prone to shedding or in need of constant grooming, this dog is perfect for people who need a friendly, quiet dog that’s highly sociable.

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