Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Am I allergic to the KC?

I have to say the KC press release issued about Bo the Obama dog really irritated me. It didn't make me scratch, didn't bring me out in hives, it just made me mad.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “The Obamas clearly did a lot of careful research before deciding that the Portuguese Water Dog was for them. The breed standard describes it as a smart, resilient and optimistic breed and its coat is hypo allergenic, meaning it will not aggravate their daughter’s allergies, so it seems to be the perfect fit for the family."

Oh dear. Now that really isn't a very smart thing to say is it? Most allergies are caused by dander or saliva - but here we have the authoritative voice of the KC saying definitively that this none-shedding breed is hypoallergenic. Agrrrr!

More sensible counter opinion is out there, so hopefully people will do more research than just ask the KC for advice. Pete the vet in the Telegraph has blogged this.

I find myself getting irritated every time I hear that the dog's breed, a Portuguese Water Dog, has "hypoallergenic fur".

The truth is that there's no such thing as hypoallergenic fur, nor are there "hypoallergenic breeds". This is the type of hype that's rumoured to be quietly disseminated by certain self-serving dog breeders hoping to sell more puppies. It's interesting that the Kennel Club reports that there's been a huge surge of interest in Portuguese Water Dogs.


Pete the vet is such a gentleman, he points to the KC press release but doesn't underline the fact that it is the KC itself putting out these silly inaccurate stories likely to lead to a surge of interest!
Pete's blog has some very sensible ideas for anyone with allergies thinking of getting a dog.
I would urge caution and spending 24 hours with an adult of the breed before you take the plunge if possible.
Many Labradoodles are given up by people who expect them to be the answer to their allergic child's prayer.





3 comments:

Julie Hill said...

Dog allergies are very difficult and complicated. Within one litter some puppies may set your allergies off while others won't, so it's not even as easy as finding a breed you can tolerate.
Julie

Penkitty said...

"The truth is that there's no such thing as hypoallergenic fur, nor are there "hypoallergenic breeds". This is the type of hype that's rumoured to be quietly disseminated by certain self-serving dog breeders hoping to sell more puppies."

How true this is!!

The recent tread has been for any dog crossed with a poodle to be branded as hypoallergenic which of course is just not true. It's just a way of selling at an inflated price what in fact is just a cross breed dog.

Anonymous said...

i have toy poodles, which have a similar coat texture to port. water dogs i think. vets often reccomend owners with allergies buy poodles, bichons, etc to ease the discomfort...and its true their non-shedding coat is fantastic for allergy sufferers.....whats the problem people?

also, the reason that labradoodles are not really hypoallergenic is because in a litter of say 10, not all inherit the qualities of the poodle parent...some are non shedding, some are wiry, some shed like labs......people think that a doodle will be a perfect blend of both parents and thats not the case. all of the negatives in the doodle breeds usually come from the non poodle parent :)