For people that love dogs, yet have allergic reactions to them, there is a simple alternative. If you cannot do without a four-legged friend, choosing a hypoallergenic dog is the best alternative. For those who are scratching their heads, a hypoallergenic dog is not a special breed of dogs. They are dogs that generate less (hypo) allergens (allergenic) in the air, which has a lot to do with the dog's physical size and length of its fur. For allergy sufferers, finding an allergy-friendly dog is the most reasonable choice. This doesn't mean that the dog will be completely allergy proof, but it does mean that this type of dog tends to generate fewer amounts of allergy-causing elements. It is impossible to find a dog that causes no degree of allergens. Allergy reactions from dogs can consist of skin rashes, watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and a stuffy nose. More serious reactions are wheezing, asthma attacks and not being able to breathe deeply. These can be frightening reactions and choosing not to have a pet, for these reasons, out ways the benefits of having one. For dog lovers, who suffer from allergies, this is a hard fact to accept. The reason some people suffer from simple pet hair is because of their immune system. They are hypersensitive to the components found on the dog hair. Many people think it is the animal hair that causes the problem, but in reality, it is what attaches itself to the pet hair. The dog's hair picks up pollen and dust attaching itself to the hair follicle. With normal movements, the elements are distracted on whatever it comes across. Hence, larger and longer haired dogs have a tendency to generate more allergens than smaller and shorter-haired dogs Therefore, the bigger the dog, the more allergy components it will distract. If choosing a dog from a breeder, try spending at least 30 minutes playing with the dog and being in the dog's area to see how you react to it. If you have a severe reaction in that amount of time, then you can be assured that having it as a live-in would not be a good idea. If you're choosing a breeder who lives a substantial distance away, send a clothing item to the breeder and ask them to place it near the dog for a day and send it back to you in a plastic bag. Wear the clothing item or breathe in the smell and see how you react. If no reaction, you might want to consider visiting the breeder in person. If you do get a negative reaction, it's best not to waste your time visiting in person. The allergic reaction would probably be worse if you were around the real thing. Another thing you might want to consider when choosing a dog is the temperament. You want to choose a dog that will meet your needs, and you, in turn, can meet its needs as well. Not only do you want to choose an allergy-friendly dog, but if you have a family, you want one that is family-friendly as well. Here are a few breeds to consider: Bichon Frise, Irish Terrier, Poodles. These dogs enjoy family surroundings, they're excellent with children and they make great watchdogs. They also have low shedding levels. If you are a single adult, you might want to consider a dog that is happy with minimal people surroundings. A couple of good choices would be Chihuahua or a Portuguese Water Dog. These dogs tend to bond with one person rather than several. Here are a few dogs to stay away from due to their high shedding ability. They are Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, Dachshunds, Basset hounds, German Shepherds and Afghan Hounds. If you choose an indoor dog, it's best to choose one that can be groomed regularly or that you can bath easily. It's best to bath them at least 1-2 times per week. This will reduce the amount of pet dander. Taking care of your dog's hair is an important part of reducing the components that cause allergies. You can even choose a hairless dog such as the Chinese Crested, American Hairless Terrier or the Mexican Hairless. Some people claim that certain breeds bring out the worst in their allergies than others. In choosing a breed, be open to finding the best one that fits your lifestyle.