We are often asked if the Kerry is a good dog for people who have dog allergies. Is it a hypoallergenic breed?
- Requires frequent grooming,
- Has a non-shedding coat, and
- Sheds skin less frequently than other breeds.
For these reasons, it is often a recommended breed for allergy sufferers.
We cannot say that Kerries are hypoallergenic. All individuals are different and have a wide variety of sensitivity to allergens. We also believe that sometimes people are sensitive to dog saliva, not just allergens born by the dander. If you know that you are allergic to dog saliva, it is likely that you could have some allergic reaction to Kerry.
We have successfully placed Kerries in homes of individuals with dog and cat allergies. Regular grooming and housekeeping regimen designed to control air born allergens can create a great environment for allergy suffers that want a companion dog.
It is difficult to predict if a person with allergies can live with a Kerry. If you know you have allergic reactions to dogs, let the breeder know. An experienced breeder can provide information and help you determine if you can live with a Kerry without allergic reactions.
If we know someone is allergic to dogs and they want to buy a Kerry Blue, we like to have that person exposed to our puppies and dogs for several hours at our home and kennel. In addition, we encourage the puppy to lick the individual to test for an allergic reaction to saliva. We then place the puppy on a temporary two-week trial.
We placed a puppy with a person we believe was allergic to dog saliva. The person played with the dogs for several hours and let the puppy lick her face. The prospective owner said that her face normally would swell up like a strawberry immediately after being licked by a dog. After several hours of playing with the puppy, she showed no allergic reactions. We placed the puppy on a two-week trial, however, the puppy was returned after several days. The prospective owner did not have her typical reaction, but she did feel uncomfortable from slight allergic symptoms.
The Kerry Blue's puppies coat goes through many stages as they mature. The stages and duration are different with every Kerry puppy, even those from the same litter.
We believe that an individual could be allergic to a Kerry Blue puppy and not an adult dog whose coat has matured. This is hard to determine, but a factor to consider. We would not recommend an individual suffer through years of allergies, hoping that the reaction would subside after the adult Kerry has a mature coat. However, an individual may want to consider living with a mature Kerry Blue Terrier to see if their allergies are manageable.
There is no dog breed, including a Kerry Blue Terrier, that is hypoallergenic. However, for individuals that have allergies, Kerries should be considered as an excellent option.