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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I'm new to the forum. Hi. :) (Skip to paragraph 3 if you're in a rush.)

1) I've been looking to adopt a dog for months now. I've found a 5yo corgi bitch whom I'm very excited about. Probably won't get her as no doubt there are many on the list, but just in case...I've long been attracted to corgis in general because of their size, intelligence, and obviously, their cuteness. I had a childhood friend with a corgi so I've spent time around the breed.

2) On my side, the only bar to adopting her is the fact that I'm living in a house belonging to my parents, which they sometimes visit, and my father seemed to have an allergic reaction to our Italian Greyhound for the last years of her life (symptoms disappeared when she died). My parents cared for an Australian shepherd-mix puppy (long hair!!!) belonging to my sister for months, and my dad had no reaction.

3) IN SHORT: I realize this is an anecdotal, unscientific project, but I'm wondering what the experiences of corgi owners are with their own or other people's allergic reactions to their dogs. Of course I could move out if necessary, but the issue right now is, is it safe to try bringing a corgi into this house?

Thank you!
 

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It is possible for someone to have a reaction to one breed of dog but not have a reaction to another. I'm not sure on the science behind it, either, but it happens. The only way you will know is by bringing your father to meet the corgi in question and see if it bothers him.
 

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Yes, unfortunately allergies can be tricky and unpredictable. Sometimes a certain breed or a certain individual dog will set off allergies especially badly for a particular person, and sometimes (but not always) an allergic person will develop a tolerance to a dog they live with but still be allergic to other dogs. Even so-called 'hypoallergenic' breeds aren't truly allergen-free, and plenty of people still have symptoms around them. The big advantage there is that they shed less hair, so their dander stays more contained than with a dog who leaves a lot of loose fur around the house.

The only way to be sure is to have your dad spend time with whatever pup you're hoping to bring home. And even then, allergies can change over time so he might still wind up having trouble a few months or years down the road. So you'll have to decide for yourself (with your parents' input, since they own the house) whether that risk is worth it. There is a lot you can do to minimize pet dander in a home, but it can be a fair bit of extra work and can involve extra expenses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for your replies! Evidently the conclusion is that it depends on the dog and the person, who may or may not react to a semi-hairless breed like an IG, or a hairy Australian Shepherd mutt (I haven't seen him for 4 years and I still find his hair on my clothing and in the car and around the house).

I guess it'll be a toss of the die with any dog. Practice good coat hygiene, either way. :)
 

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It's also down to certain proteins a dog (or cat) produces, and in what quantities. People aren't actually allergic to the literal hair, but to proteins that are found in skin cells, saliva, etc. Hair just happens to collect dander (dead skin cell flakes) and saliva, so it easily spreads these proteins around. As an aside, if you're "lucky" enough to have multiple other environmental allergies (like I am), hair can also collect dust, mold spores, pollen, etc. and make things even worse. But my point is that some dogs may just naturally produce more of those allergenic proteins than average, and some may produce less, but it's not something you can easily predict.

I know for cats there's a couple breeds that have actually been tested and proven to consistently produce little to no of the typical allergen that causes most cat allergies (the Siberian is top of that list, if I recall correctly), but I don't know if the same is true for any dog breeds.
 

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I only have a very rough idea of how this works, so I may be wrong, but my understanding is that with cats there's one major allergen protein that's responsible for most cat allergies in the majority of people. With dogs there's something like seven proteins that can commonly affect dog allergies, and an individual person can be allergic to any combination of them. So it's a lot harder to pin down which dog breed(s) will be a lower allergy risk to most allergic people.
 
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