Smart and adoring, Corgis are loyal family pets that love to play and watch over their people. However, despite their friendliness, they’re not the best suited for allergy sufferers, whether you’re the one with an allergy to dogs or someone else in your family is.
Corgis are not considered hypoallergenic. While their thick fur makes them fluffy and great for cuddling, their double-coat sheds excessively. Although Corgis don’t drool much, the dried saliva on their fur often triggers allergies in people sensitive to the Can f 1 protein contained in it.
Understanding what makes dogs hypoallergenic goes beyond knowing which breeds set off allergies. This guide will explain why some dogs are less likely to set off allergic reactions — and why the Corgi isn’t one of them.
What Are Corgis?
There are two breeds of Corgi: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. You might be more familiar with the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, but the Cardigan is the older of the two breeds and is generally considered to be the one native to Wales. The Pembroke is believed to have been introduced to Wales by the Vikings.
The name comes from “cor gi,” which is Welsh for “dwarf dog,” and they were originally bred as working dogs to herd cattle and sheep, protect livestock in the field, and manage vermin. The Corgis’ original purpose as herding dogs is why they have so much energy and such thick double coats, to keep them warm in all weather conditions.
In 1919, Corgis first appeared in English dog shows. Since then, they’ve become beloved companions worldwide and have even found a place among royalty alongside Queen Elizabeth II.
What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?
If you have a dog, you’re probably familiar with the amount of fur that gets left everywhere. It’s on your carpet, couch, bedding, and even the jacket in the back of your closet. This abundance of loose hair all over the place is why many people believe that dog fur is what sets off allergies, leading to the assumption that dogs that don’t shed much won’t set off allergies at all.
These claims are only half right. Dogs that shed less are generally considered hypoallergenic but not just because of their fur. Dog allergies are triggered by proteins in their saliva, urine, and dander called Can f 1 and Can f 2. Since dogs spread their saliva on their fur when they lick themselves, their shed fur contains particles of the allergen protein too. It’s you breathing in these airborne particles that sends your immune system into overdrive.
There’s no real evidence to suggest that any dogs are hypoallergenic at all. Even if one dog breed sheds less than another, they still produce the same amount of Can f 1 protein as the dog that sheds frequently. Some even have more of the allergen in their coats than non-hypoallergenic dogs do.
Which Dog Breeds Are Hypoallergenic?
Despite popular belief, there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed. Hypoallergenic dogs are merely considered less likely to set off allergic reactions, not that they won’t trigger overreactions from the immune system at all. Some allergy sufferers — especially those who are more sensitive — can have allergic reactions to a dog regardless of what breed they are.
Still, if you’re looking for a dog that might be less likely to set off allergies, there are a few hypoallergenic breeds to consider. Corgis might not be the safest option, but one of these other breeds might be perfect:
- Afghan Hound
- Bichon Frise
- Giant, Miniature, or Standard Schnauzer
- Irish Water Spaniel
The best way to make sure your immune system won’t overreact to a certain breed is by spending time with the dog. Before you introduce them to your home, spend a few days getting to know the dog via short, 20-minute play sessions.
These outings will enable you to figure out how your immune system will respond to the dog’s presence. It can even help you decide whether the dog that you’ve chosen is the right one for you.
Due to the allergen protein in their saliva and the excessive shedding of this breed, Corgis aren’t considered hypoallergenic. If you already have a Corgi, you can help reduce potential allergic reactions by regularly brushing their fur, using an air purifier, and vacuuming regularly. For new dog owners with allergies, Corgis might not be the best choice for you.