Are Yorkshire Terriers Hypoallergenic?

One of the most common questions I get from people who are interested in adding a Yorkie pup to their family is, “Are Yorkshire Terriers Hypoallergenic? I’ve heard they don’t shed, does that mean they won’t bother my allergies?”

The answer to this question is a little tricky. It isn’t a simple yes or no answer. So let’s get into it shall we?

What exactly does Hypoallergenic mean?

Hypoallergenic means there is a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction. A hypoallergenic dog breed is less likely to cause allergy symptoms in a person, but it is not guaranteed that you will be allergy free. Whether a person who suffers from allergies to dogs, can own a dog that is labeled as hypoallergenic, depends on what it is that causes their allergic reaction to a dog. Allergic reactions occurring while spending time with a dog can be caused by a few different triggers.

Dander is definitely #1 (dead skin flakes). Dogs that shed heavily tend to produce more dander than dogs that do not. When they shed, dander is coming off of their body and into your home.

Another trigger is saliva. This is pretty much impossible to avoid with ANY dog. They will give kisses, and lick themselves which of course leaves saliva on their body.

Even dog feces can be a trigger in really sensitive people.

All dogs have dander, saliva, and go #2. Therefor, no dog should be expected to keep you completely clear of allergies.

Why Yorkies get labeled as Hypoallergenic dogs.

  • Yorkies have hair, not fur, which means they have no undercoat.
  • They do not produce as much dander because of their coat type.
  • They do not shed nearly as much as dogs with fur.

You might be thinking, “Wait, I thought that Yorkies don’t shed at all, is this true?”

Well, not exactly…

Yorkies are given the non-shedding label because their shedding process is much different from most dogs. The majority of dogs go through a massive shedding process a few times a year. Huge amounts of hair fall from the coat, and new hair replaces it. A Yorkie’s shedding process is much closer to how a human sheds hair. They lose older hairs here and there which are pushed out, and replaced by new hairs. These hairs either get stuck in the Yorkie’s coat, or they go unnoticed in your home because there isn’t much shed at a time. It also looks so much like human hair that you may even think it’s your own.

They certainly don’t leave hair everywhere around your house. I rarely find hairs lying around from my Yorkie, so to me, she is definitely a non-shedding dog compared to most, however they do lose hairs and grow new hairs much like a human does.

Get Your Allergies tested.

Depending on what triggers your allergies to dogs, you may or may not be able to have a Yorkie in your home.

I know a few people with allergies to dogs that do great with a Yorkie, and their allergies are not affected. In their cases, they are probably bothered more by a heavy shedding dog.

Unfortunately, I also know some people that are allergic to ALL dogs. Yorkshire Terriers included.

If you have any kind of allergies to dogs, you should get some further testing done to determine what exactly triggers your allergies before you add a dog to your family. At the very least, spend a considerable amount of time around a friend or family member’s dog that is a hypoallergenic breed, and see how your body reacts.


Interested in learning more about Yorkshire Terriers and their characteristics? Check out this post!

Want to learn an easier AND faster way to potty train your puppy?? Click here!




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10 Replies to “Are Yorkshire Terriers Hypoallergenic?

  1. Awww … they are sooo cute.
    My daughter had one and it was a miniature – we called he Pocket because she fitted in one.
    Fortunately none of us suffer from allergies but interesting article.

  2. This is great information and I love Yorkshire terriers. My son is super allergic to some dogs. It was interesting to read that they have hair and not fur. I understand about the yes or no question. The Labradoodle is also supposed to be hypoallergenic. My son is allergic to them, and I do love that mixed breed.

    1. Mixed breeds can be difficult to determine if they really will shed less/produce less dander. Poodles are great for allergies and rarely shed and produce a small amount of dander, but labs are the complete opposite! So some labradoodles may produce more dander, or even shed more than a typical poodle. Maybe try him around some purebred poodles and see how he does! 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

  3. I wonder if a Yorkie would be good for my dad. He really wants a dog but I don’t want to see him sneeze if I can help it.

    I think I finally get what a lot of people have been saying when they were talking about how they couldn’t believe that they were having allergies with their dog. Most of time I would look at them strange since they had owned that pet for a while.

    I didn’t think to get my allergies tested, thanks for the tip!

    1. Allergies can definitely develop over time too unfortunately! My mom had a cat for years and years as a teenager, and now as an adult, she can’t be around them at all or she will get sick and sometimes even have an asthma attack. Very strange how the body reacts to things.

      A yorkie could be a great choice for your dad! Some other hypoallergenic breeds I love are Maltese, West Highland Terriers, Airdale Terriers, and Portugese Water dogs! The last two are a medium sized dog if your dad is more interested in a larger companion. I hope he can find a dog that doesn’t bother his allergies. Allergies are the worst!

  4. I have heard about Yorkies being hypoallergenic but never knew why until I read your article. Very interesting – and I did not know about their “fur” being closer to human hair. Thank you for this information – my mom has 2 Yorkies and loves them like they are my sisters!! I will let her know about your website so she can follow you as well.

  5. Yorkies are so cute and my wife has often talked about getting one. It’s also interesting that she has terrible allergies so now you are making wonder about if a Yorkie might be good for us. Are Yorkies considered hypoallergenic like poodles are or is there different reasons.


    1. Poodles are hypoallergenic for the same reasons yes! Most dogs that are hypoallergenic have either a silky, curly, or wire-like coat, and lack an undercoat. They all go through a different shedding process than non-hypoallergenic dogs and wont leave nearly as much hair in your home. Which means less dander all around the home and in the air as well. My mom suffers from allergies caused by dogs, but she has a Yorkie and does fine with him! Sometimes she will notice her allergies starting to act up and she just knows its time to wash his beds and give him a bath to get rid of some of the dander, and that always helps her. 🙂 Some other hypoallergenic small breeds would be: Silky Terriers, Maltese, Miniature Schnauzers, West Highland Terriers, Bichon Frise. Shih Tzu, and there are still more! I hope she can find a dog that works with her allergies. 🙂

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