Can f 1 levels in hair and homes of different dog breeds: Lack of evidence to describe any dog breed as hypoallergenic


      Certain dog breeds are described and marketed as being “hypoallergenic” on the basis of anecdotal reports that these dogs are better tolerated by patients allergic to dogs.


      These observations were investigated by comparing Can f 1 (major dog [Canis familiaris] allergen) levels in hair and coat samples and in the home environment of various hypoallergenic (Labradoodle, Poodle, Spanish Waterdog, and Airedale terrier) and non-hypoallergenic dogs (Labrador retriever and a control group).


      Hair and coat samples were obtained from dogs, and settled floor and airborne dust samples were taken from the dogs’ homes. Can f 1 concentrations were measured by using ELISA, and results were analyzed by using multiple linear regression analyses.


      Significantly higher Can f 1 concentrations were found in hair and coat samples of hypoallergenic dogs (n = 196, geometric mean [GM], 2.26 μg/g, geometric standard deviation [GSD], 0.73, and GM, 27.04 μg/g, GSD, 0.57, respectively) than of non-hypoallergenic dogs (n = 160, GM, 0.77 μg/g, GSD, 0.71, and GM, 12.98 μg/g, GSD, 0.76, respectively). Differences between breeds were small, relative to the variability within a breed. Can f 1 levels in settled floor dust samples were lower for Labradoodles, but no differences were found between the other groups. No differences in airborne levels were found between breeds.


      So-called hypoallergenic dogs had higher Can f 1 levels in hair and coat samples than did control breeds. These differences did not lead to higher levels of environmental exposure to dog allergens. There is no evidence for the classification of certain dog breeds as being “hypoallergenic.”

      Key words

      Abbreviations used:

      EDC (Electrostatic dust fall collector), GM (Geometric mean), GSD (Geometric standard deviation), LOD (Limit of detection), SAD (Settled airborne dust), SFD (Settled floor dust)
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment


      Subscribe to Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


        • Custovic A.
        • Simpson B.M.
        • Simpson A.
        • Hallam C.L.
        • Marolia H.
        • Walsh D.
        • et al.
        Current mite, cat, and dog allergen exposure, pet ownership, and sensitization to inhalant allergens in adults.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003; 111: 402-407
        • Ingram J.M.
        • Sporik R.
        • Rose G.
        • Honsinger R.
        • Chapman M.D.
        • Platts-Mills T.A.
        Quantitative assessment of exposure to dog (Can f 1) and cat (Fel d 1) allergens: relation to sensitization and asthma among children living in Los Alamos, New Mexico.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1995; 96: 449-456
        • Langley S.J.
        • Goldthorpe S.
        • Craven M.
        • Morris J.
        • Woodcock A.
        • Custovic A.
        Exposure and sensitization to indoor allergens: association with lung function, bronchial reactivity, and exhaled nitric oxide measures in asthma.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2003; 112: 362-368
        • Blands J.
        • Lowenstein H.
        • Weeke B.
        Characterization of extract of dog hair and dandruff from six different dog breeds by quantitative immunoelectrophoresis: identification of allergens by crossed radioimmunoelectrophoresis (CRIE).
        Acta Allergol. 1977; 32: 147-169
        • Hooker S.B.
        Qualitative differences among canine danders.
        Ann Allergy. 1944; 2: 281
        • Heutelbeck A.R.
        • Schulz T.
        • Bergmann K.C.
        • Hallier E.
        Environmental exposure to allergens of different dog breeds and relevance in allergological diagnostics.
        J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2008; 71: 751-758
        • Lindgren S.
        • Belin L.
        • Dreborg S.
        • Einarsson R.
        • Pahlman I.
        Breed-specific dog-dandruff allergens.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1988; 82: 196-204
        • Ramadour M.
        • Guetat M.
        • Guetat J.
        • El Biaze M.
        • Magnan A.
        • Vervloet D.
        Dog factor differences in Can f 1 allergen production.
        Allergy. 2005; 60: 1060-1064
        • Schou C.
        • Svendsen U.G.
        • Lowenstein H.
        Purification and characterization of the major dog allergen, Can f I.
        Clin Exp Allergy. 1991; 21: 321-328
        • Nicholas C.
        • Wegienka G.
        • Havstad S.
        • Zoratti E.
        • Ownby D.
        • Johnson C.C.
        Dog characteristics and allergen levels in the home.
        Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2010; 105: 228-233
        • Nicholas C.E.
        • Wegienka G.R.
        • Havstad S.L.
        • Zoratti E.M.
        • Ownby D.R.
        • Johnson C.C.
        Dog allergen levels in homes with hypoallergenic compared with nonhypoallergenic dogs.
        Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2011; 25: 252-256
        • Schram-Bijkerk D.
        • Doekes G.
        • Boeve M.
        • Douwes J.
        • Riedler J.
        • Ublagger E.
        • et al.
        Exposure to microbial components and allergens in population studies: a comparison of two house dust collection methods applied by participants and fieldworkers.
        Indoor Air. 2006; 16: 414-425
        • Noss I.
        • Doekes G.
        • Sander I.
        • Heederik D.J.
        • Thorne P.S.
        • Wouters I.M.
        Passive airborne dust sampling with the electrostatic dustfall collector: optimization of storage and extraction procedures for endotoxin and glucan measurement.
        Ann Occup Hyg. 2010; 54: 651-658
        • Noss I.
        • Wouters I.M.
        • Visser M.
        • Heederik D.J.
        • Thorne P.S.
        • Brunekreef B.
        • et al.
        Evaluation of a low-cost electrostatic dust fall collector for indoor air endotoxin exposure assessment.
        Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008; 74: 5621-5627
        • Samadi S.
        • Heederik D.J.
        • Krop E.J.
        • Jamshidifard A.R.
        • Willemse T.
        • Wouters I.M.
        Allergen and endotoxin exposure in a companion animal hospital.
        Occup Environ Med. 2010; 67: 486-492
        • Filep S.
        • Tsay A.
        • Vailes L.
        • Gadermaier G.
        • Ferreira F.
        • Matsui E.
        • et al.
        A multi-allergen standard for the calibration of immunoassays: CREATE principles applied to eight purified allergens.
        Allergy. 2012; 67: 235-241
        • Filep S.
        • Tsay A.
        • Vailes L.D.
        • Gadermaier G.
        • Ferreira F.
        • Matsui E.
        • et al.
        Specific allergen concentration of WHO and FDA reference preparations measured using a multiple allergen standard.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012; 129: 1408-1410
        • Ford A.W.
        • Alterman L.
        • Kemeny D.M.
        The allergens of dog, I: identification using crossed radio-immunoelectrophoresis.
        Clin Exp Allergy. 1989; 19: 183-190
        • Kamata Y.
        • Miyanomae A.
        • Nakayama E.
        • Miyanomae T.
        • Tajima T.
        • Hoshi H.
        Characterization of dog allergens Can f 1 and Can f 2. 1: preparation of their recombinant proteins and antibodies.
        Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2007; 142: 291-300
        • Boutin Y.
        • Hebert H.
        • Vrancken E.R.
        • Mourad W.
        Allergenicity and cross-reactivity of cat and dog allergenic extracts.
        Clin Allergy. 1988; 18: 287-293
        • Mattsson L.
        • Lundgren T.
        • Everberg H.
        • Larsson H.
        • Lidholm J.
        Prostatic kallikrein: a new major dog allergen.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009; 123: 362-368
        • Custovic A.
        • Green R.
        • Fletcher A.
        • Smith A.
        • Pickering C.A.
        • Chapman M.D.
        • et al.
        Aerodynamic properties of the major dog allergen Can f 1: distribution in homes, concentration, and particle size of allergen in the air.
        Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1997; 155: 94-98
        • Wilson J.
        • Dixon S.L.
        • Breysse P.
        • Jacobs D.
        • Adamkiewicz G.
        • Chew G.L.
        • et al.
        Housing and allergens: a pooled analysis of nine US studies.
        Environ Res. 2010; 110: 189-198
        • Hodson T.
        • Custovic A.
        • Simpson A.
        • Chapman M.
        • Woodcock A.
        • Green R.
        Washing the dog reduces dog allergen levels, but the dog needs to be washed twice a week.
        J Allergy Clin Immunol. 1999; 103: 581-585

      Linked Article