Do you possibly have pet allergies and are considering a
Before you decide to invest in a Saint Berdoodle please read this.
It's easy to think that with any Poodle mix you may have a HYPOALLERGENIC dog. A few myths are every Saint Berdoodle is great for people with allergies, every Saint Berdoodle doesn't shed and even the most allergic person will able to tolerate them.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS 100% HYPOALLERGENIC DOGS. Every allergist will tell you that.
For those who don't know much about pet allergies here is some useful information.
Humans are not allergic to dog fur. What people are allergic to is DANDER, BODY OILS, SALIVA, and URINE. Pet allergens are proteins, which when in contact with the skin or breathed in, cause an allergic reaction that provokes the body into producing histamine. Dander is an informal term for a material shed from the body of various animals, similar to dandruff. It is composed of skin cells. Dander is microscopic and can be transported through the air. Through the air dander can enter the mucous membranes in the lungs, causing allergies to some individuals. Although first-time exposure may only produce a mild reaction (going to the breeder's house or spending an hour or so with the animal might not be a good way to check if you can tolerate a particular pup) repeated exposures may lead to more serious reactions. Once a person has had an exposure or an allergic reaction (is sensitized) even a very limited exposure to a very small amount of allergen can trigger a severe reaction.
Now let's see how "hypoallergenic" SBD's are. Let's talk breeds and genetics.
A Saint Berdoodle is a cross between a Standard Poodle and a Saint Bernard. It's a fact that Poodles do not shed. Their "hair" is curly and continues to grow, not fall out (shed). Not much dander flying around when the animal doesn't shed. They also don't drool.
Saint Bernards on the other hand blow their coat (shed) twice a year producing a lot of dander. They may also drool. Dander + saliva = an allergic reaction for the people suffering from allergies.
So, what happens when breeding these two breeds together? Well, here is the thing - no breeder can be absolutely sure what traits the puppies are going to have until they are born. Pups might be all curly like a poodle, they might also look like Saint Bernards, they might get the coloring from either parent, they might also look nothing like the parents but take after the grandparents, they might have the thick Saint Bernard build, or have the light Poodle frame.
Now let's talk about puppies after they are born, and how "easy" it is for a breeder to predict if a puppy will be curly or not.
We can usually tell by about 4-5 weeks. When the hair on the muzzle is growing towards the eyes, the fur on the legs is getting fuller or if they are just flagrantly curly you have a curly non/low shedding pup. Their colors as newborn pups usually lighten up significantly about 75% of the time. It takes a full year or two for the permanent coat to present itself.
I am not saying that it is impossible to predict if the pup will be curly or not. Some are just born super curly and look like Poodles.
Here are some tips:
1. If you are allergic, go see an allergist first. See what they tell you about it. Some people have mild allergies and can manage them with pills. Consider being skin tested for pets. There are a lot of options out there to reduce or even completely get rid of your allergies in some cases.
2. Keep in mind that you might be allergic to one pup from the litter and not to another.
3. Going to the breeder's house to determine if you are allergic to one particular pup may not give you an accurate picture of your reaction. Especially if there is a Saint Bernard there.
4. NO breeder can guarantee you for sure what kind of coat your puppy will have or if it will shed or not. They might have a clue on what it MIGHT turn out like but keep in mind, there is always a chance that changes.
5. There is ALWAYS A RISK when you get a SBD that you might be allergic to it. If you can't take the risk - don't invest in the dog.
6. Listen to the breeder! If the breeder suggests you pick another pup because the one you liked might cause problems - trust them!
7. Sometimes a breeder can tell you that the pup WILL be curly! Some just are curly from day one! BUT if the breeder tells you that they don't know if the pup will shed - believe them, they do NOT really know! Either ask the breeder for a super curly pup or if there aren't any curly available - wait for the next litter.
8. If you want a SBD for your allergies - pick the pup for its coat. Ignore colors and gender completely.