Is Canine Alopecia More Common in Certain Breeds?

Excessive hair loss or canine alopecia occurs commonly with allergic skin reactions, but you'll find certain breeds are susceptible. The hair loss goes beyond typical shedding at the end of a season. Bald spots appear on the dog's skin because so much fur falls out. This poses a problem because a dog's fur protects it from the cold air and the sun.

Key Factors in Hair Loss

Dogs suffer from canine alopecia for one of eight reasons:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Flea bites
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Hot spots
  • Mange
  • Poor diet
  • Ringworm

There is always the chance that these ailments or conditions may occur in any breed. However, statistically, certain breeds are far more likely to develop allergies, reactions to fleabites, develop anxiety issues or suffer from a hormonal condition.

Breeds Susceptible to Hair Loss

In 2003, the Canine Health Foundation drew blood samples from 125 dogs diagnosed with canine alopecia or with a history of alopecia in the bloodline. 117 of those dogs were Pomeranians. There is a link between Pomeranians and high levels of progesterone, which may explain why so many Poms develop alopecia.

Other breeds commonly diagnosed with alopecia include Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Chows, Dobermen, Huskies, Irish Setters, Malamutes, Portuguese Water Dogs, Salukis and Yorkshire Terriers. Many of these breeds tend to have anxiety issues. They hate being left alone and some even show signs of suffering from the human ailment Seasonal Affective Disorder. Hair loss occurs during the winter when the sun is not as prominent.