26 White Dog Breeds: Small, Big & Fluffy White Dogs

White Fluffy Dog Breeds Feature

With fur as white as snow, white dog breeds are becoming more popular. Their pure white fur captures the eye of all who see them and makes them stand out in a crowd of other dogs!

Celebrities and dog owners have begun proudly parading them around, so much so, it seems that everyone wants to find a white dog. But, white dogs do come with a few cautions.

Their exquisite color is caused by a gene mutation. This mutation can sometimes lead to serious health issues. These complications are rare, but there is always a risk. Also, like having white shoes, it is difficult to keep them clean!

In this article, we discuss the genetics of white dogs, health risks and share our favorite small and large white dog breeds.

Why Are Dogs White?

Black and White Dalmation Dog

White coats are caused by a mutation in a dog’s MITF gene. The MITF gene is responsible for producing pigment cells. Pigment cells are vital for providing color to a dog’s fur. This mutation removes the presence of pigment cells in parts (or all) of the fur which results in a white dog. The MITF gene itself is not changed, but the gene expression is blocked.

In most cases this mutation is not harmful to a dog’s health. It just results in the absence of pigment cells and therefore the absence of any color.

There really is no difference between white dogs and other breeds. But, for some reason, society has recently associated tiny white dogs with wealth and prestige. Large white dogs are also seen as “rare”.

Many people believe that white dogs were purposely bred because they were tamer than other dogs. This is a common misconception! Coat color and pattern have no effect on a dog’s temperament.

White breeds are instead selectively bred for appearance. Some breeds such as the White German Shepherd are bred white because they are easier to see at night and easily distinguishable from wild coyotes or wolves.

Most people claim we just bred for white fur because we like the color. Many dog owners will pay more for a pure white dog. Breeders have capitalized on this and now breed specifically for this genetic mutation. They select white breeds, or parents that carry the mutation of the MITF gene, to produce white puppies.

Health Concerns of White Dog Breeds

White dog breeds can live long and healthy lives, but they can also develop some health issues because of their beautiful white fur.

Deafness is a common health complication with white dogs. This is also common in breeds with Merle coats such as the Mini Australian Shepherd.

Pigment cells, which are partially or completely absent in a white breed, are very important to the function of the inner ear. If these pigment cells are absent then dogs can experience difficulty hearing or even complete deafness. Dogs with heavy white spotting have a 15 to 30% chance of hearing loss.

White dogs also have a higher risk of skin issues. The most common risk is sunburn. It is likely that you had no idea a dog could get sunburned, but it is possible. Specific sunscreens have been developed to help prevent this.

Not all white breeds will suffer from deafness or skin issues. The majority will not be affected at all. However, their white fur makes them more prone to these health risks.

An extreme case of a white dog is a dog with albinism. Albino dogs are very similar to albino humans as they completely lack pigmentation or melanin in their fur, skin, and eyes.

Albinism is a rare genetic condition that can lead to very serious health problems. You can identify an albino puppy because they typically have a pink nose and blue eyes, rather than the traditional black or brown nose and darker eyes of most white dogs.

Small White Dog Breeds

Some owners prefer small dogs that they can hold, carry and cradle. These tiny pups can come in any color that large dogs can, but recently many owners have been adopting small white dogs.

These tiny dogs have beautiful white fur that covers their small bodies and has captured the eye of numerous dog owners, including celebrities.

Below we have made a list of beautiful and fluffy white dog breeds that you will fall in love with. Each breed includes a brief history and a description of their personality. Sometimes these tiny dogs can have big and boisterous personalities!

1. Chihuahua

White Chihuahua

Ancestors of the sassy Chihuahua were the favored pet of the Aztecs. These dogs were bred over centuries and eventually ended up in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where their famous name originated.

Chihuahuas are known for being small dogs with a huge personality! These dogs can have quite the attitude and are typically very stubborn and wary of strangers. They tend to become over-protective of their owners, but are beloved due to their cuddly nature with the people they love.

This breed has a low-maintenance grooming routine and does not need much exercise so everything apart from their barking makes them suitable for apartments!

  • Coat Type: Straight or silky
  • Coat Length: Short, medium or long

2. Bull Terrier

White Bull Terrier

This breed has a fierce past and was initially used in Britain as bull-baiting dogs in the thirteenth century. Their intense strength and remarkable endurance made them perfect for this sport.

When they are not exercising, Bull Terriers are very sweet dogs that make friends easily. But, they do get into trouble sometimes! They are a bit mischievous and stubborn, but with proper training, they can become loyal companions.

Bull Terriers are known for their famous egg-shaped head and long snout. They also have very sculpted, muscular bodies that are built for sports, work, and playing for hours.

  • Coat Type: Flat and glossy
  • Coat Length: Short

3. Bichon Frise

White Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise puppies are joyful, goofy and love everyone they meet! These bouncy little dogs love to play almost as much as they love to cuddle.

This small breed was developed in the Canary Islands which lie off the coast of Spain. Their hypoallergenic, curly, white coat made them a hit with European royals. Though, their curly coat does mean they need a bit of extra maintenance due to their meticulous grooming routine.

  • Coat Type: Hypoallergenic, curly and fluffy
  • Coat Length: Short

4. Lhasa Apso

White Lhasa Apso
A white Lhasa Apso gracefully running through a field.

This regal breed was known for protecting palaces and Buddhist monasteries over 1,000 years ago. They were first popular in the Himalayan Mountains, but their demand has since spread.

Lhasa Apsos are famous for their long, floor-length white fur. Their appearance is one of their most striking features, and the other is their personality.

The Lhasa Apso is an independent dog that can entertain themselves and handle their own exercise and entertainment. They are calm and loving towards their owners, but their royal nature makes them a bit aloof with strangers.

  • Coat Type: Hypoallergenic and silky
  • Coat Length: Long, floor-length

5. Pekingese

Pekingese Dog

The Pekingese is another royal and ancient breed. According to Chinese legend, this white breed was created by the Buddha himself. Although the origin of this breed is a bit unknown, it is no doubt that they were a favorite among Chinese royalty and eventually became treasured by the English nobility.

These flat-faced dogs make the perfect lap dog because of their calm and easy-going demeanor. They will happily sit in their favorite person’s lap all dog long and do not require much exercise. However, they are a bit stubborn and may develop small dog syndrome in addition to a wariness of strangers and children.

  • Coat Type: Silky with a lion mane
  • Coat Length: Long

6. Cavachon

White Cavachon

Cavachons are a new mixed breed that was developed in North America in 1996 by crossing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Bichon Frise. This hybrid was developed to make a loving and loyal companion with a hypoallergenic coat!

These adorable dogs are outgoing and make friends in an instant with everyone they encounter. They make the perfect family dog because they get along with people of all ages and other pets.

Cavachons are easy to train and easy to groom. This makes them an extremely low-maintenance breed that only needs a bit of exercise each day to keep them happy.

  • Coat Type: Hypoallergenic and fluffy
  • Coat Length: Long

7. West Highland Terrier

West Highland Terrier

The West Highland Terrier, or the Westie as they are lovingly known, is a breed that was bred to kill vermin in Scotland. This dog was loved equally by working class farmers and wealthy families who wanted to show these beautiful dogs in competitions.

Westies are known for their courage. They are a sturdy breed with lots of energy. These dogs are not your typical dainty, small dog.

West Highland Terriers are known for making their owners laugh and being friendly towards everyone they meet. These qualities have made them popular still to this day.

  • Coat Type: Stiff and hard hair
  • Coat Length: Medium

8. Chinese Crested

Hairless Chinese Crested Dog

The Chinese Crested Dog is often referred to as the ‘Dr. Seuss Dog’ because of their comical appearance. These goofy pups have a ‘naked body’ with tufts of white fur at the top of their head, around their feet, and at the tip of their tail.

Chinese Crested dogs were ratters aboard trading ships. However, traders became intrigued by them and sailors began trading these dogs, making them popular in many countries. Their origins can be traced back to ancient China.

These dogs make great therapy dogs because they are highly affectionate and completely devoted to their owners. They are intelligent, athletic dogs that excel in canine sports, but also love to cuddle on the couch for hours.

The hairless variety requires extra attention to their skin because of the potential for sunburns, but they are otherwise are quite easy to care for.

  • Coat Type: Hypoallergenic
  • Coat Length: Hairless

9. American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog was originally known as the German Spitz and was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants. During WWII Americans renamed the German Spitz to the American Eskimo Dog because of anti-German sentiment.

Spitz dogs were historically hard working farm dogs, but their beautiful appearance soon made them a favorite in American dog shows.

These dogs are highly intelligent, making them easy to train, and are very friendly and social with everyone they meet. They also have a very playful personality. Unfortunately, they do shed constantly so you should prepare to be covered in white fur.

  • Coat Type: Fluffy and high shedding
  • Coat Length: Long

10. Bolognese Dog

White Bolognese Dog

The Bolognese Dog was first bred in Italy and became an instant favorite with royalty due to their calm personality and regal, fluffy appearance.

These dogs are very low-maintenance and prefer to spend the day lying in your lap rather than running around a dog park. They are friendly with people they meet and are absolutely devoted to their owners. Their extreme love for their favorite humans means they can sometimes develop separation anxiety.

Their fluffy, dense white fur can be tricky to groom, but they are hypoallergenic and can receive a simple, short cut to make it more manageable.

  • Coat Type: Fluffy and low shedding
  • Coat Length: Medium to long

11. Sealyham Terrier

Sealyham Terrier

The Sealyham Terrier was originally bred in Wales by Captain John Edwardes. He created this tough and courageous breed to drive out otters and other local pests.

Their trademark look is a long white beard and a strange tuft of hair on the front of their face that makes them instantly recognizable.

These active dogs retain a lot of Terrier qualities. They are alert, making them good watchdogs, and rather stubborn like a typical Terrier. They are also incredibly bold and never back down from a fight, despite their compact size.

Sealyham Terriers make loyal family members and are devoted to their owners. They are affectionate and particularly goofy.

  • Coat Type: Thick and water resistant
  • Coat Length: Medium to long

12. Volpino Italiano

Volpino Italiano

Volpinos are often mistaken for Pomeranians, but they are slightly larger and are a distinct breed.

The Volpino Italiano was a popular Italian breed with rich and famous owners. High profile owners include Michelangelo who loved the small and pretty appearance of these dogs. The working class people of Italy favored this breed for its alert nature and hard-working ethic. Their high energy levels make them a delight to play with and they can excel at canine sports.

This breed is known for its stubbornness, wariness of strangers and high frequency barking. Despite this, they can be very affectionate and playful with family members.

  • Coat Type: Fluffy and thick
  • Coat Length: Medium to long

13. Hokkaido Dog

White Hokkaido Dog

The Hokkaido is a rare breed that is typically only found in Japan. These brave dogs were originally bred in Japan in the 1140s as hunting dogs.

Hokkaidos are renowned for their incredible endurance and agility. These traits make them great hunting dogs, but also incredible working dogs that excel at various canine sports. Because of this they need plenty of exercise or they may become anxious, destructive and loud. They are quite vocal and make a variety of unique sounds and noises.

They are an incredibly loyal breed that is devoted to their family members and can often become overprotective if not properly socialized.

  • Coat Type: Straight, soft and plush
  • Coat Length: Short

Large White Dog Breeds

Although small dogs are beloved by many because of their compact bodies and undeniable adorableness, big dogs are just as popular!

Giant white dogs are truly magnificent to see. These big snowy dogs have the appearance of a polar bear, but the spirit of a gentle puppy. Their gorgeous fur contrasts against their typically black nose in a beautiful manner.

These white giants are loved by many and are often classified as rare. White dogs such as white Huskies and white Pitbull Terriers are not seen as frequently as other colors.

Below are thirteen wonderful large white dogs that each have their own unique history and personality. Do your research before you decide which gentle giant you plan on welcoming into your family. Certain breeds are better suited for certain types of owners.

1. Samoyed

White Samoyed Dog

The Samoyed dog is a versatile working breed from Siberia that is used for pulling sleds, hunting large game, watching over their people, and herding livestock. These beautiful white dogs are also commonly found as family or show dogs in many European countries.

This breed is easily recognized by its white ‘puff ball’ appearance. Their goofy smiles are also one of their trademarks. These friendly dogs need lots of gentle care for their beautiful coat, but it is well worth it!

Samoyeds can be a bit stubborn during training and they have lots of energy to burn off. But, they love their people and are very outgoing with everyone they meet.

  • Coat Type: Fluffy and dense
  • Coat Length: Medium to long

2. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

This majestic breed was first bred as a strong, yet gentle, livestock guardian dog for the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain.

Great Pyrenees dogs are known for an intimidating, huge stature, but their personality is quite the opposite. These lion-like dogs are very calm and easy-going, with only bursts of energy throughout the day.

These dogs have hearts as big as their bodies, making them perfect, cuddly companions. They are also gentle and tolerant, so they make great family dogs. Just be prepared to find a lot of white fur around your home.

  • Coat Type: Fluffy and plush
  • Coat Length: Long

3. American Bulldog

White American Bulldog

American Bulldogs are descendants of the stocky, English Bulldog, but they have a much different appearance. Compared to English Bulldogs, American bulldogs are much taller, leaner, and do not have the characteristic, loose skin folds that English Bulldogs are so well known for.

These dogs appeared in the U.S. in the 17th century and were used as farm dogs who protected property and hunted down feral pigs and bulls.

These strong dogs are built sturdy and tough. Their muscles bulge out and they have the speed and endurance to perform any task they are given. American Bulldogs have plenty of energy and need lots of exercise each day to be content. They are very alert and protective, so they need lots of socialization in order to have positive interactions with strangers.

  • Coat Type: Stiff and flat
  • Coat Length: Short

4. American Staffordshire Terrier

White American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terriers, also known as Staffies, are courageous dogs that love to exercise and do activities alongside their favorite humans. They are extremely similar to the American Pitbull Terrier; however, they are slightly smaller, more athletic and more affectionate.

This breed was another fighting dog bred for bull baiting in 18th and 19th century England. Their violent past has given them a bad reputation. They are actually extremely loyal and very intelligent dogs that can be trained to complete a variety of jobs.

  • Coat Type: Stiff and flat
  • Coat Length: Short

5. Saluki

Saluki

Salukis are the oldest white dog breed in existence. It is thought Salukis may have been bred as early as 7000 B.C in the Middle East, Asia and Egypt. They were highly treasured by royals, kings and pharaohs.

These incredible dogs are known for their long, skinny legs that allow them to reach remarkable speeds. These dogs often compete in canine sports like lure coursing because of their high prey drive and running speed.

In the home, these dogs are calm, gentle and easy-going. They are known for being independent but love the attention of their family members.

  • Coat Type: Silky
  • Coat Length: Long

6. Komondor

Komondor Mop Dog

The Komondor dog is known for his tightly-coiled white cords that give him the appearance of a mop. These dogs were bred in Hungary to protect herds of sheep and their unique coat helps them blend into their environment.

Komondors can be tricky to take care of because of their meticulous grooming routine. The cords that hang from their body, although weather-proof and warm, can be quite a hassle to wash, untangle and dry. Wet or matted cords can become a major issue. A lot of your time as a Komondor owner will be dedicated to grooming.

  • Coat Type: Cords
  • Coat Length: Long

7. American Pitbull Terrier

White American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terriers are an infamous and beloved breed. This breed began as a fighting dog in 19th century England. They participated in a sport called bull baiting but were eventually brought to the U.S. where they became devoted farm dogs.

Pitties also earned the nickname the “nanny” dog. People who welcome these muscular dogs into their home realize that they melt at the sight of any child and will watch over them like another parent.

Despite the false reputation of Pitbull-type dogs being ‘vicious’, these goofy dogs are energetic, outgoing, and overly affectionate. They do not always get along well with other dogs, though this shouldn’t be an issue with socialization with canine friends early on.

  • Coat Type: Flat and stiff
  • Coat Length: Short

8. Standard Poodle

White Poodle

The Poodle is the national dog of France; however, these dogs were originally bred in Germany as skilled duck retrievers. Standard Poodles eventually gained a reputation as show dogs and have served more as companions over the last century rather than working dogs.

Poodles are praised for their high intelligence and hypoallergenic coat. Their beautiful curls rarely shed so allergy lovers can adopt this breed too.

These smart pups excel at sports because of their high trainability and remarkable athleticism. Standard Poodles are friendly with everyone they meet and are deeply loyal to their owners.

  • Coat Type: Hypoallergenic and curly
  • Coat Length: Short, medium, or long

9. Berger Blanc Suisse

Berger Blanc Suisse

The Berger Blanc Suisse originated from white coated German Shepherds and were recognized as an official breed in 2011. They have strong herding tendencies and act very similarly to a German Shepherd.

These dogs are not only bold and courageous, but also friendly and good-spirited. This breed is known for their intelligence and how they excel at canine sports, police work, therapy work, and service dog work. They are incredibly loyal to their families but are also very outgoing and non-aggressive with strangers or other dogs.

  • Coat Type: Fluffy and soft
  • Coat Length: Long

10. Kuvasz

Kuvasz

The Kuvasz is an ancient breed that is commonly thought of as being a livestock guardian dog in Hungary. However, this is a common myth because they actually originated from Turkey and Tibet.

Kuvaszs are loyal, intimidating dogs that are very similar to a Great Pyrenees, just smaller and more energetic. These agile dogs are not only great farm helpers, but also excel at canine sports with their remarkable grace.

First time dog owners are not well suited to this breed because they are independent thinkers who stick up their nose at training sessions. They also need extensive socialization to overcome their protectiveness.

  • Coat Type: Fluffy and dense
  • Coat Length: Medium

11. Clumber Spaniel

White Clumber Spaniel

Clumber Spaniels likely came from France, but their native home is a bit of a mystery. Wherever they originated from, these dogs became treasured by English royalty and were named after the Duke of Newcastle’s estate, Clumber Park. They were bred by the English as gamebird hunters and excelled at this task.

These dogs are still a symbol of wealth and prestige, despite their mischievous and stubborn attitude. They are reserved with strangers but are affectionate and loyal towards their owners. They are fairly easy to care for, but you must beware of ear infections, extreme shedding and drooling.

  • Coat Type: Silky and soft
  • Coat Length: Medium

12. Tornjak

Tornjak Tri Color Dog Breed

The Tornjak dog breed, which recently almost went extinct, was originally developed in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as a sheep herding dog.

These dogs are incredibly strong, muscular and sturdily built. They are intelligent and easy to train, but can be quite wary of strangers and other dogs due to their highly protective instincts. They were built to guard flocks of sheep.

Tornjaks are calm and affectionate with their family and love to cuddle after a long day of working and exercising. Just be ready to have lots of white hair covering your clothes after a snuggle.

  • Coat Type: Thick and weather-proof
  • Coat Length: Medium

13. East Siberian Laika

East Siberian Laika

The East Siberian Laika is a rare Russian breed that has very close relations to the wolf. This extremely active breed is known for being stubborn and independent. They were developed to hunt both small and large game, but also for sled pulling and driving flocks.

These dogs were not established as a separate breed until 1947 and almost went extinct in the 1970s.

They are very protective of their owners and territorial over their space and belongings. For these reasons, they do not interact well with other dogs and sometimes struggle to get along with strangers.

  • Coat Type: Dense, straight and tough
  • Coat Length: Long

Summary

White dog breeds may only be unique because of their coat color, but dog owners around the world love them. Many are willing to pay more money to purchase a white version of the same breed.

This treasured color can now be found in just about any dog breed due to careful breeding. But, breeding must be done carefully to ensure that there are no genetic or medical issues that could affect the health of your dog.

It is undeniable that white, fluffy dogs are incredibly adorable.

White dog breeds come in all shapes and sizes. Whether they are great big, white giants like the Great Pyrenees, or they are small, like the Bolognese, there are plenty of white dogs to choose from.

Still struggling to find the right breed for you? Perhaps a look at our Black Dog Breeds would be inspirational!

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