18 Fluffy Dog Breeds: Big and Small

Woman kissing fluffy samoyed dog
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One of the joys of having a dog is sinking your hands into their fluff, and it’s okay to admit that. Of course, when looking to adopt a dog, you should consider temperament, size, exercise needs, and more — but why not consider how furry they are, too? 

Studies show petting a dog can help lower blood pressure, and who’s not to say it’s not all about that fluff? Their soft fur is practically begging for us to touch it. And let’s be real, that fluffy dog cuteness is off the charts. If you’re concerned about shedding, believe it or not, some breeds actually have a hair-like coat that won’t leave you covered in fur (and they might even be more hypoallergenic).

Below are some of the fluffiest dog breeds, big and small, for people with a deep passion for adorableness and a lot of dedication to regularly brushing another sentient being.

Small Fluffy Dog Breeds

red-headed woman holding fluffy white pomeranian

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A Pomeranian’s face looks like two dots and a semi-circle hot glued onto a puffball. They have tiny teddy bear ears and a tail that curls up on their back, making them appear even rounder. Descended from the German Spitz, this eight-pound dog has a reputation for being feisty and playful; like many little dogs, they can be quite vocal. They are quite delicate under all that delightful fluff, which means Pomeranians may not be best for households with small children who might give them too many squeezes. Because who can resist squeezing a dog so cute? Only a mature adult. Barely.

Fluffy white bichon on a brick wall

Kate / Adobe Stock

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise was bred to be a performer, and they still love the spotlight. This fluffy dog will be a huge asset if you dream of running away and joining the circus one day. The Bichon Frise is playful and loves hanging out with you, cuddling, or romping through the park. They grow a long, fluffy white coat that requires regular brushing and grooming and is often styled in a big moon shape around their faces. Beware, though: The Bichon Frise does not love being left alone, and though they are considered fairly quiet for a small dog, they will get rowdy if neglected. They also have a reputation for being difficult to housebreak. Forewarned is forearmed.

fluffy coton de tulear sitting in grass yard

JacLou DL / Pixabay

Coton De Tulear

“Coton” means cotton in French, which is a pretty accurate description of the Coton de Tuléar. These dogs have puffy white coats and need regular bathing to stay pristine and stink-free. Legend has it that this fluffy dog breed originates from a group of dogs who swam to the shore of Madagascar after a shipwreck, so you know they’re tough as heck. They can be good guard dogs but otherwise tend to be on the quiet side as long as they get companionship and moderate exercise.

Fluffy pekingese sits by window

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The Pekingese looks like a sentient mop (in a good way!). Maybe that was one of their duties when, long ago, this fluffy 14-pound dog was popular in the Chinese Imperial Court. Their gorgeous long coats flow around them, parting over their flat sweet faces. These small dogs are wonderful house pets and love companionship, so don’t leave them alone too long. They need a lot of regular brushing, and they can be prone to hereditary issues, so keep them up to date on their vet check-ups.

Pomsky dog smelling grass

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A Pomsky is a mixed-breed dog who is half Pomeranian and half Siberian Husky — but all fluff. A mixed breed pooch’s temperament will always depend on what dominant traits they inherit, but Pomskies tend to be shaped like their Pomeranian parent and have the markings and coloration of their Husky parent — and sometimes that parent’s stubborn, independent mindset as well. Pomskies are intelligent, loyal, and affectionate dogs who need a whole lot of exercise. Ancestrally, they remember dragging sleds through the tundra, even if size-wise, they can’t pull much more than a cardboard box.

Fluffy American Eskimo on Grass

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American Eskimo

The American Eskimo dog is considered an “ancient breed” because of their relatively recent connection to wolves. They can be different sizes, but all have flowing white fur. This fluffy breed has a thick, double coat that needs regular brushing to prevent matting. They are very striking, with almost fox-like faces and beautiful plumed tails over their backs. They make alert watchdogs, have a lot of energy, and make great companions to families with kids or other pets when socialized early.

smart schipperke dog

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The Schipperke is a fox-like dog with a thick, solid black, and water-resistant coat. These dogs are independent thinkers, so obedience training might be necessary to keep peace in your shared household (for them, not you). These fluffy pups are quite loyal and are known for being protective and barking at potential threats, so be sure to carefully teach them what constitutes a threat for the sake of your neighbors.

Small brown havanese

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Native to Cuba, Havanese are lap-dogs with wavy silk coats that frame their friendly, open faces like a lion’s mane. On top of all that majesty are some floppy ears. You can style that amazing coat long or short, depending on how regularly you want to groom them. Havanese are known as great therapy dogs because of their inexhaustible need for human attention, the downside of which is that they can get very loud and even destructive if you leave them alone too long. If you live a lifestyle that welcomes dogs everywhere, they’re the perfect companion.

Fluffy Bolognese on fall leaves

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The Bolognese dog is from Bologna, Italy, and they share origins with the Maltese, Havanese, and Bichon Frise — and like them all, they are white dogs with fluffy coats. They’re quite small, typically weighing between five to 12 pounds and standing between 9 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder. They are bright, easy to train, and relatively low-maintenance regarding exercise needs. Because of their gentle temperament and general tininess, Bolognese dogs are great pets for seniors or families with children, especially if you’re all crammed into an apartment.

Fluffy Sheltie on bed

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Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog, or “Sheltie,” was originally bred as a herding dog in Scotland, and, like most herding dogs, they’re super smart and love participating in competitive herding trials. They can make great therapy dogs or work in search and rescue roles — basically, this dog loves a job. They have flowing multi-colored coats and are loyal and affectionate. They’re also social and love the company of people and other animals. They have a lot of personality and energy, so they’re a good choice for families with the time, space, and patience to train them properly.

Big Fluffy Dog Breeds

Fluffy Tibetan Mastiff on grassy hill

Tierfotoagentur / Alamy Stock Photo

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiffs are famous for their impressive size, muscular build, and thick fluffy coats. They are believed to be one of the oldest and most primitive dog breeds in the world and are protective and loyal. They’re often described as “brave,” perhaps because they have such a stubborn personality that no one can actually make them do anything. Tibetan Mastiffs need a lot of space and exercise, so they do best in homes with very large yards or properties. If you have time to brush and train them and have room for them to roam, they make great family members.

big teddy bear dog breed chow chow dog with woman

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow has a thick double coat that can be smooth or rough and various colors, including red, black, blue, cream, and cinnamon. These floofy dogs also have distinctive blue-black tongues. They’re sometimes described as looking “lion-like,” but their soft round ears and hooded eyes are very bear-like, too. They can be very independent and need good early training and socialization to keep that stubborn streak from turning into aggression or naughty behavior. They’re best for experienced dog people who have time to brush them daily.

Two Samoyeds sitting on shore

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The Samoyed is from Siberia, Russia, and they have thick white coats, perfect for the harsh Arctic climate. If you don’t live in the Arctic, Samoyeds can still make wonderful pets but have mercy on them if you’re in a warmer area; they should always have access to shade and water. They love outdoor play and need lots of daily exercise, such as hiking, running, and playing in the snow. Samoyeds are friendly and affectionate dogs and are generally good with children and other pets, as long as those pets are on the bigger side. They have a high prey drive, so homes with hamsters should beware.

medium-sized bearded collie lying on living room floor

Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie is another beautiful dog from Scotland. They have shaggy, waterproof fluffy coats in a variety of colors but are probably most recognized in their gray and white form, with long droopy ears streaming around their faces. They have friendly, outgoing personalities and are known for being smart and trainable. Beardies are very active dogs and will play enthusiastically, so they’re best for households with active lifestyles. They also need regular brushing, bathing, and trimming to keep that shag from looking drab.

fluffy alaskan malamute

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Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute was bred as a working dog, and they have had some hard jobs in the cold, mainly hauling heavy freight and sleds in the Arctic regions. These large-breed dogs are super strong and have dense coats to keep them warm; they are meant for the outdoors and prefer cooler climates. They almost look like a Husky on steroids, and, like Huskies, they tend to howl rather than bark. They will do best in bigger homes with backyards and families who love to walk till they drop. They are good guard dogs for more remote properties, and though they don’t love training, they will love you.

White dog Great Pyrenees on leash with woman

Petro / AdobeStock

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees originated in the Pyrenees Mountains, bordering France and Spain, and has a majestic appearance and gentle temperament. Their thick double coats are usually white or cream and need lots of grooming. Though these fluffy dogs were bred as sheep-guarding working dogs, they’re more chill than some other working breeds. They require training, but love kids, other animals, and their pet parents. While a Great Pyrenees needs regular exercise and engagement, they’re happy to sit down by your feet after a good long walk and relax.

keeshond in front of apartment in city with woman

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The Keeshond, sometimes playfully called the “Smiling Dutchman,” is originally from the Netherlands and has a silver-gray fluffy coat with distinctive black markings around their eyes. They were originally bred as watchdogs and companions, so they love barking and being near you in that order. Lots of regular exercise and socialization will keep them in good spirits. They generally like kids and other pets but can be wary of strangers, so go easy during new introductions.

old english sheepdog on leash

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Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdogs, who are sometimes known as “Nanny Dogs,” are gentle giants who only want to be included in the goings on of their families. Though sheepdogs are super smart and easy to train, they can be playfully stubborn. They’re also good guard dogs, so expect some barking if they sense intruders. Old English Sheepdogs are not high-energy dogs, but these fluffy pups need regular walks and play and a healthy diet, or they might get a bit chunky. It can be hard to tell when they gain weight, though, because of their thick, long coats. Brush them well and enjoy the benefits (less shedding on the furniture).

Is a fluffy dog right for you?

While fluffy dogs are undeniably cute, their high-maintenance grooming needs make them unsuitable for some pet parents. Grooming the thick coats of beautiful fluffy pups keeps them healthy and prevents matting and shedding. Brushing your dog at least once a week is recommended, though that varies by breed and season. Make sure to do this regularly from a young age so they understand it as a consistent part of their routine; this will make grooming much easier.

How much do fluffy dogs shed?

The amount that fluffy dogs shed can vary depending on the breed and individual dog. For example, breeds like the Samoyed and Chow Chow are known for their heavy shedding. Other fluffy breeds, such as the Bichon Frise, have coats that do not shed much and are considered hypoallergenic, though they still require regular grooming to prevent matting.

There is also a seasonal aspect to shedding: most shedding dogs have big sheds in spring and autumn as their coat turns over. Regular grooming is one of the best ways to deal with shedding because it keeps that extra hair on the brush instead of the furniture.

What type of brush should be used for fluffy dogs?

The best type of brush for each dog depends on their coat. A slicker brush is good for removing loose hair and preventing matting, while a pin brush is good for detangling and removing debris. A comb can also remove tangles and mats. If your dog has mats or tangles, detangle them carefully to avoid hurting your dog and turning grooming into torture. Use a detangling spray or conditioner to help loosen the knots, and use your fingers or a comb to gently work through them.

What’s the best shampoo for fluffy dogs?

Fluffy dogs need gentle, moisturizing shampoos that will not dry out their skin or coat. Look for shampoos specifically designed for dogs with long or thick coats, and avoid harsh chemicals or fragrances that may irritate your dog’s skin.

Do fluffy dogs need to go to a professional groomer?

Trim your pup’s coat regularly to prevent matting and keep it manageable, focusing on areas like the ears, paws, and tail, which are particularly magnetic to garbage and bits of food. While it’s nice to do all this stuff to build a bond with your pet, getting them groomed professionally is not throwing in the towel. A professional groomer can be the best choice to keep your high-maintenance dog spic-and-span.

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About the Author: Tony Ramos

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