Love the fluffy dog look? Well we don't blame you. All that fur makes for a lot of cute. But are you truly prepared to own a fluffy dog?
Indeed, those luscious coats come with a price: lots of brushing and for some, enormous amounts of shedding. If you want to own a fluffy dog breed, then arm yourself with patience - there's a lot of time-consuming care involved. However, if you feel like you're ready, then check out the following breeds. One of them might be perfect for you!
Small fluffy dog breeds
Want all the fluffiness and none of the size? We've got you covered. Check out these adorable pocket-sized fluffy dog breeds.
No fluffy dog list would be complete without the Poodle. The Poodle comes in three sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. Their frizzy, fluffy coats require serious grooming, but they can be shaped into loads of interesting styles and shapes. Unsurprisingly, the Poodle is a popular show dog and this flamboyant breed seems to enjoy the attention. But the Poodle has got the substance to match its style. These dogs are loyal, energetic, and very intelligent.
These little fluff-balls are a good choice for city slickers with limited space. The Bichon Frise is affectionate, loyal, and friendly. But don't underestimate this toy dog! Despite their tiny stature, the Bichon is brave and feisty. Their coat has a smooth, silky texture with corkscrew curls. The Bichon Frise is hypoallergenic - this means they’re unlikely to cause allergic reactions in humans.
This little dog can match any breed in the fluffiness stakes. Their long smooth coats need brushing every day, and they'll become a regular guest at the local dog groomers. This keeps their coat neat and tidy, but it's also really important for their long-term health. A tangled and dirty coat can lead to skin infections, as well as eye and ear problems. Other health issues include overheating, especially during the summer months. Keep their coats much shorter during warmer periods of the year. The Pekingese is not suitable for people with allergies.
Descended from the sledge pulling breeds like the Samoyed and the Spitz, the fox-faced Pomeranian is an active little toy dog with some serious fur attached. The Pomeranian's coat is thick, soft and fluffy. It's really nice to stroke and pet, but it does require plenty of attention. Poms need a lot of grooming, even for a fluffy dog, and you'll need to be brushing them every few days or so. Use a wire slicker brush first and then a metal comb. This helps distribute the skin's natural oils, which keeps the coat clean and healthy. It will also stop the coat from becoming matted, which then prevents skin infections.
Coton de Tuléar
Like Poodles and Bichons, Cotons have a coat that grows continuously, and therefore sheds very little. This makes them a good choice for people with allergies, but also for people who like to keep their homes neat and tidy. That long hair means a lot of grooming. Your dog will pick up everything on its path: mud, leaves, you name it! Bathing will be required more often than for other breeds and a trip to the groomers is a must at least once every couple of months! Cotons are happy-go-lucky dogs who make great companions!
Medium-sized fluffy dog breeds
If you're looking for a big teddy bear, while not wanting a giant-sized dog, then check out these medium-sized dog breeds.
The Chow Chow is seriously fluffy. They have a thick coat and heavy mane; their name translates as “puffy lion dog”. Chow Chow puppies are capable of winning any cuteness competition. They look like tiny teddy bears that have suddenly come to life. But don't be fooled, these adorable little pups soon grow into big, powerful dogs that need lots of exercise and grooming. Chow Chows are very wary of strangers, and as such, need lots of training and socialisation. It is a dog for the more experienced owner.
Finnish Lapphunds kind of look like big Pomeranians! But they're definitely not lapdogs. These guys love to be outdoors and get lots of physical stimulation. Their ideal owner is an active person. Finnish Lapphunds do great with children as they are loving, patient, and obedient. Their thick double coat will require daily grooming and will shed profusely - turning your home into a snowglobe - particularly in spring and fall.
The national dog of the Netherlands, these happy-go-lucky dogs are known as "the smiling Dutchman". Another nickname they have is "velcro dog" because they are so affectionate and loyal towards members of their family. Keeshonds are so friendly in fact, that they make terrible guard dogs. These pups are the definition of a really fluffy dog. You don't get much fuzzier than a Keeshond. But that of course means you will have to spend a lot of time grooming their thick coats every single day.
American Eskimos actually descend from German Spitzes and were brought to the United States by European immigrants. Years ago, they were widely used as circus dogs because they were so intelligent and trainable. Eskies, though medium-sized, require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They are not a good dog for couch potatoes! That beautiful white coat will only stay white if you're dedicated to brushing it every day.
Made famous by their appearance in "The Brady Bunch" and "The Shaggy Dog", Bearded Collies are beautiful long-haired dogs. Like all collies, they are super energetic and need a job - so make sure you give them one before they destroy your home. That long coat may look slick and smooth, but it'll only be that way if you brush and comb your dog every day. Not doing so could result in matting and consequent health issues.
Large fluffy dog breeds
If you've got all the space in the world and size doesn't scare you, then a big fluffy dog breed might be your go-to. Don't worry, we've got you covered with these amazing breeds!
Old English Sheepdog
The English Sheepdog is a large pooch with a lot of hair! Originally bred to herd sheep in the Scottish highlands, their thick double coats protected them from the harsh climate. OES have long shaggy fur that often covers their eyes and ears. This will need regular trimming; it helps them see and hear, but it also lowers the risks of infection and irritation. As a large breed, the OES needs plenty of space and exercise. It's a perfect dog for country dwellers with an active lifestyle.
Taking its name from the Samoyedic people of Siberia, this dog was bred to pull sledges across the snow. These immaculate-looking dogs are natural athletes that demand plenty of rigorous exercise. Like many dogs from the harsher climates, the Samoyed has a double-layered coat. The top coat is made of long coarse hair designed to protect the softer undercoat. The Samoyed is a very heavy shedder. Owners will find lots of hair all over the house.
Huskies were originally bred to pull sledges. The fastest of all sled-dogs, it was a Husky named Togo who saved the village of Nome during the 1925 serum run in Alaska. Huskies need a lot of exercise, and if they don't get it, they can develop behavioural issues. It's very important to start training early! For the right owner, they make devoted, loyal companions. That coat may be short, but it sheds profusely and requires weekly grooming at least to avoid matting in the undercoat.
Bouvier des Flandres
The Bouvier des Flandres is a powerful dog which was originally bred to work on farms. Bouviers can be suspicious of strangers, so its important to socialise them while they're still young. They are, however, extremely affectionate with those they love, including children. Despite their double coat, Bouvs don't shed as much as some other breeds. Their coat does require quite a bit of grooming to keep it looking good though.
Well known for its role in the Lassie movies and series, the Rough Collie is a beautiful sheepdog. Their thick, heavy coat was originally to protect them from the harsh Scottish climate, but now, it's just gorgeous to look at. It will require daily grooming, and of course, your house will require lots of vacuuming. Rough Collies are gentle, affectionate, and intelligent, making them wonderful family dogs.
Giant fluffy dog breeds
And now for the truly gigantic...check out these giant fluffy dogs!
Newfoundlands, or Newfies, were originally bred to fetch nets for fisherman. Today, they are used for water rescue and mainly as companions. Newfies are truly gentle giants. Despite their size, they are so patient and affectionate that they are known as the nannies of the dog world. In fact, a Newfoundland was the breed featured in the original Peter Pan! Newfies have a lot of fur, which in turn means a lot of shedding and a lot of grooming. Plus, they're known to slobber!
Malamutes are nordic dogs that were once used to pull sledges. They were usually used to pull the heaviest of loads, due to their incredible strength and muscle. Today, Malamutes are the teddy bears of the Spitz dogs. They do well in family environments, though they do better in active homes. Due to their thick double coat which once protected them from freezing temperatures, they also do better in cold climates. Though their coats look shorter than most of the dogs' on this list, be prepared for a lot of shedding.
If you want a dog that looks like a polar bear, then look no further than the Great Pyrenees! Though they have a laid-back demeanor, these majestic dogs are actually ferocious guardians who would stop at nothing to protect their pack. With the ones they love, Great Pyrenees are sweet-natured and affectionate. That thick double coat requires regular brushing, particularly during the shedding seasons.
Bernese Mountain Dogs
Originally bred to pull carts, these swiss mountain dogs are most well-known for their striking tricolour coats. Berners are some of the gentlest dogs around. Super affectionate, they love to cuddle and make great companions for children. Sadly, they have one of the shortest lifespans of all dogs. Berners have thick double coats that shed profusely and will need regular brushing.
Leonbergers are German dogs who were aptly named after lions, due to their lion-like appearance. Though they are absolutely huge, Leonbergers are actually very gentle and loving. They make wonderful guard dogs just as they make wonderful family dogs. That mane won't de-tangle itself though. Bergers require grooming at least a couple of times a week, and as with all double-coated breeds, they shed a lot.
Caring for really fluffy dogs
Grooming is really important for fluffy dogs. It keeps their coats clean and healthy, reducing the risk of any associated health problems. It's also a really nice bonding experience for pets and owners, and many people take great pride in how their dogs look. This is ok, but excessive or unnecessary grooming can actually damage a dogs health.
A BBC report examined the rise of creative dog grooming and found that some pooches were being subjected to unsafe treatments like colourings, hair dyes, and even hair extensions. An RSPCA spokesperson told the BBC that the “extreme pampering of pets sends out an extremely worrying message that they could be viewed as novelty accessories rather than as intelligent, sentient animals. Even if a dye is marketed as 'pet-friendly', we would strongly advise against it."
There's nothing wrong with wanting your dog to look like nice. Just make sure you put the dog's needs first.