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The BEST Fluffy Dog Breeds – Small and Big Furry Dogs

Fluffy dog breeds look incredibly cute, but did you know that there are actually quite a lot of these breeds?

Even better, they come as small or big dogs, as well as certain colors like a black or white.

Of course, temperament, exercise needs, and health are far more important factors than the kind of fur a dog has, but it’s still fun to check the furry breeds.

Who knows, maybe one of them might even fit your lifestyle.

Buckle up, I’m sure you don’t know all of these breeds since some of them are pretty rare.

Big Fluffy Dog Breeds

Who doesn’t love big pooches?

Keep in mind that handling the fur of a big boy or girl requires lots of grooming and proper care.

Shetland Sheepdog

Fluffy Shetland Sheepdog standing on grass.

Hailing from the Scottish Shetland Islands, Shelties are highly intelligent, enthusiastic, and playful pups with a watchful eye for anything unusual that may pass by.

Shetland sheepdogs are truly breathtaking animals and usually great with the family, but socialization is important with strangers or other dogs (as with many herding or guardian breeds).

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog with a cute haircut.

Surprisingly agile for his size, the Old English Sheepdog holds true to his name.

Important notice: There is something I want to show you that will change the way you interact with your dog. Check it out here.

He descended from early English herding type breeds and first helped guard and drive both cattle and sheep.

He’s the original ‘shaggy dog’, as smart as he is independent, and a wonderful family companion.

In fact, it’s believed he was often trusted alone with children, adopting a kind of ‘babysitting role’.

Australian Shepherd

Merle Australian Shepherd running on snowy ground.

The Australian Shepherd is as intelligent as he is beautiful, a trait shared with most herding breeds.

Despite his name, the Australian Shepherd was bred in western America during the mid-19th century.

As long as you could endure his near-limitless energy, the Australian Shepherd is a very playful, kid-friendly, and highly trainable (for the experienced trainer) pup.

He makes for a fantastic family pet, as long as that family has the space required and is willing to devote the attention this breed needs.

Bearded Collie

Bearded Collie laying down in front of white background.

Once prized by Scottish shepherds for their herding talents, Beardies earned their keep as working dogs on the Scottish highlands.

The very first litter of US pups made their debut in 1967, becoming registered with the AKC 10 years later.

Bearded Collies weigh between 40-60 pounds and adults stand an avg. height of 20-20 inches (51-56 cm).

This extravagant breed enjoys an average lifespan of 14-15 years.

Siberian Husky

Three Siberian Husky puppies in a basket.

Disney made them famous with the true story of a dog sled team that transported vital medication to the dying children of an Alaskan town back in 1925, but Siberian Huskies made their name both during the Alaskan gold rush several years prior and dog sled races to follow. 

As legend has it, these ‘Siberian rats’, as they were once called, nearly toppled Nome’s fragile economy so extreme were bets against them.

The Siberian Husky is a famous northern breed known for its near-limitless energy and ability to tolerate extreme cold.

For over 100 years, the Siberian Husky was favored for long-distance dog sled racing and are still participants in Alaska’s world-famous 1000 mile Iditarod.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Curly Bernese Mountain Dog.

These really are the epitome of gentle giants.

A giant breed descending from the Swiss Alps, his thick double coat kept him warm while herding the alpine slopes of his homeland. 

Both brawn and brains helped the Berny multitask both pastures and farms of his Switzerland home.

Not only would these giants drove cattle, but they would also guard their homelands against potential predators and serve as companions at the same time.

Keeshond

Fluffy Keeshond.

Keeshonds are medium-sized spitz-type breeds, once kept as both guard and companion on Dutch sailing vessels.

The name actually dates back to a patriot mascot nicknamed ‘Kees’.

Keeshonds average 35-45 pounds, standing right around a foot and a half in height.

They crave attention and make for wonderful companions for the family.

Eurasier

Also known as the Eurasian Dog, this fluffy dog originated in the early 1970’s Germany.

Having descended from the Chow Chow, Wolfspitz, and Samoyed, the Eurasier is even-tempered and intelligent while sporting the fluffy coat of his predecessors.  

While Eurasiers can make great watchdogs and family pets, close attention to socialization is recommended with those very strangers so your pup is accepting of the mailman that approaches, for example.

Malamute

Two furry Alaskan Malamutes surrounded by green.

Like the Husky, Alaskan Malamutes are another cold-weather northern breed, this one believed to have been bred by the Mahlemut Inuit tribe of NorthWestern Alaska.

They were capable of pulling heavier loads, hunting seals, offering protection from preditors.

Alaskan malamutes make fantastic family pets and are normally great with children.

Slightly less energetic but larger and more powerful than the Husky, these gentle giants were the sled racing favorites over their ‘Siberian rat’ counterparts during the early 1900s.

Chow Chow

Chow Chow puppy with eyes closed.

The Chow Chow is an ancient breed, so old it’s very possible he descended from some of the very first dogs.

Though dogs like the African Basenji or Egyptian Saluki come to mind when we think of the oldest breeds known to man, it is certainly possible Chow Chows are either older or descended from older breeds.

Scientists theorize the Chow Chow originated in Asia (likely Eastern Asia or Central China) thousands of years ago, slowly migrating west along with the growth of human agriculture (specifically rice agriculture).

This ‘could’ put either the Chow or his close ancestors at around 10,000 years old or older.

Chows are well known for their bear-like appearance, thick fluffy coats, and black tongue. 

Tibetan Mastiff

Big Tibetan Mastiff laying in the snow.

Think of a Chow, only weighing up to twice the size at an avg. of 70-150 lbs.

Hailing from the heights of Tibet, it’s believed these mighty dogs acted as guardians for livestock and properties but the history is too ancient to know everything for sure.

Depending on who you ask or what article you read, you’ll get differing opinions as to their personalities.

Though a knowledgeable handler and proper socialization training can go far, some warn these dogs tend to present all of the characteristics you would expect from a livestock guardian, while others say they can be huge softies around family.

All three are probably true. 

Leonberger

Two Leonbergers playing with each other.

Weighing in at 90-170 lbs, the mighty German Leonberger descends from great working breeds of the past, including the St. Bernard and Newfoundland.

He was first meant for European royalty and with his loyal, friendly personality he succeeded superbly.

Both powerful yet noble, the Leonberger tends to be a little more athletic than most breeds his size, yet not quite as aloof with strangers.

He loves to swim, track, perform agility work, and just about anything else rewarding.

Small Fluffy Dog Breeds

For everyone who’s more into a smaller companion, there are several options.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier performing a play bow on grass.

As one of the smallest among Terrier breeds, the Yorkie packs a huge personality in a miniature dog.

Not only is he popular in the show ring and known for his beautiful groomed coat, but he also makes a wonderful companion for mature handlers.

Weighing in at 4-7 lbs on average, the adult Yorkshire Terrier stands 7-9 in at the shoulder and has an avg. lifespan of 13-16 years.

He’s intelligent and confident for a small breed, making him a great companion for gentle handlers.

Shih Tzu

Curly Shih Tzu among blossoming flowers.

Developed and bred in the palace of a Chinese emperor centuries ago, the words ‘Shih Tzu’ actually translate to Lion Dog.

Nothing could be further from the truth, because this miniature fellow has an enormous personality.

The Shih Tzu made his debut to the rest of the world during the 1930s, becoming AKC registered in 1969.

With a life expectancy of 10-16 years, the Shih Tzu weighs in at an avg. of 9-16 pounds.

Havanese

Furry Havanese on a clear sunny day.

This small fluffy dog breed weighs an avg. of 7-13 lbs. And stands from 8-12 inches tall.

He’s named after his native Havana, Cuba, and branched out along with refugees during the Cuban communist takeover.

For 300 years the Havanese enjoyed a life of luxury prior to those events in 1959.

He’s affectionate, playful, loyal, and craves the attention of a loving family member.

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso with long fur laying on the ground.

Fearless and assertive yet lively, spirited, friendly, and devoted, the Lhasa Apso makes for one of the best small fluffy dog breeds on our list.

He’s also another small breed known for his sleek, beautiful grooming styles.

Lhasa Apsos are great for apartments, requiring little space to run (but still some exercise).

They are recommended for novice dog owners, as long as their delicate nature and physique are considered.

White Fluffy Dog Breeds

Want some of the shiny white but not miss out on the fluff-factor? I’ve got just the right dog breeds for you, small and big.

Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees standing on a mountain with his furry white coat.

Weighing an avg. of 85-110 lbs and up, the Great Pyrenees wasn’t bred to herd sheep as much as offer protection from dangerous predators.

He would work alongside shepherds and other herding dogs up in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain, his thick coat offering warmth along with a mighty physique that perfectly enabled him to defend his flock.

Such was his majesty, the Great Pyrenees was adopted as the royal dog of a 17th-century Spanish court.

He makes for a fantastic companion to the experienced dog handler today, but early and ongoing socialization is especially vital due to his powerful stature and suspicious nature.

American Eskimo

Small American Eskimo with a white coat.

Weighing 25-35 lbs. (standard version), the American Eskimo has a rich history.

Once called the German Spitz, he became the American Eskimo after the beginning of WWl in 1917 and was registered by the AKC in 1995.

Though he’s both friendly and intelligent, a fantastic companion for family, the American Eskimo might lean a little on the reserved and protective side considering those he doesn’t know.

When it comes to family, these small white fluffy dogs love to entertain and will play to their heart’s content.

Finnish Lapphund

Rare Finnish Lapphund puppy.

As the name suggests, this medium-sized dog breed was bred in Finnland.

Did you know they actually used this Spitz-type dog to herd reindeer?

Samoyed

Samoyed with a curly tail and fluffy coat on an autumn day.

These medium-sized herding breeds normally weigh between 35-65 lbs. and were bred by the Samoyedic peoples of Siberia perhaps a thousand years ago.

They took pet-owner symbiotic relationships to a whole new level, both human and dog reliant on each other for survival.

Temperatures of negative 60 F(-51 C) were said to be common in the area, so humans would both rely on these dogs for warmth at night as well as working and hunting tasks during the day.

They would perform working tasks similar to that of Alaskan Malamutes, bot pulling loads, acting as guardians, and valued hunting companions.

Maltese

Maltese running towards the camera.

Hailing from the Isle of Malta, just south of Italy, the Maltese is so ancient records of origin don’t exist.

Many historians claim he was popular among sailors of such ancient times.

The Maltese can be described as lively, playful and active while sweet tempered, affectionate and as loyal as they come.

What more can you ask from a 6-9 lb. pup?

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise with a round haircut in front of a red background and flowers.

Adult Bichons normally stand 9-12 inches with a weight of 6-16 lbs. Don’t let their size fool you however; a lot of personality is packed in such a small, fluffy white dog.

Descending from the Mediterranean and Water Spaniel ancestors, the Bichon is also related to the Maltese above.

Italian sailors are said to have returned this little fluffy white guy to the continent by the 1300s, and he spread into France in the 1400s.

Pomeranian

Pomeranian gets showered and has his tongue out.

You’ll get more than a bundle of personality packed into that 4-7 lbs.

While they might be miniaturized versions of their powerful northern Spitz cousins, today’s Pomeranian ancestors were bred down from those much larger working breeds hundreds of years ago in the land of his namesake, Pomerania.

Pomeranians are the smallest of all spitz breeds and a favorite of the British Queen Victoria prior to her passing in 1901.

Pekingese

Pekingese lays on the couch alongside two other dogs.

A well balanced pooch on Chinese descent, the Pekingese is a toy breed averaging between an adult weight of 7-14 lbs.

He was favored among royalty of the Chinese Imperial Courts as a valued companion and lapdog.

Legend has it, as the story goes, a Lion once fell in love with a monkey, begging the gods to shrink him down.

He can both be affectionate and stubborn, depending on the setting.

Toy Poodle

Mini Toy Poodle with wet ears.

The Standard Poodle’s smaller cousin.

Black Fluffy Dogs

They can certainly look intimidating.

Did you know that researchers found out that people tend to find a black Lab more intimidating compared to a chocolate Lab and even more when compared to yellow Labs?

Color can definitely matter and some of these breeds are quite big and, partly due to their fluffy fur, intimidating.

Bouvier des Flandres

Close-up of black Bouvier des Flandres in front of black backdrop.

Originating from Belgium, this giant was a worker through and through. Whether it be cattle driving, cart pulling or sheep herding, the Bouvier des Flandres excelled.

Today he is most often praised for his intelligence, protection and loyalty performing protection or police work.

Though they are said to be aloof with strangers, they aren’t quite aggressive and will make fantastic companions with good socialization.

Briard

Two Briards with ver long fur.

As another ancient herding breed descending from France, the Briars has worked pastures for over a thousand years.

These ancient shepherds weigh in at an avg. of 50-90 lbs, and stand 22-27 inches (56-69 cm).

Though they might be aloof with strangers, the Briard is loyal and loving with family.

He was actually adopted often during WWI as sentries, carriers, medical dogs, and messengers alike. 

Black Russian Terrier

Black Russian Terrier with a medal around the neck.

Created in the late 1940s in the USSR, Black Russian Terriers were prizes as military ans working dogs alike.

His thick and curly coat would keep him warm while working the Siberian landscape, which would get pretty cold on patrol.

As intelligent as they are majestic, these ‘Black Pearls of Russia’ are very people oriented and love spending time with those who know them best.

Standard Poodle

Well-groomed black Standard Poodle.

Originally bred to retrieve waterfowl, the Poodle is arguably one of the most intelligent breeds in existence today.

While Poodles make fantastic retrievers, these black fluffy dogs dominate both the agility and show rings time and time again.

Today’s Poodles are famous for their unique coat styles. Being a single coated breed, trimming down that coat won’t damage the potential for re-growth.

Newfoundland

Newfoundland with long fur enjoying the sun.

Bred hundreds of years ago in the isle of Newfoundland, these mighty giants would happily assist fishermen braving the icy waters of Eastern Canada.

In fact, their early history is entwined with their ‘Lesser Newfoundland or St’ John’s Water Dog’ cousins (predecessors to today’s Labrador Retrievers).

They are such mighty swimmers, Newfoundlands excel at water rescue and present with natural protective instincts.

Many stories exist of such gentle Newfies saving humans from drowning.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer with long fur around the snout and paws.

Developed in 17th-century Germany, the Giant Schnauzer is a true workhorse. Bred to work the Bavarian Alps sometime during the mid-1800s, he would often drive cattle to market.

Some would say the Giant Schnauzer is strong-willed and dominant, while others claim there couldn’t be a kinder, gentler giant with the vast intelligence required for his work.

50 Fluffy Dog Names

Here’s a list of 50 names for your furry friend.

Maybe one of these names fit perfectly for your future companion.

  • Abbi
  • Adam
  • Arnold
  • Bear
  • Buster
  • Charlie
  • Chubz
  • Chunk
  • Cloud
  • Cooper
  • Duke
  • Eddy
  • Everest
  • Frank
  • Frizzle
  • Fluffball
  • Gabber
  • Gabroo
  • Grizzly
  • Goliath
  • Gordo
  • Gruff
  • Hades
  • Hammer
  • Hector
  • Hercules
  • Hulk
  • Igor
  • Isis
  • Izzy
  • Kodiak
  • Ladoo
  • Linus
  • Marshmallow
  • Moose
  • Noodle
  • Obo
  • Oliver
  • Oscar
  • Shaggy
  • Simba
  • Shadow
  • Tacco
  • Taffi
  • Tank
  • Tucker
  • Weebly
  • Wookie
  • Wobbles
  • Wolf

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About Danielle
I am the founder of PawLeaks where I share weekly tips on dog training and behavior. Sharing a passion for dogs and helping owners to solve problems through understanding canine behavior and modification is my number one goal.