Dogs come in an almost infinite variety of sizes and colors, from spotted to solid and from merle to brindle. Whether fluffy or shorthaired, there is something uniquely striking about dogs with solid white coats. A white coat points to a dog’s wolf ancestry, evoking a picture of their long and winding canine history.
To celebrate the beautiful and unique trait of solid white coats, we put together this list of 20 white dog breeds, from the smallest to the biggest, fluffiest, and more.
Small White Dog Breeds
The adorable Maltese is one of the most recognizable and well-known small white dogs. These loving “toy” dogs have been popular companions for decades due to their affectionate temperament and low-shedding coat. Although they have a fearless attitude that doesn’t seem to equate with their diminutive stature, they are generally friendly and calm around both strangers and other pets. You can expect your Maltese to reach a maximum of 9-10 inches in height.
2. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a “toy” dog in more ways than one — they really do resemble a fluffy toy. These tiny pooches have a long history as a popular choice among French nobility, and it was indeed the French that developed the Bichon into the small lapdog we know and love today. They are gentle and sensitive yet playful and curious dogs that are highly sociable, albeit territorial at times. These dogs become highly attached to their owners and do not do well left alone for long periods.
3. Coton de Tulear
Known for their soft, cotton-like coat, the Coton de Tulear originated Madagascar and were named for Tulear, the city of their origin. They are a highly intelligent and playful breed that adapts well to almost any kind of living environment, making them ideal little lapdogs. They are low-maintenance pooches that are easy to train, making them ideal for novice dog owners, and they get along with just about everybody due to their passive and friendly nature.
The tiny Pomeranian wasn’t always so tiny and was descended from large sled dogs in their native Germany. They are the smallest of the Spitz-type breeds, reaching a maximum height of around 7 inches. They are independent, feisty, and bold in nature and this sometimes gets them into trouble with larger dogs, as they seem to think they are larger than in reality. That being said, with proper socialization, they usually make fast friends with other pets.
The smallest of the small, Chihuahuas have a Guinness World Record holder in their midst, a tiny Chihuahua named Milly that measured only 3.8 inches tall. These dogs are often described as being the life of the party and are endlessly entertaining pooches with a ton of character. This large personality needs a great deal of attention though, and these dogs like to be wherever you are. White Chihuahuas are fairly rare, so count yourself lucky if you manage to find a purely white pup.
Large White Dog Breeds
6. Dogo Argentino
Developed in Argentina, the large, powerful, and rather intimidating-looking Dogo Argentino was bred primarily for hunting big game, including wild boar. Despite this hunting history and appearance, they are actually loving, affectionate, and gentle dogs, provided that they are properly trained. While these dogs have a long heritage stretching as far back as the early 1900s, they were only recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 2020.
7. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is indeed great, and these large and powerful dogs are often described as “majestic, regal, and patient.” These strong mountain dogs often reach over 30 inches high and can weigh over 100 pounds. They are calm and even-tempered pooches but can quickly spring into action when the need arises. Although they have a long history as tough working dogs on snowy mountain tops, their calm and docile demeanor makes them ideal family companions too.
The beautiful Samoyed is one of the most well-known white large breed dogs and were originally bred in Siberia for hunting and towing sleds. Their working history makes them highly dependable and powerful animals with a ton of energy, and they’ll need regular intensive exercise to stay happy. Although they can be rather strong-willed and stubborn at times, they still make great family companions, provided that they have the correct training.
9. Swiss Shepherd
Originally bred in Switzerland, the Swiss Shepherd has the same origins as the White German Shepherd, and the two are often confused. Swiss Shepherds are generally more shy, reserved, and calm than German Shepherds. They are high-energy dogs that need a ton of regular exercise to stay happy and healthy.
The Siberian Husky is rarely purely white, and they often have grey trimmings on their head, back, and feet. A pure white Husky is a rare beauty to behold, with their bright blue eyes and wild, wolf-like appearance. They are athletic, intelligent, and agile dogs that were bred for working, often pulling sleds through cold and snow for hundreds of miles. This working history can make it extremely difficult to give your Husky the exercise they need, especially in warmer climates where their thick double coat can quickly cause overheating.
11. Bull Terrier
The Bull Terrier has a somewhat feared reputation because they were originally bred as powerful fighting dogs. This reputation is unwarranted, though, as these dogs are loving and loyal dogs that will do anything to protect their families. They love to be around people, so much so that they will suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods. They are active and busy dogs that enjoy nothing more than long walks and play sessions with their owners.
12. Akbash Dog
The Akbash Dog is native to Turkey, where they were first bred to protect shepherd’s flocks. Their white coats in this case serve an important purpose — the coat helped them blend in with the flocks of sheep that they were entrusted to protect. They are a rare breed outside of Turkey and only appeared in the U.S. in the late 1970s. They are calm, alert, and aware animals that make great guard dogs, as well as loyal family companions.
13. White Standard Poodle
Despite the Poodle’s reputation as a spoiled and pampered show dog, these pooches are powerful hunters and were used for hunting small game for centuries. They are also regarded as one of the most intelligent dogs on the planet and are highly trainable animals. Poodles need a great deal of grooming and maintenance because unlike other dogs that shed their fur, a Poodles coat never stops growing and consequently needs constant trimming.
Fluffy White Dog Breeds
14. Japanese Spitz
These small and fluffy dogs are far fiercer than they appear, as they were originally bred as companion animals, but they have the temperament of a loyal watchdog. They have a ton of energy that needs to be regularly exercised or they can get aggressive at times. This courageous and fearless nature is what makes these dogs so endearing, though; they are unshakably loyal and dedicated to their owners, and they generally get along great with children and other pets.
15. West Highland White Terrier
The pint-sized “Westie” hails from Scotland and was originally bred for hunting and ratting. These dogs are strong-willed and stubborn at times and can be a challenge to train, and their independent nature makes them far more likely to want to do their own thing than obey orders. With dedicated training, they will become loyal family companions that are highly social and get along great with almost everyone.
The official national dog of Cuba, the Havanese have earned themselves the nickname “Velcro Dog” due to the powerful attachments they form with their owners. These intelligent pooches are highly trainable and affectionate and are generally friendly to everyone they meet, including the family cat! They have a surprising amount of energy for their size and will need daily exercise to keep them out of mischief.
17. Hokkaido Dog
The Hokkaido is a Spitz-type dog originating in Japan and were bred as hunters and ratters. They are fearless and courageous little pooches that have been said to take on animals as large as bears and even pluck fish out of streams. These dogs are fairly rare outside of their native Japan, and in the late 1930s, they were recognized as a national living monument, thereby protecting them by law in the country.
18. American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo dog has nothing to do with Eskimos, despite the name. They are actually descended from Spitz-type dogs, most likely the German Spitz. Their claim to fame is their high intellect and trainability that landed them a spot as regular circus performers, with Eskimo dogs becoming the world’s first to walk across a tightrope.
A Dalmatian is not pure white, but we felt this spotty breed deserves a mention on our list. They are sleek and athletic pooches made famous by the Disney classic “101 Dalmatians.” The breed started as coach dogs, but their high intellect and agility made them popular for a variety of other jobs, including hunting and firehouse work. Their history as working dogs gives them an almost inexhaustible reserve of energy that is simply too much for many dog owners, and without adequate exercise, they will quickly turn to chewing, barking, and even aggression.
20. Old English Sheepdog
Last but not least on our list is the Old English Sheepdog. Although these shaggy pooches are never purely white, some have only a small amount of grey in their thick coats. They are athletic pooches that were bred for herding and driving sheep but have an easygoing and calm disposition that makes them great family companions. They are large dogs that can weigh up to 100 pounds, and their thick, dense coat makes them appear even larger than they are.
Featured Image Credit: Marry Kolesnik, Shutterstock
- Small White Dog Breeds
- Large White Dog Breeds
- Fluffy White Dog Breeds
- Honorable Mentions