Smaller dogs may be all the rage right now, but there’s hardly anyone who could resist big white fluffy dog breeds. These cloud-like (and usually) gentle giants often make for excellent family pets, with some even going above and beyond to protect their pack whenever necessary.
Wondering if you have what it takes to take care of such a breed? Here are five incredible dogs that’ll certainly impress you — and a detailed guide to keeping their fur extra-fluffy all year round!
What Makes a Dog Fluffy?
Though you’d think that long fur is the only reason some dogs are fluffy, most of these breeds actually sport a double coat. A double coat is just what you think it is — a kind of fur that has two layers of hair.
The first layer, or rather, the undercoat, is usually dense and full of short hairs. The second layer, or the topcoat, consists of guard hairs.
The undercoat is soft and fine and serves to regulate the dog’s temperature in various climates. In the summer, this layer helps trap air in order to cool the dog. Similarly, in winter, it helps the dog stay warm by acting as insulation.
The topcoat, in contrast, is usually coarse and tougher to the touch. It also has a protective purpose, as it keeps harmful bug bites at bay and protects the dog from harsh sunlight and intense heat.
As a rule of thumb, dogs with very dense undercoats are usually the fluffiest. As cute as that may seem, though, it also means that they require a lot of grooming.
5 Big White Fluffy Dog Breeds You’ll Absolutely Adore
1. The Great Pyrenees
As a true gentle giant, the Great Pyrenees is a fantastic family dog due to its calm and devoted nature. This breed is affectionate, gentle, and well-mannered, which makes it a wonderful companion to families with kids of all ages.
Besides that, the Great Pyrenees is incredibly smart, so it tends to quickly figure stuff out on its own. Nevertheless, proper training is a must (no matter how challenging it seems!) as otherwise, the dog may become uncontrollable. This breed is just so intelligent and independent that training will likely be met with some indifference. Thus, this is not the best dog for timid or first-time owners.
Fluff is almost a synonym for this breed as it has an abundance of fur that ought to be taken care of properly. The good news is that the breed is not prone to mats even though it has a fantastic double coat. The bad news is that it does require regular brushing and is a heavy shedder. In fact, the Great Pyrenees will also go through a more major shed once or twice a year.
2. White Swiss Shepherd Dog
The White Swiss Shepherd was only recognized as a separate breed in 1991 (Switzerland) and 2017 (The Kennel Club). With a nearly identical nature to the German Shepherd, it is a loyal, alert and energetic pet.
The White Swiss Shepherd is another superb family dog, though it does require proper socialization. This breed can also be a bit sensitive to how it’s treated. It is just one of those dogs that can quickly become uncooperative if they are often scolded or not given enough praise.
In comparison to the German Shepherd, this breed tends to be shyer and gentler. These dogs can also be quite skittish, so don’t expect them to handle any intruders by themselves, though they may alert you of danger.
Grooming-wise, expect a lot of shedding and lots of brushing to combat loose fur. This double-coated canine is a year-round shedder and will also blow its coat twice a year.
The Samoyed is practically an epitome for a big white fluffy dog, and just one glance at its fur confirms this. With a long double coat, it is not an ideal pet for owners who don’t have time for daily brushing. Loose fur will become a staple in your life if you have a Samoyed. Expect quite a bit of shedding throughout the year and even more during the shedding seasons (once or twice a year).
Despite the breed being rather high-maintenance, this giant ball of fur is worth the trouble. As a loyal and loving dog, the Samoyed is an ideal family pet that gets on with children splendidly if it’s been socialized properly.
The breed does have a boisterous nature, so training is a must. That said, if you have been looking for a large, intelligent dog that thrives on human company, likes having chores, and gets on well with other pets, the Samoyed is a true winner!
If the safety of your family is your top priority, know that the Kuvasz is unlikely to ever disappoint you. Hailing from Hungary, this working breed is fiercely loyal and sports impressive strength and size.
At a glance, it may not look any more dangerous than a Labrador. But looks can be deceiving, as the Kuvasz is almost fanatically protective of its family.
As this breed was bred to guard, it can sometimes be aloof, very independent, and even occasionally aggressive, making it a less than ideal option for first-time owners. However, if you have some training experience and a lot of time, it is possible to train this breed into becoming a full-on pet bodyguard.
As for the breed’s grooming needs, expect lots of shedding and weekly brushing at least. The dog will shed even more in spring and fall, so switching to daily brushing will help avoid having loose fur all over your home.
5. Slovensky Cuvac
Image source: Pinterest
Large and in charge, Slovensky Cuvac is a giant teddy bear if you ask any owner — but outside the home, this dog is incredibly courageous and alert. It is a fantastic watchdog as it is both mentally strong and very agile. In case an intruder runs into this breed, they may get in a lot of trouble. This isn’t a dog that’ll flee to avoid a fight!
Still, Slovensky Cuvac is also a fun-loving, playful dog that gets on great with children in the household. Its protective nature can turn somewhat territorial at times, so it is important to socialize the breed with children properly. The dog mustn’t assume it has a higher rank than the kids in the family “pack.”
Grooming-wise, this breed isn’t much different than the rest, though it helps that the dog isn’t susceptible to mats and tangles. In summer and winter, shedding may become a bigger burden as loose fur will likely flood your home. Throughout the year, though, you can get away with weekly brushing and an occasional bath.
How to Care for Your Big Fluffy Dog
One of the greatest challenges of owning a big fluffy dog is the amount of money (or just time) you will have to spend on grooming. These dogs, especially if they have a double coat, can shed a lot, so regular brushing is a must.
If you don’t have time to brush them every week, they can get matted, which is an even bigger problem that you as an owner may not be able to resolve on your own. In essence, professional grooming services are the best choice — but let’s see what you can do at home as well to ensure that fluffy coat stays soft and silky!
1. Aim to Brush Them Regularly
Even single-coated dogs have to be brushed to remove dead hair and promote healthier hair growth. With double-coated dogs, weekly or even daily brushing is essential as they have more hair on them at all times.
If owners fail to brush their double-coated dogs frequently, they will have more trouble later on as the undercoat may overgrow and get matted. A matted undercoat can easily trap moisture and cause various skin issues, like dermal infections and eczema. On the other hand, it could also block airflow and thus fail to regulate the dog’s temperature, making it more prone to overheating.
2. Never Shave Them Unless It’s Absolutely Necessary
Some single-coated dogs can sometimes benefit from a bit of shaving in order to keep them cool in the summer and prevent mats. In general, shaving dogs to their skin is not recommended. They need at least one inch of hair to protect them from bug bites and sunlight. You may run into other major problems too, such as:
• Excessive scratching. Shaving can cause razor burn, irritated skin, and hot spots, which later contribute to excessive licking and scratching.
• Sunburn and skin cancer. Without a protective layer of fur, shaved dogs are more prone to harmful sun exposure. They would need to wear clothing or even dog sunscreen to minimize some of the damage.
• More shedding. Some owners believe that shaving their dogs will stop excessive shedding. But that’s just a temporary fix; the hair would still shed, though it would be a bit shorter.
More importantly, shaving can alter the hair growth cycle, making shedding somewhat unpredictable. It can even destroy the topcoat and prevent it from growing back to the normal length.
When Does It Make Sense to Shave a Dog?
That said, there are some situations in which it makes sense to shave a dog down. If the pup is a frequent swimmer, is too matted to brush out, or is even too old to withstand heavy grooming, shaving may make the upkeep a lot easier on both the owners and their pooches.
Dogs that love spending time in nature are usually more prone to ticks and fleas, so shaving the hair off could help you spot bugs before they wreak havoc. Canines that also suffer from bacterial and fungal conditions or hot spots would require their skin to breathe properly to either heal the conditions or prevent them in the future.
Finally, shaving your dog may also be a personal decision for you. If you don’t have time to groom the pup regularly, it is always better to shave off the hair instead of letting it become a matted mess. Allergies are another reason some people shave their dogs. Shaving close to the skin would make baths both easier and more useful when it comes to removing pet dander.
3. Go for Specialized Shampoos
When it comes to bathing dogs, there’s rarely a difference between the breeds. Remember, though, to look up shampoo reviews before bathing your dog with one to ensure it won’t have an adverse reaction to the ingredients. Human shampoo is a big no-no, as it can disrupt the acid mantle and dry out the dog’s skin.
Deshedding shampoos may help reduce excess shedding, but that doesn’t mean you can avoid grooming your big fluffy dog. It is not a cure-all, as your dog will keep shedding either way (just to a lesser degree).
You can also ensure your big ball of fluff stays as white as snow by investing in quality whitening shampoo. These shampoos should both brighten the fur and remove any nasty-looking stains.
The most common whitening shampoos often have blue or purple tones that cancel out yellow stains. Other than those, you can go for enzymatic shampoo, which fights discoloration-causing proteins and clarifying shampoo, which deals with severe grime.
4. Use the Right Brushes
Finally, remember that your fluffy dog’s coat also requires the use of some high-quality brushes. The most common grooming brushes you may find in stores include:
• Slicker brush, which has tightly packed fine wire bristles. It is ideal to use on medium to long-haired dogs and helps you deal with tangles, knots, and even lose fur, as well as a dense undercoat. Remember to detangle any mats before bathing the dog. Wetting them could make matters worse!
• Bristle brush, which serves to finish off the coat after all the tangles and knots have been removed. Its job is to remove any remaining debris and distribute the oils through the coat for a sleek, healthy look.
• Pin brush, which you can also use to detangle any knots you may encounter. This brush has wide-spaced bristles and is generally less harsh than a slicker brush. Because of that, though, it’s not so great at removing loose fur.
• Silicone or rubber brush, which can be used on most types of coats. It is rather gentle but still able to catch lots of debris and fur. Best of all, you can use it wet or dry. When it’s time for a bath, it helps massage the shampoo or any other product you’re using into the coat!
Additional Tools to Use on Your Fluffball
An undercoat rake is ideal for very furry dogs and shedding undercoats as it removes loose fur and tangles a lot easier than a standard dog brush.
Another good choice is to use combs. These mainly serve to catch any leftover tangles after you have already brushed the dog. Wide-spaced toothed combs are better for thick or long fur, whereas those with tightly packed teeth are ideal for short-haired dogs.
Apart from those, you can also use a flea comb to catch fleas, flea dirt, and even eggs. For dogs with very fluffy coats, it is recommended to use a de-shedding tool as well, like the FURminator, or an oval-shaped de-shedding blade.
Remember that since most fluffy dogs are double-coated, you will have to use multiple brushes to get great results. Ideally, you should regularly use a slicker brush on mats and tangles. Once those are dealt with, you can go for a bristle brush to finish the topcoat.
However, if your dog sheds a lot too, you ought to use some de-shedding tools or an undercoat rake. Remove as much of the loose fur as possible before bathing, but keep in mind that once you start blow-drying the dog, more fur will fly around!