12 Dog Breeds That Only Have White Coats

Large or small, these white dogs stand out

Great Pyrenees puppies

 

Philippe Lebeaux / Getty Images

Of the hundreds of dog breeds globally, there are at least 12 breeds that exclusively sport white coats. Many types of breeds can have white pups—among many other color combinations—but a dozen canines only come in white.

Tip

Unless your dog gets substantially dirty after a walk or playtime, your dog shouldn't need frequent baths. In many cases, bathing too frequently can lead to skin irritation. On average, most dogs can go a month or more between baths. White coats can appear dirtier sooner than other dogs, so thoroughly comb or brush to get out most dirt particles.

Breed Characteristics

While many of these dogs are small companion dogs, a few are strong, powerful large breeds. Some of the dogs have snowy white coats that match their Arctic or mountain environments, such as the Samoyed, Great Pyrenees, and Japanese spitz. Most of the others are showy lapdogs that served kings and nobles as companions. Unfortunately, white dogs are at a slightly higher risk than others for being born deaf due to a hereditary pigmentation gene. They may also have a higher incidence of skin issues and sunburn.

Here are 12 exclusively white dog breeds. 

  • 01 of 12

    Samoyed

    Samoyed dog portrait

    Kathy Cacicedo / Getty Images

    A regal-looking white spitz breed, the Samoyed is a medium-to-large dog that is white from head to toe. The thick, fluffy nature of the coat makes perfect sense when considering that this dog breed originated in Siberia. The indigenous Samoyed people used these strong and cold-weather tolerant dogs to herd reindeer, pull sleds, and hunt. The Samoyed has a tail that curls up over its back and a thick ruff of fur around its neck. Though these dogs are generally an all-white breed, some mature into a cream or biscuit-colored coat. Life with this white dog breed means a flurry of fur year-round. While these dogs shed their undercoat seasonally, white hair is likely to be found on your clothes and furniture year-round.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 19 to 24 inches

    Weight: 35 to 65 pounds

    Coat and Color: Thick double coat; colors include white, cream, and biscuit

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 02 of 12

    Maltese

    Maltese dog

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    The smallest white dog breed is the Maltese. These pocket-sized pups mature to a weight of only 4 to 7 pounds and stay under 10 inches tall. The long and silky white coat of the Maltese adds to the cuteness of this famous companion dog, though some owners opt to keep it clipped short. Expect to invest some time in brushing your dog each week and taking regular trips to the groomer. The black button eyes and nose of the Maltese seem to peek out from behind the pure white hair, and many Maltese dogs sport a top knot or bow to keep the hair out of their eyes.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Toy (AKC)

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 4 to 7 pounds

    Coat and Color: Solid white fur that is long and silky; dark alert eyes and black nose

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 03 of 12

    West Highland White Terrier

    West Highland White Terrier

    Salima Senyavskaya / Getty Images

    The West Highland white terrier sports a double coat of white fur. The Westie, as this white dog breed is commonly referred to, is a compact but sturdy terrier from Scotland. Originally bred to hunt vermin, the white coat of this dog breed served to help the dog stand out while out hunting. The Westie is primarily a companion dog and is intelligent and playful. To keep the white coat looking its best, it needs consistent brushing each week and regular visits to the groomer every four to six weeks.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier (AKC)

    Height: 10 to 11 inches

    Weight: 13 to 20 pounds

    Coat and Color: White double-coated, medium-length fur white coat

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

  • 04 of 12

    American Eskimo

    American eskimo dog

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    Like a little snowman, the American Eskimo is a pure white dog breed with coal-black eyes and nose. These dogs come in standard, miniature, and toy sizes. Regardless of the size, it has a fluffy white coat and alert expression. The breed is known for being highly intelligent and was famous for performing as a circus dog in the early 1900s.

    Contrary to its name, the Eskie developed in the midwestern United States at the end of the 19th century. It used to be known as the German spitz, was selectively bred to be snowy white, and used as a farm dog by German settlers. After World War I, the breed’s name was changed to American Eskimo. It earned AKC recognition in 1995.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)

    Height: Toy: 9 to 12 inches tall at the shoulder; miniature: 12 to 15 inches; standard: 15 to 19 inches

    Weight: Toy: 6 to 10 pounds; miniature: 10 to 20 pounds; standard: 25 to 35 pounds

    Coat and Color: All-white, stand-off double coat

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    Bichon Frise

    Two Bichon Frise dogs

     Abigail Fast / Getty Images

    It’s easy to spot the bichon frise in a crowd of white dogs, thanks to its fluffy fur and rounded appearance. The breed as we know it today originated in France and is believed to be descended from the poodle and water spaniel. With these sporting breeds in its heritage, it’s no surprise that the bichon is an active and adventurous companion dog. Just be sure that whatever adventures you encounter with your powderpuff by your side, you provide regular brushing to avoid matting and take your dog to the groomer regularly to maintain that classic groomed appearance.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 9 to 12 inches

    Weight: 7 to 12 pounds

    Coat and Color: Fluffy and curly white hair (may have traces of apricot, buff, or cream), resembling a cotton ball or powder puff

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 06 of 12

    Great Pyrenees

    Great Pyrenees dog

     BenC / Getty Images

    The largest white dog breed is the Great Pyrenees. These gentle giants can weigh 100 pounds or more and feature a thick, double coat of white fur. This type of dog likely originated in Central Asia or Siberia many millennia ago. It has since acquired its name after being brought to the Pyrenees mountains that border France and Spain.

    These dogs are known for being immensely large but also patient. They excel as herd guardians but also as loyal family companions. Living with a Great Pyrenees means preparing yourself for year-round shedding, though several brushing sessions a week will help to capture loose fur that would otherwise cling to you, your furniture, or your floors. The double coat of this dog naturally resists dirt, so only an occasional bath is needed to keep the white coat looking pure.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 25 to 32 inches

    Weight: 85 pounds and up

    Coat and Color: Thick double coat; colors include white with gray, red, or tan markings

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 07 of 12

    Coton de Tulear

    Two Coton de Tulear dogs

     Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo / Getty Images

    This small white dog was formerly a jealously guarded pet to the elite of Madagascar. It’s believed that the early ancestors of these dogs were seafaring pups that kept sailors company. These small but sturdy pups make excellent companion dogs. They’re known to be good with children and other pets, too. To keep the coton de Tulear's fur looking its best, it needs combing several times each week. Otherwise, the wispy, semi-long fur can quickly become tangled.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting (AKC)

    Height: 9 to 11 inches

    Weight: 8 to 15 pounds

    Coat and Color: Fluffy white coat

    Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

  • 08 of 12

    Bolognese

    Bolognese dog outside

    Sssss1gmel / Getty Images

    This friendly white dog breed is small with long, fluffy fur. The breed developed in the city of Bologna in northern Italy from bichons. As a result, these two white dog breeds share many similarities. However, the Bolognese has a more casual appearance when compared to the tighter curls and groomed look of the bichon. The Bolognese is known to be a calm and even shy dog breed compared to the bold, ready-to-go personality of the bichon. The semi-long fur of the Bolognese needs regular attention to keep it from becoming tangled and wild. Brushing its coat several times a week will keep mats from forming. In addition, some Bolognese owners choose to clip the dog’s coat to reduce maintenance further.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Not AKC-recognized; Foundational Stock Service (AKC)

    Height: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: 5.5 to 9 pounds

    Coat and Color: Long, curly hair that is always solid white; a black nose and dark eyes

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12

    Dogo Argentino

    Dogo Argentino

    DircinhaSW / Getty Images

    The Dogo Argentino is one of the most powerful white dog breeds. The short, smooth coat is always white, though a single dark patch over an eye or ear is acceptable. It developed in the early 1920s to hunt large game in Argentina. These dogs have gained attention for their strength, courage, and loyalty. While they require an experienced owner, they are affectionate family dogs and generally love children. The white coat of a Dogo Argentino isn’t known to shed profusely or get smelly. They one of the easiest white dog breeds to care for when it comes to grooming. However, beware of direct sunlight since their short, white coat makes them susceptible to sunburn.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 23 to 27 inches

    Weight: 80 to 100 pounds

    Coat and Color: All-white, smooth and short coat

    Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years

  • 10 of 12

    Japanese Spitz

    Japanese spitz

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    The snowy white Japanese spitz is a rare white dog breed. Like other spitz-type breeds, these dogs have a curled tail, a dense coat of medium-length, and an alert expression. The Japanese spitz is a small-to-medium-sized dog that is very adaptable to living in spaces large or small. Despite this dog’s fluffy coat, they’re not considered heavy shedders (outside of seasonal coat shedding twice a year). Regularly brush and occasionally bathe a Japanese spitz to keep loose hair to a minimum.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Not-AKC recognized; Foundational Stock Service (AKC)

    Height: 12 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder

    Weight: 10 to 25 pounds

    Coat and Color: Straight and stand-off outer coat paired with a short, soft, dense undercoat; dark eyes, nose, and lips

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 11 of 12

    Komondor

    Komondor against grass

    Slowmotiongli / Getty Images

    At a glance in an open field, you might mistake the Komondor for a fuzzy sheep. These large white dogs have long cords of fur, making them look like the sheep they were entrusted with guarding. The Komondor originated in Hungary for livestock guarding and today are one most recognizable dogs for their unique textured all-white coat.

    The Komondor’s coat begins to cord between eight and 12 months of age. It takes a measure of commitment to keep the cords clean and odor-free. Of course, you can’t brush the fur, but regular bathing and thorough drying (usually with a fan) are essential. The Komondor Club of America gives this advice: “The best way to keep a Komondor clean is never to allow it to get dirty.”

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 26 to 28 inches

    Weight: 80 pounds and up

    Coat and Color: White corded coat

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

  • 12 of 12

    Kuvasz

    Kuvasz lying down

    Susanna Cesareo / Getty Images

    Another large white dog breed, the kuvasz is a Hungarian livestock guardian. These dogs have a thick, double coat of solid white fur that helps insulate them against fluctuating temperatures. The texture varies from straight to wavy. They shed a considerable amount, so be prepared to make regular brushing part of your weekly routine. Also, expect the kuvasz to shed its coat twice a year.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working (AKC)

    Height: 26 to 30 inches

    Weight: 70 to 115 pounds

    Coat and Color: Thick double coat that is straight to slightly wavy but always solid white

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Breeds to Avoid

One out of every 10 Dogo Argentino puppies is born deaf in one or both ears. In most cases, it is due to pigment-related deafness. This condition is more prevalent in dogs that are white-coated, piebald, merle, or roan. All-white dogs are at a higher predisposition than other dogs. Of all the white dog breeds, the highest-maintenance dog is the Komondor. If you are a shepherd tending to a flock, then this is your dog. Otherwise, the unique corded coats require great care. If they do not get regular bathing or correct care, such as hair drying between baths, their coat may get musty, mildewed, or harbor bacteria.