There are at least a dozen white dog breeds. While many of the most popular breeds are small companion dogs, there are also strong, powerful large breed dogs that sport a white coat. It’s true that many dog breeds have the possibility of a white coat.
Here are 12 dog breeds exclusively white in color (with the exception of a few breeds that allow shading or a single spot).
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A regal-looking white dog 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 you consider that this dog breed originated in Siberia.
The Samoyed people, from whom the dog breed acquired its name, used these strong and cold-weather tolerant dogs to herd reindeer, pull sledges, and hunt. A spitz-type dog, 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 considered to be an all-white breed, some mature into a coat that is cream or biscuit-colored. 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.
Height: 19 to 24 inches
Weight: 35 to 65 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Alert expression; thick double coat; colors include white, cream, and biscuit
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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 popular companion dog, though some owners opt to keep it clipped short. Either way, 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 hair out of their eyes.
Height: 8 to 10 inches
Weight: 4 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Petite body with solid white fur that is long and silky; dark alert eyes and black nose
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As you may have guessed from the name, 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 on hunting excursions.
Today, the Westie is primarily a companion dog and is intelligent and playful. Keep the white coat looking its best with consistent brushing each week and regular visits to the groomer every four to six weeks.
Height: 10 to 11 inches
Weight: 13 to 20 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Small in stature with white fur and a medium-length double coat
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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 which size we’re discussing, the fluffy white coat and alert expression remain the same for this white dog breed. The breed is known for being highly intelligent, and even enjoyed great fame performing in circus acts during the early 1900’s.
The Eskie, as the breed is affectionately referred to, actually was developed in the midwestern United States at the end of the 19th century and used to be known as the German spitz. Originally used as farm dogs by German settlers, the breed developed into the snowy white version we know today. After World War I, the breed’s name was changed to American Eskimo and they earned AKC recognition in 1995.
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
Physical Characteristics: Compactly built, small to medium-sized spitz breed with an all-white, stand-off double coatContinue to 5 of 12 below.
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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.
Height: 9 to 12 inches
Weight: 7 to 12 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Fluffy and curly white hair (may have traces of apricot, buff, or cream), resembling a cotton ball or powder puff
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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 is thought to have originated in Central Asia centuries ago, but acquired its name and modern type 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.
Height: 25 to 32 inches
Weight: 85 pounds and up
Physical Characteristics: Thick double coat; colors include white with gray, red, or tan markings
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This small white dog was formerly a jealously-guarded pet to the elite of Madagascar, off the coast of Africa. It’s believed that the early ancestors of these dogs were seafaring pups that kept sailors company. So it’s no surprise that these small but sturdy pups make excellent companion dogs. They’re known to be good with children and other pets, too.
Keeping the white fur of the Coton de Tulear looking its best means committing to combing it several times each week. Otherwise, the wispy, semi-long fur can easily become tangled.
Height: 9 to 11 inches
Weight: 8 to 15 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Fluffy white coat; sturdy and small body; rounded eyes; triangular head; lively and inquisitive expression
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This friendly white dog breed is small in size, with long, fluffy fur. Interestingly, the breed as we know it today was 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. In addition, the Bolognese is known to be a calm and even shy dog breed when compared with the bold, ready-to-go personality of the Bichon.
The semi-long fur of the Bolognese will need regular attention to keep it from becoming tangled and wild. While the look of this dog is not one of extreme neatness, brushing several times a week will keep mats from forming. In addition, some Bolognese owners choose to clip the dog’s coat to further reduce maintenance.
Height: 10 to 12 inches
Weight: 5.5 to 9 pounds
Physical Characteristics: A petite dog with long, curly hair that is always solid white; a black nose and dark eyes peek out from the dog's coatContinue to 9 of 12 below.
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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. Developed in the early 1920’s to hunt large game in Argentina, these dogs have gained attention for their strength, courage, and loyalty. While they require an experienced owner to properly direct their size and strength into productive uses, they are known to be affectionate family dogs and generally love children.
The white coat of a Dogo Argentino isn’t known to shed profusely and these dogs have little ‘doggy odor.’ So, they’re some of the easiest white dog breeds to care for when it comes to grooming! However, use caution when spending a lot of time in direct sunlight with your Dogo Argentino. The short, white coat leaves them susceptible to sunburn.
Height: 23 to 27 inches
Weight: 80 to 100 pounds
Physical Characteristics: A muscular, athletic breed that is sometimes confused with an American Pit Bull Terrier; much larger and has an all-white, smooth and short coat
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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 size dog that is very adaptable to living in spaces large or small.
Despite this dog’s fluffy coat, they’re not considered to be 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.
Height: 12 to 15 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 10 to 25 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Straight and stand-off outer coat paired with a short, soft, dense undercoat with pointed muzzle and dark eyes, nose, and lips
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At a quick glance in an open field, you might mistake the Komondor for a fuzzy sheep. These large white dogs have long cords of fur, giving them a resemblance to the sheep they were entrusted to guard. The Komondor originated in Hungary for livestock guarding and today are most recognizable for the unique texture and appearance of their 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) is important. The Komondor Club of America gives this advice: “The best way to keep a Komondor clean is never to allow it to get dirty.”
Height: 26 to 28 inches
Weight: 80 pounds and up
Physical Characteristics: White corded coat; large head; deep chest and muscular body
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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 to insulate them against fluctuating temperatures. The texture may vary from straight to wavy. They do shed a considerable amount, so be prepared to make regular brushing part of your weekly routine. This will be especially important when the Kuvasz sheds its coat twice a year.
Height: 28 to 30 inches (males); 26 to 28 inches (females)
Weight: 100 to 115 pounds (males); 70 to 90 pounds (females)
Physical Characteristics: Large breed with square head and folded ears; thick double coat that is straight to slightly wavy but always solid white