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Fluffy Dog Breeds: All the Poofiness You Can Handle

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“It’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die!” You know you’ve recited that famous line from Despicable Me in the back of your mind when you’ve seen a dog or two. The longer the hair and the more it dances in the air, the greater your desire to snuggle the pup close to your chest. You KNOW those canines will be soft as a downy cloud. It’s not to say short-haired dogs aren’t soft (they usually are). But there’s something about fluffy dog breeds that immediately screams SOFT to our brains. And while you may start thinking of the world’s best plush toy, all of that hair comes with A LOT of responsibility. So before you rush out for your next cuddly pup, make sure you’re prepared.

The Cost of Floof

Nothing says “fluffy” quite like long, luxurious hair. It’s incredibly light, incredibly soft, and incredibly challenging to manage. Fluffy dog breeds aren’t the easiest in terms of care. (You’ll want to consider a short-haired dog for that) Having your own snuggle companion means investing some extra time in grooming AND taking care of the house.

Fluffy Dog Hair Maintenance

All of that beautiful fluff isn’t exactly self-maintaining. Whether you have a pup with hair or fur, you’re going to need to care for it yourself. That means brushing…and brushing…and more brushing. Some fluffy dog breeds get away with weekly visits with a brush, but others? You’ll want to set aside a part of EVERY DAY if you want to avoid mats and knots.

You’ll also need a selection of different brushes for these super-soft pups, depending on their coat:

  • De-Shedder: As you might guess, this brush helps remove that THICK undercoat.
  • Pin Brush: Wire pins with a plastic or rubber coating to help remove loose fur and tangles.
  • Slicker Brush: The slicker looks like a pin, but it doesn’t have the coating.
  • Undercoat Rake: With HEAVY coats, this pin brush-like tool gets through that undercoat.

And the work doesn’t stop there. Fluffy dog breeds need baths, too! After all, so much fluff can’t help but get dirty. You’ll want to use a proper dog-safe shampoo to keep their soft floof looking its absolute best. You can try using dog wipes, but keep in mind the AMOUNT of hair you’ll need to clean. (They may not suffice)

Hair, Hair, Everywhere

Hopefully, you’re not thinking a fluffy dog breed will work with your allergies. They’re the LEAST hypoallergenic of any dog breed you could think of. Why? They’re HEAVY shedders.

These canines come with double coats. And twice a year (in the autumn and spring), they blow out that coat. This means you will swear you have twice the number of dogs in the house as the hair comes off in CLUMPS. Make sure you have a top-quality pet vacuum to keep up with the fur tumbleweeds.

If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your favorite groomer. They’ll know exactly what to do to help control that blowout of fur. You can also ask for a demonstration of the de-shedder and undercoat rake.

To limit the fluff explosion inside, take your pup OUTSIDE. Birds and squirrels always appreciate the hair to line their nests. It’s a nice green option that keeps the fur OUT of your house.

And Don’t Forget…

Fluffiness doesn’t confine itself to a dog’s body. All of that extra hair grows EVERYWHERE. As such, you need to keep up with cleaning your pup’s ears and nails.

Long hair often obscures your dog’s nails. If the claw gets overgrown, it can tangle in the hair. Then your dog ends up with extremely painful feet – from two sides. You should always make a thorough check of each toe when you perform your mani-pedis.

And while those poofy ears are extremely adorable, excessive hair growth in the ears often leads to problems. If you don’t feel comfortable plucking ear hair (perfectly understandable – it takes some practice), chat with your groomer. They understand the process and add it into the regime when they see to the rest of your walking teddy bear’s grooming needs.

Fluffy Dog Breeds

“Fluff” can come from hair or fur. The definition is up to you. Most people agree, though: fluffy dog breeds make them think of a snuggly stuffed animal. And you can find that cuddle factor in every size of canine. So as long as you’re not going to go into a sneezing fit when the shedding season comes around, there’s a fluffy pup out there for you. (If you DO have allergies, you may want to stick to admiring photos)

Small Fluffy Dog Breeds

When you go small, “fluffy” and “teddy bear” just make sense. Many of the smaller breeds sport coats that meet the definition of soft. And depending on how you keep their hair trimmed, you can maximize that floof. They’re the perfect snuggle companions – and they’re more than happy to live up to that reputation.

  • Bichon Frise: Bichons have a coat made of hair, not fur. So if you let it grow out, rather than trimming it in the usual “teddy bear” cut, you can get the breed standard which is nothing but a fluffy dog! The soft frizzy hair begs to get touched. It’s a match to their mischievous personalities. And since they get along well with everyone, from kids to cats, you have no fears about adding them to the household.
  • Coton de Tulear: When you see the “cotton” in their name, there’s no question Cotons belong in the fluffy dog breed group. They have some of the softest fur you’ll find. And since they have personalities like Velcro, you’ll get plenty of chances to snuggle close. They enjoy doing everything with you. They’re also incredibly intelligent, making it fun to work on training and other games.
  • Pomeranian: Poms incorporate a double-coat AND a “frill” over their chest to achieve their fluffy look. It’s a lot of fur, but they’re (surprisingly) not heavy shedders. You’ll still need to brush them a few times a week and cope with that twice-yearly blowout, but otherwise, they’re not as difficult to manage, grooming-wise. Which gives you more time to cuddle!

Medium and Large Fluffy Dog Breeds

What happens you go up the fluffy dog breed ladder? You get more softness to snuggle with! You also have to take into consideration the amount of grooming work you’ll need to put in. As the dog’s size increases, so does the amount of hair you can expect to find scattered throughout the house every shedding season. It’s a trade-off most fluffy dog lovers find worth it.

  • Alaskan Malamute: Some may argue any Husky’s fluffy, but the Malamute carries an EXTRA thick coat. They’re known for their work ethic, taking on sledding, hiking, and backpacking tasks. They WILL pull, dig, and chase, though, which makes them a challenge to own. First-time owners should steer clear – and not just because they’ll need to brush out these pups twice a week!
  • American Eskimo Dog: Eskies (as they’re known) take their fluff and spin it around in a bundle of energy. They’re incredibly intelligent, and if you don’t keep them entertained and occupied, they’re prone to destructive behaviors. They have a lion-like mane that contributes to their spot on the fluffy dog breed list, and they shed CONSTANTLY. You’ll need to keep up with brushing. You can skip frequent baths, though – it’ll strip the special oil in their coat.
  • Bearded Collie: All Collie breeds enjoy work to do, and Beardeds are no exception. They’re intelligent, and when they get bored, they start exploring – something that can land them in trouble. They have LONG hair prone to matting if you don’t stay on top of your brushing. And since they often take off without permission, you’ll find yourself needing to step up bath time to keep those locks clean.
  • Chow Chow: No one questions the Chow Chow’s place on the fluffy dog breed list! These regal pups look like golden, puffy lions from every angle. They come in two different coats – smooth and rough – but BOTH require daily grooming during the shedding season. If you have a smooth-coated Chow Chow, though, you only need to brush them once a week.
  • Keeshond: Keeshonden (yes, that’s the plural) originated in Holland and shared ancestry with the Pomeranian and Samoyed. This adorable floof is extremely social and WON’T tolerate getting left alone. This is fine, as you’ll spend A LOT of time brushing out all of that amazing fluff to keep the hair under control. Something your Keeshond will likely remind you of as they’re incredibly vocal – barking AND yelling.
  • Rough Collie: You got it – Lassie. The Rough Collie comes in almost any color you can think of. And if you skimp on the brushing, all of that soft hair ends up matted. The worst matting tends to occur behind the ears and in the undercoat – where you may not see it. Curiously, once spayed, female Rough Collies only shed once a year. Males? They shed on their birthdays!

Giant Fluffy Dog Breeds

Think about it: a GIANT teddy bear! Can you imagine how amazing it must be to share a home with an enormous fluffy dog breed? True, the entire house probably gets covered in fur during shedding season (NOT a place for someone with even mild allergies), but the SNUGGLE possibilities! You wouldn’t even need a blanket in the winter. You could just cozy up with your pup and stay perfectly warm. It’s a dream come true!

  • Great Pyrenees: You don’t get a much bigger fluffy dog breed than the Great Pyrenees! These white bundles of floof can stand as high as 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh more than 100 pounds! That’s PLENTY of snuggle power. They’ve retained the protective instincts they were bred for, making them ideal for families. And they’ve retained the thick double-coat that kept them warm in the mountains. You’ll want to brush them out a few times a week and bathe them every 3-4 months.
  • Newfoundland: Newfies make a stunning sight, walking down the street in all of their fluffy glory. Especially because they’re usually standing at the end of a leash with a small child! The sweet temperament matches the oh-so-soft exterior, and they love everyone in the family, from the kids down to the cat (who probably appreciates their floof, too!). They like to swim, though, so be prepared to brush them out afterward to prevent matting. Otherwise, the coat doesn’t collect dirt easily.
  • Old English Sheepdog: Sheepdogs are every bit as soft and fluffy as the herds they kept watch over. That thick shaggy coat covers an equally massive dog – they often weigh around 100 pounds! And the fur grows all over, even covering their eyes. Many owners tie the hair back to help the pups see better. You’ll need to work hard to keep the coat clean and free of tangles – all the way down past a THICK undercoat. Good thing they’re calm, homebodies!

Snuggle Time!

Nothing beats cuddling with your dog. And when you have one of the fluffy dog breeds, that snuggle time is all the sweeter. They’re too soft to resist! Sure, you need to put in extra time to keep their hair that soft and sleek. And you have to put up with some extra work every shedding season. But is it worth it?

When you’re talking fluffy, it’s ALWAYS worth it!

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Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy

Andria Kennedy worked as a Licensed Veterinary Technician for 10 years, focusing on Emergency/ICU and later Cardiology, as well as volunteering at both the Philadelphia Zoo and Virginia Living Museum for over six years. She's now a freelance writer, but she gravitates toward writing projects with a focus on animals (once an animal-lover, always an animal-lover). She lives in Virginia with her husband, three cats (one "works" as her personal assistant), and a Greyhound who thinks she's a big cat — all of them rescues.

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