By Janice Jones | Last updated 11-22-2021
Fluffy small breed dogs seem to be getting more popular these days and we wanted to know why.
According to the American Kennel Club, the most popular breed in the U.S. is the Labrador Retriever, neither small nor fluffy, but when you clump fluffiness into a category of its own, the cuteness factor clicks on, and people’s hearts begin to melt.
The breeds originate in different countries, their personalities vary widely, and their care and grooming needs are even different.
But what they do have in common is their size and length of hair. All are small, many very small. They have hair that grows often without much shedding involved making them very hairy dogs. But what distinguishes them as a unique group of canines?
That is easy.
It is the tendency to cause humans to go into a cuteness overload, which we have not been able to find a cure for as of now.
27 Fluffy Small Breed Dogs
There is a downside. When people fall head over heels
in love with fluffiness, their sweet fluffy small breed dog begins to feel they
just might own the world.
Of course, this is not a genetic problem, but
a people problem, so if you decide that one of these fluffy small breed dogs will be your next
best friend, be sure to include time in your schedule for a little training and
Beyond that, fluff means you’ll be spending some grooming those velvety soft (maybe fuzzy) hairdos.
27 of the World’s Fluffy Small Breed Dogs
These fluffy small breed dogs are listed in alphabetical
We don’t want to be accused of playing favorites to any of these fluffy small breed dogs. It hard not to love them all!
1. American Eskimo Dog
The American Eskimo Dog comes in three sizes, but the one we
feature on this site is the toy version which 9–12 inches (22.9
– 30.5 cm) and 6–10 lbs. (2.7-4.5 kg.).
Eskies as they are often called were once
circus performers because of their high intelligence and ability to
Today, they make loyal family
companions who excel in problem solving tasks.
Their long thick coat is comprised of a dense under coat and a straight
Brushing is necessary
because these dogs do shed and frequent brushing helps keep some of the hair
from covering the house.
2. Bichon Frisé
For the fluffy dog lover, the Bichon Frisé may be the Pièce
With all that hair and
large dark eyes, a Bichon puppy is irresistible. Gentle, affectionate, and cheerful, these
dogs love everyone. With all that charm
and good looks, what more could you want.
Well, for one, they are also intelligent and clownish making them a great
choice as a family dog.
But someone in
the family will need to take over the grooming tasks, as these fluffy small breed dogs need daily
brushing to stay looking great.
dogs also sometimes have problems with tear or face stains, so be prepared to
deal with that too. Overall, they are a
3. Biewer Terrier
At first glance, the Biewer Terrier looks like a colorful tricolored Yorkie or a hybrid mix between a Maltese and Yorkie (Morkie).
It is neither and to prove it belongs to a breed of its own, the American Kennel Club welcomed them into their Foundation Stock Service Program (FSS) in April of 2014 announcing that there were enough genetic differences to set them apart from the Yorkshire terrier.
Here is a modern breed in the making right before our very eyes.
Pronounced “Bee-Vair,” the breed was first discovered and developed in Germany by a couple, Werner and Gertrude Biewer, Yorkshire terrier breeders. They mated two of their dogs together in 1984 and produced a blue, gold, and white dog named Schneeflocken von Friedheck. The explanation for this unusual “Yorkie” was a rare recessive piebald gene mutation.
Is it real or just a stuffed dog? Sometimes it might be difficult to tell.
They have a plush thick coat, round dark eyes
and a button nose making them a picture perfect rendition of a sweet stuffed
toy. But they are not stuffed, at least
not with the materials normally used in toys.
Rather, they are stuffed with personality, charm, and intelligence. They are less active than most fluffy small breed
dogs which make them perfect for apartment living.
But that plush coat does require some work,
so purchase a few good brushes, and get to work.
5. Chinese Imperial
This is much controversy about these dogs. In one camp are the Shih Tzu breeders that
say the Chinese Imperial is just another Shih Tzu dog who might be the runt of
On the other side are breeders
who breed only small size Tzu in the 3 to 8 pound range.
Is there an Imperial gene? No one has proven it but there are certainly
plenty of very small Shih Tzu dogs out there doing just fine.
If you want small and fluffy, these might be
the dogs for you, but expect to pay a high price, as they do not come cheap.
6. Long-Haired Chihuahua
Loyal, feisty Chihuahuas, are you wondering if this tiny breed might be right for you?
The Chi is one of the most popular dog breeds in America.
Some think the popularity of the breed can be attributed to the hit movie, “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” or “Legally Blond” in the 1990s or the seemingly over abundance of them in the the arms of Hollywood starlets.
Others remember the Taco Bell Commercial with the talking dog, Gidget and her famous line,”Yo Quiero Taco Bell”
7. Chinese Crested Powderpuff
The Chinese Crested Powderpuff maybe one of those best-kept secrets of the dog world—gentle, happy, loving and totally devoted to his owner.
Many people label their small breed dog a Velcro dog because they tend to follow you everywhere, and no dog deserves this description more than the Chinese Crested.
Many people know the breed through their notoriety in the annual Ugliest Dog Contest. However, that does not begin to do the breed justice.
Sometimes affectionately called the Dr. Seuss dog because the hairless variety can resemble some of the unusual characters imagined by the famous children’s author and illustrator.
8. Coton de Tulear
You cannot get much fluffier than a Coton. The texture of the hair is cottony soft and
if you want something wonderful to touch and pet, the Coton should be your
But do not pick a dog just
because he is soft and cottony. Luckily,
the Coton offers much more to his owner than his amazing coat.
They are a sturdy breed who loves to romp and
play, snuggle or just plain sit and try to figure out their owner.
They make great pets, but beware; they are
still very rare, at least in the U.S. so it might take some time to find the
one of your dreams.
9. Dandie Dinmont Terrier
One might not think of a terrier as being “fluffy,” but the
Dandie is different from most terriers.
They also make wonderful family pets.
They are smart, loving, and loyal, but expect to look long and hard for
Their price may not reflect
their rare status, but at least in the United States, they are very hard to
In fact, you might go a lifetime
before you ever see one out and about. Still, you might want to add this to your fluffy small breed dogs list to check out.
Here is a winner if you are looking for a family dog with a
big personality. They get along with everybody including other pets.
While not yappy, they will alert you if
someone comes to your door. They are
intelligent and need some stimulation to stay out of trouble.
Even though they are small, they are sturdy
With all that fluffiness
comes some grooming, so be prepare for brushing, combing, and everything else
that goes along with owning a fluffy dog.
11. Icelandic Sheepdog
The Icelandic Sheepdog is an old breed that has stayed around for a reason. This breed is loyal, cheerful, attentive and hardy with plenty of energy to play. At the same time, they are affectionate and ready to cuddle with their family. They have a personality that will make them fit right in as a member of the family.
12. Japanese Chin
A highly sensitive dog, these dogs bond closely with their
owners and make the perfect loyal companion.
As an adult they have a wonderful thick coat, but it takes a while to
grow it all in so do not expect the puppy to be as fluffy as say, some of the
other breeds mentioned on this page.
They do shed and brushing daily is recommended to keep the Chin looking
These are quiet dogs and do great
in apartments, but they still enjoy a daily walk.
Since they are not a common breed, it might
take longer to find the puppy of your dreams, but the wait is well worth it.
13. Japanese Spitz
Just a quick look at the Japanese Spitz and you’ll know why we added this pup to our list of fluffy small breed dogs.
Intelligent and energetic, the Japanese Spitz makes a great
family dog. They love to please and will
remain loyal to all that love them.
sport a thick coat, as is the case with all the Spitz breeds that has a dense
undercoat and straight outer coat. Much
brushing is needed as these dogs do shed.
Be prepared for hair around the house even with the daily brushing and
But, if fluffy is what you want
along with an amazing family dog that does very well with children, this might
be the breed for you.
More About the Japanese Spitz
14. Lhasa Apso
Here is a highly adaptable dog that loves the creature
comforts of life. They do not need much
exercise but appreciate a daily walk.
They love their families and try to please so training as long as it is
positive can be very rewarding.
a little wary around strangers. They use
their keen sense of hearing to alert you to anyone who comes nearby. For these reasons, they make excellent watchdogs.
As far as the fluffy factor is concerned,
they have their fair share, which means daily grooming to keep those locks
If you are looking for a clown or a built in entertainer,
this might just be the perfect breed for you.
They love being in the limelight and just in case you might be busy
doing something else, they will help you remember that they are there ready to
entertain and be entertained.
little lion dog, because after having he classic cut for this breed, they
resemble a lion, mane and all. Prepare
to groom, as they are fluffy and do best with a daily brushing.
A real charmer in a tiny body, these dogs are happy to be by
your side, on your lap or sharing your pillow at night.
They are fluffy and with all that fluff, you
will need to spend time grooming: brushing
and combing to keep mats at bay, but most Maltese can be trained to enjoy
grooming if the training starts early.
Since they are tiny, the best homes for these pups are with families
with older children, couples, and singles.
Does the Papillon look like a butterfly to you? It must have resembled one long ago, as this
is how they got the name.
butterfly in French and my guess is that the breed’s amazing ears had something
to do with their name.
friendly, outgoing, and happy with some energy to spare. There will not be a dull moment in a
household owned by a Papillon.
owners state that they never outgrow their puppy years when it comes to playfulness. With all that charm and fluffiness, where can
you go wrong!
Since they have a single
coat, they maybe just a little easier to groom, but still plan on regular
brushing to keep mats away.
The breed is not an AKC recognized breed and is classified now as a “Rare Dog Breed”.
Both the IMR (International Mi-ki Registry) and the AMRA (American Mi-Ki Registry Association) are in the process of keeping strict breeding programs with DNA profiling through the United Kennel Club, Inc.
The breed is a highly intelligent little muse who can charm the pants off anyone. This is a non-shedding breed with hair instead of fur, which is a plus in houses like ours with allergies.
I do not think it gets any fluffier that this! They look like royalty and display an aura of
nobility, but then they have been bred for centuries to be a companion
They are loving, sweet and
affectionate to their families but also wary of strangers making them good watchdogs.
A little unpredictable around children, these
dogs are best for families with older children, couples, and singles.
Grooming will require some of your time, but
because they do not require too much exercise, you still have time left over
for some fun and games.
little fluff balls are the happy go lucky fellows of the canine world. They are energetic, bouncy and crave
If trained early their
tendency to be yappy can be reduced and because they are a highly intelligent
breed, training maybe easier to accomplish.
They are fragile, so they might not be the perfect choice for families
with small children, but with owners who understand them, they are very loyal,
and can spend hours on your lap if you allow it.
Prepare for a little wrist action with your
brush, though as their fluffiness needs attention daily.
The poodle does not have to be fluffy if you choose to keep
him clipped short, but with a body of hair that continues to grow and grow, you
will spend a lot of time at the groomers.
That curly hair can be blown dry and brushed with a slicker brush to
achieve one the fluffiest hairdos in all of canine-dom.
Think Poodle Show Dog, if you can’t understand why we added this to our list of fluffy small breed dogs.
Some owners prefer the groomer route so they
have more time to play with, exercise, and train these remarkably smart
22. Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka
Of all the fluffy small breed dogs, this one might be the rarest, at least in the United States.
These spunky dogs can satisfy most of their energy needs
indoors eliminating the need for a large backyard. They are intelligent and sociable and make
great lap dogs.
They come in a wide
variety of colors and according to the standard, any color But white is
Their coat is long, soft,
and wavy to curly. They require regular
brushing, but the grooming requirements of this breed might not be as great as
some other long coated small dogs.
These dogs are considered a rare breed so please
be forewarned: There might be an
extensive wait to find the perfect puppy and most come with a hefty price tag.
23. Shetland Sheepdog
If you think you want a fluffy small breed dog, the Sheltie might have what you want.
Fun loving, devoted, and smart are three words to describe
the personality of a Sheltie. They may
look like a miniature collie, but they are breed of their own.
They are a good choice for a family and thrive
in a suburban or rural setting. Being a
little yappy, they may not be perfect for apartment living.
They fit the bill of fluffy because they have
a thick double coat that consists of a harder outer coat and soft inner layer
that does mat easily if not brushed.
They usually shed about once per year; when this is happening, daily
brushing is necessary to control all that hair.
In the meantime, a good brushing with a pin or slicker brush and an
undercoat rake works well to keep them looking their best.
24. Shih Tzu
Perhaps one of the most popular fluffy dogs, the Shih Tzu
provides their owner with the fluffy cute look but does not stop there. Personality plus!
These dogs are sweet, devoted, playful, and
sturdy. These fluffy small breed dogs will warm your lap as they stare into your soul with their large round eyes.
Most Shih Tzu dogs have a
stubborn side, but if you find the appropriate motivator, you can easily train
most of them to basic commands and more.
Be careful where you purchase one, though, as health issues have surfaced
because of their popularity due to over breeding.
25. Tibetan Spaniel
26. Tibetan Terrier
Tibetan Terriers resemble miniature versions of the Old
Although not as small
as most breeds featured on this website, they are small enough to be mentioned,
weighing in at between 18 and 30 pounds.(8 to 14 kg).
They have a moderate to high energy level so
daily exercise is a must, but they are sociable and gentle, almost laid back
in temperament and make great family pets.
Their double coat consists of a thick warm undercoat and a top coat that
is soft with the texture of human hair.
Once a puppy’s adult coat grows in, they need regular grooming, brushing,
and combing to prevent mats from forming.
More about the Tibetan Terrier
27. Volpino Italiano
So, this is our list of fluffy small breed dogs. What do you think? Do you own one of these fluffy small breed dogs and want to tell us about your pet?
Do you have a different fluffy small breed dog that we forgot to list? Tell us too. Use the form below to tell the world about your fluffy small breed dogs.
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