White dog breeds that may be perfect for your family
When you picture the perfect dog, do you imagine snuggling up to a white fluffball? Many white dogs make great family pets, and one might be the perfect dog for you. Although many canine breeds come in a variety of colors, including white, and multicolored dogs may have partially white coats, some breeds have naturally pure white coats.
A white coat may or may not be the result of a genetic mutation. Dogs who normally have a colored coat may be born with a white coat because their DNA has a mutation that causes a lack of pigment. These dogs can be beautiful, but they often have additional genetic mutations, such as deafness, so ask your family veterinarian to evaluate a white dog you are considering adopting to be aware of any medical problems before you make a commitment.
If you are looking for a naturally white dog, one of these breeds may be perfect for you.
Small white dog breeds
Bichon frises are charming, happy-go-lucky dogs who are easy to love. They are alert and curious, and are adaptable to most living situations, including small apartments and condominiums. At only 12 to 18 pounds, they make excellent pets for the elderly, as well as those who don’t want a large, rambunctious pet. Bichons also make good family pets, but they require some training to prevent them from falling into the yappy, nippy small-dog stereotypes.
A fluffy, cotton-like coat is the bichon frise’s hallmark identifying feature. Although bichons do not shed, their curly hair requires daily brushing and regular professional grooming to prevent painful mats. White haired pets also have more noticeable tear staining than dark pets. If tear staining appears the owner should have the eyes and tear ducts checked by a vet.
If you are looking for a loving, pint-sized companion, look no further than the Maltese, who are lively and bright, and love to show off by learning tricks to entertain their owners. Weighing less than 10 pounds, the Maltese make affectionate lap dogs. Care should be taken by families with small children, who may inadvertently injure the tiny dog.
The Maltese has a silky, white coat that will need daily brushing and regular grooming. Maintaining the beautiful, swishing coat seen in the show ring takes effort, and many owners opt to keep their Maltese trimmed short to prevent mats.
West Highland white terrier
True to the terrier line, West Highland white terriers were originally bred as rodent hunters. They are high-energy dogs who love to dig and chase smaller animals, and can develop destructive behaviors if not given plenty of play and exercise. Westies can make great pets for anyone willing to handle their barking and provide daily outlets for their energy.
The Westie’s rough, double white coat is coarse rather than soft and fluffy. Weekly brushing and occasional grooming will keep mats and shedding under control, although most owners keep their Westies trimmed fairly short. West Highland terriers are also prone to allergies.
Medium-size white dog breeds
American Eskimo dog
American Eskimos are bred in three sizes—toy (approximately 6 to 10 pounds), miniature (approximately 11 to 20 pounds), and standard (more than 20 pounds)—although their exuberant, active personalities shine through, regardless of size. American Eskimos are clever and curious dogs, and require daily exercise to prevent boredom. They form strong bonds with their family members, and are generally kid-friendly, although they may not tolerate rough handling by young children.
American Eskimos have a bright white, double coat with a longer mane around the chest and shoulders. The thick coat needs brushing several times a week to prevent mats and keep up with shedding, especially in the spring and fall.
Samoyeds are smart, active dogs who require daily exercise, but they can make gentle, calm family pets if they have opportunities to run and play. Samoyeds bond deeply, and they love attention and quality time with their family members. They are clever and can pick up on commands quickly, but can also be stubborn and independent, which can make training a challenge.
Samoyeds, who usually weigh between 35 and 65 pounds, have a thick, fluffy, white coat that sheds, especially during season changes. Their double coat requires frequent brushing to prevent mats and tangles.
Large white dog breeds
Great Pyrenees dogs were bred to guard sheep in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, and their thick fur coat protects them from brutally cold temperatures. They are large, powerful dogs who weigh upward of 85 pounds. As family pets, they are generally friendly and welcoming to strangers, but will protect their loved ones if threatened. Although they are working dogs, Great Pyrenees require only moderate exercise, and a daily walk should keep them calm.
The Great Pyrenees’ thick white coat sheds significantly, and although their hair is somewhat tangle-resistant, they require daily brushing to keep up with loose hair.
Komondorok (i.e., the Hungarian plural of Komondor) are also large, powerful, working dogs bred to guard livestock. They are brave and independent, and although they can make gentle, affectionate family pets, their protective nature can make them overly cautious around people they think may threaten their family. Komondor puppies are active, but they settle down into calm adults who typically require only a daily walk. Full-grown adults typically weigh more than 80 pounds.
The Komondor’s distinguishing feature is a unique, mop-like, corded coat, which begins to cord at about 8 months of age. The cords, which must be regularly separated to prevent matting, do tend to retain dirt, and adults won’t have a bright white coat like the puppies.
However you picture your perfect white dog—long-haired or short, fluffy or smooth, toy-size or giant—there is a breed for you. Take care to thoroughly research the breeds before you choose, and select a pet whose exercise and grooming requirements will accommodate your lifestyle. Make sure they’re protected and learn more about how Trupanion’s dog insurance can help in the event of injury or illness.