35 Small & Fluffy Dog Breeds

Table of Contents

fluffy puppy from behind

Let’s admit it – small and fluffy dogs are absolutely adorable. While all dogs were once quite large and not-so-fluffy, there are several breeds today that fit into this category. If you live in an apartment or are looking for a small dog for other reasons, you’ve come to the right place. 

Below, we’ve listed several small and fluffy dog breeds that may be a great option for your family.

Coton De Tulear outside front view

1. Coton De Tulear

The Coton De Tulear hails from Africa and is one of the smaller dog breeds out there, standing at only 10 inches. This small size makes them perfect for small homes and apartments, as well as those who simply can’t handle larger dogs. 

They have a beautiful white coat that needs a decent amount of grooming to stay in tip-top shape. These dogs are also extremely affectionate and require a lot of attention. We recommend only adopting them if you have the time and ability to take care of these two needs. 

2. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is another small, fluffy dog. They fall into the toy category and are primarily company animals – and it shows in their temperament. They are very people-oriented, which is great if you’re looking for a companion animal. 

However, they can also be prone to separation anxiety. Therefore, they do best with those that are home most of the time. 

Their coat is often kept trimmed when they’re solely companion animals, though you can let their coat grow out as well. 

Bichon Frise outside front view
Papillon in the forest

3. Papillon

These small dogs aren’t exactly “fluffy” in the traditional sense. Their hair is long and silky – not like the curly hair of many of the breeds on this list. They do need a bit of grooming, but substantially less so than other fluffy breeds. Papillons also don’t shed, which is always a plus. 

These dogs are companion animals, but they aren’t necessarily as people-oriented as some other breeds. They also tend to be rather noisy, so we don’t recommend them for apartments.

4. Havanese

These incredibly affectionate dogs are perfect for families looking for a companion animal. Havanese love to spend time with their people and are extremely people-oriented. They are prone to separation anxiety, which can be a problem if you live close to your neighbors. 

Of course, these dogs can be taught to live alone, but this does require some training. They will always be a bit clingier than other breeds. 

Furthermore, this is the only breed that is native to Cuba.

5. Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is native to Tibet, where it was used to guard palaces. Of course, their main function is as an alert dog since their small size makes it difficult for them to actually do anything about the intruder.

However, these dogs are very alert and can be rather noisy.  That’s what they were bred for, after all. They are very loyal to their families, but they can be extremely independent as well. 

If you’re looking for a small dog that won’t just follow you around the house all day, this may be a solid option. 

6. Pekingese

Pekingese are similar to Lhasa Apsos in function. They were bred in China as watchdogs, making them very noisy and alert. However, they are also great lapdogs and have long, flowing coats that are very soft to touch. 

However, these dogs can be difficult to train, as they tend to be rather independent. They also aren’t the most intelligent dog breed in the world, so training needs to be careful and patient. 

With that said, they are very attached to their family and perfect for experienced pet owners looking for a smaller dog.

Pekingese outdoor walks

7. Pomeranian

Pomeranians are one of the more popular fluffy dog breeds out there. They are quite small at only a few pounds and extremely fluffy. In fact, they are probably one of the fluffiest breeds out there. They are extremely confident and cuddly as well, making them a good choice for those looking for a lapdog. 

This breed absolutely does not know that they are small, and it shows in their behavior. They absolutely have “small dog syndrome,” so training is required. 

However, their fluffy coat does require plenty of grooming, so prepare to dedicate quite a bit of time to their daily grooming needs.

8. Toy Poodle

Poodles come in three different sizes, with toy being the smallest. Toy Poodles are actually very small and fall into the “toy” category – as you might have guessed from the name. 

With their soft, curly coat, these dogs do not shed. Their daily grooming needs are minimal, though dogs with longer coats will need to be brushed out daily to prevent matting. Brushing also helps remove dirt and debris from their coat, helping to keep it clean without the use of a bath. 

Poodles are extremely intelligent, even when they come in a smaller package. On the one hand, this makes them relatively easy to train and take care of. However, it also means that they can get bored easily and need plenty of mental stimulation. 

Yorkshire Terrier plays outside

9. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are well-known little dogs. They aren’t excessively fluffy like some other breeds, but they do have longer, very soft coats. Plus, their coat doesn’t take as much work as other fluffy breeds, making it perfect for those who don’t have much time to set aside for grooming purposes. 

These dogs become very attached to their owners, though. They are prone to separation anxiety if they are not taught how to be alone. For this reason, we do not recommend them for those that are out of the home a lot. They simply need more attention than most other canines out there.

10. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are one of the more popular small, fluffy dogs in the United States. You’ve probably seen at least one of these fluffy dogs before. They came from Tibet and were originally bred by Chinese royalty. Their huge eyes and fluffy coat make them very desirable for those looking for smaller dogs. 

These dogs are low-energy, but they are very people-oriented. They require plenty of attention daily. This trait also makes them prone to separation anxiety. Plus, their coat needs quite a bit of work as well

While these dogs may be very adorable, they do require a substantial amount of grooming and care. For this reason, we only recommend them for those that have plenty of time on their hands.

11. Shetland Sheepdog

The Shetland Sheepdog is absolutely not tiny like some of the other breeds we’ve gone over thus far. However, they are extremely fluffy and suitable for homes with a bit more room. They are a herding breed, making them very active and quite intelligent. They’re quick to pick up on commands and relatively easy to train. 

However, they also have a very affectionate temperament, making them great in homes with older children. Because of their herding instincts, we do not recommend them for those small children, though.

12. American Eskimo

American Eskimo dogs are medium to small dogs. They can stand anywhere from 19 to 9 inches tall. Those on the smaller size may absolutely work for families looking for smaller dogs. 

This breed is extremely active. They are also quite intelligent, which means that they require a lot of mental stimulation. Both of these traits combine to make this dog pretty high-maintenance. However, they are also fun companions and relatively easy to train. 

We recommend this breed primarily for those with previous dog experience. They require significant amounts of mental and physical stimulation, which can be difficult for new dog owners to provide.

American Eskimo sitting half-face

13. Keeshond

The Keeshond is a very affectionate, social dog. They are a bit larger at 17 to 18 inches. However, their extremely fluffy coats won them a spot on this list. 

These dogs are very people-oriented and love their families. They also love to bark, which can be a problem for those in apartments. 

Their fluffy coat does require a decent amount of grooming. It constantly sheds, which can be a problem given how fluffy it is. 

We highly recommend this dog for active households with children. They are very good with kids and can be wonderful family pets.

14. Finnish Lapphund

As their name suggests, these dogs come from Lapland in Finland. They were originally working dogs, where they were used to herd reindeer. Because of their working background, these dogs need significant amounts of exercise every day. They are very energetic and require plenty of exercises. 

They are also quite people-oriented and may bark insistently if they are left alone for long periods. They need to be crate-trained at an early age so that they are used to being alone. 

The Lapphund’s coat does shed quite a bit, so they will need daily brushing. However, that’s about all the grooming they need.

Finnish Lapphund outside walking

15. Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is a teddy bear of a dog. They are extremely fluffy, but they are also quite bulky. They can get rather large, but some of them are pretty small comparatively. They basically look like giant fluff balls, which is exactly why they ended up on this list. 

This dog is known for its bluish-black tongue, which is pretty rare in the dog world. 

While these dogs may look fluffy and adorable, they are quite protective and suspicious of strangers. They need plenty of training and socialization to get along with other dogs. They are also prone to dog-related aggression, so they don’t do well in multi-dog households. 

We only recommend these dogs for experienced owners who have plenty of time to train and socialize them. 

16. Australian Shepherds

Australian Shepherds can weigh as little as 30 pounds in some cases, with females being substantially smaller than males. While this does technically make them “medium” dogs, they can be much smaller than other dog breeds out there. 

With that said, Australian Shepherds can be a lot of work. They are very energetic and intelligent. You should expect to provide them with plenty of exercise as well as lots of mental stimulation. This breed isn’t for those that simply want to come home to wet kisses at the end of the night. They’re a lot of work!

If their needs aren’t met, these dogs can be rather destructive. They may attempt to make their own fun, which could very well mean eating your drywall.

Australian Shepherd portrait in the forest
Border Collie hiding in grass

17. Border Collies

Border Collies are some of the smartest dogs out there. They are also relatively small in some cases, with the smallest dogs being about 27 pounds. These dogs are extremely trainable and are known for quickly picking up on commands. However, this high intelligence also means that they can be quite a bit of work. 

Like other intelligent dogs, you’ll need to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation. This can be in the form of training or puzzle toys. Otherwise, they can become destructive and difficult to handle. 

They are extremely active as well, requiring substantial amounts of exercise each day. They also shed substantially, so you’ll need to brush them regularly as well. In general, these dogs are not best for those without much time on their hands.

18. Biewer Terrier

The Biewer Terrier is a rarer dog breed. However, it is absolutely small and fluffy. 

These dogs are often tri-colored but a bit fluffier than a Yorkie. They were just accepted into the AKC in 2014, making them relatively newer as far as dog breeds go. They originally did come from the Yorkshire Terrier, but they now have enough genetic differences to be their own breed. 

It is very difficult to find these dogs for adoption due to their rarity. However, they can make good family dogs if you do happen to find them.

Bolognese laying on the falling leaves

19. Bolognese

With their fluffy coat and round eyes, these dogs are extremely cute. However, they aren’t one of the most common fluffy breeds in the United States, despite their obvious appeal. 

These dogs were designed as companion animals. Therefore, they are quite cuddly and affectionate. They can suffer from some separation anxiety problems if they are not taught how to be alone at a young age. However, they are perfect for those looking for a lapdog. 

They are also less active, which makes them a good option for those living in apartments. If you just want a cute dog to sit in your lap, this dog likely fits the bill.

20. Long-Haired Chihuahua

Most of the time, Chihuahuas are considered to be nearly hairless. However, they can also have long hair. These colorful Chihuahuas can absolutely count as fluffy. With that said, their fur does not actually require that much grooming in the least. They can be great for those who want a fluffy dog, but not the excessive amounts of grooming that often come with them!

Of course, these long-haired Chihuahuas act just like other Chihuahuas. It is essential that you socialize and train them appropriately. Otherwise, they can become aggressive and territorial. As small dogs, they are prone to fear-based aggression. 

It is also common for owners to carry their Chihuahuas around everywhere, which can lead to other behavioral problems. Chihuahuas that are never allowed to interact with the world on their own often end up with confidence issues, which can lead to aggression.

Chinese Crested in the field

21. Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested are typically considered partially hairless. However, there is a haired version of this breed that is actually quite fluffy. They’re sometimes referred to as “powderpuff” Chinese Crested, but breeders also advertise them as just “haired.”

These dogs occur regularly in litters alongside hairless puppies. They are often less sought after than hairless dogs, which makes them considerably less expensive. They’re also rather easy to find, as most people prefer the hairless versions.

Chinese Crested are extremely attached to their people. They tend to follow them around everywhere and are prone to separation anxiety. They prefer to be with their people at all times.

22. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Most terriers are not fluffy in the least. However, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier absolutely is. They are family-oriented dogs, though they are also quite active. They love to play, making them a good option for those with children. 

However, this breed is also exceedingly rare. Your likelihood of finding one in the United States is rather small. However, they don’t tend to be extremely expensive when puppies are available. You just might have to sit on a waiting list for a rather long time before one becomes available.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier in a garden
Icelandic Sheepdog in the field of dandelion

23. Icelandic Sheepdog

The Icelandic Sheepdog isn’t as fluffy as other breeds on this list, but their fur is very soft and silky. They absolutely aren’t short-haired dogs. 

As the name suggests, these dogs are from Iceland. In the United States, they tend to be rather rare. There aren’t many imported into the United States each year. Most of the time, you’ll need to travel to Iceland to acquire one. 

However, this breed can make a good family dog. They are very loyal to their family and extremely attentive. As working dogs, they do require some exercise each day, but this is often not as extensive as it is for other breeds. 

24. Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is an extremely tiny breed with longer fur. They are not very popular in the United States, so don’t be surprised if you’ve never heard of them before. 

These dogs bond closely with their owners and are very loyal. However, this also makes them prone to separation anxiety. They also tend to be one-person dogs, so they may not be best for families with children. 

Their coat is long and fluffy as adults, but it takes quite a while to grow in. Most puppies aren’t as fluffy as you would expect them to be. Of course, this does vary from puppy to puppy, though.

Japanese Chin sitting on a blanket outside

25. Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz is extremely fluffy. They look like giant marshmallows. As intelligent and energetic dogs, they can make great pets for active families. They will happily play with the children in the yard and go on walks. 

However, they aren’t the best for families looking solely for a lapdog – because that just isn’t their temperament! These dogs are much more likely to run around and play than sit in your lap and cuddle. 

These coats do shed a lot. For this reason, you can expect to brush them quite a bit each day. Their dense undercoat needs to be raked out to remove excess fur and reduce shedding. 

With that said, even with daily combing, their fur tends to end up around the house.

26. Lowchen

The Lowchen isn’t a very popular breed in the United States. However, you can find them if you look hard enough and have a bit of patience. They are very people-oriented and love attention. They’re often happiest when they’re the center of the show. 

They tend to be rather needy when it comes to the attention of their family. If they are not paid attention to enough, they can become rather destructive. However, if you’re looking for a dog that will absolutely adore you, this dog easily fits into that category. 

Their long fluffy coat does require a bit of grooming as well. They are often kept trimmed, but they will often require daily brushing as well.

Mi-ki outside running

27. Mi-Ki

The Mi-Ki is a mixed breed that is becoming quite popular. They are produced by combining the Maltese, Papillon, and Japanese Chin. Due to this specific combination, they are often only produced by specialty breeders. 

You’ll have to look long and hard for this breed, but it may be worth it in the end. These dogs are extremely affectionate and bred to be companion animals. Their coat does require some extensive grooming, though it can vary somewhat from dog to dog. 

As you might imagine, these highly intelligent dogs also require some extensive amount of socialization and training. Otherwise, they can become destructive and rather bored.

28. Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

As the name suggests, this breed is from Russia. They are extremely rare in the United States. Most people who have them have directly imported them from Russia, as there are rarely active breeders in the United States. 

These dogs do not require extensive amounts of exercise and are often pretty easy to take care of. They are sociable and tend to get along well with pretty much anyone. Their high intelligence does mean that they need some mental stimulation each day. 

Their coats usually require some regular grooming. However, they are often not nearly as grooming intensive as some other breeds on this list. A quick brush every other day is often plenty.

Tibetan Terrier in a field with flowers

29. Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier is a bit larger than some of the other dogs on this list, but they can come in some small sizes. They often weigh somewhere between 18 to 30 pounds.

These dogs are working animals, so they need regular exercise. They are sociable and often quite gentle as well. Many owners describe them as great with children. While they can be quite energetic, their laidback temperament makes them great family pets. They don’t require extensive amounts of work and often behave well inside a house. 

This breed does take a bit to get fluffy. In many cases, their adult coat doesn’t grow until they are longer. However, puppies are rather soft – just not nearly as fluffy. 

Their adult coat does require extensive amounts of grooming, brushing, and trimming. You should expect to spend quite a bit of time brushing them each day to prevent mats from forming.

30. Volpino Italiano

These rare dogs are white and fluffy. They are native to Italy, though they are pretty rare just about anywhere today. 

As energetic, active dogs, they require decent amounts of exercise. We only recommend them for active families for this reason. Otherwise, it can be hard to meet their high exercise needs. These dogs excel at dog sports, including agility and rally. 

While they are good family dogs, this breed is not as clingy as some others on this list. The Volpino Italiano would much rather prefer to be with their family than alone, but they often don’t suffer from separation anxiety. 

Their playful nature can make them great options for children. However, they are smaller in size, so they can be harmed by rougher kids. Every interaction should be supervised to ensure that your dog isn’t hurt accidentally – which can lead to them becoming scared of children.

Volpino Italiano laying on the blanket

31. Cockapoo

The Cockapoo is a mixed breed created when you put a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle together. They come in many different sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle used – as well as what traits they randomly inherit from which parent breed. 

Toys are often between 6 to 12 pounds, putting them firmly in the small dog range. Their coat does vary a little bit since they can inherit any trait from either parent breed. However, it is generally longer and at least somewhat fluffy. The texture can range from wavy to straight. 

Most of the time, these dogs are not heavy shedders. However, they do require some amount of grooming to prevent matting. Many of their owners keep their coats trimmed down to lower grooming requirements. 

Still, even when they are trimmed, you should expect daily grooming. 

Because this is a mixed breed, they are not as popular as some other breeds. Still, many breeders are starting to craft more and more mixed breeds. Therefore, you may be able to find them with a bit of looking. 

32. Morkie

Morkie is a Maltese, and a Yorkshire Terrier put together. Like most toy dogs, they weigh around four to seven pounds. 

Because they are a mixed breed, you never quite know what you’re going to get. Some may have a long, flowing coat, while others will have silkier hair. Their grooming requirements will depend largely on what traits they inherit. Some dogs will need daily grooming, while others may only need to be brushed every other day. 

Many owners may choose to get them cut shorter to lessen the amount of grooming required. Professional grooming is often necessary for this breed.

Morkie running to his owner

33. Pomsky

If you’re looking for an extremely fluffy dog, the Pomsky may be a suitable option. This breed is a mix between a Siberian Husky and a Pomeranian. As you might imagine, this leads to an extremely fluffy, smaller dog. 

However, their weight range can vary substantially. Some are as little as 7 pounds, while others are as large as 38 pounds. Most are somewhere in the middle, which makes them one of the larger dogs on this list. You don’t exactly know how big a puppy might grow until they are older. 

These dogs are often energetic and outgoing. They need quite a bit of exercise, so we only recommend them for outgoing, active families. They are often quite sociable, though they can also be extremely noisy. 

Some of them “talk” like a Husky. Others may yap more like a Pomeranian. 

Finding a Pomsky is often difficult. They require particular breeding since the size difference is so dramatic. These litters often do not occur by chance, so you often have to search for a specialty breeder that is producing Pomsky puppies.

34. Cotonese

The Cotonese is a mix between a Maltese and a Coton de Tulear. As you might imagine, these dogs are extremely small and fluffy. They often require extensive grooming. Usually, companion animals are kept trimmed down to limit the amount of brushing required. For the most part, these dogs are quite easy to take care of – as long as you can provide for their grooming needs. 

These dogs are intelligent and very people-oriented. However, because they are a mixed breed, their traits are not set in stone. Instead, they can inherit any trait from any parent. 

For this reason, you never quite know exactly what you’re getting with this mixed breed. If you aren’t okay with a breed that can potentially vary substantially, then this breed probably isn’t the option for you! 

35. West Highland Terrier

While these dogs aren’t fluffy in the traditional sense, they do have longer, silky hair. They have a distinctive white coat that tends to be quite curly. They only weigh about 15 to 20 pounds, but they are very hardy. 

Their energetic nature makes them best for more active families. They’re great with children as long as they are handled properly. Due to their small size, they can get injured by children who don’t understand how to interact with dogs. 

This breed is known for being quite intelligent. They are quick to learn new commands and decently easy to train. However, they also have a very strong prey drive. Therefore, they are not good for families with cats and other small pets. 

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a small, fluffy dog, we’ve provided you with plenty of options on this list. Now, you just have to choose which fluffy dog is for you!

The most important factors to consider are how a particular breed fits into your lifestyle. If you aren’t very active, you don’t need a breed with high energy needs. While you may feel up to the daily walks at first, it is likely that they will putter out, leaving you with an energetic, destructive dog. 

If you don’t have much time, you probably don’t want a dog that requires substantial amounts of work. Many of the dogs on this list require daily brushing. While this often doesn’t take more than 15 minutes, it is essential to plan this out each day. If you don’t, your dog can quickly become matted – and you’ll end up spending lots of extra money on professional grooming. 

You should also consider whether or not you can find your dog in your area. In many cases, you may be unable to find some of the rarer breeds, especially if you live in a rural area. 

If the breed you want isn’t near you, then are you willing to import it or travel hours away to pick up a puppy? If not, then you likely need to choose a more common breed. 

You should also consider exactly what you count as “small.” Small breeds range from 5 to 30 pounds. However, if you’re looking for a toy-sized dog, then a 20-pound dog likely isn’t the best option for you! 

While we would all like to simply choose the cutest dog out there, the cutest dog likely isn’t the best fit for your family. Instead, we recommend choosing a dog that fits the small, fluffy profile you’re looking for and fits into your lifestyle. 

Author: Kristin

Author: Kristin

Kristin was born in Tennessee and currently lives there with her husband and children. She is passionate about educating pet parents and helping them make the best possible decisions for their pets. She currently owns one dog, two cats, a lizard, and a variety of fish.