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The 5 Sweetest Small and Fluffy Dog Breeds

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Some dogs, like this Bichon, are very fluffy.

Some dogs, like this Bichon, are very fluffy.

Looking for a Dog to Cuddle?

Are you looking for a fluffy dog breed?

Fluffy dogs can be big. Who would argue that a big furry Great Pyrenees is not a fluffy and huggable dog? In my mind, however, the best fluffy dogs are small. These are the kind of dogs you can take up on your lap when it is time for a brushing.

Five Best Small Fluffy Dogs

Here are five of the best small fluffy dog breeds:

  1. Havanese
  2. Toy Poodle
  3. Bichon
  4. Pomeranian
  5. Maltese

At the end of the article are some tips to help you find your new fluffy dog.

1. Havanese

This national dog of Cuba is small but not tiny. Havanese usually weigh between 4 to 8 kilos (around 10 to 20 pounds), and they are seen in different colors and patterns. Their coats are soft and silky, a lot more like a Maltese than a Bichon Frisé, but their hair is kind of coarse compared to that tiny dog.

This breed is tropical, and despite the long coat, it is not hardy in cool temperatures like the Lhasa Apso. That long coat can even be corded, like a Puli or Komondor, but these little dogs still require that the ears be kept clean, that their feet be examined after a walk, and that they be blown dry after a bath.

They are good at agility and obedience competitions, and they can be trained as therapy dogs, assistance dogs, and even at tracking.

When breeders started working with this dog in the US, back in the 1970s, there were only 11 dogs. Many more were imported to avoid the health issues from starting out with that small number.

Havanese are still prone to luxating patellas (trick knees), like many small breeds, and they sometimes have heart problems, cataracts, or other eye problems. Their average lifespan is about 14 or 15 years.

This is not a dog that should be left outside away from the activities of the household, and if they are included, they make great and playful family pets that love to be around people.

2. Toy Poodle

A lot of people think of this dog when you mention small and fluffy. These dogs are probably German, but almost everyone assumes they are French since they are so popular there; they are all wrong. Toys were actually developed in England during the 18th century.

Toy Poodles are usually under 28cm at the hips (about 11 inches) and come in all sorts of colors. Some of these little dogs are even bred to look like they are wearing a tuxedo.

These dogs do not shed much and are almost hypoallergenic. They have to be clipped and bathed of course, and since most owners do not want all the hassles, they are given a “pet clip.” All they need after a clip is a quick daily brushing with a wire slicker.

Some Toy Poodles are prone to kidney diseases or heart diseases, and others have problems with their eyes, like cataracts and retinal problems. Older dogs have to be fed carefully since they are likely to become obese.

They are also prone to ear infections and need to have their small teeth brushed daily to control periodontal problems.

If they are healthy, Toy Poodles are one of the longest living breeds. After a long walk and plenty of mental stimulation, they are quiet and good house pets.

The Bichon can be trimmed to be less fluffy.

The Bichon can be trimmed to be less fluffy.

3. Bichon Frisé

This affectionate little dog is one of the fluffiest breeds out there! Bichon Frisés are great dogs because they do not shed much. But Bichons are also a pain for the same reason; every month or two they have to go to the groomers and get clipped or scissored to keep that long hair under control.

Bichons are great because they are “hypoallergenic.” Bichons are also a pain because they are hypoallergenic. The reason they have less dander to spread around is because they must be bathed and groomed frequently.

These dogs are usually about 5 to 8 kilos (around 10 to 20 pounds), solid white, and curly or clipped close. Some of them are prone to blood diseases like autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), but older dogs usually die of cancer. Their average lifespan is about 12 or 13 years.

Bichon Frisé are happy little dogs and one of those breeds that are sociable and happy to be dragged along anywhere. They get along great with kids, even when the kids do not want to be dragged along, and they will pick up tricks easily.

4. Pomeranian

Years ago, the Pom used to be my favorite small fluffy dog breed. A few thousand orange hairs in my food each night made me change my mind.

But do I still like Pomeranians? Of course, just about everyone loves this little German Spitz. This is about the 15th most popular dog in the U.S. and one of the favorites worldwide. They are small, of course, weighing only 2 or 3 kilos (about 5 to 8 pounds), and they're very fluffy!

These fluffy dogs have been popular since the days of Queen Victoria, and it was during her reign that the Pom was selected to be so small. Such rapid change made them susceptible to a lot of health problems, but Poms are usually healthy.

Luxating patellas (trick knees) are one of the most common problems (if this is an issue, it can be picked up during a puppy exam so that the dog will not be bred). Some other problems, like collapsing trachea and “black skin disease” can happen at any time and are just part of owning a Pom. The same thing is true about the teeth. They need to be brushed daily to control dental disease, but with their small mouths and open-mouth breathing, it is a common problem.

These little dogs usually live to be 14 or 15 years old. Most of them are friendly, easy to train, and are nice little lap dogs if you can put up with the barking. They are also one of the dog breeds that sheds a lot, and although it is not hard to groom them, it does have to be done every day.

And don’t forget about the teeth!

5. Maltese

Do I pick this dog as a favorite in too many categories? Yes, but for good reason. This dog is really great. They are really tiny. They are good in apartments and do not shed much. They are good for first-time dog owners. They are good with cats. And yes, they are cute and fluffy.

Maltese are only about 3 to 6 kilos (about 6 to 14 pounds), and most of them are on the smaller end of that scale! Their mouths are so small that they are prone to dental problems, and the teeth should be brushed daily. Their faces are often tear-stained, but there are natural methods to deal with that problem.

They have fine hair, so they need to be combed carefully and often to keep from getting knots. Once a knot forms, it is almost impossible to deal with and will probably have to be cut out, which is why most people leave their dogs in a “puppy cut,” which is short and easier to comb out.

Maltese are really just companions, and they were not developed for anything but that. They like to play, but usually around the house with adults or cats, and they are not the type of dog to demand a walk out in the rain and slush.

A lot of owners even litter box or paper train them so that they do not have to leave the apartment all the time. The Maltese is great at staying clean and fluffy.

How to Find Yourself a Fluffy Puppy

Small dogs can be found at your local animal shelter, but of course the fluffy dogs tend to go quickly. Visit often to see what is available.

You can visit to find the small dogs available in animal shelters in your area or local states. Breed rescues can also be found by using your search engine.

If you want a puppy, your best bet on finding a reputable breeder is by visiting a dog show and seeing the adults. Find out when puppies are going to be available.

Just do not buy your fluffy dog from a pet shop or internet puppy wholesaler. The little puppy may look cute when you bring him home, but you will be supporting a puppy mill and will end up with a dog with behavioral problems and housetraining issues. No one wants to deal with those kinds of problems on the rug, even if they are small!

© 2013 Dr Mark


Lina on August 23, 2020:

Small dogs should be left to sleep when they wont , it’s not nice to film when they very sleepy and tired.

And some people go to far the way they do grooming the dogs.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 09, 2020:

Turtles, yes Poms do shed a lot.

TURTLES ARE COOL on June 08, 2020:

I want a Pomeranian. is it hard to take care of? also, does it shed a lot.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 08, 2013:

It seems to have worked this time!

Bob Bamberg on June 08, 2013:

Congratulations on the newest addition to your pack! The picture is floating out there in cyberspace somewhere. Don't worry, though, the U.S. Government has it's eye on it!! Please re-send it; I hope it works.

Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 08, 2013:

Thanks for the votes, MinnetonkaTwin! Always nice to see you commenting.

Bob, I think those persons you listed are also great to help find good breeders. The internet breeders are never a good choice, since the buyer is not able to visit the parents and the poor puppy has to be shipped! Thanks for visiting and voting. (Did you get my email with the photo of my new dog? I got a strange message on my gmail so do not know if it went through.)

Bob Bamberg on June 08, 2013:

You just convicted me. I assumed Toy Poodles were French, too. It just goes to show you what happens when one assumes. Interesting hub. I especially like your "disclaimer" at the end regarding the source of your little, fluffy dog.

There are some reliable "mom and pop" pet stores where quality animals, from known and trusted sources, are available...but those certainly aren't on every street corner.

Other professionals, such as groomers, trainers, daycare providers, vets and vet techs are good resources in helping one identify such places. I'd certainly be wary of Internet sellers. My first choice is shelters and rescue groups, though. Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on June 07, 2013:

Another great mix of dogs here Dr. Mark. I have to say that every dog is cute when their puppies. I really enjoy the videos you put up after explaining each dog. I hit every button and voted up. Your dog hubs are entertaining and very informative.

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