All dogs are wonderful and cuddly, but large, fluffy dog breeds have something extra special. Although the cuddliness of these dogs must be noted, it is also important to remember that all of that fur serves a reason other than being “cute.” Here at The Pet Embassy we have compiled our a list of our “Top 10 Big Fluffy Dog Breeds That Are The Same As A Real Life Teddy Bear.”
Dr. Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and an emergency and critical care veterinarian with more than 35 years of experience, states that large dog breeds known for their fluffiness were not bred that way by chance—they were bred that way to perform specific tasks and succeed in specific environments.
“When we’re talking about standard dog breeds, their physical attributes—like fur length and texture—aren’t arbitrary,” he says. “Those attributes are based on the function that those breeds were bred to have. Almost all of the big fluffy breeds were, at one time, working breeds.”
What Makes a Dog Fluffy?
Before we get into the individual breeds, it’s important to understand what makes a dog fluffy. According to Heather Cameron, owner of Good Dog Grooming in Glen Gardner, New Jersey, the fluffiest dog breeds have a double coat. “That means they have two layers of fur: an outer layer and an undercoat,” she says.
The mixture of the two is what makes fluffy dogs fluffy.
Klein goes on to say that the undercoat protects dogs from cold and wet weather, which is particularly important when a dog was bred for a specific type of work.
10 Big Fluffy Dog Breeds
Ready to be overwhelmed by fluff? Here are The Pet Embassy’s “Top 10 Big Fluffy Dog Breeds That Are The Same As A Real Life Teddy Bear!”
If you have a dog whose breed appears on this list or if you think your dog breed should have been on here, please let us know in the comments section below!
Please note that like any breed round up, all the following choices are subjective and are far from being exhaustive. We know there are many other wonderful dog breeds that could have made the list and the list is in no particular order!
Temperament: Independent, Protective and Proud
The Chow Chow is a said to be one of the oldest dog breed, and many genetic tests have proven that to be true. This ancient breed is believed to have been originated in Northern China and Mongolia. The Chow Chow is a very distinctive-looking dog breed with a mane of hair, which is why they are one of our favorite large fluffy dog breeds. The Chow Chow are a very proud and independent dog breed who are suspicious of strangers. However, the Chow Chow is known to be a lazy dog and is happy to lay on the couch for hours. What a good looking and lazy dog breed!
The Chow Chow needs an owner who understand and respects their independence but does not let the dog take over. It is imperative that the Chow Chow is socialised from an early age and introduced to new dogs, people and situations as soon as possible to ensure that they’re relaxed as adults. The Chow Chow is one of our favorite medium dog breeds!
The Chow Chows main like hair needs to be brushed at least twice a week to keep their coat in good condition.
Temperament: Friendly, Low Maintenance and Loving
The Leonberger was originally bred in Germany through cross breeding of Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands and Great Pyrenees, with a number of these breeds featuring on our favorite fluffy dog breeds list, its no wonder the Leonberger makes it onto this list.
Leonbergers are massive dogs, weighing up to 170 pounds. Although they can seem intimidating, they are usually sweet dogs that make excellent family pets. Their lives revolve around their family and despite this dog being super fluffy, they don’t do well outside as they want to be with their family.
They are not, however, low-maintenance. Leonberger dogs should be washed daily and should have a comprehensive grooming at least once a week. These guys shed a lot, but regular grooming should help keep the amount of fur around the house under control.
Leonbergers are known to prefer living within a pack of their own kind but they do get along well with other larger animals such as cats or even horses. Please note that due to their size they shouldn’t be left alone with children as they can potentially knock them over and hurt them by accident.
Temperament: Energetic, Sturdy and Powerful
The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful and sturdy dog which is built for both stamina and strength. These dogs are one of the oldest artic sled breeds and they were raise to help in the transportation of goods and people over long distances as well as to aid in the hunting of both seals and polar bears. They usually have a white body with grey, black, or brown markings, either way, they are one of our favourite large fluffy dog breeds.
The Alaskan Malamute were bred to have a thick dense coat to shield them from the extremely cold elements that they had to deal with when pulling sleds in the Artic climates.
Alaskan Malamutes are a very energetic dog breed and therefore they require lots of exercise such as long walks in the park. If you plan to leave them home while you’re at work, you may see some anxious, destructive behavior.
Temperament: Energetic, Friendly and Gentle.
Originating in the Highland regions in Scotland, the Rough Collie was actually predominately black! Back then, looks did not matter as much as their ability to be a good herding dog breed. As well as being one of our favorite fluffy dog breeds, they are also one of our favourite dog herding dog breeds.
Everyone remembers Lassie, from the 1950s hit TV show. Lassie, was in fact a rough collie! Rough Collies are another intelligent and energetic dog breed, who have a history as a very good herding dog. What separates Rough Collies from the rest is that they are a sensitive dog and have been known to sense when something is wrong and come to your aid. They form deep attachments to their pack, so much so, that they are a quiet dog in general but when left alone for too long the Rough Collie will bark excessively!
In general, the Rough Collie is a friendly dog breed but they can be weary of strangers in their territory, so please bare this in mind. Early training and socialisation is highly recommended. The Rough Collie will thrive in all environments, as long as they are allowed to stretch their legs in the yard or for a long walk in the park!
Temperament: Dignified, Intelligent and Strong Willed
The Samoyed was originally bred to hunt animals, herd reindeer and haul sledges in Siberia. However, they also became a valuable companion for the Samoyede people in Siberia, helping with a lot of other tasks such as pack hiking and tracking. As they were bred in Siberia they need a dense, warm coat to survive. They are so furry that they were also used for one more important task; keeping their owners warm by sleeping on top of them at night, which is one of the reasons why they make our large fluffy dog breeds list.
Like many other working breeds, the Samoyed are a very strong willed dog breed and may be determined to finish a task before moving onto the next one. The Samoyed is known to have only one true master but they are still a very friendly and loving dog breed who are kind to everyone, even strangers.
Temperament: Affectionate, Fearless and Strong Willed
The Great Pyrenees is very protective of its family and can in some cases be territorial. They will place their pack above everything else, which makes them one of the most loyal dog breeds ever. Sometimes they are reserved with strangers and can be aggressive to animals that do not belong to their pack. The Great Pyrenees can make great family companions due to their loving nature whilst also being gentle and patient with children.
With all that being said, nothing can take away from the fact they the Great Pyrenees has one of the best coats and they easily make it onto our favorite fluffy dog breeds list.
Originally bred to be used as a livestock guardian, they need lots of space to run. Their size alone means they are harder to keep in shape than other dogs. They are one of our favourite working dog breeds as well as one of our favorite herding dog breeds. We recommend at least a good long walk daily to keep them in shape as well as a healthy balanced diet.
Grooming a Great Pyrenees can be a lot of work due to their size and their thick coats. The coats need to be maintained regularly.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Temperament: Affectionate, Intelligent and Loyal
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a loyal, intelligent and affectionate dog breed that are easy to train and happy to please. Bernese Mountain are well known for their looks and especially their tricolour coat and white “Swiss Coat” on their chest. The Bernese Mountain dog is a dog breed that is extremely strong and very well suited to heavy work as they were originally bred to be herders and sledge dogs. Despite the fact the Bernese Mountain Dog sheds heavily they are one of our favourite large fluffy dog breeds.
Dogs of this breed are great watchdogs, but that also means they have a tendency to bark — loudly. They may want to chase smaller animals and play roughly, even though they are quite gentle when fully mature and trained properly.
Temperament: Gentle, Intelligent and Trainable.
Newfoundland is a large dog breed and is considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. They are naturally gentle and friendly with children and they are extremely protective of their family and have a deep love for children. Many fans of this breed say they are a “natural-born babysitter”, reiterating this point, is Nana, the fictional newfoundland who was employed as a nanny by the Darling family in Peter Pan? All of these reasons make them one of our favorite dog breeds for kids and families.
This particular dog breed is a great swimmer and will come to the rescue whenever they are needed. There are many accounts of the Newfoundland’s heroism. They have rescued many children from the cold waters of the Atlantic and saved many people following a shipwreck.
The Newfoundland’s long, heavy coat seems to attract a lot of dirt and mud. They are extremely skilled at bringing dirt throughout the house, so you will need to alot of grooming to keep their coat clean and dirt free.
Old English Sheepdog
Temperament: Hardworking, Powerful and Sturdy
The Old English Sheepdog are a fun loving and energetic dog breed that is always up for any adventure. They are known for their amazing temperament. The Old English Sheepdog is a very sturdy, hardworking and powerful dog breed, which were some of the reasons they were amazing as drovers, helping farmers drive their cattle and sheep to the market.
The Old English Sheepdog is a very adaptable and versatile dog breed which can thrive in a number of households. Contrary to what you may think, their shaggy coats do not actually shed as much as other dog breeds, which is just another reason as to why they feature on our favorite fluffy dog breeds list. They are one of our favorite herding dog breeds.
Temperament: Standoffish, Strong and Powerful
The Tibetan Mastiff is such an old breed that no one actually knows when the breed was originated. What we do know is that they came from the Himalayas. The Tibetan Mastiff has a wooly undercoat but their hair is relatively easy to care for.
The Tibetan Mastiff was originally bred as a guard dog for both livestock and property, however this large fluffy dog breed is usually found nowadays as a companion or a show dog.
Despite their very large side, they are a very gentle breed who loves to be around their family whenever they can. However, they are known to be very standoffish and defensive around strangers.
How to Care for Your Big Fluffy Dog
Caring for a large dog with a lot of fur can be difficult, and people who want to introduce one of these cuddly beasts into their homes should make sure they understand the care requirements of one of these cuddly beasts before taking the plunge.
First and foremost, big fluffy dog owners must commit to grooming their dogs on a daily basis—and this does not mean a cursory, two-minute brushing once a month. Many people do not brush their dogs thoroughly enough, which means that when it comes time to groom the dog, things are typically much worse than they appear. The top layer looks good, but there is often more than two inches of fur that was not washed, which can lead to mats, hotspots, and other skin and fur problems.”
Mats, in particular, can be a problem for large fluffy dogs. They occur when the dog’s hair becomes so tangled that it begins to tug on the dog’s skin. Klein advises not cutting a fuzzy dog’s mat with scissors because the chance of cutting the dog is too high. “You should gently work the mat apart with your fingertips and make sure to fully brush it out,” he advises.
Klein also advises pet parents to rinse out all of the shampoo while washing a big dog with a lot of hair. “It should take longer to rinse a dog than it should to shampoo,” he says. “Unrinsed shampoo can result in dry, flaky skin.”
Aside from grooming, big fluffy dogs need a well-balanced diet to keep their skin and fur safe. According to Klein, if you feed your dog high-quality dog food, this should not be a problem.
“I believe that nowadays, quality pet food producers work very hard to provide the proper amount of nutrients,” he says. “However, if a big breed dog with a lot of fur is on a low-quality diet, it could cause problems, and you will need to supplement.”
Love and Cuddles
Above all, pet owners should be prepared to lavish their dog with affection. Klein explains, “There’s a reason why large, fluffy dog breeds are so common.” “They are typically excellent friends, and the amount of joy they offer balances out any excess hair in your house. On a cold night, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with them.”
Is your dog breed featured in our “Top 10 Big Fluffy Dog Breeds That Are The Same As A Real Life Teddy Bear” list? Let us know in the comment section.
Many of these dogs also feature in our other posts so why not read them below!