Small white dog breeds – 5 of the best

5 of the best small white dog breeds - PracticalPaw.comIf you fancy something a bit special, then you can’t go wrong with a dog from one of our small white dog breeds list. Although we would never recommend choosing a dog on looks alone, there is something distinctive about an all-white dog.

If you are looking for a small companion to follow you around like a little cloud on a sunny afternoon, here are five of the finest.

White, you say?

Most dogs have a variety of color combinations. There are very few dogs that only have a pure white coat.

We’ve focused on these few, but if you widen your search, it will open up a whole range of options, including popular breeds like the Poodle available in a broader range of shades.


Small white dog breeds

The Maltese is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. Records of them date back over 8000 years. Despite the Maltese name, there isn’t any evidence that it originated from the island. But as Malta was a trading hub, it is thought that the breed made its way to other parts of the world from there.

The Maltese is classified as a toy breed, meaning that it is essentially a lapdog. Although it would be happy to spend most of its time cuddled up to you, it does need up to 30 minutes of exercise a day.

The Maltese have long silky hair with no undercoat. To keep its white coat looking its best, it will need to be brushed every day. Despite the Maltese’s long hair, they don’t shed much.  With this in mind, the Maltese can be a good choice for allergy sufferers who don’t mind spending time grooming their dog every day.

What’s more, they are gentle, affectionate, sweet, and playful. Standing only about 8-10 inches tall and with a weight of 6-9lbs, they are a small dog and an easy choice for apartment living or people living in a small space.

If you fall in love with a Maltese dog, you can expect to share your life with one for 12-15 years.

MalteseToy breed
Height at withers20 - 25 cm
Weight1 - 3.6 kg
TemperamentSweet, fun loving, lively, affectionate
CoatLong, single, silky
Grooming needsHigh
Exercise needsLow
Health concernsNone
Good with children and other petsCan be snappy
Behaviour concernsSeparation anxiety
Life expectancy12 years +

Bichon Frise

Small white dog breeds

Originating from the Mediterranean and known as the ‘Tenerife Dog,’ the Bichon Frise was taken to France in the fourteenth century. Bichon Frise means curly lap dog in French, so if you want a lapdog, then you’re in the right place. Despite its name, the fluffy white Bichon is a high-energy dog that is extremely smart.

So a minimum of 30 minutes exercise a day would is needed to keep a Bichon happy. Additionally, as Bichon Frise is an intelligent breed of dog, be prepared to keep their minds and body fit. A bored Bichon will not make for a happy dog or home.

The Bichon is classified as a toy breed by the Kennel club in the UK and a non-sporting breed by the Kennel Club in the USA.

Bichon Frise has a dense, curly coat. It comprises a soft undercoat and an outer coat that is more coarse. Classed as a non-shedding breed, Bichon is excellent for allergy sufferers but, like the Maltese above, also needs daily brushing to prevent matting. What’s more, regular trips to the groomers approximately every four to eight weeks are required to keep the coat in peak condition.

However, Bichon is a happy, confident, and extrovert dog breed who thrives on being the center of attention. If you want to share your life with a Bichon, then make sure you are prepared to keep up grooming this small white dog for 12-15 years.

Bichon FriseToy Breed UK Kennel club, Non- Sporting breed USA Kennel club
Height at withers23-28 cm
Weight 3.1 - 5.4 kg
TemperamentExtrovert, playful, affectionate, intelligent
CoatCurly, dense double coat
Grooming needsHigh
Exercise needsLow to medium
Health concernsAllergies
Good with children and other petsGenerally good
Behaviour concernsSeparation anxiety
Life expectancy12 years +

West Highland Terrier

Small white dog breeds

Originating from Scotland, the West Highland terrier can be traced back to the 15th century. Selectively bred to maintain a pure white coat, they were recognized as a unique breed in 1904 by the Kennel Club in the UK.

The west highland terrier descends from ancestors that were bred to hunt both above and below ground. They were born to be brave and tough, hunting far larger animals than themselves.

Westies are willing to please but need a fair bit of both physical and mental exercise to keep them happy. Luckily these little dogs are always up for a game and are easy to train, so there is always plenty of opportunity to (try) to tire them out.

West Highland terriers have thick, double white coats and feathers around their legs and stomachs. They need regular daily grooming to keep their coats looking good and prevent mats from forming. Ideally, having a professional trim twice or three times a year.

Outgoing, cheerful, and affectionate West Highland terriers are tough and intelligent with a cheeky streak. If you are looking for an active, loyal companion that’s full of fun, you can look forward to sharing 12-16 years with a Westie.

West Highland TerrierTerrier Breed group
Height at withers25 - 28 cm
Weight6.8 - 9.1 kg
TemperamentOutgoing, cheeky, full of fun
CoatThick, double coats with feathering
Grooming needsMedium to high
Exercise needsMedium
Health concernsSkin Allergies, Craniomandibular osteopathy, Deafness
Good with children and other petsGenerally good
Behaviour concernsFussy eaters
Life expectancy12 years +

Japanese Spitz

Small white dog breedsOriginally descended from the Samoyed, the Japanese Spitz was introduced to Japan early in the twentieth century, where they were specifically bred to reduce their size.

It wasn’t until 1970 that they made their way to the UK via Sweden, where it had already proved to be a popular breed.

The Japanese Spitz is classified as a utility breed. The utility breed classification includes some of the oldest dog breeds in the world. It is a very varied group of breeds with dogs bred explicitly for a specific purpose that isn’t included in the sporting or working category.

The Japanese Spitz has a medium-length, double fluffy coat that needs regular grooming. They would also benefit from seeing a professional groomer several times a year.

Lively, playful, affectionate, and alert. The Japanese Spitz is also nimble and light. What’s more, they are un-demanding and do well in family environments.

They need moderate exercise, around an hour a day, to be happy. If you think that the Japanese Spitz is the right dog for you, you can look forward to 12-15 years of quality time with this small white dog.

Japanese SpitzUtility breed
Height at withers30 - 37 cm
Weight5 - 7 kg
TemperamentLively, affectionate, bold
CoatMedium, double coat
Grooming needsModerate
Exercise needsModerate
Health concernsPatellar luxation, Runny eyes, Allergies
Good with children and other petsYes
Behaviour concernsSensitive, excitable, over protective
Life expectancy12 years +

Sealyham Terrier

Small white dog breeds

The Sealyham Terrier is a rare breed with a relatively short history. Captain John Edwards began to develop the breed in 1850 on the Sealyham Estate in Wales. Wanting to create the ultimate terrier to hunt badger, fox, and otter, Edwards cultivated the Sealyham Terrier, although the originating breeds are unknown.

Although not quite as feisty as some other terriers, they need a minimum of an hour’s exercise a day to keep them happy. A secure, fenced area is recommended due to their high prey drive. The Sealy has a wiry, long double coat that will need daily grooming. As they don’t shed much, the coat must be kept well-brushed to avoid matting.

Additionally, their beards need special attention to keep them free of food debris and dirt. Their coat will also need to be stripped or clipped several times a year.

Sealyham TerrierTerrier
Height at withers25-30 cm
Weight8-9 kg
TemperamentLively, affectionate, independent
CoatMedium, Double coated with a thick undercoat and hard, wiry outer coat
Grooming needsModerate
Exercise needsModerate
Health concernsLens Luxation
Good with children and other petsYes
Behaviour concernsHigh prey drive, independent
Life expectancy10 years +

The Sealyham Terrier is fearless, calm, and cheerful. If you feel that this small dog for you, then you can expect to have an adaptable, independent, and lively dog for 10 years plus.

Small white dog breeds, what’s the best choice for you?

If you have set your heart on a small white dog breed, make sure you research the breed thoroughly. Despite looking like innocent puffs of fluff, some of these dogs were bred to do some pretty tough jobs. If you want a lapdog, then choose wisely; a terrier might not be the way to go. If you aren’t keen on spending a lot of time grooming your dog, then step away from white fur.

There are lots of breeds that come in a variety of colors, including white. We have only given you a selection of those small white dog breeds well known for being white. But if you can’t find what you are looking for here, then widen your search, and you will find plenty more dogs with white fur.

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