10 Most Adorable Hairy Dog Breeds

Written by Chanel Coetzee
Published: December 9, 2022
© Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava/Shutterstock.com
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Are you looking for a furry canine to call your own? But how do you know which breed is the right one for you? There are so many adorable hairy dogs from all around the world that would make fantastic companions. For example, the American Eskimo dog comes in three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard; their wide variety in size makes them an excellent option for owners who have apartments, townhouses, or big properties, while still maintaining the fluffiness factor. So, get ready for cuteness overload, and explore the 10 most adorable hairy dog breeds around.

1. Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute is a fine specimen of power, sturdiness, strength, and stamina. These magnificent canines are one of the oldest breeds whose features have not been significantly altered. Additionally, they are highly intelligent but need dominant leadership and a job to prevent them from becoming bored or acting out in destructive ways.

So, if you are a first-time dog parent, this is not your breed. In addition to being stubborn and hard to train, these dogs need plenty of attention, companionship, and open space. Therefore, Alaskan Malamutes are definitely not suited to apartment living. Furthermore, these fluffy pups also shed a lot and will need a good brush at least three times a week. Alaskan Malamutes are large dogs with an average weight of 80 pounds and a height of 24 inches.

Alaskan Malamutes were used to help settlers track and hunt bears.

©Aneta Jungerova/Shutterstock.com

2. Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds are easy-going but active dogs who make great companions for children and other pets. In addition, they are easily trained because of their intelligence and eagerness to please. Furthermore, they are herding dogs, and their natural instincts make them incredibly protective of their loved ones and territory. However, they are not aggressive animals; instead of attacking strangers, they bark when danger is near.

These furry pups are extremely active and need to work or get a lot of exercise. Australian shepherds can become unhappy and destructive if they do not get the stimulation they require. The best environment for this breed is country living, a large property with a big fenced backyard. However, these dogs also need owners who can spend a bunch of time with them, as they love attention.

Australian shepherds are average shedders, even though they have long, soft fur. You must brush these energetic dogs at least once a week to keep their coats healthy and prevent matting. They are medium-sized dogs whose average weight is 52 pounds and measure 20 inches tall.

Australian Shepherd
Fiercely loyal, the Australian shepherd develops a strong bond with its owner.


3. American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo dog is an excellent breed for families looking for a loyal companion. However, they require a lot of attention and may be stubborn at times, making them hard to train. Additionally, while they make excellent guard dogs, their constant barking might be problematic. Therefore, socializing and training these dogs from a young age is vital because they can also be wary of strangers. But luckily, they warm up to new people pretty fast.

While these dogs only require moderate exercise, they must have stimulating toys to keep them occupied, and need a lot of affection. If they do not get the appropriate amount of attention and exercise, they may start chewing or digging. In addition, they are incredible escape artists, so owners need to secure their homes and yards before getting one.

American Eskimo dogs are great with other pets if socialized from a young. However, these dogs do not get along with pets like reptiles, birds, and rodents. Furthermore, if you are looking for a hairy watchdog, then the Eskie is perfect, as they are suspicious of strangers. However, it is likely their small size won’t intimidate an intruder.

While American Eskimo dogs have thick coats to withstand harsh winters, they can’t be exclusively outside dogs, as they need to spend lots of time with their owners. Eskies are small to medium-sized dogs that will do well in apartments or properties with small yards. But this does not mean that they don’t need exercise; they need a 30 min walk and playtime like fetch daily. This breed has three different sizes:

  • Toy – 10 inches tall and weighs around eight pounds
  • Miniature – 13 inches tall and weighs approximately 15 pounds
  • Standard – 17 inches tall and weighs about 30 pounds
American Eskimo Dog isolated
The American Eskimo dog is not American; the breed actually originated in Germany.

©iStock.com/cherry williams

4. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dogs are fantastic family dogs because of their gentle nature and guarding abilities. They generally enjoy training so starting them young is beneficial. While they make good watchdogs, their natural talent lies in herding and draft work, so these dogs are best suited for farm life.

Because of their size, the Bernese mountain dog needs obedience training, especially if they are going to be around kids. However, they are great with children and will protect them with their lives. These massive dogs need patient owners who won’t be harsh during training; they are soft-hearted and don’t respond well to tough love. This gigantic breed has thick, long, black, white, and brown coats that need daily brushing to prevent matting. They are moderate shedders, but you can expect a heavy shed twice a year.

Bernese mountain dogs are devoted pets that love human companionship and will thrive in a home where they are allowed inside. In addition, they only require moderate exercise, so a long daily walk and some fun in the backyard are more than enough. They are a large dog breed with an average weight of 93 pounds and measure approximately 25 inches tall.

Animals that Sweat - Dogs
Bernese mountain dogs are wonderful, affectionate, and intelligent dogs.

©Eve Photography/Shutterstock.com

5. Collie

The collie, also known as the rough collie, is notorious for its intelligence and how easy they are to train. Collies respond best to reward-based training and are eager to please their owners. As a result, they are an excellent breed for performing and competing in agility, herding, or obedience events.

Additionally, collies are fantastic therapy dogs thanks to their calm nature and medium size. However, they can be quite vocal, especially when they are bored. Furthermore, they can playfully nip at people’s heels, which is a herding dog trait. For this reason, they might not be the best breed for young kids.

While these dogs are easy to train, owners must try different techniques to prevent their collies from becoming bored. And they need a lot of exercise, over 60 min a day, but once they are done, they are happy to lounge around and are pretty calm in general. This makes them good candidates for apartments or small homes as long as they get their daily exercise.

Collies are also independent and may need time to themselves, so allow them some time on their own in a fenced yard. These loyal dogs make perfect companions for single people but will also thrive in a family setting with older kids. In fact, they are known to learn the behavior and individual characteristics of each person in the home. They are large-sized dogs weighing around 62 pounds and reaching heights of 24 inches.

Rough Collie in the snow
A collie standing in a snowy winter forest lit by soft sunset light.


6. Chow Chow

Chow chows were bred to guard livestock and homes, so they are not very social or outgoing. In addition, they can be aloof and dog aggressive. So, this hairy dog breed needs a lot of socialization with dogs, pets, and strangers from a young age. Also, training is important as chows are barkers, which can become a nuisance if not controlled. While this breed is relatively intelligent, they are also fiercely independent and stubborn, so training may be difficult. Therefore, chow chows are not the ideal breed for first-time dog owners.

These fluffy dogs do best with single owners, but if socialized and trained from a young age, they make good and protective family pets. Grooming will vary depending on what coat your chow chow has; for example, rough-coated chows need daily grooming to prevent tangles and matting. However, smooth-coated chows only require a thorough brush one to two times a week. In addition, their eyes and facial folds retain a lot of dirt and debris that needs frequent cleaning. chow chows are medium-sized dogs weighing approximately 57 pounds, and their average height is 18 inches.

Brown chow chow dog lying in the grass.
Chows have pigments in their tongues that turn them purple, blue, gray, or black.


7. German Spitz

The German spitz is a breed that has been around for a long time. In fact, they are one of Europe’s oldest dog breeds. These hairy dogs are attentive, devoted, and energetic, making them exceptional companions. There are several names for this breed, including:

  • Spitz
  • German spitz mittel
  • Deutscher spitz

While these little firecrackers make great apartment pets, they can be yappy, so if you have thin walls and grumpy neighbors, this probably isn’t the best breed for you. But they are fantastic watchdogs that will alert you to any potential danger. The German spitz is a medium-sized dog weighing around 25 pounds and measuring approximately 13 inches tall.

German Spitz playing outside in a wheat field.
German spitz playing outside in a wheat field.


8. Great Pyrenees

The great Pyrenees is one of the best hairy dog breeds for families. While they are serious dogs, these giant fluff balls are well-mannered and incredibly devoted to their owners, including their children. While affectionate, gentle, and trustworthy, the great Pyrenees will not hesitate to protect its family when threatened. This adorable hairy dog was bred to guard livestock in mountain valleys with minimal human contact, so it’s an incredibly independent breed. This trait may make it hard to train these gigantic dogs, but not impossible.

The great Pyrenees needs large open spaces with plenty of room to play and guard its territory. They are not suited to apartment or city living and prefer a more laid-back and peaceful environment. Additionally, they need socialization from a young age because of their intense guarding instincts, which makes it hard for them to trust new people or animals.

These dogs have double coats that will require weekly brushing. However, their outer coat does not mat, so they don’t need as much grooming as other fluffy dogs. The great Pyrenees is a gigantic dog breed weighing around 95 pounds and reaching heights of approximately 28 inches.

Great Pyrenees at the seaside
Great Pyrenees dogs are loving, gentle giants, but they turn into fierce warriors when protecting their families.


9. Irish Water Spaniel

The Irish water spaniel is a highly sought-after hairy dog breed notorious for its excellent hunting skills. Irish water spaniels are intelligent dogs eager to please their loved ones, making them easy to train. However, their inquisitive nature makes them the silliest member of the spaniel family, as they find the most unique and amusing ways of obeying instructions.

Irish water spaniels are very protective of their owners and get along well with children if socialized from a young age. However, they were specifically bred to not bark, so they might not warn you if danger is near. But, they are alert and wary of strangers, which are important traits in guard dogs.

Luckily these fluffy dogs don’t shed a lot, so they are a good choice for people who suffer from allergies. However, they still need a thorough brush at least once a week. Irish water spaniels are medium-sized dogs weighing about 57 pounds and reaching heights of 23 inches.

Types of water dogs - Irish Water Spaniel
Irish water spaniels are known as the clowns of the spaniel family.

©Nikolai Belyakov/Shutterstock.com

10. Keeshond

The keeshond is a natural guard dog and doesn’t require a lot of training to protect its family. However, they are a gentle breed and rarely bite. In addition, if they see their owners welcoming a stranger into the home, they will accept them too. This breed is extremely social and gets along well with other pets. Therefore, they don’t like being on their own and require a lot of attention. These hairy dogs will bark when there are strangers on the property, but they are not considered nuisance barkers.

Because of its playful and gentle nature, the keeshond is easy to train and gets along well with children. They are the perfect breed for colder climates but always need appropriate shelter from freezing temperatures. Their long coats need a good brush at least three times a week to keep their fur healthy, and limit shedding. The keeshond is a medium-sized dog that weighs approximately 40 pounds and measures 17 inches tall.

Keeshond standing among flowers
The keeshond originated in Holland, and they are relatives of the Pomeranian and German spitz.


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About the Author

I am a 33-year-old creative and professional writer from South Africa. Wildlife is one of my greatest passions and led me to become the writer I am today. I was very blessed to work with an abundance of wildlife (mainly big cats) and captured my unique experiences in writing. But I wanted to take it further, and I ventured into the freelancing world. Now, I get to spend my days writing about animals; what could be better?

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which dog breed is most adorable?

This answer depends on the person. Some people think big fluffy dogs are adorable, while others prefer small dogs. But, fluffy dogs, like the Irish water spaniel, or rough collie are definitely at the top of the list.

What breed of dog is Fluffy?

There are many fluffy dog breeds including, the Great Pyrenees, Bernese mountain dog, Alaskan malamute, keeshond, and American Eskimo dog.

What is the fluffiest dog in the world?

There are several fluffy dog breeds including, the Chow chow, German spitz, and Irish water spaniel.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. Hills Pet, Available here: https://www.hillspet.com/
  2. American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/