There’s something about a big white dog that just makes people gush and gape in awe. Fluffy large white breeds seem to attract more attention; perhaps because they somehow seem more regal, perhaps they seem more aristocratic.
In some cases, the snowy feature of white dogs has to do with albino conditions. In others, it’s merely a recessive gene. Whatever the case, they invite coos of affection, photos, and lots of questions. And this is especially true of these 27 big white dog breeds.
- 1 Big White Dog Breeds: A Primer
- 2 27 Big White Dog Breeds
- 2.1 1. Afghan Hound
- 2.2 2. Akbash
- 2.3 3. Akita Inu
- 2.4 4. American Bulldog
- 2.5 5. American Bull Terrier
- 2.6 6. American Eskimo
- 2.7 7. Berger Blanc Suisse
- 2.8 8. Canadian Eskimo Dog
- 2.9 9. Clumber Spaniel
- 2.10 10. Cretan Hound
- 2.11 11. Dogo Argentino – Argentine mastiff
- 2.12 12. Great Pyrenees
- 2.13 13. Hungarian Sheepdog (Komondor)
- 2.14 14. Irish Wolfhound
- 2.15 15. Kuvasz
- 2.16 16. Maremma Sheepdog
- 2.17 17. Old English Sheepdog
- 2.18 18. Polish Tatra Sheepdog
- 2.19 19. Pyrenean Mastiff
- 2.20 20. Russian Wolfhound (Borzoi)
- 2.21 21. Saluki
- 2.22 22. Samoyed
- 2.23 23. Schaefer (Swiss Shepherd Dog)
- 2.24 24. Siberian Husky
- 2.25 25. Slovensky Cuvac
- 2.26 26. South Russian Ovcharka (Ukrainian Shepherd)
- 2.27 27. Standard Poodle
- 3 Final Thoughts on Big White Dog Breeds
Big White Dog Breeds: A Primer
For this article, a large dog breed can refer to how tall a dog is or the overall mass. Generally, a dog is considered a large breed when it is 50 lbs or more, 24 inches in height, or both. But we’ll give this precise dog-breed definition a bit of leeway and include medium to large breeds and pooches that may be technically classified as a giant breed, too.
After all, a big white dog is a big white dog. They’re all adorable and lovable, even if they have a reputation for more work in the grooming department. Yes, when they shed, they also shed very noticeably – at least, their shedding really does add a layer of white to your couch and clothing.
But we don’t worry about that when we love our dogs, do we? So strap on the no-escape harness, and get ready. Here are 27 big white dogs and the reasons why we love them.
27 Big White Dog Breeds
1. Afghan Hound
Afghans are among the most unique-looking dogs. They have long, silky hair, an aristocratic feel about them, and even resemble fashion models with their long limbs.
They’re instantly recognizable as the dog with the long muzzle and the 70s hairdo.
The Afghan is an old dog-breed hailing from Afghanistan (shocker!) and was known initially as Tazi. Records indicate that they have been around for as long as 2000 years.
Though the name may seem unfamiliar, the look of the Akbash is very ‘normal,’ somewhat resembling a tall retriever. It is, however, a purebreed, and known by a few other names like Coban Kopegi and Akbaş Çoban Köpeği.
As you can infer from the alternate names, the breed originates from Turkey, where it was mainly used as a working dog, protecting livestock. Their size makes them better suited to large homes with open yards and large spaces to run.
They have a strong personality and an independent streak, which makes training and proper socialization important. They may struggle to get along with other pets if not properly introduced to new dogs from a young age.
3. Akita Inu
What a magnificent example of a guard dog! Akita Inu were used as protectors for royalty in feudal Japan, and their air of nobility seems to have carried through this Japanese dog breed throughout the years.
Perhaps because they have an instinct for security duties they don’t really like socializing with strangers. They are also easy to shift into a combative mode. You’ll seldom find an Akita that is skittish or afraid of a threat.
That being said, to their families, they are loving and loyal. It makes for awkward mixing with other animals and people without solid socialization and training. But if you require an excellent watchdog, Akitas cannot be faulted.
Akitas do tend to shed, though, so you’d better have a good grooming brush or two in your doggy essentials box.
4. American Bulldog
Everyone’s heard of the British Bulldog, even if they aren’t a wrestling fan. But what is an American Bulldog? Like its UK cousin, the American bulldog is muscular, beefy, and has a face some would describe as perfect for radio.
But it is taller and leaner, making it an altogether prettier incarnation of the bulldog clan. It’s able to chase and work as a farm dog – for which it is sometimes used.
There are two basic types:
- The Bully / Classic / Johnson type
- The Standard or Scott type
One of the main differences between the two is the structure of the back legs. In the Bully type, the legs are shaped outward, almost beside the body. In the Standard, the legs are structured below the body.
These dogs are energetic and agile, and love to run and chase. It’s a good idea to invest in a dog harness and a strong leash if you plan on taking them out to public spaces where there are other dogs.
5. American Bull Terrier
Almost universally hailed by dog lovers as the comedians of the dog world, bull terriers appear as comically-shaped bodybuilding dogs with a big smile and wonderful social disposition.
They’re broad and stocky, with a trademark elongated head and narrow eyes. Their ears also stick up rather smartly. Like most solid and muscular breeds, they will need some social training and lots of exercises.
Because they are shorthairs, you won’t have to worry too much about them leaving hair all over your furniture. You may want to get some chew toys to burn off that extra energy, though.
6. American Eskimo
One of the most intelligent dogs around, thanks to their alert demeanor and attention to their surroundings. Oddly, they originate from Germany as an offshoot breed from the Spitz and have a delicate facial structure. It’s facial features seem to contrast its oversized fluffy coat.
This dog is easily trainable, even if it has a stubborn streak. Eskies were used as circus dogs and were actually the first dogs trained to walk a tightrope. Even though these animal practices are frowned upon today, it is a testament to their ability and agility.
Most eskies are white, and border at the small end of the “large” breed designation. In fact, eskies officially come in three sizes: Standard (the largest), miniature, and toy.
7. Berger Blanc Suisse
Like its German cousin, the Swiss Shepherd has classically beautiful physical features – that of a working dog. But it has a much gentler personality than other shepherd breeds. This makes it not only gorgeous to look at, but also amazing with kids and families.
It’s sometimes called a snowy shepherd and for good reason. Chances are you’d struggle to see it on a snowy day. It has a thick undercoat which is also white. Other than that, it largely resembles a German shepherd.
Make note, however, that it is not a white German shepherd and is classified as a totally different breed.
8. Canadian Eskimo Dog
This is a dog that is better suited to an experienced owner. Canadian Eskimo dogs aren’t known for being overly friendly, especially towards strangers. It has a powerful pack instinct and shows a highly protective inclination when it comes to its pack.
While they can get along with people, they can react in an aggressive way when perceiving a threat. Given its size, it can be a problem if it has not been socialized or trained properly.
Like its northern dog family, it resembles a husky in many ways. It can weigh an impressive 95 lbs, so it’s a large, if pretty beast, breed. Canadian Eskimo dogs typically have dark brown eyes. Blue eyes in a white dog are usually an indication of albinism.
They shed twice a year and were initially bred as hardworking dogs in the northern territories. And they really like food – lots of food.
9. Clumber Spaniel
You may feel that a spaniel typically doesn’t classify as “big.” But a clumber spaniel is the largest of the spaniel family, standing at 20 inches and weighing up to 85 lbs. That’s a fairly big dog! It also has an appropriately huge head!
They were once used as bird dogs and are powerful enough to work in heavy terrain, pushing through bush and light forest with their robust and powerful bodies.
They adore water and will swim whenever given a chance. They love a good outdoor run, too. They don’t bark too much, though, which makes them inadequate guards – a word of warning. You’re also going to have to put up with some drooling and shedding from this big lug.
10. Cretan Hound
Cretans are another ancient breed, hailing from the old Greek island of Crete and therefore seemingly appropriately white. They are working dogs and are especially happy when out and about.
The Cretan is a short haired breed with a curled tail and looks lean and athletic, a testament to its ability to move at high speed over long periods. It’s a good scenter, too, and will let you know when someone is approaching its home ground.
Cretan hounds are happy to hang around people when they’re not working or chasing prey. They are seldom troublesome and love playing games, so they’re great with kids. They are also keen to explore places on long walks and will likely cover twice as much distance as you on a hike.
A note on having other pets with this breed. Smaller pets (like cats and rabbits) may not be a good idea to welcome to a home with a Cretan hound. The Cretan’s prey instinct may create an undesirable situation.
11. Dogo Argentino – Argentine mastiff
You have to love the name alone. Aside from that, this dog is a real character, used as a pack-hunting dog to pursue boar and other dangerous prey like pumas. It is a strong dog with a head not too unlike that of an American Bulldog.
Dogo is a fine short haired breed that is completely white. Given its history, there’s an obvious allusion to power. But the original breeder also expressed a desire to breed a dog that could loyally defend its human.
The dog is described as a courageous animal, seemingly fearless in an aggressive context. Perhaps not the ideal family member for those with small children, at least not without proper training and socialization. It is a beautiful specimen, nonetheless.
12. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is probably the most famous of all the big white dogs. At least, it’s definitely one of the first that comes to mind. It’s no surprise, given its legendary glowing white coat and name that most folks need to look up to spell correctly.
The “great” in its name is no exaggeration, either. This is a mighty, often huge dog (100 lbs) whose legacy involves fighting wolves in the mountains of Europe.
They’re not especially highly-strung, though. They are usually easy-going, very calm dogs, akin to German shepherds and retrievers. If you like, you can also call it a Chien de Montagne des Pyrénées or Patou.
13. Hungarian Sheepdog (Komondor)
When you see a komondor, you’ll know you’ve seen something special. That is, once you’ve wiped the amused smile from your face. This is a sheepdog, which seems appropriate given that the komondor could be mistaken for a sheep from a distance.
Its long, knotty hair drops from its body, head, and face, covering its eyes, and walks around looking like an oversized mop.
Komondor is a beefy chap, standing 27 inches and weighing in at 100 lbs. You may have trouble reading its mood (you can’t see its eyes), but you’ll know you have someone that will take care of your flock. Or children. And you will be able to identify your dog anywhere, should it get lost.
14. Irish Wolfhound
This dog has a slightly different but valiant history. It’s literally a war dog. It was used to attack mounted horseback riders in battle and later to hunt deer, wolves, and wild boars. Those are relatively large or dangerous animals to engage and Irish wolfhounds are naturally fearless in such situations.
And their size helps. Irish wolfhounds are officially the tallest dogs in the world, standing on all fours at 35 inches or more. Raising on their hind legs, they can easily reach 6 feet and higher. They are best suited to country life, where they have large open spaces to roam, stretch and move.
They are known for their sweet and gentle nature, despite their heritage. Good luck finding a dog bed big enough to accommodate this fair beauty.
Like the Komondor, the modern-day Kuvasz hails from Hungary, although some believe it to be originally from Tibet.
It’s associated with hunting and protection, and in the early days the Kuvasz was tasked with guarding the aristocracy. Its trademark thick white coat gives it the look of a retriever, though it can be considerably larger at 30 inches tall and weighing up to 120 lbs.
They are supremely intelligent and are even able to perform relatively complex problem-solving tricks. They are indeed large but tend to be gentle, making them great companions for kids and families. Not bad for a dog breed that nearly went extinct in the 1940s.
16. Maremma Sheepdog
Also known as the Maremmano-Abruzzese Sheepdog, this gorgeous white worker is distantly related to other great working dogs from Europe, notably the Pyrenees and other mountain-region breeds.
These dogs require lots of open space and are happiest when given jobs to do. They are not suitable for apartment dwellings and city environments. Their history as guard dogs conditions them to do so effectively – they are not fond of strangers.
They still play an active role in working with livestock even today. This is especially true in Italy, where they have been known to be in service since Roman times.
Be warned: As puppies, they are adorable and irresistible little balls of pure fluff. But they’ll soon take over your entire living room, and probably your couch, too.
17. Old English Sheepdog
One of the most recognizable fluffy dogs of modern culture, the old English sheepdog is a big old hairy sweetheart of a hound. You’re pretty entitled to use the spelling “olde” if you like, though most enthusiasts call it the OES.
Typically, an Old English Sheepdog is two-toned, primarily white with a gray back. Their thick coats make them look a lot burlier than they actually are. They are, therefore, surprisingly athletic for those who are unfamiliar with their movement.
Many Old English Sheepdogs have hair that obscures the eyes, which are typically brown. Some say they look like small bears. But they are happy workers, very good-natured and ideal playmates and guardians for kids.
18. Polish Tatra Sheepdog
Sheep farmers in Poland came to use the Tatra as their sheepdog of choice. It doesn’t really look like other European sheepdogs but instead looks more like a white retriever. It’s also strange how many white dogs on this list work with sheep when they look like sheep.
Tatra is one of those breeds that are as happy to be on their own as with you. They are independent and love to be put in the work. The exact origins of Owczarek Podhalański (as it is known in Poland) are unclear. What we do know is that they have been around working in those mountains for several thousand years.
19. Pyrenean Mastiff
Here is another large, powerful breed that would stand against wolves and bears in the Aragon region of Spain. It’s typically primarily white, often with brown patches over the face and back.
The long hair makes it quite the shedder, and you’re going to have to put up with the drool, as with any mastiff breed.
But the upside is that the Pyrenean is a wonderfully settled dog. It’s a calm, easy-going pooch that will be kind to kids and people. It also has little to no chase instinct, preferring to move about calmly, as if aware of its potentially destructive mass.
20. Russian Wolfhound (Borzoi)
Like the Afghan, the Borzoi has a slightly comical appearance, at least at first glance. Their heads seem unusually small for their long legs and bodies, which have thick coats. But their oddly tall and slim build made them popular with the aristocracy.
Don’t be fooled. Their history reveals an ability to hunt. They were initially bred as hunters of rabbits and foxes, hunting in packs of three.
These days, they prefer not to work too much (probably a holdover from being royal dogs). They will happily relax in your vicinity. But don’t leave them alone for too long, as they tend to suffer separation anxiety.
Be advised that they need exercise. They are also keen chasers, so take care where and how you allow them to run.
Like the Borzoi, the Saluki is a sighthound. Meaning it was bred to hunt using its sight senses. It, therefore, has a chase instinct and will keenly chase whatever you set it upon.
The Saluki is lean, long-legged, and sometimes rather comical-looking, especially when its ears have long hair. The rest of its body is exceptionally shorthaired, and its long hair around its ears gives the impression of a stylish hairdo atop a fashionista!
You could describe a Saluki’s build like that of a top athlete. And they have the speed and agility to match. Though they do present in several colors, a white Saluki is a thing of true beauty.
Salukis require some experience in order to socialize successfully, as they are sensitive beings. They are therefore not recommended for first-time dog owners.
It sometimes feels like the Samoyed has a perpetual smile, such as the shape of its beautiful face. It’s almost impossible not to smile back. You may not be aware of this, but the “smile” is functional or at least practical. The shape of the samoyed’s mouth prevents drooling! Win!
Samoyeds were actually sledding dogs and reindeer herders in the colder regions in Siberia and Russia. They are incredibly hardy by reputation, often working several degrees below zero. The thick coat is, therefore, more than just a pretty feature. The beautiful skin of the Samoyed will benefit from a supplement like fish oil for dogs.
Samoyed dogs are very social. They will not do well if left alone. They are also somewhat strong-willed, so you’ll need to invest some time in discipline and training. They will otherwise be very active and often cause trouble by breaking something left unattended.
23. Schaefer (Swiss Shepherd Dog)
Although the Schaefer hails from Switzerland, it technically descended from the US white shepherd. It’s also related to the German shepherd and shares physical features.
Schaefers are said to be a little easier to socialize than their better-known cousins, but they are also susceptible to sound. They do not respond well to heavy-handed discipline. They also need large amounts of exercise, as they were bred to be working dogs.
Their mental abilities make them ideal as service or search and rescue animals. But they aren’t suited to security work, as they don’t tend to be aggressive, gravitating instead to shy or skittish behavior.
24. Siberian Husky
The famous Siberian husky is a popular dog breed. But white Siberians are actually somewhat rare. Siberians are slightly smaller than Alaskans, but share the same personality traits.
They are fiercely independent, require company and things to do to be happy, and will be friendly towards most people and other dogs. They are mighty dogs, owing to their history as sledders.
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Something to note is the instinct to chase smaller prey. It’s probably best to keep Siberians leashed when walking in public spaces – and cats don’t make for good playmates here.
25. Slovensky Cuvac
This Cuvac is closely related to the Kuvasz. Whereas the Kuvasz originated in Poland, the Slovak hails from its namesake – Slovakia. One story goes that it was bred only in white to distinguish it from other animals in the Slovak wilderness.
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It’s a courageous animal, with stories in its home country about fights with wolves and bears to protect its people. The Cuvac is hyper-alert and makes for an excellent watchdog.
It seems an ideal opportunity to name a dog “Chew-Votcha”. It’s a fairly close approximation to the pronunciation of the word “Cuvac” (čuvač) in Slovak.
26. South Russian Ovcharka (Ukrainian Shepherd)
Ovcharkas are another breed that carries its hair over its eyes. The woolly, shaggy coat gives it the vague appearance of a sheep (seen from a distance), and that’s just as well. They were used as herding dogs.
Ovcharkas have a proud reputation for being untiring. They can walk and stay alert for hours on end. More than likely, this is the genetic result of having to cover vast areas watching over sheep.
Today they transfer that watchfulness to their family. They can be aggressively protective and will need ample space to exercise and run.
27. Standard Poodle
We couldn’t leave out the classic fashion dog – the poodle. The standard white poodle has been a famous icon of French chic for years, complete with a styled coat (shaven legs and all).
Poodles are the national dog of France. In truth, the poodle is not French at all! It’s actually German.
Here’s the great thing about poodles. They do not shed. Or rather, they shed so little as to not be noticeable at all. More than that, they are happy to be around people and even seem to enjoy a little bit of pampering.
On the downside, poodles have a reputation for being very stressed dogs. They react to anxious environments and will pick up human unhappiness quickly. They develop their own neurotic and physical disorders as a result.
Poodles, therefore, need a stable, quiet, calm home and make ideal pets for older people.
Final Thoughts on Big White Dog Breeds
Big dogs are lovely. And big white dogs are instant talking points for anyone who sees them. There’s just an odd fascination with the color (or lack of it), it seems, when it comes to pets.
Large dogs require ample space. It would seem challenging to take on a large breed if you live in a small apartment unless you have very creative solutions for providing the exercise they need.
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Another thing to consider is whether a particularly large breed will get along with any other pets or small kids in the house.
Remember that every dog is different, and even if a breed seems ideal, it is worth getting to know the dog and its temperament before making a permanent move to adoption.
For owners of large dogs, life is all about grooming and keeping them active. You can even add some CBD Oil to their supplements for additional health. If you can see your way to having a great protector or companion to play with (who leaves hair lying around), one of these breeds will be an ideal consideration.
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