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Meet the White Fluffy Dog Breeds

Get to know the Bichon, Bolognese, Maltese and Coton de Tulear, all small, white-coifed breeds with winning personalities!

By: Camille Lemos

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Belonging to the Toy category, the Maltese is a truly tiny dog, weighing under seven pounds. But despite their small size, the Maltese is nonetheless hardy and adaptable, winning hearts on the agility course with their unexpected athleticism. This petit, playful breed has a charming, gentle, and affectionate nature. They also make surprisingly alert watchdogs. 

Maltese come by their noble bearing naturally. Known as “Ye Ancient Dogge of Malta,” the tiny Maltese has been canine aristocracy for over 28 centuries. The ancient Greeks even erected tombs for their Maltese. These happy dogs are long-lived, shed little, and make elegant and irresistible companions. Used to pampering, they can be a bit a tricky to train but respond well to positive rewards. That silky, straight, floor-sweeping coat is a breed trademark.


Bichon Frise

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Small yet sturdy, these pretty, playful dogs weigh in at just 12 – 18 personality-packed pounds. An ancient breed, the Bichon Frise has been winning hearts since antiquity. Known for their charm, beauty, and cheer, these smart little canines and “among the world’s great personality dogs,” notes the AKC. 


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Highly affectionate and open to making friends, they are good with young kids and other dogs alike. Adaptable and alert, the Bichon takes well to training. A hallmark circle of white curls surrounds a face shining with keen, bright black eyes. The hypoallergenic coat is plush and velvety. At just under a foot high at the shoulder, Bichons are small but resilient, confident but friendly, and fare well in a city environment. 


Coton de Tulear

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The irresistibly charming Coton de Tulear is known for its bright personality. They are happy, amusing companions known for clowning and following their people around. If you like the idea of a little white shadow, this may be the breed for you! The Coton de Tulear (pronounced KO-Tone Dih TOO-Lay-ARE) is a companion dog through and through. Deeply affectionate, Cotons are good with other dogs and young children. Though small—just eight to 15 pounds—they are robust. Their coat is said to be soft as cotton. 


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Cotons are known as the 'Royal Dog of Madagascar' due to its roots on the island, where they were the preferred lapdog of the nobles of Madagascar. The fluffy little comedians were jealously guarded, writes the AKC, with the result that these delightful lapdogs lived in “splendid isolation” until the 1960s, when French tourists discovered the breed. Today, the Coton de Tulear has avid guardians worldwide who celebrate the deep bonds formed with these amusing, gentle, happy-go-lucky companions.



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Originating in Bologna, Italy, this stocky, small dog (six – 10 pounds) is a devoted, companion. Playful and easy going, Bolognese love nothing more than to be with their people. If you’re looking for a faithful friend, you could do no better. But if you work out of the home, look elsewhere—this breed is prone to separation anxiety. The AKC notes the Bolognese does not do well with long periods of alone time, making them ill-suited to owners who work a 9 – 5 job. For the homebody, however, this graceful, charming breed could be a perfect match. The Bolognese tend to be calm and low energy but possess wit, intelligence, and charm in spades. The fluffy white coat is a showstopper.

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>> LOOKING FOR YOUR BREED MATCH? Find more breed profiles at

This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!


Last Updated:

By: Camille Lemos
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