There’s nothing quite like cuddling your dog. They don’t judge you, they’re very forgiving, and they love you unconditionally. And this simple act is beneficial for us, relieving stress and tension, bringing comfort in times of sadness, and just making us feel that all is well. It’s a gift beyond value.
While lap dogs and smaller breeds are great, there’s something about hugging a great big teddy bear that is really satisfying. Beneath all that fluff and fur, they are solid. As well as being comforted, we feel protected.
So, which breeds are we talking about? Are some better than others?
We’re going to answer that question by looking at big fluffy dog breeds to find the biggest and best to snuggle with!
Hypoallergenic Big Fluffy Dog Breeds
This is a good place to start, as pet allergies are common: around 30% of Americans are allergic to their family pet! The last thing you need is to throw your arms around your pooch and bury your face in its fur, only to end up with streaming eyes and a sneezing fit.
If you have mild allergies, you might want to know which big fluffy dog breeds are hypoallergenic, so here’s our selection to get you started:
They’re great with kids, active and playful, extremely intelligent, and easy to train. They’re also famous for their hypoallergenic coats!
While the Standard Poodle might seem the perfect family dog, it’s not all plain sailing. Although they are generally okay with other pets and dogs, certain lines can be highly-strung, making them timid and nervous. This can cause an aggressive streak, so it’s important to research the bloodline and breeder before buying.
The typical Standard Poodle will be polite with strangers and sociable toward other dogs. Their intelligence makes potty training and obedience training an easy process, but this intelligence can also cause them to become anxious if they don’t have enough mental stimulation. And although they are a vigorous breed that loves to be active, they generally prefer a calm, quiet environment. Loud noises and tension in the home may lead to stress and anxiety, which could lead to undesirable behavior.
That fluffy coat will need clipping regularly – at least every six weeks. Whether you do this yourself or use a professional groomer is up to you, depending on your budget and whether you have the time to spare. Don’t worry too much about the style – you don’t have to opt for one of the more ridiculous cuts seen in the show ring! A simple puppy cut, short cut, or teddy bear cut will keep them looking cute and cuddly while making sure that their coat is healthy and manageable.
On average, Standard Poodles measure between 20 and 23 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 45 and 80 pounds, putting them in the medium-to-large dog category.
Smiling Sammies, as they are affectionately known, are one of the happiest, friendliest dog breeds around. They always seem to be smiling, although this is believed to be a genetic feature they evolved to deal with cold climates rather than the fact that they are perpetually happy!
Even so, it adds to their reputation as friendly, cuddly dogs. They’re not the biggest of the bunch, ranging from 19 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 35 and 65 pounds. However, they still deserve a place on our big fluffy dog breeds list, and they have the bonus of being classed as hypoallergenic.
The Samoyed is a Spitz dog from the Nordic region. These are fox-like animals with pointed features, fluffy coats, and small, pricked ears. They range greatly in size, from the Pomeranian and the American Eskimo to the Alaskan Malamute.
As you may have guessed, there are some potential negative points about the Samoyed. They can possess a high prey drive, so they may chase after small animals, and in some cases, they may grab them, resulting in injury. They have a strong herding instinct, too, so there’s a chance they may round up animals and small children with the occasional nip. The best way to deal with these problems is through extensive, consistent training and socialization.
They are also very vocal, with a piercing, high-pitched bark. This can become irritating very quickly!
Sammies are extremely people-oriented and will not take kindly to being left alone or being chained up in a yard (this is never fair to any dog breed, and many states are rightly passing legislation to stop this cruel practice).
This dog thrives on being part of the family, joining in with all the activities you enjoy.
3. The Bouvier Des Flandres
This is a pretty rare dog, so there’s a chance that you’re unfamiliar with the name.
As you will have seen, this dog hails from Belgium (or France, depending on who you believe!), where it has been used as a herder since medieval times. Its survival into the modern era is a remarkable achievement, as the fields and farms where this breed was developed and bred were devastated by the horrors of World War I.
Often called the Bouvier for short, this breed is known for its calm, placid demeanor. These dogs are reliable, loyal, and very intelligent. They are not naturally aggressive, but they do have a strong will combined with a highly developed sense of protectiveness. If they are pushed to do so, they will defend their ‘flock’ using force if necessary.
The Bouvier Des Flandres definitely qualifies for our big fluffy dog breeds list, standing between 23.5 and 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 70 and 110 pounds.
Their rough, double-coat is hypoallergenic, which is excellent news for allergy sufferers. However, this will probably require daily brushing, so you’ll need to set aside the time to do this.
The word hypoallergenic is often misunderstood, so it’s important to be clear: it does not mean that your dog is guaranteed 100% allergy-free. The word hypoallergenic simply means that something is less likely to induce an allergic reaction.
Humans with pet allergies are allergic to the proteins in dog dander, saliva, and urine (to a certain extent). Dander (flakes of dry skin) can float around your home or become attached to loose hairs that fall off the dog’s coat. These hairs may also have dried saliva on them from when the dog washed itself.
When people with allergies come into contact with the hair and dander, their immune system overreacts, mistakenly identifying the proteins as a harmful substance. Signals are sent to the mucus membrane to produce more. We sneeze to rid our noses of the irritant. Sometimes the allergens make contact with our eyes, which react by becoming watery and itchy.
In extreme cases, allergic reactions can include shortness of breath, wheezing, and asthma attacks.
All of these symptoms are caused by our own bodies trying to protect us from something that is otherwise harmless!
Big Fluffy Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed
One drawback of owning a fluffy dog is that some are heavy shedders. All that extra fluff has to go somewhere, often finding its way onto your furniture, clothes, carpets, rugs, bed, and even in your dinner! This is also linked to pet allergies, as the more loose hair your dog sheds, the more likely you are to be exposed to allergens.
So, which big fluffy dog breeds are better when it comes to shedding?
Well, the Standard Poodle makes this list, as does the Bouvier Des Flandres, and, to an extent, the Samoyed.
In addition, we should mention the following big fluffy dog breeds:
1. The Afghan Hound
The Afghan Hound has a long, silky single-coat that flows to the ground and covers its feet unless you keep it clipped. This dog has an unusual look, with slender, pointed features and long, flowing locks. Don’t let its aloof appearance and graceful movement fool you – they can be as goofy as anything when the mood takes them!
They can be sensitive and require gentle handling. With the right care and attention, they are loyal and affectionate companion dogs. They have a lot of energy, and you must ensure they get enough exercise.
Surprisingly, that long coat doesn’t shed very much if it is groomed regularly. However, you’ll need to brush it daily to avoid matting and tangling.
The Afghan Hound is affectionate towards its owners and happy to be around kids. It is highly adaptable and can cope well with apartment living, though you’ll have to make sure its exercise needs are met. It doesn’t do well when left alone, as this may result in destructive behavior.
As for its size, the Afghan Hound measures between 25 and 27 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 60 pounds.
With its Poodle parentage, this dog (along with many other Doodle Dogs!) fits into both the low-shedding as well as hypoallergenic category.
This is one very affectionate dog! With the kindness and friendliness of a Labrador and the fun-loving nature of the Poodle, you could say that they are the perfect family dog.
As they generally weigh between 50 and 65 pounds and measure between 21 and 24 inches at the shoulder, they are classed as big dogs. And they are definitely fluffy!
As big fluffy dog breeds go, you’d struggle to find a cuddlier example. And this one has the benefit of being hypoallergenic as well as low-shedding.
3. The Portuguese Water Dog
Photo from: @gilliganthepwd
These dogs were once loyal companions of intrepid Portuguese fishermen as they sailed the Atlantic, from the more temperate regions right up to the icy waters of Newfoundland in their search for cod. They were used to herd fish into nets and retrieve lost tackle from the frigid waters. And they undoubtedly would have helped to keep sailors’ spirits up during those long, hazardous journeys!
These days, they are more likely to be found as family companions, treasured for their sense of fun and friendliness. One famous Portie is Bo Obama, who became First Dog of the U.S. during President Obama’s time in the White House.
The Portie only just scrapes into our list, not because it isn’t a cute and cuddly fluff ball, but because it isn’t all that big. They measure between 17 and 23 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 35 and 60 pounds. Even accounting for the fact that male dogs are usually heavier and taller than females, the male Portuguese Water Dog can weigh as little as 42 pounds. To qualify as a ‘big dog,’ they need to weigh at least 50 pounds.
Even so, these working dogs are incredibly huggable and always ready to snuggle, which is why we included them on our list of big fluffy dog breeds.
In all honesty, the title of this section is misleading: the bottom line is that all dogs shed to some degree. There is no such thing as a non-shedding dog (just as there is no such thing as a 100% allergy-free dog). The trick is to find a breed that sheds much less than others, and the ones here on our list are a good place to start your search.
You can play your part through regular brushing and feeding your dog a diet of good-quality dog food. This keeps the hair follicles healthy, meaning that they hang onto the hairs for longer, thus reducing the amount of fur that falls out.
Regular grooming is advisable for most dogs and even more so for big fluffy dog breeds. This isn’t always to get rid of loose hair: matting can become a real problem. When long hairs get in a tangle, they pull on the skin. Aside from being painful, it can break the skin, leading to infection.
Brushing also distributes natural oils throughout the coat, keeping it in good condition.
Big White Fluffy Dog Breeds
There’s something about a dog with a white coat that lends itself to cuddliness. It’s like hugging a cloud. While some people are happy with small dogs like the Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, or Bichon Frise, big white dogs are great for cuddling.
Here are a few big fluffy dog breeds that can have white coats:
• The Samoyed
• The Standard Poodle
• The Great Pyrenees
• The Afghan Hound
• The Siberian Husky
Some have been mentioned already, while you’ll find details on some of the others further along. All of them are big and cuddly!
Largest Fluffy Dog Breeds
Some of the examples we have mentioned are classed as medium-to-large breeds. Now it’s time to concentrate on the seriously big dogs! Even though they are giants, each one is happy to snuggle up to you and will always be ready for a cuddle.
With a height between 23 and 27.5 inches, the Berner weighs between 70 and 115 pounds (adult males don’t usually go lower than 80 pounds), so they are, without a doubt, a big dog!
They are immensely strong, and their duties as working dogs included herding cattle, protecting farms, and hauling heavy carts.
By nature, they are calm, reserved, and friendly animals. They are always loyal, affectionate, and eager to please. They are great with kids and good around other dogs, although they do have a protective side.
Some males have a tendency to be aggressive towards other males, but this can be fixed through early socialization. The best way to describe Berners is ‘slow and steady.’ They are even-tempered and patient, but they can be a little sensitive. When training a Berner, you should take care to never use a harsh tone. Encouragement, praise, and kindness will be rewarded more than any other approach.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is considered a good choice for first-time dog owners, which is rare for a dog this large!
2. The Leonberger
The Leonberger is fairly rare and similar to the Berner in the sense that it is a gentle giant.
Despite its size, measuring between 25.5 and 31.5 inches at the shoulder, it is a wonderfully playful and happy breed that gets on well with kids and will happily tolerate strangers. They seem to express their happiness at both ends continually, with a wagging tail and long tongue that lolls about as the dog laughs everywhere it goes.
This dog just wants to be your friend!
Under all that fluff, there’s a solid dog weighing between 90 and 170 pounds!
This huge dog is a massive cuddling machine and will remain loyal and affectionate throughout its lifetime.
This brings us to the saddest fact, which is its lifespan: Leonbergers rarely live beyond 7 years.
3. The Tibetan Mastiff
Now we really are into the giant breeds. The American Kennel Club (AKC) puts the Tibetan Mastiff’s height at 24+ inches. In reality, male Tibetans can grow up to 35.5 inches.
They are affectionate towards family members and good with kids, though they get on better when raised with children. Training and socialization are essential if you wish to keep control over this giant. Adults weigh between 70 and 150 pounds. When you add the fact that they are intelligent, stubborn, and strong-willed, you can see that this might be a problem if the dog decides to do its own thing rather than listen to you!
Unlike the Leonberger, the Tibetan Mastiff is not good around other dogs. Socialization will help, but you’ll need to supervise them constantly to avoid any unwanted behavior.
They are also intolerant of strangers and very protective of their homes and families. This makes them great guard dogs, but don’t think this rules them out as cuddly dogs. They are big softies when it comes to family!
4. The Great Pyrenees
As with many of these dogs, the name is a clue to their origins. These large dogs would guard their flocks and humans against predators with legendary courage and tenacity. They were also infinitely patient, waiting in the cold mountains for days on end as they watched over the sheep. This patient streak is just one of their endearing qualities today, along with a gentle and affectionate nature.
They are similar in height to the Leonberger, standing between 25 and 32 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 85 and 100 pounds (or more).
Although they are not generally aggressive, they are protective and will defend their home against intruders, including friends or family who don’t visit regularly! Proper training and socialization can help to iron out any ‘misunderstandings.’
These giant dogs are especially fond of kids they grow up with, forming unbreakable bonds of affection. Like most of those on our list of big fluffy dog breeds, they are oversized lap dogs!
5. The Newfoundland
The average Newfie measures between 26 and 28 inches and weighs between 100 and 150 pounds. This is another dog that thinks everyone is its best friend. They are very affectionate, and they adore kids. In fact, they have earned a reputation as babysitters or nanny-dogs, as they’ll happily keep watch over small children for many hours to make sure they are safe.
Their sweet and affectionate nature is the key point in the AKC breed standards.
However, this giant dog comes with some challenges:
• They are experts at tracking debris and dirt through your home.
• They shed a lot (as do most of the dogs on our list).
• They often smell bad because of skin infections or seasonal allergies that increase the secretion of natural oils.
• They drool a lot!
Most dog lovers will overlook all of these points and take it in their stride, but it’s always worth knowing what you’re letting yourself in for before you get a dog of your own.
We’ve included the Chow Chow in our list of big fluffy dog breeds not because it is immense in size but because it looks so big due to its fluffy coat! Nevertheless, it’s still a solid dog under all that fur, and it’s great to cuddle.
Standing between 17 and 20 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 45 and 70 pounds, the Chow Chow sits at the lower end of the scale. However, it makes up for it with a dense coat that seems to make it double in size.
Socialization is always important, but especially so for this dog. They tend to be aloof and independent, so you need to ensure that you always have the upper hand, or they will assume control and do their own thing!
Chow Chows can form a biting habit, so you’ll need to train them out of this from an early age. They are not recommended for first-time owners as they need an experienced hand to deal with them. Despite their stubbornness, they do make strong attachments to family and will protect and defend them fiercely.
They are very smart and use their intelligence to discern and detect any threats.
Chow Chows are heavy shedders and require a good deal of grooming. On top of this, you’ll need to set aside at least an hour each day to exercise them. Like most dogs, if they don’t get enough exercise, they will become bored, frustrated, and destructive.
Of all the dogs on this list, they are a bit of an enigma: they look like giant teddy bears, but they aren’t always happy to cuddle! It all comes down to the individual dog.
7. The St. Bernard
Weighing between 120 and 200 pounds and measuring between 26 and 30 inches at the shoulder, the St. Bernard dog is among the biggest, fluffiest, and loveable pooches you could meet.
They are infinitely patient with kids and have nothing but love to give. Although their size alone is usually enough to make intruders think twice, these are very gentle and placid dogs. However, they will become protective if they sense that their family is in danger.
St. Bernards love to join in with family fun and games and will sulk if they feel left out. They can be stubborn, so you’ll need to train them early as you don’t want a 200-pound dog to make its own decisions!
They are placid, easy-going dogs that don’t need a lot of exercise. This means that they won’t consume as much food as other dogs of a similar size as they don’t expend as much energy. It’s easy to overfeed them, but this can lead to stress and strain on the heart and joints, so you must be careful how much food you give them.
St. Bernards are heavy shedders, and they drool a lot, so you’ll need to be prepared for this if you take one on. Also, you’ll need to expose them to a variety of sights, sounds, experiences, and people when they are young, as this prepares them for adulthood and limits their sensitivity to certain things. Without this, they can become aggressive when confronted with something unfamiliar.
8. The Akita Inu
This dog measures between 24 and 28 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 70 and 130 pounds, making it Japan’s biggest dog breed.
Its history as a fighting dog has tarnished this dog’s reputation over the years, and it is still considered best for ‘one-dog families’ as it tends to be aggressive toward other dogs (especially males toward other males).
However, it is extremely loyal and faithful to family members. They are affectionate and will form very strong bonds. It’s likely that they will reserve their cuddles for the person they love and respect the most!
More Big Fluffy Dog Breeds
They might not be hypoallergenic, they’re not the biggest, and they shed a lot. But all of the dogs in the next list are pretty big, definitely fluffy (to some degree), and good for snuggling.
With their comical appearance and sense of mischief, the Old English Sheepdog has won the hearts of many dog lovers over the years. They became extremely popular in the 1970s after being used in commercials for a famous paint brand, but this was bad news for the breed. Some breeders cut corners to keep up with demand, resulting in sub-standard dogs that were prone to aggression and disease.
It has taken a few decades to iron out the problems, and it is still essential to train and socialize these dogs as soon as possible. They are not typically thought of as guard dogs, although they do have a sense of protectiveness when it comes to the people they love most.
Their mischievousness is funny to see, though you might not think so at times: they often seem to enjoy seeing their owners’ frustration at their antics!
The main issue with Old English Sheepdogs is their shaggy coat, as it needs constant attention to keep it in good condition. This means daily brushing and frequent baths. Some owners clip the coat short a couple of times a year to make things easier.
These dogs measure between 21 and 22 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 60 and 100 pounds, though they look much bigger because of all that fluff!
Aussie Shepherds are easy-going and at the same time have boundless energy. Like some of our other dogs here, they are medium-sized rather than big, weighing between 40 and 65 pounds and measuring between 20 and 22 inches.
These dogs love to play with kids and generally get on well with other dogs. They tend to thrive best in the country or with a large, securely-fenced yard in which to run around.
Aussies must be kept active, as they are intelligent and energetic. Without proper physical exercise and mental stimulation, they will become destructive and potentially aggressive. They hate being kept apart from their owners and don’t like being left home alone.
This dog is best suited to a close-knit, active family where someone is home most of the time. Although they aren’t regarded as an aggressive breed, they will protect their home and family when necessary.
3. The Bearded Collie
Known for their quick wit and sense of fun, Bearded Collies take friendliness to extremes. They’ll be sure to alert you to the presence of a stranger by barking furiously, but then welcome the stranger enthusiastically, usually by jumping on them and smothering them with kisses!
This is another fairly big dog that loves to be around kids, though they can be overly exuberant at times. Given their herding background, there may also be a tendency to nip at heels,.
Again, these are medium dogs, standing between 20 and 22 inches at the shoulder. They generally weigh between 40 and 60 pounds, but they are prone to obesity if they get too many treats.
Beardies are fussy eaters, so you might need to adjust their diet to find the right balance.
Like many of the other dogs here, Bearded Collies prefer to be busy. Give them a job to do, and they’re in their element! Agility courses, herding competitions, and any other dog sports will keep them happy. Without adequate exercise and stimulation, they will become bored, which will lead to unwanted behavior, including excessive barking and digging.
Early socialization is essential, as is obedience training.
Grooming your Beardie will be a daily task if you want to keep that long coat free of tangles!
Photo from: @minavarinaphotos
A relative newcomer in the dog world, the Eurasier was bred using Samoyeds, Chow Chows, and the Keeshond (a Dutch breed similar to the Pomeranian). The name reflects their European and Asian heritage, taking the best of the East and West to make a beautiful, confident, well-rounded dog.
They are very family-oriented dogs, even-tempered and calm. They are always alert and watchful, ready to protect their families against all threats.
These dogs were bred specifically for their temperament, so you always know what to expect.
They are medium-to-large in size, measuring between 19 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 40 and 70 pounds when fully grown.
5. The Rough Collie
This Collie achieved worldwide fame when the Lassie films hit the screen and has been popular ever since, with its flowing coat and elegant looks.
These are intelligent, gentle dogs that are very good with kids and have a lot of love to share with their families.
Measuring between 22 and 26 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 50 and 70 pounds, they just fall into the ‘big dog’ category. Their herding heritage means that they are agile and energetic, so make sure you have space for them to run free. However, they are able to keep that energy contained when in the home.
They love to be around people and other animals, and they don’t like being left alone for long.
6. The Golden Retriever
Though it is not the fluffiest of dogs, it would be wrong to exclude one of the most popular dog breeds in the world! The Golden Retriever is the friendliest of dogs. If you want a cuddly canine, you can’t go wrong with a Golden.
As well as being your best friend, the Golden Retriever is very smart and easy to train. They adapt well to most situations and will easily fit in with your lifestyle and routine.
They measure between 21.5 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55 and 75 pounds, so once again, they are not the biggest of our big fluffy dog breeds.
The best thing about them is, well, everything! There are very few negatives with the Golden Retriever. They are great with kids, love strangers, and get on well with other pets and dogs. Despite their calm nature, they have a lot of energy and love to be active all the time, so they are best suited to families that like the outdoor life.
If there is a downside to these dogs, it’s that they are heavy shedders, losing hair throughout the year and even more in spring and fall when their undercoat blows.
7. The Siberian Husky
Friendly, alert, gentle, intelligent, and slightly crazy!
The Husky’s thick coat was designed to protect it from harsh Siberian winters as it pulled sleds through the frozen wastes. They thrive on human company and love to be around their families. They have a stubborn streak, so early training is essential to keep them in line. Although Huskies can be protective, they also have a very strong prey drive and will chase small animals. They also love a good run, and this instinct will occasionally override their protectiveness.
Huskies are good with kids and okay with other dogs, especially when raised with them.
Okay, once again, they’re not massive dogs, with most falling below the 50-pound limit that qualifies dogs as being big. Most Huskies measure between 21 and 23 inches at the shoulder.
These are very vocal dogs, but they like to howl rather than bark. Any sound will set them off, such as a passing fire truck or even piano music!
A Few Final Thoughts
Any dog is a lifelong commitment and a big responsibility, no matter which breed you choose.
We’ve listed a few big fluffy dog breeds here so you can get an idea of the best dog for you. Some are bigger than others. Some are much fluffier than others. Some will be happy to cuddle all day long, while others will be more selective.
The main point here is that each breed has its quirks and character, although there are similarities among many breeds. It is essential to research a dog breed properly before buying from a breeder or contacting your local rescue group.
Big dogs take a lot more looking after than small ones. They also tend to have a shorter lifespan, will definitely cost more to feed, and your vet bills will be higher.
You need to consider all the aspects of owning a big dog before committing yourself to getting one. You need to accept that there will be an emotional, physical, and financial cost. There will be many, many happy times, but there will also be sad, worrying, and frustrating times ahead.
Once you’re prepared for this and you’re convinced that you made the right choice, you’ll be rewarded with companionship, fun, joy, unconditional love, and all the cuddles you could wish for!