Are you curious about where to get your hands on a white dog?
There is certainly something beautifully majestic about white dogs, especially when those dogs are paired with stunning blue, green, or even dark brown eyes.
But what is it about white dogs that have us totally smitten, and what makes a white dog so different from any other type of dog color out there?
That’s what we’re here to find out. Join us today as we talk about white dogs, learn a bit about white dog genetics, and talk about some of the most beautiful white dogs in the canine kingdom.
Let’s get started.
What’s In A White Dog? Let’s Talk Genetics
White coat colors and blue eyes are recessive genes, making them both a rather rare combination.
There are countless colors and color combinations available in the world of canine coats, but white dogs continue to be one of the most sought after and desirable colors. In some cultures, a white dog represents peace, while other cultures view white dogs as good omens of love, fidelity, gratitude and respect.
White dogs are also head-turning, especially when their coats are properly cared for and these dogs are kept groomed and clean.
But there’s something else interesting about white dogs. When it comes to the color spectrum of doggy coat colors, a pure white coat is sometimes rare, especially when dealing with certain breeds.
Why? Well, it all comes down to genetics.
According to the experts, a dog’s coat color is determined by two base colors which are red and black. And while genetics are not as predictable as many of us would like them to be, we do know that the most common canine coat colors to come of these two base colors are black, brown and white.
When it comes to white coated dogs, the color of white can vary. Often, you’ll hear of a white coat being described as cream, off-white, egg-white, and even light grey.
But if white is one of the most common colors in dogs, why is it sometimes considered rare? Well, it all depends on the breed. Some dog breeds are inherently white, while others are more commonly black, brown, or a combination of colors and patterns.
And while we are head over heels for these stunning white dogs, it’s important for potential owners to also understand that there are some cons to raising white dogs.
The Disadvantages Of Raising And Owning A White Dog
White dogs can be more at risk for certain health issues that owners should be aware of.
For most dogs, coat color does not have an impact on their overall temperament, but there can be impacts on health and grooming needs, especially when it comes to the white dogs on our list below.
Let’s take a moment to talk about the disadvantages of owning and raising a dog with a white coat.
Potential Health Issues In White Dogs
Dogs with white coats have been statistically shown to struggle more with certain genetic health issues. Some of these health issues include:
- Skin Cancer
- Skin Issues
- Generalized Tremor Syndrome (AKA Little White Shaker Syndrome)
You can help protect your white dog from the above potential health issues by ensuring you speak with your vet and have your dog health screened. Investing in a quality dog sunscreen can also help protect your white dog’s sensitive skin, as can ensuring your dog is on a quality dog food to help reduce potential allergy issues.
When it comes to potential deafness or cancer in white dogs, the best way to combat these issues is to ensure you get your puppy or rescue dog through a reputable source. You can also have your dog health screened early on to find out which types of health issues they are most susceptible too.
We should also take a moment to discuss White Dog Shaker Syndrome. Also known as Generalized Tremor Syndrome, LIttle White Shaker Syndrome, Steroid Responsive Tremors, White Shaker Dog Syndrome or simply just Shaker Syndrome, this disorder commonly affects smaller white-coated dogs under 30 pounds like Maltese dogs and toy Poodles.
That said, this syndrome can affect any dog of any color, size or breed, and should be monitored and diagnosed by your veterinarian.
Usually, this syndrome is not dangerous or life threatening and is often easily treated and controlled by a steroid called Prednisone.
Potential Grooming Issues In White Dogs
Grooming white dogs may require a bit more maintenance than grooming other, darker colored dogs. This is because white coats tend to show dirt and stains more readily. White dogs are also more prone to tear stains that can be difficult to remove.
Luckily, as long as owners keep up with routine grooming practices and invest in the right products, keeping a white dog looking it’s best should be simple.
Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at some incredible white dogs we are totally obsessed with.
1. The American Eskimo
American Eskimo dogs belong to the Spitz group.
Height: (Toy) 9-12 Inches, (Miniature) 15-19 Inches, (Standard) 15-19 Inches
Weight: (Toy) 6-10 Pounds, (Miniature) 10-20 Pounds, (Standard) 25-35 Pounds
Temperament: Friendly, Outgoing, Intelligent, Playful
Lifespan: 13-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, ear infections, dental issues
American Eskimo Overview:
A clever Spitz breed, the American Eskimo was once originally known as the German Spitz and was beloved by circus performers for their incredible and highly trainable dispositions. They also spent time throughout history as versatile working dogs on farms. Anyone who meets these charming white dogs are quick to fall in love with their big personalities.
They get along well with children and other pets and make wonderful family dogs for the active, outgoing household.
The American Eskimo was registered by the American Kennel Club in 1995 and today comes in three size varieties including Toy, Miniature and Standard.
2. The Bichon Frise
The Bichon is famous for his curly white coat and sweet temperament.
Height: 9.5-11.5 Inches
Weight: 12-18 Pounds
Temperament: Friendly, Spunky, Curious, Playful
Lifespan: 14-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Bladder infections, allergies, cataracts, luxating patella, early tooth loss, gum infections, and ear infections
Bichon Frise Overview:
When it comes to white dogs, the Bichon Frise is a family favorite for anyone looking for a smaller, hypoallergenic companion. This dog is known for his playful energy, devotion to his family, and patience with children.
Though small, the Bichon Frise is just compact enough to get on well with youngsters. He will also enjoy playing with other household pets like dogs and cats and will enjoy road trips, brisk walks, and lots of playtime with his family.
Ideal for apartment living, the Bichon Frise also makes a wonderful addition to homes of seniors and singles.
3. The English Cream Golden Retriever
The English Cream Golden Retriever is a gorgeous color variation of one of America’s most favorite breeds.
Height: 21.5- 24 Inches
Weight: 55-75 Pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, Friendly, Loyal, Family-Oriented
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, juvenile cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, pigmentary uveitis, subvalvular aortic stenosis and other heart issues, and ear infections
English Cream Golden Retriever Overview:
The English Cream Golden Retriever is considered one of the most highly regarding colors of the Golden Retriever available. This stunning dog maintains all the magnificence of his Golden Retriever counterparts, famous for his incredible intelligence, family-friendly nature, and outgoing disposition.
These white dogs know no strangers and are fabulous companions for outgoing families. They do require lots of exercise and mental stimulation, however, and can be problematic for allergy sufferers as they do shed quite extensively.
4. The Kuvasz
Originally bred to guard livestock, the modern-day Kuvasz makes a devoted and intelligent companion.
Height: 26-30 Inches
Weight: 80-120 Pounds
Temperament: Devoted, Fearless, Intelligent
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, autoimmune thyroiditis, cardiac conditions, progressive retinal atrophy, and bloat.
The Kuvasz is a large working breed originally bred to guard livestock. For this reason, he is highly devoted, incredibly intelligent and fearless to boot. Though massive, the Kuvasz is known to be loving and gentle with children. He is loyal to his family and makes a wonderful guard dog if he feels his loved ones are being threatened.
However, due to his strong work ethic and incredible intelligence, this is one of the white dogs on our list who is best suited for experienced dog owners with an understanding of high-energy, devoted working breeds.
5. The Samoyed Dog
The Samoyed is famously known as the “Smiling Sammy”.
Height: 19-23.5 Inches
Weight: 35-65 Pounds
Temperament: Affectionate, Gentle. Easy-Going, Adaptable
Lifespan: 12-14 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, cardiac disorders, eye issues, and dental disease
A happy and outgoing breed, it’s no wonder the Samoyed is often referred to as the Smiling Sammy! These dogs are gentle and intelligent and do well with children and other household pets. They are also highly adaptable, making them great dogs for first time dog owners.
However, they become very bonded with their human families and require lots of time, attention and affection. If left to their own devices, the Samoyed can become destructive and be prone to chewing, barking, bathroom accidents and more.
6. The West Highland White Terrier
Also known as Westies, West Highland Terrier dogs have been made famous in Hollywood and TV commercials.
Height: 10-11 Inches
Weight: 15-20 Pounds
Temperament: Sweet, Loyal, Funny, Adoring
Lifespan: 13-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Patellar luxation, cardiac disease and dental disease
West Highland White Terrier Overview:
Also known as the Westie, the West Highland White Terrier is one of the most popular white dogs on our list. They are beloved for their infectious personalities and playful dispositions, and enjoy being the center of attention.
A terrier breed through and through, Westies can be prone to stubborn and sometimes bossy behaviors. That said, they are highly trainable and intelligent. With the right owner, they will be quick to learn and eager to please.
7. The Komondor
The Komondor is a beautiful dog breed whose coat naturally dreads.
Height: 25.5-27.5+ Inches
Weight: 80-100 Pounds
Temperament: Courageous, Proud, Devoted
Lifespan: 10-12 Years
Common Health Issues: There are no major health issues for this breed
Healthy and energetic, this is one of those white dogs you won’t be able to miss. The Komondor is famous not only for his long, corded coat, but also for his incredible intelligence and devotion.
This working dog is indigenous to Hungary and spent much of his early years working as a strong and imposing guard dog of his family’s flock. As such, this is an independent breed who is best suited for experienced dog owners.
8. The Havanese
The Havanese is a stellar dog for show, winning with it’s glorious and flowing coat.
Height: 8.5-11.5 Inches
Weight: 7-13 Pounds
Temperament: Bright, Spirited, Comedic, Friendly
Lifespan: 14-16 Years
Common Health Issues: Chondrodysplasia, eye disorders, deafness, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, heart murmurs, patellar luxation, and dental issues
Small and sweet, the Havanese is one of our white dogs who is a bred companion dog. This pup is highly devoted to his people and becomes very bonded with his family, making him best suited for those with flexible schedules.
He will thrive with owners who dote on him and while he can get along well with older children, younger children could accidentally injure this fragile breed. These sweet white dogs are great additions to homes of those who suffer from allergies, though their long, silky coats can require quite a bit of grooming.
9. The White Poodle
The Poodle comes in several beautiful colors, but the white is just breathtaking.
Height: 10-15 + Inches
Weight: 6-70 Pounds
Temperament: Intelligent, Athletic, Proud
Lifespan: 10 – 18 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disorders, sebaceous adenitis, idiopathic epilepsy, von Willebrand’s disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes, luxating patella, and immune-mediated disorders.
The Poodle comes in three size varieties including toy, miniature and standard. He also comes in a plethora of coat colors, but when it comes to white dogs, the white Poodle is a show stopper.
His tight, curly coat is famous not only for being hypoallergenic, but also for the famous and fanciful haircut Poodles are known for.
Due to their incredible intelligence and eagerness to please, Poodles make wonderful family companions for dog owners of all ages and backgrounds. They are athletic, outgoing and friendly and do well with children and other pets.
10. The Dogo Argentino
This is a pup with a bad reputation, though he is actually a loyal and loving dog who is quick to learn.
Height: 24-26.5 Inches
Weight: 88-100 Pounds
Temperament: Brave, Athletic, Devoted
Lifespan: 9-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, cardiac issues and ear infections
Dogo Argentino Overview:
Bred as a loyal and fierce hunting dog, the Dogo Argentino was once designed to take down prey like cougars and wild boar. As such, this dog is naturally fearless and athletic, meaning any potential owner should be prepared for a lot of training and exercise with this breed.
Best suited for experienced dog owners who understand athletic, working dogs, the Dogo Argentino can make a great family companion and gets along well with children and other dogs when properly trained and socialized.
However, he does have a high prey drive and may be prone to chasing after smaller dogs and cats.
11. The White German Shepherd
White German Shepherds are rare, but they are certainly head turning.
Height: 77-88 Pounds
Weight: 22-26 Inches
Temperament: Courageous, Confident, Intelligent, Devoted
Lifespan: 12-14 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, autoimmune diseases and skin issues
White Swiss Shepherd Overview:
Also known as the White Shepherd, the White German Shepherd is a variation of German Shepherd with the same origins and roots. This dog has been perfected overtime and is renowned for his stunning and pure white coat.
The White Swiss Shepherd maintains most of the characteristics that we love from his German Shepherd counterpart and is a loyal, loving and devoted companion best suited for experienced dog owners.
12. The White Husky
White Husky dogs are more common than many on this list, but this doesn’t make them any less beautiful.
Height: 20-23.5 Inches
Weight: 35-60 Pounds
Temperament: Mischievous, Friendly, Devoted, Athletic
Lifespan: 12-14 Years
Common Health Issues: Hip dysplasia and juvenile cataracts,
White Husky Overview:
Originating in Siberia, the White Husky is a color variation of the Siberian Husky that is incredibly popular. Often coming with blue or green eyes, the White Husky is a family favorite and is one of our favorite white dogs for active, outgoing families ready to keep up with this breed’s energy.
Husky dogs in general are very athletic and require lots of exercise each and every day to stay happy and healthy. They are also family oriented and will do best in homes with owners who have flexible schedules.
13. The Maltese
Maltese dogs are not only beautiful, but they are also bred companion dogs.
Height: 7-9 Inches
Weight: Under 7 Pounds
Temperament: Charming, Affectionate, Gentle
Lifespan: 12-15 Years
Common Health Issues: Luxating patella, patent ductus arteriosus, congenital liver issues, encephalitis and dental disease.
If you’re looking for white dogs who love to be pampered, then look no further than the sweet and affectionate maltese. Bred specifically for companionship, the beautiful Maltese is a loyal lap dog who knows nothing but love.
This dog is a great addition to those in apartments or for retired seniors or singles. However, he will not do well in homes with very small or rough children. He requires a loving, devoted owner who has time to spend with him each and every day.
14. The Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear was a hidden gem for generations.
Height: 9-11 Inches
Weight: 8-15 Pounds
Temperament: Happy, Playful, Easy-Going, Charming
Lifespan: 15-19 Years
Common Health Issues: There are no major health issues listed for this breed, though owners are encouraged to look out for luxating patella, spinal disc disease, and dental issues.
Coton de Tulear Overview:
Relatively new to the States, the Coton de Tulear originally hails from Madagascar. It was there that this sweet and devoted lapdog was kept carefully guarded from outside sources, and it wasn’t until the 1960’s when the French discovered the breed’s existence.
The Coton de Tulear was registered by the American Kennel Club in 2014 and is still making his way up the ranks as a popular and adoring lap dog.
15. The White Pomeranian
The White Pomeranian is one of several color variations of this teddy-bear like breed.
Height: 6-7 Inches
Weight: 3-7 Pounds
Temperament: Bright, Spirited, Curious
Lifespan: 12-16 Years
Common Health Issues: Luxating Patella, collapsing trachea, congestive heart failure, hypothyroidism, alopecia X, seizures, and dental disease.
The Pomeranian is one of the smallest white dogs on our list, though this breed also comes in several other colors including black, brown, tan, red and grey. Also known as a teddy bear dog, the Pomeranian is a high-spirited spitz breed who was bred down from his much larger ancestors to be a devoted and loving lap dog.
With that in mind, Pomerainians are energetic and active little dogs who do best in homes with owners who are able to be around them often. They love to play and can get into mischief, and though they are outgoing and lively, they can be easily injured by rough children or larger pets.
Tips On Raising A Healthy Puppy Or Rescue Dog
When looking for a white puppy or rescue, make sure you go through reputable, qualified sources. (https://pixabay.com/photos/puppy-dog-pet-animal-cute-4234435/)
For the most part, there is no difference between raising a white dog vs any other color of dog out there. However, it is important to remember that some white dogs can be more susceptible to certain health issues.
To ensure you wind up with the healthiest dog possible, make sure you go through reputable sources. When looking for a puppy, avoid going through backyard breeders or online sellers promising a puppy for a bargain price.
Instead, stick with qualified breeders who understand the importance of responsible breeding practices and breeders who will be able to offer you a certificate of health proving their dogs have been screened and cleared of any serious health issues.
If you prefer to rescue, you’re in luck. Many reputable shelters will have had their dogs health screened and behaviorally tested before putting their dogs up for adoption. They may even be able to provide you with a free initial vet exam.
Once you’ve decided which source you want to go through to get your white dog of choice, your next step should be to focus on preparation. Make sure you have all the new puppy or dog essentials including a leash, harness, dog bowls, toys and bedding. It’s also important to make sure you are feeding these white dogs a healthy diet that is specified for their age, weight and activity level.
Keep up with routine exercise and vet visits, and be sure not to neglect important grooming practices.
Last but not least, make sure you properly socialize and train your new white dog to ensure he grows up happy, healthy and well rounded.
Keep training light, game-like and fun to help hold your dog’s interest, and refrain from using punishments or scolding. Instead, focus on positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise, as these methods have been proven to work more quickly when it comes to training white dogs (or any dog, for that matter).
And that’s it, folks! Now we want to hear from you. Do you have any favorite white dogs we didn’t list above? Tell us what you think about white dogs in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!
Jen Jones is a professional dog trainer and behavior specialist with more than 25 years of experience. As the founder of ‘Your Dog Advisor’ and the ‘Canine Connection’ rehabilitation center, she applies a holistic, empathetic approach, aiming to address root causes rather than merely treating symptoms.
Well known for her intuitive and compassionate approach, Jen adopts scientifically-proven, reward-based methods, encouraging positive reinforcement over punishment. Jen specializes in obedience training, behavior modification, and puppy socialization. Her innovative methods, particularly in addressing anxiety and aggression issues, have been widely recognized. Jen has worked with many of the world’s leading dog behaviorists and in her free time volunteers with local animal shelters and rescue groups.