For the most part, small fluffy dogs come from the Toy category. But within the Toy group the breeds have various backgrounds from virtually all of the other groups of dogs. You can find dogs that have ties to the Sporting group, the Spitz or Northern group, the Terriers, and even to the Hounds. There are also many breeds that have always been companion dogs. So, here is a look at some of the different types of small fluffy dogs.
Companion-type dogs are small dogs which have always been kept as companions. They have never had any other kind of work. Their sole purpose has always been to offer affection and comfort. There are many of these little dogs in the Toy group such as the Japanese Chin, the Papillon, the Pekingese, and the Shih Tzu. The Lowchen in the Non-Sporting group is another fluffy little dog that has always been a companion breed.
There are also some Spitz-type dogs that qualify as fluffy little dogs. The most popular of these breeds is the tiny Pomeranian who weighs from 3 to 7 pounds now, though at one time the breed weighed around 30 pounds and was used to pull sleds. In the Non-Sporting group the American Eskimo Dog is a small pure white dog with a beautiful dense coat. Although they look like a Spitz breed the American Eskimo Dog was long used as a circus dog because of its great intelligence and the ease with which it learned tricks. The Eskie stands up to 19 inches tall at the shoulder.
There are a number of small dogs which originated in the Terrier group though most of them do not have a fluffy coat. Like many terriers, some of them have a wiry coat such as the Affenpinscher. The Brussels Griffon can be either rough-coated or smooth-coated. Other dogs that began life as terriers have long, silky coats, such as the Yorkshire Terrier and the Silky Terrier. Other breeds with terrier origins have smooth coats, such as the Manchester Terrier and the Miniature Pinscher.
The Italian Greyhound is a Toy version of his larger relatives the Greyhound and the Whippet, though it is possible that the breed was used for hunting purposes at some time. The IG, as he is often called, only reaches 15 inches tall at the shoulder. The Italian Greyhound is a small dog but he isn’t fluffy. He has a smooth coat.
Other breeds in the Toy and Non-Sporting group had other jobs before they became strictly companion breeds. For instance, the three breeds that are native to Tibet were all kept as watchdogs in various ways. The Lhasa Apso was an indoor watchdog, guarding Buddhist monasteries and the homes of nobles. Tibetan Spaniels stood watch on monastery walls and were also kept as prized companions. Tibetan Terriers (who are not actually terriers) were beloved companions of the lhamas in Tibet and were also used for herding.
The Chow Chow, from China, was originally a working dog though its exact origin is unknown. It may be related to the Shar-Pei. The breed was considered an all-purpose dog and was used for herding, hunting, protection, and even pulling over 2000 years ago. The Chow is a loving, devoted dog though they do need plenty of early socialization. They stand up to 20 inches tall at the shoulder and they have a dense reddish-gold coat with a lion-like mane.
There are all kinds of small fluffy dogs. They have different temperaments and they had different origins. Some of these small dogs have always been companion dogs but many of them originally had jobs. If you are thinking of getting a small dog be sure to investigate the breeds you are interested in so you make sure you get the right dog for you.