Perhaps the most famous example of a small white dog with long hair is “Snowy” , the constant companion to the cartoon character Tintin.
Snowy was based on a breed of dog called Wire Fox Terriers who appear first on my list but my list does contain six other breeds as well.
Some of these breeds have coats which are pure white, where the brilliance astounds you. Other breeds have what I would call “dirtier” shades of white coat.
And not all of their hair is the same kind of “long”- for some breeds, the hair is so long in places that it touches the ground, other breeds have a rougher wiry texture and for others the hair is just extremely fluffy.
Next, I quickly want to look at the pros and cons of owning a small dog.
Pros and cons of small dogs
Let’s start in a positive frame of mind and look at the advantages of small dogs.
- They create less mess
- They are cheaper to feed
- Don’t need as much exercise
And now to keep it real, let’s move on to some of the disadvantages.
- They are more expensive to buy in the first place.
- They are noisier- they yap and bark more.
Pros and cons of long haired dogs
You are also thinking of getting a long haired dog, what are some of the pros and cons with this?
First, the pros.
- Long haired dogs look more stylish
And the drawbacks?
- More time or money on grooming
- Make more mess
- Create more odour
- Harder to wash and dry.
Finally, I briefly want to explain how a dog’s coat gets to be coloured white.
How are white coats coloured?
All the hundreds of colour combinations that we see on the coats of every breed of dog (including pure breeds and mixes) are created by three pigments.
A black pigment created by a substance called eumelanin and a red pigment created by pheomelanin.
The exact shade of each pigment, its place and shape on a dog’s coat and whether or not it appears at all is all down to genes.
The third pigment is white but white hair or fur on a dog’s coat is created when there is no pigment at all- eumelanin and pheomelanin are nowhere to be seen.
 Wire Fox Terrier
Let’s start with our superstar shall we?
Wire Fox Terriers should be mostly white, other than that the colour doesn’t matter.
A dog that is all white is quite rare- most dogs are tri-coloured
Their coat is best described as wiry and a defining feature is their long snout with a moustache growing either side of their nose.
They should be no heavier than 39 cm or just over 15 inches and they should weigh no more than 8.6 kgs or 19 lbs.
These dogs were bred to hunt foxes and badgers.
And this fearlessness and independent spirit can be a problem when they are in situations with very little structure and stimulation.
But perhaps their plucky nature is best illustrated by the fact that the Wire Fox Terrier has won more best in show awards at The Westminster Kennel dog shows than any other breed, bar none.
And with that, we shall move onto our second breed.
 West Highland Terrier
West Highland Terriers (Westies for short) have a coat which is both thick and long.
And they are so exclusive that their coats only come in white.
But although at first glance, the coat must look nice and soft, it is quite rough to the touch.
And it is a coat that requires a lot of work.
A trip to the groomers every six weeks or so is recommended so that the coat can be stripped or clipped and then daily brushing is recommended.
Bred in the 16th century as a guardian of farm grain stores and vermin killer, whilst most Westie’s no longer perform this role, the breed retains the same levels of tenacity and independence today.
In terms of size, an adult male Westie might just stretch to 27 cm or 11 inches tall and weigh up to 9 kgs (20 lbs.)
Westie’s don’t need much fussing but they will enjoy lots of interactive play.
It seems to me that Westie’s coats are often a dirty white.
Now that could be because of the thickness of their coat or because they are so..adventurous!
In contrast is the Maltese- a coat of purer white you would be hard pressed to find.
But it’s another exclusive breed- Maltese only come in pure white.
The brilliant white of their coat adds to a delicacy that comes with a dog which weighs just over 3 kgs (or 7 lbs) and at their tallest are 22 cm (or 9 inches.)
But to only describe the colour of the hair is to do this dog a huge injustice.
The long hair gives this dog such an incredible shape because it is so long that it meets the ground.
It is almost as if the dog has a blanket of pure white draped over it.
Hair falls freely from the top of its head and from either side of their noses.
I wrote that you don’t need to fuss a Westie but with a Maltese that is almost their raison d’etre.
They are toy dog that like nothing better than some pampering and grooming.
 Japanese Spitz
This is another breed with a coat that only comes in pure white- the kind of dog that I would be petrified to take outside for fear of spoiling the brilliance of the coat.
And the coat is very long and fluffy- as if the dog has spent too long under a hair dryer.
It gives this dog a lion-like look to it because the coat grows into a mane around the dog’s head.
The fluffy and soft look is completed by a tail that curls over it’s back.
The Japanese Spitz is quite a big dog for this list- standing up to 37 cm or 15 inches tall and weighing up to 11.3 kg or 25 pounds.
This dog is happiest when he is surrounded by a loving human family.
They only need a moderate amount of exercise- a daily walk or game of fetch should suffice.
 American Eskimo Dog
If you have just blinked twice, thinking that the American Eskimo Dog (Eskie) is just the Japanese Spitz dog, you wouldn’t be too far wrong.
But there are a few differences.
The AKC recognises the Eskie as a full breed, whereas the Japanese Spitz has a lesser status of “Foundation Stock.”
Also, the Eskie comes in three sizes: standard, miniature and toy.
The Standard is between 38-48cm or 15- 19 inches tall and weighs up to 35 lbs (16 kg.)
The height of a miniature ranges between 30- 40 cm or 12 to 15 inches and weighs up to 9 kgs or 20 lbs.
And bringing up the rear, an Eskie toy can be up to 30 cm or 12 inches tall and weighs up to 4.5 lbs or 10 lbs.
Temperament wise, they are very similar to the Japanese Spitz in that they want to be at the heart of family life and might cause difficulties if they aren’t given enough attention and guidance.
 Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzers are not small in the big scheme of things.
And for this list they are quite big.
Standing up to 35 cm or 14 inches tall and weighing up to 9 kgs or 20 lbs , their name describes their relationship with their big brother.
The Giant Schnauzer, which is twice as tall and twice as heavy.
The Mini has a long dense double coat with a wiry top coat and the coat looks a lot like a Westie’s.
Apart from white, other coat colours are black, pepper and salt, black and silver.
In fact finding a Miniature Schnauzer with a solid white coat is quite a task.
Such thick coats do take a bit of work.
Show dogs are normally stripped but family dogs are just clipped.
Their coats should be brushed daily.
Even on a clipped dog, Miniature schnauzers are left with a large iconic beard, which to me gives them the look of an old man- they just need a pipe to complete the look!
Character wise, they are great all rounders.
They love family life and that includes children and other animals.
They are adaptable enough to live in cities or more remote locations as long as they are exercised daily!
Oh and to finish with a bit of a controversy.
The UK Kennel Club accepts solid white as an allowable colour, but the American Kennel Club doesn’t.
 Chinese Crested
Finally we have a small breed of dog that has white long hair that “offers” an alternative coat colour- skin.
Let me introduce you to the Chinese Crested dog.
It comes with a choice of coats- either hairless (as can be seen in the photo) or a version with hair all over the body, which is brilliantly called “Powderpuff.”
The hairless variety does have patches of hair on their head, ankles and tails.
They have an interesting, if a little confused, history.
It is thought that their origins are in Africa and not China but the name may be derived from when they were used on Chinese ships as “ratters”.
They were also bred as companion dogs for people with learning difficulties and because of that they need very little exercise.
In terms of height, they can be as tall as 32cm or 13 inches and weigh up to 5.5 kgs or 12 lbs.