The Gentle Giants: Top 10 Big Fluffy Dog Breeds You'll Love

Alpine Dog Co. ™

I love that feeling when a giant, fluffy dog is cuddling me. I know it loves me, it wants to please me, and of course, it will stand to protect me if trouble strikes. The physical connection with these giants relieves stress and lowers blood pressure. Do you know some of these giants know when you're in trouble and come in to help? Here are the top 10 big fluffy dog breeds you’ll love.

The Gentle Giants: Top 10 Big Fluffy Dog Breeds You'll Love

Dogs are loyal companions, to the extent of picking fights to defend their families. But, have you ever wondered which breeds give the best companion? Well, I believe the gentle, fluffy giants win. Let’s dive into the world of big, fluffy breeds, and see their characters, care needs, and why they are wonderful companions. 


1.    Newfoundland

Newfoundland is one of the world's toughest lifeguard dogs. I consider it to be the king of the sea, strong and empathetic. This dog is a friend to fishermen and life-saving teams.

As the name suggests, the Newfoundland breed originated from the Newfoundland island in Canada as a descendant of the indigenous St. John’s water dog. The introduction of the Mastiff blood during the Newfoundland development is responsible for this dog’s molosser appearance.


The Newfoundland is one of the most empathetic dogs, with a strong desire to help humans. Probably this sympathy comes down from its development history, as it was bred to help Canadian fishermen pull boats by rope and haul fishing nets.

The dog is so intelligent, and instantly recognizes when there’s trouble and tries to help. It’s a calm dog and goes well with children.

Grooming Requirements

The Newfoundland is double-coated, and shedding is usually heavy. Grooming delays result in undercoat hairs growing and getting caught in the top coat. The result is painful mats and tangles. Also, the Newfoundland is a swimmer and loves playing with water. So, groom it at least once per week, and then take it to a professional groomer after 6-8 weeks.   


2.    Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog originates from the Alps foothills and the plains near Bern in Switzerland. It’s a farm dog that was developed to guard, pull dairy products to the market, and herd cattle.

The dog cuts a striking pose due to its tri-colored fur, long coat, and above-average size. The base color is jet black with reddish-brown markings and white spots in a beautiful distribution.    


The Bernese Mountain dog gets along well with humans. I think this is the reason the dog is used for search and rescue and therapy support. These dogs are generally quiet, independent, and peaceful.

However, since this is a working dog, it needs an active family that provides enough stimuli for mental and physical development. Note that these dogs suffer from destructiveness if not well exercised and stimulated.  

Grooming Requirements

The dog sheds year-round but sheds more heavily during seasonal changes. The fur needs brushing at least three times a week. However, it’s advisable to brush it once a day during the shedding season. Bath the dog at least once in two months. 


3.    Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard is a big working dog. It’s known as the Alpine hero, famous for saving travelers from the treacherous weather conditions in the Greats and Bernard Paths.

Imagine, these dogs would go out looking for stranded travelers, and use their long coats and body heat to keep the travelers warm until the weather allows the rescue party to come in. In short, they are designed to keep you alive and snuggle up with you.


Saint Bernards generally love to sit and lie down with people. They are calm, gentle giants that are careful even when walking around the room. But that doesn’t mean they are clumsy. No! They are just slow and steady, but very agile.

However, like other Mastiffs, these dogs can be stubborn, and training should start at puppyhood. If you allow puppies to sit on the sofa, when they’re big enough, you might end up sitting on the floor as they occupy your sofas.

I love how these dogs work as guard dogs. Not because of aggression, but because when an intruder breaks through the door and sees the sheer size of the dog, well, mission aborted! In fact, even a woof from these dogs is low resonant and can frighten intruders. 

Grooming Requirements

Saint Bernards are two types: short-coated and long-coated. We’re talking about the long-coated, fluffy giants, usually white with red, or red with white. These dogs shed heavily, especially in spring and fall. Brush the dog regularly to keep the hair under control.

Another thing to note is that Saint Bernards are heavy droolers, and somehow mud magnets. Consider bathing the dog at least once in 1-2 weeks. 


4.    Tibetan Mastiff

When it comes to massive and intimidating size, the Tebetan Mastiff wins. These dogs were developed as guard dogs for livestock and property in Tibet, watching over the nomadic herdsmen flocks. They’re the type of dogs that give owners a sense of security.


The Tebetan Mastiffs love their families with a fierce intensity. Note that these dogs have strong protective instincts and canine pack behavior. When you combine this behavior with their red color and thick mane, you can almost say they have lion blood.

Although these dogs are intelligent and can learn commands easily, they are independent thinkers and stubborn. They decide whether to obey your commands or not. So, when training them, avoid using physical punishment or harsh words. Note that this is not the type of dog to let roam around.  

Grooming Requirements

The Tebetan Mastiffs have long thick double coats, with males having more lavish covering than females. The undercoat is soft and wooly, and the top coat is straight with a hard texture. Unlike the Saint Benard who have white colors and loves playing with mud, Tibetan Mastiffs don’t need frequent baths. However, you need to brush the coat regularly to prevent mats.  


5.    Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are intelligent life-loving dogs bred as bird dogs in the Scottish Highlands. These dogs are excellent swimmers and know how to fetch. Although the shades can vary, these dogs are golden-colored. When you combine their color, and what they love doing, you get their name: Golden Retriever. 


Golden Retrievers are eager to please, no wonder they’re popular family dogs. I love how these dogs are obedient and affectionate. Probably this is why they work well as guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, and in search and rescue teams.

However, they are full of energy and get distracted easily during training. So, be patient. The best way to relieve the excess energy is to engage them in games like fetch. Of course, they’re retrievers, and love this game! 

Grooming Requirements

Golden Retrievers have dense double coats. The secret to maintaining this coat is to shorten grown-out hairs and remove mats. Brush the dog twice a week, and trim the hair after every 8-10 weeks. Bath the dog at least once in two months. 


6.    Briard

Briard was developed for herding sheep in France and became a popular working dog to the extent of becoming a military dog during the First World War. The dogs served as medic dogs, messengers, ammunition carriers, and sentries for troops. You can tell right from their roles, that these are agile, versatile, and obedient working dogs.


Briards are loyal and intelligent dogs that get on well with families, including children. In fact, these dogs love participating in family activities. Even if they are big dogs, they love curling up next to their owners.

However, they are energetic. If you don’t exercise them enough, they develop destructive behaviors such as chewing and digging. Their herding nature makes them serve well as guards and watchdogs. Your family is the flock, and strangers are predators!

Grooming Requirements

Briards have thick and coarse coats at least six inches long at the shoulders. The fur is also lush around their faces, giving them a centrally parted hair and arching eyebrows that hang over the eyes.

The fluffy coat gets dirty easily, so be ready for muddy paws and a wet and dirty beard. Brush the dog several times a week using a pen brush to prevent mats and tangles. Trim the nails twice a month and bathe it every 6-8 weeks. 


7.    Leonberger

Leonbergers are crosses of the Great Pyrenees, long-haired Saint Bernards, and Newfoundland. The breed was developed in Germany to work as watchdogs and draft dogs.

These dogs have big muscular bodies capable of demanding work, no wonder they were used as military camp guards, ambulance dogs, and messenger dogs during the First and Second World Wars.


Leonbergers are generally gentle and affectionate dogs. However, this breed has strong protective instincts. So, be careful when walking to the park. It might attack other dogs.

Grooming Requirements

Leonbergers have thick double coats that need 2-3 times brushing per week to reduce shedding and prevent tangles. However, these dogs have a natural oil layer and don’t need frequent baths.


8.    Great Pyrenees

Here comes another breed developed to guard livestock: the Great Pyrenees. It’s a great guard dog. Whether you have bird feeders, lawn, pets, furniture, flowers and children to protect, adopt this breed.


Great Pyrenees are well-mannered dogs and get along well with family. But for training, things are not so good. These dogs are independent thinkers. So, start training from puppyhood. The dogs also have strong protective instincts and are aggressive against strangers.

Grooming Requirements

The great Pyrenees have double coats. The undercoat is thick, soft, and fine. The outer coat is slightly wavy or straight and is usually long and coarse. The common colors are white with gray, tan, or yellow patches, or just solid white.

Unlike the Newfoundlands,  Pyrenean Mountain Dogs shed moderately. Another good thing is that the coat doesn’t tangle as easily. So, grooming is a little easier, and you only need to brush it weekly, and bath it only when necessary. 


9.    Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdogs are working dogs. They were used to pull wagons and carts, and drive livestock to the market. Like other working dogs, I love this breed for its courage, steadiness, and stamina. It’s truly gentle, and only barks when necessary. 


Old English Sheepdogs are fun-loving dogs that enjoy playing. But their size calls for precautions when playing with small kids. These dogs are easy to train. Just use positive reinforcement methods like giving treats. Unlike most giant breeds, I love these dogs because they fit in apartment life, provided you give them enough exercise.   

Grooming Requirements

The undercoat of an Old English Sheepdog is soft and water-resistant, and the top coat is textured. The long hair is prone to mats, so brush daily. Note that when mats form, you’ll need to shave. Depending on the environment, bathe the dog after 6-8 weeks.


10.   Bouvier De Flandres

Bouvier De Flandres are farm dogs developed in Belgium. These dogs are versatile and worked as service dogs for locating mines and ammunition during the first and second world in the US military.    


Bouvier De Flandres are docile and calm. However, they have lots of energy and need exercise. Without proper exercise, they get bored and start annoying behaviors like chewing, chasing, and barking.

So, let them accompany you when going for hikes, jogging, or herding cattle. The breed is highly intelligent and easy to train. In fact, it’s claimed that Bouviers can’t forget a command.

Grooming Requirements

Bouvier De Flandres has weather-resistant double cots, with the undercoat being dense and fine, and the outer coat long and coarse. Like other fluffy dogs, these dogs get grubby easily, so expect feces on the hindquarters, burrs or leaves, and muddy paws. Brush the dog 2-3 times a week and bathe it in 6-8 weeks.


Final Thoughts

The above dog breeds are large, and cuddling them is almost like cuddling a human. However, their fluffy coats need regular brushing to prevent mats. Also, most are protective and territorial, and you need to train them from an early age.



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