What is up with us dog lovers and the color white? Depending on the culture, or the way in which you look at it, the color white can mean a whole slew of things. It can mean purity, cleanliness, it can mean attunement with nature, or it can simply mean that the DNA strands dictated that white should be the color of the coat that is being sported by the dog, regardless of the reasoning or the meaning behind it, one thing is clear, we like white dogs.
So what’s up with dogs and the color white? White dogs are a lot rarer than other dogs, simply because the vast majority of dog breeds have multiple colors of coats, and only a few individuals of a certain breed have a white coat.
There are dog breeds out there that sport a white coat by default, and a non-white coat is the rarity, however the vast majority of breeds have it the other way around, with the white coats being as rare as a rose in winter, and subsequently being worth a lot more than a non-white individual.
It goes without saying that dog lovers will often go the extra mile in order to find the white dog breeds, and even further to find that one individual from the breed that they like, which happens to sport a full white coat, however there is a catch, and it should be noted that this venture, should you chose to undertake it, will cost you a great deal of money.
Differences between white dogs and non-white dogs
This one is a little bit tricky, and the answers differ, depending on who you ask. Certain breeds sport white coated individuals by mistake, some by nature, and some as a result of a genetic mutation.
As stated before, the vast majority of breeds have white coated individuals, some are rarer than others, however it is commonly accepted that there are subtle differences that affect these special individuals.
For example, when it comes to Pit Bulls, it is often accepted that white coated ones are a bit more vicious than say brown or black coated ones. Poodles, on the other hand, have it the other way around, some poodle owners claiming that the white coated ones are a bit more docile than the non-white coated ones.
It’s hard, and often times unfair, to set aside individuals based on the color of their coat. At the end of the day, what really matters is the breed and the personality of the individual, not the color of the hair that covers their body.
Famous white dogs
Indeed we are attracted towards white dogs. They simply stand out among the rest of the dogs, and some of them have even managed to make it on to the silver screen, while some of them even managed to leave their paw-print on history as we know it.
Let’s look at a few white dogs that have become famous one way, or another.
Remember Mister Magoo? How about Angus? Angus was a white bulldog who more or less helped the star get out of hairy situations and eventually save the day.
The folks at Hollywood thought long and hard before they started shooting the movie, and the choice was narrowed down to either a German Shepherd or an English Bulldog. They chose the Bulldog, simply because it was white and it was easier to be noticed.
Off of the silver screen and into Greek mythology, we find Odysseus, and his beloved dog Argos, legendary for his tracking skills, speed and raw power. Legend has it that Argos accompanied Odysseus on some of his adventures and once even helped him escape danger by use of his white coat, camouflaging himself and his master to look like sea foam, thus helping them pass by undetected.
Sadly, the tale of Argos is a sad one, however he still stands in Greek mythology as the legendary white dog that accompanied this hero.
Moving on from mythology and into actual history, with the one and only Laika, the soviet dog turned astronaut, turned hero. During the cold war, tensions were at an all time high between the United States and the Soviet Union. One manifestations of this tension was the race for space, the goal being to not only launch a man into space and bring him back safely, but also to put a man on the moon.
Soviets were skeptical about sending a man into space, believing that he will not survive the flight, or re-entry, so they picked a white dog with a brown head off of the streets of Moscow and chose it to be the pilot of the Sputnik 2, a ship that would make history.
The dog was given the nickname “Laika” which roughly translates to “The one that barks” or “The barker”, and in 1957, Laika became the first living being to be sent into space. Sadly, Laika did not make it back alive, and in the same year, she became the first animal / living being to die outside the Earth’s atmosphere.
She was, however, proclaimed a hero, and a pioneer for space travel and space engineering, helping scientists collect valuable data that would usher in a new age of space flight, and ultimately in 1969, put a man on the moon. Indeed white coated dogs played a big part in history, myth and even movies, not to mention all the white cartoon dogs that are still around to this day.
But what are the breeds that produce these great specimens?
Common white dog breeds
When you ask a person to think about a white dog, and then ask them what dog was, in the vast majority of cases, the answer will be a bull terrier.
These dogs are known for 2 things:
- Being so ugly that they are actually cute
- Being white with a few exceptions here and there
It might seem vicious, it might seem dangerous, it might seem intimidating, but if you stare at a bull terrier long enough, chances are he or she will do something hilariously amusing.
That’s right, these dogs are clownish, to say the least, however they will rip you to shreds of you mess with them or put their family at risk. They are friendly, they are playful, they are an all around good time, but they do pack a bit of a temper.
These dogs are dangerous only if you pose a threat, and they will watch you carefully if they so much as suspect you. Other than that, they are pretty much the cutest and most hilarious dogs that you will ever encounter.
Dogo Argentino, or the Argentinean Dog, is probably one of the most imposing and at the same time majestic of all the white breeds. The vast majority of the individuals of this breed are white, with a few brown and black exceptions.
These dog are big, and to top it all off, they make for some of the best guard dogs out there. They have the endurance, the speed and the stamina to chase any intruder or potential risk, as well as the power to knock said risk on the ground with ease. They were exactly built for hunting or speed in general.
Until dog fighting was outlawed in Argentina, the Dogo Argentinos were the champions of pit fights, overpowering and conquering even the most grueling of odds. These dogs are not exactly the smartest of dogs, however they are vigilant, and they pay very close attention to their surroundings. They are a bit territorial, however they are loyal and devoted, and will stay true to their master no matter what.
The Chinese Crested dog
There are some strange dogs out there, but this one takes the cake. It is adorable, it is cute, it is a lovely dog to have, but it will make people turn heads when you walk it down the street.
This is a toy dog, meaning that the individuals of this breed are very small, and very light, growing up to 13 inches high and weighing in at around 5 Kg. These dogs may be small, but what they lack in size, they make up for in spades when it comes to personality.
First off, these dogs are super friendly, they will approach everyone and everything, and try to make friends. This dog is also recommended if you have other pets around the house, like cats or other dogs, because these little dogs will do their very best to make friends with them and play around with them.
They are incredibly easy to socialize, train and have as a pet, and let’s face it, they look hilarious, however the vast majority of individuals from this breed have a white coat, even though it is a very small coat, so it is a white breed.
Hailing from Hungary, these dogs, besides the fact that they resemble the shag carpet, are also big dogs to say the least. They can grow to about 50 inches high and weigh in at around 50 Kg, and they were initially bred to be sheep dogs.
So they are a working dog breed, however they don’t have the same temperament as all the other working dog breeds. These dogs are gentle, loving, friendly, stable and above all else, fearless.
Make no mistake about it, these dogs might look like a walking carpet from the 70s’ but they are willing, and able, to take on a wolf head to head and emerge victorious.
They are trainable, they do well in family environments, however they don’t do particularly well in small apartments, so much so that it is actually not recommended to have such a dog if you happen to live in a small apartment.
Despite its shaggy appearance, it does not really shed much, however it has a problem dealing with other dogs, often times being slightly too aggressive and territorial. Special training is required in order to socialize this dog with other dogs, however it’s more than fine when around humans, especially kids.
The Great Pyrenees
Here comes another giant dog, this time from France and Spain. Indeed this dog is massive, growing up to around 32 inches high and weighing in at 55 Kg, this dog is more or less a mountain on legs.
They were bred originally in Spain and France to help shepherds protect their sheep in the mountains, hence their name.
That being said, these dogs had to endure tough conditions, freezing temperatures, not to mention bears and wolves trying to snatch the sheep for a quick meal.
As a result of that, this breed developed the senses and the trait that literally make it one of the best watch dogs in the world.
It is patient and a Pyrenees will not attack without properly assessing the situation first. They are confident and strong, being able to take on bears and wolves without too much of a problem, and above all else, these dogs are strong willed.
These dogs will out-will a human with ease, and it is quite difficult to impose your will in this dog’s eyes.
This is why these dogs require very early training, and that the training be continued for the rest of their lives.
They are not particularly aggressive; on the contrary they are quite gentle and loving, approachable and friendly. They flip their aggression switch only if they feel that they or their family is threatened, responding to risks and dangerous situations accordingly.
The Pakistani Mastiff
This time we are looking at a really aggressive dog, one of the few remaining descendants of the Alaunt, which was one of the most popular guard dogs in sout and south-east Asia.
The Pakistani Mastiff is a massive beast, growing up to 107 cm high and weighing in at 90 Kg, this dog is an absolute beast.
Combine these stats with an aggressive temper and a protective personality, and you have yourself one of the most feared and at the same time dangerous guard dogs in existence.
Training this dog is not an easy feat, because it will resist you every single step of the way, often challenging you and the trainer, and even resorting to tactics such as physically overpowering you.
These dogs are built like tanks, with big strong muscles and an endurance to match, they are the undisputed kings of aggression and intimidation.
One thing to note here is the fact that these dogs are indeed faithful, but not to everyone, they are only faithful to their true master, the one that raised them as a pup, and they will often defend their master to the death if need arises, which is quite a lot coming from this beast.
They eat a lot, they don’t do well at all in small apartments, and they have a big problem when it comes to other dogs. Socializing the Pakistani Mastiff with other dogs is not an easy feat at all, and it is a dangerous feat for both the trainer and the dogs involved.
So what makes this dog worthy of this list? Simple, it is one of the best guard dogs around. If a person trespasses on your property, he will come face to face with this dog and chances are he will be missing a limb by the time he manages to get off of the property.
Ironically, for all its power and ferocity, and the rep that the breed made for itself over time, the Pakistani Mastiff is banned from a large number of countries. It officially has a worse rep than the Pit Bull.
White dog breeds have been appreciated and valued for millennia. They have often been reserved only for royalty, they have helped heroes in mythology, they have broken the barriers and have dared to go where no man has gone before them, they have graced the silver screen, they have seen it all, and done it all, and only because they are out of the ordinary.
The fact that their coat is white does not really affect them, it all comes down to the breed in the end. There are cute playful dogs like the poodles, and then there are the aggressive powerhouses that are the Pakistani Mastiffs, but when that’s all said and done, we all love to see those pristine white dogs walking around.
They are not cheap, some of them can cost you up to $1500 per puppy, if you manage to find them. Remember that the reason that they are so valuable is the fact that most of them are very rare.
However if you do decide to commit, track down the individual that you want to call your own and go through with the purchase, you will have a dog that not only turns heads, but will also make you smile knowing that you own one of the rare and special white dogs.