Ever thought about bringing home a small tan and white dog breed?

These delightful darlings, with their petite statures and charming color combinations, are not only visually appealing but also possess a range of intriguing personalities and traits.

Key Takeaways

  • White and tan dogs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and personalities, perfect for any family!
  • From Jack Russell Terriers to Shih Tzus, these furry friends require regular grooming & attention but are worth it.
  • With proper training & socialization, they make great companions with unique coats & big personalities.

Small Tan and White Dog Breeds Overview

A white and tan dog breed with a smooth coat

There’s a vast variety of small tan dogs and white dog breeds each with their unique charm and appeal. Some are more white than tan, but all are beautiful in my opinion.

One popular white dog breed is the gentle Maltese, weighing in at less than 7 pounds. Meanwhile, the renowned Basset Hound, with its amazing hunting prowess, offers a spectrum of personalities to suit different lifestyles.

While some breeds like the Rat Terrier and Basenjis are petite, others have a more stocky build. The coat types and colors of these breeds are equally diverse.

The Basenjis, with their friendly and playful demeanor, are just some of the attractive brown dogs and white dog breeds out there. Basset Hounds are part of the top tan dog breeds, recognized for their fantastic tracking abilities.

Most of these breeds require early socialization and obedience training to get along with other pets and family members. But once properly trained, these dogs can be wonderful companions, offering a lifetime of love and loyalty.

1. Jack Russell Terrier

A small white and tan dog breed with a curled tail and highly intelligent

Enter the world of the Jack Russell Terrier, a small but active and intelligent breed with a distinctive white and tan coat. These high-energy dogs are known for their agility and endurance, making them perfect companions for active families.

Beyond their sporty streak, Jack Russells are also:

  • Incredibly smart
  • Devoted
  • Love being outdoors
  • Great with people and other dogs

This makes them ideal family pets. Just remember, their intelligence can make them quite vocal at times, so be prepared for some lively conversations with your furry friend!

2. French Bulldog

A small white and tan dog breed with a curled tail and big personalities

Let’s turn our attention to the French Bulldog, a breed that’s captured hearts worldwide. Some Frenchies have a fawn and white coat that closely resembles tan. These dogs are playful and affectionate and are known for their adaptability and attentiveness.

Frenchies come in an array of coat colors, including cream, fawn, and piebald. Their brown and white coat combo is particularly cute, but all are beautiful.

These dogs are a delightful addition to any family, blending cuteness and charm in equal measure.

3. Beagle


If you’re looking for a cheerful and sociable breed, the Beagle might just be the perfect match. Originally bred to hunt rabbits and hares, this breed is now loved for its:

  • Friendly and outgoing nature
  • Intelligence
  • Playfulness
  • Loyalty
  • Strength and confidence

All of these qualities make Beagles a great choice for families. Although they’re technically a medium dog, they had to be included for their iconic tan and white coat.

However, it’s essential to note that they shed all year round, with their smooth, dense coat getting thicker during the winter and shedding more in the spring.

4. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier, known for its loyalty and jovial disposition, is sure to win over any dog lover’s heart. This breed hails from Scotland, where they were initially bred for hunting small rodents and vermin, but they’ve since become adorable family companions.

West Highland White Terriers are:

  • Full of energy
  • Love to have fun
  • Very devoted to their families
  • Can be quite protective of their home and family

Their coats are all white and they’re beautiful to look at. I’d say they are a wonderful choice for most families.

Their friendly nature and love for playtime make them an excellent choice for a family pet, especially for those who enjoy visits to the dog park.

5. Chihuahua


Next up is the Chihuahua, a super-cute, spunky breed with different coat colors like tan and white. When it comes to toy breeds, they’re one of the most well-known.

They’re known for being very loyal and having big personalities, so they’re great pets if you’re willing to give them the training and socialization they need.

These tiny bundles of joy are confident, loyal, and oh-so-charming. Plus, they’re just too cute, making them a hit with both kids and adults alike.

I have a Chihuahua at home and they are amazing dogs to live with, especially when they’re trained and socialized early.

6. Miniature Bull Terrier

A cute Miniature Bull Terrier, one of the small tan and white dog breeds

Step into the world of the Miniature Bull Terrier, a small, muscular breed with a unique egg-shaped head and a tan and white coat. This breed is known for its mischievous and energetic nature, making it a great companion for active families.

Originating from England, the Miniature Bull Terrier was created by crossing the Old English Bulldog and the White English Terrier. Today, they are cherished for their distinctive physical traits as well as their playful and resilient nature.

7. American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog

The American Eskimo Dog is:

  • a small, intelligent, and friendly breed
  • with a thick white coat, often with tan markings
  • known for their alert and protective nature
  • great watchdogs
  • loving companions

According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, American Eskimo dogs can be completely white, or white and ‘biscuit’ (which is like a light tan).

Originating from the German Spitz breed, the American Eskimo Dog is believed to have been brought over to the US by German immigrants. They are known for their fluffy coat, making them part of the Spitz family.

With their sociable nature and love for people, they are a great addition to any family.

8. Whippet


The Whippet is a sociable and fast breed known for its love of running and snuggling with its owners. These dogs are not only fast but also incredibly friendly, making them great pets for active families.

Their coat can have large or small patches of tan and white markings, and a black mask is also a common feature. They require regular brushing to keep their coats free of dirt and debris. I’d also recommend plenty of mental stimulation for these beautiful dogs.

9. Coton de Tulear

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is an adorable breed with a super soft, cotton-like coat that is often tan and white. They’re hypoallergenic and known for their clownish personality and adaptability, making them perfect for families.

Originating in Madagascar, the Coton de Tulear is believed to have arrived by ship in the 15th century, where it then bred with local wild dogs. Today, they are cherished for their unique coat and playful personality.

10. Havanese


The Havanese is a small, sociable breed with a curly tail and a tan and white coat. Known for their friendly nature and adaptability, they make great companions for families with children.

Havanese are extremely loyal and have a great sense of humor, making them perfect for any family. However, it’s important to note that both male and female Havanese don’t like being left alone for too long and can struggle with separation anxiety. So, make sure you can devote enough time to them if you do decide to get one of these adorable brown and white pups.

11. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is a small, cheerful breed with a hypoallergenic white coat, often with tan markings. Not only are they gentle, but they also have a friendly temperament, making them an attractive and low-maintenance pet for families.

This breed is known for their fluffy appearance, which gives them their French name, Bichon Frise, that literally translates to “fluffy white dog”. Brushing and bathing them regularly will keep their coats looking great.

12. Miniature Poodle

Miniature Poodle

The Miniature Poodle is a small, intelligent breed that’s known for its elegance and adaptability. With a variety of coat colors, including tan and white, they are as beautiful as they are intelligent.

Miniature Poodles are lovely dogs. They’re very eager to please which means they excel with training. They are known for their elegance and adaptability, making them great pets for families.

13. Papillon


The Papillon is a small, active breed known for its butterfly-like ears. They come in a range of colors and often have a stunning brown and white coat. They are intelligent and friendly, making them great companions for families.

These lively dogs are smart, energetic, and have lots of patience, making them perfect for households with kids and other animals. Female Papillons tend to be more aloof and independent than males, adding an interesting dynamic to the breed.

14. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu 

The Shih Tzu is a small, gentle breed often with a long, silky tan and white coat. They are very loving and can be a wonderful companion to children. This makes them an ideal pet for families.

Originating from Tibet, the Shih Tzu breed is believed to be over 2,000 years old and has a long history as a beloved pet in Eastern cultures.

Today, they are cherished for their affectionate nature and adaptability, making them well-suited for families.


In this voyage through the world of small white and tan dogs, we have explored a variety of breeds, each with its unique charms and characteristics. From the energetic Jack Russell to the gentle Shih Tzu, these breeds offer a spectrum of personalities to suit different lifestyles.

Whether you prefer a playful French Bulldog, a sociable Whippet, or a hypoallergenic Bichon Frise, there’s a breed out there to match your lifestyle and preferences.

All these breeds have one thing in common – their ability to offer a lifetime of love and loyalty, making them great family pets for any home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dog breed is white and tan?

The Jack Russell Terrier is the most famous white and tan dog breed. Bred to hunt foxes over 200 years ago in England, they are very clever, active, and independent. They have an affectionate nature towards their loved ones.

What dog looks like a Maltese?

The Coton de Tulear looks very similar to the Maltese, both having white coats and black noses, eye rims, and toe pads. However, they differ in size, with the Coton being between 9-11 inches tall and 8-13 pounds.

What is the average life expectancy of a Jack Russell Terrier?

On average, Jack Russell Terriers have a lifespan of 13-16 years.

Are French Bulldogs good family pets?

Yes, French Bulldogs make wonderful family pets because of their playful and affectionate nature.

They are loyal and loving companions, and they are relatively low maintenance. They don’t require a lot of exercise, and they are content to just hang out with their family.