How can I make short fur like this?

I want to make fur like in this picture:

As you can see it looks like fur and at the same time not fluffy at all. That’s what I want. I tried to make it with particles, but even with a very short length it still looks fluffy

did you comb the fur so it’s not just sticking straight out of the model, but running along it instead?

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Yes, but it’s still too puffy
I think hair in the reference isn’t a hair, but a material

Seems like it. But you can see some of the fur sticking out a bit from the model where the lighting is more intense like the ear on the right. You can also see on the lips of the model where the fur starts to come in. My best guess would be that they might have made the fur pretty thin and short then combed it flat on the model. There could also be a very high density of fur on the model too that helps make it look a bit more solid.

In the reference it looks very much like hair…

Can we see a screenshot of what you have, rendered and unrendered, plus the settings for your particles, and the material for your hair please?