Drop whatever you’re doing because you don’t want to miss out on the cutest dog breeds! It’s tough to play favorites when it comes to dogs, especially because every breed is adorable in its own way.
Sure, “cute” is a pretty subjective term. But even we have to admit that some dog breeds are cuter than the rest. In fact, these particular dog breeds are amazingly cute — and particularly well-equipped to win the hearts of anybody who looks their way.
Below, check out the most adorable dog breeds. Just don’t blame us if you find yourself wanting a new puppy or two!
1. Bichon frise
If your idea of “cute” is a little fluffball of a dog, you can’t go wrong with the bichon frise. The American Kennel Club reports that the breed’s “name (pronounced BEE-shon free-ZAY) is French for ‘fluffy white dog,’ which is a very accurate way to describe these 10- to 20-pound four-legged cotton balls.” They take well to training and have a charismatic personality. Plus, the AKC notes that these dogs’ short bursts of energy typically alternate with cuddly, lovable periods. (Perfect if you want a dog who’s both a cheerful adventurer and a cuddle bug.)
2. Boston terrier
The Boston terrier numbers among the cutest dog breeds not only for his distinctive tuxedo coat, but also for his big eyes and cute face. The AKC describes the Boston terrier: “The muzzle is short and the eyes are large, dark, and round, giving Boston terriers a kind and intelligent expression that can melt the coldest heart.” The group adds that these dogs have a friendly and amusing personality. It also notes, “Their many charms have made Boston terriers a true American favorite for more than a hundred years.”
3. Bernese mountain dog
Not all the cutest dog breeds are tiny lap dogs. To the contrary, the giant Bernese mountain dog earns his spot thanks to his cheerful face and calm disposition. According to the AKC, these dogs love playing sports and spending time with their family. Plus, they get along well with children and other dogs. And the AKC notes, “Although Bernese Mountain Dogs will get along with the entire family, they’ll often become more attached to one lucky human.”
Don’t know the Brittany yet? You’ll want to get acquainted as soon as you see his adorable face. The AKC reports that this breed occupies a unique niche in the realm of sporting dogs. “Smaller than setters but leggier than spaniels, they stand about 20 inches at the shoulder. Known for their beautiful, boldly patterned coat, Brittanys come in combinations of white and vivid orange and liver (reddish-brown),” the group explains. They have upbeat personalities and make enthusiastic workers (or athletes). And they love exercising alongside their favorite humans.
5. Cairn terrier
The cairn terrier isn’t the most common terrier breed, but his cheerful face gives any dog lover plenty of reasons to get to know him! As the AKC explains, most people have actually seen a cairn terrier, as one played Toto in the Wizard of Oz. That might give you a pretty accurate idea of this active and curious breed. The AKC also notes that they appreciate going on long walks and getting to explore new places. They characterize the breed as “cheerful, alert, busy, and independent-minded.”
6. Cavalier King Charles spaniel
The cavalier King Charles spaniel has broken many hearts with his cute face and big eyes. As the AKC puts it, “You can’t help being enchanted by the big, twinkling eyes of the cavalier.” The group characterizes this little dog as “a gentle, pint-sized bundle (13 to 18 pounds) of tail-wagging joy.” These dogs are friendly and easy to train. Plus, they get along well with kids and even with other pets. What’s not to love?
Another quintessentially adorable dog that we just have to include on the list of the cutest dog breeds? The dachshund. As the AKC explains, these dogs are known for their long and low bodies. Less commonly known? They come in three coat varieties: smooth, wire-haired, and long-haired — all of which are equally adorable, if you ask us. These dogs can also be either miniature or standard size. In either case, they’re smart and spunky.
8. English setter
The English setter numbers among the cutest dog breeds not only because of his beautiful coat, but also thanks to his friendly but mellow personality. As the AKC puts it, “Beneath the showy coat is a well-balanced hunter standing about 25 inches at the shoulder. The graceful neck carries a long, oval-shaped head proudly, and the dark brown eyes convey a soft expression that reflects the breed’s sweet soul.” The AKC also notes that you could call the English setter “the gentleman of the dog world.” These dogs have a happy, agreeable temperament, but they’re also mellow and eager to please.
9. Finnish Lapphund
Another lesser-known breed, the Finnish Lapphund, ranks among the cutest dog breeds thanks to his beautiful coat and adorably alert face. The AKC reports that these dogs stand only 20 inches at the shoulder but have surprising strength for their size. They also have calm and friendly personalities, though many act reserved toward strangers. They have sweet faces and beautiful curved tails, and they’re alert and energetic without getting hyper.
10. French bulldog
You’d have to have a heart made of stone to think that the French bulldog isn’t one of the cutest dog breeds of all time. These dogs are widely loved for their affectionate nature and playful personalities. Plus, their big, bat-like ears, bright eyes, and wrinkly faces are enough to win anybody over. The AKC reports that French bulldogs make great companions, whether you’re living alone or have young children in your house. However, the group does note, “Because of their somewhat stubborn nature, they require a bit of patience during training but are incredibly intelligent and eager to please.”
11. Golden retriever
It probably comes as no surprise that you can count the golden retriever among the cutest dog breeds. These beautiful dogs are downright adorable, especially when they’re playful (and that’s usually pretty often). The AKC explains of these retrievers, who are great at hunting, serving as guide dogs, working search and rescue, and other tasks, “Though they are serious about their work, they also enjoy being downright silly!” Golden retrievers are famously friendly, and get along well with both children and other dogs.
The Havanese is another dog with an adorably expressive face. The AKC characterizes these pups as “happy little dogs with a spring in their step and a gleam in their big, brown eyes.” They have beautiful coats that you can groom and keep long, or clip short to reduce the amount of time you spend bathing and brushing your dog. (The AKC promises, “Havenese are just as cute no matter what hairdo you give them.”) These outgoing dogs like to socialize and are typically curious about what’s going on around them.
13. Italian greyhound
Not everybody thinks “fluffy” is synonymous with “cute.” For those dog lovers, we’d recommend the Italian greyhound. These dogs barely reach over a foot tall. However, the AKC reports that this breed “has all the grace and sweetness of his taller Greyhound relatives.” These dogs have sensitive and alert dispositions. They also get playful and affectionate with their owners. What could be more adorable than that?
14. Labrador retriever
There’s no way that America’s most popular dog doesn’t rank among the cutest dog breeds. The Labrador retriever wins hearts everywhere he goes with his friendly face and outgoing personality. According to the AKC, Labs “play well with others.” (That includes both children and other dogs.) They want to please their owners, and their intelligence helps them excel at all kinds of jobs — or just at hanging out with you and your family.
15. Norfolk terrier
Not all small dogs are fragile lap dogs, as aptly demonstrated by the Norfolk terrier. The AKC characterizes the breed as “active, compact, and hardy.” These dogs have adorable drop ears and a distinctive wiry coat. (That coat can come in several colors, including red, wheaten, or black and tan.) They are also fearless and love exploring and socializing. They make a ready companion anytime you want to go on a walk. Plus, they have tons of energy that you can channel with activities like fetch.
Another adorable toy dog, the papillon, elicits plenty of “oohs” and “ahhs” among dog lovers with his bright eyes and big ears. In fact, the breed’s French name even alludes to his adorable “butterfly” ears. As the AKC reports, papillons “are known to be happy and alert little dogs that are not shy or aggressive.” They have curious temperaments, and they take well to training. Plus, they get along well with both children and other pets.
17. Pembroke Welsh corgi
Another famously adorable dog? The Pembroke Welsh corgi. He numbers among the cutest dog breeds thanks to his low build, pointed ears, and animated face — and also thanks to his affectionate personality. The AKC characterizes the corgi as “smart and alert, affectionate but not pushy, bold but kindly.” These little dogs are strong and athletic. And according to the AKC, they love to have a job to do.
Perhaps one of the fluffiest entrants in the “cutest dog breeds” competition, the Pomeranian is a vivacious breed that most dog lovers would enjoy having around. The AKC characterizes the Pomeranian as “a cocky, animated companion with an extroverted personality.” They adapt to their environment and have an inquisitive temperament. Plus, Pomeranians are happy either going on walks with you or curling up in your lap — the ultimate combination for enjoying this adorable dog breed.
The pug is a famously cute little dog. And it’s not just the breed’s distinctive face that makes these dogs so adorable. As the AKC explains, pugs “are recognized for their even tempers, playful personalities, and their outgoing, loving dispositions.” They typically have a mischievous streak, which just endears them to their owners further. They also have a lot of curiosity and enjoy regular exercise.
20. Shetland sheepdog
If you love playful dogs, then you’ll probably fall head over heels for the Shetland sheepdog. And it’s not just because of that gorgeous coat or alert little face. According to the AKC, these beautiful little dogs are easy to train. They love playing with children and learning new tricks from their owners. They also love running, and according to the AKC, you can “tap into their herding heritage with tasked-based exercise.”
21. Shiba inu
As the doge meme proved once and for all, lots of people — at least on the internet — think that shiba inus are adorable. As the AKC explains of this Japanese dog breed, “Their white markings combined with their coloring (red, red sesame, or black and tan) and their alert expression and smooth stride makes them almost foxlike.” These sturdy dogs have a bold and confident personality. But remember, the AKC also notes that they need lots of exercise each day to remain happy and healthy members of your household.
22. Siberian husky
If you want more proof that the cutest dog breeds don’t all have to be small, just look to the Siberian husky. These gorgeous dogs have beautiful coats and expressive eyes. According to the AKC, they also have an “agreeable and outgoing temperament.” These friendly dogs do need lots of exercise, and they’re typically very willing to work to expend some of their energy.
23. Soft-coated wheaten terrier
If your idea of the cutest dog is one who will act like a puppy for a long time, you might want to get acquainted with the soft-coated wheaten terrier. According to the AKC, these beautiful little dogs “maintain their youthful vigor well into old age.” As you might expect, that means that these fun-loving terriers are active — and a little bit stubborn. The AKC advises that soft-coated wheaten terriers “must be raised with a gentle but firm hand.”
24. Yorkshire terrier
It wouldn’t be a list of the cutest dog breeds without mention of the Yorkshire terrier, an energetic little dog with an adorable face and a beautiful coat. The AKC reports that these dogs, nicknamed Yorkies, “offer big personalities in a small package.” The group adds that Yorkshire terriers have “sprightly, tomboyish, and affectionate” temperaments, which makes them a hit among dog lovers everywhere.