Not only have dogs been rightly described as loyal companions, but research also shows that they can help you lead a longer, healthier life. Whether it’s lowering your blood pressure or providing a much-needed break during the workday, dogs can offer an incredible amount of joy, companionship, and—needless to say—sheer cuteness.
But making the decision of getting a dog is not easy. After all, a man's best friend requires a ton of attention. Not to mention, each breed comes with its own set of requirements and sometimes even complications. Do you want a dog that requires a lot of exercise? Does it need to be hypoallergenic? Do you want a dog that doesn't shed? Do you want a big dog or a small one? Read on for our list of the 15 cutest dog breeds in the world and their characteristics. (Warning: Cuteness overload ahead.)
The Shiba Inu, originally bred in Japan, is regal, agile, and equally at home in urban or rural areas. With an appearance resembling a fox, this is definitely one of the cutest dogs in the world.
Average weight: 17 to 23 pounds.
Personality: Good-natured, intelligent, possessive.
Watch out: Needs room to run, sheds heavily twice a year.
Obviously, no list of the cutest dog breeds would be complete without the Pomeranian. This adorable breed is fluffy, friendly, and includes world-renowned pups like Boo and Jiff.
Average weight: 3 to 7 pounds.
Personality: Smart, vivacious, inquisitive.
Watch out: Tends to bark a lot, difficult to housetrain, can easily overheat.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain dogs are playful, protective, easygoing, and some of the cutest dogs in the world. (Bonus: This type of dog might also be able to rescue you from an avalanche.)
Average weight: 70 to 115 pounds.
Personality: Affectionate, alert, calm.
Watch out: Tends to have health problems, sheds profusely, needs to be around people.
The bichon frise is one of the most adorable dogs in the world, and one of the most enthusiastic. They’re great to play with and have an ultra-soft coat that will put your favorite chenille throw to shame.
Average weight: 7 to 12 pounds.
Personality: Cheerful, charming, playful.
Watch out: Can be difficult to housebreak, needs to be around people, requires a lot of professional grooming.
You’ve probably seen pictures of Havanese dogs running, looking like the happiest creatures on earth. That’s because, in addition to being some of the cutest dogs in the world, they’re also some of the friendliest and most outgoing.
Average weight: 7 to 13 pounds.
Personality: Gentle, affectionate, goofy.
Watch out: Needs to be around people, requires regular brushing, tends to bark a lot.
Essentially a great big personality in a very small package, the Brussels griffon is smart, sensitive, and bears more than a passing resemblance to an Ewok.
Average weight: 7 to 12 pounds.
Personality: Bossy, affectionate, active.
Watch out: Can be difficult to housetrain, tends to bark a lot, can bite or growl out of fear.
If impossibly tiny dogs are your cup of tea, the Yorkshire terrier is just the ticket. These adorable dogs are often small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.
Average weight: 4 to 6 pounds.
Personality: Smart, adventurous, cuddly.
Watch out: Difficult to housetrain, prone to be cold, can bark a lot.
Despite their relatively small size, dachshunds are spirited, inquisitive, and surprisingly brave. These adorable dogs have a special knack for forming bonds with their owners.
Average weight: 11 to 16 pounds.
Personality: Clever, lively, fearless.
Watch out: Difficult to housetrain, loves to bark, prone to become overweight.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is one of the sweetest toy breeds in existence. This breed is characterized by having a soft, snuggly coat and is great with children and other pets.
Average weight: 13 to 18 pounds.
Personality: Gregarious, sporty, friendly.
Watch out: Needs to be around people, tends to shed a lot, may try to chase small prey.
Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell terrier may have won our hearts in The Artist, but there are a million more reasons to love this loyal and intelligent breed. If trained properly, this devoted pet can provide endless love and entertainment.
Average weight: 13 to 17 pounds
Personality: Energetic, spirited, devoted
Watch out: Requires firm training, needs a lot of room to play, have a strong hunting drive.
Mix the world's most beloved pet, the golden retriever, with a low-shedding poodle, and you have the best of both worlds: a loyal family-friendly dog without the incessant shedding. His cousin the labradoodle is a great hypoallergenic alternative.
Average weight: 50 to 90 pounds
Personality: Friendly, intelligent, affectionate
Watch out: Requires regular grooming, not recommended for small apartments, requires 30 minutes of daily exercise.
With their scrunched noses and adorable snorts, pugs tend to be the center of attention (and they love it). Their playful nature and sense of humor will never fail to bring a smile to your face.
Average weight: 14 to 18 pounds
Personality: Affectionate, comical, playful
Watch out: Can be difficult to housebreak, doesn't tolerate high heat, sheds a lot.
Whether you fell in love with the breed after watching Chihuahua: The Movie or The Simple Life with Paris Hilton, this playful and comical toy dog is as adorable on the outside as it is on the inside. Expect a big personality in a small package.
Average weight: Three to six pounds
Personality: Confident, alert, affectionale
Watch out: Prone to shivering, can be unaffectionate if not socialized, require a lot of exercise.
Just like its French heritage, the French Bulldog is a stylish Instagram-friendly breed. Despite its history as a ratter, the Frenchie makes a wonderful family dog and companion who thrives on human contact.
Average weight: 16 to 24 pounds
Personality: Smart, loving, affectionate
Watch out: Does not handle heat well, prone to drooling, can be stubborn.
Of course, it’s worth remembering that some of the cutest dogs in the world are mixed breeds. From oh-so-sweet Pomskies (Pomeranian and Husky mixes) to pups with an unknown lineage, each dog is special.
To discover your own adorable dog in need of a home, check out fantastic non-profit resource Adopt a Pet to find pups available for adoption near you.
This story was originally published on April 16, 2018, and has since been updated.