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Ready, Set, Debate! Which Breeds Have the Cutest Puppies?

These five breeds, including Cairn Terrier and Australian Shepherd, claim bragging rights on the cutest puppies.

Lynn M. Hayner  |  Jan 27th 2017


We all undoubtedly believe our favorite breed has super-cute puppies. After all, when’s the last time you heard someone talk about their ugly puppy? But leaving the ever-popular, unquestionably darling Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever puppies behind just this once (next time, guys!), let’s hear from five dog breeds who jumped up to claim status as adorable pups.

1. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog courtesy Jennie Chen

Mix one big, animated personality with stunning almond eyes and a gorgeous tri-color coat, and what do you have? Me, the hands-down most delightful pup! Adorability aside for a minute, we’re a hard-working breed with an extensive history of helping man. Developed in Switzerland, we’re a draft and drover breed also capable of all-around farm work. When we’re grown we’ll be large, heavy-boned, strong, and agile, but as pups we’re just one ball of fun. And you’ll enjoy our puppy personality for quite a while; rumor has it we’re a slow-to-mature breed. Shhh, you didn’t hear it from me…

2. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd courtesy Laura Mullens/Kathy J. Yaccino photography

You knew I’d be on this list! Developed on American ranches, I’m a beloved workaholic breed with a dependable herding drive. I outshine most other breeds competing in agility, herding, and fly ball. Can we help it we were bred to work indefatigably all day? And if home companionship were a competition, I’d win that too! Our pups are energetic, spirited, and slightly demanding compared to most breeds. You’ll fall in love with our expressive eyes framed in color, and our fluffy pup coats. Be prepared for rough and tumble playtime; we’re all about the action, action, action!

3. English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniel courtesy Mel Carranza

We Spaniels are renowned for our kind, loving expressions, so it’s no wonder our pups are among the cutest. We were bred by hunters in 19th century England to flush and spring birds from undergrowth. Today our breed has two varieties: field and show. The field dogs may demonstrate more work intensity, but both varieties show our renowned athleticism. And all our puppies love to demonstrate our celebrated friendliness. Now be advised: Our offspring will boldly use Puppy Dog Eyes (I believe we have the copyright on them!) to convince you to hold, feed, or play with them. Resistance is futile; our expression is irresistible.

4. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier courtesy Ernie Slone

We lively Terrier pups (and specifically we Cairn pups, I’d add!) captivate our families with our feistiness, charisma, and charm. Developed centuries ago in Scotland to hunt vermin in rocks and cliffs, we also kept farms free of rodents. Animated and enchanting, our pups are small but ready to take on the world. An adult’s ears will stand up, but our puppy ears are delightfully dropped. Now don’t expect both of our ears to stand up at the same time. We may have a comical stage when one ear stands up and the other ear continues to drop. Simply adds to our pup appeal I’d say!

 5. Löwchen

 Löwchen courtesy Beth Haberkorn Sternitzky

We’re legendary dogs of royalty, kept for comfy camaraderie. We were an esteemed bed companion; artists would carve our image on a knight’s tomb when he died in bed. Our families spruced up our hair-dos to resemble lions, and thus our nickname, Little Lion. But while you’ll recognize us by our distinctive Lion Trim (at least if we’re heading out to show!), don’t expect our pups to be either Lion-esque in appearance or temperament. We’re happy-go-lucky, charismatic youngsters, not the least bit fierce.  And we’re too busy frolicking to sit for a haircut of any sort, let alone a Lion-do!

Top photo: English Springer Spaniel courtesy Mel Carranza