With their playful nature, silly expressions, and general way of figuring out the world, puppies are adorable and charming. It always happens, though, after a few months—even the cutest, smallest pup grows up.
Of course, there’s always a new adventure to look forward to no matter how old your pup is, but if you’re looking for a new companion who will always look puppy-like, here are some breeds you can consider.
Yorkshire Terriers are well known for their small size and they’re pretty popular, too. The American Kennel Club (AKC) says they’re the seventh most popular dog breed. Yorkshire Terrier owners should be prepared for a dog with a medium amount of energy who needs daily grooming, according to the AKC.
“This brave and determined little breed packs a big personality into a small package,” says Gina DiNardo, AKC vice president.
“The Maltese is a gentle, playful and charming dog with an adorable face,” DiNardo says. “Though small, they make hearty, adaptable pets.”
This breed has numerous positive traits, says Daryl Martin, education chairman at the American Maltese Association. Maltese are smart dogs, will often let you know if someone’s at the door, generally live long lives, and are usually happy to entertain themselves if they’re the only dog in a household, he said.
However, the small size and intelligence of this breed means it might not be for everyone.
“Maltese are small dogs so if a family has small children that could hurt them, they should wait until the children are older,” Martin says. “While Maltese are very sturdy, they can easily hurt themselves if they jump off furniture or are dropped to the floor. Since they are smart, [owners have to be] smart enough to train them, otherwise the Maltese will train the owner.”
Toy Fox Terrier
A part of the AKC’s toy group, Toy Fox Terriers are loyal, empathetic, friendly, smart and sensitive, says National Toy Fox Terrier Association Vice President Violet Denney. They’re also a breed that needs minimal grooming and a simple bath once a month, she says.
When it comes to personality, this breed has plenty.
“They have the lovability of a lapdog combined with the tenacity of a terrier,” DiNardo says.
However, that tenacity can lead to some sticky situations.
“They are totally fearless and must be kept from putting themselves in harm’s way with larger breeds of dogs,” Denney says. “They quickly learn how to manipulate their owners and should be taught appropriate behavior from an early age is so they don’t turn into bratty, yappy little dogs.”
Perhaps one of the best-known breeds for their puppy-like looks, the Pomeranian packs a lot of personality into one little body. Sometimes a very small body—the AKC standard calls for this breed to be between three and seven pounds.
“Pomeranians are lively, bold and inquisitive,” DiNardo says. “They are active toy dogs with an outgoing personality.”
Though this breed comes in a small package, dog lovers seeking a Pomeranian companion should be aware that their coats come with some maintenance needs. The AKC says their double coat requires weekly brushing.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
A rare breed that’s able to retain some puppy-like looks while still looking regal and graceful, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is popular for many reasons.
“The best trait of this breed is certainly the temperament,” says Caryna Fox, secretary of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club. “Cavaliers are deeply connected to their owners and families. These dogs enjoy travel and meeting people, and are adaptable to city life, as well as suburban life.”
Fox adds that the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel both enjoys the outdoors and snuggling up at home and watching TV with their owners.
“The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is friendly and gentle,” DiNardo says. “These charming dogs make wonderful pets for families with children.”
Fox agrees, and says that the breed is easygoing and has a happy temperament. When it comes to adult dogs who may still act like a puppy, Fox says this breed is definitely one of them.
“Most Cavaliers are mature adults at around age 2 and a half to 3 years old, sometimes up to 4 years old,” Fox says. “They go through their puppy stage slowly, and a healthy dog will remain frisky and active well into their senior years.”
This small breed is intelligent and enthusiastic, DiNardo says. The AKC standard for Chihuahuas says they should be no more than six pounds and they can have either smooth or long coats.
“I believe most people are drawn to the Chihuahua due to its small size and saucy attitude,” says Kathy Sawyer, a vice president of the Chihuahua Club of America. “Saucy does not mean a dog that bites and snaps, but a happy, sassy little sprite.”
The Chihuahua’s small size makes it a great companion for older people, Sawyer says. She notes that this breed generally enjoys the company of others and cuddling.
Elizabeth Xu is an Ohio-based freelance writer focusing on pets and travel.