There’s nothing like a smiling, fuzzy, tail-wagging dog to instantly lift your spirits. Whether it’s a small but spunky pup or a big and cuddly one, being around cute dogs can have a truly therapeutic effect. In fact, research shows that having a pooch boasts major benefits for your physical and mental health — dog owners tend to be less lonely and have more social connections, and the furry pals are even shown to potentially lower their owners’ blood pressure. Walking a dog is also an excellent way to get your daily steps in — and your fuzzy friend will likely bring happiness to anyone they encounter.
Don’t have a dog of your own? Don’t worry! Research shared in Psychology Today suggests that just looking at pictures of dogs online can boost your well-being. With this in mind, we’ve gathered 15 photos of cute dogs that are guaranteed to make you grin, plus fun facts about the breeds.
Australian Shepherds are herding dogs often associated with cowboys. Their name is misleading, as they aren’t actually from Australia. This breed is actually believed to come from the Basque region of Spain. Because the dogs were taken to Australia before they came to the US, they became known as Australian Shepherds. These dogs are known for their gorgeous, soulful eyes — often in two different colors (one light eye and one dark eye is common), a condition known as heterochromia.
There’s something so wonderfully classic about a Beagle. Originally bred for hunting, today these dogs are known as friendly family pets. Beagles have adorably floppy ears and are famously the inspiration for Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s beloved pal. If you spend time with a Beagle, you’ll definitely see why — they’re full of personality, and they actually have a very similar profile to Charles M. Schulz’s famous creation. Another charming fact? Beagles often have a white-tipped tail. This trait was cultivated during breeding so the dogs would be more easily visible during hunting.
Is the French Bulldog cute? Oui! This pint-sized version of the Bulldog is known for its large ears and squishy, tough-yet-sweet face. While French Bulldogs have become popular recently, thanks to the growing interest in small dogs, they actually have a long history, and were originally bred in the 19th century as a combination of English Bulldogs with Pugs or Terriers. These dogs became popular among high-society women in France, hence the French Bulldog name.
Remember the fuzzy mischief makers from Gremlins? Well, Yorkshire Terriers are pretty much the real-life version of those critters. Yorkies are tiny, typically weighing no more than seven pounds, and they sport a fuzzy black and brown coat. You might find this hard to believe, given how cute and dainty these dogs are, but a Yorkie was actually a World War II hero. During the war, a Yorkshire Terrier named Smoky saved soldiers’ lives by being able to drag a communications cable through a drainage tunnel. Now that’s one impressive little dog!
Is that a stuffed animal? Nope, but you’d be forgiven for thinking so, given how fuzzy and fun the Bichon Frisé looks. This breed is known for its plush white coat and friendly personality. While some of the cute dog breeds out there are relatively recent creations, the Bichon Frisé goes all the way back to the 14th century. The breed originated in the Mediterranean region and was ultimately found by Italian sailors who brought them to Europe. Once there, they were often associated with royalty and appeared in paintings.
This ancient Japanese dog breed is known for its fox-like appearance and curly tail. The Shiba Inu has only been in America for around 60 years, but it’s sure made an impression in that time. Shiba Inus frequently appear in internet memes, and their expressive faces give them a cartoon quality. While dogs and cats are known for being opposites, the Shiba Inu is the rare dog that’s actually similar to a cat. Like cats, Shiba Inus are independent creatures who spend a lot of time grooming themselves.
With their irresistible mix of stubby legs and a long, skinny silhouette, Dachshunds are instantly recognizable. Originally bred to hunt badgers, the name “Dachshund” literally translates to “badger dog.” You likely already know that Dachshunds are often referred to as “weiner dogs,” thanks to their distinctive shape, but did you realize that Dachshunds existed before hot dogs, and hot dogs were originally called “Dachshund sausage”? We think hot dog is a much better name for the food!
The Chow Chow is an ancient Chinese breed with a majestically fluffy coat that conjures up visions of lions. The Chow Chow’s coat isn’t the only thing that sets it apart — this breed is also known for its rare blue-black tongue, which gives the impression that they’ve been munching on blueberries. This strange trait is only found in Chow Chows and Chinese Shar-Peis.
The Pomeranian is basically a walking, barking ball of fluff. These cute dogs may be small, but they boast big personalities. Their fuzzy coats are downright luxurious, so it makes sense that they were royal companions. The original Pomeranians were actually larger than the ones we know today, but once England’s Queen Victoria sought out these dogs, they were bred to be smaller and became toy size.
What do you get when you combine big ears, stubby legs and a smiling face? Why, a Corgi, of course! Corgis are precious herding dogs with bodies that are simultaneously short and long, making them oh so funny to watch. While Corgis, like Shiba Inus, are beloved on the internet, they have an extensive history. Their ancestry is believed to go all the way back to the 10th century. Corgis come with some captivating lore — not only are they associated with the royal family, there’s also a Welsh legend that says they once pulled fairy coaches. Just look at a Corgi, and it’s easy to believe it might be a mystical critter.
Big, friendly and lovable, the Golden Retriever is the classic ideal of the good boy. Originally from Scotland, Golden Retrievers are known for being energetic and hard-working. This breed isn’t just cute — it’s also genuinely helpful, as Golden Retrievers are known for being excellent service dogs. When they’re not smiling and sticking their tongues out, these dogs are known for having soft mouths due to their heritage of picking up game as hunting dogs. Their mouths are so soft, they are supposedly able to carry raw eggs without cracking the shell, but we don’t recommend Golden Retrievers try this at home, just in case it leads to an eggy mess!
The Shih Tzu is a tiny diva of a dog, with a long, flowing coat and a delicate face. Their name means “little lion” in Chinese, though they aren’t nearly as scary as one of those creatures. The lion name comes from an association with the Tibetan Buddhist God of Learning. According to legend, he had a small lion dog that could become full-sized. Shih Tzus are beloved by celebrities and socialites and often wear dainty hair accessories — this may not seem very lion-like, but it’s definitely very cute.
Fuzzy, goofy and googly-eyed, the Goldendoodle is like a Muppet come to life. Given the fact that they’re a cross between the Golden Retriever and the Standard Poodle, they’re pretty much cultivated for a cuteness overload. These friendly designer dogs are technically millennials, as they were first bred in the ’90s. Another interesting fact about Goldendoodles? They love to swim!
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are precious puppies that grow into big, strong dogs. These dogs sport stately black, brown and white coats, plus distinctive markings that include brown highlights around the eyes. Bernese Mountain Dogs have wise expressions, but they’re not just serious creatures — they’re actually known to get along particularly well with children. If you live in a snowy climate, the Bernese Mountain Dog will have a field day. These canines traditionally thrive in cold weather.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Can you say hair goals? The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel boasts stunningly long, fuzzy ears that may well serve as the inspiration for your next blow-out appointment. This breed is known for its endearing expression with big, dark eyes. Like other cute dogs, they have a royal pedigree. These lap dogs are easily recognizable for their floppy ears and delicate faces, and they come in four distinct color schemes: Blenheim (chestnut and white), tricolor (black, white and tan), ruby (red) and black-and-tan (black and tan, unsurprisingly!).
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