Healthcare Economy

This Dog Stays a Puppy the Longest

The official term for a puppy is a “juvenile dog.” Puppies, according to some experts, age at different rates, based on size and breed. Large dogs tend to be puppies for longer, up to 15 months. For smaller breeds, the figure is closer to nine months. One set of experts even offers a “puppy age calculator” that allows owners to estimate how long they can expect their dogs to remain puppies.

Americans love dogs. There is no doubt about that. It is estimated that the dog population in the United States is almost 80 million and that 44% of households have a dog. We typically get dogs when they are puppies and form bonds that last a lifetime. It is when they are puppies that our canine friends are still a size we can manage and are perhaps the most irresistible. While they would perhaps never say it out loud, some dog owners may privately wish their puppy would never grow up.

24/7 Tempo set out to identify the breed that stays a puppy the longest. We compiled the list based on a range of factors for which data were available, including life expectancy and size, as well as other more intangible factors, such as temperament, playfulness and cuteness.

By these measures, the dog that stays a puppy the longest is the West Highland White Terrier. They typically weigh 15 to 20 pounds, and their average life expectancy is 13 to 15 years.

With their bright eyes, sturdy little bodies and pink ears, westies are hard to resist. Bred to hunt rodents in Scotland, they love a good chase, but they are also great family dogs. Like other dogs in the terrier group, westies are feisty and energetic.

Click here to see all 20 breeds that stay puppies the longest.