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11 Small Breeds That Love Being Lap Dogs

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There’s a pup out there for just about every personality, and these lovable lap dogs are perfect for anyone who’s looking to add a snuggle bug to their family! Whether you’d prefer a social butterfly by day and a couch potato by night, a canine who’s content to live in an apartment, or a four-legged friend for the kids, there’s a petite pup on this list who’d make a wonderful companion.

Based on information from the American Kennel Club website (and in no particular order), here are 11 pint-sized breeds that love being lap dogs. (Thinking about adopting a pooch of a certain breed? Don’t forget to check out your local shelters and rescues!)

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These brown-eyed beauties are known for their gentle, affectionate dispositions and soft, silky coats. This, plus their small statures, make them wonderful lap-sized companions for family members of all ages.

The regal-looking pups were favorites of King Charles I and King Charles II in the 17th century, and although they’re beautiful, they still love to go out and play every once in awhile! According to the AKC, these calm companions are just as happy with homebodies as they are with more active owners.

2. Chihuahua

One of the tiniest pooches around, Chihuahuas love being in the laps of their favorite humans! These miniature pups have big personalities, and fans of the breed love their trademark sass.

Although Chihuahuas can fit in purses, owners need to remember that they’re still dogs that love to go on walks and play! What’s more, if they’re coddled too much by their humans, they may end up taking on a guard dog role and developing “Napoleon Syndrome.” Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy lots of cuddle time on the couch; it’s all about balance!

Unfortunately, the Chihuahua’s popularity has a downside. Some people get swept up in the “trend,” then end up surrendering their pooches. To that end, Chi lovers looking to adopt should check out their local shelters and rescues!

3. Maltese

These white-haired bundles of love have been bred for their good-natured companionship since ancient times, says the AKC. In fact, the Greeks used to get tombs for their dearly departed Maltese! What’s more, they shed very little and are a great breed for allergy sufferers (just keep in mind that no dogs are completely hypoallergenic, even hairless ones!). However, regular grooming is a must.

These under-10-pound pups are perfect for curling up on your lap. Although they need exercise just like every other dog, they’re generally happy hanging out with their favorite humans!

4. Pomeranian

These joyful furballs are like a fluff lover’s dream: a luxurious double coat is perfect for sinking your fingers into. Luckily, they’ll love all that attention!

These tiny pups usually don’t exceed 7 pounds, and although they enjoy snuggling in laps, they are quite energetic! That’s why they’re well suited for spending their days out and about, then coming home for a cozy snuggle with their humans. It’s a good thing they’re so portable!

5. Pekinese

Pekinese pups are known for the long “mane” of fur that surrounds their necks, and do well in cooler temperatures because of it.

These graceful dogs are generally calm by nature and aren’t big fans of roughhousing. What’s more, they’re a short-nosed breed, so owners should be aware of breathing issues. With that said, Pekinese pooches are loyal and would be happy to take on the role as your personal “lap-warmer” to a family with a adult or gentle children.

6. Bichon Frise

These curly-haired canines are known for their friendly, happy-go-lucky nature, which makes them very adaptable pets for different kinds of families. They generally love meeting new people, and are great with respectful children who’d love having a furry friend!

Another big draw for this breed is their soft hair, which sheds very little, making them a great pet for many people who are sensitive to dog fur and dander. But don’t forget, this also means that they’ll need to be frequently groomed! These joyful pups make wonderful companions for folks living in the city or the country — as long as they’re loved.

7. Pug

It’s no wonder these curly-tailed cuties are a popular choice for family pets. With their irresistible wrinkles and loving personalities, these snuggly pooches are most certainly lap dogs.

As with Pekinese and other brachycephalic breeds, Pug parents should keep their eye out for breathing issues or other health problems related to their flat noses. They only need a moderate amount of exercise, so they make great companions for apartment dwellers. Plus, their outgoing personalities will most certainly help you meet the neighbors! But no matter where they live, these adaptable pups are just happy to be with their favorite people.

8. Havanese

Another all-around, easy-to-own dog, some of the highlights of the Havanese breed include an eagerness to please, a love for people of all ages, and a low-shedding coat!

While their fur won’t cling to all your clothes, they do need regular grooming, but it’s a small price to pay to have a wonderful companion who’ll love being by your side wherever you go — and making new friends along the way! These affectionate pups can happily live in big or small homes, and love snuggling in laps. Plus, their soft coats make them extra cuddly.

9. Shih Tzu

Families looking for a petite pets for their children should seriously consider adopting a member of this sweet breed. According to the American Kennel Club, “the Shih Tzu is known to be especially affectionate with children.”

Like many of the breeds on this list, these pups don’t need a lot of space to be happy. What’s more, they shed very little, so they’re a wonderful choice for people who are sensitive to allergies or don’t want a lot of dog hair in their home. Loved by royalty for centuries, Shih Tzus were bred to be lap dogs – snuggled up on someone’s legs is their favorite place to be!

10. French Bulldog

One of the bigger “lap dogs” on this list, Frenchies can grow up to 28 pounds. Their affection toward humans, mild nature, and dashing good looks make them a popular choice for families, single folks, apartment dwellers, homeowners – just about everyone!

Unfortunately, this pup’s popularity — which may have exploded because they’re a favorite among celebrities — has lead to some overbreeding, leaving Frenchies from irresponsible breeders plagued with serious health issues. If you want to add one of these sweethearts to your family, make absolute certain that you seek out a reputable breeder… or better yet, rescue!

11. Italian Greyhound

These adorable dogs are wonderful for sportier owners who’d love a companion that enjoys being active as well as being lazy on the couch. These super-affectionate pups will always be by your side (or on your lap!), but a fast-moving critter can still ignite their prey drive.

Because of their delicate limbs, these little dogs may not be suitable companions for young children, and definitely shouldn’t be played with too roughly. What’s more, their lean bodies and short coats mean they get cold once the temperature plummets, so in the wintertime, they’ll need a coat — and a cuddle!

Do you have one of these pups in your family, or was your lap dog not mentioned on this list? Share with us in the comments below! 

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Written by Karen Tietjen

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