15 of the Cutest Lap Dogs
Consider yourself warned: These adorable small dog breeds will make you want to start cuddling immediately.
Sit down: This is about to get cute
We’re sorry to interrupt your regularly scheduled life with out-of-this-world-adorable dog pictures, but we’re pretty sure you’ll be thanking us momentarily. There’s no debate that all dogs can make excellent pets, but for homes low on space and generous with cuddles, these small dog breeds are particularly perfect. Read on for recommendations on the best lap-friendly dogs from top animal experts, and prepare your home with the best dog beds for every type of pup for when your lap is otherwise occupied.
If you’ve always imagined yourself raising a little spitfire, add a Chihuahua to your list of dogs to consider. “A true lap dog based on its size, Chihuahuas can have very little to a lot of energy but prefer a calmer setting with kids and families,” says DiNardo. “These adaptable dogs love to lay in their owner’s lap more than anything else.”
While these pups may seem too cute to be true, they’re as real as they come, owing their popularity to their affectionate and energetic nature, as well as their small stature. Chihuahuas are typically under six pounds at full maturity, and small enough to tote around in a dog carrier. To make your Chihuahua even happier, pick up some of these pet products with nearly perfect Amazon reviews.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Good news for those who love gentle pups, because this breed also made our list of dog breeds less likely to bite. “Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have been considered one of the best lap dog breeds since the 17th century,” explains Gina DiNardo, Executive Secretary for the American Kennel Club (AKC). “This easygoing breed is a popular family dog.” And the AKC labels these small-to-medium-size, regal-seeming canines as “affectionate, gentle, and graceful.”
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Looking for a petite best friend with the best hair in town? The Maltese just might be the one for you! It ranks among the best small dog breeds for active homes able to strike just the right balance between having fun and curling up on the couch. DiNardo says these dogs are “playful, confident, and loving.” They’re also incredibly loyal, calling anywhere you live and love them their best home. “They are adaptable, dedicated to their owners, and can sometimes serve as good watchdogs,” adds DiNardo.
They’re typically under ten inches tall, weigh less than seven pounds, and love being carried by doting dog moms and dads. If you like taking your BFF everywhere, make sure you don’t forget to buckle up your pup in the car.
DiNardo loves this lap dog for its sturdy, slightly bigger size and vivacious personality. “French Bulldogs are an extra friendly breed and love everyone and everything,” she says. “Although larger than most standard lap dogs, they love cuddling up with their owners.” Their always-positive outlook makes French Bulldogs one of the best small dog breeds, but their photo-worthy faces make them popular with just about everyone. They can weigh up to 28 pounds and will take up a bit more lap real estate, but they’re worth it.
“Havanese were originally owned by Cuban families in the 18th century. This is a small, delicate breed that loves being close to its owners and wants nothing more than their attention,” says DiNardo of these typically big-eyed and city-friendly dogs. They’re outgoing, cheerful, ultra-adorable, and eager to hop up in your lap for an afternoon of snuggling and affection. Many owners report Havanese as having a great sense of humor, too, which makes them a strong choice for families with young children, older adults, and just about anyone who might get a kick out of these hysterical dog cartoons.
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“Bichons originally were bred as lap dogs for European aristocrats,” says DiNardo of this fancy-sounding fluffy canine. “Today, this happy-go-lucky breed serves as a great companion for kids and families and makes nice little watchdogs, too.” Some people mistake them for poodle breeds because they’re coated in allergy-friendly curly white hair, but they’re actually a distinct breed on their own. They typically measure about ten inches tall and live up to 15 years with the same hairstyle Bob Ross sported while painting landscapes on PBS throughout the 1980s. Here are more of the best hypoallergenic dog breeds for people with allergies.
Their funny-sounding name is often mispronounced out of fear of sounding impolite, but these dogs are among the most popular for warm-and-fuzzy types, thanks to their ability to form heartwarming bonds. “For hundreds of years, Shih Tzus served as lap warmers for Chinese royalty, and they still serve this same purpose today,” says DiNardo, noting that the correct pronunciation rhymes with the latter portion of jiu-jitsu. “They are affectionate toward kids and families and would rather stay on your lap all day than venture outside.”
There’s nothing impolite about this small dog breed. In fact, they’re known to be so easygoing and full of love that they’ll probably even let you dress them in these funny dog costumes when Halloween comes around.
While the traditional version of the Manchester Terrier may be slightly bigger than your average small dog breeds, DiNardo says the toy version is absolutely perfect for hands-on pet parents. “Toy Manchester Terriers were bred to be ratters while also possessing hound instincts,” she explains. “Their small size makes them great companion dogs.” This smooth-haired dog is known for loyalty, alertness, and rooting out pests—making them an ideal choice for getting rid of a pesky mouse problem at home.
Are you loving all of these pet pics? Then you absolutely have to see these 50 cutest dog breeds as puppies.
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This beautiful pup is the supermodel of our list of lap dog breeds, thanks in part to a sleek, shiny frame and sculptured facial features. “Italian Greyhounds are sighthounds by nature, but they were bred to be doting companions that are eager to please, and they love to be in their owner’s lap all day,” says DiNardo of their personalities. Italian Greyhounds are miniature Greyhound breeds with typical weights ranging from seven to 14 pounds; they measure between 13 and 15 inches tall. Their instinct for pursuit will make them conversation starters at the dog park.