14 Favorite Small Lap Dogs

Shih Tzu make great lap dogsShih Tzu

Does lap dog come to mind when you think about a small breed dog? 

I for one, love the idea of a dog snuggled on my lap while I read or watch television, especially on cold winter nights. 

That feeling of calm, relaxation that accompanies a tiny canine nestled on my lap is pure bliss.  I don’t think I’m alone.  

Many people believe that all the little dogs should be passive, laid back couch potatoes whose sole mission in life is to keep our laps warm and toasty. 

Not so. 

All Small dogs make excellent companions, but some prefer a more  energetic lifestyle. 

For those of us who happen to love that extra warmth, a small breed  snugly dog is just the thing. 

So which breeds make the best lap dogs?  

  • Small and light enough to fit on most laps
  • Affectionate personality;  moderate activity level
  • Long history of being bred as a lap/companion dog

If I’ve forgotten any, please feel free to add your two cents to the form at the bottom of the page.  Be sure to tell us why your dog breed should be listed in the lap dog hall of fame.

Favorite Lap Dogs (Listed in Alphabetical Order)

Bichon Frisé

A Bichon Frise in the snowBichon Frisé

Group:  AKC Non-sporting
Size:  10 to 14 pounds
Maintenance:  High Temperament:  Gentle, Affectionate, Playful
Life Expectancy:  12 to 15 years
Barking: Some
Activity:  Moderate


Brussels Griffon

Group:  AKC: Toy
Size:  8 to 12 pounds
Maintenance:  Minimal (Smooth Coat) to Moderate
Temperament:  Intelligent, Confident, Alert;  Can be Stubborn
Life Expectancy:  12 to 15 years
Barking: Can be vocal
Activity Level:  Low


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles SpanielCavalier King Charles Spaniel

Group:  AKC:  Toy
Size:  13 to 18 pounds
Maintenance:  Moderate
Temperament:  Gentle, Friendly, Easy-going
Life Expectancy:  9 to 14 years
Barking: Quiet
Activity Level:  Low


Chihuahua

Chihuahua at the beachChihuahua

Group:  AKC: Toy
Size:  2 to 6 pounds
Maintenance:  Minimal
Temperament: Sensitive, alert
Life Expectancy:  14 to 18 years
Barking: Can be vocal
Activity Level: Low


Chinese Crested

Group:  AKC Toy
Size:  10-14 pounds
Maintenance:  Varies;  Powderpuff requires more than Hairless
Temperament:  Playful, inquisitive, Friendly
Life Expectancy:  13-15 years
Barking: Some
Activity Level: Moderate


Havanese

Group:  AKC Toy
Size:  7 to 13 pounds
Maintenance:  Moderate
Temperament: Affectionate, curious, clownish,
Life Expectancy:  12-14 years
Barking: Some
Activity Level: Moderate


Japanese Chin

Group:  AKC: Toy
Size:  4 to 7 pounds
Maintenance:  Moderate
Temperament: Playful, sensitive, Devoted
Life Expectancy:  12 to 14 years
Barking:  Quiet
Activity Level: Low


Maltese

Group:  AKC Toy
Size:  4 to 7 pounds
Maintenance:  Moderate to High
Temperament: Bold, Fiesty, Playful, Sweet, reserved with strangers
Life Expectancy:  12-14 years
Barking: Can be very vocal
Activity Level: Low to Moderate


Pekingese

Group:  AKC Toy
Size:  Less than 14 pounds
Maintenance:  Moderate to High
Temperament: Courageous, independent but devoted to family; stubborn
Life Expectancy:  13 to 15 years
Barking: Can be vocal
Activity Level: Low


Pomeranian

Group:  AKC Toy
Size:  3 to 7 pounds
Maintenance:  Moderate
Temperament: Bouncy, Curoious, Playful, Attentive
Life Expectancy:  12-16 years
Barking: Can be vocal
Activity Level: Moderate


Pug

Group:  AKC Toy
Size:  13 to 18 pounds (6 to 8 kg)
Maintenance:  Minimal
Temperament: Comical, playful, confident, can be headstrong
Life Expectancy:  12 to 15 years
Barking: Moderate
Activity Level: Moderate


Shih Tzu

Group:  Toy
Size:  Under 16 pounds
Maintenance:  High
Temperament:  Sweet, Playful, affectionate, can be stubborn
Life Expectancy:  Upward of 16 years
Barking: Moderate
Activity Level: Low to moderate


Toy Poodle

Group:  Toy
Size:  5 – 10 pounds
Barking:  Can be vocal
Temperament: Intelligent, alert, playful, sensitive, devoted
Maintenance:  High
Life Expectancy:  Upward of 15 years
Activity Level:  Moderate


Yorkshire Terrier

Group:  Toy
Size:  4 to 7 pounds
Maintenance:  High
Temperament:  Inquisitive, bold, sweet, assertive
Life Expectancy:  Upward of 16 years
Barking:  Can be vocal
Activity Level:  Moderate to active

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