Top 10 Lap Dogs Breeds | When & Why To Adopt


What are lap dogs?

Just as the name suggests, lap dogs are mostly small-sized dogs who prefer being in the lap of their owner pretty much all the time. If you thought only children loved being in the lap you are wrong, some of your little four-legged companions also prefer that.

Lap Dogs are not just known for what they do because of their small size but also their personality. They love being close to their trusted human companion, feel safe and happy in their lap. They would stay in the lap all day long if they could!

Did you know that most of the lap dogs were purposely bred so that they could calmly sit in their owner’s lap? Many of them have the genes to be super friendly and love the company of humans. As a result, they remain calm and are mostly low maintenance.

Different lap dogs:


One of the most loved tiny dogs, a pug weighs about 16 pounds and stands 11 inches tall. This is the maximum size they attain throughout their life. They are easy to train as they are an amiable breed and easily manage to enjoy being in the lap. Many dog owners that you will meet will know or have had a pug once in their life. They are loved for their size, friendly and calm personality. People also love their wrinkly faces.

Shih Tzu:

Weighs around 12.5 pounds and is 10 inches tall. Shih Tzu is known to be the best lap dog ever. The golden-brown small-sized dogs love being around company, be it adults or children, and love their lap time the most. Shih Tzu is the best decision for adoption if you have children in the house, as most dogs do not like being around children.


The smiling white dog weighs 5 pounds, yes! The most suitable for the lapdog behaviour and stands 7 inches tall.


Maltese is known to be a high maintenance dog that weighs 6 pounds and is 8 inches tall. However, they are super friendly and love the company of their favourite humans.


This is known to be one of the smallest dog breeds that weigh 5 pounds and is 6.5 inches tall. Let alone lap, you can take a chihuahua anywhere along with you as they are deficient maintenance as well.


Bolognese commonly weighs 7 pounds and are 11 inches tall. This is the kind of breed of dogs that wouldn’t want to be left alone at all. They want to have company and be around their human companion all the time. If you are thinking about adopting one, check if you have the time!

Biewer Terrier:

This calm and adorable dog breed weighs commonly 6 pounds and is 9 inches tall. These terrier dogs manage to love almost all environments, including indoors and outdoors.

Toy Poodle:

Weighing typically about 5 pounds and 10 inches tall, the toy poodle is known to be an intelligent dog. They are known to be loved by dog owners for balancing their personality regarding playtime and lap time. They love activities but also enjoy their time with their human companion.

Are lap dogs a specific breed?

No. Lap Dogs are not a breed but all dogs who are small enough or love to be in the lap are collectively known as lap dogs. They are either too small or too friendly that they love being in the arms of their human companion. So, if you stay on your couch or your bed most of the time and are looking for a pet of the same personality, lap dogs are your friend. But, even lap dogs require some time outdoors and fresh air just like yourself.

Most dogs have the capability of being lap dogs if that’s the kind of personality they have but it also depends on what size of dog you can manage to keep in your lap!

What is additional care required for a lap dog?

Since most lap dogs are small, you need to make sure that there is no harmful furniture around the house that they end up hurting from.

How long do lap dogs snuggle?

This depends on their mood. If they want to be calmly sit in your lap and they don’t care about how busy you might be. But, if they don’t, then you can’t persuade them. But, they don’t stay in the lap for too long unless they fall asleep. All dogs keep moving around usually. Furniture with huge height must also be prevented as you don’t want the little animals to jump from a height and get hurt. Also, make sure to check all the small places in the house that they can hide in while playing. Most small dog owners get scared that they have lost their pet or have escaped while the little dog remains hidden inside the house, under the bed, and in all other possible places.

Are giant dogs lap dogs too?

More than the size factor, lapdog behaviour has more to do with the dog’s genetics and personality. Some giant adult dogs can also be lap dogs. This means that they would prefer to be in the lap, but can you afford to do that as the owner? Well, mostly no. But, this is totally up to you as the owner. You might successfully train them only to cuddle and get petted in their lap for a short time during the day if this is something they enjoy. But, if you cannot manage to keep them in the lap for a short time as well, depending on how heavy the dog is, you can train them to stop this behaviour.

  1. Lap Dog Lifespan
    Many small dog breeds, which include many lap dogs, tend to have longer lifespans than larger breeds. This is something to consider when adopting a lap dog, as they can often live well into their teens.
  2. Lap Dogs and Allergies
    Some people may be allergic to dogs, but still want the companionship of a pet. Certain breeds of lap dogs are known to be hypoallergenic, meaning they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Breeds like the Maltese, Bichon Frise, and Shih Tzu are often recommended for people with allergies.
  3. Lap Dogs and Seniors
    Lap dogs can be a great companion for seniors. Their small size and generally calm demeanor make them easy to care for, and their affectionate nature can provide emotional support.
  4. Lap Dogs and Children
    While many lap dogs are friendly and good with children, it’s important to teach children how to properly handle these small dogs to avoid injury.
  5. Lap Dogs and Exercise
    Despite their small size, many lap dogs still require regular exercise. While they may not need as much exercise as larger breeds, regular walks and playtime are important for their health and happiness.
  6. Lap Dogs and Diet
    Small dogs have different dietary needs than larger breeds. They often require more calorie-dense food due to their fast metabolisms, and may also benefit from smaller, more frequent meals.
  7. Lap Dogs and Temperature Sensitivity
    Many lap dogs have short coats and can be sensitive to cold temperatures. They may require sweaters or blankets to keep warm in cooler weather.
  8. Lap Dogs and Travel
    Due to their small size, lap dogs are often easier to travel with. They are more likely to be allowed in cabin on flights, and are easier to transport in cars.

Remember, it’s important to research and consider your lifestyle and living situation before adopting any dog, including lap dogs. While they can make wonderful companions, they also require care, attention, and love.

Table showing the average lifespan of various dog breeds:

Breed Average Lifespan (years)
Pug 12-15
Shih Tzu 10-16
Pomeranian 12-16
Maltese 12-15
Chihuahua 14-16
Bolognese 12-14
Biewer Terrier 13-16
Toy Poodle 10-18

In conclusion, you should only adopt a lap dog if you also share the same personality. And no matter what size or how much your dog loves being in the lap, take them out for walks and park tours to keep them active or less they can get isolated and depressed too.

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