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21 Best Lap Dog Breeds: Pictures, Info & Traits

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on May 6, 2024 by Dogster Team

shih tzu dog relaxing on woman's lap

21 Best Lap Dog Breeds: Pictures, Info & Traits

We certainly love our dogs! And one of the best things about them is they can just be so downright cuddly. If you absolutely want nothing more than to have a best buddy by your side at all times, you might be on the search for a Velcro dog.

Lap dogs can be the absolute best! We know you’re probably in search of a small dog that can fit comfortably on your lap, but we’ve added some bigger boys that also have lap dogs tendencies, just in case. Without further ado, let us introduce you to the best lap dog breeds.

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The 17 Small Lap Dog Breeds

1. Bichon Frise

bichon frise dog standing on stairs at a park
Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock
Origin: Mediterranean
Height: 9–12 inches
Weight: 10–12 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The fluffy Bichon Frise makes a wonderful lapdog. These cuddly little puppies want nothing more than to be a part of their owners’ life. They are spoiled rotten and definitely get used to the royal treatment, so expect them to be a little high maintenance.

So, if you want a “baby” dog, your Bichon will certainly fill the role. You can carry them around or keep them on your lap—and they will want for no more!

2. Bolognese

bolognese dog in the garden
Image Credit: islavicek, Shutterstock
Origin: Italy
Height: 10–12 inches
Weight: 6–9 pounds
Lifespan: 12–14 years

The little agreeable Bolognese really loves attention, and they aren’t afraid to show it. These dogs tend to be incredibly dependent and affectionate towards their owners but can be a little bit shy with strangers.

Even though they are a little timid at first, they want nothing more than to make friends with everything around them. If you have one of these dogs, you can expect to have them attached to your hip. They form intense bonds and tend to be very gentle and good-natured with all!

3. Boston Terrier

boston terrier dog resting on teenage girl's lap
Image Credit: bubutu, Shutterstock
Origin: United States
Height: 9–15 inches
Weight: 6–25 pounds
Lifespan: 13–15 years

The fun, loving little Boston Terrier is lazy at heart. Even though these little dogs love to run around and have fun, they are ready to be attached to their owner’s hip, no matter what they’re doing. So, if it’s time to take a break, your pup will gladly hop on board.

The Boston Terrier is known for being a very cheerful, good-natured dog. They might be a little hard to house-train, but they will catch on eventually with consistency.

4. Brussels Griffon

Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock
Origin: Belgium
Height: 7–10 inches
Weight: 6–14 pounds
Lifespan: 10–15 years

The Brussels Griffon is another highly interesting-looking gentleman. With their big scruffy beard and pushed in face, they might look like an Ewok or otherworldly creature. While these dogs tend to be a little hard to train, they are exceptionally connected to their people.

Even though these dogs tend to take on the world by storm, they are actually quite submissive and relatively dependent by nature. So, you are sure to have a suitable lapdog anytime you choose this breed in particular.

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Image Credit: Fotyma, Shutterstock
Origin: United Kingdom
Height: 12–13 inches
Weight: 13–18 pounds
Lifespan: 9–14 years

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a real sweetheart! These docile, quiet little dogs make excellent pets for people who love having a constant companion. These little dogs tend to be very sensitive and sometimes a little shy.

But if they are used to you and know you well, they are always up for a cuddle. You’ll barely even notice they’re there, as these little dogs are known for staying very small. They also carry a puppy-like look throughout the duration of their life.

6. Chihuahua

chihuahua dog on person's lap
Image Credit: Pierre Aden, Shutterstock
Origin: Mexico
Height: 5–8 inches
Weight: 2–6 pounds
Lifespan: 12–20 years

The little Chihuahua is known for being the ultimate purse dog. All throughout the early 2000s, girls everywhere were putting these little dogs into their purses with their heads popping out. They didn’t mind either! In fact, these dogs love being toted around, permitting they love the person handling them.

Chihuahuas have a reputation for being quite particular and even aggressive. These spirited little dogs tend to get extra connected to one person and may just hate everyone else. If you’re the lucky winner, they will want nothing more than to be glued to your side at all times.

7. Chinese Crested

chinese crested dog lying on the grass
Image Credit: Katerina Morozova, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Height: 11–13 inches
Weight: 10–13 pounds
Lifespan: 13–15 years

The interesting Chinese Crested Is a dog that will certainly captivate any onlookers’ attention. Most of the time, these dogs are fully hairless on their body and legs, with fringe on their ears and around their ankles. Because of that, it looks like these little dogs are wearing their very own wig.

As far as personality is concerned, these small dogs are well known for being extremely attached to their owners. They are quiet, agreeable, and gentle dogs that certainly make fantastic lap companions.

8. Dachshund

woman holding an 8 weeks old smooth hair brown dachshund puppy
Image Credit: Alena Veasey, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Height: 5–9 inches
Weight: 10–32 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years

The Dachshund, otherwise known as a wiener dog, is a dog that captivates everyone’s attention immediately. Even people who don’t know much about canines can point a Dachshund out of a crowd.

With their unique appearance and their independent nature, you might be surprised to know that these dogs are definitely on the list of lap dogs. As much as they love getting involved in everyone’s business, they equally love taking a snooze in the warmth of their human’s body.

9. French Bulldog

cream french bulldog on person's lap
Image Credit: VDB Photos, Shutterstock
Origin: France
Height: 10–12 inches
Weight: 16–28 pounds
Lifespan: 10–12 years

It seems that the little French Bulldog is getting all the attention these days! Dramatically rising in popularity, the Frenchy is stealing hearts everywhere because it is playful and ultra compatible with just about any lifestyle.

These little dogs are short enough to keep you in stitches with their entertaining antics. They are known for being clownish goofballs that tend to get along with everyone. Even though these little dogs can try to act like they are totally independent and brave, they are big babies as well.

They take their naps very seriously and would love nothing more than to snuggle up on your warm lap for a snooze.

10. Havanese

havanese puppy on woman's lap
Image Credit: Likee68, Shutterstock
Origin: Cuba
Height: 5–11.5 inches
Weight: 7–13 pounds
Lifespan: 14–16 years

The Havanese is one of the friendliest, most attached dogs of all! In fact, these dogs were bred explicitly for the purpose of being companions.

These adorable little dogs don’t get very big, they have plush, teddy bear-like fur, and they are so stinking cute! They’re basically the perfect lap dog companion. This pup will want to follow you wherever you go and be a part of all of your activities.

These bright-eyed little dogs tend to be very intelligent, easy to train, and highly devoted to their humans. If you have children, they can be exceptional dogs because they are very gentle, patient, and playful.

11. Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound dog standing on the grass
Image Credit: Alexandra Morrison Photo, Shutterstock
Origin: Italy
Height: 12–15 inches
Weight: 8–10 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The Italian Greyhound is a surprisingly tiny dog that is extremely lightweight and thin-bodied. While they are known for being masters of speed, they love their downtime too. These relaxed, docile dogs are very gentle and love to feel connected to their people.

Italian Greyhounds are definitely not creatures of chaos, so they need their house to reflect that. If you have a very calm home, this dog will acclimate quite well. Outside, they can run intensely at great speeds, but indoors they tend to be very relaxed, and absolutely love curling up for a snooze.

12. Pekingese

Cute and funny red light pekingese dog in autumn park playing with leaves
Image Credit: T.Den_Team, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Height: 6–9 inches
Weight: 6–14 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The spirited little Pekingese is a dog of royalty. With their long lustrous coats and their hot attitudes, one will think they themselves were king or queen. Even though this little dog can be quite finicky sometimes, they thrive on being close to their humans.

They are very attached to owners, even if they are only highly attached to one person. This is the kind of dog that definitely can pick favorites, but once they do, they never want to be away from their person.

13. Pomeranian

pomeranian dog on woman's lap
Image Credit: Mangostar, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany; Poland
Height: 8–14 inches
Weight: 3–7 pounds
Lifespan: 12–16 years

The fluffy, spunky Pomeranian is an energetic ball of fluff. They love bouncing around and barking at everything that moves, constantly loving to be on the go. However, they follow suit with their owner. Where you are, they will be.

If you’re going in the car, you can bet they’ll be on your lap. If you’re in the house, they are right there beside you. They have quite an adventurous spirit, but you can bet they’ll never go far.

14. Poodle (Toy and Miniature)

toy poodle on person's lap
Image Credit: evrymmnt, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Height: 9–14 inches
Weight: 4–15 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

The Poodle is a favorite for a reason! These dogs come in three different sizes: toy, miniature, and standard. Both the Toy and Miniature Poodles are incredibly affectionate and love to hang out with their human companions at all times.

In fact, these little guys are so attached to their owners they can get separation anxiety if they are alone for too long too often. These dogs are fantastic for a number of reasons. The Poodle is often used in hybridized breeding because of their hypoallergenic qualities.

If you live in a home with allergy sufferers, even though these dogs aren’t truly and completely hypoallergenic, they certainly will cause a lot less irritation!

15. Pug

pug on owner's lap
Image Credit: IMG Stock Studio, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Height: 10–13 inches
Weight: 14–18 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years

You’ll never have a dull moment with a goofy Pug around! These cheerful, lovable little companions will gleefully walk by your side all day, every day. If you hit the couch, they might have already jumped onto your lap before you can even protest.

These sidekicks make very, excellent additions to almost any home because they are compatible with so many different lifestyles. Plus, we absolutely love their adorable snoring, gurgling, and all those other noises they make, thanks to their smooshy face.

16. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu cute small dog smiling in the grass
Image Credit: Brenda Areli55, Shutterstock
Origin: China
Height: 9–11 inches
Weight: 9–16 pounds
Lifespan: 10–16 years

The Shih Tzu is notoriously attached to their people. These long-haired, smooshy-faced little dogs can be the most personable, affectionate pups with a low tendency to bark. They are also relatively easy to potty train.

The sweet Shih Tzu is a relatively common breed that is easy to find. They tend to be very friendly little dogs that get along with everyone, from kids to seniors.

17. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier chewing treat on woman's lap
Image Credit: JAC77, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Height: 7–8 inches
Weight: <7 pounds
Lifespan: 13–16 years

The little Yorkshire Terrier is certainly bold and brave, with a twist! These little dogs love pretending like they rule the roost and aren’t afraid of a thing, but the reality is that they depend on their owners very much.

They look to them for guidance, affection, and attention. Anytime you sit down, your Yorkie is probably right by your side, ready for hugs and kisses. So they like to seem big and bad, but they are babies at heart.

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The 4 Big Dogs That Think They Are Lap Dogs

Many of us have had big dogs that can’t quite ever seem to grasp that they aren’t puppies anymore! Here are a few giant lap dogs that will want nothing more than crushing you with their love.

18. Golden Retriever

golden retriever on woman's lap while working
Image Credit: Mirjana Zidar, Shutterstock
Origin: Scotland
Height: 21–24 inches
Weight: 55–75 pounds
Lifespan: 10–12 years

Have you ever heard anyone say that someone is like a Golden Retriever? Usually, when someone says this, they’re referring to their happy-go-lucky and gentle personality. For a good reason, these dogs are always in the top five favorite canine companions on the AKC breed list.

These dogs are highly versatile, incredibly intelligent, skilled, and easy to train. Since they are so heavily connected to their owners, they want nothing more than to be at their side at all times. And if you let them, they will ever so sneakily try to creep on top of your lap until you disappear.

19. Great Dane

Portrait of a Great Great Dane of black color
Image Credit: Dulova Olga, Shutterstock
Origin: Germany
Height: 30–32 inches
Weight: 100–120 pounds
Lifespan: 8–10 years

The Great Dane is known for being very loving and protective of owners. What might be a little less known is that they mistake their horse-sized bodies for those of mere toddlers. You can scour the web for pictures of Great Danes sitting on people’s laps—it’s a thing!

These dogs are usually big babies and love to be around their people. They would love nothing more than snuggling up on someone—but you might disappear underneath them!

20. Mastiff

Image Credit: Monica Arauz, Shutterstock
Origin: England
Height: 27–30 inches
Weight: 120–230 pounds
Lifespan: 6–12 years

Mastiffs are known for being ultra gentle and protective of their families—motherly, even. They are very docile, and they’re known for being quite big babies sometimes! Drooly and adorable, these big brutes would love nothing more than to try to fit their big carcass on your lap.

Mastiffs are generally easy to train and make excellent watchdogs. They usually love children and keep a very close eye on them to make sure they are safe. They certainly make a wonderful family companion.

21. Newfoundland

newfoundland dog on leash with owner at the park
Image Credit: MVolodymyr, Shutterstock
Origin: Canada
Height: 22–24 inches
Weight: 100–150 pounds
Lifespan: 8–10 years

Newfoundland is a big ball of fluff. They make the best cuddle companions because, essentially, it’s them cuddling you. If you can get past all the slobber and convince them not to sit directly on top of your body, you will realize that these dogs love nothing more than to be directly connected to their people.

Newfies are known for being gentle giants, and they aren’t just good with the people they live with. These dogs tend to get along remarkably well with strangers and have a special affinity for children.

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If you are looking for a lap dog, you can find one without a problem! Some dogs are meant for service, others for work-related tasks, and some are simply 100% attached to their owners and live for nothing more. If you like the idea of having a dog on your lap every time you sit down (big or small), one of the dogs on this list is bound to be a good fit for you.

Featured Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

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