15 Dog Breeds that Make Good Lap Dogs

Good Lap Dogs

Last Updated on February 2, 2021

Let’s talk about dog breeds that make good lap dogs! If you are looking for your very own fur baby, it can be overwhelming looking at all the different breeds, characteristics, and needs. If you want one that will love nothing more than to lounge on your lap, look no further than this list.

There are over 200 dog breeds in the world, give or take depending on the source. Big dogs, little dogs, working dogs, lazy dogs, and on and on. Depending on your needs, you may prefer one that loves to snuggle on your lap. If you’re looking for a good lap dog, consider breeds like an Italian Greyhound, Chihuahua, or Shih Tzu just to name a few.


Dogs, also known as man’s best friend, are some of the most common household pets, and many people have them for a variety of different purposes. Their faithfulness is one of their endearing characteristics, translating to fantastic housemates that will protect you while you are safe at home.

Of course, not every dog follows the typical standards of a breed. All dogs develop differently based on a number of factors including nutrition, neglect, safety, and proper care.

But for the most part – dogs love to be loved. They want to be petted and rewarded. There isn’t much better to them than earning your love. And what better place to love on your pup than sitting on your lap!

And don’t think only small dogs are good lap dogs. We’ve all seen the pics or videos of Great Danes thinking they are teeny lap dogs and working their way into a lap! But for today we’ll focus on smaller breeds.

Why Are Lap Dogs So Popular?

Lap dogs are popular since they tend to be small, friendly to humans and other dogs, and some are particularly calm – most of them make excellent companions.

However, as with many dogs, some are prone to behavioral issues. This is usually not due to genetic factors, but rather a result of poor training. Unfortunately, many owners do not see small dogs as a threat, so they fail to correct bad behaviors, such as biting.

The problem we humans have when dealing with lapdogs is it’s easier just to scoop them up and remove them from a situation instead of actually training them to behave correctly.

This may lead to issues down the road, for example, when your pet needs to go to the vet, so be sure to train them correctly as puppies. Luckily, lap dogs are usually very intelligent, so they should have no problem responding to your cues.

How Much Do Lap Dogs Cost?

The cost of getting a lap dog will depend on several factors, such as:  

  • the breed
  • where you are adopting/buying from
  • miscellaneous expenses (ex. adoption and vaccination fees) There are breeds that you can get for as little as $100 to $200 for a puppy, while priced breeds may go for around $3000. The price will vary by the shop or breeder. For example, some breeders only breed “champion” puppies, whose parents have won several awards in dog shows. These may cost thousands of dollars.

My favorite way to find your perfect dog is adopting.

If you do not want to spend a lot on getting a pooch, you can visit animal shelters to adopt one. The costs of adopting a dog ranges from $30 to $200, and it may be inclusive of vaccination fees and accessories like a leash and feeding bowl.

Check out this list for new puppy essentials if you’re adopting a puppy to ensure you’re well prepared.

Good Lap Dogs for People of All Ages

If you’re looking for a dog, you need to set your sights on the best breed that suits your lifestyle. Here are some of the best lap dogs to look at:

good lap dogs - bichon frise

1. Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is an excellent lap dog, and its cuteness will have you falling in love with it. They have a merry temperament and are very playful.

This breed has a white coat, with silky and curly hair, though the coat may take on a creamy hue over time. Keep in mind they will need to be groomed.

The Bichon Frise is easy to train due to their obedience, particularly if their training is started earlier, as puppies. They get along well with children and other pets.

good lap dogs - pug

2. Pug

The Pug is another breed you can consider having as your housemate, and you will love its charm and even temper. It came from China to Europe around the 16th century and was a favorite companion for the Royal family, mostly in the Victorian era.

It is a social dog, with its wrinkly face and compact body being its distinct characteristics. Its coat comes in various colors like fawn, black, apricot, and silver.

Something to note is that pugs that are not bred properly may be prone to breathing and other health issues. This is due to their adorably smushed faces. If you decide to get one from a breeder, only buy from a respectable breeder.

3. Havanese

The Havanese is a darling to many lapdog lovers due to its unique look. It is Cuba’s national dog, and the now-extinct Tenerife is its ancestor.

Its silky, soft, and long coat is one of its defining characteristics, and it may be white, red, black, chocolate, or beige. The Havanese gets easily attached to the owner, and it may follow them closely.

If you want to own the Havanese, you should be prepared to brush the hair several times per week, although they don’t shed, it can be prone to mats.

4. French Bulldog

A stocky body and a friendly temperament, it is no surprise that the French Bulldog is one of the most popular companions in the US and UK. The dog is a cross between English Toy Bulldog and French ratters around the 1800s.

They are excellent companions that should not be left on their own for long as they can suffer from separation anxiety.

good lap dog shih tzu

5. Shih Tzu

Originating from Tibet, we have a conversation starter in the form of the Shih Tzu. It is a small and stocky toy dog with a uniquely amazing long coat. In addition, it is a loyal dog with a mild temperament. It is advisable to start training early as it may be quite stubborn if not appropriately handled.

Shih Tzu dogs can live exceptionally long lives up to 18 years. They don’t shed excessively, are incredibly smart, and these also make good apartment dogs in addition to good lap dogs.

6. Pekingese

The Pekingese is a Chinese native that was a favorite of the Chinese Imperial court. It has a long coat, which may come in black, cream, and tan. This breed has a lifespan of 11-12 years and needs appropriate care, mainly dedicated to its coat.

Proper brushing and washing and sometimes even trimming to keep them comfortable during hotter weather is generally sufficient.

Pekingese are smart, loyal and they love to be with their humans.

7. Cocker Spaniel

The cocker spaniel was originally a hunting dog in the United Kingdom. Presently, it exists in two breeds, the English and American Cocker spaniel. This breed is intelligent and friendly, making them ideal for a family.

Their weight usually maxes out at around 30 pounds, they are adaptable to all housing situations as well as other animals. When exercised properly, they make wonderful lap dogs. Lifespan can be 15+ years.

8. Yorkshire Terrier

If you are into style and fashion, the Yorkshire terrier is a good pooch for you, as its silky grey, tan and black coat can compliment you as you walk or carry it. They are playful and have high energy bursts, and can be good companions to children who will give it the required attention.

Not to mention that Yorkies are super fun to dress up in tiny little clothes! These lap dogs usually stay between 7 and 10 pounds and can live up to 15 years.

9. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is one of the most popular lap dog breeds, well-known for its small size and fearlessness. They can be quite protective of their owners and require immense patience when caring for them. They require training even when they are tiny.

Their small size makes them great lap dogs. They can live for an amazing 20 years in some cases and don’t forget to keep them warm. You’ll notice shivering often in this breed which can be due to cold or excitement.

good lap dogs - italian greyhound

10. Italian Greyhound

One of the things that you will notice about the Italian greyhound is that it has a grey coat, gentle personality and will be shy among strangers. It was a favorite companion of noblemen and royalty and is a subject of many paintings in Europe.

They are intelligent dogs and are suitable for a large household.

11. Dachshund

Commonly known as the sausage or wiener dog, it is a German native, with its long body and short legs being its standard features. They were initially bred to hunt rabbits and other burrowing rodents, but are presently among the most popular lap dogs due to their unique form.

They are playful dogs, but they have a strong hunting instinct, and they need patience to train.

12. Boston Terrier

Also going by ‘American Gentleman,’ the Boston terrier is one of the most intelligent dog breeds and is easy to train. They have a compact body and erect ears, and their coat mostly comes in black, brindle, or dark brown with white markings on the face, chest, or belly.

Their short tails are another critical identifying feature, which can have a corkscrewed appearance. They have a lifespan of 11-13 years.

13. Maltese

The Maltese is an amazing lap dog, and never meets a stranger . It has long white silky hair, with adults generally weighing around 7 pounds and growing to only about 8 inches tall.

A huge plus about this breed is they are hypoallergenic. They have hair, not fur, and they don’t shed. They have a long lifespan of up to 15 years.

14. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very friendly, which explains their popularity as pets in the USA. They are very playful and good with kids, though they need much attention and companionship.

These dogs live between 9 and 14 years. They are intelligent and love to be around their owners.

15. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels Griffon has a sturdy frame with domed heads and has an underbite, similar to that of a British Bulldog. They are very playful, and at times, they may seem more attached to one person. They are also friendly, and love company, though sometimes they may come off as having an air of self-importance like cats.


Good Lap Dogs for the Elderly

Lap dogs make great companions for the elderly, as they offer great friendship and mental stimulation. Here are a few qualities that older folks should look for when getting a pooch:

●  Ease of training: Some dogs are prone to running away without proper training. And older people may not be physically able to chase their dog around the yard. Therefore, it’s important to look for a breed that is typically fairly easy to train or consider adopting a dog that is already trained.

●  Low-energy: High-energy dogs may have more strict energy requirements, so they may need more frequent walks. Because of this, I recommend a calmer pooch.

●  Friendliness: Dogs who are prone to scratching or biting can seriously injure an older person. Elderly people tend to heal much slower, so it’s important to get a relatively friendly dog.

●  Low maintenance: Many dogs require specific grooming needs. Otherwise, their fur may get matted.

That being said, here are some of the best dogs for the elderly:

  • Chihuahua
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Dachshund
  • Maltese
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Brussels Griffon

These lap dogs, for the most part, fit all of the characteristics above.


Final Thoughts about Breeds that Make Good Lap Dogs

A lap dog could be just the bundle of joy that your household needs. They’ll provide you with never-ending loyalty and companionship from day one. When choosing a breed, just remember that it’s important to pick a dog that suits your personality and lifestyle.

Proper training, lots of love, and a commitment to your new baby are a few of the most important things for giving your dog a happy life.

And of course, I can’t leave out the fact that you don’t have to have a specific breed to have a good lap dog. Dogs need love and attention and most are willing to give you anything you want in return for that love and attention.

Rescue dogs, special needs dogs, adopted dogs – any of these can be your loyal best friend and ready and willing to jump in your lap if given the chance!

Good Lap Dogs - which breeds are the best?

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