While some people look specifically to adopt large dogs for protection or as an exercise partner, others may want a cozy, warm friend to keep them company, and this list of best lap dogs is full of pets you should consider for adoption if you're looking for a cuddly friend.

 Lap Dogs

What's a Lap Dog?

A small dog can bathe in a bathtub and doesn’t take up too much room in the chair.

A companion animal that loves to cuddle up with you on the couch while watching a late-night TV show.

A companion that prefers the warmth of your body to his own dog bed or cold floor. These best lap dogs will satisfy those requirements.

It's not surprising that some are considered true lap dog breeds, while others may not enjoy being that close to you.

This mostly depends on the breed's personality, but there are several reasons why dogs may prefer to cuddle up on your lap.

The most common are spreading their scent, being as close to the owner as possible, establishing dominance, or simply because it's a fun activity for the dog.

If lap dog breeds are what you'd rather adopt, you're in for a treat because there's a good number of canines that enjoy cuddle time.

Here's a whooping list of 30 best lap dogs which, just for fun, into three categories of how much grooming they require.

 Lap Dogs

30 Best Lap Dogs for Cuddly Pet Owners

French Bulldog

Require Little Grooming

1. French Bulldog

With huge bat ears and an adorable flat face, the French Bulldog (pictured above) makes a perfect contender for one of the best lap dogs despite being a little bigger than most others listed below.

They are extra friendly, and it seems as if Frenchies love everything and everyone – just for this reason, The Rock has adopted two of them.

Their facial structure means that these dogs cannot brave weather that is too hot or too cold. They need to stay indoors snuggled with the family most of the time.

Boston Terrier lap

2. Boston Terrier

The amusing Boston Terrier is known for bringing comic relief into any situation. They love people and will want to take walks with you, go to the park, or have a nice game of fetch.

Agile and intelligent, these pups do great learning tricks and even competing in sports such as the obstacle course.

But best of all, they will love to cuddle up on your lap.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel lap

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This portable pup has a wavy coat but surprisingly only requires occasional brushing and isn't as grooming intensive as one might think.

Adaptable and wanting to please, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can be active for more playful households or calm for more laid-back households.

Like other low-key breeds on this best lap dogs list, these canines tend to gain weight.


4. Chihuahua

A true lapdog in its size, these feisty fur-babies can have very little energy or be fairly energetic, and it's often hard to predict them.

Normally, Chihuahuas prefer a calmer setting with older kids and adults.

Their size means that they cannot be left outdoors unsupervised, which is fine with them – they want to be everywhere their person is.

If left alone, they can become extra loud and very destructive.

Italian Greyhound lap

5. Italian Greyhound

Being one of the very active, most fast dog breeds out there, you may be surprised to see a Greyhound on a list of best lap dogs, but these speedsters actually love lying on the laps of people when they're not running around.

As long as the Italian Greyhound gets a couple of intense playtimes and a walk every day, it will be a happy companion dog to cuddle up with.

Just make sure they are always collard and leashed as they can run 25 miles per hour. They can also jump very high, and a 4-foot fence won’t cut it.

Pug lap

6. Pug

Who doesn't know a Pug? Any list of lap dog breeds will normally have these mushed-faced friends who are stubborn and hard to train, but that doesn’t keep the Pug from being a popular house pet.

They are devoted and playful and can even get jealous when their affections are being hogged by someone else.

Comical and funny, people love Pugs even though they snore, snort, and fart more than any canine.

Miniature Dachshund lap

7. Miniature Dachshund

While the mini version of this breed is more lap-sized, any Dachshund is happy to curl up with the owner. They get cold easily and love nothing more than to share a nice blanket with you.

“Doxies” come with short, medium, or long hair.

Your pup's grooming needs will depend on their hair type, but none of them have very demanding coats; however, they shed a moderate amount.

Rat Terrier lap

8. Rat Terrier

Curious and tenacious, these four-legged family members are always into something. Rat Terriers are usually bossy, and while they do great with other dogs, they will boss around even the biggest ones.

Playful and friendly, the Rat Terrier loves anyone showing it some attention and will easily make one of the best lap dogs out there.

They are still a terrier with a serious prey drive and will chase, and possibly kill, most animals that aren’t dogs.

Tibetan Spaniel lap

9. Tibetan Spaniel

Used as a companion and an alarm for monasteries, today’s Tibetan Spaniel will still alert you if something is out of place.

While they may alert you, this friendly dog probably won’t do anything about it and makes a poor guard dog take real, brave action.

They still like to act like a “real” dog and bark, dig, and chase. If you get one of these canines, you will need to provide some exercise and various toys.

Affenpinscher lap

Regular Grooming Needs

10. Affenpinscher

One of the world’s oldest toy breeds, this tiny terrier is full of energy.

Affenpinschers are always looking for things to do and family to play with, but at the end of the day, these pups want to snuggle with their personality, which makes them one of the best lap dogs out there.

If you need pest control, this little dog can also catch and kill mice and rats. As a bonus, they rarely bark.

Brussels Griffon lap

11. Brussels Griffon

This breed is more of a one-person or couple’s dog. Brussels Griffons don’t like younger kids very much and prefer a calmer home.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t need walks and playtime.

High-strung and sometimes moody, they don’t like strangers either.

Your Brussels Griffon needs to have proper socialization to be a happy, healthy pet but overall makes a perfect lap dog breed companion.

Chinese Crested lap

12. Chinese Crested

This near hairless dog is sluggish. Not only do Chinese Crested dogs have very little energy, but they aren’t that playful either.

These four-legged family members are content to just lounge around – all the time.

If a lazy dog is what you're looking for, this is one of the best lap dogs you can find. While they are near hairless, they still need care.

Their skin can get blackheads and needs sunscreen to avoid sunburns.

Coton De Tulear lap

13. Coton De Tulear

Created in Madagascar over 300 years ago, the Coton De Tulear is everything a true lap dog breed should be.

Friendly with humans of all ages, they can even get along with other animals of different species. While playful, they are not high-energy.

They have virtually no prey drive and little desire to bark. One of their biggest pluses is that they housetrain easily.

English Toy Spaniel lap

14. English Toy Spaniel

Nicknamed “Charlies,” the English Toy Spaniel is the poster child for snooty companion pets. They do not like kids and prefer to live in a small, quiet place alongside their owners.

These little fur-babies still have some hunting instincts, however. They like to get outdoors and chase things and bark but make one of the best lap dogs at the end of the day when they're tired.

Just make sure they always have a sturdy fence or a collar and leash.

Japanese Chin lap

15. Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin has a luxurious silky coat, but it is surprisingly easy to maintain. Just give it a comb through twice a week, and it will be good to go.

Like many small dogs, this pup is not suited for outdoor living and is better for owners who prefer to spend plenty of time with their pets indoors.

This is also fine with the Japanese Chin since they prefer lounging around with their people anyways, like a true lap dog breed.

 Lap Dogs

Miniature Schnauzer lap

16. Miniature Schnauzer

The hair of the Schnauzer requires brushing a couple of times a week, but it sheds very little, which I find is a coveted trait for these best lapdogs on the list.

They look stern and serious, and that does reflect their personality.

Do not worry if you are looking for a little more than a couch potato because this pooch can still enjoy some serious playtime and will have things up his sleeve to entertain you.

Papillon lap

17. Papillon

With large butterfly ears, the Papillon is ready to soar into your lap. Fragile and sensitive, just as this breed's looks imply, this dog does better in homes with adults only.

They have energy and are playful, but you must take care to avoid injury.

Canines of this breed are supposed to be friendly and happy, but due to unsafe breeding practices, some are nervous and timid.

Nevertheless, they make one of the best lap dogs out there.

West Highland White Terrier lap

18. West Highland White Terrier

Intelligent and easy to train, West Highland White Terrier will need some obedience training to curb its hunting dog desires, unless that's why you're adopting this dog.

“Westies” do shed, so you may want to have a dog blanket for it to lie on, or you will be covered in white fur very fast.

These dogs are energetic and will need walks and playtimes to fulfill their needs, but they love to cuddle up when they're tired.

Bichon Frise lap

You Almost Need to Be a Groomer

19. Bichon Frise

This white angel looks like a stuffed animal. They love everything and everyone and are great for any family. Friendly and cheerful, the Bichon Frise will even get along with cats.

Canines in this breed are intelligent and want to please their owners. This makes them easy to train and easy to get along with, as well as being one of the best lap dogs.

They are great for apartment life due to many other factors, too.

Bolognese lap

20. Bolognese

Another friendly, outgoing dog, the Bolognese, was bred to be a lapdog. While playful, they are not overly energetic.

Their coat is a handful, yet they shed very little. These are house pets that need a stable room temperature.

Also, they don’t do well being left alone for long periods of time and will often experience serious separation anxiety.

It is most happy as a purse dog alongside being the best lap dog breed.

Cocker Spaniel lap

21. Cocker Spaniel

Shy and reserved, these four-legged friends like to be in a home with only one or two people – adult people.

While the Cocker Spaniel may be too big to be a true “lap” dog, they will be content to lie beside you wherever you are.

They are not very energetic, but these pooches are playful, and love ball games enough to keep a moderately active pet owner entertained.

Havanese lap

22. Havanese

Despite their looks, the Havanese are no fearful, delicate flower. These canines like kids, strangers, and other pets.

They also love a good romp outdoors and do not chill or overheat easily.

Intelligent and easy to train, this breed is great for someone that not only needs a couch buddy but wants some playmate as well.

While they are hail and hardy, they do suffer separation anxiety when away from family.

Maltese lap

23. Maltese

Maltese is also another species of true white angels but only need frequent indoor play to keep them happy. If you get tired of having them attached to your lap, they also like to have romps outside.

Just make sure you have a fence or that they are on a leash. The Maltese may be a companion dog, but it still retains a pretty high prey drive from its ancestors.

Scottish Terrier lap

24. Scottish Terrier

The Scottish Terrier is possibly the most visually recognizable dog. Thanks to our media, the Scottish Terrier is a vision in black.

While they don’t shed much, their double coat needs daily brushing and regular trips to the groomer.

They get along well with kids and other dogs, but not with cats, hamsters, and other little creatures.

Their temperament, coat, and size make them one of the best lap dogs to adopt.

Miniature American Shepherd lap

25. Miniature American Shepherd

While the Miniature American Shepherd loves to cuddle, they are still a shepherd dog. Created from Australian Shepherds, these fur-babies still like to run, bark, dig and play.

While they are good lapdogs, their owner will still need to be fairly active to give them walks.

A big yard, preferably with agility training kits and good playtimes a day, will also do.

Pekingese lap

26. Pekingese

Bred to be companions to the imperial families of China, these four-legged friends are still regal in appearance and manner. Not very friendly, the Pekingese is a little stand-offish.

They prefer living with just one or two adult people. Like a true lap dog breed, they have very little energy and don’t like to play much. They are content just sitting around looking proud.

Pomeranian lap

27. Pomeranian

Part of the ancient Spitz family, the Pomeranian is still very vocal. These canines are intelligent and easy to rain, so it shouldn’t be too hard to help them curb excessive noise.

This is another breed that fits the small dog stereotype.

They don’t really like anyone else but their person, and they are difficult to housetrain. Puppy pads will probably need to be used for longer than with many other dogs.

Shih Tzu lap

28. Shih Tzu

These little dogs are sweet-natured and gentle. They do well in families with members of all ages.

While they can be playful and energetic, they are happy with indoor games or a short walk outside.

The Shih Tzu is outgoing and makes a great “purse pup,” as well as being one of the best lap dogs.

Since they do not do well if left alone for too long, they are happy being carried everywhere they go.

Toy Poodle lap

29. Toy Poodle

The small version of this breed has all the coveted characteristics of the larger versions.

Toy Poodles are very intuitive and can adapt themselves to the style of the household. If the people are calm and relaxed, so is the Poodle.

If the people are more lively and playful, so is the Poodle. And if you're ready to cuddle up on the couch, this will be one of the best lap dogs to accompany you.

They shed very little, so they will never cover your lap in hair.

Yorkshire Terrier lap

30. Yorkshire Terrier

One of the most popular lap dog breeds out there. The “Yorkie” is full of life. Their feisty attitude provides much entertainment.

Affectionate and devoted, they are happy as long as they are with their person. They can be difficult to train, and many will need pee pads for the duration of their life.

The hair on these pups can be too much for some people, so it is usually kept short.

Whether you are looking for a lazy couch potato dog or a lively playmate, at the end of the day, all thirty best lap dogs on this list want nothing more than to lie on the lap of a cherished loved one.

If they can’t fit on your lap, they will be content wedged between you and the arm of the chair. Just stay strong!

Sometimes dogs will try to push you out and take the whole chair for themselves.

READ NEXT: 30 Most Lazy Dog Breeds Perfect for a Couch Potato Owner

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30 Best Lap Dog Breeds

Amy is a writer who lives with her husband and daughter on the United States Gulf Coast. She has a BA in Behavioral Sciences, and volunteered for shelters through various activities, as well as fostering animals. Amy currently has 3 dogs and 5 cats.