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Make Way for Lap Dogs!

Rebecca Desfosse
Aug. 25, 2015

They're cute, they're sweet and they fit in your purse (well, almost!) Check out these 20 top lap dog breeds, proving that good dogs come in small packages!

All dogs provide love and companionship, but some pooches are just built for warming your lap! Lap dogs are like smaller, snugglier versions of your average dog. Plus you can easily tote them around.

If that's not enough to make you fall in love with them, here are photos of 20 top breeds that will melt your heart:

  1. Shih Tzu

    These spirited pups weigh just nine to 15 pounds and have long silky hair.
  2. Havanese

    Havanese have the nickname "Velcro dog" for a reason. They will stick by your side like glue.
  3. Maltese

    These pooches are known for their long, silky, white hair and their ultra-affectionate nature.
  4. Pekingese

    Want a dog that resembles a lion, but has a heart of gold? Choose a Pekingese.
  5. Yorkshire Terrier

    Yorkies are considered hypoallergenic and sport a beautiful long silky coat.
  6. Toy Poodle

    Intelligent and loving, the Toy Poodle makes a wonderful addition to any family.
  7. Dachshund

    With their super short legs and long bodies, Doxies are impossible not to love.
  8. King Charles Cavalier Spaniel

    This pup, with his regal name and beautiful multicolored coat, makes an active and affectionate companion.
  9. Chihuahua

    The teeny tiny Chihuahua weighs just four to six pounds but has lots of love to give.
  10. Bichon Frise

    Bichon Frise sport hypoallergenic white hair and are extremely affectionate.
  11. Pomeranian

    Pomeranians are lively, loyal and lap-loving -- the perfect trio!
  12. Schnauzer

    Schnauzers are loyal companions that also double as great watch dogs.
  13. Pugs

    With their super expressive eyes and wrinkly faces, Pugs make adorable companions.
  14. Italian Greyhound

    Italian Greyhounds are playful, loving and extremely quick on their feet.
  15. French Bulldog

    With big ears and an even bigger heart, Frenches are completely irresistible.
  16. Chinese Crested

    Chinese Crested sport no hair (or very little) and make lively and affectionate pals.
  17. Tibetan Spaniel

    Tibetan Spaniels are bright and playful and love coming home to warm your lap.
  18. Boston Terrier

    These black and white pups are friendly, loving and highly intelligent.
  19. Phalene

    Extremely loyal and ultra affectionate, these pooches make excellent lap dogs.
  20. English Toy Spaniel

    With their short noses and long silky hair, no one can resist an adorable English Toy Spaniel.

Benefits of Small Dog Breeds
Aside from being absolutely adorable, small breeds require less care than larger breeds of dogs. Because of their smaller stature, lap dogs require less of everything than larger dogs do. "One benefit to owning a smaller breed is as simple as they eat less than bigger dogs do," notes Heidi Ganahl, the founder and chief executive officer of Camp Bow Wow. Dog food budgets go much further. In general, small dogs are all-around less expensive to own than larger dogs.

They have other benefits, too. Here are five for starters:

  • They Thrive In Small Spaces
    Lap dogs make perfect companions in apartments and small dwellings, taking up less space and needing less room for their supplies.
  • They Make Great Companions for Seniors
    "Lap dogs don't need as much activity as larger dog breeds," says Mario Bardouille, the founder and lead trainer at Exclusive K9 Private Home Boarding & Training. Since they're smaller, they get more out of shorter walks. They're also easier to care for in general. They're lighter to pick up and carry. They also eliminate less than larger dogs, so they're easier to clean up after.
  • They're Easy to Travel With
    Another benefit is their portability. You can carry them in your arms, unlike larger dogs. This makes them easier to take to the veterinarian, or to take along with you while running errands or going on vacation.
  • They Live Longer
    "Smaller dogs also tend to live longer, especially if they have great dental hygiene, making them great long-term companions," says Bardouille. Some small pooches have been known to live up to 20 years! This is good, especially since you are likely to get very attached to them.
  • They Shower You With Affection and Love to Snuggle With You
    In some respects, they are like cats that curl up in your lap -- except that they're much friendlier!

Remember, these are just guidelines for breeds that may make good lap dogs. Sometimes, personality has more to do with a dog being a lap dog than its breed does. "I have a 100-pound lap dog!" says Ganahl. "He loves to lay on me ... If you can find a dog that is lower energy most of the time, likes to be around you and loves to get lots of petting, that will be the type of personality to look for," she says.

Now that you've heard the benefits and seen the photos, which breed is right for you?

For more help with choosing the right breed, check out these 10 Great Dog Breeds for Children.

Rebecca Desfosse is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, family and pet care topics.

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