10 Best Lap Dogs Who Take Cuddling to a Whole New Level
Let's face it: doggy DNA doesn't allow for much personal space. Pups and privacy don't exactly coincide, but would any dog lover have it any other way? The best lap dog breeds on our list are likely to take up prime real estate on your lap, so settle in and hope the remote is within reach—you might be there a while.
Oh, and that tingly feeling? Don't worry, it just means you really love your dog. It has nothing to do with your body protesting remaining perfectly still so his or her highness isn't disturbed.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles spaniel was literally bred to be a lapdog. Their purpose in life is to love and be loved by you. Don't let their regal name fool you—the Cavalier King Charles can fit into a laidback lifestyle just as well as a luxurious one. A true chameleon, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel adapts to the needs of his family, amiable with both children and seniors, as well as any furry friends already in the home.
"Cavaliers are the best of both worlds," says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary at the American Kennel Club. "They excel in fast-paced dog sports and can also be huge couch potatoes, depending on their owner's lifestyle."
Essentially a cotton ball with legs, the famously fluffy bichon frise is friend to anyone she meets. Energetic and eager to entertain, it's no surprise the bichon frise has a background in showbiz, performing tricks in circus acts and street shows during the French Revolution. Today's bichon frise dogs take well to training and can learn to respond to many cues. The only thing she asks of you in return? A special place just for her to kick back on your lap when it's time to relax.
"Tibetan spaniels thrive on human companionship," DiNardo says. "They are vigilant and committed to protecting their homes and owners but are also quiet and well-mannered house dogs. They love to sit on high places and oversee their home."
We have ancient Tibetan monks to thank for these polite protectors. When they weren't standing tall in watch of the monasteries they called home, they hunkered down to help human inhabitants stay warm in the cold Himalayan air.
Translating to "little lion," the shih tzu does boast an impressive mane, but their connection to the king of the jungle stops there. In fact, these long-haired beauties are legends in their own right, with lineage dating back to Chinese emperors more than 1,000 years ago who revered shih tzus as coveted companions. All this to say, these pint-sized pups had a whole palace to parade around in, and that still didn't stop them from laying claim to available laps. Today they certainly continue a proud heritage of making themselves right at home.
If you think the Eiffel Tower is the epitome of French architecture, wait until you see the two landmarks topping the French bulldog's head. Those big bat ears are the trademark of an otherwise tiny breed beloved for their smushy faces and goofy personalities. Believe it or not, it's actually against a French bulldog's best interest to venture from the comfort of your lap too often. As a brachycephalic breed, they don't do well in the heat or during extended periods of exercise. Play time is still a must for these boys and girls who love to pal around; just keep an eye out to make sure they're not overexerting themselves.
No, you aren't seeing double. The Boston terrier and French bulldog could be twins, both rocking tall ears and flat faces, though the Boston terrier is typically the more stylish of the two in his tuxedo coat. The Boston terrier might bounce around a bit more to expel playful energy, but they'll return to home base (aka your lap) eventually.
"Any breed that makes a wonderful companion dog is the perfect lap dog," DiNardo says. "While Boston terriers are energetic and playful, they also love to spend time snuggling with their owner."
For a truly slow-paced lifestyle, the Japanese chin is a quiet companion best suited for adult or even elderly owners. Young children and high-energy pets aren't the best fit for this fragile breed, but for those who favor a feline's approach to life, the Japanese chin is about as close as you can get. This also means they are more independent than the other lap dogs on our list and can be left alone from time to time without having to worry about returning home to a crime scene.
Despite their name, the Japanese chin is traced back to ancient China, where Chinese nobles strictly forbid anyone of lesser status from owning this stunning breed. If you're sensing a theme, it's true, many Chinese dog breeds come from not-so-humble beginnings soaking up affection as the adored lap dogs of ancient royalty. The always aristocratic chin is no exception.
Speaking of, the poised Pekingese is no stranger to palace life. Like the shih tzu, the long-locked Pekingese is known as a "lion dog." Weighing no more than 14 pounds, the Pekingese actually resided inside the sleeves of Chinese emperors who cherished the charismatic breed by their side. It's no wonder the proud breed carries a little pep in their step. Maximize lap time with at least an hour of brushing each week to ensure your pup is feeling her best.
The itsy bitsy Italian greyhound bears a striking resemblance to the much larger greyhound, and both breeds have a need for speed. A hunting dog at heart, homes without cats or other small creatures are typically best to avoid any temptation—an Italian greyhound will give chase. The good thing is any burst of energy is short-lived, as these speed demons aren't built for endurance.
"Italian greyhounds are extremely versatile," DiNardo says. "They are true sighthounds that love a good chase, but they also have a strong bond with their owners. They are loyal and love nothing more than to cuddle with their owner."
Who better to relax on your coveted lap space than a wrinkly, roly-poly pup who fully embraces the couch potato lifestyle? Champion loungers, pugs are people pleasers who will stop at nothing to put a smile on your face. Even when they aren't the center of your attention putting on a show, they're difficult to ignore. Another brachycephalic breed, many pugs are prone to snoring. Since they sleep up to 14 hours each day, this is one of those lovable quirks you'll get used to in no time. Pugs also shed profusely, so a lint roller is a must if you'd prefer to be able to tell the difference when your pup is actually on you or has just left their entire coat behind.