Lap dogs have grown in popularity and the reasons for preferring a small dog are many. Find out which little dog best suits your lifestyle and pet pursuit.
One of the main reasons many small dogs wind up in shelters is due to the poor planning of prospective pet parents. When potential dog owners fail to research their chosen dog breed, often they wind up with dogs that just don’t fit.
This applies to lap dogs as well. Small dog breeds vary greatly in personality, temperament, energy levels, grooming needs, and medical requirements. The following is a comprehensive list of some of the best dogs for those seeking a mini-companion animal that loves to snuggle and stay close. The list also includes a short compilation of these little dogs’ character traits and individual requirements.
Small Dog Breeds That Make the Best Lap Dogs
According to Dogs 101, the favorite television show featured on Animal Planet; some small dogs make better lap dogs than others. So if it’s a couch potato puppy you are seeking, consider the following small dog breeds.
- Yorkshire Terrier – The Yorkie is a small dog breed that boasts an excellent reputation and has recently been recorded as the second most popular dog in the world. The advantages of owning a Yorkie include its excellent companionship, loyalty, and strong watch-dog type characteristics. The downside of living with a Yorkie is that they tend to be barkers, are predisposed to a variety of health problems, have high grooming requirements and can be confusing to housebreak. True to its terrier roots, Yorkshires are tenacious and energetic but settle down nicely when their owners do.
- Shih Tzu – Believe it or not the Shih Tzu is more closely related to the wolf than any of the other small dog breeds, making it one of the oldest domestic dogs. Shih Tzus are a little dog that is strong and sturdy. They are well known for their happy, gentle character and make friends very quickly. Shih Tzus need succinct and consistent house rules, or they can develop undesirable traits such as separation anxiety, hoarding, and snapping. But once your pack leader position is established, the Shih Tzu has minimal negative associations. He’s a healthy small dog that does require professional grooming regularly.
- Chihuahua – Best is known for his bravado and spunk, the Chihuahua is genuinely a robust big dog in a small dog body. They are one of the tiniest of the small dog breeds, some weighing as little as 4 to 5 pounds. Chihuahuas need socialization early, or they tend to become dominant, extraordinarily jealous and possibly prone to snap. These small dogs are predisposed to a host of health problems including rheumatism, slipped stifle, glaucoma, and they are known to catch colds easily. The health risks can be minimized when you research potential breeders. Grooming is nil, and they love to cuddle and continuously shadow their owners.
- Maltese – This beautiful bundle of joy is the consummate lap dog. There is nowhere a Maltese would rather be than curled up in the lap of his owner. Highly intelligent and trainable, this little dog is very tuned in to the demands of his master. They are brave, a small dog breed that loves to play and would be considered a more energetic type lap dog. Maltese need a daily walk and grooming requirements are considerable. They are healthy little dogs, but should not be exposed to prolonged sun exposure for fear of burning.
- Pug – Pugs are growing leaps and bounds in popularity both in the U.S. and internationally. Many attribute its new found fame to the Pug’s cuteness, others tout its temperament. According to the American Kennel Club, the Pug comes in at number 24 on the list of the top one hundred dogs in the United States. Pugs are happy, spirited and loving little dogs with a strong sense of loyalty. This clownish small dog breed is hearty and healthy and requires little to no grooming. A bath and a brush every couple of months and he’s good to go.
- Dachshund – Affectionately known as Doxies, the Dachshund comes in a variety of colors and sizes, and each type makes for a suitable lap dog. Doxies are affectionate, intelligent, curious and smart, but also require a strong pack leader to ward off potential problems including territorial behaviors and obsessive barking. Dog Breed Info calls the Dachshund a small dog breed that is proud, loving, brave and amusing. Doxies need minimal grooming, only brushing, bathing and a slight trim (for the long-haired variety) every once in a while. Dachshunds are considered healthy overall, but beware of spinal disc problems, and this lap dog has the propensity for obesity issues.
Small Dog Breeds
These are just a few of the little dogs that make excellent pets for those looking for a lap dog. Other small dogs that made the Animal Plant’s lap dog list are Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Pomeranians, and Schnauzers.
Also when searching for the ultimate lap dog remember that most little dogs suffer from what the experts call “small dog syndrome” (SDS). SDS is characterized by issues intrinsic to small dog breeds such as fragile bones (making them less suitable for tiny children), dental and gum disease (due to smallmouth quarters and reduced saliva production) sensitive digestive systems and urinary issues, like tract infections.
So before bringing home your new lap dog, it is essential to do your homework and substantiate precisely what little dog will be most suitable for your particular lifestyle. It is a lengthy commitment that deserves your most considerate discretion, but one that pays off with many years of love, joy and wonderful companionship.