The Best Lap Dog Breeds For A Good Cuddle

Looking for a dog that will love to cuddle? We put together a list of the best lap dog breeds who are most likely to climb on you and stay there.

Aly Walansky

Updated November 29, 2022 • Published June 11, 2021

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The Best Lap Dog Breeds For A Good Cuddle

There’s no doubt that dogs are pretty amazing. They are affectionate and incredible companions, but just as with people, they have very distinct interests and personalities. And while some love to run and chase, others are really great for a good snuggle.

When we picture a cozy, comforting lap dog, the obvious picture in our minds will be those small breeds, such as Shih Tzu or Yorkies. Those are the breeds that tend to be canine snuggle-bunnies. "It’s probably wise to think twice before expecting an extremely active small dogs, like a Jack Russel Terrier, to be a lap dog," says Jennifer Coates, DVM, who serves on the advisory board for Pet News Daily

But it’s not all about size. Some larger breeds of dogs can also want nothing more than to snuggle up with their favorite person. “Many Bulldogs, Basset Hounds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, and even Greyhounds are quite happy spending a lot of time on the couch,” adds Coates.

It's also important to remember that you can’t just make decisions based on a dog’s breed. You should go more on an individual dog's personality or how they make you feel regardless of what's on their dog DNA test. "It’s always wise to get to know a particular dog before deciding whether they would make a good lap dog," says Dr. Coates.

Of course, as with humans, some dogs enjoy those cozy moments and some just don’t. "Research indicates that a dog’s personality is roughly 40% genetics and 60% environment," says Nicholas DeRoma CVT, CDBC, CPDT-KA, Consultant, Veterinary Technologist, and Canine Behavior Specialist at Therefore, a dog's upbringing will have much more to do with how good of a lap dog he will be than his breed.

'Research indicates that a dog’s personality is roughly 40% genetics and 60% environment,' says Nicholas DeRoma CVT, CDBC, CPDT-KA, Consultant, Veterinary Technologist, and Canine Behavior Specialist 

While you may not be able to make your decision entirely based on dog breed, checking out these notorious lap dog breeds is a great start. Looking for a great lap dog? Here’s some breeds lap dog breeds to keep in mind!

1. Bichon Frise

best lap dog - bichon frise

These playful dogs are known for being gentle and having a good temperament. They are happy and not prone to a lot of shedding -- and love a good cuddle! 

2. Brussels Griffon

best lap dog - brussels griffon

These sweet dogs really love cuddling with their humans, and as they are so cute and friendly, their humans love cuddling right back! 

3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

best lap dog - cavalier king charles spaniel

While this dog breed is not afraid of a bit of exercise, they are still small and sweet babies that love a good cuddle. When you are ready for more activity, they’ll be game!

4. Chihuahua

best lap dog - chihuahua

Small and full of personality, this dog breed loves to be held, and makes a great lap dog. They are also super loyal, so yours may be the only lap they want to be on! 

5. French Bulldog

best lap dogs - french bull dog

Sweet and loving, these dogs love cozying up and chilling out with their humans. They get along well with other pets and children, too, so this is a great dog for a loving family -- they have tons of love to give back and love the attention! 

6. Havanese

best lap dogs - havanese

People love this breed because they are known to be very obedient -- and intelligent -- which makes training a breeze. But they are also devoted and will be very affectionate with their people. This breed is super furry and cozy, making them feel like a blanket when they are on your lap! 

7. Pekingese

best lap dogs - pekingese

These beautiful toy-sized dogs historically were the lap dogs of royalty! If they were good with sitting on the laps of kings and queens, they’ll love the laps too of the family who adores them. 

8. Pomeranian

best lap dogs - pomeranian

These small dogs are super cute, but they are also very smart and obedient. They love to cuddle with their family and would probably very much enjoy a day with you on the couch watching some TV! 

9. Poodle (mini or toy)

best lap dog - toy poodle

Mini or toy poodles usually aren’t super active, and love to hang out with their family. They have busy minds though, so make sure their brain stays occupied and they’ll stay put!

10. Pug

best lap dogs - pug

This sweet breed is all about the hugs and the naps, and you’ll love that sweet time too because they are small and loving and great at snuggling. 

11. Shih Tzu 

best lap dogs - shih tzu

This is another breed that historically was popular with royalty and it’s easy to see why. They are beautiful and brilliant dogs, and known to be sweet and appreciate some good-natured fun. They love a good nap, and appreciate all the hugs and cuddle time they can get.

12. Yorkshire Terriers

best lap dogs - yorkshire terrier

These small and sweet dogs are known to be incredibly affectionate and love to be held and carried around! They are loving and incredibly loyal - a perfect TV-watching companion.

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