Is There a Lapdog in Your Future?
If you are in the process of looking for a canine companion, you are about to “embark” on one of life’s sweetest journeys! There is an ideal dog breed to suit just about any lifestyle, and this is particularly true for lapdogs — a broad category of very small dog breeds known for more sedentary lifestyles and lots of cuddling. Many small lapdog breeds were designed for royalty centuries ago for the sole purpose of companionship.
Who is the best match for a lapdog?
If you tend toward a more sedentary lifestyle, or need to make more quiet time, a lapdog is ideal. Dogs any larger need to be active. Within the range of lapdogs, there are those breeds who love to be lazy, like the Pug and French Bulldog (see barkingroyalty.com), and those who need a bit of exercise each day, like the Italian Greyhound, or Shih Tzu (see Vetstreet.com). Your ideal canine buddy will fit right into your routine.
What other variations are there in lapdog breeds?
The traits to look for in a lapdog really depend on your own lifestyle and personality.
Smalldogplace.com ranks popular lapdog breeds according to temperament, maintenance, and barking level. Here are some ways in which these factors may or may not be compatible with your lifestyle:
Temperament: If you are a social butterfly, you will want a lapdog breed that is more receptive to guests. This is also true if you have children around. AnimalPlanet.com suggests the Miniature Schnauzer as a great choice for a home with lots of social activity, and Pawculture.com recommends the Bichon Frise and Cocker Spaniel. Those who enjoy quiet solitude may want to consider a Toy Poodle or a Maltese breed; these lapdogs are devoted and best in the sole company of their owners.
There are also many hybrid breeds in the lapdog category, including the Peekapoo (Pekingese and Poodle) and Pomston (Boston Terrier and Pomeranian). An expert will be able to tell you what traits are outstanding in these hybrid breeds to help you make a better decision on the best breed for you and your lifestyle.
Maintenance: For many dog owners, grooming is an enjoyable and relaxing activity! The Havanese, Yorkshire Terrier, and Pekingese are among those high on maintenance (brushing and grooming), but you will be rewarded by affection. The Pug, Boston Terrier and Chihuahua love playful attention but need minimal maintenance. Your personal interests and pastimes will help determine which breed suits you when it comes to canine maintenance. You may also want to look into the costs of pet grooming in your area.
Barking Level: If you live in a small condo or apartment where barking may be an issue, there are quiet breeds like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel or Japanese Chin. Quieter breeds, however, don’t guarantee there won’t be a barking spell, especially if your lapdog suffers from separation anxiety. If you work full-time or are away from your home for extended hours, you will want to consider adopting a trained adult lapdog, or pick a breed like the Miniature Schnauzer or Boston Terrier, who are kept happily busy with dog toys if trained properly. The choice between bringing home a puppy or an adult lapdog comes down to the amount of time you can devote to training.
Why is training a small lapdog so important?
Untrained small dogs display annoying and often aggressive behaviors that can be overlooked because they are small and cute. These behaviors include yapping and jumping. They perceive themselves as the “pack leader,” the result of an instinct common to all canines. Training establishes you, the human, as the “pack leader” and sets the rules of conduct. It ultimately gives your lapdog a more secure feeling, and consequently less separation anxiety and better behavior.
Where can I find the lapdog breed I want?
Once you have narrowed down your breed choices for your canine companion, you can receive a wealth of advice from the veterinary community and animal rescue organizations in your area, whether you are seeking a puppy from a breeder or adult lapdog from a shelter. Enjoy the search for the best lapdog breed for your lifestyle — it will make your canine companion experience all the more rewarding!