Lap Dogs of NYC: 5 Popular Breeds

Pugs are well known for their flat but express...

Pugs are well known for their flat but expressive faces. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Many New Yorkers live in small houses or apartments without much space for animals. However, lack of room does not keep residents of that great city from enjoying the companionship of pets. Called lap dogs, some breeds are suitable for even the smallest homes.


Pugs are loyal, loving, spirited and happy. They are normally healthy and need very little grooming. Comical antics displayed by the unique breed include sneezing in the faces of people who hug them and wagging their whole back ends instead of just their tails when they are happy. Normally unaggressive but sturdy enough to frolic and play, pugs are great pets for families with children. Owners may have to contend with destructive chewing for about 18 months until their pugs mature, and some people find their obsessive licking annoying.

English: An example of a very alert, friendly ...

A very alert, friendly chihuahua. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Chihuahuas are full of spunk and personality, which can be peculiar and vary greatly between different dogs. They are loyal and great entertainers with their comical antics. The little dogs are prone to developing health problems like glaucoma, slipped stifle and rheumatism, and they catch colds easily, but they never need grooming. Chihuahuas are extremely fragile and do not make suitable pets for young children who can injure the tiny animals unintentionally.

Shih Tzu

English: 4-year-old Shih Tzu

English: 4-year-old Shih Tzu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Related to wolves, Shih Tzus are strong, sturdy and healthy, but they need regular grooming, including brushing through their coats in layers to prevent mats. Usually happy and gentle, they make friends easily, but owners must establish their leadership and be consistent to prevent negative traits like snapping, hoarding and separation anxiety. Shih Tzus should have daily walks to keep them from becoming lazy and overweight.

no no pask!!!

(Photo credit: anetz)


Maltese dogs are happiest when curled up in their owners’ laps. Intelligent and easy to train, the little dogs are energetic and love to play. Unless their owners spoil them, they are normally peaceful and have good manners. Because of their long hair, Maltese require considerable grooming. Although they do not require very much outdoor exercise, they do need daily walks. However, they burn easily and should not have lengthy exposure to the sun. Housebreaking can be challenging with Maltese dogs, and they may suffer from separation anxiety. Some Maltese bark too much as well as refuse to eat dog food after tasting people food.

Yorkshire Terrier

English: Billy a three year-old black and tan ...

Three year-old black and tan Yorkshire Terrier. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yorkies are loyal companions with the characteristics of watchdogs, which contribute to their tendency to be barkers. Housebreaking Yorkshires can be difficult, but obedience or other training is easy because they can remember multiple commands and learn numerous skills. The breeds’ long hair makes their grooming requirements high, and their small size contributes to various health problems. Yorkies relate well to children as well as to other dogs, but the rough play of very young children may injure the small dogs. Yorkshire Terriers are independent, bold, clever, feisty and full of energy.

Even if their spaces are very small, animal lovers can enjoy the demonstrations of adoration and delight showered on them by their pets when those pets are small lap dogs. Tiny dogs may be small, but their hearts are big and full of love for their masters.

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