10 Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

Are you a senior who’s looking for the perfect furry companion? You need to consider many things before bringing a dog into your home, including where you live, your activity level, and the costs and risks of owning a pet.

You’re in luck because we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of it for you and have come up with this list of dog breeds that are ideal for seniors.

Continue reading to find out which dog breed is your perfect match.

10. Pug

selective focus photo of black pug
Black Pug

If you’re not the active, outdoorsy type for whatever reason, a pug may be just what you need. According to an article published by Cheapism, pugs are known as indoor dogs because they do not handle temperature extremes very well.

As such, they love to hanging out at home, taking naps, curling up on the couch and cuddling with their owner. Additionally, pugs don’t need much exercise or grooming.

They don’t bark much either. However, they do snore — quite loudly. That’s because their small nostrils make it difficult for them to breathe well — just something to consider if you’re a light sleeper.

FYI, pugs are very friendly, making them a great addition to any family.

9. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever

Yes, golden retrievers are large dogs, but they’re also friendly and responsive to their owners. In addition, golden retrievers like to run, hike and swim. So keep in mind they require a lot of exercise.

In fact, getting plenty of exercise is what helps keep them calm. So, if you are active or need something to get you active again, a golden retriever might be the right addition to your home.

ALL TIME TIP: Golden retrievers are strong, so it’s important that you not let them pull on the leash.

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Photo by Izabelly Marques)

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a small breed, generally weighing under 20 pounds. They are known as lap dogs and, as such, don’t mind lounging around inside your home.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels don’t require much grooming or exercise and “love nothing more than being a companion,” says Ali Smith, a dog trainer for Rebarkable.com, according to an article published by Cheapism.

Lastly, these dogs are loveable, cuddly, affectionate, graceful, and gentle.

FUN FACT: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels were bred to be lap dogs for royalty.

7. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier (Photo by PicsbyFran)

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies as they are affectionately known, are very small dogs. Most of them weigh between 4 to 7 pounds. As such, they are easy to carry around in your purse or another type of bag.

“This small size means they don’t require a ton of exercise, and they can burn a lot of their energy playing tug-of-war or fetch indoors, which is important on rainy or snowy days when a senior can’t get outside,” Daniel Caughill, co-founder of the Dog Tale, a canine resource site, told Cheapism.

As for their personality, Yorkies are intelligent and easy to train. They also enjoy sitting on their owner’s lap.

6. Poodle

brown long coated small dog with blue and white collar
Poodle (Photo by Alison Pang)

Poodles are sweet, friendly, playful, gentle, intelligent, easy to train, and love being in a family setting. They don’t require too much exercise, and they don’t shed.

That doesn’t mean they don’t require grooming, though. A monthly appointment with a professional groomer should do the trick.

Poodles come in three sizes — toy, mini and standard — and you should choose which one you want based on your level of activity. For example, a larger poodle would be best suited for active seniors.

5. Greyhound

Greyhound (Photo by elisabettabellomi)

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably saying to yourself, “This lady must be crazy if she thinks I’m going to get a greyhound at my age!” Well, before you dismiss it altogether, hear me out.

Racing is in greyhound’s DNA, but, surprisingly, they are great for seniors who enjoy larger dogs. But, contrary to what you might believe, greyhounds are not as high-energy as you think.

They enjoy daily walks and occasionally like to run, but “most tend to be couch potatoes that enjoy loafing around with their owners,” according to an article published by The Spruce.

Additionally, they are very responsive to training and easy to handle, despite their size. Lastly, greyhounds are friendly, gentle, calm and quiet.

4. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer
Miniature Schnauzer (Photo by IsabellWolf)

Miniature schnauzers are low-maintenance dogs that are very friendly and love kids. As their name would imply, they are small and compact, making it very easy to carry them around. Although they’re low maintenance, they are quite energetic, and as such, would be best suited for more active seniors.

However, they do have a longer-than-average life expectancy (12 to 15 years), so if you’re looking for a companion that’ll be there with you throughout most of your golden years, a miniature schnauzer may be just what you need.

3. French Bulldog

French Bulldog (Photo by Mylene2401)

French bulldogs, or Frenchies, as some people refer to them, are one of the most popular small dogs, according to the American Kennel Club. They’re cheerful, calm, adaptable and fairly active. Although they’re somewhat energetic, they lack endurance.

They will need just a short walk daily and need to be kept inside in the AC during hot or humid weather. Frenchies are compact and muscular. On average, they weigh about 19 to 28 pounds. But don’t let that worry you. These dogs are very manageable.

BEWARE: While French bulldogs only require minimal grooming, they are prone to certain health issues, such as brachycephalic syndrome and various skin conditions.

2. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu (Photo by Edyttka1388)

Shih Tzus are great dogs for seniors living in a small apartment or a home without a backyard. They enjoy short walks and make great lap dogs. Shih Tzus love children and are friendly — even with strangers.

The dogs are quite small, ranging in weight from nine to 16 pounds. They’re not overly active but be warned: these guys have a stubborn streak. Still, you can train most of them so that they are on their best behavior.

BEWARE: Shih Tzus are prone to brachycephalic syndrome and various skin conditions.

FUN FACT: Shih Tzu is a Mandarin phrase that means “little lion.”

1. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise (Photo by rzierik)

Pronounced BEE-shawn FREE-say, the Bichon Frise breed is sweet, sociable, and quiet. These adorable dogs also love cuddling. Bichons are somewhat active and relatively simple to train.

Other than that, these cuties are low maintenance as they don’t shed much. In addition, they love spending time with their human family, making them ideal pets for seniors who spend a lot of time at home.

Lastly, these dogs have a long life expectancy — 14 to 15 years — and with their great personalities, they’re sure to bring you plenty of joy throughout most of your golden years.

Need more of a reason to get a dog? We’ve got you covered. Check out this article about the 10 health benefits of having a dog.

Garry L. Hemphill
Garry L. Hemphill

My mission is to help people discover their dreams and take action to make them a reality. I specialize in creating content that motivates, educates, and inspires others to pursue their passions with purpose.

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