The Perfect Dog Breeds For Seniors

Published on 01/15/2020
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When people say that a dog is a man’s best friend, it’s completely true. Dogs come in so many breeds, shapes, and sizes, so there’s no doubt that you’ll find at least one you’ll love. The elderly can really benefit from a dog’s love. Research has proven that owning a dog will help lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and lead to more happiness! Keep reading to see 15+ dog breeds that would make the perfect companions for the seniors in your life.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus, otherwise called the ‘Lion Dog’, is a great choice for seniors since it’s loyal, friendly, and very easy-going. This breed doesn’t require too much exercise, but you can expect it to snuggle up with you on the bed plenty. While it’s small, it’s a great guard dog. Whether your home is an apartment or a duplex, the Shih Tzu can adapt to any lifestyle.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Bolognese Bichon

Another excellent breed for seniors is the Bolognese Bichon. It has plush-like fur, so grooming and maintaining the home won’t be too difficult. Owners love this dog since it’s very smart and easy to train as well. It’s ideal if you live in an apartment or a smaller space since it has a naturally quiet and calm nature. You’ll have no problem with noise!

Bolognese Bichon

Bolognese Bichon

Goldendoodle

When combining two affectionate dog breeds, you get the Goldendoodle. The breed is a combination of a poodle and a Golden Retriever. This dog is one you should get if you need some exercise since it needs to be taken outside rather often. It’s playful and very intelligent, guaranteeing you’ll have a loyal and loving companion.

Goldendoodle

Goldendoodle

Beagle

Beagles have a reputation for being noisy, but a lot of senior care experts have said these dogs are one of the best breeds for them. Beagles like to play, which will keep their owners active. Not to mention, they have relatively low grooming needs. The Beagle is also great with kids, so you won’t need to worry about them not getting along with the grandkids.

Beagle

Beagle

Pomeranian

If you’re looking for an affectionate and lively dog, the Pomeranian could be perfect for you. They’re small but have big hearts. Not to mention, they’re great in small spaces like apartments. While they’re fluffy, they don’t require regular grooming. You only need to brush them regularly. If you want to train your pet, you’ll have no problem since this breed is very intelligent.

Pomeranian

Pomeranian

Pug

Pugs are the perfect dog for those of us that want to spend most of their time lying on the couch. For this reason, it’s an excellent dog for the older generation who can’t go out as much as they used to. Pugs are also smart enough to adapt to their environments. Not to mention, their fur is easy to maintain.

Pug

Pug

Mixed breeds

Keep in mind that while looking for a suitable companion, you don’t have to get a purebred dog. A lot of experts advise seniors to look for a mixed breed dog at the shelter instead. As soon as the dogs go through a shelter, they get surveyed for their care needs, personality, and other qualities. This is done so people can ensure they get the perfect forever home. It’s also a great thing since you won’t need to train the puppies yourself!

Mixed Breeds

Mixed Breeds

Yorkshire Terrier

If you’re looking for a small and gentle dog, why not go for a Yorkshire terrier? It has an average lifespan of 13 to 20 years, so it will stay with you for a long time if you take good care of it. This dog is another one that’s commonly found in apartments and assisted living centers since they’re low-maintenance. Only daily brushing is required. Also, Yorkies don’t need all that much exercise either. You’ll find them resting on your knees a lot.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

French Bulldog

French bulldogs are so loveable, with their adorable personalities and big ears! According to experts, these dogs are loving and lively. If you prefer pocket dogs, these will be perfect for your apartment. This dog doesn’t need a whole lot of maintenance or exercise.

French Bulldog

French Bulldog

Welsh Corgi Pembroke

If you’re a senior who’s looking for a lively dog that will make life much better, we highly recommend the Welsh Corgi Pembroke. These dogs are nothing short of adorable with their huge ears and squat bodies. They’re great companions if you live in an apartment as well. This breed is a very intelligent dog who’s been a favorite among the royalty for some time not. Just keep in mind that they need frequent exercise.

Welsh Corgi Pembroke

Welsh Corgi Pembroke

Otterhound

While the Otterhound doesn’t get as much publicity as the other dogs on this list, it doesn’t make them any less of a good companion for seniors. This breed has an average life span of 12 years. While they require a regular amount of exercise, we this it’s not a bad thing when you get an intelligent, faithful, independent, and loving friend!

Otterhound

Otterhound

Poodle

Poodles are very popular among senior dog-owners, and for good reason! This dog is one of the smartest breeds out there. You can be sure they’ll make loyal companions. They have a loving and gentle nature as well as the ability to adapt to the spaces most seniors tend to live in. We very much recommend them if you tend to have allergies since they have a hypoallergenic coat.

Poodle

Poodle

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a great dog to have in small spaces like apartments. It’s also good to get if you aren’t keen on extensive grooming processes. This dog has an average life span of 14 years. Just like the other dogs on this list, this breed is very loyal, independent, and affectionate!

Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso

Japanese Spaniel

If you happen to get a Japanese Spaniel, you won’t need to tire yourself out since it doesn’t require too much physical activity. It’s also relatively low-maintenance and will do fine with one brush a week. This breed doesn’t bark as much as other dogs either. When you let a Japanese Spaniel loose in the park or the yard, you’ll find that it will be perfectly fine. No matter how much fun it has, it’ll make it’s way back to your lap in no time.

Japanese Spaniel

Japanese Spaniel

Italian Greyhound

While the Italian Greyhound isn’t a small dog or particularly attractive, it’s a perfectly manageable pup. They have been nicknamed ‘Iggies’ and live from 12 to 15 years on average. The friendly breed will be fine in apartments and other small houses. An hour of exercise a day in necessary for them, that’s all.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

Bolognese

This breed is great for seniors. The Bolognese is very cuddly and has the personality of a teddy bear. Not to mention, the breed doesn’t have a lot of grooming requirements. People love adopting this dog since it doesn’t shed too much, is intelligent, and isn’t difficult to train. Since it’s quiet and calm by nature, this breed is great for apartments and other small places. Especially in places where noise is problematic.

Bolognese

Bolognese

Corgi

For an active senior, a Corgi would make a great companion. With a spunky personality and compact size, the herding breed has the same energy level as larger dogs, only in a smaller and more manageable package. Also, it’s pretty known that Queen Elizabeth’s favorite dog breed is the Corgi and she has several of them.

Corgi

Corgi

Japanese Chin

The Japanese Chin is a good choice for seniors since it doesn’t need too much exercise and is easy to groom. For many years, this dog has been a companion dog and is less ‘yappy’ than other dog breeds of this size. A run around the backyard is enough for this breed. It’ll be just as happy to come back and cuddle with you.

Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin

West Highland Terrier

With seniors, Terriers seem to be a popular choice. The West Highland Terrier is one of the popular ones since it has a nice temperament and is a good lap dog. Not to mention, this breed is suited for apartment living and only needs an hour of exercise every day. Despite having a soft fur coat, you won’t need to do too much grooming.

West Highland Terrier

West Highland Terrier

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

For years and years, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been a royalty favorite, and to this day, they’re still adorable little lap dogs. Typically, they don’t grow larger than 18 lbs and can adapt to most living situations pretty easily. You just have to bathe them once a week and brush them carefully to keep their soft fur healthy.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Another Spaniel is the Cocker Spaniel. It has the perfect temperament for seniors. You need to groom them a bit, but their loveable personalities and ability to live in an apartment will make it all so worth it.

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel

Scottish Terrier

If you want a dog that needs a moderate amount of exercise to keep you active, a Scottish Terrier will be perfect for you. It needs regular walks, not excessive running. This breed adjusts well to apartment living, is normally quiet, and has a loud bark rather than a yap. It also has an affectionate personality and will be a faithful guard dog.

Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier

Havanese

Just like the Maltese, Havanese is a great choice for seniors. They’re playful, loving, and a small enough breed that needs moderate amounts of exercise. They become very loyal to their owners and love spending time with them. Their fur is easy to maintain with regular brushing. Their personality is sweet and gentle in nature, not to mention, they aren’t high-strung.

Havanese

Havanese

Maltese

Seeing as they have minor exercise needs, a Maltese is a fantastic choice for seniors. They don’t need much grooming and have plenty of love to share. This breed adjusts very well to smaller spaces or apartments. They love spending time cuddling. Oftentimes, they’re used as therapy dogs due to their calm personality.

Maltese

Maltese

Basset Hound

Basset Hounds are easygoing and loving, which makes them a great fit for seniors. While they can be a little stubborn but are very affectionate. Some people say they love shadowing you closely. You’ll just have to make sure to give this breed enough exercise since they tend to put on weight. Fortunately, they need minimal grooming.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound

Boston Terrier

There is a good reason Boston Terriers get described as couch potatoes. They just love chilling out and spending time with you as much as they can. They have a wonderful personality and are a good size, meaning they’re perfect for seniors to manage. This breed is the perfect loving companion for anyone, but especially for seniors due to their easy grooming requirements and relaxed nature.

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Dachshund

Also nicknamed ‘weiner dogs’, Dachshunds are happy little dogs with a big personality. They get very attached to their families. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy laughing at their silly antics. They don’t need too much grooming to ensure their coat is healthy. They’re great for apartments, and they love going for walks and playing games like fetch to get its exercise.

Dachshund

Dachshund

Chihuahua

The best way to describe this breed is ‘tiny but mighty’. For a very long time, Chihuahuas have been faithful companions. They love being in your lap and are very devoted to their owners. Even the long-coated Chihuahuas don’t need much grooming and their exercise needs are minimal. A quick walk is fine for them.

Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffons are known for being serious lap dogs – so much so that you might have some trouble keeping them out of it! This breed has some similar characteristics to bulldogs. They tend to prefer the company of older people since they aren’t as comfortable around children. Their personality is sweet and relaxed, making them a great companion for seniors.

Brussels Griffon

Brussels Griffon

Bulldog

Despite the fact that this breed has a shorter life span than the others on the list, a Bulldog makes a great companion for all ages. Even though its appearance is gruff, it’s a very friendly dog. They love spending time with their owner. Plus, they don’t need much exercise. The only thing you should really keep an eye on is their diet since they don’t run around much.

Bulldog

Bulldog

Labrador Retriever

Labs are famous for being friendly and intelligent dogs, and for good reason. These are the qualities that make them great companions for seniors as long as they can get the exercise they need. However, these large dogs cannot be cooped up in an apartment. If you have a nice yard, they’ll be ecstatic. This breed is loyal, loving, and will make a great watchdog.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Miniature Schnauzer

This dog breed is one you’ll often find in a city. The Miniature Schnauzer is very well-suited for seniors. While they need a lot of exercise, they are very sweet and gentle dogs. In order to make sure their coats are healthy and clean, they need some routine grooming.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

Schipperke

A Schipperke would make a fantastic pet for an active senior. They have a lifespan of around 15 years and are lively and playful. Some of their many loveable qualities are their inquisitive nature and confident streak. However, you do need to devote some time to train them as well. Since they grow up to weigh around 12-18 lbs, they’re suitable for an apartment that has enough space to roam around.

Schipperke

Schipperke

Chinese Crested

Unlike most of the dogs on this list, the Chinese Crested needs no grooming. However, you do need to care for their exposed skin. They have a medium amount of energy but are more than happy to sit quietly with their owners.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested

Greyhound

While the Greyhound is the biggest dog on the list, it also happens to be the laziest. Retires racing greyhounds are great for seniors since they’re such couch potatoes. If you adopt one from the track, they’ll be well socialized too.

Greyhound

Greyhound

Bichon Frise

The small and fluffy Bichon Frise is a happy and affectionate dog that will make a great companion. On average, a Bichon Frise weighs between 7 and 12 lbs, making it extremely easy to handle for most people. They’re also relatively easy to train. They will need to be groomed every now and again, but otherwise, they’re low-maintenance. A moderate amount of daily exercise is normally enough to keep them healthy and happy so long as they have your companionship.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Pekingese

Pekingese is a regal but slow-moving dog. It’s the ultimate lapdog, and while it needs daily brushing, you can do it while he’s sleeping on your lap. They’re very loyal and affectionate. However, they are also independent and willful at times.

Pekingese

Pekingese

Golden retriever

Like Labradors, Golden Retrievers are kind and friendly dogs who respond well to training. Not to mention, they’re well-attuned to humans’ emotional needs, making them one of the most popular therapy dog breeds. They’re most suitable for active lifestyles seeing as they love to run and swim. If they get enough exercise outdoors, they can be nice and calm inside. They thrive on companionship and are known to have a lot of patience.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Cairn Terrier

As it turns out, one of the most famous movie dogs ever was a Cairn Terrier – Toto from The Wizard of Oz. However, we discovered that these dogs aren’t just great actors, they’re great companions as well. Friendly and cheerful, they love to socialize. They’re very loyal to their owners, but they also tend to have a streak of strong-mindedness, so they normally do well with a human companion who’s firm with them.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terrier

Papillon (Continental Toy Spaniel)

Being a small breed, Papillons are easy to bathe and transport as a result. They’re intelligent which means they’re easy to train. Papillons have a silly personality so they will be able to entertain their human companions to no end. The breed is very energetic, so they’re better off with adults who are still active and willing to take their dogs on walks. These dogs can be possessive of their owners, so it’s best to have them as the only dog in the house.

Papillion (Continental Toy Spaniel)

Papillon (Continental Toy Spaniel)

Welsh Terrier

The medium-sized black and tan breed is a true terrier. Since it was bred for hunting, the breed is filled with energy and has an independent spirit. Generally, they will weigh around 20 pounds. The reason this breed is great for seniors is because of its playfulness, energy, and spirit. While they aren’t ideal for less able seniors, this dog requires a lot of exercise, meaning it can help someone stay in shape. To top it off, they’re great dogs for playing with grandchildren since they’re so playful and lively.

Welsh Terrier

Welsh Terrier

American Eskimo Toy

If you’re looking for a small dog with an impressive mane that’s as white as it gets, go for the American Eskimo Toy. The sub-breed is the smallest type of American Eskimo. They’re so small that they only weigh 7-8 lbs as adults. The breed is affectionate and adaptable, making it easy to train and bond with. So long as you can keep up with the shedding that comes along with the mane.

American Eskimo Toy

American Eskimo Toy

Keeshond

If the fluffiness is one the main things you’re looking for when on the market for a companion, then look no further. Say hello to the Keeshond. The unique-looking dog has an impressive gray mane. Personality-wise, Keeshonds are very friendly and love playing with their owners.

Keeshond

Keeshond

Icelandic Sheepdog

Despite what its name insinuates, the Icelandic Sheepdog doesn’t look like a sheep at all. Their coat is fluffy, soft, and straight, which comes with extra shedding, naturally. Seeing as they’re smart, training is easy. As adults, they weigh about 25 pounds and love being lap dogs. They’re very affectionate with their owners. To top it off, the breed is quite and curious and alert, making them a good companion for those who want to play with their dogs often.

Icelandic Sheepdog

Icelandic Sheepdog

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu is pretty much the ultimate family pet. The breed has no trouble adapting to a large family with people of all ages. Very confident and self-assured, these dogs are quite independent but love nothing more than to spend time with their owners.

Shiba Inu

Shiba Inu

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Originating from the United Kingdom, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier was bred to help hunters. The multi-talented dog takes part in various activities like guarding, tracking, and hunting. As for personality, this dog is very affectionate, loving, and loyal to their owners. They’re also very sociable, so they have no problems with other people petting them. In fact, they thrive on the attention! Aside from all that, they’re very intelligent, making them easy to train.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Shar-Pei

If you’re older and feel like a lap dog is overrated, or you don’t want one, then the Shar-Pei is the perfect breed for you. Being medium-sized, this breed is one of the easiest to train and housebreak as well. They very much don’t like strangers, so they’re great watchdogs. They’re very independent, making them a good choice for owners who go away for long periods of time. However, if you like taking long walks or getting out a lot, the Shar-Pei is a great choice for you. Not to mention, they have minimal grooming needs due to their short hair.

Shar Pei

Shar-Pei

Miniature Pinscher

The Minature Pinscher is an affectionate small dog that would be great for seniors who are looking for an energetic little companion. This breed is playful, busy, curious, and independent. While it can sometimes be headstrong, this dog shows affection to its family but can be reserved with strangers. It needs minimal care for its coat with occasional brushing. It requires a lot of activity that can be done indoors or outdoors. Not to mention, it’s not meant for outdoor living and isn’t fond of the cold.

Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinscher

Skye Terrier

If you’re a cat owner, this isn’t the dog for you. Skye Terriers tend to dislike cats in general. Otherwise, this dog is very dependable, gets along with people, and is a great family pet. In addition, this breed is a great dog for avid outdoorsmen.

Skye Terrier

Skye Terrier

Xoloitzcuintli

This unique dog breed originates in Mexico. The short-haired dog normally weighs about 30 pounds as an adult and it comes in a variety of colors. In terms of personality, this dog is happy and friendly, alert, and is loyal if not slightly protective. To top it off, this dog only needs a moderate amount of exercise.

Xoloitzcuintli

Xoloitzcuintli

Sealyham Terrier

Otherwise known as the Welsh Border Terrier, this breed has a lush wavy coat that comes in different colors. Once they’re fully grown, they weigh around 24 pounds. Also, they don’t require as much exercise as other dog breeds. Some of them can be prone to eye problems, however.

Sealyham Terrier

Sealyham Terrier

Biewer

If you haven’t heard of this dog, keep reading. The Biewer is a small dog, one of the smallest, actually, and is lovable. This breed typically lives for about 14 years. It’s known for not shedding much, for being playful, affectionate, social, and gentle. All these things are ideal for an older adult with balance or limitation issues. Biewers are the perfect lap dogs to pet, cherish, and love.

Biewer

Biewer

Irish Terrier

As you’ve probably guessed, this dog originates in Ireland. It’s quite unique when it comes to its in-home natures. The Irish Terrier is known for being aggressive in nature but is a great dog breed for older adults looking for one dog to adopt. They’re loyal and tend to be independent. If you like being active, this dog will make a great fit since it’s known for being active. It can reach about 25 pounds in size and typically will live to about 14 years.

Irish Terrier

Irish Terrier

Lowchen

Another less-known dog breed is the Lowchen. It’s a great fit for anyone looking for a small and alert dog to have around the house. This breed originates from France and Germany and can come in colors like grey, brown, red, and even silver. It reaches about 13 pounds in size.

Lowchen

Lowchen

Toy Fox Terrier

The Toy Fox Terrier is a great option for seniors since it doesn’t need much exercise or grooming. Not to mention, it’s easy to train as well. The little dog is very spirited, playful, energetic, and loyal. Since this breed is very intelligent, it needs plenty of mental stimulation.

Toy Fox Terrier

Toy Fox Terrier

Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier originates in England, like its name suggests. The small black and tan dog only needs a moderate amount of exercise and a small amount of grooming. In terms of training, it can be slightly difficult. However, it’s very friendly with other dogs and affectionate.

Manchester Terrier

Manchester Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

There’s a good reason that Jack Russell Terriers are such popular pets. The small dogs are full of personality. So much so, that people even say they can be mischievous at times. They make excellent watchdogs since they are very alert. This breed would do best with a more active owner, seeing as they enjoy exercising.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Japanese Spitz

There have been entire online discussions dedicated to this popular dog breed. It has been said that this breed is adaptable, sociable, and full of energy. They’re relatively small, making them suitable for apartment living. They need to be brushed at least twice a week.

Japanese Spitz

Japanese Spitz

Peekapoo

If you haven’t heard of this breed, you aren’t alone. Peeapoos are designer dogs that are a mix of a Pekingese and a Poodle. If you want a unique dog breed, then this dog might be the right choice for you. They’re excellent for people who suffer from allergies since their coats are hypoallergenic. They’re great for homes that have backyards that allow them to run around and get their exercise.

Peekapoo

Peekapoo

Senior Dogs

When looking to adopt, a lot of people lean towards puppies. However, have you ever thought about looking for a senior dog? The older dogs have been dropped off at shelters but still need a lot of love in their old age. In addition, adopting an older dog is beneficial for owners since they don’t have to go through the process of training or worrying about breaking puppy habits. this also means the size of the breed isn’t as big of a concern since they typically slow down by old age.

Senior Dogs

Senior Dogs

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