Dogs are man's best friends and having a friendly canine can bring so much joy into your life. People of all ages can benefit from owning their own pet dog including seniors. Dogs can be a loving and loyal companion for older people especially those who live alone, but only certain breeds are perfect for senior parents. Here, we’ve collected some of the best dog breeds for seniors.
Beagles are well-loved for their personality and utility. They have the strongest sense of smell among other breeds of dogs, thus making them excellent for hunting and tracking. In fact, they were bred for hunting, but they are very gentle and friendly towards humans. Beagles are great for seniors, especially for those who are no longer that physically active because they do not require excessive physical activities.
Greyhounds are often used for racing as they can run 40 miles per hour. While they are fast dogs, they make excellent pets not only for families with younger kids but also for seniors, as they are very gentle and loving. If not running around, they love to laze inside the house and are known to be cuddly couch potatoes. This breed of dog also has calm comportment and they are never known to bite their owners out of aggression.
One of the smallest breeds of dogs, the Chihuahua makes excellent pets for seniors. They are very lively and lovely even if they only weigh 5 pounds. The best thing about owning a Chihuahua is that they are great watchdogs who require less grooming and minimal exercise. They can become very loyal to their owners but aggressive towards other people.
The Yorkshire Terrier, also called “Yorkies,” is a toy dog breed that is famous for its personality and size. They are characterized by only weighing around 7 pounds and having silky coats. They have a longer lifespan, with some reaching their 20s. Apart from their small size, they are suitable for seniors due to their affectionate behavior and intelligence. They can be easily trained to perform multiple tasks, and they also love attention and exercise. So they are perfect for seniors who also need to follow active lifestyles.
Welsh Terriers were bred for hunting thus they are very energetic and independent. They make great companions for seniors who are physically active, as they are very playful and adorable. Their playfulness also makes them quite attractive to young children.
Pomeranians are very popular breeds thanks to their small size and a fluffy ruff of hair around their necks. Weighing on average less than 5 pounds, this breed is cuddly, lovable, and cute. But what makes them perfect for seniors is that they are very affectionate and loyal to their owners. Moreover, they can also serve as a guard or watchdog due to being alert and intelligent.
Standing 1 foot tall and weighing only 15 pounds, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel makes perfect lap dogs. They are characterized by having silky or wavy coats in a myriad of colors. What makes them great pets for older people is that they are gentle and adorable as well as affectionate.
The Shih Tzu is one of the most popular companion dog breeds, and they were reportedly bred first in Tibet for such purpose. This toy dog breed is famous for its long and straight coat. They are very affectionate and loyal dogs, making them ideal pets for seniors. However, their affectionate nature makes them so friendly that they even allow strangers to pet them.
The Cairn Terrier is a cheerful and friendly breed of true terriers. Its sociable attitude makes it a great dog to walk outside. They are also very playful and alert thus they like to chase smaller animals. What makes them great pets for seniors is that they are loyal, but their independent-mindedness can sometimes make them take over thus they are perfect for firm owners. The downside to this dog, however, is that its hair tends to mat. As a result, they require brushing at least twice a week.
As a popular dog breed, the Maltese only weighs less than 8 pounds and usually comes with silky white coats with curls. What makes them great pets for seniors is that they are very affectionate and lovable. Their tiny sizes require less space thus they can live in a small apartment. They also don’t require excessive physical activities, and they are satisfied with just having a short walk in the backyard.
The Papillion is a medium-sized dog breed, known for its friendly and sociable temperament. This breed of dog is also very intelligent and obedient thus it can be trained properly to perform different types of tasks. Papillions are also very lively and playful and they love to run around as part of their daily exercise. They can also become quiet if needed. But they do bark if strangers enter your home.
Dandie Dinmont Terriers can participate in different activities such as guarding, tracking, and hunting. They are very affectionate, loving, and loyal to their owners. They are also very sociable, so they don’t have any problems with other people petting them. In fact, they love the attention! But what makes them great for older people is that they are very intelligent - they can be trained to do many tasks.
The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds. They are not only perfect for children but even for seniors. They may grow to be fairly large, but they are very lovable and intelligent dog breeds. What makes them great for the elderly is that they can be easily trained to behave properly and provide assistance for the disabled. Because they are inherently playful, Golden Retrievers require a great deal of exercise thus making them perfect for seniors who also want to stay in shape.
Pugs have charming personalities and are always eager to please. They are very affectionate, loving, and very playful. They do not require a lot of exercise. Because of their small stature, Pugs tend to lean towards being lap dogs. If living in warmer climates, this breed tends to shed quite a bit.
Schnauzers come with many sizes, from micro to standard, with the miniature version being the most popular. They are very easy to train which explains why they are good house dogs. They are also very loyal and protective which is why they are one of the preferred breeds for seniors. Besides, Schnauzers are very eager to please and can quickly become a part of the family. This breed of dog is also great with children, so when the grandkids come to visit, they will have a playmate.
This medium-sized breed has been enjoying a very strong ongoing popularity for quite a while. They are known for their strong traits that one would want in a canine companion, of being happy, affectionate, loyal, and charming. On the flip side, this dog does tend to be energetic little bundles. So, you may need to set aside some playtime or walks each day.
This breed of terrier has been a favorite among seniors for many years. Boston Terriers are known as a fairly easy to manage breed, with very friendly personalities. There is little to no grooming required for them, as their coats are short. They love spending time with their family members and are admittedly a happy go lucky breed that can be very playful.
Ranging in sizes from miniature to standard, there is sure to be a poodle out there for almost anyone. According to the AKC, Poodles are a very smart as well as proud breed. They tend to be active in most cases. With all this said, it’s no wonder that the poodle is the 7th most popular breed on our list. They are easy to train and enjoy just any activity as long as it is enjoyed by their family. Although their coats do need regular grooming, they have hair, not fur, which makes them hypo-allergenic to boot.
This little dog is well-known for its rather unorthodox appearance. Looking like it is losing its hair in patches has made many call it an “ugly” breed. However, what this dog loses in hair, it makes up for in many other areas. The Chinese Crested is highly adaptable, so they make great pets for seniors living in small apartments. This breed also thrives on any and all forms of human companionship. They will continually please you with their cat-like tendencies, as well as their love for sitting in higher places.
The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small breed of dog with a foxlike appearance and short stout body. This breed of dog is small and very affectionate thus making them excellent companions for the elderly. They were originally bred to herd sheep thus they are very intelligent and are very easy to train. They also require regular exercise thus making them great dogs for seniors, as they can also be more healthy by walking their dog every day!