There are many suitable dog breeds for seniors but it is important to pick the one that is right for you. Perhaps, you are looking for a furry companion, but fear that your older age may make dog ownership a bit unrealistic. Though it may seem challenging to keep up with the energy and needs of a puppy, some breeds are better suited to seniors specifically.
Almost every dog on this list is suited to an owner who is home to spend time with them, a simple thing that most young adults cannot offer.
While it can be tough to find the perfect dog breed for seniors, keeping certain factors in mind will make your choice a lot easier.
What to Keep in Mind
While evaluating dog breeds for seniors, it is necessary to consider size and weight as these significantly impact the size of living space that is necessary for the individual breed of dog.
The bark of a dog may seem like a small thing to consider; however, a yappier bark that might annoy some may be crucial to those who are hard of hearing.
A significant factor to consider is the exercise requirements of the breed; a dog’s age significantly impacts its need for exercise, which is why some seniors may opt for older dogs.
Other points to keep in mind are training and grooming requirements which cannot be skipped to ensure the health and wellbeing of your future dog.
Overall, every breed of dog on this list of dog breeds for seniors would make a great pet, but you are not just any senior, so remember to keep in mind what you want.
1. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise makes the perfect companion for seniors. This white-furred dog is small and light, coming in at only 6 to 12 pounds, making it the excellent lap dog. While they have high energy levels, Bichon Frises only require a few short walks a day to knock them out.
Though Bichon Frises are incredibly fluffy, they are hypoallergenic and only require light grooming, making them pretty low maintenance. Overall the Bichon Frise is a perfect match for seniors who have lots of attention and love to give and are looking for a dog for a small living space.
2. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
If you are keen on a small but not toy-sized dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi may be the perfect one for you. Their stubby legs are probably their most lovable feature, but it is also convenient as even short walks will tire them out. While Pembroke Welsh Corgis weigh in at 25-30 pounds, 3 to 4 times bigger than a Bichon Frise, they are just as low maintenance.
These dogs tend to be quite protective and can be prone to barking; however, it is easy to train them. Keep in mind, Pembroke Welsh Corgis are very loyal and will crave lots of attention from their owners, well that and food!
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This goofy but adorable looking pup is practically a perfect match for seniors. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is pretty quiet and loves being indoors, which means they are perfectly suited for an apartment or small space. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels do love attention and will happily snuggle up on their owner’s lap for hours.
These spaniels do require a fair bit of grooming, including occasional ear cleaning and daily brushing. On the other hand, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are relatively small at only 11-18 pounds, and they generally prefer playing to walking. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels tend to match their energy levels to their owners and are very easy to train, making them quite low-stress pets.
4. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is probably one of the most common dog breeds for seniors and for many good reasons. The Shih Tzu is another small dog, ranging from 10-16 pounds that love nothing more than getting groomed while curled up in its owner’s lap. Not only do Shih Tzus love being pampered, but their fur also requires daily brushing and occasional trimming.
Shih Tzus require minimal exercise; generally, one walk a day will do. This breed does seem to vary quite a bit when it comes to noise, so if you are looking for a quiet dog, it is essential to take it case by case. However, a young Shih Tzu can be easily trained if noise is a problem.
5. French Bulldog
If you are a senior that prefers a larger dog, not to worry, the French Bulldog is an incredibly cute and loving companion. At around 19 to 25 pounds, French Bulldogs may require more strength to manage when out walking. All considered, French Bulldogs have energy in small bursts, and playing can tire them out before a short walk to make walking easier.
French Bulldogs require a cool environment, and so if you keep your house very warm, they may not be the best match. Overall, these dogs are quiet, loving, and require minimal grooming, making them a great dog breed for seniors looking for a medium-sized dog.
6. Boston Terrier
Though Boston Terriers have droopy jowls that can make them look a bit melancholy, you would have a hard time finding a more joyful breed of dog. Boston Terriers are loyal pups that love to give and receive attention from their owners. They are relatively quiet and will quickly adapt to almost any living situation, as long as they can stay cool.
Boston Terriers are a happy middle ground between small and medium dogs, but weighing at around 10-25 pounds their size can vary quite a lot. However, Boston Terriers’ frames generally remain very small, and they are easy to train, making walks quite manageable.
Poodles are a popular choice of dog breed for seniors as they are intelligent, easy to train, and very affectionate. Poodles are a great option no matter your circumstances as they come in 3 sizes with weights ranging from 6-60 pounds. Poodles require just one daily walk, and the smaller the poodle, the less time it needs to tire out on a walk.
Poodles are probably best known for their curly fur, which is entirely hypoallergenic and requires monthly grooming. An extremely loyal breed, Poodles require considerable attention from its owner. Poodles dislike being on their own, so they are a good match for seniors who are mostly homebound.
Chihuahuas affirm the saying that good things come in small packages. Chihuahuas are one of the tiniest dogs around at only 3-6 pounds, but they pack a lot of energy and personality despite their size. Though they can be quite vocal and yappy, this may be an excellent option for seniors who have trouble with their hearing.
Chihuahua’s are incredibly loyal, but will generally gravitate more towards one person and require training to be friendly to strangers. Though they have a ton of energy, Chihuahuas will tire out with just a bit of exercise and will happily spend the rest of its time being petted in its owner’s lap.
The Maltese, most recognizable by its luxurious, silky coat, make perfect companions for any senior looking for a lap dog. Their coats do not shed, which means Maltese need to be brushed, cleaned, and trimmed quite often.
At only 4 to 7 pounds, these dogs are very often carried around in purses as they love being around their owners at all times. Though Maltese are quite energetic, they tend to get more of their energy out running around the house, dashing after their owner. Maltese are incredibly affectionate and attentive to their owner’s moods, making them a faithful companion to anybody who needs one.
10. Miniature Schnauzer
The Miniature Schnauzer’s goofy looking mustache is sure to always put a smile on everyone’s face. If you are an active senior, the Miniature Schnauzer may be the perfect combination of the dogs on this list. While it has a lot of energy and loves walking and playing, this dog loves to lay around with its owner.
The Miniature Schnauzer is not too small, weighing in at 11-20 pounds; however, their calm demeanor indoors makes them perfect for smaller spaces. This dog can be quite noisy and yappy, which makes them great alert dogs for seniors who are hard of hearing.
Pomeranians are perfect for cuddling, which makes sense as they look like living stuffed animals. These adorable pups weigh only 3-7 pounds and are all fur. Unlike other dog breeds for seniors on this list, Pomeranians do shed quite a bit, which may not be the best option for everyone.
While this breed can be quite stubborn, it is easy to train. Pomeranians need brushing, short walks, playtime, and tons of love. These dogs are the perfect option for any senior who has a lot of attention and time to give as they enjoy spending time with their owners.
If you are a senior that tends to prefer big dogs, it may be disappointing to-read lists that only seem to recommend small dogs, but do not worry; there is an option for you. At 55 to 80 pounds, Greyhounds are certainly not like most of the lapdogs on this list, though they likely would love to be. These dogs love to laze around with their owners and are even often considered to be couch potatoes when tired out.
While Greyhounds are known as racing dogs, you do not have to be super active to tire them out. If you have a dog park or any fenced off area nearby where they can run full speed, even for a short period, they will be content for the day. Overall, Greyhounds are very trainable, loyal, and loving, making them a great dog breed for seniors looking for a big dog.
Havenese is probably the biggest lap dog of them all, which is quite a hard title to get amongst the dogs on this list. Havanese is known as the “velcro dog,” and it attaches itself to its owner’s lap and will never want to leave. Its coat requires quite a lot of brushing and occasional trimming, but you will have plenty of opportunities to do so as it will never leave your side.
These tiny dogs come in at 7 to 13 pounds, but despite their size, Havanese love being the center of attention. While they like a short walk every day, more than anything, Havanese love playing with their owners. These pups are a great breed for seniors looking to spend their time with a smart, loving, and playful dog.
Adopting a dog can improve your life in so many ways by improving both your mental health and your physical health. Adopting a dog will also enhance its life even more since most of the dogs on this list crave attention and love that you can give.
Finding a dog breed for seniors is quite a lot easier than it seems as they tend to have more time and energy to give their furry friends. It is just essential to find a breed of dog whose requirements match with what you are willing to do. So if you are seeking a companion, remember you are never too old to adopt a dog.