Top 10 Dog Breeds for Seniors

It is a well-known fact that having dogs around can alleviate health issues and affect the mood of everyone in a positive way. However, choosing the right breed to bring home is overwhelming, especially regarding dogs for seniors, as several important points must be considered before making the final decision. Although there is no general set of rules that you can follow to determine the right breed for you, here are some things that are crucial in having a positive ownership experience of a canine: 

  • Determining the individual preference of the seniors can be a good starting point. Some people lean towards a small lap dog, and others may want a large but cuddly dog. 
  • Analyzing the needs and expectations of the individual is crucial in choosing the right breed, as some seniors require a guard dog to keep intruders away. In contrast, others may want to develop a deep companionship with their canine. 
  • Lastly, understanding the demands of prospective dog breeds is critical. Some large breeds may require more care and an active lifestyle to be healthy; therefore, they are well-suited for active seniors. Likewise, some breeds with beautiful coats require proper grooming and maintenance, and only some seniors may be able to meet this demand. 

Accordingly, bringing a dog home is a significant and lifelong commitment. Finding the right dog for you should take considerable time and effort. The factors mentioned above can help you make the right choice, and once you’ve narrowed down your possibilities, you can start looking at the dog breeds that usually make good pets for seniors. 

The consensus is that the following ten breeds make excellent companions for the elderly. Let’s meet all of them.

1. Bichon Frise

A Bichon Frisé on a Concrete Surface

Bichon Frise’s fluffy hair and adorable size make them look like a cotton ball you can play with. They are known for their gentle and playful nature. Bichons get along well with children and other pets and are low-maintenance as they don’t shed much. Training this fur ball is also relatively easy as the breed is intelligent and eager to please its owners. However, they require a bit of grooming to keep their perfect white fur shiny and healthy. A Bichon’s companionship is excellent for seniors as they shower their owners with love and attention. 

2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel running on green grass

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred to be a lap dog, so they’re great at comforting people. Besides their dewy eyes and long adorable ears, Charles Spaniel’s temperament and typical behavior make them a perfect lap dog for seniors. As the breed requires some exercise and active time, they’re an excellent choice for inactive seniors who need more exercise. The breed’s grooming requirements may include daily brushing as their fur tends to get tangled.  

3. Maltese

Maltese wearing grey jacket walking on snow

For seniors searching for a toy breed that is stunning to look at, Maltese may be a good choice. The Maltese are another breed bred for companionship; therefore, they are well-suited for seniors who want to develop a deep bond with their pets. Maltese are loyal, sweet-tempered, calm, and highly adaptable. Although their hair may need a good amount of care, trimming the fur doesn’t affect the health of the Maltese if the grooming gets too much. 

4. Pug

Black pug close up

Pugs have a lot of personality packed into their small stature. Their cute size makes them easy to manage, and the funny expressions are a cherry on top. Due to the breed’s eagerness to please and their somewhat clingy nature, the Pugs love to follow their humans from room to room. The Pugs’ short coats and lazy, laid-back disposition make them low-maintenance and easy to care for. They make perfect companions for seniors living in apartments. 

5. Havanese

Havanese standing on pavement

Havanese are also known as velcro dogs, meaning they hate being alone. Walking with a Havanese is sure to make you new friends, as this dog loves attention and is highly sociable. This breed is brilliant, making them easy to train, and as they are people pleasers, these dogs have no problem learning new stuff and making their owners happy. Havanese are great for seniors who are looking for a social canine companion. 

6. Golden Retriever

Adult Golden Retriever sitting on green grass during daytime

Golden Retrievers are big dogs full of love and admiration for their owners, and they possess a sweet temperament that draws people towards them. Golden Retrievers are also a popular choice for therapy dogs; that is, they can be trained to be attuned to their human’s needs and emotions. For seniors, who have an active lifestyle, Golden Retrievers would be a great choice. 

7. Toy Poodle

Cream Toy Poodle sitting on the floor

Poodles’ superior intelligence and highly trainable nature make them excellent companion dogs. Moreover, Poodles tend to bond with more than one person, which makes them ideal for old couples. They are sweet and gentle in their temperament and only require a daily walk to be content. Although they may require professional grooming every month, they do not shed much. 

8. Shih Tzu

Black and White Shih Tzu standing on green grass

Shih Tzus are excellent choices for seniors who don’t or can’t stand yappy dogs. Shih Tzus are typically silent but welcoming towards everyone. They thrive on love and attention, therefore, enjoy the company of humans. Owing to their size, the Shih Tzus’ activity demands are also less, and they only need a few short walks to be healthy. 

9. French Bulldog

Black French Bulldog in a forest

French Bulldogs are the second most popular breed worldwide due to their adorable droopy looks and minimal maintenance. These dogs have a stocky build and short legs; therefore, even a small amount of activity easily tires them out. French Bulldogs are great companions for people with less active lifestyles. 

10. Pomeranian

Cream Pomeranian

Pomeranians weigh anywhere between 3 to 7 pounds, making them incredibly easy to handle and care for. They have a calm temperament but remain aloof towards strangers unless familiarized, which makes them excellent guard dogs. Additionally, they tend to bark, further aiding their watchdog attitude. Pomeranians are lap dogs but are not overly clingy and love their space. Pomeranians are an exceptional choice for seniors who want a manageable dog to keep intruders away. 

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