Best Dogs for Seniors?

Finding a furry friend who can be by your side as you enjoy your golden years can be a rewarding experience. Theres nothing quite like visiting shelters and rescues and seeing puppy eyes gaze up at you. But finding the best dog breeds also involves research and an assessment of your needs and caring capabilities.

Having a yard or outdoor space nearby can also make it easier to choose a dog and ensure it gets the proper amount of exercise. Small dog breeds tend to be easier to handle, especially when it comes to walking and regular care including bathing.

If youre entering your golden years with some pep in your step, you may be able to train and socialize a puppy that wants to chew and play all the time. They love to cuddle with their favorite people, and theyre easy to train due to their high intelligence. Regular brushing and grooming is a requirement for these dogs, and their instincts make them prone to chasing critters.

These dogs dont have pent-up energy they need to expel, but they need regular walks and other exercises to maintain healthy muscles. Cocker Spaniels are people-pleasers, so theyre easy to train, and their long coats require regular brushing to avoid tangles. Famously owned by Queen Elizabeth II, corgis are among the most lovable and energetic dogs on this list.

Their lovable nature and small stature make them perfect lap dogs, and they tend to bark to announce the arrival of guests or the postman. Theyre playful and welcoming to both family and strangers, and their gentle temperament makes them a good choice for seniors with grandchildren and other pets. The Bichon Frise is a cheerful and loving small breed featuring a curly white coat that doesnt shed.

Theyre gentle, cuddly, and dont bark often, making them a great choice for elderly people in apartments and living communities. Their beautiful white coats dont shed, so theyll need daily brushing and regular grooming. Described by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as charming, mischievous, and loving , pugs are excellent dogs for seniors.

They do well with other dogs and young children, and they love food, so its a good idea to monitor their diets and keep treats to a minimum. Also called Yorkies , this tiny terrier weighs around seven pounds and has a life expectancy of 11-15 years. Their beautiful coats need regular brushing, but they dont shed and tend to cause fewer allergies than other dog breeds.

These dogs are charming, featuring a distinctive beard and bushy eyebrows that create an endearing appearance. Theyre lively dogs that need regular exercise including running and chasing toys such as balls or frisbees. The Scottish terrier is a spirited pup that weighs around 20 pounds and has a life expectancy of about 12 years.

Theyre friendly and intelligent but require a significant amount of exercise compared to small dog breeds.

What is the easiest dog for seniors?

Poodle. The poodle is a remarkably intelligent dog that is easy to train and eager to please. ….Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. These wonderful pups make great companion dogs. ….Cocker Spaniel. ….French Bulldog. ….Pembroke Welsh Corgi. ….Pomeranian. ….Shih Tzu. ….Havanese.

What is the most low maintenance dog?

Basset Hound. You’ll recognize a Basset Hound when you see one, those ears stand out. ….Boston Terrier. Boston Terriers are friendly, happy dogs that make great city pets. ….Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The eyes of the Cavalier say it all. ….Chihuahua. ….Dachshund. ….French Bulldog. ….Havanese. ….Maltese.

What is the calmest dog you can get?

English Bulldogs. It’s easy to write these hefty pups off as lazy, but English Bulldogs welcome the frequent exercise they need in order to stay trim. ….Great Pyrenees. ….French Bulldogs. ….Bichon Frises. ….Greyhounds. ….Scottish Deerhound. ….Golden Retriever.

What breed of dog is quiet and calm?

Bulldog. They’re typically calm and quiet. ….Bernese mountain dog. They only bark if there’s a reason. ….Cavalier King Charles spaniel. They’re thankfully not yippy dogs. ….French bulldog. They’re pretty chill little dogs. ….Basenji. ….Borzoi. ….Scottish deerhound. ….Soft-coated wheaten terrier.

If you’re an older adult interested in getting a dog, age alone should not be a factor that should prevent you from dog ownership. However, factors related to your health and lifestyle can affect your ability to care for a dog properly. With so many dogs out there, you can find the type of dog that best fits your lifestyle and abilities, regardless of your age. As with any age dog owner, you need to make sure you can meet your dog’s needs like exercise, grooming, and health care. Certain dog breeds are ideal for a more relaxed lifestyle. Also, keep in mind that dogs can live from 10 to 15 years; factor their lifespan in your plans.

The best dog breeds for seniors have moderate energy levels, and most are smaller. A senior citizen who has moved to smaller living quarters in a retirement community usually does not have ample space for a larger, more energetic pup.

Look at breeds that make great companions and adapt well to the lifestyles of their owners. The fluffy little bichon frise is a joyful and affectionate dog that makes an excellent companion. With an average weight of about 7 to 12 pounds, most people can handle this small breed easily.

Many bichon owners take their dogs to a professional groomer every month or two. Moderate daily exercise is usually enough to keep the bichon healthy and happy as long as it has companionship. Coat and Color: Fluffy and curly white hair (may have traces of apricot, buff, or cream), resembling a cotton ball or powder puff

This breed typically weighs about 11 to 18 pounds and is easy to handle and train. The Cavalier has some grooming needs, such as regular hair brushing, ear cleaning, and possibly the occasional trip to a groomer. Overall, Cavaliers are favored among those who love small companion dogs that are well-suited for apartment living.

Coat and Color: Medium-length silky, wavy coat; adults have feathering on their ears, chest, legs, feet, and tail; four-color varieties including tricolor, blenheim, ruby, and black and tan Although they have a good deal of energy, they tend to lack endurance. Their grooming needs are relatively minimal, but be aware of health concerns like brachycephalic syndrome and various skin issues.

They are usually very responsive to training and easy to handle, even though most weigh about 60 to 80 pounds. If you like larger dogs but worry about handling one, the greyhound is a breed to consider. Much like the bichon, a Maltese is the quintessential little white lap dog.

This breed enjoys spending time in its owner’s lap and going on short, easy walks. If you want a small to medium dog that makes a great companion, the corgi might be for you. Weighing 24 to 30 pounds, this breed is still small enough for most people to handle.

A herding dog by nature, corgis need routine exercise, but daily walks are sufficient. Coat and Color: Medium length double coat in black and tan, red, sable, or fawn (all colors are typically seen with white markings) If you’re leaning toward a tiny dog , a 3- to 7-pound Pom is another easy-to-handle pooch that you can carry in your bag.

Your Pom will like snoozing in your lap and playing with toys. Poodles learn fast and adapt well to all kinds of households. Though the shih tzu has a bit of a stubborn streak, most can be trained without too much trouble.

The shih tzu is somewhat prone to skin issues and brachycephalic syndrome but less than the French bulldog. If you are a grandparent that likes to keep feeding your grandchildren to the point they can’t move anymore, a pug might not be a good fit. They will not stop eating and are prone to becoming overweight ; overeating can lead to health problems for this pup.

It’s also an intensely loving breed; it’s content to sit in your lap or give you kisses if you let them. Their smaller, compact size makes them easier to tote around town and take on walks. But, if you are concerned about being able to keep up with an energetic dog as time goes by, you may want to choose a calmer, loungy breed.

Dogs help keep people healthy and provide companionship, which is a boon for all, but especially the older generation. Find out the best dogs for seniors.

Not only do dogs provide comfort and friendship, but they also help keep seniors healthy and encourage sociability. In fact, a 2019 study found that people who owned dogs were more likely to maintain better heart health and be more active, than those without pets.

Another plus: When you get out of the house for that walk, you have more chances to be social, too, from greeting neighbors on the street to impromptu conversations with fellow dog owners. Health and grooming needs and maintenance requirements (i.e. how often dogs need to be brushed, for instance) are also important considerations. And while Havanese, one of the cutest white dog breeds , are very portable, they also require a lot of grooming.

Here are the top 15 best dogs for seniors with breed overviews using info from the American Kennel Club. These low-maintenance pups arent difficult to potty train and dont shed much , which is why they are one of the best dogs for older people, Dr. Kinscher-Juran says. Bichons are gentle and playful and they get along well with other pets and children, so you dont need to put them in another room if the grandkids stop by!

Like the best toy dogs , they are perfectly content to sit on your lap for hours every morning, as you read the paper or watch the news. Bichon Frises dont require long two-mile hikes to keep them happy, rather theyre fine with 20 to 30 minute leisurely strolls. If you are looking for one of the best dogs for older people, cavalier King Charles spaniels should be high on your list.

Dr. Kinscher-Juran suggests brushing their long luxurious coats once a day, which isnt hard to do, considering theyre one of the best lap dog breeds ! Their expressive faces and amiable dispositions make them great companions for seniors and one of the most gentle dog breeds. With their tendency to prefer sleep over exercise , pugs make excellent apartment dogs, though they are just as happy in a house.

For the person who wants a living Barbie doll, and loves playing with hair, Malteses are your dog, Dr. Kinscher-Juran says. Sweet, friendly, and eager for attention: Havanese make great companions for seniors who find themselves at home more. They need a moderate amount of daily exercise but are also good at simply lounging around, while their owners watch TV or make dinner.

With their lean bodies, flexible spines, and long legs, greyhounds are known for their athletic ability and for being the fastest dog breed . Weighing anywhere from 60 to 75 pounds, these gentle giants, are content to lounge around the house, accepting pets and back rubs. Golden retrievers are happy to sit with you on the patio at the end of the day, with their head on your lap, watching the sunset, Dr. Kinscher-Juran says.

Poodles have a single-layer coat that doesnt shed (though all that beautiful, naturally curly hair requires a lot of brushing and grooming!). Breed OverviewHeight: 10 inches max Weight: 4 to 6 pounds Life expectancy: 10 to 18 yearsOscar Wong/Getty Images A cross between poodles and golden retrievers, goldendoodles, which weigh between 50 to 90 pounds, are known for possessing the best traits of both breeds.

For seniors with allergies, or those who prefer to avoid daily vacuuming, goldendoodles, who mostly dont shed and are hypoallergenic, make great companions. You dont need to have been an experienced pet owner to adopt one: Goldendoodles intelligence and easy-going temperament make them easy to train. Shih Tzus bond very quickly with humans, making them great choices for seniors looking for a close canine companion.

Weighing an of average 9 to 16 pounds, Shih Tzus, known for their long coats , pack a lot of personality in their small frame. But they are less demanding and less yappy than other smaller toy dogs, making them a good choice for seniors who live in apartments. Their gentle personality and low energy make them one of the best dogs for seniors with a less active lifestyle.

French bulldogs small size (they weigh about 19 to 28 pounds) and the fact that they are not big barkers or yappers also make them one of the best apartment dogs. And their ability to remain calm in busy situations also makes them one of the best emotional support dogs, Dr. Kinscher-Juran says. Pomeranianswhose hair comes in a variety of colors from white to black to cream dont seem to realize their small size.

For seniors who dont love playing beautician, beagles, with their short, dense, wash-and-wear coat, are a good choice.

Dogs can bring companionship, health benefits, and a little extra joy to seniors and retirees. Whether your loved one is at home or in an assisted living community, a furry friend can lower stress, prevent loneliness, provide purpose and routine, and lead to better heart health by encouraging them to exercise.

Whether your loved one is at home or in an assisted living community , a furry friend can lower stress, prevent loneliness, provide purpose and routine, and lead to better heart health by encouraging them to exercise. Just like people, dogs vary greatly in personality, size, exercise needs, and general care requirements.

Here are some of the top dog breeds for seniors based on information from the American Kennel Society . Quiet, charming, and easy to train, theyre known for their boundless energy and fun-loving ways, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Theyre easy to train, enjoy a variety of activities, and can adapt to different kinds of living environments.

Instead, theyre obedient and eager to please, and they want to be your best friend all qualities that make them one of the best dog breeds for elderly adults. Height: 12 to 14 inches Weight: 11 to 20 pounds Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years Average cost: $500 to $2,700 Temperament: spirited, trainable, loveable Hair: hypoallergenic, infrequent shedding Theyre small companion animals, and although they can be stubborn at times, they tend to be extremely social and devoted to their owners.

Height: 10 to 13 inches Weight: 14 to 18 pounds Life expectancy: 13 to 15 years Average cost: $600 to $1,500 Temperament: delightful, comical, charming Hair: sheds coat frequently, requires facial skin folds to be cleaned with a damp cloth and wiped dry French bulldog French bulldogs are among the best dogs for seniors because theyre adaptable, extremely kind, easy to groom, and dont require excessive walks its no wonder theyre one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States! Height: 11 to 13 inches Weight: under 28 pounds Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years Average cost: $1,500 to $3,000 Temperament: easygoing, patient, affectionate Hair: infrequent shedding

Pomeranians may bark more than other breeds but not excessively and make excellent alert animals. Height: 6 to 7 inches Weight: 3 to 7 pounds Life expectancy: 12 to 16 years Average cost: $500 to $1,500 Temperament: vivacious, sociable, extroverted Hair: frequent and seasonal shedding While the options above are excellent choices for seniors and retirees, there are plenty more loving breeds to choose from.

Our g uide to pet-friendly assisted living features a sampling of senior communities, listed by city and state, where animal companions are welcome. Owners health: Does your loved one have mobility issues that may prevent a dog from getting proper exercise? While an older dogs calm temperament may be a good match for seniors, youll want to consider all the pros and cons.

For example, The Grey Muzzle Organization helps fund senior dog adoption nationwide. Less monitoring and training needed Calmer demeanor More likely to be house-trained Can be left alone for longer periods of time Defined personality and habits More likely to have shots and vaccines The biggest challenge with older pets including dogs is health issues, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

More likely to have arthritis, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, or senility May have developed bad habits or poor social skills over time May have too little energy May require shots, special food, or help moving around Behavioral changes related to age, including irritability, anxiety, and increased vocalization No matter which four-legged friend you choose, spending time with a dog and asking questions about their medical history can help guide you to the perfect companion.

Tip

Dog ownership has many health and emotional benefits. Dog companionship has been known to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Having a dog may even improve or prevent depression and anxiety. Plus, exercising with your dog is a great way to stay active.

Best overall: Bichon Frise

These white powder puffs of a dog are known for their sweet and friendly nature and are perfect for seniors seeking easy companionship—they also make great pets for first-time dog owners. These low-maintenance pups aren’t difficult to potty train and don’t shed much, which is why they are one of the best dogs for older people, Dr. Kinscher-Juran says. (But to keep their snow-white hair looking fluffy, they do require grooming every five or so weeks.)Bichons are gentle and playful and they get along well with other pets and children, so you don’t need to put them in another room if the grandkids stop by! At an average of 7 to 12 pounds, they are also super portable. Not to mention smart. “One of my favorite bichons knew how to give a kiss in three different languages, one of which was Portuguese,” says Dr. Kinscher-Juran.Like the best toy dogs, they are perfectly content to sit on your lap for hours every morning, as you read the paper or watch the news. Bichon Frise’s don’t require long two-mile hikes to keep them happy, rather they’re fine with 20 to 30 minute leisurely strolls. What they crave most is attention, something seniors often have time to give.dragana021/Getty Images

Best lap dog: Cavalier King Charles spaniel

If you are looking for one of the best dogs for older people, cavalier King Charles spaniels should be high on your list. It’s easy to fall in love with their big eyes and long ears. And Cavalier King Charles spaniels, in turn, like nothing more than to kiss and cuddle with their owners. Cavalier King Charles spaniels have an eager to please personality, which makes them easier to train. They also only require a moderate amount of exercise, which can be good for less active seniors. Beauty, of course, requires attention. Dr. Kinscher-Juran suggests brushing their long luxurious coats once a day, which isn’t hard to do, considering they’re one of the best lap dog breeds!lucigerma/Getty Images

Best apartment dog: Pug

The pug’s motto is “a lot in a little” and that’s a perfect description to describe this vivacious breed. Small in size (pugs weigh on average between 14 and 18 pounds), they are easy to manage and handle. Their expressive faces and amiable dispositions make them great companions for seniors and one of the most gentle dog breeds. Pugs adore their owners and are known for following them around (there’s a reason why they’re sometimes called little shadows). With their tendency to prefer sleep over exercise, pugs make excellent apartment dogs, though they are just as happy in a house. Keeping with their un-diva-like personality, they are easy to groom and care for. When you adopt a pug, you make a friend for life.miodrag ignjatovic/Getty Images

Best small dog: Maltese

One of the best small dogs for seniors is the Maltese. These adorable white toy dogs were specifically bred to be companions. Loyal, sweet-natured, calm, and adaptable, it’s not hard for a Maltese to quickly become seniorsbest four-legged friend. Though they love following their owners around, all they really need for health is short easy walks. At an average of 4 to 7 pounds, Malteses are also easily transportable (which is a good thing since Malteses don’t like to be left alone too long). Their small size also makes them well suited for apartments or homes with limited space. You can’t mention a Maltese without mentioning their long, silky, white mane, which can be braided or put into a bun. “For the person who wants a living Barbie doll, and loves playing with hair, Malteses are your dog,” Dr. Kinscher-Juran says. But if all that grooming becomes too much, you can have the hair trimmed or shaped down.Bigandt_Photography/Getty ImagesSweet, friendly, and eager for attention: Havanese make great companions for seniors who find themselves at home more. As a breed, Haveneses don’t like to be alone for very long. (There’s a reason they’re called Velcro dogs). These super social dogs crave affection and get along well with other breeds and strangers. Their high intelligence makes them easier to train and potty train. And at about 10 pounds, they are easy to carry. Walks might take a bit longer with Haveneses because they will want to try to say hi to everyone. But for seniors, looking for sociability, this is not such a bad thing! That’s why Havaneses are one of the best dogs for seniors.Jevtic/Getty Images

Best house dog: Miniature schnauzer

Miniature schnauzers are one of the most adaptable breeds of dogs. Originally bred as a farm dog in Germany, miniature schnauzers are just as content living in an assisted living facility as they are roaming outdoors. Small, sturdy, hypoallergenic, and affectionate, miniature schnauzers are great with, say, rambunctious grandchildren. And their calmness—and attunement to the moods of humans—make them excellent therapy animals. Miniature schnauzers both play hard and relax hard. They need a moderate amount of daily exercise but are also good at simply lounging around, while their owners watch TV or make dinner.Zbynek Pospisil/Getty Images

Best large dog: Greyhound

With their lean bodies, flexible spines, and long legs, greyhounds are known for their athletic ability and for being the fastest dog breed. What is not as well-known is that their gentle and sensitive temperament and minimal grooming needs make them one of the best dogs for seniors. Older, retired racing greyhounds are often the best choice for seniors,. “As racing dogs, they often live on a track without much positive human and social interaction,” Dr. Kinscher-Juran says. “When they’re adopted, they’re far more appreciative of the loving home you are providing, and don’t seem to take that for granted.”And though they do need daily exercise, greyhounds—perhaps surprisingly!— are renowned for their laziness. Weighing anywhere from 60 to 75 pounds, these gentle giants, are content to lounge around the house, accepting pets and back rubs.kali9/Getty Images

Best with grandkids: Golden retriever

Golden retrievers are a large breed with an even larger heart. For seniors looking for gentle dog breeds, golden retrievers are loyal, friendly, intelligent, people-pleasers. They are easy to train, famous for their patience and great with the grandkids. Golden retrievers do require consistent, hard exercise every day, but they are more than content for part of that exercise to consist of finding and retrieving balls in the backyard. Though golden retrievers can weigh up to 75 pounds, they still think of themselves as lap dogs. “Golden retrievers are happy to sit with you on the patio at the end of the day, with their head on your lap, watching the sunset,” Dr. Kinscher-Juran says.Caroline Bennett/Getty Images

Best hypoallergenic: Toy Poodle

For seniors with allergies or respiratory issues, poodles are one of the best hypoallergenic dog breeds. Poodles have a single-layer coat that doesn’t shed (though all that beautiful, naturally curly hair requires a lot of brushing and grooming!). They come in multiple sizes, from tiny teacup poodles, that weigh between 3 to 5 pounds to small toy poodles that weigh between 6 to 9 pounds to miniature poodles that weigh between 15 to 17 pounds to standard poodles that weigh between 45 to 70 pounds. Like the best sort of human companion, poodles are known for both their beautyOscar Wong/Getty Images

Best for active seniors: Westies

Recognizable by their white mane and dark, almond-shaped eyes, the West Highland white terrier (aka Westie) are friendly, loving companions for active seniors. At 13 to 20 pounds, Westies are still small enough to handle and make good apartment dogs—as long as they get in their long, daily walks. Westies really, really like to play. Westies are no softies though: beneath their coat is a well-muscled body. Bred to be rodent killers, Westies require little pampering and they rarely shed. For seniors looking for a little bit of excitement in their days, westies will be sure to keep you on your toes.Drazen Zigic/Getty Images

Best dog that doesn’t bark: Shih Tzu

The name Shih Tzu means little lion, but the most fierce thing about this breed is their love for the owner. Shih Tzus bond very quickly with humans, making them great choices for seniors looking for a close canine companion. Weighing an of average 9 to 16 pounds, Shih Tzus, known for their long coats, pack a lot of personality in their small frame. They are a confident, happy-go-lucky breed with a bit of a stubborn streak. But they are less demanding and less yappy than other smaller toy dogs, making them a good choice for seniors who live in apartments. They are also not very energetic and only need a couple of short walks a day, making them perfect for non-active seniors.monkeybusinessimages/Getty Images

Easiest dog to care for: French bulldog

With their big eyes, adorable scrunchy faces, and short legs, there’s a reason why French bulldogs are the second most popular breed in the United States today and one of the easiest dog breeds. Their gentle personality and low energy make them one of the best dogs for seniors with a less active lifestyle. These dogs are not big athletes, a walk around the block is all the exercise they need for the day.French bulldogs’ small size (they weigh about 19 to 28 pounds) and the fact that they are not big barkers or yappers also make them one of the best apartment dogs. As an additional bonus, they are also excellent cuddlers and incredibly loyal.ADX Collections/Getty Images

Best guard dog: Pomeranian

At 3 to 7 pounds, Pomeranians look like tiny puffballs. Their small size and affectionate personality make them easy to love. And their ability to remain calm in busy situations also makes them one of the best emotional support dogs, Dr. Kinscher-Juran says. Pomeranians—whose hair comes in a variety of colors from white to black to cream– don’t seem to realize their small size. They are very alert, with a tendency to bark, making them excellent guard dogs for seniors. Though Pomeranians are lap dogs, they also have an independent streak, so active seniors don’t need to worry about Pomeranians clinging, like a barnacle, to them all day. Sometimes it’s good to have space!Halfpoint/Getty Images