10 Best Dog Breeds for Older Adults

Dogs make excellent companions for people of all ages, but they are especially beneficial to those in their golden years! Aside from providing unparalleled companionship, raising a dog can also improve a senior’s physical and mental health. According to Harvard Health Publishing, spending time with a dog can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels while increasing serotonin (“feel-good” chemicals in the brain).

A retired pet parent has advantages for the dog as well! Many seniors spend much of the day at home or have a more flexible schedule, giving them more time to spend with their best friends.

While compatible furry friends can be found in any breed, age, or size, adopting an older dog who is calm and already trained is a popular option for senior pet parents. Many people thrive with small, easy-to-travel dog breeds or large, even-tempered, low-maintenance breeds. However, finding the right match is always dependent on a dog’s unique activity level, grooming requirements, and other important characteristics. Discover our top ten picks for the best senior dogs!

Shih Tzu is ranked first

The elegant Shih Tzu thrives when lavished with love and attention. This outgoing breed is also excellent with children, making them an ideal playmate when the grandchildren visit!

Temperament: The Shih Tzu is a loving dog who enjoys spending time with their pet parent, whether cuddling or accompanying them around the house. Furthermore, this breed is friendly and welcoming to other people and pets. While most Shih Tzus are extremely quiet, some do snore.

Shih Tzus shed very little, but daily brushing and an occasional professional trim keep them looking sweet and perky.

Exercise: The Shih Tzu is up for a daily walk if its pet parent is, and this lapdog is content to spend the rest of the day relaxing.

In Mandarin, “Shih Tzu” means “little lion” (though this breed is far from ferocious!).

2: Pug

Pugs are ideal for seniors who prefer to curl up on the sofa with their favourite furry companion by their side. The majority of this breed’s time is spent indoors lounging and playing. The Pug’s breathing can be affected by extreme heat or cold due to their flat face and small nostrils.

Pugs are loving and loyal to their pet parents and enjoy taking naps (though they tend to snore while doing so!). Although they can become jealous or agitated when ignored, they are usually easygoing pets who love to please. Happy-go-lucky Pug mixes are also excellent choices!

Grooming: This breed has a short coat that is easy to groom, requiring only light brushing on occasion. The Pug, on the other hand, sheds a lot and has folds near its eyes that need to be cleaned on a regular basis.

Short walks and short indoor or outdoor play sessions are enough for the laid-back Pug.

According to The Daily Wag!, a group of Pugs is called a “grumble” because of the snorting and nasal sounds they make.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi (#3)

The lively and adventurous Pembroke Welsh Corgi—often referred to as the “Corgi”—is a great match for more active seniors who enjoy outdoor exploration such as walking on nature trails. Corgis captivate the hearts of children, adults, and the elderly alike with their adorable little legs and sparkling eyes.

Temperament: The sociable Corgi wants to be a part of everything, and its animated and fun-loving personality shines through. Corgis are loyal to their families and make excellent watchdogs. This active breed is prone to barking if left alone for an extended period of time or if not given enough dog exercise.

Grooming: The Corgi’s double coat is easy to brush or comb, but it sheds a lot. As a result, regular grooming aids in preventing fur from covering furniture and floors.

Exercise: This agile breed necessitates several daily walks. Furthermore, it is in a Corgi’s nature to enjoy activities that require task completion. As a result, this breed is particularly fond of dog toys and other forms of mental stimulation.

According to Reader’s Digest, the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II, has owned more than 30 Corgis since assuming the throne in 1952.

4th: Poodle

The highly intelligent Poodle is one of the best dogs for older people for pet parents looking for an easy-to-train dog. Poodles require plenty of exercise to burn off excess energy and maintain their well-mannered demeanour. This breed is available in three sizes—Toy, Miniature, and Standard—to accommodate any taste.

Poodles are loyal companions who form strong bonds with multiple family members, so they do well with couples. They enjoy being pampered and have a good sense of humour. This proud and obedient breed also happens to be one of the most intelligent puppies! Poodle dog mixes, such as the Cockapoo and Labradoodle, also make excellent companions.

Poodles shed very little and are hypoallergenic. This breed’s long, stylish hair, on the other hand, requires regular brushing and professional grooming every month or so.

Exercise: Whether swimming or going on long walks, the energetic and muscular Poodle thrives on physical activity.

According to PetMD, despite being thought to have originated in Germany, the Poodle is recognised as France’s national dog due to its citizens’ deep admiration for this breed.

French Bulldog (#5)

The cheerful French Bulldog, also known as the “Frenchie,” is easy to care for (and please! ), making them an excellent fur pal for an elderly person. This endearing, one-of-a-kind breed is difficult to resist!

The witty French Bulldog thrives on both giving and receiving love! This absolutely charming breed gets along with other pets and humans because it is bright, curious, and playful. Frenchies, like Bulldogs, tend to snore and snort.

Grooming: The French Bulldog’s short, glossy coat is easy to brush and doesn’t shed much. The wrinkles on this breed’s face should be cleaned on a regular basis.

Exercise: Due to their shortened muzzle, French Bulldogs should avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Tag along with their pet parent on errands or short walks around town will suffice. Furthermore, spending time together makes Frenchies feel special!

Fun fact: American breeders in the twentieth century set the standard for how the French Bulldog looks today. Without them, Frenchies would have been bred with “rose-shaped ears”—ears that fold back at the midpoint and resemble the shape of a rose. Instead, they have forward-facing “bat ears” that are round at the tip.

Miniature Schnauzer (#6)

The handsome Miniature Schnauzer provides the best companionship and dedication to their senior pet parent. Miniature Schnauzers, like Shih Tzus, are patient with children and enjoy playtime, making them great companions for grandchildren!

Temperament: The temperament of this breed is strong, outgoing, and friendly. Miniature Schnauzers are alert dogs who keep watch over the house. They are family oriented and protective of those they love. Furthermore, when it comes to training, these furry friends are obedient and quick to learn.

Grooming: Miniature Schnauzers are a hypoallergenic, low-shedding dog breed. They have a double coat that needs to be brushed on a regular basis and professionally groomed to stay in good condition.

Exercise: This active breed enjoys daily exercise in the company of other dogs. Fetch games in the yard or longer walks with pet parents are excellent options.

Fun fact: This breed’s beard isn’t just cute; it also served a purpose in the past! Because the Miniature Schnauzer was bred on farms to hunt rodents and other small animals, their beard provided a line of defence against these creatures if they fought back.

Greyhound Bus Lines

The Greyhound, the world’s fastest dog breed, may appear to be an unlikely fit among the best dogs for older people. However, once it has had its exercise, this athletic dog is low-key, calm, and content with lounging around the house. Greyhounds are also ideal for senior citizens who prefer larger—but manageable—furry companions.

The noble Greyhound is a gentle, quiet, and compassionate companion. This breed is independent and can be reserved around strangers, which adds to its allure. Greyhounds have a strong desire to hunt prey, so they should always be kept on a leash and closely supervised when outside.

Grooming: The Greyhound’s short, smooth coat requires brushing on occasion.

Exercise: The slender, long Greyhound is a sprinter who benefits from a fenced-in yard or enclosed area where they can run at high speeds in bursts. Because this breed lacks endurance, once they’ve finished running, they’re ready to unwind.

According to Camp Greyhound, Greyhounds have exceptional 270-degree vision, allowing them to see objects behind them as well as those up to a half-mile away.

8th: Maltese

The Maltese thrives in the spotlight and enjoys the attention that a senior can provide. In turn, the senior is consoled by this adorable little lapdog. What a perfect match!

The intelligent Maltese enjoys playtime and is more than happy to entertain others with its cool dog tricks. This breed, which is frequently used as a therapy dog, is sensitive to the emotions of their pet parent. Despite their gentle appearance, Maltese dogs are fearless and alert pets.

Grooming: While the Maltese does not shed much, its silky white coat should be brushed daily and professionally groomed on occasion to keep it looking its best. The eyes, which are prone to tear stains, should be given special attention.

Short walks around the block and indoor or outdoor playtime are sufficient for the Maltese!

According to Animal Planet, the Maltese is the oldest of the European Toy Group breeds, having originated in Malta, an island off the southern coast of Italy.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (#9)

It’s difficult to go wrong with the noble Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, also known as a “Cavalier.” This adaptable pup will happily integrate into any lifestyle, including that of a senior pet parent! Cavaliers can be a cuddle buddy one day and an adventurous companion the next; they simply follow the lead of their pet parent.

This breed has a laid-back, intelligent, and quiet demeanour. The cheerful Cavaliers have an easy time making friends and winning over fans because they are welcoming to people of all ages and other pets. This breed is also more trainable and patient than most other small breeds.

Cavaliers’ long, silky coats require brushing several times a week, and their ears should be cleaned on a regular basis.

Exercise: The Cavalier is considerate of their pet parent’s level of activity. This breed enjoys brisk walks and enjoyable playtime, but will also happily spend the day on the couch.

According to the American Kennel Club, Cavaliers were named after King Charles II, who adored these dogs, and were said to accompany the British monarch everywhere he went, from state meetings to his castle.

Pekingese (#10)

The regal Pekingese is the ultimate lapdog and a true charmer. Because this breed dislikes rough play, it appears to be the best dog for older people who prefer to live in a calm environment rather than a house full of energetic children.

Temperament: Extremely loyal and affectionate, the Pekingese frequently forms an unrivalled bond with a single human. This independent furry friend, on the other hand, is far from clingy. They should be socialised with other people from the beginning and can be stubborn during dog training. Pekingese dogs have outgoing, bold personalities and a dignified demeanour in their daily lives.

Grooming: The Pekingese has a soft double coat that requires daily brushing to keep it tangle- and mat-free.

Exercise: Because of the shortened muzzle, the Pekingese should avoid strenuous exercise. As a result, short walks and bursts of playtime are ideal.

According to Britannica, the smallest Pekingese dogs were known as “Sleeve Dogs” in ancient China because Chinese emperors carried the pups in their robes’ extremely wide sleeves.

14 thoughts on “10 Best Dog Breeds for Older Adults”

  1. My wife and i are looking for breed that’s easy to house train and good around grandchildren.We are 60 @ 65 yrs old and love our pets regardless of breed.Any help on our search for our new friend will be dearly appreciated. Thanks.

  2. You must think older people.only want small dogs.you are so clueless as to what people like. We like bigger dogs especially pitbulls. They are The best evaer!

  3. You forgot the best, the miniature Daschund! I’m 68 widower, my peanut is the best girl ever! She truly worry’s about me and her love is incredible !

  4. Your #10 is a picture of a Tibetan Spaniel. They are exactly how you describe a Pekingese. I owned a Tibbie once and loved him very much.

  5. This is a nice dog selection for elderly
    Only please check your PUG PHOTO
    This is not a PUG
    It is a photo of a FRENCHIE ????

  6. I was wondering why you guys ever at least put down beach on Francis they are one of the best dogs in the world they give you so much love is perfect for seniors are for little kids and they love you so much they want to be right by your side they’re highly intelligent a little bit stubborn but I love my dog. Thank you.

  7. These are all nice dogs, but I’m in my early 60s and have two 4year old intelligent and very loyal and protective and loving German Shepards..My neighbors home was broken into last month and they had two french bulldogs and the neighbor caught the burglars on video playing with their French bulldogs, lol,. I’ll guarantee you that no burglar will play with my German Shepards. I love my Ramses and Sadie. Maybe if your in your later years, then a lap dog would probably be cool for some 80 or 90 year olds, because dogs are the most loving friend a human can have!


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