Best Dogs for Seniors

There are many breeds of dog available for sale or adoption. People considering becoming dog owners have many choices, and can hand pick a companion based on qualities such as the dog’s personality and the owner’s life needs. Handicapped and elderly individuals have needs differing from other dog owners, and choose the best dog breeds geared toward unique needs.

best dogs for seniors

Today we are sharing the Best Dogs for Seniors. From small dogs to large dogs, we have you covered. And once you get the new pup we have so many dog name ideas for you as well!

Small Dogs For The Elderly

Elderly dog owners may choose a small dog as a companion. Smaller breeds tend to be low-maintenance dogs and great lap dogs who love attention. While large dogs may be intimidating to intruders, the small dogs are fiercely devoted to their owners.

Small dogs may require less exercise, which will fit into the possible physical limitations of an older owner. Small dog varieties include Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzu, Toy Poodles, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Bichon Frise, French Bulldog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Miniature Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, Shih Tzus or Maltese.

best dogs for seniors

Pomeranians Are Great Companions For Older People

This is a great choice for the an older person who is looking for a petite four-legged friend. Although Pomeranians have fluffy coats, they only weigh between three and seven pounds. Plus, they are intelligent, have a friendly nature about them and don’t need a lot of daily exercise to consume that excess energy.

best dogs for seniors

Pugs Are The Best Dogs

Pugs have grown in popularity, partly because of their starring roles in commercials and movies, like Men in Black. This breed is a natural clown and can easily brings a smile to your face. Additionally, they are gentle and happy to curl up on your lap.

English Toy Spaniel Is The Best Choice

The English Toy Spaniel is jovial and pleasant small breed dog, but is wary of strangers, which is not necessarily a bad thing from a senior citizen’s perspective.

Cocker Spaniels Love Short Walks

As with other spaniels, the popular Cocker Spaniel is energetic and needs regular exercise. If a senior has mobility issues, this may not be a good choice. Otherwise, regular walks are a great way for seniors to stay fit and get fresh air.

Chihuahua Is A Great Canine Companion

If you don’t mind its propensity to bark, the Chihuahua is an excellent choice for its small size. They are just six to nine inches tall and usually weigh less than five pounds. And, the barking can help warn their owners of visitors.

Toy Poodle Is A Good Match

Another idea for best dogs for seniors are Poodles! They have always been a popular breed, but the Toy Poodle is particularly good for seniors since it’s the smaller version of the standard poodle. Also, poodles prefer to be in the company of people rather than other animals.

best dogs for seniors

Yorkshire Terrier

For those seniors who have mobility issues, a Yorkshire Terrier is a good choice. The Yorkie is a tiny dog that is happy to spend its time relaxing on the sofa. However, they do require regular grooming.


Pekingese are affectionate, but are also independent. They don’t need much exercise. If the senior has frequent visitors or other pets, they usually get along well with others. Pekingese need regular grooming, moderate amount of exercise and weigh just eight to 14 pounds.

Miniature Schnauzer

Adorable bearded faces and friendly personalities are distinct characteristics of miniature schnauzers, which get along well with people, children and other pets, according to Pet Connect Online. Miniature schnauzers also make excellent watchdogs because they are wary of strangers. Members of the breed make excellent companions for senior citizens because they have only moderate exercise needs, a strong desire for companionship and a strong sense of family loyalty.

best dogs for seniors

Scottish Terriers

Scottish terriers can be trained to get along equally well with both the adult and child members of the household. Terriers are trained through consistency and praise, but their emerging loyal, playful and curious natures are well worth the patience. The terrier breed enjoys time spent outdoors as well as time with family indoors, according to Pet Connect Online. The breed is very loyal to its family, and averages between 15 and 22 lbs.


The Maltese does not shed, which makes it a good choice for senior citizens who suffer from allergies. They do, however, need to be brushed regularly to keep from matting. Adults typically weigh between 3 and 7 lbs. This tiny, docile breed is extremely affectionate and easy to train. This breed loves to play fetch and learn new tricks. For the senior citizen who loves to dote, the Maltese loves to be pampered.

Larger Dogs For The Elderly

There are good reasons for seniors to own a dog. Pets can bring much-needed companionship for those who may be lonely, but they are also good for our emotional and physical health. According to the Centers for Disease Control, pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels. But, given some of the limitations that are inherent with being a senior, the elderly should be discriminating in their dog choice.

best dogs for seniors

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever, or lab, is a breed with an even temper and high intelligence. These dogs are easy to please, which escalates their training capability. Labs are often used as working dogs for assistance to handicapped individuals. This breed is suitable for the elderly if the senior is accustomed to taking care of a medium-sized dog, and is physically able to handle a high-energy dog. Labs are very energetic and need exercise, which makes them suitable to assist handicapped people but may not make them suitable for all seniors.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever has a personality and intelligence to match the lab, but the temperament is calmer. This breed often works with handicapped people as there is a deep desire to please humans. The dog has longer hair than the lab, and does require more grooming. The calm temper, friendly attitude and devotion to the master makes this breed good for handicapped and elderly people, but the size and grooming needs are drawbacks for senior ownership.

best dogs for seniors

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are not recommended for seniors, but they make great working dogs for handicapped individuals. The dog is loyal and dedicated to its owner and will protect his owner fiercely. Intelligence is high as is self-confidence. These dogs are easily trained as seeing eye dogs, who will protect and direct blind humans faithfully.

When choosing dog breeds, what’s suitable for Little Johnny might not be best for Granny Smith. Senior citizens should consider a dog that is middle-aged or a senior citizen itself, so the animal does not outlive the human.

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