Many seniors believe that dogs can hurt them. On the contrary, most of them are highly beneficial for retirees since dogs can help older people stay in good mental and physical shape. You can find many lists describing the best dog breeds for seniors and retirees, but the truth is that almost every dog can be an excellent companion for these people when well trained.
I have an American Staffordshire Terrier, and she is highly gentle and caring as she walks with my 89-year-old grandmother. However, it is probably better to find a smaller and less physically demanding dog that best fits your abilities and lifestyle. It will reduce your stress, keep the blood pressure within acceptable limits, and help you handle sadness and anxiety. Let’s see.
The best dog breeds for seniors and retirees:
1. Bichon Frise
These affectionate, joyful, and lovely hypoallergenic creatures are excellent companion dogs for seniors. Once you are put out to grass, look for Bichon. That way, you will get a buddy for a walk in the park and a little chat in your home. It can be healing if you live alone. You won’t need to spend much time training it, and it will require only periodical grooming and moderate daily activity.
This mini toy dog weighing only 3 to 7 pounds (1,5 – 3 kg) is one of the best dog breeds for seniors. It is an easy-to-handle and affectionate companion happy to take a nap in your lap for hours. It will quickly customize to life in an apartment and won’t require too much grooming. Since it is a bit talkative, you won’t spend time in silence anymore.
3. French Bulldog
Believe it or not, you can’t be sad while this happy and cheerful dog is around. Even though this active creature is compact and muscular, you won’t have any problems managing it. Despite its energy, it tends to lack endurance, which puts it among the best small dog breeds for seniors, especially those who prefer spending time indoors.
4. English Bulldog
This lovely stocky dog is a fantastic companion for each family, especially seniors. Don’t be fooled by its fierce appearance. It is a highly friendly creature who adores spending time with its owner and doesn’t need too much space. The incredible thing is that this breed doesn’t require too much exercise, but you should take care of its diet to prevent weight gain.
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Believe it or not, Poodle is one of the smartest breeds in the world. Pick out the dog of the desired size between three available. This quick-learner will be a loyal, loving, and affectionate buddy, but you should regularly take it to the professional groomer to keep its coat beautiful. Thanks to its ability to adapt, this breed is an excellent choice for seniors.
6. Mixed Breed
Among the 30 best dog breeds for seniors, mixed breed dogs occupy a special place. Most of them are perfect companions for older and disabled people, so you should consider checking out the local shelter to find your best buddy ever.
Since they are already trained and well screened for personality and care needs, the handlers will recommend you the best match. Plus, they are usually more healthy than purebred dogs thanks to the diversity in their DNA.
7. Cocker Spaniel
This breed has a desired friendly temperament necessary for seniors. Don’t be afraid of the high energy level this dog has. It will quickly and effortlessly adapt to apartment living if you provide only a few quick daily walks. Keep in mind that this buddy sheds significantly, and you need to groom it regularly.
8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
This elegant and affectionate breed is highly adaptable and committed to its owner, making it one of the best small dogs for seniors. You won’t have any difficulties to handle and train it, but prepare yourself for regular ear cleaning and hair brushing. Since it will probably prefer staying indoors, it is not an ideal companion for active seniors.
9. Shih Tzu
It is a highly popular small breed among seniors. They can effortlessly handle this ‘lion dog’ weighing 9 to 16 pounds (4 – 7 kg) and requiring only little exercise. Keep in mind that Shih Tzu has a friendly nature, but it is also a loyal watchdog. Walk with it periodically and groom its coat from time to time, and your sweet pet will be entirely satisfied.
When you search for the best dogs for seniors with allergies, you should consider this cuddly sweetie without many grooming requirements. This intelligent tiny creature has hypoallergenic fur and low shedding properties. Its calm and quiet nature makes this dog an ideal choice for small spaces.
It is an interesting combination of Golden Retriever and Poodle that needs daily exercise, so it is an excellent choice for active seniors. It is intelligent, sweet, and loyal to the owner. They shed minimally, but you should regularly take care of its fur. Choose this breed if you have a fenced yard and like spending time outdoors.
This breed is one of the best companion dogs for seniors but can be quite loud and restless. Therefore, you shouldn’t choose it if you have any difficulties with moving. On the positive side, its grooming needs are low, and this dog will excellently get along with your grandkids. Make sure to train your Beagle well, or it will start running your household.
It is the real couch potato dog, so you should choose it if you can’t get out as before and exercise as much as you used to. This affectionate, loving, and intuitive creature will adapt to any situation and small living spaces. You won’t have too much trouble with grooming, but it sheds much. That makes this breed an inadequate option for people suffering from allergies.
14. West Highland White Terrier
This friendly, intelligent, and easy-to-handle breed weighing 13 to 20 pounds (6 – 9 kg) is small enough to get on the list of good dog breeds for seniors. On the other hand, it is not fragile or demanding at all. You should brush your lapdog periodically and provide approximately one hour of exercise during a day. It will be an excellent companion for you if you are an active retiree.
15. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkie is a sweet little dog used to living in an apartment. Except for daily brushing, it requires low maintenance. This playful and affectionate breed is an excellent choice for seniors enjoying spending time outdoors. Once you adopt Yorkshire Terrier, you will get an intelligent and caring companion you can quickly train.
16. Scottish Terrier
When you look for a breed with moderate exercise needs, Scottie is the perfect option for you. Since this dog is good and mostly quiet, it will quickly acclimate to apartment living. By adopting it, you will get a faithful guard dog and quite a strong-willed and stubborn companion. It will suit you if you are patient enough, but this lovely dog is worth any effort.
17. Boston Terrier
This couch potato will enjoy spending most of the day in your lap or resting next to you. Thanks to its pleasant personality and relaxed nature, most seniors can effortlessly manage it. Luckily, this ‘American gentleman’ won’t shed much and doesn’t require too much grooming. Since it is very quiet, you can keep it in the apartment without disturbing neighbors.
This tiny dog is a faithful and devoted companion and one of the best lapdogs for seniors. It will enjoy spending time next to you without asking for regular exercise. This breed has low-maintenance needs, but you should be prepared for a high energy level in this small body. This highly loyal dog is an ideal choice for life in an apartment.
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19. Basset Hound
When you look for the best dog breeds for seniors, don’t forget about Basset Hound. This short, loving-natured breed is a fantastic choice for that purpose. Even though it is a bit stubborn, you will get an affectionate buddy with minimal grooming requirements. Make sure to dose its meals adequately and offer it a regular exercise to prevent it from gaining weight.
This happy little creature, well-known as a ‘wiener dog’ or ‘hot dog,’ has a strong personality. When you look among good dogs for older couples, you should think of this breed prone to make you laugh. Since this low-maintenance breed is satisfied with regular walking, it is an ideal choice to fulfill your retirement days.
When you look for the best dog for seniors that don’t shed, Havanese is an excellent option. This playful and loving breed devoted to the owner requires moderate exercise. Although it is intelligent and prone to training, this ‘Velcro dog’ won’t leave your lap for hours. Keep in mind that it will suffer when left home alone, so you need to pay extra attention to it.
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22. Lhasa Apso
You can hardly find a better old person’s dog than this tiny buddy. This loyal, sweet, and loving Tibetan breed sheds negligible, making it perfect for small apartments. This devoted creature will adore sitting on your lap. It requires only essential attention and regular brushing to keep its coat shine.
This cute, white therapy lapdog enjoys hanging out with its owner. Since it spends most of its time resting and needs only short, easy walks, it is probably the best dog for older people. This breed doesn’t require excessive care, and it will adapt well to living in a small apartment.
24. Griffon Bruxellois
This lovely bearded lapdog doesn’t feel comfortable with kids but is cuddly with older people. Since this energetic creature is confident and has a unique personality, you should consider it if you are active and enjoy daily walks. You won’t have any trouble training it, plus it requires only essential grooming to stay beautiful and happy.
25. Golden Retriever
This beloved family dog is definitely the best large dog breeds for seniors. After adopting one, you will get a friendly, highly intelligent, and gorgeous buddy that will cheer you with its apparent playfulness. You will train it quickly and get a companion for regular daily walks or a dedicated assistance dog if you are disabled or blind.
26. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
With an average weight of 24 to 30 pounds (11 – 13,5 kg), this dog is in a group of the best medium-sized dogs for seniors, but small enough to be easy to handle. It is a smart and easy-to-train pet that needs routine exercise and frequent walking. Make sure to prevent overeating this breed is prone to.
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27. Miniature Schnauzer
This friendly, social, and loyal little dog is an excellent breed for seniors, especially those who live in a city. This breed is well-suited for living in an apartment, but it requires routine grooming and plenty of exercises. Therefore, you should adopt one only if you are active yourself.
28. Japanese Chin (Japanese Spaniel)
This lazy dog doesn’t require excessive activity, so it belongs to the best small dog breeds for seniors. It will be enough to brush it weekly and take care of its healthy diet, and this buddy will become a happy companion. Unfortunately, this loyal, quiet, and lovely creature can be a bit aggressive towards your furniture.
There is one more great dog for active seniors. You can expect it to be lively, curious, and playful. If it goes on a regular walk and gets enough exercise, it will quickly adapt to a small apartment’s living conditions. Be prepared to spend some time teaching it basic commands since it doesn’t enjoy training.
This dear dog is not highly famous, but it belongs to the best dog breeds for retirees. Even though it is a bit bigger, it is obedient and easy-to-train. Provide it moderate but regular exercise and primary care, and you will get a faithful, smart, and grateful companion in return.
Once you retire, you should pick out the dog breed depending on your habits, physical activity, and capability to regularly groom your new buddy. In my opinion, you won’t make a mistake with Lhasa Apso. It is probably the best small dog for seniors you can find.