Everyone knows that a dog is a man’s best friend, but it’s high time to give them the title “Senior’s companion” as well. Research shows that owning a dog lowers blood pressure, lowers stress levels, and makes you happier, all of which are very beneficial, especially for an older person’s health and well-being. Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and breeds. We’ve listed below 50 of the best dog breeds that make for excellent elderly companions if you’re already scratching your head, trying to figure out which one suits the senior in your life, or if you’re a senior yourself.
The Shih Tzu, also known as the “Lion Dog,” is an elderly little canine perfect for loyal, friendly, and relaxed people. There are not many workouts required, but much snuggLing will be needed. Don’t underestimate its small size; the Shih Tzu is an excellent guard dog. They are naturally very loving, so they are protecting their masters too. The Shih Tzu can adjust to every lifestyle so they will feel at home, whether you live in a large or small area.
Bolognese Bichon is exactly what you’re looking for if you live in a small place that still has enough room for a great furry companion. By nature, small, quiet, and calm, you’re not going to have any issues with noise or anything. They are brilliant and easy to train, so they are very fond of many Bolognese Bichon owners. They have plush-like fur that doesn’t require too much effort in terms of grooming and maintenance.
As its name bears, the Goldendoodle is a mixed breed of the Golden Retriever and Poodle, two affectionate breeds. If you need some workout, this dog is the best for you because it often needs to be taken for walks. The Goldendoodle is playful, loyal, intelligent, and loving and will surely guarantee great companionship.
In maintaining a fit and healthy body, regular exercises are essential for a senior. That’s why it comes in handy to own a Beagle. They’re playful, and surely every day will get you active. And here’s more good news; there’s relatively little need for grooming, so you don’t need to spend a lot of money on that. Although Beagles are reputably noisy, this breed is commended by many senior care professionals for its friendliness, which makes them one of the best breeds for seniors.
The Pomeranian may be small, but it has a huge heart. This fluffy canine lives in small spaces such as apartments and is affectionate, lively, and comfortable. You don’t need to worry about spending a dime to keep your coat perfectly fluffy when it comes to grooming. As brushing them regularly is enough, the Pomeranian does not exactly require regular grooming. Now, if you want your pet to be trained, this tiny breed guarantees great potential. They’re smart, and they’ll surely learn tricks in no time.
For those who spend most of their time lying on the couch, they’ve been called the perfect dog because this smart breed can adapt to their environment and, yes, even your lifestyle. Pug probably wouldn’t mind the older generation who doesn’t have the energy to move and get out like they used to. If you are looking for a low-maintenance furry companion, Pug is the right one for you.
There is no need for a furry companion to be a purebred dog. Mixed breed dogs also make extremely fantastic companions. In fact, many experts advise seniors at their local shelters to go for a mixed breed. This is because dogs that go through a shelter are already evaluated for their care requirements, personalities, and other handlers’ qualities. It’s great to know that dogs are usually trained in shelters, so you can skip the training process and just go with them right into cuddling.
If you want a small and gentle dog that can be with you for a long time, the Yorkshire Terrier is the one for you. As long as you take care of it, this breed can live up to an average life span of 13 to 20 years. It is commonly found in apartments and assisted living centers since the Yorkshire Terrier is another low-maintenance breed. Yorkies just require daily brushing, so having them around is not a hassle.
The French Bulldog, small, cute, and perfect for your apartment, is a pocket dog that you can’t resist. The French bulldog is typically loving and lively, according to canine experts. You will love them even more, adding to their adorable personalities and big ears, as they are low-maintenance and do not need exercise regularly. This means that you’re going to spend more of your time just cuddling with them.
Welsh Corgi Pembroke
If you’re a senior citizen who wants life to be more lively, getting a Welsh Corgi Pembroke is the easiest way. These breeds are equipped with lovely giant ears and squatting bodies that will win your heart for sure. The Welsh Corgi Pembroke is an intelligent dog who, for a long time, has been a favorite of British royalty. But you don’t have to live like the Welsh Corgi Pembroke’s royalties in a big palace to settle in happily. They are great at living in small places, such as apartments.
Otterhounds may not be as popular as the others on the list, but for older people, they are certainly ideal companions, nonetheless. Otterhounds will shower you with their love, faithfulness, and intelligence for a long time, with a life expectancy of around 12 years. They’re going to need a regular amount of exercise, but we don’t think it’s bad because you can spend more time getting fit together with your furry friend.
If you’re a senior with a hard time looking for a furry companion because of your allergies, we highly recommend the Poodle because it has a hypoallergenic coat that won’t bother you. Due to their loving and gentle nature and their ability to adapt to places where older folks live, poodles are particularly popular among older dog lovers. They are, aside from those, the smartest breeds around and very loyal as well.
Living with a small dog, like the Lhasa Apso, is ideal for small spaces like apartments. Moreover, this breed is the one to get if you’re not a big fan of the extensive grooming process. The average life expectancy of Lhasa Apso is 14 years, which means they will make you happy for a long time. We believe the Lhasa Apso is great for seniors because they are independent, loyal, and affectionate!
We promise that when you have a Japanese Spaniel, you won’t need to get tired. The physical activity of a little canine is also small, so that’s good news for you. This breed is also low-maintenance and will be sufficient for one brush a week. Nor does the Japanese Spaniel bark as much as other dogs! They never disappoint when it comes to loyalty. To have fun and explore on your own, you can let it loose in the park or the yard, but at the end of the day, it’ll come back to you for sure.
Who said that, in smaller houses or apartments, only small dogs could do well? The Greyhound Italian proves otherwise. This breed is not small, and everyone can not appreciate its beauty, but it is a highly manageable and friendly dog that can give you companionship for 12 to 15 years. If you’re a senior who’s really dedicated to a fit lifestyle, you’ll be supported by the Italian Greyhound, as they need an hour of exercise.
The Bolognese are cuddly, like a teddy bear, and will do great with seniors. Because this breed has low shedding properties, there is no need for a lot of grooming. Intelligent and easy to train, people like to take care of it. The Bolognese is calm and quiet and will not get you into trouble with your neighbors if you live in an apartment and a small space where noise can be problematic.
You might need a dog with the same vibe if you’re an active senior. We suggest that you get a Corgi because they have a spunky personality and a level of energy that is still manageable for larger dogs. A lovable breed, the Corgi, is a perfect companion. And even Queen Elizabeth is under its charm.
In terms of low-maintenance pets, the Japanese Chin is the best pick. This breed is the most appropriate for seniors who want a dog but don’t want to be too tired of themselves. This breed has served as a companion for years, and they are praised for being less “yappy” than other breeds. The Japanese Chin will find this just about enough for it to be happy, easy to groom with one brushing a week, a run around the yard for exercise, and normal cuddling with you.
West Highland Terrier
Seniors are surely fond of Terriers and, like the West Highland Terrier, remain a popular breed of choice. This breed has a lovely temperament that makes it a good lap dog. Small in size, they can live in an apartment comfortably and only require an hour of exercise a day. You’ll be surprised to hear that there’s no extravagant grooming needed when it comes to maintaining their soft fur coat.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was a favorite of royalty for a long time. Even its name bears a dash of royalty, as you’ve probably noticed. But, to be worthy of this adorable lap dog, you do not need to be royalty yourself because they can adapt to any living situation. This little canine does not grow over 18 lbs, and it takes no great effort to take care of them. A bath once a week and a brush are all it takes to maintain its healthy soft fur.
There’s another Spaniel on our list! We are introducing Cocker Spaniel, which has a great temperament and a lovable personality for the elderly. This breed fits well in the apartment. While they may need some regular brushing, you wouldn’t mind if it was all about keeping the soft Cocker Spaniel coat that you’re going to love petting.
Are you looking for a dog to keep you active without needing to exercise too much? A Scottish Terrier is just for you. Regular walks are needed, not excessive running. This breed can adapt to the apartment living comfortably; usually quiet, instead of a yap, it has a loud bark. It’s not going to bother the neighbors, that’s for sure. It is affectionate, faithful, and can serve as a great guard dog about its personality.
As they are playful, loving, and a small breed with moderate exercise needs, the Havanese can be a good companion for seniors. This breed is devoted to its owners and will love spending time with you, so expect this one to have a lot of furry love. Regular brushing will be done when it comes to their coat.
When it comes to keeping up with the lifestyle of seniors, Maltese is the best. They’re low-maintenance dogs, which means you don’t need to get tired to take care of them. They have minor needs for exercise and need no over-the-top grooming. Small in size, with small spaces, they go perfectly well and will always be ready for some big amount of cuddling.
Basset Hounds have an easy, loving nature that will get along with seniors. Although they can be a bit stubborn, they are very affectionate, that some say they like to shadow you closely, but nonetheless. You have to be watchful of its weight if you own a Basset Hound. We know that they are adorable and difficult to resist, but they are not encouraged to spoil them with excessive food because they easily put on weight. They don’t need too much work when it comes to grooming.
Boston Terriers aren’t described as couch potatoes for nothing. For their love of chilling out and just spending time with you, they earned this title. They’re just the perfect size and equipped with a great personality, a breed that a senior can easily manage. As they do not require extravagant coat care, you wouldn’t need to fuss over their grooming needs. The relaxed nature of this breed will definitely calm you down and just be carefree.
Due to their long and wiener-shaped bodies, the Dachshunds are happy little dogs with a big personality, dubbed the “wiener dogs.” This breed will never fail you if you’re looking to add some happiness to your home. Also, low-maintenance grooming is required for Dachshunds to ensure a healthy coat. As long as they get to enjoy walks and games like fetch as their exercise, they’re also fine with living in an apartment.
Tiny but mighty, for centuries now, the Chihuahua has been a faithful companion. It is extremely devoted to its owner, and they love to stay in your lap, probably as a way to express it. The Chihuahua’s coat does not need much grooming, and a quick walk is fine for its exercise.
The Brussels Griffon is a breed that we could say is a match for seniors made in heaven. As they are not so comfortable around kids, this breed prefers the company of older people. They have a sweet and relaxed personality, so you’re going to expect them to cuddle a lot on your lap, to the point that it’s going to be difficult to get them off.
The Bulldog is an amiable dog underneath its gruff appearance. While they have a shorter lifespan on our list than others, it does not make them any less of a great companion. The Bulldog loves to shower his owner with their love, and they don’t need much exercise. However, you have to keep an eye out for their diet since they are not as active as other breeds.
Labs are known to be friendly and smart dogs, which is why they make great companions for seniors, provided they can get all the exercise they need. They need to have a large room for a large dog to be able to move around. So, we don’t think it’s a good idea to keep them in a small apartment unless you can give them a nice yard that they’ll definitely enjoy. A loyal and loving breed that makes a great watchdog is the Labrador Retriever.
For seniors who like to keep themselves busy and active, the Miniature Schnauzer is well-suited. As an owner of a Miniature Schnauzer, they are sweet and gentle dogs that need many exercises, and you will have to keep up with their activity and have you do some exercise. Also, to ensure that their coats are always healthy and clean, expect some routine grooming.
For an active senior looking for a furry partner of the same vibe, a Schipperke is perfect. They are lively and playful, similar to a fox. Moreover, their inquisitive nature and confident streak are some of the many qualities they have that will win your heart. If you get a Schipperke, you’re going to spend a long time with this lovable breed as they can live up to 15 years. This breed grows to about 12-18 lbs and makes a good size for an apartment –as long as they can have enough space to roam around in.
The Crested Chinese is a breed that needs no grooming at all. Their exposed skin, however, needs enough care and attention. We suggest this breed to seniors because, unlike other breeds that need you to break a sweat when playing games with them or giving them walks, and as a quality time, the Chinese Crested will gladly prefer to sit quietly with their owners.
Although the Greyhound is the biggest dog on our list by far, they are the laziest. You’ll be amazed to know that even smaller breeds have more energy than this breed. For seniors, since they’ve completed their active racing career and have fully embraced the couch potato lifestyle, we highly recommend getting a retired racing Greyhounds. Another good thing about taking a Greyhound from a track is getting a furry friend who has seen a lot, is well-socialized, and gets along fine with you.
The small and fluffy Bichon Frise is a happy and affectionate dog who will make a great companion. On average, a Bichon Frise weighs between 7 and 12 lbs, making it extremely easy to handle for most people. They’re also comparatively easy to train. They will need to be groomed now and again, but otherwise, they are low-maintenance. A reasonable amount of daily workouts is usually enough just to keep them happy and healthy as long as they have your companionship.
Pekingese are glorious but slow-moving dogs. They are the ultimate lapdog, and you can do it while they need constant brushing while he/they are sleeping on your lap. Pekingese are very faithful and loving dogs. They are, however, also independent and persistent at times.
Like Labradors, Golden Retrievers are kind and approachable dogs who react well to training. Not to mention, they are well-tuned to humans’ emotional needs, making them one of the most popular therapeutic dog breeds. As they enjoy running and swimming, they are most suitable for active lifestyles. When they get enough exercise outdoors, they can be nice and calm inside. They thrive on companionship, and they’re known to have a lot of patience.
The Cairn Terrier – Toto from The Wizard of Oz was one of the most famous movie dogs ever, as it turns out. However, we found out that these dogs aren’t just great actors. They are great companions as well. Friendly and cheerful, they love to socialize. They are very loyal to their owners and tend to have a strong-minded streak, so they usually do well with a firm human companion.
Papillon (Continental Toy Spaniel)
Papillons can therefore easily be bathed and transported as a small breed. They’re clever, which means they can be trained easily. Papillons have a stupid character that allows their human companions to entertain them to no end. The breed is very energetic, so they are better off with adults that are still active and willing to take their dogs on walks. These dogs might possess their owners, so it is best to have them as the only dog in the house.
A true terrier is a black and tan breed of medium size. Since it was bred for hunting, the breed is filled with energy and has an independent spirit. In general, they weigh approximately 20 pounds. The reason this breed is wonderful for seniors is because of its playfulness, energy, and spirit. This dog requires many exercises, while for less capable seniors, they are not ideal, which means that it can help someone stay in shape. To top it off, they’re great dogs for playing with grandchildren because they are so playful and lively.
American Eskimo Toy
If you’re looking for a small dog with a remarkable mane that’s as white as it gets, goes for the American Eskimo Toy. A sub-breed is the smallest type of American Eskimo. They are so small that they only weigh 7-8 lbs as adults. The breed is affectionate and adaptable, which makes it easy to train and bond with. As long as the mane-shedding that comes with it can keep up.
If one of the major factors you’re looking for when a companion is on the market is a fluffy texture, don’t look any further. Say hello to Keeshond. In that unique-looking dog, there’s a magnificent gray mane. Personality-wise, Keeshonds are very friendly and love playing with their owners.
Even after what its name implies, the Icelandic Sheepdog doesn’t look like a sheep at all. The coat, which naturally comes with extra shedding, is fluffy, soft, and straight. Training is simple, seeing how smart they are. As adults, they weigh about 25 pounds and love to be lapdogs. The owners of them are very caring. To top it off and alert, the breed is quiet and curious, making it a good companion for those who often want to play with their dogs.
Shiba Inu is considered to be the ultimate family pet. This dog breed has no trouble adjusting to a large family with individuals of all ages. They are very confident, and they are brave. Shiba Inu is very independent but has nothing more to enjoy than spending time with its owners.
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Originating from the United Kingdom, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier was first bred to help hunters. These multi-talented dogs participate in different activities, such as protecting, tracking, and hunting. As for their characters, they are highly affectionate, loving, and loyal to their owners. They are very approachable, too, so they have no problem with other people petting them. They are brilliant in addition to all of that, making it so easy to train them.
If you are older, the Shar-Pei is the perfect breed for you, and you feel like a lap dog is overrated. This medium-sized breed is also easiest to train and train at home. They’re not very fond of strangers, so they’re great watchdogs. Owners who go away for long periods of time are very independent, making them a good choice. If you like to take long walks or get out a lot, the Shar-Pei, however, is a great choice for you.
The Minature Pinscher is a cuddly little dog for senior citizens who have been looking for a small companion full of energy that would be great. It is a playful, busy, curious, and autonomous breed. While it can be headstrong sometimes, this dog shows affection for its family, but it can be reserved with strangers. It requires minimum care for its coat through occasional brushing. It requires a lot of activities that can be done indoors or outdoors.
If you’re a cat person, this really isn’t the dog for you. Generally speaking, Skye Terriers tend to dislike cats. If not, this dog is very reliable, gets along with people, and is a wonderful family pet. Also, this breed is a great dog for avid outdoorsmen.
This unique dog breed originates in Mexico. As an adult, the dog with short hair weighs around 30 pounds and comes in various colors. The dog is happy and friendly, alert, and loyal, if not slightly protective, in personality. This dog needs only moderate exercise to complete it.