Skip to content

The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Senior Citizens

  • by

The fact that you are retired or getting older does not preclude you from adopting a dog. For an older adult who lives alone or has more free time now that their working years are behind them, a dog can be a fantastic companion. Even a puppy can be a lovely “baby” for an elderly couple whose own children are already grown adults living on their own. But when you’re older, you should think carefully before getting a dog since some breeds that could have made terrific companions for you when you were younger might not be the ideal choices today. Seniors can have good pets from a variety of breeds, including poodles, Maltese, Pomeranians, and pugs.

1. Bichon Frise

The fluffy little bichon frise is a happy and loving dog who would make a great friend. Most people can easily handle this small breed, which usually weighs between 7 and 12 pounds. Also, Bichons are pretty easy to train. The bichon will need to be cleaned from time to time, but other than that, it’s not too hard to take care of. Every month or two, many bichon owners take their dogs to a groomer. As long as it has a friend, a bichon will usually be healthy and happy with just a little bit of activity every day.

A Brief Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Non-Sporting (AKC)
  • 9 to 12 inches tall
  • 7 to 12 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: White hair that is fluffy and curly and may have hints of peach, buff, or cream, making it look like a cotton ball or a powder puff.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 14 to 15 years

2. Cavalier King

The Cavalier is a well-liked spaniel that looks like a baby and is friendly and easy to train. This small dog is often happy when cuddling up with its owner. This breed is easy to handle and train and usually weighs between 11 and 18 pounds. The Cavalier has some grooming needs, like having its hair brushed regularly and its ears cleaned. It may also need to go to a groomer once in a while. Overall, Cavaliers are liked by people who like small dogs that are good for living in apartments.

A Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Toy (AKC)
  • 12 to 13 inches tall
  • 13 to 18 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: Adults have feathers on their ears, chest, legs, feet, and tail. The coat is smooth and wavy. Tricolor, Blenheim, Ruby, and Black and Tan are some of the four-color types.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 12 to 15 years

3. French Bulldogs

Near the happy Frenchie, it’s almost impossible to feel sad. French bulldogs are one of the types of dogs that are the happiest. They are small, busy dogs with strong muscles. But at 19 to 28 pounds, they are still pretty easy to handle. Even though they have a lot of energy, they don’t tend to be very strong. This breed usually does OK with moderate movement every day. Their care needs aren’t too complicated, but you should watch out for health problems like brachycephalic syndrome and skin problems.

Brief Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Non-Sporting (AKC)
  • 11 to 13 inches tall
  • 19 to 28 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: Short, smooth coat that can be brindle, fawn, white, or a mix of brindle and white or fawn and white.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 10 to 12 years

4. Greyhound

How can a dog that runs races be good for older people? You might be shocked to find out that greyhounds are not as active as many people think. Even though greyhounds like to go for walks every day and run once in a while, most of them are couch potatoes who like to hang out with their owners. Even though most of them weigh between 60 and 80 pounds, they are generally very easy to train and handle. If you like big dogs but worry about being able to take care of one, the Greyhound is a good choice.

A Brief Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Hound (AKC)
  • 25 to 30 inches tall
  • 60 to 80 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: The dog has a short, smooth coat that can be black, blue, fawn, red, white, and different shades of brindle or a mix of any of these colors.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 10 to 13 years

5. Maltese

A Maltese is the classic little white lap dog, just like the bichon. This type of dog likes to sit in its owner’s lap and go for short, easy walks. It also needs to be groomed like a bichon. To keep its hair in good shape, it will need to go to a professional groomer often. Also, the Maltese are not too hard to train. This dog is easy to take care of because it only weighs 4 to 7 pounds. You can even put it in your bag and take it with you.

A Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Toy (AKC)
  • 8 to 10 inches tall
  • HOW MUCH: 4 to 7 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: It has dark, alert eyes that are covered by long, smooth white fur. It has a single-layer coat with no undercoat.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 12 to 15 years

6. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The corgi could be the right dog for you if you want a small to a medium dog that makes a great friend. This breed is still small enough for most people to handle, weighing between 24 and 30 pounds. Corgis are smart and don’t take too much time to train. With those short little legs, they are also very cute. Corgis are herding dogs, so they need regular exercise, but a daily walk is enough. The corgi doesn’t need much cleaning, which is a big plus.

Breed Overview

  • GROUP: Herding (AKC)
  • 10 to 12 inches HIGH
  • HEAVY: between 24 and 30 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: They have a medium-length double coat that is black and tan, red, sable, or fawn (all of these colors usually have white spots).
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 12 to 13 years

7. Pomeranian

If you want a small dog, a 3- to 7-pound Pom is also easy to handle and small enough to fit in your bag. This breed makes a friendly and happy friend. Your Pom will like to play with toys and sleep in your lap. Most of all, this breed will like having you as a friend.

Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Toy (AKC)
  • SIZE: between 6 and 7 inches
  • 3 to 7 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: They have long, double skin that comes in many colors, but red, orange, cream, sable, black, brown, and blue are the most popular ones.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 12 to 16 years

8 . Poodles

The poodle is one of the smartest dog breeds and also one of the most famous. The best part is that they come in three sizes: the tiny toy poodle, the small miniature poodle, and the bigger standard poodle. Poodles are faithful and loving pets. Poodles learn quickly and do well in many different kinds of homes. Most poodles don’t need much more than a walk every day. They need to be groomed by a pro every month or two, but other than that, they are pretty easy to take care of.

Brief Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Non-Sporting (AKC)
  • Standard height is 15 inches, miniature height is 10 to 15 inches, and toy height is 10 inches or less.
  • Standard weight is 45 to 70 pounds, miniature weight is 15 to 18 pounds, and toy weight is 5 to 9 pounds.
  • COAT AND COLOR: They have curly, thick, single-layer coats that can be white, black, grey, brown, apricot, or any other solid color.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 10 to 18 years

9. A Shih Tzu

The Shih tzu is another small dog that many people like. The breed is easy to handle. It weighs between 9 and 16 pounds. Even though shih tzus can be a little stubborn, most of them are easy to train. This breed needs to go for walks every day and get groomed every so often. Skin problems and brachycephalic syndrome are common in shih tzus.

Look at the Breed

  • GROUP: Toy (AKC)
  • 8 to 11 inches tall
  • From 9 to 16 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: It has a long, double coat that can be almost any color, but is usually black, white, blue, gold, liver, or a mix of these.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 10 to 16 years

10. West Highland white terriers

Westies make great pets and are easy to take care of. The breed is small, weighing between 13 and 20 pounds, and is not as fragile as the Pomeranian or Maltese. The Westie needs a little bit of cleaning, but not as much as some of the other dogs on this list. Overall, the Westie is a friendly dog that doesn’t require much care.

Breed Overview

  • GROUP: Terrier (AKC)
  • 10 to 11 inches tall
  • 13 to 20 pounds
  • COAT AND COLOR: Its rough, medium-length double coat is white, and its eyes and nose are black.
  • EXPECTED LIFESPAN: 13 to 15 years

Download this article in pdf form.