A Comprehensive Guide to the 15 Best Dog Breeds for Seniors

Best Dog For Seniors

Last Updated on August 11, 2023 by Fumipets

A Comprehensive Guide to the 15 Best Dog Breeds for Seniors


Choosing the right dog breed for seniors involves considering factors like size, temperament, and energy levels. Here’s a detailed overview of 15 dog breeds that are particularly well-suited for seniors:

1. French Bulldog: These compact dogs are known for their affectionate and easygoing nature. Their minimal exercise needs and manageable size make them perfect companions for seniors looking for indoor companionship.

2. Shih Tzu: With their gentle and friendly demeanor, Shih Tzus are excellent lap dogs for seniors. Their moderate energy levels and hypoallergenic coats are added bonuses.

3. Bichon Frise: Bichon Frises are cheerful and affectionate dogs with hypoallergenic coat, making them great for seniors with allergies. They thrive on companionship and adapt well to different living situations.

4. Pug: Pugs are charming and sociable dogs that form strong bonds with their human companions. Their low-maintenance grooming needs and adaptable nature make them suitable for seniors.

5. Miniature Schnauzer: These intelligent and loyal dogs have a manageable size and a distinctive appearance. Miniature Schnauzers are great watchdogs and companions for seniors seeking a little extra security.

6. Maltipoo: A crossbreed between a Maltese and a Poodle, Maltipoos are affectionate and intelligent companions. Their hypoallergenic coats and small size make them ideal for seniors.

7. Chinese Crested: Known for their unique appearance, Chinese Cresteds are loving and low-energy dogs that thrive on human interaction. They are perfect for seniors seeking an unconventional yet affectionate companion.

8. Italian Greyhound: These graceful dogs have a sleek appearance and gentle nature. Italian Greyhounds are low-maintenance and enjoy snuggling up with their seniors.

9. Cavapoo and Cockapoo: These popular crossbreeds are a mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle (Cavapoo) or Cocker Spaniel and Poodle (Cockapoo). They are affectionate, friendly, and well-suited for seniors seeking a versatile companion.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: These dogs are well-known for their affectionate and sociable personalities. They are gentle lap dogs that thrive on human attention, making them perfect for seniors.

11. Pembroke Welsh Corgi: Corgis may be small but they have big personalities. Their intelligent and loyal nature, coupled with their manageable size, make them wonderful companions for seniors.

12. Basset Hound: With their soulful eyes and easygoing demeanor, Basset Hounds are relaxed companions for seniors. Their low-energy levels and affectionate nature make them great indoor pets.

13. Greyhounds: Despite their racing history, Greyhounds are gentle and calm dogs that adapt well to a quieter lifestyle. They enjoy lounging around and short bursts of exercise.

14. Golden Retriever: Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and loyal nature. Their medium size, intelligence, and willingness to please make them excellent companions for seniors seeking an active yet gentle breed.

15. Poodle: Available in different sizes, Poodles are highly intelligent and low-shedding dogs. Their versatility and adaptability to different living situations make them a great choice for seniors.

Each of these breeds brings its own unique qualities to the table, catering to the different preferences and lifestyles of seniors. Whether you’re looking for a lap dog, an active outdoor companion, or a loyal friend for your golden years, there’s a perfect match waiting to bring joy and companionship into your life.

You may discover breeds of different sizes and shapes on our carefully chosen list of the best dogs for seniors. Even as people become older, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to these companion dogs.

Interacting with pets has amazing advantages for both elderly and retirees. Take it from Cat McAuliffe, a former veterinary technician who developed and is presently the program’s coordinator for the Iowa Animal Rescue League.

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In order to spread happiness around the Des Moines area, McAuliffe often visits senior care homes with her group of volunteers and therapy dogs. The program also resonates with McAuliffe personally since she saw firsthand how her elderly mother’s illness improved when she interacted with a therapy dog while still in the hospital.

“My mom was a nurse for many, many years, but she was miserable as a patient in the hospital,” McAuliffe said. “One day a therapy dog came into her hospital room, and the way she lit up and was so happy for days… that really affected me in a positive way.”

According to Jim Dobies, DVM of UrgentVet.com, having a pet has several studied advantages for people like our grandparents, including reducing feelings of loneliness and creating a routine.

This is essential since 40% of people 65 and older regularly feel loneliness. The majority of dogs—if not all—need some kind of exercise, and they provide owners with a good reason to leave the home, which may be challenging after retirement.

Here are the best dogs for seniors to think about adopting, whether you’re searching for a furry companion to go for walks to the park with after retirement or a soft partner to warm up with on the sofa for movie marathons.

French Bulldog

The French bulldog reigns supreme in terms of cuddly faces, and he can even make a few wrinkles appear extra cute.

This little dog, which measures 16 to 28 pounds, was bred to be a companion for its owners. These canines are driven by food and would enjoy helping you try out some dog-friendly recipes in the kitchen.

Bonus points if you use homemade dog treats to train your dog to sit and stay! They would much rather indulge in snacks than go for a run or to the beach, but you need to watch out that they don’t gain too much weight since obesity may negatively impact their general health.

However, Frenchies do like being the center of attention, so you should make an effort to give them many hours each day to spend with you.

Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus are affectionate and commonly seen sitting on the nearby lap, much like the other toy breeds on our list. Additionally, they have stunningly beautiful coats that often sweep the ground. It’s understandable why they have been a favorite for literally hundreds of years.

Seniors or retirees who have the time, energy, and finances required for regular journeys to the dog spa are the ideal owners of Shih tzus. Shih Tzus need frequent haircuts to maintain their healthy luxurious coats, so if you like at-home grooming sessions, you may even feel like you’re operating a little spa in your house.

While their “little lion” moniker has followed them around, “little baby” might be a better way to describe them. These royal misses and misters like cuddling often, but not because they are entitled to it. They really like getting as near to you as they can!

Bichon Frise

The bichon frise is a cuddly puff ball for sure if you’re searching for someone to snuggle with as you read the Sunday paper. She has a silly disposition that is ideal for anybody searching for a fun friend who also enjoys cuddling up on the sofa for a night of watching movies.

Since Bichon Frises are excellent with children, having the grandchildren over is not a problem. Downsizing to a smaller piece of property shouldn’t give this tiny floof any problems either since they are so little.


Do you snore, and does your partner complain? Are you trying to find someone else to blame for it? If so, a pug might become your new best buddy and serve as your scapegoat. Despite being a touch snorty, these brachycephalic dogs are nonetheless among the cutest pets you could possibly have.

Pugs thrive in cramped areas and are extremely simple to amuse. Although we wouldn’t advise spending extended periods of time in the heat, they would be the perfect size for your beach property.

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The majority of pugs have a double coat that is either black or tan, making them often shedders when it comes to maintenance. This breed may not be right for you if you have a dog allergy, but the good news is that pugs don’t need to go to the groomer very often.

You should be okay if you only give them a bath a few times a month and give them morning wrinkle treatments.

Miniature Schnauzer

The little schnauzer is a good choice if you want to add some snark to your household. There are a ton of lovely schnauzer haircuts you can ask your groomer to attempt to keep them looking gorgeous, and they come with a delightful beard and mustache to match.

You won’t ever have to worry about a doorbell again since these tiny fellas also like using their voices. If you had the time, you could possibly even teach a little schnauzer how to complete a sudoku puzzle or the current week’s crossword.

You’re prepared to face the world with your new little best buddy when you arm yourself with a bag of training goodies and a canine puzzle for some mental exercise.


This doodle dog breed is suitable for both experienced dog owners and animal enthusiasts. The Maltipoo is a wonderful companion for anyone searching for a lap dog, ideal for enjoying all that freedom in retirement. They just need a space on the sofa and regular brushing to prevent knots in their coat.

Apartment residents should take aware that, although they may be pleased to cuddle up with you, Maltipoos are known to be attentive barkers and will let you know if they hear something in the corridor (or at the door, strolling by, etc.).

People who aren’t accustomed to being at home alone and would want a dog to “talk” to could find this to be a nice match.

Chinese Crested

You may want to indulge your quirky side a bit more now that you’re retired. Or maybe you want a dog that won’t aggravate your allergies. In any scenario, the Chinese crested is an intriguing canine that is used to drawing attention.

All dogs are lovely in their own special way, even if the Chinese crested may not be at the top of the list of prettiest dogs. This breed either lacks hair entirely or has “powderpuff” tufts of hair here and there. The choice of which sort you choose is entirely up to you since both of them may be found in the same litter.

These dogs don’t need much attention other than grooming (for the hairy ones, at least). They don’t need a lot of activity and just sometimes bark. Just remember to let the grandchildren know about your new friend. She has to be shielded from rough play since she is little.

Italian Greyhound

Italian, but with the greyhound. I’m joking. Don’t tell the other breeds, but the Italian Greyhound could be our favorite on this list. Why? Well, they are just like greyhounds that we adore, just smaller!

(However, despite how similar they are to the bigger greyhound in size and name, they are really a separate breed and not a tiny version.)

Italian greyhounds are smaller than other greyhounds, but they are also quite different from other greyhounds in terms of temperament. These canines are quite sentimental about the company and adore it.

Italian greyhounds are a bit more nervous than other types of greyhounds, making them ideal for seniors and retirees who spend most of their time at home and can offer them plenty of love and care.

Your Italian greyhound could benefit from having a second dog buddy if you are unable to dedicate yourself to being at home all the time.

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Cavapoo and Cockapoo

Due to their ability to pass on the positive traits of their poodle and spaniel parents, the Cavapoo and cockapoo are now two of the most popular crossbreeds in the United States. shedding-free coat? loyal character? lack ears? Check. Both breeds come in a wide variety of colors and are DYING to play with you!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was bred with an owner-adoration gene. These adorable animals were really bred to be lapdogs in the beginning. The years have passed, yet not much has changed.

This spaniel dog’s tendency to get along with everyone, even strangers, is one of its greatest personality traits, so it won’t take long for your new puppy to decide that your lap is the ideal spot to spend time in.

In general, their friendliness with strangers makes visiting the vet a snap. Simply said, they are content to be where you are.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

A very well-liked breed of dog that is as adept at cuddling up next to young children as they are at capturing a stray mouse is the Pembroke Welsh corgi. This corgi will fulfill your needs if you’re seeking a dog with a friendly disposition that enjoys playing games and you live alone.

Contrary to what you may think based on the breed’s look, corgis are a little more prone to weight gain than other breeds, so exercise is still essential. They are a little bit plumper and can tolerate cold conditions, making them ideal for those who haven’t made the switch to “snowbird” status. J

ust keep in mind that shedding is increased by a double coat. But as soon as they flash you a lovely grin, you’ll quickly forget about the “hassle.”

Basset Hound

nap time, did someone say? Contrary to what their sleepy Basset hound eyes would suggest, these big sausages were originally bred for endurance, so although they may look cute curled up on your stairs, they also like trotting and would benefit from a daily long walk.

Since basset hounds are known for hunting in packs if you already have a dog or two that like spending time with canines, they will fit in well and become friends straight away. Plus, you can’t help but grin at their sad looks.

The basset hound would adore your attention if you’re not a quick walker and want to spend time at home with your new best buddy.


Despite being one of the largest canines on our list, the greyhound has a lanky build. Greyhounds are known as the “40mph couch potatoes” because they like relaxing just as much as they do on lengthy walks.

These gentle giants are lengthy and often brindled, making them ideal for elders with fenced-in backyards who want to get some daily exercise. Greyhound Day made in heaven? a stroll, followed by some downtime with their owner. Do you feel you can manage that? We are confident in your ability.

Golden Retriever

A task is the one thing a golden retriever just cannot live without. For seniors or retirees searching for new hobbies to replace employment, golden retrievers make excellent pets.

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Golden retrievers are excellent walking companions as well, particularly considering how much exercise they need each day—at least an hour.

Although an hour may seem overwhelming, it can simply be divided into 15 or 30-minute halves, giving you the opportunity to keep active. Goldens also like swimming, so you can take them to the lake for water aerobics if you’re not in the mood for a stroll.

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Additionally, goldens have a strong desire to please, which makes training them fun.

They are also quite fluffy! There are many more puppies that make wonderful companions for seniors than the ones described here, so don’t worry if you were expecting to see a different puppy on this list as confirmation before adopting.

According to McAuliffe, “All dogs are individuals,” thus breed shouldn’t be the decisive factor when choosing the best dog for elders. Also, keep in mind that not all dogs of a certain breed will have the same temperament or disposition. Just like people, every dog is unique.



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