The Best Dogs for Seniors: 10 Breeds

best dogs for seniors.

When it comes to older citizens' lifestyles, the best dogs for seniors can be a source of everything adorable. They’re also the best assurance that someone in your life always looks forward to your return with excitement and emotion. Plus, it’s official, having a canine in your life lowers stress levels and improves heart health. 

Making the right option will not only make your dog appreciate your way of life, but also make many elements of your daily routine and life more enjoyable. Naturally, your habits, energy, and exercise levels change as you age. Hence, the top 10 breeds to surround yourself with as you become older are listed below.

What Traits To Look for in Dogs for Seniors?

Consider your options carefully before adopting a dog because each breed is distinct, and not every dog and human are a perfect match. Even if you’ve always loved dogs, that doesn't guarantee the same breed will continue to meet your lifestyle as time passes. 

When searching for a canine companion, you’ll find there are numerous dogs good for seniors. To help you, here are the most critical aspects to think about:

Activity Demands

Generally speaking, a high-energy dog could be quite a handful for a senior. Yet, if you enjoy being outside, a herding or sporting breed that dwells on outside activity may be a wonderful match. 

But, if you prefer to spend your time indoors, a smaller breed that appreciates the shelter of your home — and doesn't require lengthy walks or hours of play to exhaust their power is sensible for seniors.

While there are exceptions, generally small dogs can get by on less exercise than large dogs. Hence, think about your activity levels and how much exercise you can realistically cope with.


Dogs, like humans, can have a spectrum of personalities. Certain breeds, such as Beagles and Bulldogs, are recognized for their laidback personalities. Others can be obstinate, sturdy, or opinionated, making it difficult for elders to remain in control. 

The demeanor of a dog is also influenced by training and breeding. Before finalizing your decision, rendezvous with the dog you're considering. Examine how they react in unusual settings, and inquire about the dog's temperament and inclinations with the rescue worker or breeder. 

Grooming Requirements

Make sure you can fulfill the grooming requirements of your new pet before committing to a four-legged friend. For example, would you be able to cope with frequent baths, daily brushing, or regular trips to the groomers? If you can, that’s fine. 

However, ideally, a low-maintenance breed will be more manageable for more mature pet parents. 

Age and Size

Size and age are typically strong indicators of a dog's energy level and lifestyle needs. 

Small breed dogs don't require as much space and may spend time in a small apartment without missing out on a large garden or being able to run outside. So, ask yourself, do you have adequate living space for your potential choice of pooch? 

And, bear in mind, puppies can be adorable and the object of anyone's desire in terms of age, but they also require more care than an adult or senior pooch. Additionally, by saving the life of an older dog — among the many that are available in shelters — you will also likely find a more mellow friend who is accustomed to living beside you.

Top 10 Best Dogs for Older People

We must be clear about one thing before we proceed — dogs are individuals with distinct personalities and temperaments, regardless of the breed to which they belong. Every dog is different, just like every person. 

We don’t believe that dogs of other breeds cannot be excellent, nor do we believe that all dogs of these ten breeds are ideal for every elderly person. Yet, they certainly can be and in many instances will be.

Nevertheless, let's take a look at 10 good dogs for seniors.

1. Greyhound

best dogs for seniors greyhound.

For several people, the Greyhound is a perfect companion and life partner. While their sleek and trim build is made for speed — these sighthounds aren’t that fussed about constant activity. Give them a sofa to lounge on, and they will do their best couch potato impression.

Admittedly, they’re large dogs, which may put some people off. Yet, their gentle nature, mixed with their will to do things with you, makes handling far more doable for older people. Greyhounds feel at ease walking alongside their owner, with no jerking or bothersome barking. Hence, why they’re a good dog for seniors.

2. Goldendoodle

best dogs for seniors goldendoodle.

The Goldendoodle has to be one of the best dogs for older couples. A hybrid between the Golden Retriever and the Poodle — this pooch is less likely to shed, so perfect if you have allergies. Plus, it takes some of the awesome people-dog personality from the Golden.

However, these bow-wows do like their exercise and can be quite playful at times — but I'm sure the grandkids will be more than happy to lend a hand. That said, Goldendoodles vary in size, depending on the Poodle parent, so you could always opt for a toy or mini mix.

3. French Bulldog

best dogs for seniors french bulldog.

Patient, devoted and quiet — the Frenchie also falls among the best dogs for older people. This pooch’s combination of a cute and compact canine with a typically controllable and amiable nature is not for nothing.

They enjoy cuddling up next to their owners and receiving lots of fuss. What’s more, Frenchie’s don't require very long or frequent walks because they aren’t overly active — ideal if you’re not overly active either. Plus, the fact that they have short hair means grooming needs won’t be too demanding.

4. West Highland White Terrier

best dogs for seniors west highland white terrier.

The Westie stands out for their diminutive stature and is widely regarded as the calmest and smartest of the terrier breeds. This dog craves human contact and wants to be by your side constantly. 

The witty, yet, tiny Westie is ideal for compact spaces or apartments. Their little proportions also mean they have moderate exercise and activity requirements. This makes them the perfect pet for those who lead quieter or more sedentary lives — a perfect match as dogs for old people.

5. Bichon Frise

best dogs for seniors bichon frise.

This little pooch has a sweet disposition, and you’ll enjoy watching them play with the grandchildren for hours. They’re friendly, devoted to their humans, and enjoy doing what they do best — being a lap dog. Moreover, they are one of the best dog breeds for seniors and retirees.

While their incessant desire to be around people means separation anxiety can develop, this isn’t likely to be a problem for those of retirement age. These dogs are also allergy-friendly, but they do require plenty of TLC where coat care is concerned.

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

best dogs for seniors cavalier king charles spaniel.

The Cav, being among the best companion dogs for seniors, loves to be with their humans and normally exhibits a very placid and peaceful temperament.

Like the Bichon, the Cav is, without a doubt, one of the breeds that has the most propensity to experience separation anxiety. Therefore if you’re a stay-at-home senior who has the time to spend with them, this is a pooch that will enjoy your companionship unlike any other. 

Above average trainability, grandchildren-friendly, and although being a Spaniel, they sit midway on the activity scale. The Cavalier King Charles is super cute, and despite its mid-length coat, their grooming needs aren’t particularly taxing.

7. Poodle

best dogs for seniors poodle.

This highly clever dog is one of the best dog breeds for seniors due to its distinctive lively appearance and fun and playful disposition. They’re tail-waggers who are incredibly devoted to their owners and never hesitate to feel like a valued member of the family.

A breed that thrives on regular connection. These affectionate dogs are also excellent candidates for training and socialization in order to become the best companions. As the Standard Poodle has slightly higher activity demands, the Toy or Miniature Poodle would be better-sized dogs for elderly people.

8. Miniature Schnauzer

best dogs for seniors miniature schnauzer.

This courageous little breed is amusing and well-mannered. Schnauzers enjoy being around people and receiving attention. They’re a great option for an elderly person looking for someone to love and care for because they crave hugs and belly rubs.

Additionally, as a small dog for seniors, two quick walks a day will be more than sufficient to maintain this little fella's fitness and satisfaction. Plus, as they can be quite vocal, the Mini Schnauzer could also double as a watchdog. 

9. Corgi

best dogs for seniors corgi.

The Corgi is a fantastic choice for energetic seniors who enjoy taking long walks. As a result of their small stature and not-too-needy nature, they make wonderful companion dogs.

Quick to pick up commands, training your Corgi shouldn’t be too difficult. They’re also lovey-dovey with their pack, and more than happy to mix with strangers and other dogs. However, they do shed a bit — thanks to their double coat — so be prepared for brushing and vacuuming.

10. Maltese

best dogs for seniors maltese.

Rounding out our list of the best dogs for the elderly — the Maltese. This breed is considered to be among the small dogs for seniors with a high attentiveness to their humans. They have a stunning long, silky white coat, which is low-shedding. However, it does take a bit of effort to maintain. 

Despite their small stature, they’re quite robust canines, with a playful, yet gentle nature. And, although the Maltese has plenty of energy, they’re content with short walks or a run around in the yard.


The best dogs for seniors can be a source of friendship, amusement, and pleasure. Yet, assessing your demands and the needs of the breed you want is the key to making your decision. Ensure that you’re able to provide the necessary amount of exercise and grooming care. The age, temperament, and size of the dog you're adopting should also be taken into account.

The Best Dog for Seniors FAQs

What Is the Best Dog for an Elderly Woman? 

The Cocker Spaniel consistently rates among the best dogs for elderly women. They weigh 20 to 30 pounds and are expected to live for 10 to 14 years. Although these dogs aren’t super-high-energy, they still require frequent walks and other forms of exercise to keep them in good shape.

What Kind of Dog Should an Older Person Get?

Small canines that weigh between 8 and 20 pounds at full maturity are typically preferable for senior citizens. Elderly people may find it challenging to lift a 50-pound dog when it requires assistance getting into a car or up a flight of stairs. Plus walking a strong dog on a leash may be challenging.

Is 70 Too Old to Get a Dog?

You should and can own a dog at any stage in your life with some thoughtful decisions and advanced preparation. In actuality, the time when you may want a dog the most is when you are no longer a child.

Should a 75-Year-Old Woman Get a Puppy?

Puppies can provide 70-year-olds with company, prevent isolation and loneliness, and keep them active as they age. Numerous studies have found that puppies also lessen pain and anxiety as well as doctor visits and stress.

What Is the Best Non Shedding Dog for Seniors?

Poodles are among the best hypoallergenic dog breeds for senior citizens with respiratory or allergy problems. This breed has a single-layer coat that doesn't shed. But they do need a lot of brushing and maintenance because of their gorgeous, naturally curled hair.

Should a Senior Citizen Get a Dog?

According to studies, senior citizens who own dogs have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than their counterparts who don't own pets. Additionally, owning a dog lowers your risk of having a heart attack and increases your likelihood of long-term survival if you’ve already had one.

What Breed of Dog Is Quiet and Calm?

The quietest dog breeds include:

  • Basenji.

  • Bulldog. 

  • French Bulldog. 

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. 

  • Great Dane. 

  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. 

  • Bernese Mountain Dog.

What Is the Best Pet for an Elderly Person?

Dogs are generally the first companions that come to mind when choosing the perfect pet for older people. That's because they push us to concentrate on something besides our pains, flaws, or lost friends and instead on the present moment.