Top 10 Dog Breeds for Seniors

Dogs hold a special place in the hearts and homes of many people, and oftentimes, they are another member of the family. Dogs provide companionship, entertainment, and affection to their human families.

 

Some dogs are better suited than others to different types of environments and different types of owners.

 

For example, a dog that is strong and very large may not be the best bet for people who don’t have the strength or the desire to be pulled along by their furry friends during their daily walks, and dogs that aren’t even-tempered might not be the best choice for those with small children.

 

The same holds true for seniors. If you want to own a dog, and you want to make sure it’s the right breed for you, there are some things to keep in mind, such as temperament, size, strength, and care requirements. We have taken all of these things into consideration and found ten breeds that are some of the best choices for seniors who want to own a dog.

 

Dog Breed Comparison Chart

Breed Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
Shih Tzu loyal, affectionate, outgoing 12-14 in 11-20 lbs 12-15 yrs
Pug playful, affectionate, misch 10-13 in 14-18 lbs 13-15 yrs
Chihuahua sassy, charming, comical 5-8 in Under 6 lbs 14-16 yrs
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel gentle, attentive, affectionate, graceful 12-13 in 13-18 lbs 12-15 yrs
Pembroke Welsh Corgi affectionate, athletic, strong 10-12 in Up to 30 lbs 12-13 yrs
Bichon Frise playful, curious, alert 9.5-11.5 in in 12-18 lbs 14-15 yrs
Maltese playful, gentle 7-9 in Under 7 lbs 12-15 yrs
Boston Terrier bright, curious, high-spirited 15-17 in 12-25 lbs 11-13 yrs
West Highland White Terrier loyal, charming, entertaining 10-11 in 15-20 lbs 13-15 yrs
Miniature Schnauzer Bright, curious, high-spirited 12-14 in 11-20 lbs 12-15 yrs

 

Related: 5 Best Foods For Seniors To Eat in the Evening

 

10. Shih Tzu

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
loyal, affectionate, outgoing 9-10.5 in 9-16 lbs 10-18 yrs

The Shih Tzu can be a loving, loyal companion for seniors. They are happy-go-lucky and make great lap dogs. Shih Tzu’s do require some grooming, but they are pretty low-maintenance pets. They are not usually aggressive and they do well with children, so they are family-friendly. They are confident dogs who might be a bit stubborn, but they are also very trainable. Shih Tzu’s are also ideal for those who live in smaller homes or apartments since they are small and don’t need a huge backyard.

Find a Shih Tzu puppy.

 

9. Pug

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
playful, affectionate, mischievous 10-13 in 14-18 lbs 13-15 yrs

Pugs have a great sense of humor, and they enjoy human companionship, which makes them a great pet for seniors. Originally bred to be lapdogs, pugs are small and affectionate, and they get along well with other pets and with children. But don’t let their size fool you – Pugs are sturdy, strong animals, and they may tend to eat too much, so you should keep an eye on their weight. Pugs are known for their facial expressions, which show curiosity, surprise, and happiness in an almost human-like fashion.

Find a Pug puppy.

 

8. Chihuahua

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
sassy, charming, comical 5-8 in Under 6 lbs 14-16 yrs

Chihuahuas are quirky, entertaining, playful little dogs with the attitude and confidence of larger dogs. Since they are small and compact, Chihuahuas are ideal for those who live in small apartments or in the city. Because of their size, they tend to get cold easily in chilly weather, and they aren’t suitable for roughhousing, but they are low-maintenance and they make great lapdogs. They are also smart and very trainable, and they make good watchdogs. Chihuahuas are also great family dogs and an excellent choice for seniors.

Find a Chihuahua puppy.

 

7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Image Source: bigandt.com/shutterstock

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
gental, attentive, affectionate, graceful 12-13 inches 13-18 pounds 12-15 years

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a combination of sporting and toy breed traits. They are small, sweet, and playful, but they are also athletic dogs that like to chase squirrels, chipmunks, and butterflies. They do need daily exercise, so they are best suited to seniors who have a yard for them to run around in or who enjoy taking walks. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are loyal companions, and sometimes they can experience separation anxiety. They get along well with children and other pets, and they don’t like being alone.

Find a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy.

 

6. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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Image Source: © 2020 Angie Kerins Photography

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
affectionate, athletic, strong 10-12 in Up to 30 lbs 12-13 yrs

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are short but strong, and they are known for their herding abilities and agility. They were originally bred to herd cattle, and they have sturdy bodies and short, muscular legs. These loyal dogs love being active, are competent watchdogs, and are great with families and livestock. Corgis are also adaptable dogs that learn quickly and can be trained to be very obedient. Corgis enjoy human companionship and are great options for pets for seniors.

Find a Pembroke Welsh Corgi puppy.

 

5. Bichon Frise

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
playful, curious, alert 9.5-11.5 in 12-18 lbs 14-15 yrs

Bichon Frise dogs are affectionate and joyful dogs that make great companions for seniors. At 12 to 18 pounds and less than a foot tall, Bichons aren’t too big for most people to handle. They are sweet, loving dogs who are great with children and other animals. Bichons are also great dogs for those who have allergies, because their coats are hypoallergenic, and they don’t produce the amount of dander most dogs do in spite of their fluffy coats. Bichons are fairly easy to maintain, but they do need a visit to the groomer every month or two.

Find a Bichon Frise puppy.

 

4. Maltese

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
playful, gentle 7-9 in Under 7 lbs 12-15 yrs

Maltese are known for their silky, long coats that hide their tiny bodies. Despite their long coats, they surprisingly don’t shed very much, so they can be a good choice for those with allergies. They tend to be outgoing, playful, and smart dogs that enjoy running around outside. These gentle dogs get along well with humans and other animals. Maltese are good companion dogs, and some may have separation anxiety when away from their owners.

Find a Maltese puppy.

 

3. Boston Terrier

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
bright, curious, high-spirited 15-17 in 12-25 lbs 11-13 yrs

Boston Terriers are sometimes stubborn and spirited and sometimes gentle and calm, depending on their moods and individual temperaments. They are good family dogs who are playful and expressive. Some Boston Terriers prefer one person over others, and some prefer seniors over others. While Boston Terriers are vigilant watchdogs, and they will bark when someone comes to the door, they are not usually aggressive. These dogs are not small lapdogs, but they are people-friendly, and they enjoy taking walks outside, which makes them a great companion for seniors who take daily walks.

Find a Boston Terrier Puppy.

 

2. West Highland White Terrier

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
loyal, charming, entertaining 10-11 in 15-20 lbs 13-15 yrs

West Highland White Terriers, also known as Westies, were originally bred to be working dogs that hunted rats and other rodents. They are sturdy, strong, confident dogs that have an independent streak, but they do respond well to obedience training. Westies are great at adapting to any home, and they don’t shed excessively, so they are fairly low-maintenance. While Westies are not lapdogs, they do make good companions and they get along well with other pets.

Find a West Highland White Terrier puppy.

 

1. Miniature Schnauzer

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Image Source: akc.org

Temperament Height Weight Life Expectancy
bright, curious, high-spirited 12-14 in 11-20 lbs 12-15 yrs

Originally bred to be farm dogs and ratters, Miniature Schnauzers are outgoing dogs that are strong and spunky. Their personalities vary greatly, so it’s difficult to generalize about their personality traits. Some are serious and introverted, while others are good-humored and extroverted. Some are energetic, and others are calm. Miniature Schnauzers are excellent watchdogs and enjoy going for walks outside. They are low-maintenance, and they easily adapt to different living environments. They are good choices for family pets or as companions for seniors.

Find a Miniature Schnauzer puppy.

 

Owning a dog can be a rewarding experience, and dogs can provide you with a type of loyal companionship you can’t get anywhere else. So if you are a senior, and you’re thinking of purchasing a dog, consider one of these breeds. Whether you’re looking for a high-spirited, entertaining dog or a gentle lapdog that is not too large to handle, you might find a perfect match with one of these ten breeds.

Have you ever owned one of these pups? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!

 

Methodology

A lot of the information included in this article was informed by the American Kennel Club website. They are a great resource for information on dogs.

 

Disclaimer

The personality and traits of individual dogs can vary. The characteristics listed above are generalities. Please consult an adoption organization for details on a specific pet.

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