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27 Dog Breeds That Are Great For Seniors


Dogs are wonderful companions. Our two pups are our babies and best friends. And although dogs are known to be energetic and playful, they can also make great companions for those in the later stages of their life. Here are 27 dog breeds that are great for seniors and why they make great companions for them.

1. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Cheerful, loving, gentle, playful, intelligent, obedient, affectionate, cuddly, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: Non-shedding coat but does require regular brushing and visits to the groomer

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks or jumping around inside)

Height: 9-12 inches

Weight: 11-22 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living

2. Beagle

Beagle dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Active, energetic, sociable, easygoing, cuddly, playful, loving, attached, easily trained, outdoorsy, good with children

Grooming needs: Moderate-shedding short coat requires regular brushing and bathing; will need regular ear cleaning

Exercise needs: High (examples: long daily walks, hiking, exercise in a fenced yard)

Height: 13-16 inches

Weight: 20-24 pounds

Great For: More active seniors

3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Personality / Temperament: Easy, quiet, low-maintenance, cuddly, loving, goofy, devoted

Grooming needs: Low-shedding short coat requires occasional baths

Exercise needs: Low to moderate (examples: 30-60 minutes per day, daily walks, short runs, avoid hot weather activity)

Height: 10-16 inches

Weight: 10-25 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living, colder weather

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Adaptable, cuddly, adventurous, laidback, intelligent, playful, quiet, cheerful, sociable, trainable, patient, routine-oriented, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: High-shedding long coat requires at least weekly brushings (to avoid matting), occasional baths and regular ear cleaning

Exercise needs: Low to moderate (examples: daily walks, playtime, chase in a fenced yard, will match owners activity level)

Height: 12-13 inches

Weight: 13-18 pounds

Great For: Apartment living or houses with fenced yards

5. Chihuahua

Chihuahua dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Spunky, entertaining, loyalty, loyal, devoted, bold, humorous, sassy

Grooming needs: Moderate-shedding short coat is low-maintenance, needing only occasional baths

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, playtime, indoor exercise)

Height: 6-10 inches

Weight: 3-6 pounds

Great For: Warmer weather

6. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniel dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Sociable, trainable, people-pleasers, playful, loyal, good with children

Grooming needs: Moderate-shedding long coat requires regular brushing (recommended daily) to avoid tangles and occasional baths

Exercise needs: Moderate (examples: regular walks or other exercise to maintain healthy muscles) 

Height: 13-16 inches

Weight: 20-30 pounds

Great For: Houses with fenced yards

7. Dachshund

Dachshund dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Alert, playful, loyal, stubborn, happy, courageous, devoted, bold

Grooming needs: Moderate-shedding coats of two varieties; short-haired variety requires minimal grooming while long-haired variety requires more frequent grooming

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor playtime)

Height: 14-18 inches (standard), up to 14 inches (miniature)

Weight: 17-32 pounds

Great For: Houses with fenced yards

8. English Bulldog

English Bulldog dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Friendly, playful, low-maintenance, easygoing, gentle, laidback, sociable, sweet, courageous, quiet, mild-mannered, affectionate, adaptable, people-loving, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: Low-shedding short coat requires minimal grooming; wrinkles require regular cleaning

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, playtime, other low energy or exertion exercise, avoid hot weather activity)

Height: 12-16 inches

Weight: 40-50 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living, city living, colder weather

9. French Bulldog

French Bulldog dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Loving, friendly, goofy, playful, low-maintenance, easygoing, gentle, even-tempered, laidback, calm, sociable, spirited, charming, quiet, curious, affectionate, adaptable, people-loving, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: Low-shedding short coat requires minimal grooming; wrinkles require regular cleaning

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, playtime, other low energy or exertion exercise, avoid hot weather activity)

Height: 11-13 inches

Weight: 20-28 pounds

Great For: Apartment living, city living, colder weather

10. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Loving, friendly, active, playful, gentle, loyal, intelligent, affectionate, adaptable, dedicated, people-pleasing, trainable, patient, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: Moderate-shedding long coat requires regular grooming

Exercise needs: High (examples: long daily walks, running, hiking, swimming, exercise in a fenced yard)

Height: 20-24 inches

Weight: 55-75 pounds

Great For: More active seniors, seniors who want a large dog

11. Greyhound

Greyhound dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Friendly, sweet, calm, low-key, athletic, low-maintenance, gentle, quiet, compassionate, independent, reserved, cuddly

Grooming needs: Low-shedding short coat requires occasional grooming and brushing

Exercise needs: Moderate (examples: long daily walks, short sprints, exercise in a fenced yard, avoid cold weather activity unless using clothing)

Height: 27-30 inches

Weight: 60-88 pounds

Great For: Houses with fenced yards, warmer weather

12. Havanese

Havanese dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Outgoing, cheerful, vivacious, social, people-loving, joyful, gentle, people-pleasing, agreeable, intelligent, trainable, attention-seeking

Grooming needs: Low-shedding long coat requires frequent grooming and brushing, or can be kept short for lower maintenance

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor playtime)

Height: 10-16 inches

Weight: 8-12 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living

13. Japanese Chin

Japanese Chin dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Quiet, charming, aloof, stubborn, agile, shy, loyal, loving

Grooming needs: Moderate-shedding long coat requires frequent grooming and weekly brushing, or can be kept short for lower maintenance

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor playtime)

Height: 8-11 inches

Weight: 3-15 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living 

14. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Personality / Temperament: Loving, friendly, active, playful, gentle, loyal, intelligent, affectionate, adaptable, outgoing, dedicated, people-loving, trainable, patient, even-tempered, cheerful, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: Moderate-shedding medium length coat requires regular grooming

Exercise needs: High (examples: long daily walks, running, hiking, swimming, exercise in a fenced yard)

Height: 22-24 inches

Weight: 55-80 pounds

Great For: More active seniors, seniors who want a large dog

15. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apso dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Calm, friendly, affectionate, protective, independent, adaptable, sweet, loving

Grooming needs: Low-shedding long coat requires regular grooming and brushing

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor or outdoor play)

Height: 10-11 inches

Weight: 12-18 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living 

16. Maltese

Maltese dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Lively, gentle, intelligent, playful, entertaining, attentive, fearless, alert, attention-seeking, trainable, cuddly, even-tempered, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: Low-shedding long coat requires regular grooming (daily brushing and weekly bathing recommended) with extra attention paid to the eyes to avoid tear stains

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor playtime, outdoor playtime)

Height: 8-10 inches

Weight: 2-8 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living  

17. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

Personality / Temperament: Friendly, outgoing, active, family-oriented, protective, patient, playful, social, alert, obedient, intelligent, trainable, charming, lively, people-pleasing

Grooming needs: Low-shedding hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming and brushing

Exercise needs: Moderate (examples: daily walks, indoor playtime, outdoor playtime)

Height: 12-14 inches

Weight: 11-18 pounds

Great For: More active seniors  

18. Pekingese

Pekingese dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Charming, calm, loyal, affectionate, independent, stubborn, outgoing, bold, dignified

Grooming needs: Moderate- to high-shedding long coat requires regular grooming and brushing (daily recommended) to prevent tangles and matting

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, short bursts of playtime, avoid hot weather activity)

Height: 6-9 inches

Weight: 7-14 pounds

Great For: Seniors living in calm environments, colder weather  

19. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Lively, adventurous, sociable, animated, fun-loving, protective, devoted, energetic, people-pleasing, playful, good with other pets and children

Grooming needs: High-shedding coat requires regular grooming and brushing

Exercise needs: High (examples: daily walks, hiking, dog park trips, task-oriented exercise)

Height: 10-12 inches

Weight: 22-31 pounds

Great For: More active seniors 

20. Pomeranian

Pomeranian dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Lovable, affectionate, independent, stubborn, lively, intelligent, curious, attention-seeking, proud, active, loud

Grooming needs: Moderate- to high-shedding long coat requires regular grooming and brushing (a few times a week)

Exercise needs: Moderate (examples: daily walks, running around the yard, dog park trips, indoor playtime)

Height: 7-12 inches

Weight: 4-8 pounds

Great For: Seniors with energy who live in a house

21. Poodle

Poodle dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Intelligent, trainable, loving, loyal, fun, obedient, proud, affectionate, people-pleasing, cuddly, gentle, nurturing, sweet

Grooming needs: Low-shedding hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming and brushing (recommended every four to six weeks)

Exercise needs: High (examples: daily walks, swimming, dog park trips, playtime)

Height: 9-11 inches (toy), 11-14 inches (miniature), 18-24 inches (standard)

Weight: 6-9 pounds (toy), 12-20 pounds (miniature), 45-70 pounds (standard)

Great For: Seniors with energy who live in a house

22. Pug

Pug

Personality / Temperament: Loving, loyal, devoted, lazy, low-maintenance, laidback, easygoing, attention-seeking, happy, calm, charming, affectionate, cuddly, gentle, adaptable, gets along with other pets and children

Grooming needs: High-shedding short coat requires occasional grooming and brushing as well as regular cleaning of face wrinkles and eye folds

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor playtime, regular exercise to avoid weight gain, avoid hot weather activity)

Height: 10-14 inches

Weight: 14-18 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living, colder weather 

23. Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terrier dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Independent, intelligent, spirited, sensible, stubborn, alert, affectionate, playful, confident, aloof, bold, feisty, excitable, sociable

Grooming needs: Low-shedding hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming, brushing (recommended weekly) and, ideally, hand-shedding

Exercise needs: Moderate (examples: daily walks, playtime, non-running exercise)

Height: 10-11 inches

Weight: 18-22 pounds

Great For: Apartment living, active seniors, seniors without other pets or family

24. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Outgoing, affectionate, playful, attention-seeking, cuddly, amiable, welcoming, quiet, well-rounded, low-maintenance, gentle, gets along with other pets and children

Grooming needs: Low-shedding coat requires regular brushing (recommended daily) as well as occasional professional grooming

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor playtime, backyard exercise)

Height: 8-11 inches

Weight: 9-16 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living

25. West Highland White Terrier

West Highland White Terrier dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Lovable, devoted, energetic, confident, intelligent, independent, cheerful, goofy, active

Grooming needs: Low-shedding hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming and brushing

Exercise needs: Moderate (examples: daily walks, indoor playtime, backyard exercise)

Height: 9-12 inches

Weight: 13-22 pounds

Great For: Homes with fenced yards

26. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier dog breed

Personality / Temperament: Tenacious, feisty, loving, affectionate,

Grooming needs: Non-shedding hypoallergenic coat requires regular grooming and brushing (recommended daily)

Exercise needs: Low (examples: short regular walks, indoor playtime, backyard exercise)

Height: 8-9 inches

Weight: 4-7 pounds

Great For: Apartment or assisted living, city living 

27. Adopted or Retired Dogs (adult or senior)

shelter rescue dog adoption adopt a dog mutt mixed breed

Adult, senior and retired dogs are often overlooked or left behind at rescues. This means there's a greater need to adopt these dogs and more opportunity to do so.  Shelter and rescue staff can describe the personality of adoptable dogs to ensure the right match is made. Retired dogs range from racing greyhounds to police and military dogs to guide dogs and more. Older dogs tend to be calmer, with mild temperaments and lower exercise needs, making them a great option for seniors. 

 

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