Best dog breeds for senior citizens

20 Apr, 2022

Best dog breeds for senior citizens

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As any petowner will tell you choosing a pet takes some consideration. If you love dogs then the choices depend on how you want to interact with your pet, the level of care and exercise they need and indeed the energy and time you have to do that. This later consideration is magnified in importance when you become a senior citizen.

Read on to learn what dog breeds for senior citizens are most frequently recommended and for what reasons.

What are the best dog breeds for senior citizens?

dog breeds for senior citizens
Choosing a new dog in later years requires some considerations

Companionship, hunting, competing, or becoming a service animal are endless reasons why people decide to add a dog into the mix. According to 2022 statistics, 70 million United States households have at least one dog, which is expected to continue growing.

While many automatically imagine a child getting a four-legged surprise on Christmas, a dog is a perfect comrade at any age — even for senior citizens.

As you age, it is common to experience loneliness and isolation, and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains how that combination is linked to serious health conditions. A dog can be the perfect solution.

Considerations for senior citizens and pets

When you get older, there are some things to consider when choosing your ideal tail-wagger. As you age, you can’t always do the once easy things. For instance, you may have limited mobility and lose your balance quickly. In addition, you may not be able to lift as much or as many things — things of that nature. These are important to factor into the dog breed you choose. 

For example, if you aren’t able to lift more than 15 lbs, you won’t want to choose a Saint Bernard that can grow upwards of 200 lbs. Another thing to consider is that different dogs have different temperaments and care requirements.

For example, while some seniors may want a dog to help keep them active, others may not be pleased with the daily exercise regimen an Australian Shepherd needs.

Ultimately, when you look for the perfect canine companion for your golden years, it comes down to personal preference. Below, we dive into some of the more best dog breeds for senior citizens and understand why that is.

1. Bichon Frise

If choosing a puppy a Bichon Frieze is a wonderful idea

The Bichon Frise is an adorable, easy-going teddy bear with curly white fur and deep black eyes. They are known for their happy demeanor, enthusiasm, and similar appearance to poodles. They are members of the non-sporting group, although they can be playful at times.

If you are someone who spends a lot of time at home, this breed is an excellent option because they bond quickly and strongly — although you should note that it isn’t uncommon to have a bit of separation anxiety when you leave them alone. As a bonus, they are hypoallergenic, so they don’t shed.

  • Height: 9 – 12 inches;
  • Weight: 7 – 12 lbs;
  • Coat: Curly;
  • Energy/Temperament: Low to mid; 
  • Lifespan: 13 – 15 years.


2. Mini Goldendoodles

Mini Goldendoodles are the best of both worlds and so are among the best dog breeds for senior citizens. Miniature Poodles are known for being extremely smart, and they are hypoallergenic. Golden Retrievers are notorious people-pleasers that are quick to pick up tasks. Although these dogs are trainable and require minimal grooming, they can be on the active side.

A golden retriever that doesn’t shed or grow past 30 lbs. What more could you ask? If you happen to come across mini Goldendoodle puppies for sale, don’t hesitate. 

  • Height: 13 – 20 inches;
  • Weight: 15 – 30 lbs;
  • Coat: Wavy/curly;
  • Energy/Temperament: Mid; 
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years.


3. Greyhound

While bred for racing greyhounds also relax for long periods

The greyhound is a dog originally bred for royalty and fast pursuits. You may be thinking, how could a dog bred for racing be a good dog for a senior citizen? Even though they can run extremely fast, they are also perfectly fine with relaxing and lounging next to you on the couch. So ironically they could be among the best dogs for seniors to adopt. 

They are one of the few large dog breeds that are low energy. If the greyhound sounds like a great fit temperament-wise, but they are a little larger than you are looking for, the Italian greyhound is essentially the same dog but much smaller.  So because of their size and weight they are among the best medium-sized dogs for seniors.

  • Height: 27 – 30 inches;
  • Weight: 60 – 75 lbs;
  • Coat: Short/smooth;
  • Energy/Temperament: Low;
  • Lifespan: 10 – 13 years.


4. French Bulldog

The French Bulldog, also nicknamed the “Frenchie,” is an adorable, stout pup. Their notoriously happy and cheerful demeanor makes them a perfect dog for those looking for a companion to boost their spirits, so they could be among the best dog breeds for senior citizens. Frenchies like to play, but their stamina level is very low.

Relaxed demeanour

So they generally like to spend most of their time on the couch with a short game of tug-of-war for a few seconds, then right back to the couch. 

  • Height: 11 – 13 inches;
  • Weight: 15 – 28 lbs;
  • Coat: Short/smooth;
  • Energy/Temperament: Low to mid;
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years.


5. Poodle

Poodle dogs loving a meet up on a dog walk

The Poodle is a staple within the world of dogs. They are extremely smart and trainable — so they can be trained to do smaller tasks. They also make low-maintenance dogs for seniors. The Poodle is another hypoallergenic option that is great for elderly individuals looking for low-maintenance pooches.

Poodle care

You should be aware that they need professional grooming every few months, however, despite the level of care required they can be among the best dog breeds for senior citizens. Poodles come in three different sizes: standard, miniature, or toy. So whether you prefer small or large dogs, there is an option for you. They can be hyper at times, but they are okay with daily walks to help satisfy their energy needs. 

  • Height: (Toy) Under 10 inches, (Miniature) 10 – 15 inches, (Standard) 15+ inches;
  • Weight: (Toy) 5 – 10 lbs, (Miniature) 10 – 15 lbs, (Standard) 40 – 70 lbs;
  • Coat: Curly;
  • Energy/Temperament: Mid;

Lifespan: 10 – 18 years.

Your choice of dog breeds for senior citizens

Our final thoughts on our choice of dog breeds for senior citizens can be summarised as follows. If you are concerned about mobility and care, then choose an easy care dog. Small dogs can be great, both affectionate and attentive.

However, the levels of stamina and energy they all have varies significantly. So consider your choice of dog breeds for senior citizens carefully so you are fully able to care for them.



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