18 Best Dog Breeds to Get If You’re an Older Person

Written By Jill Taylor

The best dogs for seniors are usually low-maintenance and require limited exercise, perfect for a relaxed lifestyle. However, some older adults still have active lifestyles. So, we have compiled 18 breeds known to get on well with seniors with a range of lifestyles. 

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Known for their quiet personalities, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are gentle, moderately-tempered dogs you’ll hardly have a problem taking care of. These dogs don’t need much exercise (a daily walk is okay), and with them, you have a companion who will always want to be by your side. 

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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The AKC describes the Pembroke Welsh corgi as an affectionate and companionable housedog that’s “strong, athletic, and lively.” Their high intelligence makes them easy to train and keep in check, and their herding nature means they’re best suited for seniors who can exercise with them.  

Shih Tzu

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Shih Tzus are loving, loyal dogs known to form strong bonds with their owners. Their small size makes them pretty easy to manage, especially when it comes to exercise requirements. This makes them a great choice for less-active older adults. Shih Tzus may prove stubborn during training, however. 


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Despite having a playful nature, pugs are gentle and affectionate dogs that love to make physical contact with you any chance they get. They’re adaptable, as they do well with individuals and within family settings. They’re the perfect choice if you need a friend with minimal grooming requirements. 

Bichon Frise

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The Bichon Frise is a happy and friendly dog that responds well to training and has a fluffy, non-shedding coat. Due to its playful, active nature, it’s known to do very well with children and will be a good choice for seniors who still want to live an active life.


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Pomeranians are another small dog on our list that is easy to care for and take everywhere, making them great for people who travel a lot. They have a lively personality, and thanks to their long lifespans, you’ll also enjoy many years of companionship with them.

Yorkshire Terrier

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Fondly called ‘yorkies,’ Yorkshire terriers are lap dogs that are easy to walk on leashes and pick up, thanks to their lightweight (which mostly remains below ten pounds). They’re affectionate dogs that always want to be around you, and you’ll only need to go on short daily walks and provide enough space for indoor play to make yours happy.

Italian Greyhound

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The Italian greyhound is an active, alert dog with a versatile personality that allows it to fit into individual or family households. These dogs are compatible with children and other pets in the home. Hillspet tells us that they particularly enjoy being indoors, too—meaning they’re great for seniors who don’t go out too much but like having their grandkids over. 


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When you have a Maltese by your side, you have a companion who’s always gentle with you. These dogs are easy to train, which makes them great for less experienced dog owners. Their low-shedding, hypoallergenic coat qualifies them as awesome choices for seniors with allergies. 

French Bulldog

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French bulldogs are calm dogs with minimal exercise requirements—perfect for a more relaxed senior lifestyle. They’re known to be loving, form strong bonds with their owners, and do excellently well with other people and pets around them. The only thing you want to be careful with, however, is raising one in a hot environment.

Boston Terrier

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The Boston terrier is a sociable dog that’s very attentive and responsive to its owner and is good around children. Grooming is not a problem with this dog, as it’s a low-maintenance breed. Boston terriers are also generally healthy dogs, which will save you money on vet visits.


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The Schnauzer is known to be a heavily loyal and protective dog. Its hypoallergenic coat makes it great for seniors with allergies. The breed’s variants of miniature, standard, and giant-sized breeds provide you with options to meet your needs. The Schnauzer is also a patient dog that’s great with children.


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The Pekingese is another small dog known for its loyal, affectionate, and low-maintenance nature, which makes it great for seniors. The PDSA has a disclaimer about it, however: “While Pekingese love human company, they tend to do better in adult-only households or families with older children who understand how to behave around dogs.”

Cocker Spaniel

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Cocker spaniels are another breed on our list known for their friendly and loving demeanor. Although these dogs enjoy spending time outside, they aren’t overly demanding of it. They’re also adaptable and fit well within multi-person households. 

Scottish Terrier

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Scotties are also amazing choices for seniors, thanks to their mild temperament. They can show a bit of independence sometimes, but they still remain loyal to their owners. They’re a great choice if you want hypoallergenic dogs. Note, however, that their coats need a lot of grooming.

Lhasa Apso

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Lhasa Apsos are a small breed that doesn’t allow its size to affect its protective instincts. They’re long-coated dogs that are only good for seniors who have the time for their maintenance, and the Spruce Pets reveals that they also don’t require too much exercise, as they’re satisfied with short walks and playtime.


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The Havanese is a low- to medium-energy dog with a hypoallergenic coat. Training one with commands is a breeze, and you also don’t have to worry about its sociability or adaptability in different environments. This small dog’s loving and gentle nature is a bonus.


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Chihuahuas are small, lightweight dogs that are easy to carry and take everywhere you go. You should only get one of these affectionate dogs if you’re an active senior, as (especially younger) chihuahuas can be very energetic and require a lot of attention, training, and exercise.

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