The 18 Best Dog Breeds For Senior Citizens

Written By Jill Taylor

Pets can provide some much-needed companionship to senior citizens during their golden years. However, some breeds are more work than others, and it’s important for would-be owners to find the right dog to match their lifestyles. Here are the 18 best breeds for senior citizens.


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Greyhounds may have a reputation for racing, but retired sprinters can make perfect companions for senior citizens. These surprisingly lazy dogs are happy to lounge on the couch, while their short coats mean that they’re easy to groom. For seniors who prefer large dogs, greyhounds are a great choice.

Pembroke Welsh Corgis

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Corgis are associated with one of history’s most famous senior citizens – Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II. The BBC reveals that the Queen’s love for Corgis was rooted in her childhood, but seniors unfamiliar with the breed are bound to fall in love with their friendly and loving nature no matter when they meet one.


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Physically, Pomeranians are small; spiritually, they’re big dogs trapped in little bodies. Their sociable temperament makes them great fun to have around, while their protective nature can make them a comfort to seniors living alone. However, they do enjoy barking, so owners with sensitive ears should invest in some earplugs!


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Those on the lookout for an intellectual companion are bound to love Poodles. These intelligent dogs come in a variety of sizes, meaning that owners can tailor a potential pet to their own needs. Poodles are especially suitable for elderly couples, as they’ve got no issue forming multiple close bonds.


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According to the American Kennel Club, Maltese dogs are highly affectionate furry friends. Their personality, plus their lack of shedding, makes them ideal for senior citizens. However, they do require frequent grooming, so potential owners should keep this in mind while considering their choice of breed.


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The West Highland White Terrier (usually called the Westie) is a small breed that’s well-suited for older people with families. Properly trained Westies are great with kids, so any grandchildren are sure to appreciate their new family member as much as their grandparents do. However, Westies do require a lot of exercise, so keep this in mind.

Cocker Spaniels

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Cocker Spaniels are well-known for their friendly attitude towards people and other dogs. This makes them ideal for senior citizens who want to avoid any fighting with other dogs when out and about. It’s worth noting that Cocker Spaniels need a lot of grooming but their beautiful coats make it worth the effort.


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The Yorkshire Terrier comes from the English region of Yorkshire and is easily recognized by its long, glossy coat. Yorkies’ small size makes them easy for senior citizens to pick up and take for walks. They also have a sweet tooth – their love for treats makes them relatively easy to train.


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Pugs may not enjoy a long lifespan, but they make good companions for owners in their twilight years. Mobility is a concern for some seniors making Pugs a perfect choice as they require little exercise. They offer the companionship of a dog without the stress of intensive exercise. They’re also loving and loyal, so they tick lots of boxes.

French Bulldogs

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Despite suffering from numerous health issues, French Bulldogs make great companions for the elderly. This is due to their chilled-out attitude, low maintenance, and cute appearance.  With so many good qualities, it’s no surprise that CNN ranks the French Bulldog as one of America’s most popular breeds.


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Beagles love company, which makes them a great fit for older people who spend a lot of time at home. They also don’t need too much grooming thanks to their short coats. However, Beagles can be a handful, and only the most energetic seniors are likely to appreciate the breed to its full potential.

Miniature Schnauzers

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The Miniature Schnauzer has many of the characteristics of a regular Schnauzer but in a more manageable form. This makes them good for smaller houses or retirement communities. However, while they’re very friendly towards humans of all ages, Miniature Schnauzers sometimes can’t resist a scrap, so look out for canine rivals.

Bichons Frises

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The Bichon Frise is the classic lap dog and the perfect match for the most regal senior citizens. The breed was once popular in European courts, and they’ve continued to find new fans thanks to their quirky, curious nature. They’re also easy to train, just watch out for their luxurious coats, which require daily grooming.

Boston Terriers

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Boston Terriers get along well with adults, children, and other dogs; whatever a senior citizen’s circumstances, a pet of this breed is sure to fit in. However, they’re little bundles of energy, so affection for their antics has to be balanced with being able to properly provide for their needs.


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Purina explains that Goldendoodles are crossbreeds of Golden Retrievers and Poodles. They combine the best of both worlds, with the affection of Golden Retrievers and the brains of Poodles. They don’t like being apart from their owners, but this means senior citizens and their pets can meet one another’s need for friendship.


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Aristocrats around the world have always loved Pekingese dogs, so their popularity with senior citizens makes sense. The Pekingese is a low-energy breed, a trait really appreciated by those who are less agile! Admittedly, they do require a lot of grooming, but their loveable and outgoing personalities more than make up for that inconvenience.


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Havanese are famous for their celebrity owners and origin (they’re the only Cuban breed), but they also make great companions for seniors. They’re friendly, don’t need much exercise, and can live in small spaces like apartments. But be aware that keeping their double coats in top condition does involve a lot of upkeep – older owners must dedicate their retirements to becoming canine coiffeuses or stylists!

Shih Tzus

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Shih Tzus are an adaptable breed; they won’t mind if their owner’s routine changes from day to day. This takes some of the stress out of dog ownership and frees up time for medical appointments. In addition to their flexible mindset, Shih Tzu’s are friendly and affectionate – but don’t forget their stubborn streak!

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