With the right training, any dog can become a loyal and loving companion for a senior citizen. While some breeds may be better suited than others, it ultimately comes down to finding the right fit for you and your lifestyle.
Here are 15 of the best dog breeds for seniors, based on size, energy level, and ease of training.
1. Basset Hound
The Basset Hound is a gentle and loyal breed that makes an excellent companion for seniors.
They are relatively low energy, making them perfect for less active seniors, but they still enjoy going on moderate walks and playing games.
They adapt well to apartment living, and their short coats require minimal grooming.
They are also known for being patient and good-natured with children, so a Basset Hound may be the perfect fit if you have grandkids who visit often.
These short-legged hounds are not only adorable, but they’re also great companions for seniors.
Beagles are gentle and loving, and they enjoy spending time relaxing with their family.
Beagles don’t require much grooming, but they need regular exercise to stay healthy.
A short walk of 20 minutes or a play session in the backyard is usually enough to keep them happy.
So, if you’re someone who can commit to at least a 20-minute walk per day and you’re looking for an affectionate and loyal friend, a Beagle may be the perfect dog for you.
3. Bichon Frise
This fluffy little breed is an excellent choice for seniors (especially retirees) looking for a lapdog.
Bichon Frises enjoy spending time with their family and thrive on human interaction.
While they do need daily brushing to prevent mats and tangles in their fur, they don’t require much exercise and are content to lounge around the house.
These dogs also don’t bark very often, making them ideal for seniors living in apartment communities or senior housing.
The Bolognese is a small, affectionate breed that is related to the Havanese.
These dogs originated from Bologna, Italy, and they make excellent companions for seniors.
They are low energy, and they don’t require much exercise. They don’t get bored staying indoors easily, so they’re a good choice for seniors who live in small apartments.
They have a silky, white coat, and they shed less. However, they require regular grooming (i.e., brushing 2 – 3 times a week) to prevent their coat from matting.
5. Boston Terrier
The Boston Terrier is a small, compact breed that requires a low-maintenance routine.
They are gentle and loving and enjoy spending time with their family.
Boston Terriers don’t require much exercise, but they need regular walks to stay healthy.
Additionally, you must bathe this intelligent little dog at least once a week.
6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is one of the most popular breeds for seniors.
And this breed is one of the oldest toy breeds in the world.
They make great pets for seniors because they can quickly adapt to almost any lifestyle.
King Charles are very calm dogs and enjoy spending time with their owner.
They’re an excellent breed for seniors since they don’t require too much exercise and are relatively easy to groom.
Chihuahuas are also one of the longest-lived breeds, with an average lifespan of 15 years.
So, if you’re looking for a small companion to join you in your golden years, a Chihuahua may be the perfect breed.
8. Chinese Crested Dog
The Chinese Crested Dog is a small, hairless breed of dog. They are active and playful and make great companion dogs for seniors.
Chinese Crested Dogs are very intelligent and can be trained to do various tricks.
They are also known for being good with children. Chinese Crested Dogs come in two varieties: the Powderpuff and the Hairless.
The Powderpuff has a long, silky coat of hair, while the Hairless has only a few tufts of hair on their head, tail, and feet.
9. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are one of the most popular breeds in the United States.
They weigh around 20 – 30 pounds and have a life span of 10 – 14 years.
They are also one of the easiest breeds to train. However, they require daily exercise and must be brushed 2 – 3 times a week to prevent matting.
These dogs are people-pleasers and make great companions for seniors.
10. French Bulldog
Frenchies make great companions for seniors and retirees with reduced mobility.
This is because they are a low-energy breed that doesn’t require much exercise.
A walk around the block or a game of fetch in the yard is usually enough to tire them out.
French Bulldogs are known for being good with children and other pets. They do snore quite loudly, but many people find this endearing.
11. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs weighing anywhere between 55 to 75 pounds. They have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
This breed is known for being one of the best family dogs. They are soft, affectionate, and great with children.
They do require daily exercise, but they are relatively easy to train.
These dogs are best suited for active seniors who want to spend time outdoors.
Goldendoodle is a mix between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.
This hybrid breed is brilliant and easily trainable.
They are known to be great family dogs and very gentle with children.
These people-pleaser dogs can be great for active seniors who want to enjoy the outdoors more. However, Goldendoodles are active dogs and require daily exercise, so they may not be best suited for seniors with mobility issues.
The Greyhound is a tall, slender breed of dog built for speed.
Though they are known for being racing dogs, Greyhounds make great pets.
There are plenty of retired racing Greyhounds that are looking for homes.
This breed is very calm and can be lazy at times. However, they do require daily exercise.
Greyhounds are best suited for seniors looking for a low-maintenance pet and have the means to provide them with daily walks or runs.
14. Labrador retriever
Labrador Retrievers are one of my favorite breeds. They are delicate, caring, and incredible with children.
They make ideal family pets and are one of the most popular breeds in the United States as they are ranked first in popularity by AKC.
Labradors weigh anywhere between 55 to 80 pounds and have a life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
These dogs can be easily trained to fit a senior’s lifestyle. They are very calm and are eager to please their human parent.
These dogs’ outgoing nature can improve a senior’s social life and provide them with companionship.
The Maltese are small dogs weighing between 4 and 7 pounds.
They have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
This breed is known for being one of the most fluffy and cute breeds of dogs.
They are also known for their soft nature and are great with children.
This breed is perfect for seniors living in smaller homes or apartments.
They are also relatively low-maintenance and don’t require much exercise.