Best Dog For A Senior


As you get older, it’s more likely that you’ll have to deal with health issues on a regular basis. Arthritis, hip dysplasia, loss of hearing and sight — the list goes on. One thing you’ll also notice is how quickly your dog ages, too. This can be tough on anyone who’s had dogs for a long time because it’s hard to see your once vibrant pup slowing down. But what can you do?

Dogs are wonderful companions for people of all ages—and they’re especially great for those in their golden years! In addition to providing unmatched friendship, raising a dog can even help boost a senior’s physical and mental health. For instance, spending time with a pup can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels while raising serotonin (“feel-good” chemicals in the brain), according to Harvard Health Publishing

Breed Characteristics

The best dog breeds for seniors have moderate energy levels, and most are smaller. A senior citizen who has moved to smaller living quarters in a retirement community usually does not have ample space for a larger, more energetic pup. Look at breeds that make great companions and adapt well to the lifestyles of their owners. Larger dogs like Rottweilers or herding dogs like Briards can be a falling hazard if they herd or nudge their humans.

Best Dogs for Seniors


The poodle is a remarkably intelligent dog that is easy to train and eager to please. This dog breed doesn’t require a ton of exercise — one solid walk per day is enough. They’re content to lounge and cuddle with family members. Unlike other dog breeds, they form strong bonds with multiple family members. Poodles are ideal for senior couples, as they’re gentle and nurturing. 

They do require grooming every four to six weeks, but they don’t shed, making them a great choice for seniors. They also come in different sizes, including the tiny toy poodle, miniature poodle, and standard poodle.For pet parents seeking an easy-to-train dog, the highly intelligent Poodle is one of the best dogs for older people. Poodles must receive ample exercise so they can release excess energy and maintain their well-mannered demeanor. This breed comes in three sizes—Toy, Miniature, and Standard—to meet anyone’s preference. 

Temperament: Poodles are loyal companions who form strong bonds with multiple family members, so they especially thrive with couples. They have a fun sense of humor and enjoy being pampered. This proud and obedient breed is also one of the most clever pups! Poodle dog mixes such as the Cockapoo and Labradoodle make great furry friends as well. 

Grooming: The Poodle is low-shedding and hypo-allergenic. However, this breed’s long, stylish hair needs regular brushing and professional grooming every month or so.  

Exercise: Whether it’s swimming or venturing on long walks, the energetic and muscular Poodle flourishes with a great deal of exercise.   

Fun Fact: Though it is believed to have originated in Germany, the Poodle is recognized as the national dog of France because of its citizens’ deep admiration for this breed,

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These wonderful pups make great companion dogs. They love to cuddle with their favorite people, and they’re easy to train due to their high intelligence. They’re great with adults and children, and their playful nature makes them fun to watch and be around. 

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel has a long coat that is prone to matting, particularly behind their long ears. Regular brushing and grooming is a requirement for these dogs, and their instincts make them prone to chasing critters. They’re ideal for seniors who have a fenced yard, or you can use a long leash on walks to help them exercise.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel consistently ranks among the best dogs for seniors. They weigh 20-30 pounds and have a life expectancy of 10-14 years. These dogs don’t have pent-up energy they need to expel, but they need regular walks and other exercises to maintain healthy muscles. 

Cocker Spaniels are people-pleasers, so they’re easy to train, and their long coats require regular brushing to avoid tangles. While these dogs can live in apartments, they do best in environments where they can play.

French Bulldog

Senior couple smiling and petting French bulldog on a park bench

Commonly called Frenchies, this bulldog breed is one of the best dogs for seniors who live in apartments or want a dog with less energy. They are spirited and goofy by nature and love to be with their humans. They’ll climb into your lap and cuddle while you watch the nightly news, or they’ll have you giggling as they run around in the backyard. They’re not the best choice for people who live in hot environments, as they can overheat easily.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Famously owned by Queen Elizabeth II, corgis are among the most lovable and energetic dogs on this list. These dogs enjoy daily jaunts, including hikes and trips to the dog park. They were originally bred as herding dogs, so they require more activity than other options here. They’re protective and high-energy, meaning they make great guard dogs. While they like the occasional cuddle, they’re on the larger side and weigh around 30 pounds. For more active seniors who enjoy outdoor exploration such as walking on nature trails, the lively and adventurous Pembroke Welsh Corgi—often referred to as the “Corgi”—is a great match. With their cute little legs and sparkly eyes, Corgis win over the hearts of children, adults, and elder folks alike.  

Temperament: The sociable Corgi wants to be included in every occasion, and its animated and fun-loving personality makes this dog shine. Corgis are protective, devoted to their families, and make excellent watchdogs. This energetic breed is prone to barking when left alone too long or if they don’t receive sufficient dog exercise.  

Grooming: The Corgi’s double coat is simple to brush or comb but sheds heavily. Therefore, regular grooming helps prevent fur from covering furniture and floors.   

Exercise: This agile breed requires multiple daily walks. Plus, it’s in a Corgi’s nature to enjoy activities that involve completing a task. Therefore, this breed especially appreciates dog play toys and other forms of mental stimulation.  

Fun Fact: The current Queen of England—Elizabeth II—has owned more than 30 Corgis since acquiring the throne in 1952,


Pomeranians are fluffy furballs with an independent streak. They can be mildly stubborn, so a firm approach to training is necessary. Their lovable nature and small stature make them perfect lap dogs, and they tend to bark to announce the arrival of guests or the postman. Their barking makes them better suited for seniors who live at home rather than those in apartments of living communities. Their fur also requires moderate upkeep, including regular brushing a few times per week.


Do you still have some doubt about your choice? Are you wondering which dog is the best for a senior? The short answer is that whichever breed you choose should be one that you like the most, because if you don’t like it, you won’t spend enough time with it to become attached. After all, getting a dog is an investment. It’s not something to do just on a whim; otherwise, you can easily wind up with a dog on your hands without adequate training or exercise.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top