20 Best Dog Breeds for Older People

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By Darryl Henderson

For any older person, owning a dog can add tremendous value to their life as they are adorably reliable companions. However, there are certain breeds that are more suitable for older people than others. So, here are the 20 best dog breeds for elderly individuals.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Known for their affectionate, friendly temperament and their portability, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are very unproblematic. Owing to their small size, they are easy to handle, which makes owning them super easy for older people! They also don’t need a high level of exercise and can adapt easily to different environments, which is perfect.

Poodle (Toy or Miniature)

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The Poodle is a favorite of many older individuals because it’s obedient, enabling it to follow commands easily. Forbes notes that its hypoallergenic coat can also reduce the need for frequent vacuuming and allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to dogs, making retired life far easier. That’s one less problem!

Shih Tzu

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For older people who are lonely and seek a companion for their senior years, the Shih Tzu is ideal. These gentle and loving dogs are small and perfect for sitting on your lap while you rest or talk to others, and will keep you company when you’re alone. What more could you want?

French Bulldog

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Although the French Bulldog is known for being playful, it has low energy levels, meaning that these dogs are low maintenance for any older person. As they have short coats, they don’t need to be groomed as frequently as other dogs, either, reducing the owner’s responsibilities. The lower the maintenance, the better!

Bichon Frise

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Friendliness and sociability come naturally to the Bichon Frise, which tends to slot perfectly into family dynamics. For older people who are less active, these dogs are a great choice as they don’t require a lot of exercise and usually keep themselves (and you) entertained.


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According to Business Insider, Maltese dogs were bred specifically to be sweet and adoring of their owners. Senior citizens who need emotional support from their pets usually opt for this dog, as it’s loyal, caring, obedient, and has a big heart despite its small size. They’re so sweet!


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Owing to their adventurous personality, Pomeranians are incredibly lively, injecting a much-needed burst of energy into any older person’s day. They are also vocal when they perceive a threat, making them great guard dogs for elderly individuals who live alone. This can lead to annoying yapping, though.

Boston Terrier

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Boston Terriers are loyal to their owners but are also sociable with other humans. Their medium size allows them to fit into small living spaces, which is good for older people who have downsized. Senior citizens also don’t have to worry about grooming them regularly, as they have a nice, short coat.


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Many people appreciate Havanese dogs for their regal, elegant appearance, especially in their later years. For older individuals who have grandchildren, the Havanese can make friends quickly with any humans they come into contact with because of their sociable nature, making them a wonderful choice of breed for the entire family.


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Chihuahuas are a charming, loving dog breed that loves to play a variety of games. Older people who have mobility issues or health problems tend to opt for these dogs as they are incredibly small, making them easy to carry around. They’re ridiculously cute, too!

Yorkshire Terrier

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Speaking of cute, next is the Yorkshire Terrier! It’s common to see elderly people with Yorkies as they strike a balance between being energetic and manageable. Many older individuals are in their retirement, and they find joy in these dogs as they add a level of excitement to their lives, but not excessively.


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Pekingese dogs fit seamlessly with any older person’s life. The American Heart Association highlights that pets can help you reduce stress and get more exercise, and as the Pekingese have low to moderate exercise needs, they are one of the best dogs for keeping older people moderately active. They provide the perfect balance!

Lhasa Apso

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Lhasa Apsos have acute hearing, allowing them to detect danger, which can be crucial for defenseless older people. Although they enjoy the routine of being exercised, they don’t need to be walked on a regular basis, finding comfort in just being around people instead. That sounds perfect. 

Miniature Schnauzer

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The hypoallergenic coat of miniature Schnauzers isn’t the only thing that wins them points from older people; they are also known for having a longer lifespan than many other dogs! This saves elderly individuals from going through heartbreak in their senior years and having to replace their canine friends.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

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The Pembroke Welsh Corgi breed is a good fit for older people due to its gentle, calm, and affectionate nature. However, it’s also very alert, making it ideal for sniffing out danger. Because of its medium size, it’s also suitable for smaller living spaces, so don’t worry if you’ve downsized!

Italian Greyhound

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Italian Greyhound dogs bring a sense of calmness and tranquility to older people’s lives as they are not excessively reactive or high maintenance. Because of their lightweight nature, they can also be transported easily, even when older people want to bring them to visit family!

West Highland White Terrier

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As older people are generally less active than they used to be, West Highland White Terriers align well with their lifestyle as they don’t require too much work to keep them entertained. They can also be very perceptive, following commands and instructions easily, adding value to an elderly individual’s life. 


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Dachshunds never stray too far from home, so older people don’t need to chase them after them. That’s one less problem you’ll have in retirement! Their capacity for love and care is also unmatched, making them the perfect companion for older people who need some support and affection in their lives.

Cocker Spaniel

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As Psychology Today explains, sporting or hunting dogs such as spaniels seem to provide the highest levels of health benefits and the greatest protection against early death. This is because these dogs inspire their owners with their gentle temperament and their energetic disposition without causing stress, forming a perfectly balanced pet.


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Last but not least, pugs are well-suited to the lifestyle of older people because they have an admirably easygoing nature. They are known to forge lasting bonds with their owners and can adapt well to their desires, whether they want to relax or go for a walk. Essentially, they’re happy to adapt to your lifestyle!

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