10 Best Dogs for Seniors

Dogs oftentimes are called a human’s best friend. And that moniker is accurate no matter your age. If you are a senior, you may be thinking about getting a dog. The reality is that a canine can provide remarkable companionship. As you contemplate getting a dog, you may understandably wonder what breeds are best for older individuals. In this regard, there are 10 dogs that are deemed most suitable for individuals in their Golden Years:

  • Pug
  • Poodle
  • Italian greyhound
  • Corgi
  • Shih Tzu
  • Cocker spaniel
  • Bichon fries
  • Cockapoo
  • Chihuahua
  • Dachshund

Considerations when Selecting a Canine Companion

Prior to considering specific breeds, we discuss certain considerations a senior should contemplate when thinking about selecting a canine companion. There are four primary factors to bear in mind in this regard:

  • Size
  • Age
  • Grooming needs
  • Rescue pooch

Size: Smaller canines tend to be a better match for seniors. When compared to larger dogs, there are a number of benefits to smaller ones. These include:

  • Easier to handle on a leash
  • Easier to transport to destinations like the vet, groomer, or a relative’s home
  • Easier to control off of a leash
  • More likely to be welcome at an assisted living community or other type of long-term care facility

Age: While many people idealize the idea of getting a puppy, the fact is an older dog typically is a better match for an older individual. Puppies tend to be rambunctious and difficult to control. They need training. On the other hand, older dogs usually are trained. They are easier to maintain than are their younger counterparts

Grooming Needs: Longer-haired dogs tend to have more significant grooming needs. In other words, a person has to spend more time tending to a longer-haired canine that a shorter-haired one. Longer-haired canine also requires more frequent visits to the groomer.

Rescue Pooch: Consider adopting a rescue dog. A rescue will brighten your life – and you will be providing a home to a dog that does not have one.

We now take a moment to consider 10 of the best dogs for seniors.


A pug is an adorable and typically well-behaved pooch. A pug is also known for having what many described as a bubbly personality. Pugs are also regarded as great companions for their owners. Overall, the pug is one of the best breeds for an older individual.  That’s why they’re one of the best dog breeds for seniors. Pugs typically weigh around 13 to 20 pounds and have minimal grooming needs. A simple brush now and then as well as a daily cleaning of the wrinkles on their faces generally suffices.


Poodles are known to be highly intelligent and personable. They are a generally no-shed breed, which makes them ideal for people with allergies.  Poodles come in a variety of sizes, from toy to miniature to standard. There are also poodle mixes that make great pets for an older individual as well. These include the Maltepoo (Maltese and poodle), Cavapoo (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and poodle) and Schnoodle (Schnauzer and poodle). 

Italian Greyhound

Italian greyhounds have the sleek looks of a standard greyhound, but they are much smaller. An Italian greyhound weighs an average of about 10 pounds, making this a great cuddly companion for a senior. These dogs were bred to be companions to nobility. they were literally bred to lay in a person’s lap. They love nothing more than snuggling up with their human family member. Italian greyhounds have a short coats which mean trips to the groomer usually can be avoided.


The late Queen Elizabeth II fancied corgis. Indeed, a few of them oftentimes was seen near her. Corgis are friendly and outgoing dogs. They love to be around their human companions. Grooming needs are minimal. Corgis weigh about 25 to 30 pounds. Corgis are easy for seniors to handle.

Shih Tzu

The name “Shih Tzu” translates to “little lion.” With that said, these lap dogs are loving, affectionate, and dignified. The shih tzu is a great dog breed for older people. These dogs weigh around 9 to 16 pounds. They are known to be easy to handle. They make excellent companions on everything from long walks and laid-back binge-watching sessions. Because of its unique double coat, the shih tzu is a no-shedding breed. With that said, they do require trips to the groomer.

Cocker Spaniel

The cocker spaniel has an established reputation for being a great companion for people of all ages – from children to seniors. The cocker spaniel is an easygoing pooch. A cocker spaniel typically weighs between 20 to 30 pounds. These canines are incredibly loyal. They do require assistance from the groomer from time to time.

Bichon Frise

 Another no-shed breed, these little dogs pack a lot of love. This breed typically weighs in at about 15-pounds. Bichons are naturally happy and outgoing pooches. The breed is known for being calm. They are ideally suited to apartment living. They do have short bursts of energy from time to time. To maintain their fluff, these dogs should see a groomer about every four to six weeks.


The Cockapoo is a small yet hardy mix-breed. A cockapoo is mix between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. They weigh around 20 pounds. These dogs love cuddling and playing. Cockapoos are extremely smart. They are a people-oriented breed, which means they’ll want to be at your side at all times. This breed sheds very little, though a cockapoo does require regular grooming.


The Chihuahua has been a popular pet among older adults for years. What makes charming dogs among the best and most popular dog breeds for seniors? These clever and entertaining little dogs are loyal and loving. They also win folks over because they are also very cute. Their short coat means minimal grooming. A Chihuahua usually weighs about six pounds, making this breed easy for an older individual to handle.


Last but not least on the list of the 10 best dogs for a senior is the dachshund. This diverse breed of dog comes in a wide array of sizes, coats, and colors. Whether your dachshund is short- or long-haired, standard-sized, or miniature, these dogs are always loyal, loving, and happy.

As you continue on your journey to get a canine companion, consider the information we have presented here for you. By being thoughtful as you go about the selection of a dog, you will find an ideal companion that will brighten your life.