The traits that make an excellent dog for a young, active family don’t always translate well for an older person searching for a furry friend. It isn’t uncommon to look for a dog whose personality is more relaxed and socialized for companionship in your senior years. But which dog breeds are best for seniors, and which breed is a perfect match for you?
Golden Retrievers have been one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States for the past few decades and with good reason. These dogs have a loving, gentle nature that makes them easy to train and an excellent choice for seniors.
These smiling charmers are among the larger breeds recommended for active seniors, weighing between fifty-five and seventy-five pounds. Energetic dogs like Golden Retrievers require an active lifestyle to keep their weight in check, so count on at least an hour of daily exercise.
The shiny, feathered coat that Golden Retrievers are known for begins setting in at around three months and provides incredible color variations, including the English Cream Golden Retrievers with their distinctive light coloring.
Pugs are known for their distinctive short-muzzled face and playful personality. Originating in China, this breed has a twelve to fifteen-year life span. These sturdy little dogs can quickly put on weight when left to laze all day, so about twenty to thirty minutes of exercise will keep them in shape. With an average weight of fourteen to eighteen pounds, Pugs are portable and adore traveling with humans.
Personality-wise, Pugs are fairly relaxed dogs that aren’t known for excessive barking digging up the yard. Pugs are also playful dogs who don’t require a lot of activity to be content. These pups make excellent companions and get along well with most other breeds.
Pugs don’t have many grooming needs, but they require consistency. The short-muzzled faces of this breed require daily cleaning to say dry and free of bacteria and infection-causing germs. During warmer weather, Pugs shed a lot. This constant shedding is mainly due to their double coat. Daily brushing should help reduce the amount of fur on floors, furniture, and clothes.
With a reputation for being challenging to train, these dogs can be sensitive. Pugs are intelligent, loyal companions who are most content just hanging out with you.
Maltese are tiny dogs weighing six to eight pounds and are lively, affectionate extroverts suitable for living in apartments or other small spaces. While Maltese are active dogs, a couple of twenty-minute walks every day provides them with sufficient exercise, and they have an average lifespan of twelve to fifteen years. Frequent sneezers rejoice, because this breed works well for people with allergies.
This breed is also susceptible to excessive tear production, which often appears as a reddish-brown discoloration under the eye. This staining seems in sharp contrast to the snowy white coat of the Maltese and requires daily upkeep to prevent darkening.
Easygoing and affectionate are two terms that come to mind when describing the personality of these cute little dogs. The French Bulldog, bred in the mid-19th century as a cross between an English Bulldog and a French Terrier, remains one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for the past few decades.
Sporting a set of adorable “bat-like” ears, the French Bulldog reaches a maximum height of ten to twelve inches with a full-grown weight of twenty to twenty-two pounds. These loyal, sweet dogs are known for their comical personality but require firm leadership to avoid aggressive behavior toward other dogs.
For those not familiar with the hairless dog breed, the appearance of the Chinese Crested can be unnerving. Still, these naked dogs more than compensate for what they lack in a long, luxurious fur coat with a playful, sweet-tempered personality.
The Chinese Crested is bred for companionship and is an excellent choice for families, seniors, and people with allergies. Crested are amiable little dogs who bond well with their human pack.
The Miniature Schnauzer is an intelligent, extroverted dog that enjoys being the life of the party and can be the perfect companion for an active senior lifestyle. These intelligent dogs love a challenge and enjoy learning new things, making training easy.
The playful, active Pomeranian can resemble a living cotton ball with a moderate to heavy shedding double coat. This toy breed is intelligent and easy to train but tends to have a stubborn streak that makes proper training techniques essential for a good outcome.
The Bolognese is a good choice for seniors with allergies as they are not heavy shedders but have a soft coat that requires daily brushing to prevent tangles. Unlike many other breeds on this list, the Bolognese has a no-nonsense, reserved temperament but can be playful around their humans.
Searching for the best dog breed for seniors can be a frustrating task. But finding a dog that already matches your lifestyle makes the process much easier.