Dogs That are Perfect for Senior Citizens

The “golden age” of life may be exciting, but it’s not easy. The children have already gone off to live on their own, and the grandchildren are in college. Just because everyone left does not mean grandma and grandpa don’t worry! Did they eat, are they sleeping, are they happy? Life can get lonely for seniors, and having a sweet puppy around is proven to be a very useful antidote to both happy living and healthy living in seniors. Dogs can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction, and even physical activity. New Jersey psychotherapist Dr. Jay P. Grant is quoted saying, “Dogs and cats live very much in the present, they don’t worry about tomorrow, which can be a terrifying concept for an older person. An animal embodies that sense of here and now, and it tends to rub off on people.” Dogs also have an astounding effect on symptoms of depression, and loneliness. According to an “AgingCare” interview with senior power couple Marjorie and Richard Douse after they got their Golden Retriever “We never felt alone when Bonnie was in the house. As we aged and tended to go out less, she provided us with loving companionship.” So, let’s take a look at the best options for you when it’s time to get your senior companion!

Adopt A Mix

There are currently 70 million dogs in America looking for a home every year. Yes, some of them may be middle-aged medium sized dogs, but there are also many well-trained older dogs as well as small breed puppy mixes that are full of love, and ready to extend that love to their new mommies and daddies.

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Many seniors prefer to stay away from adoption fearing that like adopted children, the puppies would develop unmanageable onset conditions. However, the truth of the matter is that puppies that came from a shelter, are just as likely to be good dogs, as dogs from a breeder.

The Smooth Fox Terrier

The Smooth fox terrier is perfect for the active senior; they love being loved, and want to experience every moment of their day with their owner. They have a short flat coat and are small compact and muscular. The fox terrier is very easy to train, loves to play fetch!

Source photo by Tom Williams

They have one misgiving though. Fox Terriers were initially bred as a hunting dog, and if not trained correctly on the leash, will give their owners a run for their money when pulling.

Yakutian Laika

The Yakutian Laika is a perfect match for anyone looking to be loved daily. They are the ideal companion, and are devoted to members of their pack! These dogs live to bond, and the last thing they want is to be left alone. They are also fierce guardians when confronted with predators. The Laika is also a perfect breed to play with your grandchildren.

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They are calm, nurturing and very loving! It’s essential to leash train your Yak Laika when they are puppies, as well as acquainting them with other animals, children, and people.

Ibizan Hound

When they are puppies, Ibizan Hounds can be a bit of a nuisance, energetic playful, and in need of many walks. However, once they reach the age of about 1 to 1 ½ years, they become quiet, gentle, and relaxed. One can even say that an Ibizan hound is quite the couch potato.

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When getting an Ibizan Hound, make sure there is enough running space in the back yard, consider an early training regimen, and make sure to socialize them with other animals at a young age.

Whippet Dog

Despite being beautiful and majestic, the whippet has actually nicknamed the “poor man’s Greyhound.” This medium-sized canine has a dense coat that varies in color. They are a crossbreed between Greyhounds, small terriers, and Italian Greyhounds. They are a very sleek, beautiful, and affectionate breed.


Whippets if not associated with other animals at a young age can become fearful and timid in situations that are not routine to them. Whippets are very fast and require a walk on a leash at all times. They do not get along with cats, and love chasing small prey, and have been reported to have even gone on a chase for miles until catching it.

The Labrador

Ever sit there and reminisce about the cute baby face your grandchildren used to have. Now it’s gone, they’re in college, they now have opinions, and smirky remarks to everything you say, and they never seem to listen.


Well if you feel this way, then the Labrador Retriever is the perfect breed for you! They have the babiest of baby faces, and will gladly listen to anything you tell them to do. Labs can even be trained to open the fridge and bring you a drink or help put clothes in the laundry hamper. They strive for companionship and are driven to please.

Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu is a 60-year veteran dog breed that originated in Japan. They come in four colors; red, red sesame, black, or tan. They are almost fox-like in looks and stature, with their alert expression, and smooth stride! The Shiba is a sturdy, muscular, and bold.


They have a confident personality and have strong, affectionate bond with their owners that often translates to a protective behavior as well. The first recorded Shiba was brought to America by an American Military family in 1954; this dog made a comeback considering the breed was almost extinct after WW2.


The Peekapoo is what’s called a “designer dog.” It is not a purebred, but a cross breed between a Pekingese and a Miniature and Toy Poodle. They are perfect if there are allergies in the family, as they are hypoallergenic due to their Poodle ancestry,

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As well as friendly and very affectionate. They also live very long so you will have between 13 to 15 years to enjoy a life of love and companionship with this very sweet, very, cute, and equally baby-faced puppy dog!

Rat Terrier

The Rat Terrier has a smooth, shiny coat that comes in a variety of pied patterns. These dogs are adorable, and love to eat! So, make sure you are disciplined when feeding them, as they are very prone to weight gain.


They are not called Rat Terriers because they are similar looking to one. Actually, they were bred to hunt them and were very effective Pest control during WWI. This role was also significant in early farm life as a rodent infestation could mean the difference between having enough feed, and grain to last the winter.

Japanese Spitz

The origin is in the name, and the name carries much honor with it from the homeland of Japan. These dogs are brilliant, easy to train, and low-maintenance, and ideal with children! These dogs have little grooming needs, and their thick majestic coat repels most dirt and derbies.


Another bonus to this breed is that they don’t have any odor, meaning grooming and cleaning expenses are meager. If you spend much time at home, this is the perfect breed for you as they don’t like to be left alone!

Shetland Sheepdog

This noble Scottish sheepdog was bred by farmers to guard farms in the Shetland Islands from predatory birds and keep sheep out of the gardens of farmers. They also doubled their role as magnificent herding animals.


Today they are dg sport superstars and magical obedient family dogs! The Shetland, or, “Sheltie” as it’s known, is known to be an intelligence expert. They have a high willingness to please and a very athletic ability to do all types of actions both at home and outside.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Welsh Corgi is an animal literally fit for a queen! However, train wisely as they have a high tendency to bark! The Pembroke Welsh Corgi originated in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and are an enchanting breed with a background steeped in folklore.


They are small and loyal to their family; they love to play with children and will even herd them back to you if they go too far in the park! Queen Elizabeth II got her first of many Corgis from her father King George VI in 1933.


The Papillion is a tiny canine! Their height is only 8 to 11 inches, with a max weight of ten pounds, and expected weight of 5 to 7. They come from what’s called the “Toy Group” of dogs.


Despite how small they are, this breed cannot be mistaken even from a mile away due to their wing-shaped ears. This ear shape is actually where their name comes from as Papillion means “butterfly” in French. If you like em’ small, and adorable, this is the perfect breed for you!


Pugs should be considered their own species of animal. They have an attitude to life that is pleasing to any human who comes across one. These small breeds, all have breathing problems and are very short-sighted.


They are also very dumb too! Despite all these misgivings, these cute little guys are some of the most positive, fun-loving dogs in the world that spread joy and compassion to anyone they meet. They can be protective around strangers, and other dogs, but their size and intelligence render them pretty harmless!


The Maltese are the classic senior breed. Also originating from the “toy breed” category, these little things are loving, calm, and joyful companions. They require grooming at least twice a year, to keep their coat out of their eyes.


They do not expect too much outdoor exercise and can play catch from the couch if you’d like even. Maltese are known for the teardrop stain under their eyes that build up after they cry. So, keep yours happy to keep its eyes clean!

Dandie Dinmont Terrier

These little guys are actually part of the Terrier group and not the Toy Group breed. They have large silky white hair, long pendulous ears, and feathered tips across their coat. They come in either bluish black or silvery gray, and even a reddish brown to pale fawn color.

Source: Shirlaine Forrest

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier can be traced all the way back to the year 1700, and was described as a “rough native terrier owned by border hunters in the Cheviot Hills between England and Scotland.” In the 19th- century, King Louis Philippe of France kept the breed around him as part of his royal entourage!


Greyhounds are known as one of the fastest dog breeds in the world! Despite their high drive and ability to travel fast long distances. This breed is very easy to train, and even easier to love!


They are very calm, and submissive to their owners, quiet and not too standoffish with other dogs in the neighborhood. They have a silky soft coat and very long noses. If you take your Greyhound on a twenty-minute walk each day, you’ll do just fine!


The Dachshund breed was created in Germany and were known as the Badger Dog. Illustrations of the breed date all the way back to the 15th century. Throughout their existence, Dachshund’s developed to be fearless, elongated canines that could dig into badger burrows, and then go into the tunnels to fight the badger if necessary, as well.


Crate- training is recommended in the breed as they can be very stubborn and difficult to housebreak. These medium dogs are independent with a playful spirit, and are sure to keep you moving throughout the day!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has been a symbol of nobility since the 17t century. King Charles, I and his son Charles II were known to be very devoted owners of the breed. Feed your Cavalier high-quality,


Healthy dog food, and make sure not to overfeed as they are very prone to weight gain. Despite being bred to be a lap dog, the Cav can get a bit rowdy if not given enough exercise, so get a ball and throw it around the house every now and again.

Russell Terrier Jack

The Russell Terrier Jack is sure to get you out of the house, as they are a very fun-loving energetic breed. They require a mild grooming regiment and occasionally shed. They have a very high “prey drive” and require a leash on outdoors at all times.


They love a long walk in the woods and even enjoy a dip with you in the ocean. If you’re looking for a dog that can stay calm at home without a long walk, then this breed is not right for you.

Cairn Terrier

The Cairn Terrier is generally easy to keep dog. Weekly brushing and combing are recommended as they do have a slight shed. The Cairn Terrier is very adaptable to many types of biomes, and only require daily outings to be happy.


The breed loves training in obedience, tracking, herding, agility, and even coursing ability tests. Cairn Terriers, despite their love and devotion to family, still get a kick out of testing their limits. Need not to worry though as they are very easily trained, and learn quickly.


The Schipperke stand no taller than 13 inches, and resemble a little wolf with cartoon eyes! The Schipperke was actually birthed in medieval Belgium earning its fame as a shipboard exterminator on the crisscrossing canals of the “low countries.”


It is for this reason that these little guys earned the nickname in Flemish of “little captain,” or Schipperke! The little captain is very active, and energetic. They love to play and explore, but even daily walks, and some yard time is enough to keep them happy.


This little Italian monster is playful, easy-going, and devoted to its owners. This small toy breed was brought around in Bologna, Italy, in the early eleventh century, and was favorite of King Umberto who gifted one to his beloved Princess Jose of Belgium on her birthday.


However, as nobility began to die out, the breed had almost become extinct. Their coat is soft and fluffy like cotton, and despite its appearance, the breed does not shed what so ever. So, enjoy the curtness!

Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers were bred in Liverpool England in early 1860, and are a cross breed with bulldogs, and the now-extinct white English Terrier. This crossbreeding resulted in a tough, muscular dog. For nearly 100 years now,


The Terrier has been the mascot of Boston University, and in 1979 was named the official dog of Massachusetts. The Boston Terrier’s existing drive varies individually in the breed. A short walk once or twice a day, should be enough to keep the little boxer mix happy!

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a robust breed that was bred down from its larger cousin the “Standard Schnauzer.” They have a charming old man like expression with their bushy eyebrows, and fun beard. The Mini variation is bright and very friendly!


They enjoy vigorous play with children making them fantastic family dogs. They are very alert and can differentiate danger from casual strangers very well. Making them ideal watchdogs! Most Schnauzer owners prefer to have their dogs’ coats clipped to reduce the amount of upkeep needed when their coats are kept natural. Its fur is double layered, with a wiry topcoat, and a soft undercoat is requiring frequent brushing, and combing with the little breeds.


The Chihuahua was first brought to the modern limelight with the tea-cup variant, made famous, by reality heiress, Paris Hilton. Historians can’t be sure of the origins of the breed, but it is thought to be a cousin of a larger variant from Mexico called the Techcihi from about 1,000 years ago.


The Chihuahua varies in two coat types, with slightly different grooming needs. There is the smooth coat, or short-haired variant, and the longhaired breed that requires a bit more work both with brushing and bathing.

Shih Tzu

The Chinese are known for their exceptional ability to miniaturize breeds of all statures and origins. The Shih Tzu is a perfect example of their craft and the flag breed of Chinese dog enthusiasts. They are adorable and playful! They love getting affection and love, and can be very outgoing!


They also live a very long time stretching their age in many cases to almost 18 years! The Shih Tzu was bred as a house companion, so they do not require too much exercise, and are very happy to play indoors and enjoy a rainy day!


Beagles can easily hold the fort with their own article, but we will try to cram all the info into a small paragraph for you! Beagles are not very every senior, but if you’re ready to welcome a new face in the house that wants to learn, they are the perfect dog to keep you active and on your toes!

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These little guys require a lot of training and attention at a young age, and also very much need to be crate trained. They are a friendly, curious, and merry hunting breed, that always wants to help and has a howl that can’t be mimicked.