People of all ages love dogs, but not all dogs are suitable for people of all ages. Certain dog breeds may be more suitable for the older population or retired living due to their size, accommodations, temperament and ease of travel. Consider these five breeds as some of the best dogs for seniors.
Dog lovers of any age enjoy the security, health benefits and friendship that a canine companion can bring, but what are the best dogs for seniors?
Ideal breeds are ones that require little in the way of exercise, minimal grooming, great health and are compact enough to manage and walk. There are a few breeds of dogs that that stand out as excellent examples of meeting all requirements when choosing a dog breed for seniors.
Miniature or Toy Poodles Make Great Pets For Senior Citizens
Toy poodles measure up to 10 inches tall, miniature poodles measure between 8-15 inches. Their smaller size makes them very easy to walk and restrain and they only need a short daily walk to fulfill their exercise needs. They are very smart dogs and can be trained to do all sorts of tricks however they must be socialized and trained well from the beginning to avoid unpleasant behavior such as staying calm around children.
Miniature poodles are an excellent choice for those who like a smaller to medium dog. The size makes the miniature less fragile with younger children. However, as with any poodle, poodles are very smart, agile and the owner must exercise the ability to be a pack leader. Ideally the poodle would like to be pack leader. However, with good and consistent training in its’ younger years, an owner will be rewarded with an lovable companion whose middle name is party in between naps as your lapdog. The miniature or toy is a perennial favorite as one of the best dog breeds for seniors.
A beautiful dog with personality, they have a long hair like coat that resists shedding and can be very easily maintained if regularly trimmed into a short cut. Leaving the coat longer requires daily grooming. About 10 inches tall, they are a loving cuddly lap dog, a wonderful lively companion. Maltese dogs are very vocal so are great security dogs for anyone living alone or looking for an alert dog who announces the arrival of guests. (Hopefully welcome guests.)
Intelligent, sturdy and happy, a rough and tumble big dog in a little dogs body up to 14 inches tall. This very friendly dog is a great traveler and fairly quiet but requires a confident assertive owner and fairly long energetic walks compared to the other smaller breeds.
Pugs require little to no grooming, a quick rub down with a damp cloth and a check of their facial folds is all that is needed daily. These small dogs are natural clowns and provide light and enjoyment to all who come across them. Due to their snub nose appearance they can have breathing and drooling issues inherent with the breed which should be considered. Only a small of exercise will exhaust them and owners must be careful with heat exposure due to the anatomy of the nose. Pugs grow up to 14 inches tall and have a very steady temperament.
Cocker Spaniels grow to approximately 15 inches tall, a very gentle and sweet dog, they like to work and enjoy games that stimulate the mind as they are very intelligent. Cocker Spaniels are excellent with children but require an assertive owner to manage them.
It has been proven that owning a pet extends and improves the quality of life and with so many wonderful bonuses it is little wonder we often seek the company of a furry friend. Choose your dogs breed carefully will help ensure success in choosing a dog breed for seniors and happiness is sure to follow.
Foster A Service Puppy As An Option For Seniors
One additional consideration are service and ability organizations which need foster parents for their puppies. While German shepherds, golden retrievers, Labradors and standard poodles are frequently raised to enter leader dog training, more and more small breeds are also candidates.
Some organizations in my area trains papillons, toy and miniature poodles as seizure or hearing service dogs. Many organizations have a foster puppy service area which may include adjoining states. If you are willing to pick up the puppy, geographical boundaries need not limit your participation.
Becoming a foster puppy raiser for a senior can be a rewarding experience for all. Most organizations require foster raisers to raise the puppies for 12-16 months on the average. The puppy then heads to training camp at the organization in hopes it will be certified as a service dog in the future.
Adoption From A Shelter To Find Your Best Dogs For Seniors
Shelters are wonderful ways to adopt a loving pet. While shelters cannot provide the lineage of a dog, a shelter with qualified staff can estimate the size, personality and care needed for a prospective pet.
Martha DeMeo says
Nice list, we have a toy poodle but got before we were old. LOL He’s about 14 now and still going strong.
Good for him! poodles are great dogs!
Bill Kasman says
Personally, I’d go for a poodle. They have bags of personality and make a fantastic pet.
Excellent choice of course I may be slightly biased as I have a poodle!
Andria Perry says
I would also say golden retrieves, they stay right with you and not under you.
Agree, love goldens!
Lorelei Cohen aka Ladymermaid says
Definitely little guys. I would also suggest getting an older animal rather than a young one. Older pets are less active in keeping with older adults. Another factor is that pets are a commitment much like having a child. We are living longer but a young pet is about an 18 year commitment and you really never want to leave a pet behind. By selecting an older pet you help to decrease this risk.
I’ll go to spaniels for my grandmother. Thank you for this list.