13 Dog Breeds For Seniors That Will Brighten Up Their Golden Years


Not every dog breed is suitable for our senior citizens. 

Dogs have needs and they must be met. As we all know, golden years can come with quite a few challenges. The last thing a senior citizen needs is a dog with more needs than his own. 

I remember my neighbors, Dana and Joshua… a sweet old couple that lived down the street where I used to live. They had a huge back yard, perfect for raising a family with a dog. 

And, yes… they did have a dog in the past. It was a Newfoundland, and it was quite a handful. When they retired, they lost the Newf, too, because he was simply too old. But, that turned out to be the best for all of them because taking care of such a large dog would have been tricky. 

I remember Mrs. Dana told me she wanted another dog, but she didn’t know which to pick. 

Eventually, they ended up with a Shih Tzu, and it was a great solution!

I believe there are other seniors who could use some help with picking the ideal dog breed for them.

That’s why I came up with a list of 13 dog breeds that are most suitable for senior citizens. They’re low-maintenance dogs that will bring joy into their life.

1. Chihuahua

senior woman and her chihuahua dog looking at each other

They might be yappy, but we all like talking with someone, right? Who said it can’t be a dog?

Chihuahuas are great for seniors living in a small house or apartment. Declared as the world’s smallest dogs, Chihuahuas take little to no space. They can easily fit into any lap to cuddle or just snooze. 

Since Chihuahuas tend to attach themselves onto their hoomans, it’s highly likely that they’d make a great fit for any senior citizen looking for companionship. 

On another pawsitive side, Chihuahuas are super easy to groom. They don’t shed too much, but still don’t require day-to-day grooming sessions. 

Lastly, I always recommend Chihuahuas for seniors because they don’t need to exercise these dogs. Just light play inside will do for these little guys.

READ MORE: 40 Low-Maintenance Dogs That Are Everything You Need

2. Beagle

senior woman embracing her beagle dog on the couch

Entering the golden years doesn’t have to mean you need to give up on everything you used to do before. If all’s well with your health, you can pretty much continue any outdoor activity you liked doing before. 

Active seniors love to spend all their time outside, and what a better companion on those long outings than a Beagle.

I know you’d doubt this pick, but Beagles are pretty much tame and friendly. Sure, they are active, but not as active as German Shepherds, for example. 

Beagles are popular for their easy-going temperament. They’re super sweet and friendly – the epitome of a family dog breed that everyone loves.

3. Maltese

senior woman holding maltese dog in her lap

One of the biggest reasons why people choose Maltese dogs is because they’re considered to be hypoallergenic. Well, technically, there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, but the Maltese is pretty close to it. 

Senior people will enjoy the Maltese’s silky coat that’s perfect for cuddling. Sure, they will need to take them to see the groomer regularly, but that’s nothing that can’t be handled. 

Maltese dogs are super sweet and friendly. They prefer to cuddle on the sofa next to you rather than playing outside with other dogs. 

READ MORE: 25 Big Hypoallergenic Dogs: Going Big Against Allergies

4. Pug

elderly asian man sitting with dog pug on the sofa

No, their unusual looks don’t make them less desirable. Pugs are actually highly ranked on all lists featuring dogs for senior citizens. 

But, why is that so?

Oh, well, let’s just mention the fact that Pugs are one of the most affectionate dog breeds, ever! 

And, let’s not forget that they’re super devoted to their owners to the point where they won’t do anything without them.

It’s no myth… seniors like to nap. I mean, who doesn’t? That’s why Pugs make great companions! They love to cuddle and snooze, and they seem to be the perfect buddies, minus the fact that they snore like crazy. But, that’s a whole different story.

5. Poodle

mature couple and their poodle dog in the kitchen

Of course, we can’t forget about Poodles… probably the most popular dog breed in the world. 

Poodles have a publicity that’s hard to knock down. They’re intelligent dogs, playful, friendly, and highly trainable. However, they do have quite a character, so approach them with care.

Poodles are a popular choice because of their non-shedding coat. An occasional trip to the groomer will solve any issues regarding their coat. The good news is that you don’t have to brush them daily and lose your precious time.

I do feel like I need to warn you guys about the Poodle’s specific needs. Since these were initially hunting dogs, they will need daily exercises. So, better pick a Poodle if you’re somewhat active yourself.

6. Pomeranian

senior woman with her pomeranian dog in the garden

Everybody loves a Pomeranian for their sweet, bouncy temperament! 

Poms are one of the most popular small dogs, perfect for senior citizens. They don’t require that much exercise. In fact, they are prohibited from any strenuous workout because they might hurt their fragile body.

You have to take things slowly with Poms. That’s why they make good companions for the golden years.

Pomeranians do shed, and you will need to brush them a few times a week, but that’s absolutely manageable. Anything for that gorgeous poof! 

Poms do come with one tiny downside, and that’s their yappiness. They can be loud and yappy, so if you like your peace and quiet, maybe get another breed. 

7. Shih Tzu

senior man with a shih tzu dog in his arms

I see a lot of seniors with Shih Tzus these days. They’re quite popular and I’m not surprised at all!

Shih Tzus make excellent pets for all kinds of living arrangements. They’re small, not too active, and they don’t need too much space. One of their highest qualities is exactly their good adaptability.

If you’re looking for the ideal lap dog, this is your breed. Shih Tzus love their owners and tend to bond pretty quickly. They will always stick by your side and look at you with adornment. 

8. Corgi

senior woman hugging her corgi dog on the beach

If the late Queen Elizabeth II loved them… you will, too! 

Corgis, one of the most recognizable dog breeds, sure enjoy lots of attention. I’m not surprised at all because Corgis are blessed with wonderful, open-minded temperaments.

These dogs are attention seekers, so don’t forget to shower them with hugs and kisses daily. 

Considering their tiny legs and long body, Corgis can’t participate in any strenuous activity, but they love long walks. A Corgi will definitely be your best companion for those long walks in the park. 

What makes Corgis such good pets is the fact that they’re loyal protectors and great watchdogs. You can never have enough protection in those golden years.

9. Boston Terrier

senior woman and her boston terrier lying on an old bed in the yard

People love Bosties for their mild temperaments. I love them, too, because they’re so sweet and eager to please. 

Boston Terriers are small dogs with minimum needs. Yes, this does mean you won’t have to go outside several times a day just to exercise them. A Bostie would be perfectly happy to snooze next to you and receive lots of cuddles.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

senior couple with two cavalier king charles spaniel dogs in the park

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are absolute stunners! But, does the wonderful outside match the inside? Let’s see!

Oh, yeah, it does! 

Cavaliers are huge snugglers. While they tend to be active throughout the day, Cavaliers will settle down as the night falls, seeking your companionship.

Their friendly character makes them suitable for seniors. In addition, these dogs adapt rather quickly and show little to no disobedience.

11. Bolognese

bolognese dog rest on the bench in the park

Those pups similar to Malteses are Bolognese dogs! They’re equally cute, quite stunning, and an absolute joy to have around. 

In case you’re wondering… you won’t have to brush a Bolognese every day of the week. Light grooming will be fine, along with occasional visits to the grooming salon. 

What I like the most about Bolognese dogs is the fact that they will follow their hoomans like a shadow. That’s how attached they can be.

12. French Bulldog

senior woman and her french bulldog sitting on the bench

Known as the jokesters of the canine world, Frenchies are ideal dogs for people who love bouncy temperaments. 

What can I say… A day with a Frenchie is never a dull day! 

These little puppies will go above and beyond to make you happy. They love doing tricks and learning new training lessons. But, don’t think they need extra exercise time because they’re so bouncy and fun.

Frenchies need only a light stroll throughout the day and plenty of hooman contact. 

I pawmise you, if you get a Frenchie, your golden years will be much more golden!

13. Havanese

black and white havanase dogs playing with their owner in the yard

Lastly, we have another non-shedding breed that’s pawfect for allergic people as well as seniors who don’t have too much time to groom or brush daily. Havs look so pretty with their long, silky coat. Actually, their hair is quite similar to ours! 

Besides being a wonderful sight for sore eyes, Havanese dogs are super sweet on the inside, too.

A lot of Havs are working as therapy dogs, and that says a lot about their friendly and easy-going personality. 

This dog will be the happiest in your lap because he wants to feel you close at all times.