The best and worst dogs for seniors

Adopting a dog is not reserved for young families! In fact, welcoming a pup in their home can be a very good thing for people advanced in age. Dog species are so diverse it's incredible. When deciding which breed to get, it's important to consider the best fit, both for you and your dog. Energy levels, grooming needs and medical problems are all important things to take into account.


There are dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds, which means there is probably one for everyone, even the elderly. You’ll be shocked to learn that having a dog at home has some very surprising benefits. Adopting a pup can lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress level and improve your happiness. It is therefore in your best interest to have a pet, especially a dog.

Of course, opting for an animal that needs a lot of exercise might not be the best idea, but a calmer, loyal and friendly breed is a great addition in an older person’s home and life.

Whether you like small dogs or have always preferred big ones as well as pups with long or short hair, there a kind that will fit your taste and suit your needs as an elderly. Here are 15 breeds of dogs perfect for retirees and the 15 worst breeds.

31. Worst: Afghan Hound

That coat is gonna require constant grooming and you know it. In addition, this is a high-energy breed.

30. Worst: Dalmatian

Dalmatians are high energy dogs that require a lot of exercise. They’re also quite destructive indoors if you don’t give them enough outdoor time. Finally, they can be stubborn and difficult to train as well as fearful or aggressive, depending on their lineage.

29. Best: Shih Tzu

Known as the “Lion Dog”, the Shih Tzu is ideal for the elderly because of its loyalty, friendly personality and easy-going character. This breed of dog requires very little exercise, as it only snuggles up against you on the couch. Despite this and its small size, the Shih Tzu is an excellent guard dog. Whether you live in an apartment or at home, the Shih Tzu is a lively and adorable breed that will adapt to your lifestyle.

28. Worst: German Shorthaired Pointer

To put it simply, if you’re not into daily 5-mile runs, this isn’t the breed for you. This dog likes to run a lot.

27. Worst: Rottweiler

Rottweilers are large, powerful dogs requiring firm leadership and training. In addition, they are unsuitable for apartment living.

26. Best: Goldendoodle

The Goldendoodle is a dog breed created from two popular and affectionate breeds, the poodle and the Golden Retriever. If you want a dog that will get you out and moving, the Goldendoodle is a good choice because it needs daily exercise. Very intelligent and endowed with a playful nature, this dog will be your faithful companion of love.

25. Worst: Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are runners that need daily exercise. They shed constantly too.

24. Worst: Akita

Just like their Pit Bull friends, Akitas need exercise, socialization, training and strong leadership from their owners, without which they can become aggressive.

23. Best: Beagle

The Beagles have a reputation for being noisy, but many senior care experts have ranked these friendly dogs as one of the best breeds for seniors. Beagles like to play, which will keep you active and have relatively low grooming needs. The Beagle is also great with children, so you don’t have to worry about not getting along with your grandchildren.

22. Worst: Airdale Terrier

Here is another dog that needs to be super active to be happy. Not for you unless you are a very, very active senior.

21. Best: Pomeranian

The Pomeranian is a lively and affectionate dog, small in size and with a big heart. Pomeranians live well in an apartment or other small space and are fiercely devoted to their owners. Although they are fluffy, they do not need to be groomed thoroughly and only require regular brushing. If training is required, the breed’s intelligence should allow them to enter your orders quickly.

20. Best: Pug

Pugs are described as the perfect dog for people who spend most of their time on the couch, so this breed is well suited for older people who can’t get out and exercise as much as they would like. Pugs adapt very quickly to most situations and require little grooming. These cheerful little dogs are ideal pets.

19. Worst: Basenji

Yet another breed that requires lots of activity and playtime to be happy.

18. Best: Bolognese Bichon

The Bolognese bichon is an excellent breed of dogs for the elderly. Its fur is like plush, so this breed requires little grooming maintenance. The owners like Bolognese bichon because it doesn’t shed much, it’s smart and it’s not difficult to train. The calm and quiet nature of the breed makes this dog easy to live in apartments and other small spaces, especially where noise can be a concern.

17. Best: Mixed breeds

You don’t need to adopt or buy a purebred dog to find the perfect companion. Many dog experts recommend that seniors go to the local shelter to see if there is a suitable mixed breed dog. When dogs enter the shelter, their personality, care needs, and other qualities are checked, and the handlers seek to place the dog with the right person. Better yet, you won’t need to do the training a puppy would need.

16. Worst: Australian Cattle Dog

These dogs are happiest in large open spaces with a job to do. Unless you live in the countryside, not for you!

15. Best: Italian Greyhound

The greyhound is a large dog, but if you like the look of a greyhound and want something more manageable, the Italian greyhound may be the perfect breed for you. Italian greyhounds are affectionately called “Iggies” and have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. These friendly dogs are ideal for apartments or small houses, as they only need one hour of exercise a day.

14. Best: Yorkshire terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small, gentle dog that lives from 13 to 20 years on average… You can often find this breed of a dog living in apartments or assisted living centers because they require little maintenance – they only need daily brushing. Exercise is not really a need for Yorkie, and their favourite

place will probably be your knees.

13. Worst: Border Collie

Here is a breed that is very active, and so smart it needs constant mental stimulation as well.

12. Best: French Bulldog

French bulldogs are adorable with their big ears and adorable personalities. Canine experts say they are lively and loving. The French bulldog is an excellent pocket dog and goes well with small spaces such as apartments. This breed of dog requires little exercise and maintenance.

11. Worst: Bearded Collie

Bearded Collies find themselves on this list because they require a lot of grooming.

10. Best: Welsh Corgi Pembroke

If you are an older dog and you want a lively little dog that won’t cause you any problems, the Welsh Corgi Pembroke is perfect. Not only are these dogs adorable with their squatting bodies and giant ears, but they are also easy to live with and ideal for apartment occupants. Welsh Corgi Pembroke is intelligent and has been a royal favourite for years. Be aware that they are active dogs and should exercise frequently outdoors.

9. Worst: Australian Shepherd

Up next, Australian Shepherds demand attention for 12 hours a day to be happy and are extremely active. Is that really how you want to live your retirement?

8. Best: Otterhound

The Otterhound is not as well known as the other dogs on this list, but that’s okay because it’s an excellent breed for older dogs. The breed has a life expectancy of about 12 years and requires a moderate amount of regular exercise. You will obtain a faithful, loving, intelligent and independent companion by choosing this breed of dog

7. Worst: Pit Bull Terrier

Pit-bull puppy

Yes, Pit Bulls have a bad reputation, but it’s not up to you to change that. They need a lot of exercise, training, socialization and strong leadership.

6. Best: Poodle

Poodles are great dogs for anyone and are particularly popular with the elderly. The breed is one of the most intelligent and will provide you with a loyal companion. Their gentle and loving nature and ability to adapt to any space makes them good choices for any senior. If you have allergies, you can appreciate the breed’s low need for coat maintenance, thanks to its hypoallergenic nature.

5. Worst: Akita

Just like their Pit Bull friends, Akitas need exercise, socialization, training and strong leadership from their owners, without which they can become aggressive.

4. Best: Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is ideal for apartments and small spaces, especially if you are concerned about grooming needs. This breed of dog has an average life span of 14 years. Like the other small dogs on our list, this animal is loyal and affectionate. The Lhasa Apso is ideal for an older person because it is independent, but wants your attention, so you get the best of both worlds.

3. Worst: Irish Setter

Here is a dog that is energetic, difficult to train and high maintenance. Oh, and it can’t be left alone much. And it doesn’t have a very good health. Do we need to keep going?

2. Best: Japanese Spaniel

The Japanese Spaniel does not have excessive physical activity needs and is easy to groom, requiring only one brush per week. It is also a less “barking” dog than other breeds. You can let your Japanese spaniel have a little fun in the yard or in the park, and he will be happy, but he also likes to come back directly to your lap.

1. Worst: Collie

Last but not least, a Lassie wannabe requires a lot of brushing and grooming. And vacuuming too, to be honest.