21 Great Dogs For Your Golden Years


Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences in the world and this is particularly true when we reach our golden years. Apart from having a positive impact on our health and lowering our risk of several illnesses, man’s best friend also keeps loneliness at bay and showers us with unconditional love. What’s more, being a proud dog owner intensifies our sense of purpose and makes us leave the house even when we really don’t feel like getting out of bed.

Here’s a list of 21 best companion dogs for seniors:

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

There are many reasons why the Cavalier King Charles spaniel is one of the best dog breeds for elderly ladies and gentlemen, including their small size, affectionate nature and willingness to please.
Though these pups are super friendly, they are also naturally well-behaved, which means that their owners won’t have any trouble training and socializing them. Additionally, Cavaliers really love their people and want nothing more in the world than to spend time with them.
Since they are not the best breed for working people, these toy dogs are perfect for seniors who have enough time to dedicate to their pets. Moreover, Cavaliers are not the most active of dogs and don’t need to run around the yard all day – they do, however, need a daily walk, but that’s also something that will help seniors stay healthy and active.

2. Bichon Frise

These furry lap dogs are really fun to be around, seeing as they are both independent and frisky pooches who want to play all day long. But don’t worry, they are not demanding dogs in the sense that you need to entertain them all the time, on the contrary; they are the ones who will provide amusement to you, given that you have the time to teach them some tricks.
And they are easy to train and socialize thanks to their kind-hearted nature and need to be part of your family. They love their masters to the moon and back and would basically do anything for them – they are happiest when they are with their humans and suffer when they are separated.
Another reason why they are the perfect choice for seniors is that they are suited for apartment life and don’t need a lot of daily exercise.

3. Maltese

Another toy dog, the Maltese, truly makes a perfect companion, especially for people who spend the majority of their time at home and can dedicate themselves to training their pets and teaching them all sorts of trick.
When you have a Maltese in your household, rest assured that you will never be bored – they love to play with their humans and will do everything in their power to make them happy. These cute dogs also get along great with other pets, which means that they won’t mind sharing a roof with another pooch or even cat. Affectionate as they are, these pups are gentle towards everyone and want to be friends with your nearest and dearest.
Even though they can be quite active dogs, the Maltese doesn’t require a yard or lots of daily exercise and will do perfectly fine with just a daily walk.

4. Havanese

A lot of people would agree that the national dog of Cuba is one of the best family dogs out there – the Havanese is the perfect choice for older people, families with small kids and basically anybody who doesn’t leave the house too often.
Due to their extremely friendly nature, these pups need constant attention and will suffer deeply if they are left alone for longer periods of time. To put it simply, they get so attached to their owners that they cannot imagine life without them.
When you combine their lovable nature, willingness to please and natural curiosity, you get a dog who is happiest when they are around their people and when they can be the ones who will make their owners happy.
Like all dogs, they need some daily activity, but the Havanese was bred to be a companion dog, meaning that they are perfectly satisfied with apartment life.

5. French Bulldog

French bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and there’s a good reason for their excellent reputation. They are often described as clowns in the cloaks of philosophers because of their serious facial expression that is the complete opposite of their hilarious personality.
These dogs are more than fun to be around, seeing as they are happiest when they are given the opportunity to goof around and play with their humans. High-spirited and enthusiastic, Frenchies are ideal companion dogs who get along great with everybody, including other animals.
What makes them perfect for seniors is that they are really easy to care for, don’t require extensive grooming or vigorous exercise and thrive with owners who have enough time and patience to dedicate to them.

6. Dachshund

These short-legged furry creatures are among the top 10 most loved dogs in the U.S. and they owe their good reputation to their gentle nature and devotion to their humans.
Mind you, they can be quite a handful, in the sense that Dachshunds are sometimes difficult to housebreak and train, but once you get to know your frisky little dog and learn how to handle them, they will prove to be the kindest of pets.
They need a bit more work than the previous dogs on our list, but that doesn’t mean that it’s hard to teach them how to behave. Dachshunds just need proper leadership and they will reveal their true personality and temperament.
Seeing as seniors usually have the time to train their dogs, these pups might just be the perfect companion for older folks.

7. Miniature Schnauzer

Like the French bulldog, the Miniature Schnauzer may also look like a grumpy pup but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
As a matter of fact, they are worldwide famous for their spunky temperament and docile nature. These dogs love to explore their surroundings and they can always find something interesting to do. And if their owner wants to participate in the game, these pups will be over the moon.
To make things even better, the miniature Schnauzer gets along great with kids and other pets, even though their humans have to make sure that they receive proper socialization from an early age.
Since they are also small pooches, miniature Schnauzers are well-suited for apartment life, but they need to have enough physical and mental exercise on a daily basis.

8. Pug

Pugs have been the darlings of royal families in Europe for centuries now and they remain popular companion dogs in the 21st century.
All it takes is one look at them to understand why they are one of the most loved dogs in the world – since they have wrinkled faces, pugs look like they are always sad, but once you get the chance to spend some time with them, it immediately becomes clear that they are high-spirited dogs who could spend all day playing.
One thing’s certain, when you share your life with a pug, you will never be bored again. However, even though they will make you laugh on a daily basis, pugs can get easily tired of the same old games – if they are not given enough time to exercise and explore the world around them.

9. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu, also known as the Chinese lion dog, is one of the most gracious dogs out there. The only problem with them is that their humans may perceive them as fluffy toys instead of dogs and spoil them to the point that they develop Small Dog Syndrome.
Just like with every other super cute – super small breed, you have to treat them like dogs and teach them how to behave.
They love being the center of attention and thrive with people who really have the time to pay attention and play with them. Since they are intelligent dogs, Shih Tzus need a lot of daily stimulation, but the good thing is that play will tire them out. Of course, this doesn’t mean that they can spend days on end in your apartment, but a good walk now and then is more than enough to keep them satisfied.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

This is another adorable breed that is bound to steal your heart in no time. What makes this toy dogs so sweet and lovable is that they seem completely oblivious of their petite size (mind you, the majority of Yorkies weigh up to 7 pounds!).
They are fearless and believe they can do anything they set their mind to – there’s no shortage of fun when a Yorkshire terrier is around.
Apart from their lively nature, these pups are known for their loyalty and courageousness. There is not a thing in the world they wouldn’t do for their owner.
The only thing their humans have to keep in mind is that Yorkshire terriers are not four-legged toys but dogs who need to be treated as such. Once you gain a full understanding of your Yorkie, they will be the most wonderful companion in the world.

11. Scottish Terrier

Another cute terrier, the Scottish terrier is as charming as it gets. No matter how mischievous they can be at times, there’s no way you will ever get mad at them.
They tend to be a bit too stubborn for such a small creature, but these behaviors can easily be corrected. Just remember that Scottish terriers do not respond well to harsh discipline and require a firm but gentle owner who will have enough patience to teach them what is allowed and what is not. They may seem overly independent, but they are actually tender pooches who thrive on praise.
Other than that, they are very loyal dogs who make excellent home pets. Though they are extremely playful when they are pups, they mature into dignified dogs who know what their owner wants in a pet.

12. Chihuahua

Even though a lot of people associate Chihuahuas with disobedience, these extra small pups are one of the sweetest breeds out there.
It is true that they can be a bit too strong-willed at times, but this only happens if their owner spoils them and doesn’t treat them with the respect they deserve – they may be miniature dogs, but they are full of character.
In order to truly enjoy your Chihuahua, you have to properly train and socialize them, which shouldn’t be difficult. Namely, they are exceptionally intelligent dogs with a lot of personality and they also learn quickly and respond well to positive reinforcement.
Besides, they are lively creatures who love to play around the house and follow you everywhere you go. Playtime will definitely tire them out a bit, but they still need daily walks and lots of opportunities to keep their adventurous minds active.

13. Pomeranian

It’s hard not to fall in love with the Pomeranian once you see their sunny face and get to know their lovable personality. Like so many dogs on our list, they also have it all: Pom Poms are very smart, eager to learn and please their humans and exceptionally devoted to their families.
They are amazing companions who are independent enough to entertain themselves when needed but they will also come running to you the moment they see that you want to spend some time with them.
Pomeranians really care about their owners but they will never bore them and insist to be the center of attention at all times. Because of these traits, many people who don’t particularly like toy breeds become enamored of the high-spirited Pomeranian.

14. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

One of the tiniest pooches among herding breeds, the Pembroke Welsh corgi has become worldwide famous as the favorite dog of Queen Elizabeth II, who has been the proud owner of more than 30 during her life.
Of course, she is not the only one who takes a liking to Welsh corgis, seeing as they are one of the most popular dogs ever – and with a good reason. They are incredibly loyal to their humans and would give their lives for the people they love.
Welsh corgis are also very intelligent and willing to please, which means that you won’t have any problem whatsoever training and socializing them and they are also playful pups who get along well with everyone.
They may sound too good to be true but Welsh corgis are indeed one of the best companion dogs out there, especially for elderly people.

15. Boston Terrier

One of America’s most popular dogs, the Boston terrier is quite similar to the French bulldog, both in appearance and personality. They earned their nickname, the American gentleman, because they are one of the most well-mannered, obedient and intelligent dogs in the world.
Moreover, they enjoy learning and Boston terrier owners would agree that they are fairly easy to train and extremely eager to please. As far as socialization is concerned, they love children, are particularly good with seniors and friendly towards strangers. Boston terriers also enjoy the company of other dogs and can share a roof with other non-canine animals.
What’s more, these pups are optimistic dogs who will do everything to attract your attention without bothering you. They love nothing more than to feel they are part of the family and especially enjoy cuddling and play time with their owners.

16. Poodle

As you probably know, there are three varieties of the poodle, including the standard, miniature and toy poodle. The first thing you should know about these dogs is that you will not regret adopting either one of these breeds.
They are all smart (some say poodles are the most intelligent dogs in the world), extremely easy to train and affectionate towards their owners. Poodles can be taught to perform all sorts of tricks and they truly enjoy learning new things and making their humans proud and happy.
As a general rule, the standard poodle is the least active of the three varieties, which means that they could be a better choice for seniors. On the other hand, the miniature and toy poodles are also wonderful companions and both the breeds are famous for their willingness to please their people.

17. Pekingese

One of the oldest dog breeds known to man, the Pekingese is one of the best lap dogs of all time, seeing as their affectionate personality and gentle temperament earned them a place on the Chinese royal court where they became the favorite dogs of the nobility.
Some may say they are spoiled dogs, but the truth is that these lion dogs (both the Pekingese and the Shih Tzu are known as lion dogs in Chinese) are real sweethearts who enjoy being showered with affection and being the center of attention.
The biggest proof that they are wonderful companion dogs is that they have been used to create desirable designer crossbreeds, such as the Peekapoo (crossed with a poodle) and Peke-a-tese (with the Maltese).
In fact, they are such an amazing breed that the only thing you should pay attention to is that these adorable pups can easily gain extra weight and are prone to obesity.

18. Papillon

The Papillon may look like an overly-dependent dog but the truth is that these butterfly-eared pups are way more resilient than they seem – even though they appear fragile, they are stubborn little creatures who like to be in charge of everything.
Obviously, it’s up to the owner to establish themselves as the master of the household and find a balance between pampering the dog and teaching them how to behave in a proper way. Mind you, Papillons are extremely charming and they have a way of making you do what they want.
Consequently, finding the above-mentioned balance may not always be the easiest of tasks since the Papillon really likes to cuddle and could spend hours sitting in your lap and demanding attention, but other than that, they are obedient pups who are easily trained.

19. American Cocker Spaniel

One of the rare medium-sized dogs on our list, the American cocker spaniel is also among the most popular dogs for seniors. Despite the fact that they are sporting dogs, these pups are excellent companions for older people because of a number of reasons, the most important one being their personality.
They may not be the smartest of pooches, but they get really attached to their owners and are easy to train. Most folks will have no problem training and socializing the American cocker spaniel, but some may experience certain difficulties – if they forget that their pet is a dog, not a plaything.
Apart from being prone to the Small Dog Syndrome, this breed is an ideal house pet – American cocker spaniels are known for their kind-heartedness, cheerful disposition and mild temperament.

20. Lhasa Apso

Hailing from Tibet, the Lhasa Apso was bred as a monastery sentinel dog, which means they make good watchdogs who are suspicious of strangers and who will alert you if they hear something out of the ordinary.
Keeping this in mind, it doesn’t come as a surprise that they are independent little pooches who won’t demand your undivided attention at all times. They do, however, love to spend time with their humans and frequently show affection by rubbing their head on their owners and sitting on their feet.
The Lhasa Apso gets extremely attached to their people, but may not feel the same for other family members – they need time to get to know and trust somebody. This breed responds best to motivational training and is known to be very obedient and willing to please.

21. Jack Russell Terrier

Some people may find it odd that the Jack Russell terrier is one of the best dogs for seniors, but this cheerful breed may be just what older people need.
Despite being one of the most energetic small dogs in the world, the Jack Russell is a tireless companion that will brighten your every day. They are very devoted to their people and want to learn and obey commands – yes, they can be a bit stubborn, but that’s nothing that can’t be handled with proper leadership.

The Jack Russell especially loves to stay busy by playing all sorts of games and chewing on toys. This basically means that they will enjoy your company, but will also be able to entertain themselves when you are unable to devote your attention to them.
And as far as exercising is concerned, owning a Jack Russell will give you an excuse to get out of the house and go for long walks.

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