What Are the Best Dog Breeds for Older Adults?

Dogs are lovable and loyal creatures. They have an instinctive tendency to create an incredible bond with human beings. A dog unconditionally loves their caretaker and helps in relieving the physical and mental complications. There are several dog breeds that are considered highly suitable for older adults due to their wonderful natures.

This post will discuss a few top dog breeds best for older adults, along with their characteristics and relevant traits.

Fun Fact: According to a research study conducted by Harvard Health Publishing- Harvard Medical School, dogs have calming effects on their owners and help in dealing with blood pressure and cholesterol issues. The study showed that dog owners had surprisingly lower levels of cholesterol and harmful lipids as compared to those who hadn't spent time with dogs.



poodle dogPoodle is considered a highly intelligent breed of dogs. Because of their easy management and incredible intelligence, they are suitable for older adults.

Training and maintenance: Poodles are energetic and easy to train family dogs. They are peaceful and generally happy dogs. In addition, poodles need very little maintenance compared to other breeds because they are non-shedding.

Available sizes: Although poodles vary in their sizes, toy, miniature, and standards are well-known.

Points to be remembered: Poodles need plenty of exercise to release their energy. Therefore, they are best fitted for highly active owners.

Poodles are not aggressive. However, they can easily become stressed when put in a harsh environment. Therefore, it is better to keep this breed in a stress-free atmosphere. Keep in mind, particularly that toy poodles are best to keep in apartments.


french bulldog Also known as "Frenchie", this is a very nice and endearing breed of dog which is perfectly suitable for older adults.

The French bulldog is a lovely and playful breed. They are one of the most suitable dog breeds for seniors with reduced mobility and a slower lifestyle.

Training and maintenance: This is a lively breed of dog that is relatively easy to train. Along with that, they require little maintenance because of their glossy coat, which sheds little hair.

Points to be remembered: Frenchie is a cute little dog, making them suitable for living in limited space/small apartments. Also, they don't do a lot of vocalization (barking), which makes them perfect candidates to be kept in small apartments.

Note: Although French bulldogs are easy to train, many people find difficulty in potty training them. So, be patient and consistently try to train them. Or, search for a dog that has already been trained. 


pug dogThis is a loving and loyal breed of dog which are perfectly suitable for the indoor environment, particularly for older adults. They have an incredibly sweet temperament and affectionate nature.

Training and maintenance: Pugs are easy-going, which makes for easy training. Along with that, pugs are small in size, making them easy to manage for older adults. Also, they need very little maintenance.

Points to be remembered: Because of their small size, pugs can comfortably live in small apartments. In addition, pugs are perfect for older adults because of their easy grooming and care.

Note: Although pugs are perfect companions for lonely older adults, they shed a heavy amount of hair. In addition, pugs also have skin folds near their eyes which need regular cleaning.


white maltese dogThis is a cute little dog small enough to be considered a lapdog. Maltese are considered by many to be perfect for older adults due to their gentle and entertaining nature.

Training and maintenance: This pretty breed of dog is easy to manage and carry because of its small size. Also, they need little training and not much maintenance.

Points to be remembered: Maltese dogs have silky hair coat that requires regular/frequent grooming. They require regular care of skin coats and eyes. Only select this breed if you are able to keep up with regular maintenance.


white and grey greyhound outside in the snowThis is an athletic breed of dogs that have a calm, gentle, and compassionate nature. Although they have a larger size, this breed is very popular among older adults as a pet.

Training and maintenance: They are relatively easy to train and low maintenance. They have short and smooth skin coats which require some grooming.

Points to be remembered: Greyhounds are suitable for those older adults who keep the desire to have a big companion dog.

Other Suggested Breeds

If these do not feel quite right for you, there are many other breeds that are considered suitable for older adults. We have listed several more below:

  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Shih Tzu
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Pekingese


Along with that, there are many dog breeds that are considered unsuitable for older adults. Here are a few that breeds that are generally not advised for seniors:

  • Labrador retriever
    • Reason: They require lots of attention, management, and exercise.
  • Pit Bull
    • Reason: They are difficult to train/handle. Pitbulls also have quite aggressive nature.
  • Jack Russell Terrier
    • Reason: They are natural hunters. This becomes really hard to confine them in the small apartments.
  • Dalmatian
    • Reason: This breed of dog requires high maintenance and plenty of outdoor training.
  • Akita
    • Reason: They need extensive fur care. They are very protective of their food. Also, they are potentially aggressive dogs.
  • Dachshund
    • Reason: This breed can be very noisy and aggressive if not properly socialized.

Note: The situation may vary based upon the requirements of individual owners, and exceptions always exist. Getting suggestions from a registered veterinarian/professional pet trainer is recommended before selecting a pet for an older/senior/retired person.

Let us know in the comments below - What breed of dog do you have? Why? Or, which breed do you want to get?

Are you trying to decide if a pet is right for you? Check out our post - Is Adopting a Pet During Retirement Right for You?

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