Top 10 Dog Breeds for Seniors

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At a time when life typically slows down and the kids have long since left the nest, many older folks search for companionship to keep the house alive with activity. A doggo may just be the answer! While some pups like to lie about under the covers, most are ready to greet the day with a walkie and breakfast, and later maybe a snuggle while you sip your coffee and do the crossword. Like a furry treadmill that's not satisfied to sit in the corner unused, your pup will make sure you get your daily exercise and give lots of love! Check out these best breeds for seniors. 


These adorable, small dogs fit into any downsized home, and won't take up too much room on the sofa, although a lap is their preferred resting place. This diminutive pup won't knock you over or pull you down an icy sidewalk. They know their manners, love to love, and they keep most of their hair on their bodies and not on you and your furniture. 


Revered by ancient Aztecs as mystical healers, Chihuahuas are experts at soothing many of the ailments that beset elders: loneliness, inactivity, and lack of someone to care for. These tiny pups bring joy and companionship, and are among the longest-lived. Excellent at cuddling and guarding the home, they take their jobs seriously! Just be watchful of them around the grandkids - children sometimes make them anxious.

Yorkshire Terrier

Another tiny doggo, the Yorkie is a great indoor dog, and in spite of their diminutive size, are pawsome watchdogs. They provide a challenge, outsmarting their humans into extra treats by being so cute, and resisting any training that doesn't make sense to them! But their loyalty and capacity for love trump any shortcomings!

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Pomeranians are famously considered to be pampered "lap dogs," but they can be independent too. At only 3 to 7 pounds they're pretty easy to move around when necessary, and although they have longish hair, a regular brushing keeps their maintenance to a minimum. They love walks, but their tiny size means they take tiny steps, so you won't have to run to keep up!

Shih Tzu

This Chinese "Lion Dog" will be your constant companion whose life goal is to be near you at all times, even when you're in the shower! They will follow you around and are content to sit or lie down with you whenever you want to. Very friendly with visitors of all ages, they're pawrfect companions for the grandkids, too!

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These lop-eared, soulful-eyed pups are sweet little dogs, and see their job as making sure their humans are never lonely. While they have a tendency to gain weight if overfed, they don't crave long walks and squirrel-chasing. Like other small breeds, they can be stubborn about housetraining, but patience and love will do the trick!

French Bulldog

Frenchies are some of the most affectionate pups you'll find! They love being indoors, but enjoy walkies as well. Very laid-back and mellow, they also like to play, and their short coats are easy on the environment. Their adorable looks attract attention wherever they go, and you may find total strangers oohing and aahing uncontrollably in the elevator or pet store!

West Highland White Terrier

Westies are independent and can entertain themselves, but are also affectionate with their humans. They love their exercise, but don't require long walks to keep them happy. They don't suffer from anxiety when left to their own devices, but will bark when they sense danger. These pups don't shed much and are happiest indoors.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Not every senior is inactive or debilitated, and for these folks, the Cardigan Welsh Corgi is ideal. These are a bit bigger than typical corgis, reaching up to 40 pounds, but they are not lungers or jumpers. They love exercise and "work," so they're ideal for walking, performing tricks, agility training and fetching. Easily trainable, they fit well with some seniors' busy lifestyle.

Icelandic Sheepdog

Another furtastic choice for active elders, this breed will joyfully accompany you when you hike, camp or just walk in your neighborhood. They want to be with you, whether it's indoors or out, and their medium size, about 25 pounds, doesn't stop them from being lap-dog wannabes. They're very smart, so training is a snap!