Are you about to retire and looking for a dog to accompany you? Or looking for a dog for your parents or grandparents?
In this article, discover 10 dog breeds suitable for the elderly.
What are the characteristics of the ideal dog for an elderly person?
Before we begin, a note on dog characteristics that we felt were important in establishing this top 10.
A dog that we think is suitable for seniors is a dog that:
- is quiet,
- can live in an apartment,
- is not too big in order to be able to control him on a leash and not too crazy to avoid accidents, like falling, being knocked over…
So let's start with the top 10 best dogs for seniors.
#1 The Bichon
Playful, dynamic but obedient and calm as they get older, they are great everyday companions for the elderly.
#2 The Coton de Tuléar
The Coton de Tuléar shares all the characteristics of the Bichons: small, white and with a moderate need for physical exercise. You will certainly fall for his little black truffle in the middle of his crazy fur.
#3 The Shih-Tzu
Of Chinese origin, the Shih Tzu is a small dog breed with a flattened nose. He is calm and adapted to life in an apartment. If you like his small head and big round eyes hidden under his hair, he is perfect for you!
#4 The Yorkshire
Although he is a Terrier and therefore a hunting dog, the Yorkshire knows how to be very calm and live in an apartment.
He is a small dog of maximum 6 kilos which is very easy to carry and he also exists in a dwarf format (less than 3 kg). For a very long time, he was the star of the elderly.
#5 The German Spitz
With his dwarf size, between one and two kilos, the German Spitz has dethroned the Yorkshire in the hearts of the elderly.
A popular and particularly cute dog with his “hairball” look, the German Spitz is a lively and stubborn dog that will easily accept to live in an apartment because of his small size.
#6 The Japanese Spitz
White or black, the Japanese Spitz is the “big” version of the German Spitz – even if he does not exceed 10 kilos. Just as lively and stubborn as his little brother, he will be suitable for older people who already have some experience with dogs.
Dynamic, he needs to play but can live in an apartment without difficulty.
#7 The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Sir Cavalier King Charles. British elegance and calm are combined in this dog breed. Particularly placid and obedient, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will accompany seniors with pleasure.
#8 The Lhasa Apso
The Lhasa Apso looks like a Shih-Tzu with his flattened nose, small size and shaggy hair.
In spite of his Tibetan origins, he does not need large spaces to thrive: presence, cuddles and comfort fit him perfectly. That's why he should find his place with an elderly person without difficulty.
#9 The English Bulldog
The largest dog on this list, at nearly 40 kilos, the English Bulldog has emerged as the compromise between a medium-sized dog breed and a dog adapted to the elderly. Indeed, his placidity and gentleness make him a dog that won't pull hard on his leash and will be satisfied with a life of moderate exercise.
#10 Adopt an adult dog
If a dog grows calmer when he becomes adult, when he is a puppy, he can be quite excited and clumsy.
If you don't feel capable of handling this excitement, you may want to consider adopting an older dog from a shelter, for example.
As a bonus: the managers and volunteers of the shelter know the personalities of the dogs they look after on a daily basis and will be able to give you the right advice to select the dog that will be the best companion for you.
Passionate about dogs since I was a child, I adopted my dog from a shelter 4 years ago. Thanks to her, I learned many things: the most adapted food, education, how to welcome a dog… I keep on discovering new things and share them with you here!