rescued dog mixedThere are many benefits to having a dog, especially when you are a senior and have too much time on your hands. Many people become bored when they retire. Below are dog breeds for seniors that can change your life.

Owning a dog can make you healthier and happier. Just think, with a dog you get unconditional love, a healthier lifestyle with regular exercise, and you will have a reduction of stress.

Some Things to Consider

Adult Dog or Senior Dog

Consider adopting an adult dog or better yet a senior dog. Puppies are cute, but they require a lot of exercise, training, and attention. Training a puppy can be time consuming.

Adult and senior dogs have some training if not fully trained. They have usually lived in a home before, and they have passed the chewing stage. Adult dogs are fully grown and you will see their size and temperament.

Energy level

You need to consider the dog’s energy level so you will be able to exercise your dog properly. Don’t choose a dog with an energy level equal to or lower than your energy level.

Many behavior problems can be prevented with proper exercise. Your dog needs enough exercise to make them tired. The old saying is very true, a tired dog is a good dog.


Many seniors choose a small dog that they can handle although there are large dogs that can be a great companion. With a large dog, the dog must be well trained. Many service dogs are large dogs that are very well trained.

Kid friendly

If you have grandchildren, you will need to choose a dog that is kid friendly. You want your dog and your grandchildren to have fun together, and look forward to coming to visit you and your dog.

Advantages You Having a Dog


dog playing outsideYou will exercise more taking your dog for a walk each day. Some days you may not want to exercise, but your dog standing by the door wanting to go for a walk can be the motivation you need to get up and walk.

Walking will improve your health and your dog’s health while releasing your dog’s energy. After a nice walk, both of you can relax together.

Reduce Stress

Did you know that your dog can reduce stress? Many studies have shown that you can reduce stress by petting, playing, or just by looking at your dog! Owning a dog can bring some stress, but the reduction of stress is greater than the stress of caring for a dog.

Meet People

You can meet new people while walking your dog or going to the dog park. Strangers are more likely to strike up a conversation if you have a dog. Get out and make some new friends with your dog.

I know people who go to the dog park at the same time each day to allow their dogs to exercise together, while they socialize with friends they met at the park.

Reduce Depression

Senior dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression. A dog will give you a reason to get up in the morning, and a reason to be more positive and active. Dogs give so much unconditional love and they truly want you to be happy.


Dogs have a sharp sense of hearing and they can alert you of strange noises that you may not hear. Many times my dog has alerted me to something I did not hear.

No one can get to my door without Freckles letting me know someone is outside the house. Plus, a barking dog can send burglars running away.

Dog Breeds for Seniors

Below are some dog breeds for seniors that would be good companions. Keep in mind that there are other dog breeds that would be good also. Local dog or animal shelters can be very helpful when choosing a dog, sharing their knowledge of dogs with you.

Mixed Breed Dogs

mixed breed dogMixed breed dogs are not a breed, but they can be the perfect pet. Often, mixed breed dogs have fewer health problems than purebreds. Normally a mixed breed dog will receive the best traits from it’s mother and father, helping to eliminate health problems.

You can look for a mixed breed dog that is a combination of dogs with the traits you are looking for. Many shelters can help you with making a decision and some shelters do DNA tests on the dogs to know what breeds they are mixed with. For more information on adopting a dog, click here.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

king charles dog breeds for seniorsYou might want to consider a King Charles Spaniel if you want a lapdog. They will follow you around everywhere you go and do not do well alone. This dog needs to spend a great deal of time with their owner.

Regular brushing and combing will keep the coat tangle free. Shedding will occur mainly twice a year, in the spring and fall. Moderate exercise will be necessary with at least two long walks each day.

If you are an active senior who doesn’t want to be alone, the this could be the perfect dog for you. For more information, check out the Cavalier Rescue USA.

Bichon Frise

bichon friseA playful and affectionate breed, they make a good companion dog for a senior. With their sweet temperament and they are good with kids, which is great if you have grandchildren.

Separation anxiety can be a problem as they don’t do well being alone for long periods of time. This is another dog that needs lots of human companionship.

Clipping and trimming will be required every 6 weeks to keep their hair under control. Regular brushing and combing is necessary although they shed very little hair.

Standard Poodle

poodle dog breedStandard Poodles are very smart and learn quickly. With a playful and upbeat temperament, they are friendly and good with children.

Exercise requirements will be about two walks per day, about 30 minutes each, depending on the age of your Standard Poodle.

Although they are low shedding dogs, they will need regular brushing and clipping to prevent matting of their curly hair.


dog malteseA Maltese is a toy breed dog and will make a good companion and lapdog for a senior. They will concentrate on their owners and need your attention.

Being slightly active, they need minimal exercise to release their energy and don’t require a lot of room.

Short clipping of their hair will make them an easy to care for dog with regular brushing and combing.


greyhoundBeing a well mannered dog, a Greyhound can be a perfect companion dog. They are fast runners but they lack endurance. One walk a day will work for them.

With short thin coats, they need to be kept warm or they will shiver. A warm jacket will be necessary in a cold climate.

A rescue group for retired racing dogs can provide an abundance of information on the dogs available and the breed. Here is the Adopt a Greyhound Project.

Shih Tzu

dog breed shih tzuThe Shih Tzu is a small playful dog with a lively and amusing personality. They are good with children and enjoy playing with children, inside or outside.

One walk a day will be enough for them, but without a walk each day behavioral problems could develop. Inside playtime  will be enjoyable for them, as well as relaxing with you.

Regular grooming will be necessary with clipping and trimming. Brushing and combing regularly will help prevent tangles and matting. The hair can be clipped short for easier daily grooming.

If you go to a shelter to look for a dog, the shelter staff will be able to provide a lot of help for you. They know the dogs in the shelter and they can show you dogs that will fit into your lifestyle.

Don’t overlook the senior dogs who will be the most grateful for being adopted and provided with a home and love. They will bring so much joy to your life.

Leave a comment below or share a story about your dog. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.