Great dog breeds for seniors
Dogs provide love and comfort to millions of Americans. In fact, more than 43 million households are home to canine companions. But for all the benefits that come with owning a furry friend, dogs are a big responsibility. There's the expense of food and vet bills, the exercise and play time, and the obedience training—all factors that might keep some senior adults from taking on a commitment that can last a decade or more. That's why it is a good idea for older adults to consider dog breeds that are compatible with their lifestyles.
Do you hope to travel with a small dog? Do you wish to remain active and want a dog that can run and hike long distances? Do you want an affectionate companion that will be safe around younger family members? Because neither dogs nor senior adults come in one-size-fits-all, Stacker has compiled this alphabetical list of breed choices to keep in mind if you have a bit of yard space, time for obedience training, and can deal with some occasional shedding and barking. Dogs like these can be purchased from a reputable pet breeder or adopted from a local animal shelter or pet rescue facility. The life expectancy for most of these breeds is approximately 12–15 years.
Read on to see which breed fits your unique lifestyle.
Instantly recognized by its nickname “monkey dog,” the affenpinscher is small, portable, and playful. Their diminutive size makes them well-suited to a small home, apartment, or retirement complex. Daily walks will help both dog and owner get some exercise and socialize with others.
American Eskimo dog
The American Eskimo dog comes in toy, miniature, and standard sizes. This breed needs to be part of a group, so they pair nicely with retirees who are home more often to enjoy this highly trainable, social breed.
The appearance of a basset hound is a bit misleading. This dog might look small at 14 inches tall, but its form is solid and heavy, weighing in at 40 to 65 pounds. Basset hounds can spend a day sleeping peacefully, but will happily take part in activities and walks. They delight in visits from the grandkids. This breed is known for its bark, but overall make great, mellow dogs for a person’s golden years.
The beagle is known for its baying bark, its keen sense of smell, and for being pretty darn cute. No wonder it ranks as the #5 breed out of 194 in the American Kennel Club rankings. Beagles are incredibly docile, low maintenance, and make great playmates for any grandchildren who might come calling. Usually weighing under 20 pounds, the breed does have a dense coat which will shed out each spring, so get the brush ready.
The bichon frise looks born to cuddle with a soft, hypoallergenic coat, round head, and large, dark eyes. These dogs are very easy to train and eager to please, so they’re perfect for busier seniors. Bichon frises are easy to hold and carry, and are more than happy to join you on all your activities. Just be ready for all the requests you’ll get from people who want to pet your dog.
Long legs and an otter-shaped head are distinguishing characteristics of the border terrier. Seniors who have access to land will find it easy to exercise this little guy, but in town adequate exercise may involve lots of time on the leash. They are friendly to kids although squirrels may tell it differently. They weigh 13 to 15 pounds and have an easy-to-care-for, wiry coat.
Described as friendly, bright, and amusing the Boston terrier ranks #21 in the AKC's list of 194 dog breeds. Their small size is manageable at the end of a leash, and it takes very little to keep them well-groomed. Boston terriers are also good with children who may visit the household, but they’ll always be happiest with their owners, curled up in a favorite chair or on the bed.
The cairn terrier is described as an alert, busy, cheerful little dog who can be a great companion dog around the house—or Oz, as Toto the Cairn terrier discovered—for folks no longer busied by careers and raising families. They like exploring, which might include backyard digging whilst on the end of a leash during strolls through the neighborhood. Cairn terriers may need a little supervision around grandkids or other dogs, but their coats don't require prolonged grooming.
Cavalier King Charles spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles spaniel has a silky coat, melting brown eyes, and surprising strength at the end of a leash. This toy spaniel adapts well to the habits of their owners, so whether seniors and their families are active or homebodies, this small dog will be happy at their side.
Described as clever, adventurous, and family oriented, the Cesky terrier is a great dog for the active senior. If the word "terrier" conjures images of backyard digging and relentless squeaky toys, know that this breed is considered mellow, as terriers go. They provide the same entertainment level with less chaos for seniors who prefer to spend minimal time repairing the garden.2018 All rights reserved.