Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Senior Citizens

Companionship becomes a cherished necessity, and what better way to experience it than with a furry friend? Choosing the right dog breed is crucial for senior citizens – one that is not too rowdy, demands low maintenance, and provides unwavering loyalty.

Best Dog Breeds for Senior Citizens


  • Choose a dog breed that aligns with the senior’s lifestyle, whether it’s a low-energy lap dog or a more active companion.
  • Assess the grooming needs of the chosen breed, ensuring it matches the senior’s ability and willingness to maintain their furry friend’s coat.
  • Opt for breeds that are sociable and can be easily trained, promoting a positive interaction with both family members and other animals.
  • Take into account the living space available – smaller breeds like Yorkies or Maltese are well-suited for apartments or smaller homes.
  • Prioritize breeds known for loyalty and affection, providing seniors with the companionship they desire in their daily lives.

Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Senior Citizens

Here, we’ll explore the top 10 best dog breeds for senior citizens, each bringing unique qualities that make them perfect companions for the elderly.

1. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terrier
  • Small and adaptable to small spaces.
  • Low shedding and minimal grooming needs.
  • Requires daily walks and short play sessions.
  • Lifespan of around 17 years with proper care.

Yorkshire Terriers, or Yorkies, are small and adaptable dogs that make excellent companions for seniors, especially those living in small apartments or senior housing.

Their small stature allows them to adjust to confined spaces easily, and they are content to stay indoors as long as they receive their daily exercise needs.

Yorkies have minimal shedding, making them suitable for those with limited time for grooming. With a lifespan of around 17 years, these loyal and playful dogs can greatly bring senior citizens joy.

2. Pomeranian

  • Affectionate lap dogs weighing 3 to 7 pounds.
  • Moderate exercise needs with 30 minutes of daily activity.
  • Regular grooming required for thick, fluffy coat.
  • Ideal for seniors living in apartments.

Pomeranians, affectionately known as “Palms,” are small lap dogs weighing between three to seven pounds.

They make great companions for seniors, offering affection and companionship. Despite their small size, Pomeranians are not couch potatoes and benefit from around 30 minutes of daily exercise through walks and play.

Regular grooming is necessary due to their thick, fluffy coat. Still, their manageable size makes them suitable for apartment living, making them an ideal choice for seniors seeking a loving and lively companion.

3. Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier
  • Versatile and adaptable to various lifestyles.
  • Cheerful and enthusiastic companions.
  • Short, sleek coat with minimal shedding.
  • Enjoys activities from brisk walks to leisurely couch time.

Boston Terriers are versatile dogs that quickly adapt to their owner’s lifestyle, making them great companions for seniors.

Whether you’re a couch potato or enjoy brisk walks, this breed happily joins you in various activities. Social butterflies by nature, Boston Terriers may approach other people and animals, adding a pleasant element to their presence.

With short and sleek coats that shed minimally, these cheerful and enthusiastic dogs are easy to groom, providing companionship and positive vibes to their senior owners.

4. Papillon

  • Compact and entertaining with silly antics.
  • Energetic and playful, requires socialization and training.
  • Possessive of owners, making them loyal companions.
  • Ideal for active seniors with energy to spare.

Known for their compact size and entertaining antics, Papillons are excellent choices for seniors who still have the energy to play and walk.

While possessing a small frame, they are energetic and benefit from regular exercise. Papillons can be possessive of their owners, emphasizing the need for early socialization and training.

These dogs are a delightful addition to the household, bringing joy through their silly and funny behaviors, making them a suitable option for seniors seeking an active and entertaining companion.

5. Chihuahua

  • Adorable with big personalities, but fragile bodies.
  • Exercise needs can be met at home through play sessions.
  • Requires early socialization for better interaction with other animals.
  • Not recommended for households with small, inexperienced children.

Chihuahuas, the smallest dog breed, are adorable companions with prominent personalities. While they can meet their exercise needs at home through play and tricks, early socialization is crucial, as they may only sometimes get along with other animals.

Due to their fragile bodies, they are not recommended for households with small, inexperienced children.

Despite their size, Chihuahuas are affectionate and make loyal companions, providing a perfect match for seniors seeking a small yet spirited canine friend.

6. Maltese

  • Pure, small, and white dogs with few health conditions.
  • Low-energy dogs satisfied with short walks or indoor play.
  • Attention-seeking and suitable for elders spending time at home.

If you prefer a small, pure white dog with minimal health conditions, the Maltese is an excellent breed for seniors.

Maltese dogs are easy for seniors to manage, have low energy, and are content with short walks or indoor play.

With a weight ranging from six to nine pounds, these attention-seeking companions thrive in households where they receive ample time and affection.

Their low-maintenance nature makes them ideal for seniors seeking a loving, low-energy furry friend.

7. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu
Shih Tzu
  • Known for long, silky hair and friendly personalities.
  • Alert watchdogs that quickly bond with their owners.
  • Requires companionship, not suited for long periods alone.
  • Welcoming to visitors after an initial alert.

With their long silky hair and adorable personalities, Shih Tzus are popular lap dogs worldwide. Friendly yet alert, they make loving companions and effective watchdogs.

While they may bark at strangers, Shih Tzus is sociable and enjoys greeting and playing with visitors, especially children.

Their deep bond with humans requires regular companionship, making them a suitable choice for seniors who can spend time with them.

However, leaving them alone for extended periods may lead to separation anxiety.

8. Poodle

  • Highly trainable and available in three sizes.
  • Requires mental stimulation, suitable for active seniors.
  • Low shedding, making them ideal for allergy sufferers.
  • Known for intelligence and versatility.

Poodles, one of the most popular dog breeds, come in three sizes, offering options for various households.

Highly trainable and intelligent, poodles require mental stimulation, making them suitable for active seniors. Their low-shedding coat makes them an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.

Poodles thrive on training and can learn tricks and commands, keeping their minds engaged. Whether you choose a standard, miniature, or toy poodle, you’ll have a loyal and versatile companion.

9. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise
Bichon Frise
  • Cheerful and affectionate with a curly or wavy white coat.
  • Requires at least 30 minutes of daily exercise.
  • Prone to getting dirty due to their coat, requiring regular baths.
  • Small size makes them easy to care for.

Known for their cheerful and affectionate personalities, Bichon Frises are identified by their pure white coat, which is curly or wavy.

They require at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and are well-suited for seniors looking to stay active. Their small size makes them manageable, but their white coat demands regular grooming to prevent dirt accumulation.

Bichon Frises thrive in households where they receive attention and time, making them superb companions for seniors spending a significant amount of time at home.

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Easy-going, family-friendly, and playful.
  • Gets along with everyone and other pets.
  • Regular grooming needed, including ear cleaning to prevent infection.
  • Sweet, cheerful, and loving, making them perfect for brightening a senior’s day.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is an easy-going, family-friendly, and playful breed, making it the best choice for senior citizens. Known for their compatibility with people of all ages, including other pets, these dogs are versatile and easy to get along with.

Their sweet, cheerful, and loving nature adds brightness to the lives of senior owners. However, their long ears require regular cleaning to prevent infections, and multiple brushings each week are essential to maintain their beautiful coat. Overall, Cavaliers offer the perfect blend of companionship and joy for seniors.


What is the lifespan of a Yorkshire Terrier, and are they suitable for apartment living?

Yorkshire Terriers generally have a lifespan of around 17 years with proper care. They are indeed suitable for apartment living due to their small stature and adaptability to confined spaces.

Do Pomeranians require extensive exercise, and what about their grooming needs?

Pomeranians have moderate exercise needs, typically requiring about 30 minutes of daily activity. However, their thick, fluffy coat demands regular brushing to prevent matting.

Are Boston Terriers good for various lifestyles, and how often do they shed?

Boston Terriers are versatile dogs that quickly adapt to different lifestyles. Their short, sleek coat minimizes shedding, requiring only weekly brushing to keep their fur in optimal condition.

Do Papillons get along with other dogs, and what energy level do they have?

Papillons are energetic and playful, suitable for active seniors. However, they can be possessive of their owners, so early socialization is crucial to ensure they get along with other dogs.

Are Chihuahuas suitable for households with small children, and what is their exercise routine like?

Chihuahuas, while adorable, may not be the best choice for households with small, inexperienced children due to their fragile bodies. They can meet their exercise needs through play sessions at home.

What makes Maltese dogs attention-seeking, and are they good for seniors spending time at home?

A6: Maltese dogs thrive on attention and make excellent companions for seniors, spending most of their time at home. Their small size and affectionate nature contribute to their attention-seeking behavior.

Why are Shih Tzus considered alert watchdogs, and what should be avoided to prevent separation anxiety in them?

Shih Tzus are considered alert watchdogs because they tend to bark at strangers. It’s crucial not to leave them alone for extended periods to prevent separation anxiety, as they form deep bonds with their human companions.

Are Poodles suitable for allergy sufferers, and what distinguishes them as highly trainable dogs?

Poodles are known for being low-shedding, making them suitable for allergy sufferers. Their high intelligence levels contribute to their reputation as highly trainable dogs, requiring mental stimulation for optimal well-being.

What grooming considerations are essential for Bichon Frise, and how much exercise do they need daily?

A9: Bichon Frise dogs have a curly or wavy coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. They need at least 30 minutes of daily exercise to stay active and healthy.

What makes Cavalier King Charles Spaniels family-friendly, and how often should their ears be cleaned?

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for being easy-going, family-friendly, and playful. Their ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to avoid infections, as long, floppy ears can trap moisture.


Choosing the right dog breed for a senior citizen involves considering various factors such as size, energy level, grooming needs, and compatibility with the owner’s lifestyle.

A joyful and fulfilling partnership may be ensured by giving your dog the correct amount of training, exercise, time, and affection, whether energetic Yorkshire Terriers or loving Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Remember, each dog is an individual, so understanding their unique needs and characteristics is critical to building a strong bond with your furry friend.

More Resources:
Should an 80-year Old Get a Dog?
Is 74 Too Old to Get a Puppy?