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Best Dog Breeds For Seniors and Retirees

Dogs can make great companions for people and boost emotional well being because of their loving and exuberant personalities. These happy creatures can brighten anyone’s day and can help senior citizens stay active and get outside. Dogs are called man’s best friend because they love to shower people with adoration and receive human affection. Here are some of the best breeds for senior or retirees, and no, the Great Dane is not on the list.


This dog has been a family dog for over 2000 years and their girlie looks are fun for owners to maintain. They live a good life usually from 12 to 15 years and they will grow to 8 to 10 inches tall. They usually are under 10 pounds so they won’t be jumping up on people and knocking them down. This dog loves people and is often used for therapy. These pets are ideal because they are hypoallergenic and shed very little. They are extremely well mannered and loving. To learn about the Maltese breed from The American Kennel Club click here

2. Lhasa Apso

A low-shed coat makes the Lhasa Apso good for apartments and small spaces, especially if you’re concerned about grooming needs. The dog breed has an average lifespan of 14 years, and is a complete lap dog. This breed is a loyal and loving dog you’ll love.  The breed’s personality is ideal for a senior because it’s independent but wants your attention, so you get the best of both worlds. To learn about the Lhasa Apso breed from The American Kennel Club click here

3. Havanese

The Havanese is a great dog for seniors. Playful and loving, they’re a small breed that has moderate exercise needs. They become devoted to their owners and love to spend time with them, making them great companions. They have a coat that is easy to maintain with a regular brushing, and they’re sweet gentle dogs that aren’t high-strung. To learn about the Havanese breed from The American Kennel Club click here

4. Beagle

Beagles have a reputation for being loud, however  that is not always the case, but many senior care experts have ranked these friendly dogs as one of the best dog breeds for seniors. The breed loves to play, which will keep you active, and has relatively low grooming needs. The beagle is also great with kids, so you won’t have to worry about the  grandchildren. To learn about the Beagle breed from The American Kennel Club click here

5. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are an elegant breed with a long, silky coat. This affectionate pooch weighs between 13 and 18 pounds and has a life expectancy of 9 to 14 years. Playful, adaptable, and sociable, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel can make a great companion whether in a rural setting or in your apartment in the city. Though this breed has good watchdog ability and is sure to alert you to any intruders, this small dog is very gentle and friendly.  This breed is not hypoallergenic and requires moderate grooming and brushing, as its long, silky fur can be easily matted. With this breed it is important to find a good breeder as they are prone to many health issues such as heart conditions, neurological conditions, and eye/skin conditions. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are fairly active and do best with moderate exercise. Long walks and trips to the dog park are much appreciated! This dog could be perfect for you if you enjoy a somewhat active lifestyle or have a big backyard. To learn about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Breed from The American Kennel Club click here

6. Italian Greyhound

Greyhounds are quite large dogs, but if you love the look of a greyhound and want something more manageable, the Italian Greyhound might be just the breed. Italian Greyhounds are affectionately, and have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. The friendly dogs are ideal for apartments or small homes as they only need an hour of exercise each day. To learn about the Greyhound breed from The American Kennel Club click here

7.Welsh Terrier

The Welsh Terrier is a  medium-sized breed that is tan and black and is a true terrier. It was bred for hunting, this dog is full of energy and has an independent spirit. They will generally weigh around 20 pounds. What makes this breed great for seniors is its playfulness, energy, and spirit. While it may not be ideal for less able seniors, this dog requires a great deal of exercise, which can help a person to stay in shape. In addition, they are very playful and lively, making them great dogs for playing with grandchildren. To learn about the Welsh Terrier breed from The American Kennel Club click here

8. Yorkshire Terrier

This little love grows to be about 7 pounds in weight and only 8 to 9 inches tall. Their average lifespan is anywhere from 12 to 15 years. This is undoubtedly the most famous of the very small dog breeds and they are good inside dogs. They will be able to get along with your neighbors pet’s once they get to know them. These dogs do not shed much but do require daily brushing so their coat doesn’t get tangled. They are prone to digestive problems, barking and dental problems. They can be trained not to bark with patience though. To learn about the Yorkshire Terrier breed from The American Kennel Club click here

9. West Highland White Terrier

The West Highland White Terrier is a friendly, low maintenance small dog with a rugged, non-fragile build. They are happy and inquisitive West Highland White Terrier is always busy and involved in something. Terriers are also among the friendliest and most affectionate of terriers. They love walks and love to play indoors or outdoors. The West Highland White Terriers are very playful and have a loving personality.  They will keep you entertained with their desire to romp and play will keep you active and alert. To learn about the West Highland White Terrier breed from The American Kennel Club click here

10. Poodle

Poodles are great dogs for anyone, and are especially popular with seniors. The breed is one of the most intelligent and will provide you yours of faithful companionship. Poodles come in three sizes. The Standard Poodle: over 15 inches at the shoulder — most are in the 22-27″ range. The Miniature Poodle: over 10 inches and not over 15 inches at the shoulder – most are in the 13-15″ range, and The Toy Poodle: 10 inches and under at the shoulder.  They are a gentle loving nature and ability to adapt to any space makes them great choices for any senior. If you have allergies, you can appreciate the low-maintenance needs of the breed’s coat, thanks to its hypoallergenic nature. To learn about the Poodle breed from The American Kennel Club  click here

11. Labrador Retriever

Labs are known to be friendly, intelligent dogs, and yes, the assumption is true. These qualities make them great for seniors, provided they can get the exercise they crave. It may not be fair to coop these large dogs in an apartment, but if you have a nice yard, they’ll be very happy. This breed is loving and loyal, and makes a great watch dog. To learn about the Labrador Retriever breed from The American Kennel Club click here

12. Greyhound

This may come as a surprise, but Greyhounds make excellent pets. While most commonly associated with racing (these dogs can run at 40 miles per hour). The Greyhound is breed that can be easily adopted as an adult. They enjoy daily walks and the occasional chance to run, most tend to be ‘couch potatoes’ that enjoy loafing around with their owners. They greyhound stands at around 30 inches in height and weighing up to 80 pounds, it may be surprising to know that Greyhounds are beloved as affectionate couch potatoes. Retired Greyhounds are loving and gentle, virtually never biting humans. To learn about the Greyhound breed from The American Kennel Club click here


To learn more about other dog breeds visit The American Kennel Club website click here

Value Dog Training does Offer Senior Discounts for puppy and adult dogs. Contact us at 916-201-7080

If you are considering adopting a dog you can read our blog on  reasons to adopt a dog click here



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