10 Dog Breeds for Seniors

Table of Contents:

  1. Boston Terrier
  2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  3. Chihuahua
  4. Maltese
  5. Miniature Schnauzer
  6. Pekingese
  7. Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis
  8. Pug
  9. Toy Poodle
  10. Is a Dog Right For You?

Retirement is restful, but it can also be lonely. For seniors experiencing loneliness, bringing home a new dog could be the perfect solution. More than just companions, dogs have been shown to elevate mood, alleviate stress, and even help lower blood pressure with their very presence.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes more than 100 breeds and these ten are among the best choices for senior dog lovers.

A grey-haired woman and her golden Labrador Retriever.

Boston Terrier

Of the dozens of AKC breeds, this adorable terrier is one of the few that can trace its origins to the states. Easy-going and intelligent, they’ve got the perfect size and temperament for senior pet owners. With a little patience, seniors can even teach their Boston Terrier to perform simple obedience tricks.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Seniors looking for a dog to pamper will love welcoming a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into their homes. The breed earned its name through an association with English Kings Charles I and II, and they even possess a regal quality. Don’t forget that these spaniels need regular brushing to avoid matting and tangles.


Chihuahuas are one of the world’s smallest breeds, but they boast a big bark and even bigger personality. Thanks to their independent attitude, Chihuahuas often require a little extra patience to train. Though they’re happy to get active, they tend to prefer a sedentary lifestyle and don’t usually require much exercise.


With a beautiful coat and docile personality, the tiny Maltese is a great addition to any pet-loving home. This cute breed is said to have been a favorite of Queen Elizabeth I. Keep in mind that the Maltese’s coat requires regular grooming.


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Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer’s distinctive eyebrows and beard make them instantly recognizable, and their loving disposition makes them an ideal pet. Pet owners of all ages appreciate the intelligence and protective nature of the breed.


The loving and loyal Pekingese has a regal personality and was beloved by Chinese royalty as early as the 8th century. Today, they’re a favorite at dog shows, winning Best in Show at Westminster in 1960, 1982, 1990, and 2012. Don’t forget to groom your Pekingese regularly to keep their coat looking its best.

Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis

With their stubby legs and long bodies, Pembroke and Cardigan Welsh Corgis are both a great choice for seniors. How do you tell the difference between the two types? Cardigan Welsh Corgis have tails and rounded ears. The Pembroke variety has pointy ears and no tail.


The adorable Pug’s laid-back attitude makes it the perfect companion for relaxing afternoons. Make sure to watch your new pet’s diet closely — Pugs really love to eat. Work with your veterinarian to keep your Pug’s weight under control and you’ll enjoy years of companionship.

Toy Poodle

These dainty dogs can be high-maintenance, but they repay that effort with endless affection. Intelligent and playful, Toy Poodles love a game of fetch or a walk in the park almost as much as they love being pampered.

Is a Dog Right For You?

While anyone can enjoy the considerable benefits of animal companionship, pet ownership isn’t for everyone. Before selecting a pet, make sure you’re physically and financially capable of providing the necessary care. If you can’t commit to raising a pet, look for opportunities to take part in pet-assisted therapy programs. These will offer all the benefits of animal companionship without the expense and hard work of living with a dog.