Good Dog Breeds for the Elderly


The American Heart Association (AHA) claims that owning a dog helps you live a healthier and longer life. Isn't that reason enough to get a dog?

If you need more reasons, consider the following:

  • Dog's keep owners active
  • Dogs are excellent for socialization
  • Dogs are great company
  • Dog's ease pain
  • Dog's help with mental health issues

The CDC states that the bond people share with their pets, especially dogs, can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol, triglyceride, which reduce the risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Seniors are often more in need of exercise, companionship, and therapeutics than younger adults. Therefore, it makes sense for them to have a dog. Here are some of the best dog breeds for senior citizens:

The Best Dog Breeds for the Elderly

Dogs come in many shapes and sizes; the smallest Chihuahua is only as tall as 10 cm, while the largest Great Dane can go as tall as 110 cm. Let's take a look at the best dogs for senior citizens based on their size:

Medium to Large Dogs

Afghan Hounds

Weight: 56 – 75 Lbs. | Height: 23 – 29 Inches Personality: Happy & Independent | Hypoallergenic: Yes |

Fabled to have been one of the dogs in Noah's Ark, Afghan Hounds are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world. The Afghan's silky coat of shiny hair and soulful eyes reflects its noble lineage.

True to the dog group it belongs to, the Afghan hound is an athletic dog with excellent hunting instincts. Despite its energetic tendencies, the Afghan is a mild-tempered dog which makes it an ideal companion for seniors.

It will keep a person active because they need daily walks to keep them happy. However, they do not require lengthy playtime or runs across the parks because they are pretty independent and aloof.

Who will Like Afghan Hounds?

Seniors who like to keep active, like big dogs, and don't mind grooming their dogs daily, will be best matched with this breed. Moreover, they shed lightly, and they have less dander than other dogs, making them more hypoallergenic. Therefore, seniors with allergies will love these dogs.

Afghan Hounds are not Suitable For?

An Afghan is not suitable for adults who have emotional support, service, or therapy needs.

Labrador Retriever

Weight: 55 – 80 Lbs. |Height: 21.5 – 24.5 Inches |Personality: Gentle, Friendly, Affectionate & Social |Hypoallergenic: | No

Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the USA. This breed's popularity is unsurprising considering the loving, gentle, and high-spirited personality of the Lab.

Labradors are energetic, but they are not hyperactive. A lab is happy with nothing more than a walk around the park once a day. It won't act out even if you miss the walk once or twice.

Labs don't have an aggressive bone in their body; they are the most gentle and fun-loving dogs. They will readily greet the mailperson and the grandkids without barking your ear off.

Who will Like Labrador Retrievers?

Seniors who want to remain lightly active, love to socialize, and frequently have guests over will love these sweet pets. Additionally, the calm and obedient temperament of the Labrador makes it a stable furry companion for individuals with emotional support needs. Seniors on the autism spectrum feel calmer with these dogs around. 

Labrador Retrievers are not Suitable for?

Seniors with allergies should best avoid Labradors as they are not hypoallergenic.


Weight: 15 – 30 Lbs. |Height: 13 – 24 Inches| Personality: Intelligent, Energetic & Friendly |Hypoallergenic: Yes |

Goldendoodles are a crossbreed of Golden Retriever and Poodle. Needless to say, they are beautiful dogs. They come in various sizes; We Love Doodles states that miniature doodles can be as small as 13 inches and as tall as 24 inches in size.

They are perfect for seniors as they require moderate activity; they are playful, loyal, and easily trainable. They are also happy at home and have a low tendency to wander off.

Who will Like Goldendoodles?

Seniors who like their downtime and enjoy the loving companionship of a friendly dog will love these curly-haired dogs.

Goldendoodles Are Not Suitable For?

There is hardly anyone who does not find doodles suitable. Since they come in multiple sizes, they are suitable for most seniors. If you are someone who wants a service or therapy dog, then they may not be suitable.

Small Dogs

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Weight: 13 – 18 Lbs. | Height: 12 – 13 Inches | Personality: Courageous, Cheerful & Affectionate | Hypoallergenic: No |

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the epitome of a well-rounded dog breed. The dog is beautiful, even-tempered, and incredibly affectionate. Belonging to the toy group of dog breeds, the spaniel is no more than 13 inches tall.

Along with their notorious penchant for cuddling, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are known for their loyalty and adaptability. This breed is fiercely loyal to their owner, and they take on the personality of their owner as well.

If you are a couch potato, soon your dog will be too. On the other hand, if you love to go on a jog every morning, your spaniel will be sprinting right alongside you.

In addition, they are very sensitive dogs; their behavior reflects the owner's emotions. If you are unhappy, they are going to be as well and vice versa. On the other hand, Cavies don't handle irregularity too well; they don't like surprises and are upset if their routine is disturbed.

Who will Like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels?

Cavies are homebodies; they are excellent pets for seniors because they have a low tendency to wander off. They also adjust to living in apartments and don't need much room like larger breeds.

Seniors who frequently have their grandkids over will love these dogs because they are playful and protective. Finally, Cavies make excellent therapy dogs; their friendly and affectionate nature makes them suitable companions for individuals facing mental health challenges.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Are Not Suitable For?

If you have allergies, then Cavies are not for you. They shed more than average and can worsen your allergies. Moreover, if you can't visit the groomers often, don't go for this breed as they require frequent professional grooming.


Weight: 14 – 18 Lbs. | Height: 10 – 13 Inches | Personality: Mischievous, Charming & Loving | Hypoallergenic: No |

The phrase small but mighty best defines the Pug. It is a healthy and muscular dog that has a personality much bigger than its small size.

The characteristic wrinkled face, squashed nose, and large eyes of the Pug have made it one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide. They are mild-tempered dogs that can adjust to any environment easily. Their adaptability is legendary, making them the perfect dog whether you are a kid or an adult.

A pug requires moderate exercise, which is ideal for seniors as well. They have a gentle and affectionate nature; they love spending quality time with their owners. You can find them curled up on the sofa with their human or lying on the carpet by their feet.

Who will Like Pugs?

Pugs also make excellent therapy dogs. Seniors with emotional support needs will find these dogs calming. Pugs can easily adjust to any environment, so people who travel around the country after retirement will find these dogs worthy companions.

Pugs are Not Suitable for?

Pugs don't like humidity, so people living in humid areas should avoid getting pugs. Moreover, people with allergies should also avoid pugs; some breeds can even increase the risk of allergic reactions. 

About the Author:

Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions.

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