Best dog breeds for seniors

Dogs can be great companions and sources of comfort. They can also be a drain on your energy, budget and patience.

Thankfully, considering the number of breeds out there, there is a dog for almost every family, location or situation.

If you are considering a dog, you should think carefully about what you want in your new pet. Is it a pet to sit on the couch with or is it a required companion for a brisk walk every day? Do you have lots of room for your new pet, or do you live in a tidy little unit? These can all inform your decisions.

As a general rule, the best breeds for older adults don’t require a lot of exercise, grooming or healthcare.

Here’s our guide to the best dog breeds for seniors.

Senior dog

Not a breed as such obviously, but still worth considering.

There is a great deal of appeal in a new puppy, but they can be a handful and require a great deal of attention. I know some dog lovers who swear they are never getting a puppy again.

Why not consider a senior dog that needs a new home? They are often overlooked in shelters, they don’t need a lot of exercise and you will be providing a loving home for an animal in its twilight years.

The only downside is the vet bills may be considerable.


Despite their use for racing, greyhounds when not in training or racing are some of the laziest dogs going around.

They will enjoy a walk, but are also happy to spend the day on the couch. If you are concerned a standard greyhound may be too big, the Italian greyhound is about half the size and still has that great temperament.


Small, fluffy white dogs seem to never go out of fashion and certainly the Maltese is in good company here.

They are easy to handle, love a cuddle and only need short walks. They do need a bit of grooming and regular trips to a professional groomer to keep their coat under control are recommended.

Maltese are also easily trained and love other people.

Bichon frise

Talking of charming, small white dogs, why not consider a bichon frise? Everything you would like about in a Maltese is also present in a bichon frise.

However, they do love lots of attention, so if you think you will be out of the house for the majority of the day, maybe consider another breed.


Poodles have an undeserved reputation as the fancy show ponies of the dog world. Nothing could be further from the truth. They are one of the most intelligent breeds and are highly social. They love their human families and are just as happy on a walk as they are on the couch. They don’t shed, but will need grooming every month or so.

They also come in several different sizes so you can buy one that suits your situation.

And as for those outlandish clips. Well, they do have a place in history.

Poodles were originally water dogs and the clips kept their joints and head warm while making sure they didn’t become too weighed down and waterlogged when they got wet.


Is it just me, or is the corgi having somewhat of a revival? I seem to see them everywhere, and a corgi puppy must be just about the cutest puppy ever.

As they were originally bred as herding dogs – yes, unlikely, but true – they do need regular exercise or a big yard. As a herding dog, they also bark a lot, but they do make good watchdogs.

They are also very affectionate, good with other dogs and good with young children.

Do you have a preferred breed of dog? Has that changed over the years? Why not share your experience in the comments section below?

Also read: Vet shares the dog breeds he would never own

Jan Fisher
Jan Fisher
Accomplished journalist, feature writer and sub-editor with impressive knowledge of the retirement landscape, including retirement income, issues that affect Australians planning and living in retirement, and answering YLC members' Age Pension and Centrelink questions. She has also developed a passion for travel and lifestyle writing and is fast becoming a supermarket savings 'guru'.


  1. We took on an ex-racing Greyhound that was around 6 years old. We live on 5 acres and he loved running from one end of the property to the other to use up his energy and then lounge around. While we knew he was getting to the end of his life we didn’t expect to find him dead on our back lawn one morning, still warm.
    On the night he died he got up early (before his normal bedtime) went over to my husband and got a big love and cuddle from him and then came to me and did the same (most unusual to come to me). He didn’t want to go to bed and kicked up a fuss about it.
    We are pretty sure he was saying his last goodbyes to us both on that night in September last year.

  2. i had a German Shepard for 14 years i came out one morning & found out he died that was twenty years ago I was heart broken did,nt talk to anyone for four weeks My grieving still lingers . two years ago my stepson bought a miniature fox terrier & I fell in love with it . At chrissy this year I bought one myself from the same kennels (a male). Boy what a handful. I have two other female dogs in the house one is my wife,s & the other is my stepson has the other one he is my life now I’m 68 years old he can do no wrong even tho he wets everywhere, at my age he is what i needed

  3. I stopped most of my Parkinson’s disease medications due to severe side effects and I started on herbal treatments from Natural Herbs Centre (naturalherbscentre. com), the treatment has made a very huge difference for me. My symptoms including body weakness and Swallowing difficulties disappeared after few months on the treatment. I am getting active again since starting this treatment.

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