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Best Dog Breeds for Older People

Updated on December 26, 2012

What are the Best Dog Breeds for Older People

With the Baby Boom generation advancing in age, many are getting a dog. Dogs make great companions, but dogs are an investment of your time and money. For an older person, the size and weight of the dog is an important factor when choosing the dog breed. Good dog behavior is also important. Will you want a dog that's already trained or will you be able to train the dog yourself? All good questions.

Take a look at dogs and some thoughts on what the best dog breeds for older people are.

Dogs Make Great Companions - Many People Say Dogs are Easier to Raise than Kids

Dogs are good company. They can provide a level of safety and a feeling of security for older people. If you live alone at home, a dog can provide interaction, a feeling of caring, and affection. This often fills a void that eliminates, or reduces, the feeling of being lonely. That's what the best dog breeds for older senior citizens do.

Many people talk to their dog as if the pup was a person. This sort of interaction is said to improve the quality of life for older people, but a showing of loyalty and affection really improves everyone's life, no matter what age.

Most dogs have a generally happy demeanor and show love without condition, which feels good at any age.

Do you think living with a dog improves the life of an older person who lives alone?

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Older woman walks dog
Older woman walks dog

Dogs are Useful Pets

Most All Dog Owners Say They Rely on Their Dog in Many Ways

A dog can be useful in more ways than one, especially for older people. A dog will be your shadow if you let him. He wants to be where you are. He'll follow you around the home, in a good way. Dogs are known to watch TV at the feet of their owner. They often sleep in the same room or on the bed, if allowed.

Let's get going!

Dogs are a good reason for older people to get up in the morning and get the day off to a good start. A dog might nudge you, signaling that it's time to get up and follow the daily routine. Breakfast, maybe. Feeding a dog helps the dog bond with you, and perpetuates the circle of love with your dog.

Danger!

Dogs can alert you to danger. Even a small dog barks when a stranger comes near your home, and watch out if a stranger knocks on your door or attaches a flyer to your doorknob.

The dog`s sense of smell, hearing and vision is much better than a human. A barking dog discourages criminals, because the dog attracts attention. An intruder understands that a dog might attack if the dog feels that his master or his property is in danger. In fact, law enforcement agencies recommend keeping a dog is the most effective burglar alarm.

Another great advantage is that it adds a level of safety for older people when they go outside with a dog. Dogs are good protection from many types of danger that a barking dog alerts you to and typically discourages.

Get Well Soon

It is a proven fact that living with a dog helps older people recover more quickly from an illness or injury. A dog brings a lot of happiness into your life.

Let's Be Friends

Dogs offer good socializing opportunities for older people. Meeting new people at the park, for example. Dog owners are usually eager to visit with other dog owners. Almost everybody loves dogs, especially those who own a dog, and most have a story to tell about his own dog, or about a friend`s dog!

Dogs Help You Live Longer

Movement or being active helps maintain good health for older people, and a dog is just the ticket. Walking is the most common form of movement that both older men and women enjoy. Many find that taking the dog for a walk makes staying active fun.

Dogs love to go for a walk in the fresh air outdoors. Sometimes a dog will get the leash in their mouths, deliver it to you, and wait for you to take them for a walk.

Walking exercise is not the only benefit. A dog's tender heart, devotion and strong fondness for you is magical. It's a feeling that adds so much joy to a person's day, it's certain to extend life.

Please Take Care of Me - A Dog Completes You

To care for a dog is the same as any commitment you make to care for someone other than yourself. It's all good, but for an older person, you want to make sure that you are able to make this commitment. Here are a few considerations when you are older or near retirement age, living alone, or if you want to give your grandparents the gift of everyday joy.

Size -- the dog must be small enough to be easily picked up, so the best dog breeds for older people are breeds that are typically small in size.

Temperament -- you want a dog that can be easily trained, so you can trust him to obey your rules.

Care -- a breed of dog for older people is one that does not require frequent bathing, brushing and trimming.

You will need to teach your dog how you want the dog to behave. It only takes knowing a few rules and you're there. Dogs learn quickly, especially when you shower your dog with love and affection like many dog owners do. But lots of petting, kissing and kind words are not the only thing you want to make sure your dog gets. Here are the three things that you want to give your dog every day:

Affection, Exercise, Discipline

Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan shares his magic with AARP VIVA. He says that a dogs completes you. I believe him, because it is true for me and my dog, Bailey. Here's what Cesar says.

Best Dog Breeds for Older People

Compare the Best Dog Breeds Based on Survey

Here are the best dog breeds for older people: Pug, Boston Terrier, Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, French Bulldog, Beagle, Schnauzer and American Eskimo Dog.

Pug dog
Pug dog

Pug

Pug is a dog that super dislikes his master to be angry with him, and because he loves to eat, you can encourage obedience easily using dog treats. You do need to be careful, because this dog breed can get fat! Despite the fact that he has a grumpy looking face, the Pug is a happy, sensible, loyal and loving animal. He has a huge heart. He is extremely good-natured, calm and balanced. He loves older people and he is never aggressive. He is a real companion dog. He is kind, calm and balanced. He does not disturb the neighbors because he doesn't not barking too often, but he cannot withstand the high heat and cold.

Boston Terrier
Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier

Boston Terrier is a lively and intelligent breed of dog. It is an excellent choice for lonely older people who are looking for company. His friendly nature helps old people distract their attention from boredom due to being homebound.

Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Cardigan Welsh Corgi

The dogs from the Cardigan Welsh Corgi breed are intelligent, active and alert. They do not cause any problems growing. They quickly understand what you ask them to do, and they can be easily trained. This dog breed enjoys a nice relationship with children, but he doesn't easily accepts other dogs. This breed has to be socialized from their "childhood" with cats and other company animals, in order to avoid unpleasant situations later. He does not require special care. He has to be brushed sometimes to remove fur that fell down. This type of dog needs a lot of walking and physical exercises.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi
Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a healthy and a good companion type of dog. He is very intelligent, curious and loyal. Because he is very brave, it is an excellent watchdog. He likes to play in open spaces. The disadvantage of this dog is that he will misbehave if he gets bored or if you let him alone for a long period of time to do what he wants. He behaves well in the company of older people. He does not like strangers, but he is friendly with other animals who visit. This dog is loving and friendly. His loyalty to his master can be easily observed, but sometimes he is jealous and dominating. He loves to walk and to play with people he lives with.

French Bulldog
French Bulldog

French Bulldog

French Bulldog is intelligent, kind and affectionate. He is undemanding and always capable to share his happiness and his sadness with his master. He is mild, friendly and loves children a lot. He is always great company for older people. He loves to walk.

Beagle
Beagle

Beagle

The Beagle is a friendly and kind dog that happily runs to people who he does not even know, just to play. He needs a lot of attention. This dog does not require special care, you just have to brush his fur sometimes and it is enough to give him a bath with a good dog shampoo once a year. This dog is the perfect choice for those older people who wish to get up in the morning and go to sleep at night with happiness and hopes for the next day!

Schnauzer
Schnauzer

Schnauzer

Schnauzer is a well known dog. You can get this pup full size or as a miniature. It's one of the most popular dogs in the world. The miniature weight about 14 lbs more or less, and a nice temperament, eager to obey. Miniature Schnauzers are agile and love to walk and herd. If they become bored, they are so smart, they create their own fun. Many Schnauzers do not get along well with cats, but this can be overcome. The dog is a good alarm dog, which makes the perfect watchdog. They are playful, and make an excellent companion.

American Eskimo Dog
American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog

American Eskimo Dog is not originally from Alaska. It is from Germany and was bred to protect people and property. You can find this dog breed in three sizes: standard size, miniature and toy. This dog likes to bark at strangers which makes him a reliable guard dog. This is a hardy breed of dog and lives about 16 years. Proper diet is essential, because this dog can become overweight. But most dogs can if they overeat. This particular breed could have problems with their teeth, allergies and tearing. It is an intelligent pup and is known for its bright white coat.

Best Dog Breeds for Older People

After interviewing a hundred people over the age of 50, these are the best dog breeds for older people as surveyed. This doesn't mean that a German Shepard, Jack Russell, Labrador, Lhasa Apso or Pekingese are not a good choice.

The truth is that the best dog for you is the dog you choose. No matter which dog you choose, choose it with your heart after considering their size, temperament and care needs.

Dog Training - The Best Dogs are Best Because They're Well Trained

It not difficult to train your dog to obey. Your dog wants to please you. Dogs want to learn. Here are ways for an older person to bond with and teach dogs to obey without too much fuss and frustration.

Any age is a great age to have a dog. Dogs give more than they get. The time you invest in this pet pays huge rewards, especially when you choose your dog with careful consideration and commitment. You'll start a love affair with this wonderful animal that makes your heart so happy.

What Dog Breed Do YOU Favor?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Our 'pack' consists of Pumpkin, an elderly Pomeranian, Max, a Mini Aussi, and Molly an American Eskimo/Border Collie Mix. They all get along with one another and all our friends. Our previous dog, Missy, a mixed Cattle dog, was a wonderful animal. Once when my husband fell down, she dragged him to the bedroom where he was trying to get to. My mother had Alzhimers and Missy would sit for hours with her head on my mom's lap keeping her company and keeping her calm. We can't live without our four legged family members

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 4 years ago

      Something small like a Bichon Frise would be ideal. Great lens.

    • profile image

      travelerme 4 years ago

      My entire family has klien spitz (pomeranian) {looks like an Amercican Eskimo dog}. We have One black one called fritz. (there is a lens about him, to find him just search klien spitz and choose the one that is calledFritz the pom {or something similar}. to see all of our families dogs go to Strongmay's dog fashion lens.

    • profile image

      travelerme 4 years ago

      My entire family has klien spitz (pomeranian) {looks like an Amercican Eskimo dog}. We have One black one called fritz. (there is a lens about him, to find him just search klien spitz and choose the one that is calledFritz the pom {or something similar}. to see all of our families dogs go to Strongmay's dog fashion lens.

    • Ted Bergman profile image

      Ted Bergman 4 years ago

      I also disagree about Pit Bills. I am at the dog park every day with my JRT and he loves to play with them. I also think a JRT is great for older people because their energy forces you to keep up with them & its great exercise. (I'm 73) They're also very smart and make great roomies.

      As a fellow dog lover and pro. comedy writer, Iâm going to take the chance of being a little spammy here & suggest you might like to look at my new lens, âA Funny Dog and Cat TV Show.â You will immediately see that it is structured to raise lots of money for dog and cat related charities. If you get beyond that, you might even get a laugh or two and hopefully spread the word so we can get it on the air.

      It also features two videos of my JRT, Jake - You may borrow and post on your lens any video you like.

      All this being said, let me know if you find this message intrusive and I thus apologize upfront and will never do it again. - Sincerely, susieface (Ted Bergman)

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      No no no...PitBulls and Doberman's are out of the question especially for seniors. Both breeds are prone to get highly aggressive. PitBulls are the most aggressive dog breed out there. They have attacked and killed many people of all ages.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Oh, I was wondering about a Doberman.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      American Pit Bull Terriers and pit mixes are great, goofy, silly, loving, loyal dogs that make you laugh every day, LOVE to cuddle, and snuggle, do not like cold or rainy weather, and are known for being nanny dogs... take care of and are very gentle with children, sick people and smaller dogs... my dog aka Polka Dot Princess is a Dalmatian/American Pit Bull Terrier mix and she LOVES people in wheelchairs (I do not know why, she just does)... and she LOVES people everywhere... sweetest dog EVER.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I favor Beagles. I love their temperament. You did a great job with this lens!.

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      oneboomerdude 4 years ago

      What a nice lens. Dogs really are man's (and woman's) best friend, especially when it comes to us elderly folk. I just retired and am by myself so i am considering getting a dog for companionship. Your post has given me some pooches to consider that i might not have thought about before. I am a bit partial to Australian Shepherds but they might be too frisky for me now days, lol. Thanks again for the info.

    • ERiverDogs profile image

      ERiverDogs 4 years ago

      Field Type English Cocker Spaniels

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      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      Thanks for the information about Dog Breeds for Older People

    • CampingmanNW profile image

      CampingmanNW 4 years ago

      Nice squid, great information, but for myself, being a baby boomer, I have to say that I find my German Shorthair dog an excellent choice. I have raised and bred many of them over the years and find them to be excellent and very smart pets and companion.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 4 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      My husband and I have raised bulldogs for many years and then were without any for several years so we finally broke down and got one. He is huge and very strong. We have to be extremely careful because he can pull us down while walking him. We often say that it was not smart to get such a big dog at our age but we wouldn't take anything for our Bruno. He is bringing us much joy. Great job on this article.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Maltise.great for anyone

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      beagle

    • GollyGearHope profile image

      Hope 5 years ago from Skokie, Illinois

      Good breed choices for seniors - depending on the dog, of course!

    • Shoputopian profile image

      Karnel 6 years ago from Lower Mainland of BC

      I have two dogs and neither of them would make a good dog for the older person, both are about 120lbs each and are in the bully breeds, you need to be on top of them at all times...Great lens, enjoyed the information...

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      mzareen 6 years ago

      i have a dog (rescued from pound) who is a Blue Heeler. Definitely not a good dog for a senior citizen. Or probably for kids either. We love him (Kyle), but he's definitely crazy. Here's his page kyle-the-cow-dog