Best Dog Breeds for the Elderly


Everyone needs a friend – especially the elderly. As you go through life, loved ones, family and friends eventually pass away. It is a hard reality of life. As you enter your golden years, friendship and love become more important than ever. There’s no more loyal friend than a dog. He will keep you company 24 hours a day, show you unconditional love, and be there for you in moments of sadness. A dog is never bored by you, never judges you, and is never too busy to spend time with you. They have simple desires and needs – food, water, a little exercise, and a lot of your love.

For those reasons and more, dogs make great companions for the elderly. But there are certain realities to consider when matching an elderly person with a dog. Dogs can be a handful. They can be rambunctious and tough to wrangle – especially when they’re young. Certain breeds are tougher to manage than others. Elderly people often lack the strength or energy to handle certain dogs. Everyone has different abilities and needs, so consider the person when you are choosing a dog. The following dogs may be a good fit for the elderly.

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the sweetest and most easygoing dogs around. They do enjoy exercise, especially when they are younger, but they are just as content to lay on the couch next to you and get a head rub. Golden Retrievers are very happy dogs, and that happiness can be infectious, making the Golden Retriever a fabulous companion for elderly people.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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Despite its diminutive size, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has an outsized personality. One of the oldest toy breeds in the world, its history can be traced back several centuries. Perhaps this history is what gives them an air of royalty.

The King Charles is a great dog for seniors because they are extremely adaptable to almost any kind of lifestyle. They never show aggression towards people or children, and are very loyal companions.


The Beagle has been a popular family dog for decades. They are happy and relaxed dogs that make phenomenal companions to people young and old. While they do retain some of the hunting instinct that is bred into their DNA, they are generally passive and even lazy dogs that crave only human companionship. They require little of their owners, outside of food, water and a daily walk.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is a medium-sized dog with an even temperament. They are friendly to humans and other dogs alike. Their fur does require some grooming, but nothing that an elderly owner can’t handle. They are a little more energetic than some of the other dogs on this list, but a daily walk and a couple of jaunts around the house will be enough to keep them satisfied.


Small but spunky, the Pomeranian is undeniably cute and extremely intelligent. They are known as people-pleasers, and though they are energetic, their small stature makes them very easy to manage.

For elderly people that live in communities with size limitations for dogs, the Pomeranian is sure to come in under the limit. They need regular brushing, which may seem like a chore but can be a satisfying experience for both dog and owner.

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Senior Dogs

The senior, of course, is not a breed, but an older dog. Just like humans, senior dogs need companionship in their golden years. Senior dogs and elderly humans have a lot in common. They’ve both experienced the ups and down of life, and are comfortable in their own skin. In their later years, they want only to love and be loved. It’s not too much to ask for the human and dogs that have paved the way forward for younger generations.

There are many senior dogs available for adoption. Some of those dogs were left heartbroken when their owners passed away. Suddenly, after years living in comfort and showered with love by their families, they are now living in shelters, confused about how they got there. There is perhaps no better dog for elderly owners than a senior. There are plenty out there that need homes, and would make a great partner to any human – especially the elderly.

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