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Good Dog Breeds for Seniors

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Although everyone has a personal dog preference, good dog breeds for seniors generally include smaller dogs, low-maintenance dogs, and dogs with milder temperaments.

For older people, the size and temperament of the dog are an important consideration. Smaller dogs tend to be less maintenance and easier to handle than larger ones.

Schnauzer – These dogs enjoy being around people and crave the companionship of humans. Either size, miniature or standard, is a good choice. Schnauzers can be protective of their family, and they have a desire to please. Dog care consists of daily exercise (a brief walk is sufficient) and consistent grooming.

Pug – These dogs are small, yet they have big hearts. They are generally playful dogs. Outgoing by nature, they thrive on attention and affection from their owners. Even though they crave a lot of attention, they also give a lot. These dogs are best suited for someone who has plenty of time. Pugs are not always highly energized and have down time in which they like to snuggle on a warm lap.

Cocker Spaniel – Cocker Spaniels are a popular pick among dog lovers. They are not high strung or outgoing by nature and have patience and a docile personality, making them a good dog breed for seniors. They don’t need a lot of exercise either (a brief walk will do). They are loyal to their owners.

Chihuahua – These dogs may be tiny, but they have a loud bark. They tend to take to one owner rather than several family members. For seniors living alone, chihuahuas are great for warning of approaching people. Despite their size (generally less than 5 lbs. and 6-9 inches in height), they are very protective of their owners.

Shih Tzu – These dogs live for human companionship. They are friendly and gentle dogs. This breed is very alert to what is going on.

Yorkshire Terrier – This dog makes another great lap dog and enjoys quietness by lounging around. Don’t be fooled by the lounging, this terrier does have quite a bit of vigor.

Scottish Terrier – Scotties are loyal to their family. They are an intelligent and protective working dog that weighs between 15-20 lbs.

Toy Poodle – This dog loves to be doted over and enjoys the company of people over other dogs. Poodles love attention and don’t mind being treated like a king. This dog is one of the good dog breeds for seniors who are looking for a companion to dote over.

Pomeranian – This dog has been compared to a little fuzzy bear. Pomeranians tend to be perky and can bring a smile to any face. They make great companions.

Boston Terrier – Boston Terriers are small but protective of their owners. Despite their protective instinct, they are also friendly and mellow.

Smaller dogs with mild temperaments toward their owners tend to be good dog breeds for seniors. Keep in mind, exceptions exist. Before choosing a dog, talk to others who are familiar with a particular breed and discuss your restrictions and what you want.

For more help with good dog breeds for seniors, please check out Choosing a Dog for Dummies it’s a really useful read, with lots of sound advice for good dog breeds for seniors.

Updated: November 9, 2012 — 6:57 pm

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