17 best dog breeds for aging adults

Your 1+1 Team
January 28, 2023

It can really make a difference in your life when you have a cute furry friend waiting for you at home. Seniors often face social isolation, and a pet may be just what they need to maintain their well-being. If your elderly loved one is looking for entertainment or someone to keep them company, a dog is a perfect choice!

There are a variety of dog breeds for aging adults that can fit your loved one’s needs.

1. Shih Tzu

Temperament: loyal, affectionate, outgoing
Height: 9-10.5 in
Weight: 9-16 lbs
Life expectancy: 10-18 yrs

Shih Tzu is a popular breed for its loving energy and beautiful fur! Their small size makes them great lap dogs and perfect for tight living situations. Shih Tzus are also great with children and are family-friendly. They are a little stubborn but otherwise are easy to handle!

2. Pug

Temperament: playful, affectionate, mischievous
Height: 10-13 in
Weight: 14-18 lbs
Life expectancy: 13-15 yrs

Pugs are affectionate dogs known for their enthusiastic, almost human-like facial expressions. They are quite strong dogs despite their petite size. They tend to overeat so be sure to keep an eye on their weight. One of the perks of being a pug owner has to be their minimal grooming needs.

3. Chihuahua

Temperament: sassy, charming, comical
Height: 5-8 in
Weight: under 6 lbs
Life expectancy: 14-16 yrs

Chihuahuas are small in size but big in personality! If you want a small dog with the confident energy of a large dog, a Chihuahua is a great choice. They’re a playful and entertaining breed. However, since they are compact and small, they’re ideal for smaller living situations. They also get cold easily, so roughhousing is not suitable for them.

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Temperament: gentle, attentive, affectionate, graceful
Height: 12-13 inches
Weight: 13-18 lbs
Life expectancy: 12-15 pounds

A Cavalier is an affectionate and adaptable breed. They’re playful and athletic dogs that enjoy being active. They are especially favored by those who love small companion dogs that can live in apartment living.

5. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Temperament: affectionate, athletic, strong
Height: 10-12 inches
Weight: up to 30 lbs
Life expectancy: 12-13 yrs

If you’re looking for a dog not too small or big, a corgi can make a great companion! Corgis are also smart dogs and easy to train. Since they are herding dogs by nature, they do require routine exercise such as daily walks.

6. Bichon Frise

Temperament: playful, curious, alert
Height: 9.5-11.5 in
Weight: 12-18 lbs
Life expectancy: 14-15 yrs

The Bichon is great for seniors who don’t have a lot of space in their homes. They’re small, fluffy dogs that get along with children and other animals. Their coats are hypoallergenic but need to be groomed regularly.

7. Maltese

Temperament: playful, gentle
Height: 7-9 in
Weight: under 7 lbs
Life expectancy: 12-15 yrs

A Maltese is very similar to a Bichon. They’re little white lap dogs that are quite low maintenance. Maltese dogs enjoy spending time curled up in their owner’s lap and going on easy walks. You can even carry them around in your bag!

8. Boston Terrier

Temperament: bright, curious, high-spirited
Height: 15-17 in
Weight: 12-25 lbs
Life expectancy: 11-13 yrs

Boston Terriers make good family dogs! They’re a very playful and expressive breed. Their energies can change by their moods and personal temperaments. They are also great watch dogs but this does not mean they’re aggressive.

9. West Highland White Terrier

Temperament: loyal, charming, entertaining
Height: 10-11 in
Weight: 15-20 lbs
Life expectancy: 13-15 yrs

Westies make great companions! They’re quite small but not as delicate as the Maltese or Pomeranian. Overall, this dog breed is friendly and low maintenance.

10. Miniature Schnauzer

Temperament: bright, curious, high-spirited
Height: 12-14 in
Weight: 11-20 lbs
Life expectancy: 12-15yrs

Originally bred as farm dogs, the Miniature schnauzer is an outgoing, strong breed. They make great watchdogs and are generally low-maintenance. They are also adaptable to different living situations. Their personalities vary greatly. Some are more extroverted than others.

11. Poodle

Temperament: intelligent, active, faithful
Height: 15 in
Weight: 40-70 lbs
Life expectancy: 10-18yrs

The poodle has always been a popular choice! They are considered one of the smartest breeds. They learn fast and can adapt to all types of living environments. Their big, fluffy coats should be professionally groomed every month or two.

12. French Bulldog

Temperament: cheerful, playful, intelligent
Height: 11-13 in
Weight: under 28 lbs
Life expectancy: 10-12 yrs

The French Bulldog is considered the most cheerful of all dog breeds. They enjoy being active and have high energy. However, they’re not athletic and lack endurance. Moderate daily exercise is ideal for this breed.

13. Pomeranian

Temperament: happy, inquisitive, lively
Height: 6-7in
Weight: 3-7 lbs
Life expectancy: 12-16 yrs

A Pomeranian is often admired for its adorable fluffy coat. Who wouldn’t a fluffy little pooch you can carry around in your bag? Pomeranians are affectionate and enjoy their owner’s companionship.

14. Italian Greyhound

Temperament: gentle, independent, sweet-tempered
Height: 13-15 in
Weight: 7-14 lbs
Life expectancy: 14-15 yrs

You may be surprised to see a racing dog on this list, however, Greyhounds are not as energetic as people think they are. While Greyhounds enjoy daily exercise, they also enjoy being couch potatoes and lounging with their owners. They usually are super responsive to training.

15. Havanese

Temperament: cheerful, outgoing, intelligent
Height: 8.5-11.5 in
Weight: 7-13 lbs
Life expectancy: 14-16 yrs

The Havanese is a social, adaptable breed. Their size makes them great for city dwellers and their small living situations. Since they are quite extroverted, they don’t like to be left alone for too long. Their coats also require daily grooming.

16. Beagle

Temperament: clever, loyal, happy
Height: 13-15 in
Weight: 20-30 lbs
Life expectancy: 10-15 yrs

Were you a fan of Snoopy? The Peanuts cartoon dog is a perfect example of how clever, curious, and happy Beagles are. They make great family dogs and are generally low-maintenance.

17. Yorkshire Terrier

Temperament: affectionate, feisty, playful
Height: 7-8 in
Weight: 7 lbs
Life expectancy: 11-15 yrs

Yorkies are tiny but feisty! They can be loyal, protective, and a little bossy. They also require daily brushing and weekly baths. Overall, they are dedicated to being loving companions for seniors.

Whether they’re big or small, dogs are loving animals that can be extremely beneficial to aging adults. Once your loved one finds their perfect fit, they get to enjoy life with their forever furry friend. You can read more articles with 1+1 Cares to learn about pets and how to improve your loved one’s aging experience.

1+1 Cares is a referral agency that works for clients and caregivers. We match caregivers with clients and inform them of your requirements. We work for you so you and your loved one can have a safe, enjoyable caregiving experience.

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