If you're in the market for a new dog, there are a lot of things to think about and consider; especially if you are a senior. If you are a senior, it’s important to think about the kind of dog that is right for your lifestyle and your capabilities; often seniors will adopt or buy a dog without doing the proper amount of research and will choose a dog that isn’t right for them. If a senior chooses a dog that is too hard to take care of, the dog will likely end up in a shelter, an action that is hard to overcome for not only the dog but also the senior that needs to make the choice to surrender the pet. 

If you’re a senior thinking about getting a dog in the near future, this post will give you some breed suggestions that are great for the typical senior lifestyle.  

What Breed of Dog is Right For Me?

In order to provide a happy life for your new furry friend, make sure to choose a dog that is best for your living situation and physical capabilities. Here are some of the best breeds of dogs for seniors.


Maltese are one of the most popular breeds of dogs for seniors because of the size and lack of physical activity that they require. Maltese are small, usually weighing under 12 pounds, and do not live an active lifestyle. This breed is ideal for seniors that may be physically slower than they were in their younger days, or for seniors that have a hard time getting around due to age. 

Additionally, this breed does not like to be left alone so are ideal for seniors that are retired. In fact, these dogs make up a majority of the pet population in independent senior living centers.


Pugs are another small breed that does not require a lot of attention or activity to live a quality life. Like Maltese, pugs are typically small so are easy to take care of and train. Seniors should gravitate towards breeds that are small enough for them to pick up, walk, and bathe; pugs are a great option. 

Pugs are also a great choice for seniors because they are one of the healthier small dog breeds. Seniors are often living off of their retirement money so expensive vet bills can be detrimental to their finances; pugs will keep vet bills low. 


Some seniors want a large dog in their retirement years, and though there isn’t any specific reason that they shouldn’t get a large dog, it's important that they consider the amount of care that large dogs need compared to small ones. Larger dogs not only need to be walked and played with more, but they also eat a lot more and vet bills tend to be pricier. However, if you or a loved one are set on owning a large dog, consider adopting a greyhound.

Greyhounds are a fantastic choice for seniors because of their loving and calm nature. Though they require somewhat of an active lifestyle- usually a walk will do just fine or a fenced-in area that will allow them to run freely; especially if they were rescued from a greyhound racing rescue. Similarly, most greyhounds are rescued after enduring a life of racing; therefore, they don’t require too much training, making them easy to adapt to a senior’s lifestyle.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu’s are great for seniors and families with children alike, this is because of their loving and affectionate personalities. In addition to their great personalities, Shih Tzus don’t shed a lot and don’t need much activity other than perhaps a daily walk. If you or a loved one are looking for a dog that wants to be cuddled and loved often, Shih Tzu’s are one of the best options.

Another added bonus of owning a Shih Tzu in your senior years is that they are one of the quieter of the small dog breeds. Typically, small dogs tend to bark more and are noisier than large ones; Shih Tzus are known to be fairly quiet.


Poodles are one of the most trainable and easy-going breeds out there. This breed is another great option for seniors that may not want a small dog. These medium-sized dogs require somewhat of an active lifestyle, but nowhere as active of a lifestyle as a lab or some sort of shepherd; a daily walk and playtime should suffice.  

Poodles are also one of the smartest breeds so training them will be a breeze for seniors. 

Find The Furry Friend That is Right For You

As you do research on different dog breeds, keep this simple guide in mind. It’s crucial to find a dog that will fit your lifestyle and pet needs. Finding the right kind of breed will allow for years of happiness for you and your new furry friend.