Critter Culture
Consider These Dog Breeds for Your Golden Years

Consider These Dog Breeds for Your Golden Years

Critter Culture Staff



Are you an older adult on the cusp of adopting a companion dog? There are a few factors to consider before you seal the deal. For starters, can your current home comfortably accommodate the pup you have in mind? A large breed and a small apartment aren't exactly a match made in canine heaven. And what about your activity level? If you have mobility issues, an energetic dog that needs multiple daily walks likely isn't the best choice for you and could pose a fall risk. Once you assess your budget and lifestyle, you'll be in a better place to select the right doggy for your senior years. A Goldendoodle for a golden oldie, perhaps?


French Bulldogs

Retired Couple Sitting On Bench With Pet French Bulldog monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images

Frenchies are the second most popular dog breed in the U.S. for many reasons. They're intelligent, amiable, relatively quiet, and super low-maintenance. They have a 10-12 year life expectancy and are small enough to control on short daily walks. As a flat-faced breed, they're more susceptible to heatstroke, so you'll need to be mindful not to leave one alone in a car or a room without adequate temperature control.



Maltese dog with senior woman in the background miodrag ignjatovic / Getty Images

These white toy dogs with enviable tresses don't shed as much as you'd think. They're gentle and tiny, weighing five or so pounds, and make the perfect lap dog for snuggles. You can have fun creating buns or plaits or trim your fur baby's hair if you want less of a mane to groom. A professional groomer is your best bet if you don't trust your hands. Maltese live up to 15 years long and are highly trainable.



poodle dog with senior woman in the background nd3000 / Getty Images

Poodles come in various sizes and can weigh as little as three pounds or as much as 70 pounds. They have longevity on their side and can live for nearly two decades in some cases. These dogs are sharp as a tack and loyal as can be. If you have allergies, look into getting a poodle because they're considered a hypoallergenic breed. While they don't shed, their curly locks require frequent brushing and monthly professional grooming sessions.


Miniature Schnauzers

Senior man with dog watching football match Jevtic / Getty Images

This hypoallergenic breed created for farm life and rat-catching makes a good watchdog and enjoys chilling at home. Mini schnauzers have impressive facial hair and are as inquisitive as Gandalf the Grey, someone with an equally commendable mustache and beard. They love playing games and will put massive grins on your face with their exuberant antics. A schnauzer can live for up to 15 years and shouldn't exceed 20 pounds.


Shih Tzu

senior man with Shih Tzu puppy outside vitapix / Getty Images

Older adults often downsize from houses to apartments, so small dogs like Shih Tzus work well in these more compact abodes. Shih Tzus are beauties with their long coats. They're blissfully quiet and even-tempered too, which is helpful with neighbors close by. You can expect a Shih Tzu to live anywhere from 10 to 18 years, and the main thing you'll need to watch out for in this flat-faced breed is skin issues and brachycephalic airway syndrome.



senior couple with pug simonapilolla / Getty Images

Pugs are adorable mascots and will follow you around like a tail. They're okay with a mostly sedentary lifestyle, but if you're outdoorsy, they're happy to come along for a bit. Pugs are prone to becoming overweight—you'll need to be careful not to over-indulge them. This affectionate breed has facial expressions to rival Jim Carrey's, so prepare to crack up on the daily.


Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with elderly woman LottaVess / Getty Images

Few people can resist this breed's long ears and perpetual puppy dog eyes. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are active dogs, but they'll reward you with plenty of cuddles when you both return from walks or playtime in your yard. You'll need to stay on top of ear cleanings and daily hair brushing.



couple with Pomeranian dog outside Kiyoshi Hijiki / Getty Images

Pomeranians are high up on the list of cutest dogs ever. They can fit just about anywhere at a mere three to seven pounds, and their excellent guard dog abilities prove that dynamite comes in small packages. Poms aren't as clingy as other lap dogs but offer emotional support like pros. These walking balls of fluff will need regular grooming.


Bichon Frise

Bichon dog in the arms of its owner Dobrila Vignjevic / Getty Images

A bichon is a fabulous option for someone who's never owned a dog before and wants one that's easily trained to go potty and generally complies with house rules. This toy breed's diminutive stature, compared to, say, a Saint Bernard, is a definite plus for seniors, and its friendliness means that whoever stops by for a visit will have a pleasant time of it. If you want a smart and hypoallergenic pooch that's cute as a button, this could be the one.


Pembroke Welsh Corgis

senior woman cuddling her dog pet outdoor nemchinowa / Getty Images

If corgis are good enough for the Queen of England, who's almost a centenarian, then they should be a-okay for you. Originally a herding breed, corgis are clever and nimble medium-sized dogs that weigh up to 30 pounds. They're easy to care for, have minimal grooming needs, and don't get too annoyed if you constantly plant them with smooches.


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