6 Best Dog Breeds for Older Adults

Mira Gibson

Just because you’re getting older doesn’t mean that adding a dog to your household is out of the question. A dog can be a wonderful companion for an older adult, or retired couple, who has more time to spend now that the working years are behind them. 

A puppy can even be a wonderful “baby” for an older couple whose own babies are now long grown and out on their own. 

That being said, some dog breeds are more compatible than others with older people. Dog breeds that might have been good companions when you were younger may not be the best choice now. It’s always wise to choose a breed that matches your personal energy level, exercise preferences, and overall lifestyle, no matter what age you are. But this can be especially important for empty nesters, retired folks, and the elderly.  

In this article, PuppyBuddy will cover our personal favorite dog breeds that we believe are best for older adults. These breeds are: 

  1. Bichon Frise
  2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  3. French Bulldog
  4. Maltese
  5. Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  6. Pomeranian

Whether you live in a city, the suburbs, or the rural countryside, these breeds will be happy in any setting as long as they have their favorite person with them. Let’s take a look.


The Bichon Frise is a small, companion purebred dog that’s friendly, cheerful, and affectionate. Its name, pronounced “be-shahn free-zay,” translates to mean curly toy dog in French. This adorable, pure white dog is hypoallergenic, which can be perfect for people who have developed sensitivities to pet danger over the years.

Bichon Frises are perky and have bouncy energy, but interestingly, they don’t need a lot of exercise. Your Bichon Frise will naturally help you increase your own daily exercise thanks to taking him out for his walks and bathroom trips, and yet he won’t demand much more than that. The one caveat with owning a Bichon Frise is their grooming needs. This breed requires regular grooming such as daily brushing, monthly baths, and the occasional trim. Brushing your Bichon Frise can be a great way to bond with your furry friend. 


The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was born to snuggle, relax, and otherwise contribute his mellow mood to calm and soothe his favorite person. This small dog breed is a true lapdog who loves to sit on or next to his owner. This purebred dog breed almost never barks, and doesn’t require more than a half hour of exercise per day. A long walk around the block will keep his adorable and soft breed content.

The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a great choice for seniors who live in small apartments or nursing homes that allow pets, as this breed doesn’t need a lot of space to feel comfortable. Though this breed is soft and cuddly, it’s not hypoallergenic. Daily brushing can help keep dander and shedding to a minimum. 


The small-sized, adorable, bat-eared dog breed known as the French Bulldog has been a popular companion dog among seniors and retired couples for almost ten years. In addition to all the benefits that comes with being a small dog breed, the French Bulldog also offers its adaptable, mellow personality to its owners. This breed is extremely kind, easy to groom, and content with the bare minimum of exercise each day. Thanks to its flat face and stout physique, the French Bulldog can’t handle much more than a walk around the block.

This can be the perfect exercise buddy for older people who also need to take it easy. French Bulldogs love nothing more than to spend their days relaxing with their owners. They’re always up for a good snuggle, and will make themselves comfortable on their favorite person’s lap indefinitely. Frenchies also don’t mind being picked up, carried around, and going for long car rides, which can make them the ultimate travel companion for seniors who enjoy a good “Sunday drive.” 


Similar in size and cheerfulness as the Bichon Frise, another small dog breed that’s great with older adults is the Maltese. Maltese are affectionate, low-key dogs that have white, soft hair and big soulful eyes. Its hair will continue to grow and can get long. When brushed daily, this coat can look regal, and many Maltese owners take pride in grooming their furry friends. The Maltese is an indoor dog that thrives in smaller homes, apartments, and small confines.

Malteses are lively, playful, and vigorous, yet they can easily expel their energy within the home by bounding around, playing, and having fun. The one caveat with this adorable, affectionate purebred dog breed is that it’s highly alert to new sounds, smells, people, and places. Meaning, the Maltese could bark up a storm in response to unfamiliar noises. With proper training and a lot of soothing, you can train your Maltese to remain calm even if there’s a squirrel in the front yard or the mailman is crossing up the walkway. Overall, a Maltese loves nothing more than to sit in the lap of its favorite person, making it a great companion dog for older people and seniors.  


The Pembroke Welsh Corgi is a small dog, yet is a bigger breed than those we’ve covered so far in this article. The Corgi dog breed has unusually short legs, which is a type of dwarfism. Its long torso and normal-sized head reveal that this breed would probably be considered “medium size” if not for its very short legs. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi originated as a cattle herding dog, but today this breed is more commonly known as a companion house dog.

It’s a bit of a busy body, however, and still possesses its instinct to “herd.” This can often translate into nipping the heels of people and pets to get them to move in the direction the Corgi thinks best! As a companion dog who enjoys being at home with his favorite person, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is affectionate and is known for its big personality. The Corgi personality ranges from happy, smart, fun-loving, and loyal to stubborn, and mischievous. 


Our last dog breed that we recommend for older adults is the perky and loyal Pomeranian. Pomeranians are easily recognized by their luxurious, fluffy double-coat, fox-like face, and alert, erect ears. Pomeranians have a square body shape and their fluffy tails curl up and over their backs. The head is somewhat rounded with a distinct muzzle. Most signature to this breed is their thick, fluffy “lion’s mane” that gives them a distinct look unlike other dog breeds their size.

Pomeranians make great companion dogs for older adults because they’re happy to remain at home with their owners. Whether you’re single, married, retired, or elderly, and even if you have a busy schedule, your Pomeranian will adapt to your lifestyle. This dog breed doesn’t necessarily mind being alone, either. When you add a Pomeranian to your home, you’ll get a loyal, companion lapdog who’s smart, easy to train, and affectionate no matter what. 

Those are PuppyBuddy’s 6 best dog breeds for older adults. If you would like to meet our breeds in person, stop by our Boca Raton location in Florida. Our available puppies will melt your heart and give you every reason to look forward to your golden years!