One of the great things about the hundreds of different dog breeds and types in the world is that this means that there is plenty of variety out there, and if you are prepared to do your homework, a dog to suit everyone!
This means that even if you yourself are getting on in years and are not totally sure of your ability to handle, train and exercise a new dog, there is still a good fit for you out there, if you know what you are looking for! While of course many people of retirement age stay supremely fit and healthy well into old age, most of us begin to slow down around this time, and a hyperactive, fizzy little pup might not make for the perfect pet. If you are wondering about the right choice of dog breed for yourself or someone elderly, this article will provide you with some suggestions.
Before we get as far as making some suggestions of good dog breeds for the elderly, it is worth paying some mind first of all to the age of the dog that you might be considering first, regardless of breed.
If you have your heart set on a puppy or a young dog, this is fair enough, but if not, do not rule out the possibility of adopting an older dog instead! An older dog will tend to be quieter and require less early training and supervision than a pup, and may pose less challenging to keep than a young dog. Also, if you buy a puppy, you will also need to think about the fact that your dog may possibly then live for fifteen years or so, and you will need to take into account if your own health and mobility will remain able to cope with the dog’s demands as you get older as well.
The Shih Tzu dog breed is popular with dog lovers of all ages, and can be the perfect companion for older people too. They are lap dogs that very much enjoy cuddling up on the sofa with their favourite person, and will be happy to sit quietly with you for hours on end. They do, however, require plenty of brushing and grooming at home to keep their coats in good condition, and possibly, trips to the grooming parlour too for bathing and trimming.
They are gentle and kind, while also being playful and entertaining, and while they do require regular walks twice a day, are not likely to run you ragged if you like to keep to a gentle walking pace!
Schnauzers come in various sizes from miniature to giant, and the miniature variety makes for a great choice of pet for people who wish to own a lively, playful and active little dog that is at the same time not physically large or hard to handle.
If you maintain an active lifestyle and like to take long gentle walks and spend time outdoors and in the country, the miniature Schnauzer might be a good fit for you.
They stand at a maximum of 14 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh around 15lb. They are intelligent and respond well to training, love to play, and generally fit in well with other existing pets and new people. They are also gentle and well mannered when correctly trained, and not generally hard to handle.
The Pug dog is one of the most popular dog breeds among older people who are looking for an incredibly intelligent, loyal and entertaining companion that they can really bond with. They are prone to short bursts of silliness and love to play, but will not wear you out or require miles and miles of walking. The Pug is also very happy playing and entertaining themselves while you supervise and interact with them from your armchair or sofa!
They need regular walking, but due to their brachycephalic faces and build, will be happier trotting beside you on the lead than trying to drag you all around the dog park! They are short in stature and can be picked up, and are not prone to pulling on the lead. They are also bright and willing to learn, and very amenable to training.
Poodles come in various different sizes, and all of them can potentially make for a good fit for active seniors. They are low-shedding, meaning that they will not necessitate regular de-furring of the house, and are intelligent, easy to train and willing to please.
Small and miniature poodles are well suited to life in smaller homes such as retirement apartments and senior complexes, while larger poodles are perfectly happy in medium sized homes with gardens. The poodle needs to keep fit and be walked regularly, but they do not tend to be unruly, pull on the lead or be badly behaved when properly trained.
The Yorkshire Terrier is another dog that is very popular with seniors, and again, can live quite happily within a small home or retirement apartment.
They are lively, funny and entertaining and like to keep active, but due to their small size, they are unlikely to run rings around you, and will tire out quickly after exercise! They are loyal, funny and love to cuddle up in your lap, making them excellent companions for older people who lead a more sedentary lifestyle.