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Dog Breeds for Older People

Dog Breeds Suitable for the Retired or Elderly
For retired or older individuals, there are particular concerns to think about when choosing a dog breed. An older individual may have physical or health issues that restrict the duration or intensity of exercise that he/she can provide for the dog. A weak or disabled individual may have difficulties handling a large, rambunctious dog due to its strength and/or energy level. However, retired individuals may have a lot more time to spend with their dog and would appreciate a companion that has patience and loyalty.

Elderly, older, or retired people may appreciate a dog that is less vigorous and has gentle temperaments. Dogs with calm predispositions make excellent companions that are easy to train. Less vigorous breeds are listed below:

  1. Newfoundland
  2. Papillon
  3. Japanese Spaniel
  4. Maltese
  5. Italian Greyhound
  6. Beagle
  7. Great Dane
  8. Golden Retriever
  9. Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  10. Greyhound
  11. Cocker Spaniel
  12. Boston Terrier
  13. Bichon Frise
  14. Shetland Sheepdog
  15. Border Terrier
  16. Chihuahua

Females tend to be less vigorous than their male counterparts, and have a reputation for being easier to train because they are less likely to wander or be distracted by territorial issues.

Smaller breeds may be ideal for weak or physically disabled individuals simply due to the fact that they are easier to handle. Other advantages exist as well. You can give a small dog a bath in the kitchen sink without having to strain your back lifting the animal. A small dog can sit in your lap while you are lounging on the couch or sitting in a wheelchair. Your regular stride is a rapid trot for them, so exercise is often not an issue. Examples of small breeds include:

  1. Toy/Miniature Poodle
  2. Maltese
  3. Yorkshire Terrier
  4. Pomeranian
  5. Chihuahua
  6. Basenji
  7. Whippet
  8. Boston Terrier
  9. Scottish Terrier
  10. Dachshund
  11. Pug
  12. Lhasa Apso
  13. Tibetan Terrier
  14. Shih Tzu
  15. Bichon Frise
  16. Pekingese
  17. Miniature Schnauzer

‘One-person’ dogs are those that form a strong bond with one owner. This exclusivity may result in protective behaviour or separation anxiety. However, these dogs have a reputation for being loyal, faithful and dependent of their owners. Retired people are often at home for most of the day, so this type of dog is ideal for them. Examples of ‘one-person’ breeds are:

  1. Bernese Mountain Dog
  2. Chihuahua
  3. Chow Chow
  4. Doberman Pinscher
  5. Irish Water Spaniel
  6. Komondor
  7. Pekingese
  8. Pomeranian
  9. Pug
  10. Rottweiler
  11. Schnauzer
  12. Scottish Terrier

By Amy Cheung – writer

3 Responses to this Article, So Far

  1. Avatar Katelyn Olivia says:

    I am doing research if you can teach a old dog new tricks, or will a young dog learn the same trick better? Or Even a middle aged dog.? Please let me know. I need this information for a school project.

  2. Avatar Donna says:

    It was one of the best things my Dad did, since my Mom passed away was to get a dog, a rescue dog from Animatch. Precious, as my Dad named her, a 3 year our Lsao Apso, was the best thing for him. It gave him a reason to get up in the morning, go for walks, socialize with others. We were reminded of one very important thing. Should anything happen, there must be a backup person / family that will take care of Precious; which there is. Precious is now 11 years old and holds up to her name….she is so precious in my Dad’s eyes.

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