Reaching your golden years comes with many changes to your lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be the canine lover you’ve always been. If you’re a dog lover that still wants to own a dog well into your retirement, it’s important to consider what breeds will align well with your lifestyle. Here are the breeds that we think make the most suitable companion dogs for seniors:
Pugs are a lovely breed to consider if you’re an older adult looking to adopt a new dog into your life. They are small and perfect for those who are looking to move into an independent living community. They also require very little exercise. While training a pug isn’t necessarily the easiest thing in the world, they are an affectionate, loyal breed and have a charming temperament.
Beagles can be excellent dogs for active seniors who want a reason to get outside on a regular basis. Though their independent streak may be a barrier to some, others may find a perfect companion in a beagle. This is especially true given that beagles are known for their loyal, funny, friendly temperament. They’re also relatively low-maintenance as far as grooming goes. For the avid walkers out there, this is the dog for you.
Yorkshire Terriers are thought to be a toy breed, meaning that they usually only weigh between 5 and 7 pounds. Bold and adventurous, they are typically active and inquisitive, with a strong sense of loyalty towards their masters. This loyalty will often cause them to bark excessively at signs of danger. Luckily, these dogs are quite easy to train. Despite their size, owners should not over-coddle them. Letting Yorkshires be independent means they can develop with little to no neuroticism, and be the perfect canine companion.
Boston Terriers are short-haired dogs that are known for their intelligence and gentle manner. Easy to train and enthusiastic, they make for excellent watchdogs and are great with children and seniors. While it might be tempting to let them get away with mischief, it’s important to ensure that you display firm authority in order to prevent behavioral issues. Seniors who are up for a long walk once a day will find that Boston Terriers make for fantastic companions, especially as they’re relatively calm indoors so long as they get some form of exercise during the day.
The Maltese is a fairly popular breed of dog, especially among seniors, given their size and how easy they are to train . They really only require a few short, simple walks – nothing crazy. They are perfect for older adults who don’t express the eager enjoyment of a long jog around the park. Weighing only between 4 and 7 pounds, you can carry this dog in a purse. That said, owners should be wary of over-pampering this breed. Doing so may result in bad behavior, such as obsessive barking and separation anxiety. However, given that the Maltese is highly intelligent and quite capable of learning tricks, you might find training this dog to be a real pleasure.
These are only a few of the many dog breeds that are perfect for seniors looking for a companion dog. Given that many retirement communities allow pet ownership, there’s really no reason to say goodbye to a beloved pet or put aside thoughts of ever adopting one should you be thinking of moving to an assisted living home. Dogs are great at keeping us from feeling lonely and give us an extra reason to stay active. The trick is to select a breed that suits your needs and lifestyle. With so many breeds to choose from, most seniors can enjoy dog ownership in any setting, without compromise.