The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Retirees - Pet Hub USA

The 10 Best Dog Breeds for Retirees

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Retirees have lots to consider when choosing a dog breed. Your lifestyle. The type of dwelling you live in. A breed’s activity level, grooming needs, health issues, and lifespan. These 10 dog breeds have something for every senior.

10. Cairn Terrier

cairn terrier

If you’ve seen The Wizard of Oz, then you’ll recognize Dorothy’s dog Toto as a Cairn Terrier. These dogs are alert and cheerful. They enjoy staying busy. Cairns grow to about a foot tall and weigh between 10-16 pounds. Their shaggy outer coat is rough, while their undercoat is soft and dense. Generally healthy, they live between 12-17 years.

9. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are outgoing, vocal, and playful — but also love to lay in your lap. Their long, double coat requires nearly daily brushing. Shih Tzus adapt easily and do well with other animals and children. The max height for a Shih Tzu is 10.5 inches and they weigh no more than 16 pounds. They live up to 18 years.

8. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Two dogs sitting side by side

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are gentle, graceful, and highly affectionate. They get along with everyone. Being smart, they adjust their behavior to each person. King Charles Spaniels aren’t big shedders and their coat requires minimal brushing. The small dogs stand between 12-13 inches, weigh between 13-18 pounds, and have a lifespan between 12-15 years.

7. Maltese


Maltese are gentle, charming, and playful dogs. They typically weigh under 7 pounds. While they hardly shed, their lustrous white coats require frequent grooming. Maltese range in height from 7 to 9 inches, and have a life expectancy between 12 to 15 years. They should be supervised around young children and other dogs.

6. Pembroke Welsh Corgis

Woman with Corgi in pet shop

Pembroke Welsh Corgis are affectionate dogs with playful energy. They need mental stimulation and activity. Corgis are intelligent, alert, and can be vocal, as they are watchdogs by nature. With their stubby legs, Welsh Corgis max out at a height of one foot, and weigh up to 30 pounds. A corgi’s life span is 12-13 years.

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5. French Bulldog

French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are one of the most popular breeds in America — and for good reason. These lovable little dogs will keep you entertained with their antics, and shower you with affection laying in your lap. The main downside with Frenchies is health issues, averaging around $1,087 annually, which might be expensive for seniors on a limited income.

4. Yorkshire Terrier


Yorkshire Terriers are toy-sized dogs weighing no more than 7 pounds. They are affectionate, and good with young children, but can be feisty with other animals. Despite their long, silky coat, they shed very little and they are remarkably hypoallergenic. They do great as urban dwellers and have a lifespan of up to 13 years.

3. Chihuahua


Chihuahuas are the perfect low-maintenance dog as their coat requires little care. Among the tiniest dogs, Chihuahuas weigh six pounds or less and are easy to take anywhere. They can be very vocal, but tone down with training. Chihuahuas live up to 16 years. They aren’t necessarily good with young children or other dogs.

2. Poodle

Misty 721 via Wikimedia Commons

Poodles are highly intelligent and make excellent companions. They are good with everyone, and once socialized, do well with other pets. There are four sizes of poodles: Standard, medium, miniature, and toy. Their hypoallergenic fur also makes them perfect for seniors. Depending on the size, they live between 10 and 18 years.

Read More: 10 Best Dog Breeds for New Owners

1. Pug 


These lovable and highly adaptable little dogs make everyone’s list of the perfect canine companions. Playful pugs are sure to keep you amused, but they’re equally content to sit in your lap. They have limited activity tolerance making them perfect for seniors with the same. Pugs live between 13 to 15 years.

Read More: 10 Reasons to Adopt an Older Dog

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