If you’ve ever owned a dog, you know they give back as much, if not more, than they receive. In return for food and shelter, they give us companionship, a sense of purpose, and get us out the door for a bit of exercise. They connect us with other dog owners and people who can’t resist those adoring eyes and a wagging tail. Just stroking a dog’s head or scratching behind his ears makes you feel better. It’s no wonder dogs are a person’s best friend. They just want to please us.
Who’s a Good Boy, Then?
Let’s assume you don’t live on a farm or are looking to join your local K-9 police unit. Rather, you want a small dog that’s not too active or too yappy — but just right. To help you choose a breed that matches your lifestyle, here are six of the best small dogs for seniors.
With a playful spirit, love of entertaining and tendency to snort, this breed has earned the nickname “clown dog.” Their distinctive bat-like ears will make you smile, too. They’re people pleasers who’ll follow you from room to room and love being the center of attention. Frenchies have a good deal of energy but lack endurance, so they’re perfectly happy with short walks or playtime in the yard. Easy to groom, they’re quiet, amiable and readily adapt to apartment life.
The full-size Schnauzer terrier was used as a drover’s dog, watchdog, police dog and companion. The miniature version (Zwergschnauzer) is obedient, eager to please and wants to be your best friend. Playful and good with children, miniature schnauzers aren’t aggressive, but can be protective companions. Like most terriers, mini schnauzers can have a stubborn streak and be quite vocal at times. Exercise and training can help prevent excessive barking.
This terrier variety is developed from the English Bulldog and the white English terrier. Their manageable size, friendliness and ease of grooming makes them a popular dog with seniors. Known for their boundless energy and fun-loving ways, they can provide endless entertainment with their silly antics. Apart from snoring, grunting and tooting, they’re quiet and only bark when they’re riled or hear someone at the door. Well-suited to apartment life.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavaliers are a smaller breed of spaniel, typically about 12 to 18 pounds, with a medium-length silky coat. Sweet, gentle and playful, they’re known as the “love sponge” of dogs, and like nothing better than snuggling up with their owners. Highly intelligent, they’re easy to train because they’re so eager to please. Overall, Cavaliers make great companion dogs well-suited for apartment living.
Pronounced SHEED-zoo and interpreted as “little lion,” the Shih Tzu is bred from the stock of Tibetan Apsos and Chinese Pekingese. They’re famous for their flowing locks and will require regular grooming. One good walk per day, or even laps around your living room in a pinch, is all the exercise they need. Shih Tzus can be stubborn and prone to barking. But with the right training, they’ll be a friendly, playful companion. They make good lap dogs and live for cuddles and attention.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
This breed’s origins can be traced back to Welsh King Hywel Dda in 920. These days, corgis are better known as Queen Elizabeth’s canine companions. (She’s owned over 30 of them.) A herding dog by nature, corgis need regular exercise, but daily walks and trips to the dog park should be enough. Corgis are smart, require little grooming and are adorable with their short legs. They like the occasional cuddle, are protective and make great guard dogs.
Dogs Wuff Our Pet-Friendly Community
The best small dogs for seniors love our 72-acre campus. It’s not surprising with all the trees, lawns, lakes and walking paths to explore. Sedgebrook is paradise for curious noses eager to sniff traces of their four-legged friends.
Of course, life’s pretty doggone good for residents, too. When you’re not out walking your dog, you can walk down the hall and take your pick of any number of engaging activities — everything from drum circles and water aerobics to spelling bees and glee clubs. With a full calendar of activities and events, plus more than 90 resident-led clubs, committees and affinity groups, you’re sure to find something that’ll wag your tail. To learn more, get in touch.