I have had dogs for most of my life. My family was always fairly active so we tended to have working dogs that love to be on the go…as in go go go! My dog is one of those active dogs who love long walks or hikes (one to three hours) at least twice a day. Seeing the fun, excitement, and joy in her eyes as we set off on yet another venture is so worth keeping up with her. I call her my personal trainer with all the exercise she gives me!
Although there are many dogs that prefer to be on the run, there are numerous breeds that love the relaxed life and practically rolls thir eyes at you when the mention of a walk is heard..all dogs know the words food and walk, right?
I often get asked by my older friends and others if the breed of dog I have, a Labrador retriever, would be a good dog for them to have as an easy companion to have around the house for company. No way I say…Labrodors need a lot of exercise. So I decided to ask some professionals their advice on smaller, less active dogs. And here are 10 breeds they recommended
1. Miniature Poodle The highly trainable, affectionate, low-shedding Poodle comes in three sizes: Toy, Miniature, and Standard. They love to be pampered, and you will be hard put to find a cleverer pet. Poodle mixes like the Cockapoo and Labradoodle are also excellent choices.
2. Boston Terrier Trainable and well mannered, the dapper Boston Terrier is a friend to all. They tend to be layabouts, so a relaxed lifestyle is just fine with them. The breed is easy to groom, but some are hard to housetrain. Bostons can be bossy, so good leadership is essential.
3. Maltese The lively but gentle Maltese loves people and does not like being alone. Despite their soft looks, Maltese are fearless. They remain moderately active from puppyhood through old age. Their silky white coat requires daily attention and professional grooming to look its best. Maltese are low shedding and quite healthy.
4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Cavaliers are easygoing, friendly, intelligent, and quiet. They are also more patient than most small breeds. The Cavalier courteously matches his activity level to yours. It’s hard to go wrong with the noble Cavalier, but they do require regular brushing.
5. Pekingese The regal but slow-moving Peke is a real charmer. This is the ultimate lap dog, and while they need thorough daily brushing, you can do it while he’s sleeping on your lap. They are extraordinarily loyal and affectionate, although they’re also independent and willful at times.
6. Yorkshire Terrier This low-shedding, beautiful lapdog is wonderfully loving and loyal, although they tend to be both independent and overprotective, fancying themselves mighty guard dogs. They can be tricky to housetrain, although this is true of many toy breeds.
7. Miniature Schnauzer The Miniature Schnauzer is a big dog in a small, tidy package. They are in the Terrier Group, not the Toy Group, and have a strong but friendly terrier temperament. If given sufficient exercise, they are calm indoors. They are great alert dogs since they tend to be vocal without that little dog yap. They are also easy to train.
8. Chihuahua Lively, loyal, and proud, this excellent lapdog makes a wonderful companion. These are vocal dogs that serve well as alert dogs. Puppies may be difficult to housetrain.
9. Pug The healthy Pug is easy to groom, although they shed quite heavily. Normally possessing an excellent temperament, a few can become jealous. This is a generally healthy breed but should avoid temperature extremes. Happy-go-lucky Pug mixes make excellent pets as well.
10. Shih Tzu The Shih Tzu is a gentle, affectionate dog who thrives on love. Sturdier than they look, the Shih Tzu is up for a daily walk if you are. They are low shedding but need daily brushing and an occasional professional trim to look their sweet, perky best. Most are very quiet dogs, although some snore.
Science shows that owning a dog lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. It also improves mental health by raising levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Research even shows that seniors who have to care for a pet take better care of themselves! However, never presume to get a pet for someone else without their knowledge, permission, and input.
The majority of seniors do better with smaller, portable, biddable breeds. But like everyone else, getting the right match depends on your activity level, housing situation, and whether children are frequent visitors.
Don’t forget the best breed…an adoptable, calm, already housetrained older dog from a shelter is an ideal way to find a great friend. Many dogs love senior and less active pet parents, who don’t dash off to work at 7:00 a.m. and return briefly at night before heading to bed or out on the town. Seniors, and people who are unable to be an active parent to a high energy dog, are home for much of the day and have time to devote to their pets.
So when looking for a dog to adopt you, make sure to check out all the breeds as there are different and special traits and quirks they all flaunt. Take your time to find your perfect match! And enjoy being owned by a dog…oh I mean owning a dog. (Smile Smile!)