Table of Contents
- The role of dogs in seniors
- What to look for the best watch dogs for seniors
- 10 Best Watch Dogs for Seniors
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final words
For seniors living alone, watch dogs are great companions. These doggos give a sense of security to the elderly while serving as a guard dog. Unlike guard dogs for families, the best watch dogs for seniors need to have specific characteristics that will suit a lower level of physical activity. So for this, we listed 10 of the best breeds together with additional information that will help seniors choose the right dog for them.
The role of dogs in seniors
Pets have been proven to have a vital role among seniors. They can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and increase social interaction – all of which are critical for an aging person. Also, it reduces the loneliness that older individuals feel, especially if they live alone. This directly reduces the risk of depression and other emotional issues.
Also, for seniors with good mobility, pets like dogs encourage them to stay on their toes. This directly benefits their health.
Take note that an average senior individual at the age of 65 should have at least two and a half hours of mild aerobic exercise. Some of the good routines here are brisk walking, slow jogging, low-resistance indoor biking, and more. A pet dog can help them achieve this and stay physically active to delay joint degeneration and other potential health risks.
However, one critical aspect here is choosing the right breed. Below, we discuss some points to find the best watch dogs for seniors as well as 10 breeds for your consideration.
What to look for the best watch dogs for seniors
If you’re planning to get a watch dog, it’s important to know the characteristics and personality of the pooch. This way, you can guarantee that you and your dog will thrive together.
Senior dogs make the best watch dogs for seniors. Many senior canines have already been trained and have a lower energy level. This suits senior owners who can’t keep up with the vibrant personality of a pup.
Aside from that, you should also consider the life expectancy of the canine. Smaller breeds live longer than large ones, making them an ideal companion for older owners.
*Personality and temperament
Each dog breed has varying personalities. Some remain active even in their senior years while others are calm and focused even at a young age.
Also, you should know the temperament of the dog. Although we can give you a general guide on each breed’s nature, each doggo will have a varying personality.
Still, the pooch should have an air of confidence to fulfill its watchdog duties. However, seniors may not want an overly protective pooch as it can be an issue when you’re receiving guests.
One important consideration in getting the best watch dogs for seniors is how much grooming and care it will require. For seniors, a breed with the least possible maintenance is ideal. Regular brushing and bathing should be manageable for most senior owners.
Aside from that, seniors who wish to get a dog should also consider the cost of ownership, vet visits, and supplies for the pooch. If the elderly chose a rather high maintenance canine, they should have a pet care coordinator to ensure that the pooch will be watched over.
For a senior owner, a fixer-upper dog is a no-no. The last thing that an old owner wants is worrying about their dog due to its deteriorating health. Always ensure that the dog you’re getting is in the pink of health and has no serious disabilities.
Lastly, you should check the energy level of the pooch. If you want to stay on your toes, an active doggo will suit you well. However, for most seniors, a more laidback type is the most preferred.
10 Best Watch Dogs for Seniors
Weimaraner dogs aren’t very popular, but they have been catching the attention of pet owners, especially senior individuals. Although they have a large size and a rather intimidating look, Weimaraners are very friendly and obedient doggos.
They love playing and exercising but they also prefer hanging out with their humans. Also known as the “Silver Ghost”, Weimaraners are being sought by many dog lovers due to its elegant look.
Overall, this doggo is affectionate to their families, even to young kids. However, they remain aloof with strangers and may take some time to adjust to a multi-dog household.
Also, Weimaraners are brilliant dogs that are fairly easy to train. For seniors who aim to get this breed, they should choose a senior pooch as young Weimaraners are mouthy and have a strong prey drive.
2. German Shepherd
German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) are one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S. They are lauded for their intelligence, the same reason why they are one of the top choices for service dogs.
Moreover, GSDs form a strong bond with their owners and they will exhibit a strong sense of loyalty. They are also versatile and highly trainable as a support dog for seniors.
Despite their friendly nature, they don’t do well with other dogs and they have a watchful eye on strangers. Still, GSDs won’t be aggressive if trained early on.
Even if this dog has a strong prey drive, they are committed companions and will not wander off the neighborhood. However, they are vocal, especially when sensing danger.
3. Cairn Terrier
For seniors who are looking for a small yet energetic doggo, Cairn Terriers won’t disappoint. Although small, they were used as working dogs tasked to remove vermins on farmers’ properties.
Nowadays, Cairn Terriers are still intelligent, affectionate, and surprisingly good for novice owners. They can also adapt to apartment living, though training them can be a challenge. This dog loves barking, chasing things, and mouthing objects. These characteristics are their second nature as a herding dog.
Still, they are excellent companion dogs for seniors who want to stay active. This is because Cairn Terriers need a lot of exercise and playtime.
4. Miniature Pinscher
On the other hand, seniors can consider getting a Miniature Pinscher. This breed is a variety of Doberman Pinschers, except that they have a smaller size.
Moreover, Miniature Pinschers are affectionate to their masters and not very fond of kids. Also, they don’t do well in a multi-canine household. They tend to have a watchful eye for strangers, making them a great guard dog as well.
Another good thing about Miniature Pinschers is its low-shedding coat. They are easy to maintain since they don’t drool as well.
For seniors who are planning to get this dog, it’s best to opt for a senior canine. That way, Pinscher’s energy has already toned down.
5. Miniature Schnauzer
If you’re looking for another miniature option, the Miniature Schnauzer might be a perfect choice. This dog is the smaller version of Giant Schnauzers, but with the same temperament, intelligence, and vibrant nature.
Seniors who decided to own this breed will never feel alone at home. Mini Schnauzers have a goofy attitude and intense affection for their masters. However, they maintain a cautious eye with strangers, kids, and other canines.
Aside from that, Mini Schnauzers are a joy to train. They are smart and can remember commands easily. However, young pups would have a very strong prey drive and a very playful attitude.
6. Chinese Shar-Pei
The Shar-Pei dog is remarkable for its wrinkly appearance as if the dog’s body was placed in a rather large container. They are an old breed that has been around for hundreds of years. They were bred to herd, guard, and hunt for their masters.
Nowadays, Shar-Pei dogs have a toned-down nature and they prefer relaxing on the couch and hanging around with their owners. Also, they have very low physical activity and don’t need intensive exercise and playtime.
Take note that Shar-Pei dogs aren’t the cuddliest type, but you can count on them to watch over your house. They are also vocal, especially if strangers and other dogs are around.
7. Cocker Spaniel
Cocker Spaniels are one of the highly sought companion dogs. They are affectionate to their masters and do well around kids. They are also adaptable to apartment living, though they suit experienced owners.
This breed is intelligent, but it also has a strong prey drive, which is quite understandable as they were prominent bird dogs. Still, they love cuddling and relaxing on the couch with their owners. And if you’re in the mood for playtime, this breed will not disappoint.
Just take note that Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to obesity if not given enough exercise and proper diet. They also require a little more patience in grooming, though they shed less than most breeds.
8. Boston Terrier
Another one of the best watch dogs for seniors is the Boston Terrier canine. This pooch has a remarkable ‘tuxedo-like’ coat color and a stocky build.
In the past Boston Terriers were bred as fighting dogs. But nowadays, they are one of the gentlest and most affectionate canines to have. They love kids, strangers, and even other dogs. This is the same reason why they earned the nickname the “American Gentleman”.
With its short and low-shedding coat, Boston Terriers are easy to groom. However, you should remember that this is a brachycephalic dog prone to overheating when exposed under the sun for too long.
9. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Born to become companions, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is truly a dog for seniors. They are affectionate to everyone and highly adaptable to various living conditions.
Seniors would have an easy time living with this Spaniel breed as they require little exercise. Still, you should suffice their appetite for playtime to keep them happy and healthy.
As much as some Cavaliers are poor watchdogs, others are really vocal when they sense movements and unfamiliar sightings.
The last dog in our list of the best watch dogs for seniors is the Pomeranian. This pooch is small but full of energy and zeal to seize the day. Their foxy appearance suits their perky and lively personality as they often think that they’re larger than they actually are.
Even though Poms are active canines, it can adapt to apartment settings and will thrive in the care of first-time owners. They also like cuddling with their humans, but they don’t like kids a lot.
In addition, Poms shed a lot, but they are fairly easy to groom. They are also intelligent, but their independent attitude will make them appear stubborn.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Should a senior citizen get a dog?
A: Definitely! Senior citizens will benefit from having a dog. A canine can help them stay active, not to mention that the company of the dog reduces their loneliness. Take note that even the simple manner of walking the dog around makes a big difference as it promotes socialization to the elderly owner.
Q: What age is a dog considered a senior?
A: The age on which a dog is considered senior depends on its size. Small breeds age slower and will be considered senior dogs once they reach around 8 to 10 years. On the other hand, large dogs tend to age faster due to their shorter lifespan. Large and giant breeds are considered canines by the age of 6.
Q: What is pet therapy for the elderly?
A: Pet therapy for seniors is also called Animal Assisted Therapy on which they get to interact with pets like cats and dogs. It aims to improve the production of happy hormones on the brain while reducing stress and blood pressure.
Q: Will a long-haired dog suit a senior owner?
A: It actually depends on the maintenance level that the person can manage. Usually, long-haired and high-shedding canines are not a typical choice. However, if there’s a pet coordinator, this breed might be workable for seniors.
With the best watch dogs for seniors, older owners can have a companion at home. This way, they can have a stress reliever and exercise buddy that will keep them busy all day long. What do you think of these breeds? Let us know below!