Are you an older adult interested in getting a dog? Perhaps you have retired and decided that you finally have the extra time to care for a dog. Maybe you crave the kind of companionship that a dog can offer. Everyone should have the opportunity to share life with a dog. Your age alone is not a factor that should prevent you from having a dog of your own. However, factors related to your health and lifestyle can affect your ability to properly care for a dog. The key is to find the type of dog that best fits your lifestyle and abilities, regardless of your age.
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The fluffy little Bichon Frise is a joyful and affectionate dog that makes an excellent companion. With an average weight of about 7-12 pounds, this small breed is extremely easy to handle for most people. Bichons are also relatively simple to train. The Bichon will need to be groomed periodically but is otherwise fairly low-maintenance. Many Bichon owners choose to take their dogs to a professional groomer every month or two. Moderate daily exercise is usually enough to keep the Bichon healthy and happy as long as he has your companionship.
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The Cavalier is a beloved puppy-like dog that is affectionate and adaptable. This is a small dog that is often happiest when snuggled up beside her owner. This breed typically weighs about 11 to 18 pounds and is easy to handle and train. The Cavalier has some grooming needs, such as regular hair brushing, ear cleaning, and possibly the occasional trip to a groomer. Overall, Cavaliers are favored among those who love small, snuggle companions.
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It's almost impossible to be sad around the happy Frenchie! French Bulldogs are among the most cheerful of all dog breeds. They are compact, muscular, and active dogs. However, at about 19 to 28 pounds they are still very manageable. Although they have a good deal of energy, they tend to lack endurance. Therefore, moderate daily exercise is usually just right for this breed. Their grooming needs are fairly dog's, but be aware of health concerns like brachycephalic syndrome and various skin issues.
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How can a racing dog be good for older adults? You may be surprised to learn that Greyhounds are not the high-energy dogs many think they are. Although Greyhounds will enjoy daily walks and the occasional chance to run, most tend to be "couch potatoes" that enjoy loafing around with their owners. They are usually very responsive to training and therefore easy to handle, even though most weight about 60 to 80 pounds. If you like larger dogs but worry about being able to handle one, the Greyhound is a breed to consider.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Much like the Bichon, the Maltese is the quintessential "little white lap dog." This breed enjoys spending time in her owner's lap and going on short, easy walks. Grooming needs are also like the Bichon: dog's trips to a professional groomer will keep the breed maintained. The Maltese is also fairly easy to train. At a weight of only 4 to 7 pounds, this dog is very easy to handle. You can even carry her around in your bag!
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If you want a small to medium dog that makes a great companion, the Corgi might be for you. Weight 24 to 30 pounds, this breed is still small enough for most people to handle. Corgis are smart and fairly easy to train. They are also quite adorable with those short little legs! A herding dog by nature, your Corgi will need routine exercise, but daily walks will often be enough. The Corgi has minimal grooming needs, which can be very convenient.
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Leaning towards a tiny dog? At a weight of 3 to 7 pounds, the Pom is another easy-to-handle pooch that can be carried in your bag. This breed is an affectionate and happy companion. Your Pom will enjoy snoozing in your lap and playing with toys. Most of all, this breed will enjoy your companionship.
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The Poodle is one of the smartest dogs out there and also among the most popular of all dog breeds. Best of all, you can choose your size! Whether you want the tiny Toy poodle, the small Miniature Poodle, or the larger Standard Poodle, this dog will be a loyal, affectionate companion. Poodles learn fast and adapt well to all kinds of households. Basic daily walks are enough for most Poodles. They do need to be professionally groomed every month or two but are otherwise fairly easy to care for.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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The Shih Tzu is another popular small dog. Ranging in weight from 9 to 16 pounds, the breed is easy to handle. Though the Shih Tzu has a bit of a stubborn streak, most can be trained without too much trouble. Daily walks and periodic grooming are both important for this breed. The Shih Tzu is somewhat prone to skin issues and brachycephalic syndrome, but to a lesser degree than that of the French Bulldog.
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Here's one last "little white dog" to consider. Westies make excellent companions and are very easy to handle. At 13 to 20 pounds, the breed is still small, but not as fragile as the Pomeranian or Maltese. The Westie does require some grooming but does not need to be trimmed the way many of the other dogs on this list do. Overall, the Westie is friendly and fairly low-maintenance.
Choosing the Right Dog
Remember that breed alone cannot determine if a dog is right for you. Each dog has its own personality and set of needs. If you get an adult dog, you will have a better idea of the dog's needs and behavior (especially if that dog has come from another home). Take the time to get to know the dog before you decide to take him home. Then, you will be able to enjoy the time you two get to spend together without as many unexpected burdens.