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What are the best companion dogs?

28th June 2021


As people get older they tend to spend more time in their homes and rely on aids such as straight and reconditioned stairlifts to get around their homes.

The team at Rachel’s Dog Club tell us a little about why dogs are often chosen as companions for families and those living alone: “There’s no better companion out there than dogs for people of all ages, but especially older people when life can start to get a little lonelier and there’s more free time. Dogs provide people with that sense of purpose everyone needs in life: they provide a reason to get up in the morning and to get outside in the fresh air. Many older people have had children who have grown up and have their own lives and families, or they’ve lost a spouse and begin to feel empty; having a dog helps fill this gap in their heart with something who needs them and depends on them. A dog is always loyal and will love you and be there for you every minute of the day.”

Dogs are known to be man’s best friend and are a great and affordable way for many to add a little companionship into their lives. Keep on reading to find out which dogs are recommended for those who are looking to find a little happiness with four legs.

Golden Retriever


A popular dog for many, not just those who are a little older are Golden Retrievers. Golden Retrievers are known for their gentle and kind temperaments even though they are one of the larger dogs on this list. They are gentle giants and are great companion dogs due to their affectionate and sweet nature, they are not overly affectionate towards one person and love to spread the love around which is great when carers and family members may enter the house regularly.

Although they are bigger dogs, they are often slower and calmer on walks, making them great for those with limited mobility who may not be able to take a bigger dog on longer and more strenuous walks.

Attributes of a Golden Retriever:

  • Calm
  • Gentle
  • Kind
  • Affectionate
  • Low maintenance



Poodles aren’t just chosen as companion dogs due to their extremely cute exteriors and small and compact size; they are a notoriously devoted breed and are intelligent and gentle too. With a selection of sizes to choose from, you can tailor your choice to suit your needs

The website Poodled gives a little more insight into the breed they are and how they suit older owners: “Intelligent, gentle, devoted, and playful are just four of the words that Poodle owners often use to describe their character. Regardless of their size and colour, or whether you have a Toy Poodle, a Miniature Poodle, a Poodle mix, or prefer Standard Poodles, they are famous for their playful but dignified personality and perceptive intelligence.”

Attributes of Poodles:

  • Devoted
  • Intelligent
  • Gentle
  • Playful

Miniature Schnauzer


Miniature Schnauzers originate from Germany and became a popular breed in the 19th-century due to their regal and elegant appearance. They are now often chosen by older adults looking for a companion for many reasons.

The Schnauzer are great family dogs as well as making great companions for those who live alone, this is due to their easy and well-mannered nature and their loyal qualities. Although they are smaller dogs that may require a little more walking than other smaller dogs, they are curious, playful and love attention.

If you’re looking for a quiet dog who can sit and enjoy an afternoon watching telly that can also join you on a gentle walk in the day, then the Schnauzer is a perfect choice.

Attributes of a Miniature Schnauzer:

  • Well-mannered
  • Loyal
  • Curious
  • Playful
  • Loves attention

Yorkshire Terrier


Much like the Miniature Schnauzer, the Yorkshire Terriers are often synonymous with older owners due to their cute and small bodies that are great for cuddling. They make great companion dogs not only because they don’t require as much exercise as some of the other dogs in this list but because they are devoted and very affectionate.

Yorkshire Terriers are also perfect for those who may be in a wheelchair because they don’t mind being picked up, carried and held on your lap. They make great personal companions and are often chosen by those who live alone due to their loving tendencies.

Tom Jeffrey, Founder of Dinky Dog Club thinks that small dogs are the perfect option for senior owners: “Another benefit with a pint-sized pooch is they fit perfectly in smaller homes and apartments. For seniors who enjoy travelling, small breed dogs are fantastic travel companions. Little dogs can fly in-cabin with you on trips and they’re the right size for RV adventures. The best part of all with most small breed pups is that they’re happiest being by your side or on your lap, showering you with lots of love.”

Attributes of a Yorkshire Terrier:

  • Loving
  • Cuddly
  • Easy to handle
  • Devoted
  • Affectionate

Shih Tzu


Not only are they extremely adorable but Shih Tzu’s are often bred to be companion dogs due to their overly affectionate and loving tendencies. Originating from Tibet, they are dogs that love their home comforts. Whether you are running errands around your house, are enjoying some time in your garden or cooking in the kitchen, a Shih Tzu will never be far behind.

The team at Rachel’s Dog Club explain why they think Shih Tzu’s are a great choice for elderly people looking for a companion: “Shih Tzu and the Bichon Frise are small, very affectionate and low energy so they make a great companion breed and are generally a low-maintenance dog to care for.

They are known for being hugely loving and don’t mind having other animals and family members in the house. Being friendly, happy and outgoing, they are a great choice for those looking for a companion dog.

Attributes of a Shih Tzu:

  • Affectionate
  • Happy
  • Outgoing
  • Friendly

Cocker Spaniel


Cocker Spaniels are the last dog in this article but are definitely not one to be overlooked when choosing a companion dog. They are great around children and the elderly alike and are known for being gentle and fun-loving. They have great instincts and will often adapt to their owner’s needs and tendencies as the team at K9 Web explain more on their website:

“Great companion dogs and fabulous around children, English Cocker Spaniels are known for their friendly, fun-loving personalities. These gentle dogs make great pets for families of any age, and their happy disposition makes them a pleasure to be around. They are people-oriented pups that are very affectionate, eager to please, and thrive on attention.”

Attributes of a Cocker Spaniel:

  • Gentle
  • Fun-loving
  • Happy
  • Friendly
  • Affectionate

So, if you are looking for a companion dog for yourself or a loved one, then why not consider some of the dog breeds mentioned above. Dogs are wonderful animals to have around the home and they often bring happiness and joy to people. For more articles like this, then head to the blog section to find more examples.

The best companion dogs:

  • Golden Retriever
  • Poodle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • Cocker Spaniel

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.