4 Worst Dog Breeds to Avoid as Pets When You’re a Senior

Last Updated: June 13, 2023

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dog breed seniors should avoid

It’s not uncommon for us humans to feel a little lonely with age; it's pretty natural. A dog can help change that; after all, they are known as a man’s best friend. 

That being said, as you grow older, you might want to limit your selection of dog breeds when purchasing a dog as your pet.

No dog is horrible, with the right amount of love and care, any dog can be the pet of your dreams.

However, some dogs simply cause a little more trouble, and handling them as a senior might be too big of a hassle. Hence, it is important to know about the breeds before you bring one home.

In this article, find 5 of the worst dog breeds to avoid as pets when you’re a senior. So let’s get started, shall we?

1. Pitbulls Are too Aggressive and Energetic

The first on this list of the worst dog breeds for seniors are Pitbulls.

As explained on CritterTips, pets can be wonderful companions for people of all ages and lifestyles, but there are some furry friends that are more demanding than others.

Pitbulls, for example, have a notorious reputation, making it somewhat difficult for elders to pet them.

Although you might feel protected around a pit bull, you will certainly struggle to keep up with it. A pitbull can be loving and low maintenance for its owners, but taking care of them and keeping them in control is a different story entirely.

Bred for Dog-fighting

Pitbulls originate from the U.K and were mainly bred for dog-fighting,.

They're known to be quite aggressive; so much so that over half the dog attacks are caused by these troublemakers. 

Furthermore, they can be as big as 60 pounds and about 21 inches tall! These dogs require a lot of exercises and outdoor activity.

Going on several walks a day may prove to be too much for older individuals and these dogs also need a big living space. Keeping them in a congested house will simply not be suitable for such a dog.

Related: 11 Low Maintenance Dog Breeds for First Time Owners

2. Labrador Retrievers Are too Athletic

Up next on this list of the worst dog breeds for seniors, we have the beloved Labrador retriever. Yes, we know, these are incredibly friendly, loyal, and obedient creatures who love their owners very much!

That being said, they are still quite difficult to keep up with as a senior.

After all, no matter how fit you may be, the sad truth is that you are simply no longer in your prime to match the energy of such an outgoing dog.

Labs Require Lots of Energy and Attention

These dogs are known for their companionship and usefulness. They excel at hunting and outdoor sports; activities that seniors rarely take part in.

Additionally, they require a lot of your attention and you need to exercise them every day to keep them healthy and happy.

These dogs can grow up to 80 pounds and about  24 inches in height.

As easy as they are to train, taking care of them is just as difficult and so we recommend that seniors steer clear of this beautiful dog unless you feel capable of devoting so much of yourself to these sweet and athletic puppies.

Related: Top 5 Best Dog Beds for Labradors

3. Siberian Huskies Were Bred For The Outdoors

Siberian husky is another dog that is adored by most dog lovers around the world. These dogs are big and fluffy, growing up to 60 pounds and 24 inches tall. 

Siberian Huskies, like the previous entries on this list, may seem to be low maintenance at first (due to their reputation of remaining clean and requiring fewer visits to the bathtub) but they are just the opposite!

The benefit of having a dog that keeps itself clean is great, but a Siberian husky sheds a lot as well, meaning that you will inevitably have to work on cleaning up the house.

Furthermore, these dogs are practically bred for intense outdoor activities such as sled racing and hunting.

Stubborn and Difficult to Tire Out

Although they are loyal and friendly, you might find it difficult to tire them out before your age catches up to you and so you might feel that the dog is simply too overwhelming.

Siberian Huskies are also stubborn in nature, making them hard to train and they might become unhappy if prevented from playing outside.

4. The Rottweilers Are massive and Fierce

Like Pitbulls, Rottweilers are among the breeds that were bred for dangerous activities.

These dogs were part of armies and protected livestock. The Rottweiler is massive, growing up to about 125 pounds, making the size itself a possible problem.

Although these dogs may seem scary to some, they are actually quite loyal and friendly with the people close to them. They too, are active and love activities such as swimming and going on walks, even more so when it's done with their beloved owners.

High Maintenance 

Rottweilers are quite high-maintenance dogs as owners need to brush them, trim their nails, and keep them occupied often.

Furthermore, Rottweilers are best when raised well from childhood, and taking care of a dog for so long may be too big of a commitment.

Although they will love you very much, taking care of them in return may just be too hectic for the elderly.

Related: Signs of Aggression in Rottweilers

In Conclusion

Overall, all dogs, even the ones in this list, have their strengths and cons.

Some dogs are outgoing while others are more comfortable at home. That being said, they will always love you if you are capable of caring for them and if you believe that you can commit to a dog even during your senior years, then who are we to stop you?

We hope that this article has helped you have a better understanding of which dogs you should bring home in this list of the worst dogs for seniors and we wish you and your future pet good health.

Also read: How to Set up a Daily Schedule for a New Puppy


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About the author 


Steve is a writer with over 10 years of experience in dog training and nutritiion.

His goal is to educate dog owners about the ins and outs of canine behavior as well as keeping up with the latest scientific research in the field.