For as long as I can remember I have always had a dog and these beautiful creatures had changed my life in so many ways.
Since I know how much they can improve the life of seniors by giving them calmness, companion, and security, I have decided to write about the best 10 small watchdogs for seniors.
Dogs are known to provide humans with protection. And it’s not just now that we train dogs to do so, but this human-canine relationship has been brewing since the old ages.
Humans would feed wild dogs, and in turn, they would give them protection. In today’s day and age, this relationship has evolved.
Now these wild dogs have been replaced by pets. Instead of just security, they provide their masters with companionship, love, and emotional support.
I have written another related post that you will want to check out on The Best 10 Low Energy Dogs for Seniors.
But when it comes to who would gain a lot of benefit from owning a dog, the answer is clear and simple, elders. Dogs are perfect for guarding their home and assisting them in their day-to-day life.
For elders specifically, having a watchdog that is Low Maintenance, small, high intelligence, and low energy is the most ideal.
A dog might also be an amazing gift for a senior, just make sure before that the senior loves dogs and will be capable of taking care of one.
Benefits of Seniors Owning a Dog
It’s known that dogs have an overall positive effect on their owners, especially for elders. They not only make good companions but can also double as guard dogs.
Owning a canine means that their owner will be physically active, which is excellent for seniors as constant exercise will help them live healthier lives. This way, they are not only active, but they are also able to connect with other people as well instead of staying isolated.
This, in turn, helps them boost their confidence. Moreover, it’s proven that dogs have a therapeutic effect on elders, meaning they help reduce stress and even aid in lowering blood pressure!
Things to Consider Before Getting a Small Guard Dog for Elders
Now that we have (hopefully) convinced the seniors to get a dog, more specifically a guard dog, let’s talk about things you need to consider before getting one.
Energy Level and Maintenance
Seniors need to get a dog that is not high maintenance, meaning they do not require much grooming or intensive care. Similarly, it’s better if seniors get dogs with medium energy at most, or else it will be a pain to keep high-energy dogs satisfied and happy at all times. Most older people themselves don’t have that much energy, so that can be a problem.
Although guard dogs need to have a certain temperament to be good guard dogs, seniors should avoid dogs that are really aggressive. This is because those dogs will be tough to handle. Guard or watchdogs for elders need to provide their owners with compassion and affection as well. Hence, they need the perfect balance of aloofness and friendliness.
Age Of the Dog
This is another crucial factor that needs to be considered. If the canine is a puppy, they will have a lot of energy that the elders will not cope with. On the other hand, if they are too old, they will require a lot of medical care and attention, which will be difficult for elders to do constantly. This is why older people need to choose dogs of medium age that have already gone through their training and active phase.
Top 10 Best Small Watchdogs for Seniors
Now moving on to what all of you REALLY want to know, here are the top ten small watchdogs that are suitable for seniors (in no specific order)
Yes, we know what everyone is thinking, that we must be joking. But we aren’t! Although they are small, do not, and we mean DO NOT underestimate their self-confidence. These small dogs are very affectionate to their owners but aggressive towards strangers and other dogs they cross paths with.
They are usually always by their owner’s side. They are more afraid to bare their teeth to anything they perceive as dangerous. This is why chihuahuas are said to have the personality of a large canine. They also don’t require a lot of exercise, which is a plus. Who knew Napoleon Complex will come in handy, even if it’s for a dog.
Next on our list is a beagle. One of the main things that makes them an excellent watchdog is their bark. Their bark makes them sound like a big dog instead of their tiny self. Perfect for scaring off any trespassers or any animals. Beagles are also born and even bred as hunters.
They have a very keen sense of smell and are also very good at noticing even small details in the distance. If that’s an attribute you are looking for in a dog, a beagle is for you.
3. Jack Russel Terrier
Known for their small size and praised for their good looks, Jack Russel Terrier HAS to make it on our list. They will bark at anything that is out of the ordinary, no matter how small or big. It might get a bit tiring for elders, but it’s great to ensure everything is going okay.
However, a downside is that Jack Russel Terriers are stubborn, so they can be tough to train. BUT if you get past the training stage or are able to get a pre-trained Jack Russel Terrier, you are in luck because they are very loyal to their family.
This has to be one of the most shocking canines on our list, but we are not fooling you. Many people associate Pomeranian with rich and posh people due to their fine and perfectly coiffed hair. Still, most people might not know that they are BIG BARKERS, just like Jack Russel Terrier.
They will also bark at anything they don’t deem normal, which is excellent for catching intruders. When appropriately trained, Pomeranians make great home alarms. Maintaining them might be hard, though, but Pomeranians are the way to go if you want something fluffy.
5. Boston Terrier
These are very territorial and protective dogs for their property and their family as well. Although they are small, they are very muscular. Originally, Boston Terriers were bred to kill vermin; hence, they still have that prey drive in many dogs of this breed. Again, like many other guard dogs, they need to be socialized and trained correctly, or else they will struggle distinguishing intruders and friends.
If you are a senior who lives alone, this one’s for you because Dachshunds are great one-person dogs. Their nature is a bit aggressive, but that’s because they were bred to enter thickets and tunnels, all in search of vermin. Moreover, these small dogs were even used to kill badgers, which, if you Don’t know, isn’t a small feat, especially for a small dog.
7. Lhasa Apso
Lhasa Apso is very adorable, cuddly, and tiny. They also are excellent guard dogs. Regardless of their size, Lhasa Apso can deliver a nasty bite. They were even used to protect ancient Tibetan Temples. That protective instinct is still very much present in them.
A downside is that they don’t do well with kids because they like being approached out of nowhere as well as loud, boisterous noise. These dogs do well with seniors, though, because they like being treated with respect and enjoy having their own space as well. Another thing you need to be mindful about is their toleration anxiety. Try not to leave them alone for more than a few hours.
8. Shi Tzu
Yes, we know almost every Shi Tzu owner says that their dog wouldn’t even hurt a fly and is just a lining marshmallow, but the truth is that Shi Tzu is known as a biter. Another thing about them is that they can’t tell how small they actually are!
They do well with seniors and older children who are not boisterous and know how to treat dogs. They also don’t require a lot of exercises, which is suitable for elders.
9. Shiba Inus
These dogs are vital for their size. Although they aren’t the smallest dog on the list, they’ll do the best job when it comes to protecting you. They were initially used for hunting in Japanese mountainous areas.
They also have a powerful jaw which they aren’t afraid to use when needed. Usually, female Shiba Inus are more aggressive than male ones. When required, sometimes these dogs make a sound known as ‘Shiba scream,’ which honestly is enough to scare an intruder half to death.
10. German Pinscher
These dogs are a smaller version of Doberman Pinscher, with a friendlier look. Although they Don’t do well with kids, they thrive with seniors. If you are a senior that wants to stay active, those dog is perfect for you.
So here you go, top 10 small watchdogs for seniors, all with their pros and cons. So happy choosing!
Hi, my name is Eddie, I am a professional trainer specializing in the elderly population and I’m also a website designer. I love training in the gym, going to the beach, traveling, and having good food.
I combined my love for sport and website designing to make “DisabilitEase” whose purpose is to help elderly and disabled people live a more full and active life, have more fun, and enjoy their unique journey despite any disability.