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Getting a mixed-breed dog for the seniors in our family may just be the best gift you can give them to celebrate their retirement day.
Mixed breeds will not only be the perfect companion dogs for Nan and Gramps, but they can also help them stay in shape physically, mentally, and even socially.
In fact, many research publications and journals have published studies about the health benefits of adopting pets as older owners. It can do as much as lower the risk of heart diseases!
And if you want to know more about how dogs actually benefit seniors, listen to our podcast on this link.
Let this article be your ultimate guide on why mixed breeds are the best dogs for seniors to adopt.
We also listed down below the best small and large mixed breeds for the elderly that you can choose from so keep on scrolling!
Mixed Breed Dogs For Seniors: Why They Should Have Them
In some cultures or languages, mixed breeds are also called mutts.
I know it sounds kinda negative, but mutt just means that either their parentage is unknown or their parents were not purebreds.
Unlike crossbreeds who came from two different pure breeds, mixed breeds sometimes just happen without human intervention.
And while some purists may snob them, they could actually be quite appealing because of their unique personalities, not to mention, interesting looks.
Plus, mixed breeds can be quite sweet and well-mannered.
While pure breeds can have extreme temperaments and behavior, you can say mixed breeds are their ‘watered down’ version (but not in a bad way, okay?) because their characteristics came from different genetic pools.
Because of this, mixed breeds can be the perfect companion dogs for older owners who either want to exercise every morning or just settle down in a rocking chair while sipping hot tea.
How To Pick The Best Mixed Breed Dogs For Seniors
First of all, let me just say all dogs are the best! They’re all good boys and good girls, especially when paired with a compatible owner.
But of course, there are several considerations that you may want to think about first before getting that pooch for your grandma and grandpa.
Here are the questions you should be asking to know how to pick the best mixed breed dogs for your senior loved ones.
1. Can Nan and Gramps keep up with the dog’s energy?
Some dogs definitely need more active time than others. They may require more than just walking in the park to keep them fit and healthy.
And while it’s advisable for our grandparents to move those joints and muscles every now and then, they might not be as fit to hike up a mountain.
In this case, you may want to choose a calmer dog for them. Those with just enough energy to walk around the house for some light exercise and then curl up in a ball next to Nan while she knits!
Are Nan and Gramps living in an apartment building or are they retiring in their farmhouse?
If they have a large backyard or home space where large mixed breed dogs can comfortably live, then by all means!
But if it’s a one-bedroom apartment, then they may want to opt for smaller mixed breeds that they can just carry around.
Plus, it’s also worth noting: will the neighbors be okay with having dogs around the community?
3. Is it better to adopt the pooch as a puppy or as an adult?
I mean, who can resist those puppy eyes and cute little paws? We all adore puppies! But you may want to consider if getting a pup is the best option for Nan and Gramps.
If you are a seasoned dog parent, you probably know that taking care of puppies requires more effort than adult dogs.
They need house training and behavioral training. And those frequent liquid and solid accidents can be quite problematic!
With this, getting an adult dog, preferably one that is trained, could be the better option.
Or in fact, if you prefer a dog that could match their older owner’s energy, why not consider adopting a senior dog?
Here, let me give you 12 more reasons why adopting senior dogs are better than puppies.
4. Will Nan and Gramps afford to care for a dog?
All those dog food, medicines, vet visits, grooming needs, and occasional treats–it could all get expensive!
Your grandparents may be pensioned, but can their fixed income afford the additional expense?
Remember that some breeds are more expensive to maintain than others.
You may want to consider dogs that are low-maintenance, probably those with shorter hair that does not require a lot of grooming, and one that’s not a picky-eater!
And finally, the most important question of all:
Your grandparents may not be at the top of their health anymore unlike 30 or 40 years ago.
They may be experiencing several discomforts already–arthritis, asthma, allergies… and they may not be as steady on their feet as they were before.
If a heavy-set and large dog jumped on them out of excitement or pulled on their leash too hard while walking, will Gramps be able to keep up?
Is getting a dog that sheds a lot the best option for Nan who might be asthmatic? Or would a mixed breed that doesn’t shed be a better option for her?
You should get dogs that will not aggravate your grandparents’ condition but instead, help them enjoy life and their retirement!
Top 35 Small and Large Mixed Breed Dogs for Seniors
In the end, it all boils down to their own preference. Maybe, Nan and Gramps had been pet parents themselves before so they know what they’re getting into, who knows?
With that, we listed below the top 35 small and large mixed breed dogs that are best for the elderly.
(There may be a couple of medium-sized breeds in here too but you get the idea!)
Best Small (to Medium) Mixed Breed Dogs
(aka Pomachi, Chiranian, Chiapom)
Seniors can easily pick Pomchis up without hurting their backs because these small dogs can only grow to not more than 10-inches tall. This makes them the perfect lapdogs!
Just let them out for a while to play by themselves and their toys; they’ll be happily out of your way.
However, they can be quite noisy! You may need to apologize to your neighbors for that inevitable midnight yapping.
(aka Pom-A-Wee, Pomdach, Pomaweenie)
Dameranians can grow from small to medium in size, perfect for retirees living in apartments. They are always alert and cheerful.
Their coats need weekly brushing to keep them pretty. When cared for properly, Dameranians can live up to 12 to 15 years long.
Because they are active dogs, they can also get hungry fast! But they should be good if you feed them twice a day.
(aka Pomshi, Shih-pom, Shih A Pom, Pom Tzu)
Shiranian, like its predecessors Shih Tzu and Pomeranian, can be pretty spoiled and loves to be pampered most times.
They love humans who can give much time and attention to them. And because of this, they are very loyal and loving to their owners.
They are a perfect match for older owners because they are versatile and can live anywhere–just not outside the house!
Another option for a small-sized dog for grandma or grandpa could be a Puggle!
Puggles are very affectionate and have a sweet temperament. They are also curious and social–they’ll surely contribute to your elders' social circle.
Plus, puggles are also easy to groom and can live up to 10 to 15 years. Just watch out for the treats–they can gain weight too fast!
(aka Cockerpoo, Spoodle, Cockerdoodle)
Smart and laid back–that’s how Cockapoos are! This medium-sized dog is easily trained and also good for first-time owners.
With a proper diet, they can actually go by with less exercise–no pressure for grandma or grandpa.
Cockapoos also shed slowly compared to others and are very much easy to care for.
Another dog that can adapt quite well to apartment living is the Cavachon.
They are sensitive fur balls who are affectionate with everyone, even other dogs!
They also love to spend quality time with their owners.
And good news for those with allergies, Cavachons are also considered hypoallergenic just like their parent Bichon Frise.
(aka Cavadoodle, Cavoodle)
Cavapoos are also a great choice for dog owners with allergies because they have low-shedding fur.
This breed can only grow from small to medium in size and can live up to 12 to 15 years long.
Cavapoos have a remarkable temperament that could make them a fun part of your grandparents’ retirement.
(aka Jackadoodle, Poojack)
We know that Jack Russel Terriers can be stubborn, while Poodles are quite intelligent. Their mix, the Jackapoo, has both characteristics.
Jackapoos are very easily trained and are highly energetic!
They’re also low-maintenance; they need bathing only when they get too stinky and their hypoallergenic coats can go by with brushing at least once a week.
Jackapoos also have an estimated lifespan of 12-15 years if well cared for.
Maltipoos are also great companion dogs because they are loyal and loving to their owners.
They are also sensitive and don’t like being left alone for a long time.
Because they are relatively small and are also easily trained, they can fit perfectly into apartment living.
But beware because they can also be feisty fur balls who love to bark or howl!
Pomsky, one of the cutest small mixed breed dogs out there, still got the regal features of a Husky but in a smaller body, thanks to the genes of the Pomeranian.
And if Huskies can be quite independent, Pomskies actually like to bond with their owners which makes them a perfect companion dog.
And as much as they are playful and adorable, they could also be quite talkative!
(aka Choxie, Weeniehuahua, German Taco, Mexican Hot Dog)
Its adorable name certainly matches its adorable looks!
Chiweenies may be small, but they can have the spunky confidence of a large dog.
Just like both its parents, it tends to bond and be overprotective with only one person, but it can also be friendly if socialized properly.
Chiweenies also don’t need tons of exercise but playtime is always a must!
(aka Morkshire terrier, Yortese, Matiyork)
Another perfect option for senior owners who have allergies, Morkies got the features of both its parents which are low shedders and hypoallergenic!
However, because their coats are more like hair than fur, they will need constant brushing–one of the best bonding activities with them in my opinion.
Schnoodle–this nickname rolls off the tongue just right!
Schnoodles are highly intelligent and extremely loyal dogs.
They are so easy to train and they enjoy different kinds of exercises.
Their curly fur doesn’t shed too much but they still require regular grooming.
(aka Frenchbo, Faux Frenchbo, Froston)
Another superstar who craves and loves attention is the Frenchton.
This carry-on size mixed breed is very sociable and is quite laidback compared to its parents.
But just like the French Bulldog, Frenchtons are also prone to breathing difficulties because of their nose so you better watch out for that!
(aka Shorkie Tzu, Yorkie Tzu)
This 15-pound fur ball is an outgoing breed that always loves playtime.
Because they’re small, Shorkies are easy to just scoop with one arm to cuddle.
When cared for properly, they can live up to 11 to 16 years old.
Another Yorkie mix is the Yorkipoo.
This is a very clever breed in a small body (could be 15 pounds or less!)
Yorkipoos are also allergy-friendly, thanks to their hypoallergenic parents.
This short-legged, medium-weighted mix between a Corgi and a Labrador definitely inherited the best traits of its parents.
Corgidors are even-tempered and can also be quite energetic. They are also loyal companions that can be more assertive at times.
They are also perfect for first-time dog owners.
18. Chug – Chihuahua + Pug
(aka Pughuahua, Pugwawa)
Another mixed breed that’s just the perfect size for cuddling, Chugs (cute, right?) are confident, playful, and affectionate furballs.
They have alertness and territorial tendencies that can make them the perfect family watchdogs.
Chugs are also easy to train and just as easy to groom.
(aka Shoodle, Pooshi)
Mix a Shih Tzu’s stubbornness and a Poodle’s intelligence, and you’ll get a Shih-poo.
Shih-poos definitely have a lot of personalities but they sure are loving and sweet.
Their appearance also varies–they can have curly fur just like a Poodle or a silky one just like a Shih Tzu.
20. Docker – Dachshund + Cocker Spaniel
(aka Doxie Spaniel, Spaniel Doxie)
For their small to medium size, Dockers can be surprisingly athletic.
They are quite curious and adventurous, and can even be up for military training.
Dockers can grow from 9 to 15 inches in height and can live from 12 to 14 years.
21. Pugapoo – Pug + Poodle
(aka Pugdoodle, Pugoodle)
Pugapoos could be funky looking at first, but make no mistake because they can also be the sweetest and most loyal dog you could get.
They are actually easy to care for because they are low maintenance and are only fairly active.
Because they have a slightly longer nose than Pugs, they are less likely to get breathing problems.
(aka Beaglepoo, Beagledoodle, Beapoo)
People with allergies can tolerate this small-to-medium size dog because they are low-shedders.
Poogles can also be great watchdogs for the family because of their alertness. They can also be quite vocal too if needed!
Best (Medium to) Large Mixed Breed Dogs
This mix between a Springer and a Cocker Spaniel is quite intelligent, so they are very much easy to train.
Sprocker Spaniel also has short hair that doesn’t shed too much, so they are actually low maintenance, groom-wise.
They are also lovely and outgoing, and can even go along well with cats.
Goldendoodles got their playful and friendly nature from both parents.
They are also affectionate with their owners.
However, they have high exercise needs and won’t turn down a game of fetch!
Goldendoodles can also weigh up to 90 pounds!
(aka Springer, Labradinger, Spanador)
Springadors are large mixed breeds with a usually solid color.
They are known as working dogs and can be one of the most loyal family companions.
(aka Aussiepoo, Aussiepoodle)
If your grandparents want to have a more active lifestyle, then Aussiedoodles could be a great fit for them.
They require tons of exercise and can also be excellent therapy dogs if trained with positive reinforcement.
(aka Golden Lab)
This mix between a Golden Retriever and a Labrador can be a valuable guide and a service dog.
Goldadors are highly-energetic and need plenty of exercise outside, so those daily walks and active play sessions are a must.
Goldadors can also live up to 15 years.
(aka Labsky, Huskador)
Siberian Retrievers, or Labskies, can also be excellent companions as guide dogs.
They also require a high level of activity for at least 60 minutes a day.
Just like its parent Husky, Labskies are moderate shedders, with seasonal high shedding.
They are also intelligent and playful and could have separation anxiety if left alone for too long.
Another Labrador Retriever mix, the Weimador got its boundless energy from both its athletic parents.
But don’t get intimidated by its size or energy, because Weimadors also have friendly temperaments.
(aka Sheltie Border, Border Sheltie)
Another regal and photogenic mixed breed on the list is the Border Sheepdog.
This gentle dog can be quite athletic but with mellowed-down energy.
They will do well in a single dog home, just make sure they have plenty of spaces to run around.
Sollies are midsize to large size dogs who have lots of energy and can weigh up to 55 pounds!
They like maintaining a high connection with their owners.
You wouldn’t get confused with their parentage too because they will pretty much get their marks and color similar to their parents.
Whoodles are intelligent and sociable mixed breed dogs that go along well with everybody, including other animals.
They are also gentle in nature–perfect for kids and older owners.
Whoodles are mid-size dogs but can weigh up to 60 pounds!
Another mix of 2 popular breeds of dogs, the Labradoodle can grow up to a 60-pound giant teddy bear that could be playful and spunky.
They can always match their owners' energy–either they sit quietly with you on the couch or they dart off in an instant for playtime!
Gerberian Shepsky is an intelligent mixed breed that can also do well on their own.
They are also best for a larger home; they need to be exercised constantly or they tend to be destructive!
Their long dense furs are also high shedders and they can withstand cold weather just fine.
35. Boxerdoodle – Boxer + Poodle
Boxerdoodles are medium to large mixed breed dogs that are fairly easy to train.
They are loyal dogs who can be good hiking companions.
They look just like a fluffy Boxer thanks to the curly hair from their Poodle parent.
Mixed Breed Dogs For Senior Summary
I hope this guide will help you decide what mixed breed dog to get for your senior loved ones, especially with this extensive list!
As you have learned, there are many considerations to think about before adopting a companion dog for your grandma and grandpa.
Whichever you or they pick, know that dogs are one of the best friends we can all have, regardless of our age.