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Here’s What Dog You Should Get Based on Your Age and Living Situation

By Alain – on in News, Biology

We don’t get along with everyone, and it’s only normal that we don’t get along with every dog either. Based on our age and living situation, some dog breeds are more suitable for us than others.

That’s why it’s so important to really get informed on dogs before getting one. Here, we’ve gathered key infos for you on popular dog breeds. You’ll quickly know at a glance if these dogs are suitable for families, small spaces, your age and for your level of energy.

1 For families: Labrador Retriever

sabina fratila | Unsplash

Families and dogs have a long history of love together. Having a dog will bring joy to everyone and will also teach your kids responsibilities. However, you are not without knowing some dogs and children don’t go along at all. Be sure you have a family-friendly dog before getting one or before starting your own family.

Labrador Retrievers are very popular in Americans and Canadians families. This beautiful dog is intelligent, playful, very smart and energetic. It’s a dog that loves to work and take care of people.

You simply can’t go wrong with this dog. That’s probably why Labs are commonly used as assistance dogs, rescue dogs and in law enforcement. Their easy-going and submissive nature means they are easy to train.

2 German Shepherd


Here’s another favourite among families and active people alike: the German Shepherd! This is also a dog that loves playing and taking care of people. We could even say that’s it’s more protective than the previously mentioned Labrador Retriever. To put it simply, you won’t need an alarm system with this dog.

German Shepherds are commonly used as working dogs due to their obedient and smart nature. Moreover, they are beings that love to be around other dogs and people, as they don’t bear being alone very well.

3 Poodle

Nathan Hanna | Unsplash

Poodles are a very common dog, and it’s easy to understand why. They’re so easy-going, it’s incredible. Not only will they be a great addition to any family, but they’re also great for seniors. Poodles are well known for being smart dogs too, which means they shouldn’t be hard to train.

Their long life expectancy also means they will be there for you and your kids for a long period of time. Indeed, they can live between 12 and 19 years. Your kids will be able to see their dog grow at the same time they do.

4 French Bulldog

Leo Rivas | Unsplash

If French Bulldogs don’t charm you, what could? When we think about family dogs, we often think about big, energetic dogs, but this breed is quite the opposite. While they are super affectionate and loyal like other breeds we’ve mentioned so far, they are calm and quite small.


This is a dog that will make your kids and you laugh with its cuteness, its snoring and its expressions. Make no mistake, this is a dog that wants to please its masters at all costs, and consequently is really easy-going.

5 Newfoundland


If a nanny could reincarnate into a dog, they would choose a Newfoundland. Newfoundlands are very affectionate and take good care of children. They are also patient and kind, as well as smart. Really, who wouldn’t want this dog?

We have an answer to that question, actually. This is a really big dog, so you won’t be surprised it needs a lot of space. This is the dog for you if you live in the country, where they will be able to run as much as they want outside. It also sheds a lot, beware!

6 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel


This is a dog that will please you on multiple levels: it’s small, it’s smart, it’s good with kids and the elderly, and it can tolerate living in small spaces fairly well. What more do you want?

Generally speaking, Cavaliers King Charles are happy dogs with a lot of energy and a passion for games. On the other hand, this breed also enjoys calmness, which makes them the perfect combination of both worlds.

7 Collie


Lassie was the star of a family movie for a reason: she was a Collie, one of the friendliest dog breeds in the world. This Scottish dog doesn’t bite humans often and is very easy to train, especially if they are your first dog.

This is a fairly big dog (it can reach a height of 25 inches), but it will do well in both small and big spaces. Just make sure you make them move a little. Oh, and, of course, you have to be willing to spend quite some time grooming them!

8 Bull Terrier


Bull Terriers have been described as amazingly good with children. They’re off with a great start with their funny-looking heads, aren’t they? They’re well known to be calm and patient, which is very important when you have kids around.

To continue, they will “keep calm and carry on” even if your children are annoying them. Bull Terriers also love to play, and they almost always want to play. Ideal to help the children spend their extra energy after school, we say!

9 Irish Setter

Irish setter on the hands of the owner

Yet another good dog to have around your family, the Irish Setter is also fairly easy to train, although you will need to put in a lot of energy to compete with their level of energy!

This dog requires you to pay attention to them on a daily basis, which is great if you can split the job between family members. You’ll also need to groom them every day, so make sure you have time to do it before adopting this dog!

10 Yorkipoo


First things first: the Yorkipoo is the mix of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Poodle. It’s a dog that is not that demanding in terms of energy, but that will gladly play with your children.

As we’ve said before about Poodles, Yorkipoos are easy to train. In fact, they would be ideal as a first dog if you don’t really know what you’re doing. They have also kept the Poodle’s hypoallergenic properties, which is a nice plus.

11 For seniors: Welsh Corgi Pembroke

ElfinFox | Pixabay

Who said dogs were not for you if you were getting old? Plenty of dogs are well suitable for seniors, and this list is here to prove it. Here are 10 dogs perfect for you, whether you are at the start of your retirement or if you are well into it.

The Welsh Corgi Pembroke is actually suitable for pretty much everyone. You have to love their looks though, that’s for sure! The British Royal family definitely loves them, with Queen Elizabeth who had more than 30 Corgis since her reign started.

Their small size makes them suitable for living in apartments, condos or retirement homes. On the other hand, it’s not because they’re small that they don’t need exercise. This dog will enjoy walking with you outside, which is ideal if that’s something you like doing already.

12 Poodle

jan_photo | Pixabay

Like we said before, Poodles can be great dogs for seniors. They are great with kids, which makes them perfect if you have grandchildren. In addition, they don’t have a tendency to bark much, which is a really good thing, especially if you live in a retirement home or in an apartment.

Overall, they adapt very well to anyone, any place and any situation. That’s why we often hear they are one of the smartest dog breeds out there, if not the smartest one. If you host people often, you’ll be pleased to know they are hypoallergenic!

13 Shih Tzu

tookapic | Pixabay

This dog breed is an easy-going dog that will stay by your side no matter what you do. They really don’t have much energy and will be happy sitting on your lap while you’re doing something.

Surprisingly, they are quite territorial and protective despite (or due to?) their small size. This is a dog that will bark to wake you up and the entire neighborhood if an intruder gets inside your home. Reassuring, isn’t it?

14 Beagle

Timo Piredda | Pexels

Beagles have a reputation for being noisy, but if you do train them well, that shouldn’t be the case. They’re actually great companions for seniors, especially if you like to walk and play from time to time with your dog.

They can live up to 15 years, which is really nice if you’re looking into a canine companion that can be with you and grow old by your side as you age. Again, though, make sure you can take them outside every day.

15 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

skeeze | Pixabay

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are great dogs for seniors and with just about anyone. They aren’t hyper-energetic or hyper-calm, rather, they are somewhere in the middle. If you want to go for short walks with your dog, this could be your perfect companion.

This breed is as friendly as you can get in terms of dogs. You’ll enjoy being around them for a long time, especially since they can live up to 15 years. We hope you’ll love them as much as they’ll love you, because that is a dog that can’t stand being on its own for a long period of time.

16 Italian Greyhound

Juan Gomez | Unsplash

If you’re retired but still live in a house, consider getting an Italian Greyhound. They’re quite large and will be happy with you only if you have room for them in your life—literally and metaphorically.

They used to be hunting dogs, but now they are more like family dogs and companion dogs. If you live in a cold region, make sure you keep them warm enough, because this breed doesn’t tolerate cold at all.

17 Yorkshire

Josch13 | Pixabay

Yorkshires are a good choice for seniors. They don’t require a lot of walking or playtime, they’re super easy to train, they are affectionate, loyal and they do well around kids (in case you had grandchildren).

This breed will live up to be 14 years old on average, which is perfect to keep you company as you age. Finally, this breed is also known to adapt quite well to its owner’s mood and habits. Perfect!

18 Lhasa Apso

Sonjua-Khalee | Pixabay

This breed if good for seniors, but be aware that they have a strong personality. You’ll need to train them in consequence, and always treat them fairly, or they won’t listen to you anymore.

Lhasa Apso are ideal for you if you enjoy grooming your dog on a daily basis. After all, this can be quite enjoyable while you talk to someone or watch TV.

19 Chihuahua

Mylene2401 | Pixabay

Don’t let their small size fool you: Chihuahuas are amazing watchdogs. They will let you take care of them as much as they will take care of you. With their lifespan of 18 years, you can be sure they will be by your side for a long time.

Depending on what you prefer, you can either adopt a short-haired Chihuahua for minimal grooming, or a long-haired one, if you do enjoy brushing your dog.

20 Pomeranian

Mariamichelle | Pixabay

Finally, when it comes to dogs that are suitable for seniors, consider the Pomeranian. With their fluffiness, they will bring you joy even if you are facing adversity.

Make no mistake though, this is a dog that will bark to defend you and your home, even if someone you know very well comes in. Be aware that it’s a noisy dog whenever someone comes in or walks in front of your home.

21 For small spaces: Pug

12019 | Pixabay

The privilege of owning a dog is not that of people owning a house only. You too could have a dog, even if you are renting a condo, an apartment or another type of small space. You just have to be smart about it and do your research before investing financially and emotionally into a dog.

First off on our list are Pugs, those graceful creatures. They’re just so cute! Pugs are friendly and easy to train, which means your landlord will still love you even though they don’t usually like dogs.

Something you’ll want to get if you choose to adopt a cute pug is health insurance for your pet. Pugs are quite well-known to have health problems, so make sure you can afford to take care of them.

22 Dachsund

pabloasc | Pixabay

The Dachshund is another dog breed that will do well in small spaces. Wiener dogs come in a variety of colours, and they can be short-haired, long-haired or wire-haired, which is sort of in the middle.

They have a loving personality, and they are extremely loyal. They are also intelligent, possessive and stubborn, which means you will need to train them well if you want to avoid annoying behaviours. Socializing them early on is especially important, otherwise they won’t want to share you with other people.

23 French Bulldogs

makunin | Pixabay

We’ve said it, we’re going to say it again: French Bulldogs are ideal if you live in a small place, such as an apartment, a retirement home, a condo or a small house. They don’t need a whole lot of activity and won’t destroy your furniture if they aren’t let outside frequently.

Furthermore, they’re easy to groom and won’t shed a lot in your home, which means you won’t have to do extra cleaning if you decide to purchase this dog. Be aware they are in high demand and you might have to wait for a long time before you get one.

24 English Cocker Spaniel

woodypino | Pixabay

Cockers are mid-sized dogs that will do well in small spaces, although they will still need to be physically active, make no mistake! They are extremely loyal and will always want to be with you. Make sure you train them early on to be left alone, otherwise they could be destructive when you leave them for work.

In addition, they are also playful, sweet and calm tempered—generally speaking. You should know before getting one that they need to be groomed on a daily basis, and will require you taking them to the grooming salon every once in a while.

25 Bulldog

cp17 | Pixabay

Bulldogs are calm dogs that won’t mind small spaces as they are prone to sleep a lot and be lazy in general. They are affectionate, independent and very, very calm.

Before getting one, you should know that they drool a lot, so be ready to accept that you will be wet every time they come and say hi to you. Otherwise, they need to be groomed regularly, especially since they are so wrinkly!

26 Coton de Tulear

JacLou | Pixabay

This dog breed is overall very easy-going, friendly and a people pleaser. You won’t be surprised to learn they adapt very well to small spaces and won’t cause any trouble in your apartment or condo.

It’s a somewhat playful dog, but they don’t have endless energy, unlike some of their counterparts. It’s a good dog to have if you want a dog that is not likely to suffer from health problems if kept in a healthy lifestyle.

27 Chinese Crested

ivabalk | Pixabay

Chinese Crested dogs are very well adapted to live in small spaces, mainly because they aren’t energetic at all and like to be with their human all the time. There are two varieties of this dog, one hairless and the other one with fur, you will have guessed!

This dog breed is very affectionate, but they can be difficult with strangers. As with other dogs, they can do well but they need to be socialized early on. Consider exposing them to strangers and other dogs while they are still puppies to increase your chances to have a less nervous dog.

28 Miniature Pinscher

Santa3 | Pixabay

This is the breed for you if you like dogs with a personality. Filled with energy, playful, they will add life anywhere they are. It’s not a dog that will lie on your knees when you sit down, but they will like to sleep with you to protect you.

If you don’t like training your dog, this breed should be avoided. They’re also not ideal for first-time owners, so beware! They are very intelligent as well as stubborn, which means they can be quite challenging at times.

29 Brussels Griffon

Abbie Love | Unsplash

Brussels Griffon will do well in small and big spaces; they’re quite adaptative when it comes to your living situation. On the other hand, one thing is sure, they like to be close to their owners!

They do well with other animals and kids alike. They really need to be trained well or they will bark at anything, even at random sounds. You’ll need to be fair and patient while training them.

30 Basenji

Finally, Basenjis complete our list of dog breeds suitable for living in apartments, condos and small houses. When it comes to being independent, this one is quite a champ!

For this reason, this dog is very difficult to train, and you will need to put in a lot of time at first to make sure you and your dog will enjoy each other for years to come. Once this is done though, you’ll have a very affectionate companion.

31 For active people: Dalmatian

m_bos | Pixabay

We tend to associate physically active people with energetic dogs, and the following 10 dogs are here to reinforce that. Without further ado, here are the 10 perfect dogs if you have a lot of energy and want a dog that will follow you in your daily activities.

Let’s start with Dalmatians. This is one stubborn dog that likes to spend their energy or they go mad. They are easy to train, intelligent and they don’t bark much.

When it comes to health, rest assured that this dog will be able to follow you in your adventures for a long time, as they tend to be healthy into old age, which is above 11 years for them—they can live up to be 16.

32 Labrador Retriever

Trinity Kubassek | Pexels

Once again, all-time favourite Labrador Retriever is also perfect for you if you are an active person. Make no mistake, despite its friendly nature, this breed was commonly used for hunting not so long ago. That means they have a lot of energy to spend on a daily basis.

This is a dog that loves to run, swim, play fetch and much more. If you like to bike in your neighborhood, this dog will happily run by your side for quite a long time without getting tired. Just make sure you and your dog are well hydrated as you go on doing exercise together!

33 German Shepherds

Jozef Fehér | Pexels

As mentioned before, German Shepherds are great for active people. As this dog hates being alone, they are the perfect companion if you love hiking and camping in the wilderness. Their robustness is quite impressive, and they will follow you through your adventures.

It’s also a dog that tolerates cold weather quite well, which means you can take it with you if you are into snowshoeing; it will happily walk by your side in the powdery snow. Their general good health also means you don’t have to be scared for them.

34 Jack Russel Terrier

Ella_87 | Pixabay

Jack Russels are little dogs full of love and energy. They are loyal, smart, good with kids and above all, energetic. This is a dog that can adapt to apartment living, although they would be happier in bigger spaces, where they will be able to run around. If you love this dog though, there are ways to make it work in your small home.

No matter what, Jack Russels are very energetic, which means, apartment or not, you need to be an active person if you want this dog. They will need to run around with you and be stimulated on a daily basis. Remember, this is a dog that was created to hunt! This instinct is still there, so leaving them alone and not doing anything with them is not an option.

35 Boxer

stanbalik | Pixabay

Boxers seem to have endless energy at times. Will you be able to provide them with all the stimuli they need? If you seem to run on endless energy yourself, the answer is probably yes.

Aside from their energy and playfulness, this breed is very loyal and good with kids. They will love you unconditionally and greet you every time you come in, but be sure to train them well early on.

36 Australian Shepherd

PixelwunderByRebecca | Pixabay

Yet another shepherd dog, Australian Shepherds are also high energy dogs. Originally created to herd cattle, this dog will be at its best running outside at any temperature, whether it’s cold, hot, snowing, raining or sunny. You need to be ready for the same, too!

They have charming personalities and will be great around kids, other dogs and your family in general. If you take care of them properly, they can live up to be your companion for up to 15 years.

37 Border Collie

JGaland | Pixabay

Border Collies are your best friends, especially if you love being outdoors and hiking. Although this breed needs to be active every day, we’re only talking about moderate-intensity activities. Thus, hiking is perfect!

Also, these dogs are very good with kids, so they are a good fit for the active family that is looking for another being to love. This dog is highly intelligent and will probably surprise you at guessing what you want even before you express it. Be sure to provide them with intellectual stimulation, not just physical activities!

38 Belgian Malinois

janeb13 | Pixabay

Belgian Malinois are another very active companion. They love big spaces and won’t do well in apartments at all. Furthermore, they are very determined, sometimes too much. A Malinois puppy will need at least 4 hours of physical activity every day. Are you ready for that?

This is also a dog to avoid if you have kids. This is the dog for you if you want to spend a lot of time with them, constantly train them and stimulate them, and if you have had dogs in the past.

39 Siberian Husky

MilanoNegro | Pixabay

Is there a more beautiful dog than a Husky? This dog has kept a lot of their survival instinct, which means their behaviour is different than other, more domesticated dogs.

This is a dog you will need to train very well because they have a tendency to be stubborn and even run away in the wild. Huskies can be OK around children if they are used to them very early on, when they are puppies themselves.

40 Greyhound

herbert2512 | Pixabay

Are you a runner or jogger? If so, the Greyhound is definitely your best choice. This is a dog that can reach a speed of 70 km/h, and they literally need to run every day or they are unhappy.

Besides their athletic abilities, Greyhounds are very loyal and affectionate—with pretty much anyone, including strangers. They are easy to train, and they do well in apartments and with kids. Finally, they come with short or long hair and in a variety of colours.

41 For calm people: French Bulldog


If we tend to associate calm people with cats, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a dog person and be calm yourself. There are plenty of dogs that are very calm, not just active ones. Here are 10 dog breeds that are well known to be calm and not very active.

French Bulldogs, in addition to being extremely cute, don’t need to move much. They will stay by your side as you watch TV or read on the couch, for sure. They also don’t bark that much and are fairly easy to train, which is ideal if you don’t want to spend a considerable amount of time training your dog.

On the other hand, you should probably get some sort of health insurance for your dog if you opt for a French Bulldog. This is a breed that is known for its common health problems, so expect to go to the vet often with them.

42 Pug

SneakyElbow | Pixabay

Pugs love to play, but they won’t go all over the top with you. They do need to be walked daily, but we’re not talking about hour-long walks; a short walk should do the trick.

Therefore, if you don’t have a whole lot of energy, this dog breed could be the one for you. You’ll love their companionship, their love and affection. Plus, everyone loves pugs!

43 Bulldog

Seaq68 | Pixabay

There’s something about dogs with wrinkly faces and calmness; here’s another one on our list of the calmest dogs! The English Bulldog is a chubby and robust dog that is very calm, indeed.

In addition to being calm, it is also friendly, loyal, loving, social and docile. This dog breed literally can’t walk fast due to its small legs, so make sure you’re into contemplative (read: slow) walks before adopting them.

44 Saint Bernard

InsaPictures | Pixabay

Despite its massive, massive size, this dog breed is really calm. Surprising, right? Saint Bernards are super friendly dogs, and they are very loyal, too! In fact, they are great around families, although you do need to have a big home for them.

This is a dog that will help you feel safe no matter where you go, as it will protect you. They also love to learn, which is great if you want to spend time with your dog to teach them new tricks.

45 Basset Hound

jawestad | Pixabay

Here’s a dog that behaves like a cat! Basset Hounds’ two favourite activities are sleeping and eating. They’ll have no problems living in smaller homes, such as apartments and condos, as they don’t move a lot.

In addition, this dog doesn’t really like to play. However, you’ll need to be patient with them when you train them, as they are known to be stubborn. Finally, keep in mind that this is a dog that drools a lot before getting one.

46 Shar-Pei

Tiago Vasconcelos | Unsplash

Here’s yet another wrinkly dog breed that made it on our list of the calmest dogs! The Shar-Pei, sometimes referred to as the Chinese Shar-Pei, is also known to be intelligent, passive and balanced.

They are also quite laid-back, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with them. Fun fact, they actually can be overstimulated if you try to make them play too much! This could lead to them being destructive, so make sure you are calm with them too!

47 Akita

uadrienn | Pixabay

Here’s a very beautiful dog that will also make for a calm companion. Akitas are Japanese dogs that are rather passive and timid, but also smart and loyal. They’re not great to have around kids or other dogs, and they don’t like strangers either. Think of the Akita as the introvert of dog breeds!

Once you win their affection, it will be forever. Although Akitas are calm, they can be hard to train. In fact, if this is your first dog, you should probably get another dog first.

48 Borzoi

artbycharlotte | Pixabay

Borzois are intriguing dogs. While they look like very distinguished dogs with their manners and presence, they are super lazy in real life. If you are a couch potato yourself, you might have to compete for the title with your dog. Anyway, you’ll have to fight for your spot on the couch, that’s for sure. Good to know, just like the Akita, they’re quite shy around strangers.

When it comes to training, this is a dog that wants you to be fair, because they will not tolerate anything less. They are, in fact, quite sensitive and intelligent. If they don’t seem to understand you, it’s because they don’t want to, not because they can’t…

49  Shih Tzu

Helena Lopes | Unsplash

Let’s be real, Shih Tzus are a good dog breed for so many living situations and age. Good with kids, with seniors, with small spaces and now with calm people!

If you adopt one, think about looking in shelters before going to a breeder. Shih Tzus are fairly common, so your chances of getting one that has already been trained are high.

50 Pekingese

MishuHanda | Pixabay

Last but not least, Pekingese is a small dog that will be happy to stay inside with you on rainy days—or on most days, if we’re being honest. Also, don’t be fooled by its long fur, the Pekingese is a dog with a wrinkly face too!

Just like their Shih Tzu counterparts, Pekingese are quite numerous in shelters due to owners who didn’t realize quite a lot of grooming was required for this dog. Be sure you won’t make the same mistake. Better, adopt a Pekingese from your local shelter if you want this breed!

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Alain obtained a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science before taking a certificate in communication. Although this excellent popularizer could have been found on television commenting on weather changes, he feels most comfortable behind a computer screen. He particularly likes to inform people about the climate crisis.