Help Finding the right dog for my Grandmother

Hi all,
My grandmother had a stoke in 2010 and is confined to a motorized wheelchair. She lives at home with full time care aids.
She has owned Samoyeds all her life and her last one passed in 2009 at age 13. She desperately wants another dog. She used to be so independent and I think a canine companion would really lift her spirits and motivate her to get outdoors for 'walks' in her chair and become more active in doors. She owns a large house and huge unfenced backyard. (we will fence a portion accordingly.
Now, I know Samoyeds have an energy level that would surpass what she would be able to manage. Maybe an American Eskimo might be nice seeing as it looks likes a mini Sammy. We're looking to adopt, not buy from a breeder so mixed breeds do apply. I work at a dog daycare and can run the dog a few times a week but we need something with low enough energy for her and her aids to manage. Easy to train, super friendly but not hyper would be the best. Any suggestions?

Asked by Member 1125804 on Aug 15th 2012 Tagged grandma, samoyed, pickingtherightpet in Choosing the Right Pet
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



Coton de Tulear or Havanese sounds like a wonderful fit for your situation. I would check for some mixes of something else calm like a shitzu or pug. How about a rescue greyhound? They are gentle and low energy. Best of luck! :)

Obi answered on 8/15/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


I'm thinking she'd do better with a smaller dog. Something in the 5-10 lb range. A Yorkie, Westie or P-Charles could be held in her lap easily (that close contact can be rather important), also easier to physically control.

PS: Also, don't forget to buy a little set of Stairs, where that little guy can get up in the bed and snuggle at bedtime. :)

Becca answered on 8/15/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


The Volpino Italiano and Keeshond came to my mind when reading your post. If you're looking for a calmer breed of dog, the Japanese Chin would be a perfect fit.

Member 930032 answered on 8/15/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Bruno CGC

I think the Am. Eskimo might work well if you are willing to fence the yard, and you can take it out for some exercise a few times a week. Other small breeds that look kinda like sled dogs might be the Pomeranian, Papillon, Shiba Inu, Alaskan Klee Kai, and plush-coated Chihuahua.

Especially if you look at adult dogs instead of puppies to adopt- a calm, mature dog will probably do better in this situation. Just last week I saw an ad for a shelter Pom/Chi mix that they said wanted a calm, stay-at-home life with mature adult owners, no walks needed, he just wants to hang out on a lap. So I'm sure you can find the right pooch for your grandmother if you try.

Bruno CGC answered on 8/16/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


i have a 7 month old shih-tzu and she is not hard to take care of at all! shes not too energetic, either. sometimes she will want you to throw a toy for her. And you can get a shih-tzu mix, too! Look at your local shelters for them. hope this helped

Emma answered on 8/31/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Find a local animal rescue or an animal rescue that specializes in older dogs and let them know your preferences. Your grandmother likely wants a dog that she won't have to exercise or train too much, which means a senior or older dog would be perfect. Unfortunately, senior dogs are all to often euthanized when dropped off at shelters, so I encourage you to contact a rescue so that they may make a recommendation or perhaps help pull a shelter dog that would suit your needs. I have met some fantastic and well behaved older dogs (8+ years old) during my volunteering for animal rescues and I think it'd be a great match with the right dog.

Member 1151541 answered on 1/23/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Look into Skipperkes if your grandmother likes the fluffy dogs.
Also, I know a wonderful wheelchair-bound man that comes to the dog park who owns an Italian Greyhound and they couldn't be a better match.

Roxy answered on 5/29/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer