I think it depends on the dog. My 9 year old Shiba suddenly got quite lazy and inactive, and seems just suddenly old this year. He sleeps more, and more heavily and seems to have some hearing loss too. But he's also got a number of health issues, so that is probably part of the issue. And for the larger breeds, 9 is definitely senior, as many only live to 11 or 12. For my Shiba, it could be middle aged, but he still seems to have "senior" qualities now.
You want a Hokkaido!
... with less barkiness.
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