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Two spaniels in a field

The essentials

  • Medium-sized dogs are versatile companions — Whether you live in an apartment or a house with a big yard, there are plenty of medium-sized doggos that could be your perfect match.
  • Consider hypoallergenic and non-shedding breeds — For those with allergies or a preference for cleanliness, there are many medium-sized dogs that don’t shed or are considered hypoallergenic.
  • Family-friendly medium-sized dogs abound — From quiet dog breeds that are great for laid-back households to more energetic breeds perfect for active families, there’s a medium-sized dog ready for you to welcome them home.

Choosing the perfect dog for your family is no small task. You want a pet that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle, bringing joy and companionship without overwhelming you or your home. This is where medium-sized dogs come in. They offer the best of both worlds – not too big, yet not too small for a perfectly sized pet to meet your needs.

Medium-sized dogs are the epitome of balance. They possess the energy of adorable small dog breeds while still offering the calmness and maturity often associated with large dog breeds. They’re typically robust and adaptable, making them great companions for various activities, from hiking or camping to cuddling up for cozy evenings on the couch. Additionally, their size makes them suitable for both apartment living and houses with spacious yards. Let’s explore 16 wonderful medium-sized breeds that could be the perfect addition to your home.

This list of medium-sized dog breeds was brought to you through our partnership with FidoTabby Alert.

1. Australian shepherd

Australian shepherd in a forest
Height 18–23 inches
Weight Male: 35–55 lbs Female: 30–50 lbs
Description Known for high intelligence and energy, and often used as working or herding dogs

Commonly known as the “Aussie,” the Australian shepherd is an incredibly intelligent and energetic breed. Despite their name, these dogs were actually developed on ranches in the United States. Aussies are known for their striking fluffy multi-colored coats and sharp minds. They excel at many dog sports, including agility and obedience competitions.

However, their intelligence means they need plenty of mental stimulation to prevent boredom. If you’re an active person or have an active family that enjoys outdoor activities, an Aussie could be the perfect companion for your adventures. Consistent training and early socialization are key for ensuring your Aussie grows into a well-rounded dog.

2. Beagle

Handsome beagle standing in the snow
Height 13-15 inches
Weight Male: 25-40 lbs Female: 24-37 lbs
Description Known for their friendly nature and strong sense of smell, making them popular as both pets and working dogs

Beagles are one of the most beloved medium-sized breeds, and it’s easy to see why. Their adorable faces, complete with expressive eyes, have a way of melting hearts. But beagles offer more than just good looks. They’re friendly, curious, and known for their fantastic sense of smell.

Originally bred as hunting dogs, Beagles love to follow their noses, which can sometimes lead them on mini adventures. They’re great with kids and other pets, making them excellent family dogs. However, their hunting instincts mean they need secure outdoor spaces. Beagles also enjoy company, so they’ll thrive in a home where they’re not left alone for long periods, which can be a cause of separation anxiety.

3. Australian cattle dog

Australian cattle dog close up
Height 17-20 inches
Weight Male: 39-55 lbs Female: 35-50 lbs
Description A highly intelligent and energetic herding breed that thrives with a job to do

If you’re looking for a dog breed that’s as active and hardworking as you are, meet the Australian cattle dog, also sometimes called a blue heeler or red heeler, depending on the coat. This herding dog, unlike the similarly named Australian shepherd, was initially bred in Australia for the purpose of herding cattle (hence the name), and their work ethic hasn’t waned.

ACDs are highly intelligent, energetic, and full of stamina. This means they require lots of physical and mental stimulation, including a good amount of daily exercise and engaging toys. Australian cattle dogs are also fiercely loyal dogs that are protective of their families. With their unique speckled coats and alert ears, they’re sure to turn heads wherever they go.

4. Border collie

Border collie exercise
Height 18-22 inches
Weight Male: 49-55 lbs Female: 35-50 lbs
Description Renowned for their intelligence and agility, they are often used as herding dogs

The border collie is often considered the Einstein of the dog world. Renowned for their extraordinary intelligence and agility, these dogs are incredibly quick learners. Originating from the border between Scotland and England, border collies were bred to be expert sheepherders.

Today, they still love to work and play and excel in dog sports like agility or flyball. They do best with active families who can provide them with plenty of physical exercise and mental challenges. Remember, a bored border collie can become a mischievous one. Despite their need for activity, they’re also known for their affectionate nature and deep bond with their families.

5. Basset hound

Handsome, droopy-eared basset hound sitting outside.
Height Up to 15 inches
Weight Male: 40-60 lbs Female: 37-53 lbs
Description Good-natured and easygoing, Bassets are known for their long ears, droopy eyes, and keen sense of smell.

Don’t let the basset hound’s melancholy expression fool you. This breed is known for its charming and easygoing nature. Originally bred in France for hunting, the Basset hound is a medium-sized dog with distinctive floppy ears, a long body, short legs, and a keen sense of smell that rivals even the mighty Bloodhound.

Despite their hunting background, bassets are very sociable. They get along well with other pets, don’t need a lot of exercise, and are known to be excellent with children. This breed is also known for being stubborn at times, but their sweet-natured, gentle demeanor makes them a delightful addition to any family.

6. English springer spaniel

English springer spaniel close up
Height 19-20 inches
Weight Male: 40-55 lbs Female: 35-46 lbs
Description Cheerful and intelligent, these dogs are often used for hunting and retrieving but also make great family pets.

The English springer spaniel is a lively and affectionate breed. Originally bred for flushing and retrieving small game, these dogs are known for their agility and endurance. They have a compact body and a coat that can either be flat or wavy.

English springer spaniels are incredibly friendly and sociable dogs that get along well with children and other pets. Their high energy levels and intelligence mean they love interactive games like puzzle toys and plenty of physical exercise. However, they’re just as happy to settle down for some cuddle time with their families too.

7. Whippet

Whippet in snow
Height 18-22 inches
Description Gentle and quiet dogs with a sleek, athletic build that allows them to run at incredible speeds.
Weight Male: 25-40 lbs Female: 25-40 lbs

Often referred to as a smaller version, or “poor man’s version” of the greyhound, the whippet is a medium-sized breed known for its amazing speed and graceful appearance. Whippets are quiet dogs with a gentle disposition that love to run and play but are also content to spend time relaxing with their families.

Despite their athletic nature, they don’t have the exercise requirements of high-energy dogs. They would be quite happy living in a small apartment as long as they get out for a daily walk or are given some room to run in a yard, park, or beach. Whippets are friendly, intelligent, and known for their loyalty, making them wonderful family pets.

8. Vizsla

Vizsla dog breed
Height 21-24 inches
Weight Male: 45-60 lbs Female: 40-51 lbs
Description Highly energetic, affectionate, and intelligent, making them excellent companions for active individuals or families.

If you’re looking for a loyal and affectionate companion, look no further than the Vizsla. This medium-sized breed hailing from Hungary is known for its beautiful golden-rust coat and loving nature. Vizslas are highly energetic, athletic, intelligent, and friendly dogs that love to be involved in family activities.

They’re great with kids and have a strong desire to please, which makes training relatively easy. However, they don’t like to be left alone and can become anxious if not given enough attention. If you lead an active lifestyle and want a dog that can keep up, the Vizsla might be the breed for you.

9. Shar-pei

Height 18-20 inches
Weight Male: 40-60 lbs Female: 37-54 lbs
Description Known for their distinctive wrinkled skin and aloof nature, they’re often reserved but loyal to their families.

The Shar-Pei is a unique and easily recognizable breed, thanks to its deep wrinkles and blue-black tongue. Originating from China, these medium-sized dogs are known for their loyalty and protective nature. They tend to be reserved around strangers but are very affectionate towards their families.

Shar-peis are intelligent and independent dogs that require consistent and patient training. Despite their somewhat stern appearance, they are known to have a calm demeanor and are good with young children. However, potential owners should be aware that this breed requires regular grooming due to their unique skin folds.

10. Australian kelpie

Australian kelpie standing in green grass
Height 17-20 inches
Weight Male: 40-55 lbs Female: 35-50 lbs
Description Exceptionally hard-working herding dogs, known for their intelligence and agility

Number ten on our list and the third breed with Australian in the name, the Australian kelpie is a hardworking and intelligent breed known for its exceptional herding abilities. These medium-sized, energetic dogs thrive in active households that can provide them with plenty of physical and mental stimulation.

Kelpies are fiercely loyal to their families and are regarded for their problem-solving skills. They have a sleek, easy-to-maintain coat and come in several colors. If you’re in search of a companion that’ll keep up with your active lifestyle, the Australian kelpie could be the perfect match.

11. Basenji

Height 16-17 inches
Weight Male: 24-45 lbs Female: 25-42 lbs
Description Known as the “barkless dog,” basenjis are one of the oldest dog breeds.

The basenji is a unique dog breed with origins in Central Africa. Known as the “barkless dog,” it’s famous for its unusual vocalizations that sound more like yodels than typical dog barks. These sounds are often referred to as “baroos.” Basenjis are among the oldest dog breeds and paleontologists say the first domesticated dogs coming out of Africa probably looked a lot like these pups.

Basenjis are intelligent, independent, and energetic. They have a strong instinct to hunt and can be quite playful. Their short, smooth coat is easy to care for, and they’re known for their cleanliness, often grooming themselves like cats. Despite their high energy levels, Basenjis can also be aloof and reserved, especially with strangers. This makes them a good choice for someone looking for an active yet low-maintenance pet.

12. Carolina dog

Carolina dog
Height 17-24 inches
Weight Male: 40-61 lbs Female: 37-50 lbs
Description Often referred to as American dingoes, these dogs are known for their independence and survival instincts.

The Carolina dog, also known as the American dingo, is a unique breed with a wild heritage. They are medium-sized dogs known for their agility and endurance. Carolina dogs are very adaptable and can live happily in various environments. They have a strong prey drive due to their history as wild dogs, so they may do best in a home without small pets.

With their families, Carolina dogs are affectionate and loyal, although they can be reserved with strangers.

13. Soft-coated wheaten terrier

Height 17-19 inches
Weight Male: 30-41 lbs Female: 27-38 lbs
Description Friendly and happy dogs, known for their soft, silky coats.

The soft-coated wheaten terrier is a charming and friendly breed. Originating from Ireland, these dogs are known for their soft, silky coats and cheerful disposition. They are energetic and playful, making them great companions for families with children.

Despite their playful nature, they also appreciate downtime and love to cuddle up with their families. With proper socialization and training, the soft-coated wheaten terrier makes a wonderful, well-rounded pet.

14. Brittany

Brittany spaniel standing in water
Height 17.5-20.5 inches
Weight Male: 35-50 lbs Female: 30-41 lbs
Description Energetic and intelligent sidekicks, often used for hunting and retrieving.

The Brittany is a lively and intelligent breed first bred in France, known for its versatility as a hunting dog and family companion. Brittanys are medium-sized dogs with a dense, flat, or wavy coat that comes in various colors. They’re energetic and require plenty of exercise, but their eagerness to please makes them relatively easy to train.

With their friendly and outgoing nature, Brittanys make excellent companion animals for active families.

15. Boykin spaniel

Boykin spaniel standing by a tree.
Height 14-18 inches
Weight Male: 30-42 lbs Female: 25-37 lbs
Description This breed is the state dog of South Carolina, known for its friendly and eager-to-please demeanor.

The Boykin spaniel is a medium-sized breed known for its friendly and enthusiastic personality. Originally bred for hunting turkeys and ducks, as with other spaniel breeds, these dogs are excellent swimmers and love any activity involving water. Their brown, wavy coat gives them a distinctive appearance, and their expressive eyes reveal a warm and intelligent nature.

Boykin spaniels are known for their obedience and loyalty, making them a great choice for families. They’re also a distinctly American breed and are recognized as the official state dog of South Carolina.

16. Airedale terrier

Airedale terrier walking outside
Height 21-23 inches
Weight Male: 22-65 lbs Female: 24-60 lbs
Description Known as the "King of Terriers" due to their size, but often considered calm in demeanor

The Airedale terrier, often referred to as the “King of Terriers,” is the largest of all terrier breeds. They’re known for their courage, intelligence, and energetic nature. With their dense, wiry coat and distinctive beard, Airedales are easily recognizable. They are versatile dogs who excel in various activities, from hunting to obedience training.

Despite their high energy levels, they also have a calm side and enjoy relaxing with their families. Airedales are loyal and protective, making them excellent family pets with the right training and socialization.

Benefits of medium-sized dogs

When choosing a furry friend to join your family, the size of the dog can play a significant role in deciding which breed is right for you. Their size makes them the best of both worlds and an excellent choice for many potential pet owners. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key benefits of having a medium-sized dog.

  • Versatility. Medium-sized dogs fit well in various lifestyles and living situations. They’re often adaptable and able to thrive in both city apartments or sprawling country homes. They are typically small enough for urban living but robust and energetic enough for rural environments.
  • Balanced energy levels. Medium-sized dogs offer a good balance between energy and calmness. They’re active enough to join you on your adventures, like hiking or jogging, but they also enjoy relaxing and cuddling at home.
  • Health and longevity. Medium-sized dogs often have fewer health issues associated with their size compared to some smaller or larger breeds. They also tend to have longer lifespans than larger dog breeds.
  • Ease of training. Many medium-sized breeds, like Aussies and border collies, are known for their intelligence, making them easier to train. They often excel in obedience training and can even participate in dog sports like agility or flyball.
  • Great family pets. Medium-sized dogs are typically sturdy enough to handle playtime with kids but still manageable in size for most people to handle. Many medium-sized breeds are also known to be friendly and sociable.
  • Ideal travel companions. Due to their manageable size, medium-sized dogs are often easier to travel with. Whether it’s a road trip or a flight, they’re generally more adaptable and less of a hassle to transport.
  • Lower maintenance. While this can vary by breed, medium-sized dogs often require less grooming than some large or even small breeds. They’re big enough not to get underfoot but small enough to bathe easily, and their feeding requirements are usually more moderate.
  • Good for first-time owners. Medium-sized dogs are often recommended for first-time dog owners. They’re usually not as fragile as some smaller breeds and not as overwhelming as some larger ones. This balance can make them a great starting point for new dog owners.

Health factors to consider with medium-sized dogs

When considering bringing a medium-sized dog into your home, it’s essential to be aware of some common health problems that can affect these breeds. While not all dogs will experience these issues, being aware of them can help you provide the best care for your furry friend.

Joint conditions

Many medium-sized breeds, including the Australian kelpie and Brittany, are prone to elbow and hip dysplasia. This is a condition where the joints don’t form correctly, leading to arthritis and lameness. Regular veterinarian checks and maintaining an appropriate weight can help manage this condition.

Eye disorders

Several of the breeds listed, such as the Boykin spaniel and Airedale terrier, can be prone to certain canine eye conditions, including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and cataracts . Regular eye exams by a veterinarian can help detect these conditions early.

Heart problems

Some medium-sized breeds, like the Brittany, can be prone to heart conditions such as pulmonic stenosis . Regular check-ups can help detect heart murmurs or irregularities early.

Skin conditions

Dogs with longer or denser coats, such as the soft-coated wheaten terrier and the Airedale terrier, may be prone to skin conditions. These can include allergies, hot spots, and atopic dermatitis. Regular grooming and vet checks can help keep a pup’s skin healthy.


Hypothyroidism , a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormone, is seen in several medium-sized breeds, including the Airedale terrier. Signs can include weight gain, hair loss, and lethargy.

Breed-specific conditions

Certain breeds have specific conditions they’re more prone to, such as flat-faced or brachycephalic dogs and respiratory issues. Researching your chosen breed can help you be aware of these potential issues.

Remember, each dog is an individual, and not all will suffer from these health conditions. Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and plenty of exercise can help keep your medium-sized dog in the best possible health.

Frequently asked questions

What is the calmest medium-sized dog breed?

Several medium-sized dog breeds are known for their calm and easygoing nature. The English bulldog, for instance, is often cited for its relaxed temperament. Similarly, wheaten terriers are considered docile and cuddly, making them a fantastic choice for families. The basset hound is another medium-sized breed known for its affable personality and love of leisure.

What is the size range of medium-sized dogs?

Medium-sized dogs typically weigh between 20 to 60 pounds and stand about 13 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. However, these ranges can vary slightly depending on the specific breed and individual dog.

What are some common breeds of medium-sized dogs?

There are numerous medium-sized dog breeds that are popular among pet owners. Some common ones include the Australian shepherd, Siberian husky, standard poodle, bearded collie, English springer spaniel, American water spaniel, and Airedale terrier.

What is the typical lifespan of a medium-sized dog?

The lifespan of a medium-sized dog can vary depending on the breed, diet, exercise, and overall health care. Typically, medium-sized dogs live between 10 to 15 years. Some may live longer with proper care and regular veterinary check-ups.

What kind of space and exercise do medium-sized dogs typically require?

Medium-sized dogs are often quite adaptable and can thrive in various living situations, from apartments to larger homes with yards. However, they typically require regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy. This could involve daily walks, playtime in the yard, or mental stimulation through toys and games. The exact amount of exercise needed can vary based on the breed and the individual dog’s energy level.