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Adopt-a-Pet.com Blog 30 Medium-Sized Dog Breeds That Make the Best Pets

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woman and husky giving paw in front of blue background
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When looking to adopt a dog, people sometimes face the Goldilocks dilemma: some are too big, some are too small, and they need one who is just right. Medium-sized dogs are the perfect compromise for many pet parents.

Just remember: all breeds, and individual dogs of those breeds, have varying personality traits, regardless of size. To make sure you’ve found the right fit for your home, read up on some amazing medium-sized dog breeds below.

What’s considered a medium-sized dog?

Kennel clubs and other organizations have different classifications for dog sizes, but general guidelines define medium-sized dogs as weighing between 26 to 50 pounds and standing around 16 to 20 inches in height at the shoulder.

Benefits of medium dogs

There are many reasons why medium-sized dogs make great pets.

  • Medium-sized dogs are better suited to smaller living spaces like apartments or houses without outdoor space than large dogs.
  • They’re more likely to have a moderate energy level that falls between smaller breeds’ high energy and larger breeds’ endurance.
  • Medium-sized dogs are generally easier to transport than larger breeds, fitting comfortably in vehicles, and are usually more welcome in public transportation or accommodations with size restrictions on pets.
  • Smaller to medium-sized dogs have longer lifespans than larger breeds, and their cost of care is often more manageable.
  • They usually need less food, fewer grooming products, and may have fewer health-related expenses.
  • Many medium-sized breeds have the temperament of companion dogs, excelling at therapy and service work.

What are the best medium-sized dogs?

medium sized mutt lying on a colorful bed
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1. Mutt

Mixed breed dogs (aka mutts) who are mixes of multiple breeds can be all different shapes and sizes, including medium. Mutts are usually less prone to illness than dogs from purebred lines, making them hardy companions with unique looks and personalities. There are also lots of mutts at rescues waiting for their forever homes right now.

Weight: 26 to 50 pounds
Height: 10 to 25 inches

english springer spaniel and woman hangout
Marko Cvetkovic / AdobeStock

2. English Springer Spaniel

English Springer Spaniels are smart dogs who need to be kept busy. These medium-sized dogs love being by your side and having a job in that order, so they are often used in therapy work and search and rescue. With lots of activity and company, keeping them happy is pretty easy.

Weight: 40 to 55 pounds
Height: 18 to 21 inches

small-medium-sized corgi on a leash during walk
Irina Polonina / Stocksy

3. Pembroke Welsh Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi weighs up to 30 pounds and was originally bred as a herding dog. Their bodies are long and low to the ground, thanks to their notoriously short legs, and they have a fluffy double coat. Corgis are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and the fact that you can’t help but smile when you see them.

Weight: 27 to 30 pounds
Height: 10 to 12 inches

medium-sized whippet lying on a sofa
Marc Bordons / Stocksy

4. Whippet

The Whippet weighs up to 40 pounds and is an elegant and athletic breed that resembles a Greyhound. Whippets are sighthounds, which means they hunt primarily by sight and speed, and they are certainly fast and agile — they are capable of reaching impressive speeds in short bursts.

Weight: 20 to 40 pounds
Height: 17 to 20 inches


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5. Brittany Spaniel

The Brittany Spaniel, a medium-sized hunting breed weighing up to 40 pounds, comes from the Brittany region of France. They’re known for their boundless energy, intelligence, and friendly nature. Brittanys typically have a dense coat that can be flat or wavy and is usually white and patterned with large and small spots. They have colorful ears that bleed into a mask of color around their eyes.

Weight: 30 to 40 pounds
Height: 18 to 20 inches

medium--sized Cattle dog in sunset

Edward Córdoba / Andréas Sichel / Stocksy

6. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dogs, also known as “Heelers,” are high-energy working dogs that require regular exercise. These pups really enjoy being involved in family activities and being given tasks or jobs to do — this is a dog who wants to fetch the newspaper.

Weight: 30 to 40 pounds
Height: 17 to 20 inches

medium-sized bearded collie lying on living room floor
Clem Hencher-Stevens / Shutterstock

7. Bearded Collie

The Bearded Collie is a beautiful dog from Scotland with a shaggy, waterproof coat that is most often gray and white and hangs in a long streaming mass. Weighing up to 55 pounds, these dogs are also very active and are best for households who love running, playing, hiking, and generally keeping them busy.

Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Height: 20 to 22 inches

8. Shar-Pei

The Shar-Pei is known for their distinctive, wrinkled skin texture, which can be covered in a short, rough coat or a longer, softer coat. Shar-Peis have strong, independent personalities and are known to be loyal, protective, and reserved with strangers, which makes them excellent guard dogs, but affectionate and devoted to their families.

Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
Height: 18 to 20 inches

Red headed woman and Vizla dog on bed
Hernandez & Sorokina / Stocksy

9. Vizsla

The Vizsla’s sleek, athletic appearance matches their remarkable hunting abilities. Originating from Hungary, the Vizsla is lean and muscular with a short, shiny, and dense coat that is a gorgeous rust-red color. Vizslas have enthusiastic and energetic personalities, a natural instinct for hunting and retrieving, and an exceptional sense of smell. As a companion, these medium-sized dogs, weighing up to 60 pounds, are affectionate and loyal and love human companionship.

Weight: 45 to 65 pounds
Height: 21 to 25 inches

Finnish Lapphund walking along beach

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10. Finnish Lapphund

The Finnish Lapphund is a sturdy dog, weighing up to 50 pounds, with a thick double coat that protects them from harsh Finnish winters. These dogs make excellent family pets and are particularly fond of children. Lapphunds are known for their patience and are generally sociable with family and strangers alike. They are smart, eager to please, and quick learners, making them easy to train.

Weight: 30 to 50 pounds
Height: 16 to 21 inches

medium sized black and white husky and woman sitting on brick
Bo Bo / Stocksy

11. Husky

The Husky is known for their striking appearance, particularly their bright blue eyes and wolf-like face. Though they look like big dogs, Huskies are actually medium-sized dogs who typically weigh between 35 and 60 pounds. They have a thick double coat that sheds a lot, so they need regular brushing.

Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
Height: 18 to 24 inches

saluki medium dog leaning over couch
Capuski / iStock

12. Saluki

Salukis have remarkable intelligence and endurance. These fast sighthounds might even do better than Greyhounds at keeping up their pace over long distances. They have a strong prey drive, so they’re not always best for households with small pets.

Weight: 30 to 60 pounds
Height: 23 to 28 inches

Woman and man hug pit bull
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13. American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a very misunderstood pup. These dogs weigh up to 50 pounds and are strong as heck, but their reputation for being aggressive is largely undeserved. Pit Bulls are actually very friendly and affectionate dogs when properly raised and trained.

Weight: 31 to 80 pounds
Height: 18 to 22 inches

medium sized boykin spaniel sitting in home
Wirestock / iStock

14. Boykin Spaniel

These dogs are highly active and thrive on physical exercise; they’re natural athletes who take well to agility, obedience, and tracking. Boykin Spaniels love companionship and are adaptable to different types of families and spaces — as long as they get their steps in.

Weight: 25 to 40 pounds
Height: 14 to 18 inches

schnauzer dog lying with ball on ground
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15. Schnauzer

Schnauzers come in several sizes: Mini, Standard, and Giant. Standard Schnauzers weigh between 30 and 45 pounds and are tough dogs with a lot of energy to spare and a sharp mental acumen, which makes them easy to train but in dire need of stimulation. They make great family pets, especially for families with kids, because they’re not aggressive and love to be engaged.

Weight: 32 to 40 pounds
Height: 18 to 20 inches

Medium-sized corgi sits on sidewalk
Thirdman / Pexels

16. Cardigan Welsh Corgi

Despite being bigger and bulkier than the Pembroke, the medium-sized Cardigan Welsh Corgi is still a good-sized dog. They have protective instincts, making them great watchdogs — and like most watchdogs, Cardis are independent thinkers, which can make them stubborn. They respond well to training, though, and you’ll want that training if they nip at your heels in an attempt to herd you. Cardis are super energetic and need regular exercise to prevent boredom and maintain a healthy weight.

Weight: 25 to 38 pounds
Height: 10 to 12 inches

black medium sized Barbet lying on grass
Wirestock Creators / Shutterstock

17. Barbet

These loyal dogs have a curly double coat with long pieces around their face and legs that tend to get into stuff, so they need regular brushing and the occasional face wash. Though they want to be by your side, they’re okay at home for a bit with some interactive toys and the TV on. But, because they’re working dogs, they do need a moderate amount of exercise.

Weight: 30 to 62 pounds
Height: 20 to 26 inches

keeshond in front of apartment in city with woman
Galaxy love design / Shutterstock

18. Keeshond

The Keeshond originally comes from the Netherlands and is descended from ancient Arctic dogs. That explains their thick, fluffy, silver-gray coats, which puff out adorably around their bodies and include distinctive black markings around their eyes and noses. Their coats need brushing but are not as prone to shedding as some other comparable fluffy dogs (except during shedding seasons in spring and fall).

Weight: 30 to 50 pounds
Height: 17 to 18 inches

cocker spaniel dog in snow

19. English Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel is a beautiful medium-sized dog with an affectionate nature, intelligence, and striking appearance. These pups weigh up to 30 pounds and have a lovely wavy coat with long soft ears. They have a reputation for loving people and getting along well with children and other pets.

Weight: 23 to 41 pounds
Height: 15 to 16 inches

medium-sized small munsterlander in backyard
Lnrt / AdobeStock

20. Small Munsterlander

Small Munsterlanders are known for being gentle, tolerant, and wanting to be by your side constantly. Keep them busy with jogging, hiking, playing fetch, and other types of interactive play.

Weight: 40 to 60 pounds
Height: 19 to 22 inches

medium-sized australian shepherd walking on trail
Luke Mattson / Stocksy

21. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a solid choice for active pet parents looking for an intelligent and friendly companion. These dogs are known for their exceptional work ethic and versatility. They’re exceptionally smart and super eager to please, which makes them awesome at learning tricks and commands.

Weight: 30 to 70 pounds
Height: 18 to 23 inches

red Pharoah Hound-medium and woman look at eachother
Natalia Lebedinskaia / Shutterstock

22. Pharaoh Hound

While Pharaoh Hounds can be reserved around strangers, they’re incredibly loyal to their pet parents. Their athleticism shines through in activities like agility and lure coursing. Just remember, they’re not your average couch potato – these hounds thrive on exercise and mental stimulation.

Weight: 40 to 60 pounds
Height: 21 to 25 inches

Plott Hound-medium-sized in large yard
WatersPix / Shutterstock

23. Plott Hound

Plott Hounds, originally from North Carolina, are skilled trackers known for their strong sense of smell. They have fearless and determined personalities, making them excellent for tasks like search and rescue. They are loyal to their pet parents and enjoy spending time together.

Weight: 40 to 60 pounds
Height: 20 to 25 inches

border collie rolling in owners lap
Breno Cardoso / Pexels

24. Border Collie

Border Collies are genius herders from the borderlands who are always ready for action. They’re workaholics, acing everything from herding to agility. With endless energy and sharp smarts, they’re born for dog sports. Make sure to keep them busy.

Weight: 18 to 21 pounds

Australian Kelpie with pink coat on leash
Jan Kopczyński / Pexels

25. Australian Kelpie

With Kelpies, it’s all about action and adventure. Keep them engaged both mentally and physically, and you’ll have a happy pup on your hands. These pups thrive with a job and do well in agility, obedience training, and more.

Weight: 30 to 45 pounds
Height: 17 to 20 inches

soft coated wheaten terrier hypoallergenic coat

Jen Grantham / Stocksy

26. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

These terriers are friendly and affectionate with their families and tend to get along well with kids and other pets. However, their terrier instincts mean Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers can be a bit feisty at times. Their lovely coat also requires regular grooming.

Weight: 35 to 45 pounds
Height: 18 to 19 inches

Samoyed dog running
Arina Dmitrieva / Pexels

27. Samoyed

Samoyeds are known not only for their fluffy white coats and distinctive smiles but also for their friendly and gentle demeanors. Samoyeds are loyal and sociable, making them great family pets, as long as they get plenty of exercise.

Weight: 35 to 65 pounds
Height: 18 to 22 inches

Portuguese water dog coat at water
Lynda / AdobeStock

28. Portuguese Water Dog

With their curly or wavy coats, Portuguese Water Dogs are considered hypoallergenic, which is a win for allergy sufferers. These dogs are known for being loyal and loving companions, often forming strong bonds with their families.

Weight: 30 to 60 pounds
Height: 15 to 22 inches

medium red finish spitz
PavelRodimov / iStock

29. Finnish Spitz

Finnish Spitz originate from Finland and are known for their fox-like appearance. With a lively and alert nature, they make excellent watchdogs. They’re independent thinkers, which can make training a bit challenging, but they do well with regular exercise.

Weight: 20 to 35 pounds
Height: 15 to 20 inches

nova scotia duck tolling retreiver resting on sofa with woman
Milles Studio / Stocksy

30. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Originally bred for hunting, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers are skilled swimmers and fetchers. Their gorgeous red coats make them stand out, and their affectionate nature makes them great family pets. They’re intelligent and eager to learn, excelling in activities like agility and obedience. Regular exercise and mental challenges keep these pups happy.

Weight: 37 to 50 pounds
Height: 17 to 21 inches

FAQs (People Also Ask):

What is the calmest medium-sized dog?

One of the calmest medium-sized dogs is the Basset Hound. These pups are known for their droopy ears and soulful eyes, and are famous for their laid-back attitude.

What are some low-maintenance medium-sized dog breeds?

A few low-maintenance medium-sized dog breeds include the American Pit Bull Terrier, Beagle, Basset Hound, and Cocker Spaniel, who all require less grooming than other breeds.

What is the easiest medium-sized dog to train?

Medium-sized working dogs who thrive on exercise and mental stimulation, such as the Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, and Australian Cattle Dog, are easiest to train.

References

About Good-Natured Finnish Spitz

Sizing Up 5 Medium-Sized Dog Breeds

Official Standard of the Barbet

Behavior and Breeds: Curly-Coated Dog Breeds

Keeshond History



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