43 Best Medium Sized Dog Breeds That Might Suit You

People seem to have a sweet spot when choosing a dog as a companion. It’s like Goldilocks… Large dogs are too much, small dogs are not enough, but medium-sized dogs are just right. They’re easier than giant dogs on the pocket, and there’s more of them to cuddle with than a tiny dog.

From boxers to bulldogs and spaniels to samoyeds, these dogs got it goin’ on. Some were bred just to be a medium-sized dog. And really, doesn’t everyone love a medium?… Soda, fries, coffee… Medium seems to be the go-to since it’s the best of both worlds.

Let’s look at just how big these dogs are, where they come from, and the reason why they are who they are. Then, the next time you go to rescue a dog (which we highly recommend), you’ll know more about the choices, even if it’s a mixed breed.

Now, off we go into the world of plenty – The world of medium-sized dogs.

Medium Sized Dogs

Try to picture a medium-sized dog right now. What breed are you thinking about? A terrier? A Spaniel? The variations of physical and behavioral characteristics between the dogs in the middle-of-the-road category are mindblowing.

For example, an American Eskimo dog and a Basset hound are literally and figuratively two different animals. They couldn’t be more different.

Medium-sized dogs are between 30 and 70 lbs. Though you can have extremes either way, depending on the dog. There are dogs who don’t shed, dogs who herd/drive cattle, dogs who are the perfect family companion… You get the drift.

And they’re just as dimensional in their personalities. Some come aloof, and some come assertive, but all of these dogs have one thing in common – They’re a lot of fun to have around.

So now let’s meet the stars of the show… best medium dog breeds.  

1. Afghan Hound

medium sized dogs
  • Height: 25”-27” (at the withers)
  • Weight: 50-60 lbs.

Afghans were bred thousands of years ago in the mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. These dogs (whose hair could easily pass for a woman’s) have huge paw pads on their medium-sized bodies.  

2. Airedale Terrier

medium size dogs
  • Height: 23”  
  • Weight: 50-70 lbs.

These rectangular-faced medium-sized dogs have spectacular job versatility. (He ain’t called the “King of terriers” for nothing.) They’re the largest of all terrier breeds and have done everything from hunt game to guard the kids.

3. American Eskimo Dog

best medium sized dogs
  • Height: 9”-12” (toy)12”-15” (miniature)15”-19” (standard)
  • Weight:6-10 lbs. (toy)10-20 lbs. (miniature)25-35 lbs. (standard)

Of course, we’re talking about the standard size here. These all-white beauties are intelligent (highly trainable) and kid-friendly. In the mid-19th century, English factory workers bred the Airedale, which was named after the Aire Valley in Northern England, to hunt ducks and rats. 

4. American Staffordshire Terrier

mid size dogs
  • Height: 17”-19”
  • Weight: 40-70 lbs.

This is one of four types of pitbull terriers. Horribly misused and abused over the years, these incredible dogs don’t seem to remember. You know those highly affectionate, loyal, playful dogs? Yep, that’s the Staffie

5. American Water Spaniel

medium sized dog breeds
  • Height: 15”-18”
  • Weight: 25-45 lbs.

These web-toed excellent swimmers were bred to be midsized gun dogs. They hunt, flush, and retrieve the game. All that gorgeous hair sheds very little, and today, there are less than 4,000 of AWSs in the world. 

6. Appenzeller Sennenhund

small medium dog breeds
  • Height: 20”-22”
  • Weight: 48-70 lbs.

This Switzerland-bred canine is rare in other parts of the world. They herded cattle, were great watch dogs, and pulled carts, but today are mainly kept as companion animals and show dogs.  

7. Australian Cattle Dog

best medium dog breeds
  • Height: 17”-20”
  • Weight: 35-50 lbs.

So smart they can practically speak English, these medium-sized dogs know how to throw their weight around as they herd livestock. These energetic dogs need proper exercise and mental stimulation.

8. Australian Shepherd

medium size dog breeds
  • Height: 18”-23”
  • Weight: 40-65 lbs.

This breed could chat with the Australian cattle dog and solve world problems. Considered a very smart breed, the Aussie was developed in the US in the late 1800s. 

9. Basset Hound

small to medium dog breeds
  • Height: Up to 15”
  • Weight: 40-65 lbs.

Bred in France as a hunting dog, bassets have incredible scent-tracking capabilities (second only to the bloodhound). With those eyes, those ears, and that face, this cute dog steals hearts everywhere.

10. Bavarian Hound

best medium sized family dogs
  • Height: 17”-20.5”
  • Weight: 37-66 lbs.

This distinctive breed has a dark/blackish head with a brown body. They were bred in Germany to trail wounded game. 

11. Bearded Collie

medium dogs
  • Height: 20”-22”
  • Weight: 45-55 lbs.

This medium-sized breed was developed in Great Britain to herd sheep and cattle. They have long, shaggy coats and are loyal family pets.

12. Bohemian Shepherd

small to medium-sized dog breeds
  • Height: 19”-22”
  • Weight: 37-60 lbs.

Commonly used as search and rescue dogs in the Czech Republic, these black-and-tan dogs are highly intelligent, trainable, and obedient. 

13. Border Collie

medium small dog breeds
  • Height: 18”-22”
  • Weight: 30-55 lbs.

The border collie was classified by the famous American psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren as the #1 most intelligent dog breed. They’re highly active and adore their human families.

14. Boxer 

small to medium sized dogs
  • Height: 21”-25”
  • Weight: 50-80 lbs.

Today’s boxer was imported to the United States from Germany in the 1930s. These high-energy dogs would enjoy activities like playing a game of frisbee and doing scent work.

15. Boykin Spaniel

medium sized family dogs
  • Height: 14”-18”
  • Weight: 25-40 lbs.

Developed in South Carolina, US, the Boykin was bred specifically to hunt from small boats. They’re one of the smallest retrievers and Carolina’s official state dog.

16. Brittany

dogs under 40 pounds
  • Height: 17”-21”
  • Weight: 30-40 lbs.

Named after the French Province where it was first bred, these adorable gundogs are smaller than setters. These beauties love the water and are one of the most versatile bird dogs. 

17. Bulldog

middle size dogs
  • Height: 14”-15”
  • Weight: 40-50 lbs.

Looking like a weightlifter who is flexing, these adorable dogs were bred to work on farms and ranches guarding livestockBulldogs are friendly, confident, and comical.

18. Cocker Spaniel

good dogs
  • Height: 13”-16”
  • Weight: 20-30 lbs.

These flowy-haired canines were bred to help hunters find and retrieve their quarry. Cockers are the smallest breed in the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Sporting classification.

19. Chinese Shar-Pei

small to medium-sized dogs
  • Height: 18”-20”
  • Weight: 45-60 lbs.

This wrinkly (folds) medium-sized dog was used by Chinese farmers to herd, hunt, and guard. Their name means “sandy coat,” and they’re probably most recognizable due to their “squishy” faces. 

20. Chow Chow

small to medium-sized dogs
  • Height: 17”-20”
  • Weight: 45-70 lbs.

Probably most famous for its blue-black tongue and fluffiness, this ancient breed originated from Northern China. They can be a bit aloof at times (I know from lots of experience), but so can all of us, right? They’re otherwise loving, loyal, family dogs

21. Collie

medium dog breeds for families
  • Height: 22”-26”
  • Weight: 50-75 lbs.

This stately medium-sized breed was used in Scotland and England as herding dogs. The TV show “Lassie,” which played for almost two decades from the 50s to the 70s, made them famous in America. 

22. Dalmatian

medium-large dog breeds
  • Height: 19”-24”
  • Weight: 45-70 lbs.

Yes, they originally accompanied horse-drawn carriages of nobles, gypsies, and firefighters. These dogs were bred to guard horses and coaches, and so still are quite protective. 

23. English Foxhound

mid sized dogs
  • Height: 24 inches
  • Weight: 60-75 lbs.

This breed is a bold hound and bred in England to catch and kill foxes. They look similar to a beagle but are taller and more athletic. 

24. English Springer Spaniel

good medium sized dogs
  • Height: 19”-20”
  • Weight: 40-50 lbs.

Hunters enjoy this dog’s stamina and endurance. This breed is not only an excellent hunter but is also popular in shows. Showing great diversity, their honed scent ability has made them a favorite for K-9 police work as well. 

25. Finnish Spitz

middle sized dogs
  • Height: 15”-20”
  • Weight: 20-33 lbs.

This curly-tailed, regal dog barks continuously to alert hunters of game and is known as the “barking bird dog.” They have a foxlike face, are excellent watchdogs, and are the national breed of Finland. 

26. German Shorthaired Pointer

best medium sized dog breed
  • Height: 21”-25”
  • Weight: 45-70 lbs.

With intelligence, strength, agility, and endurance, these gundogs give high performances in the field and water. There are two categories that most GSPs are grouped into: Show and field.

27. Golden Retriever

cute medium sized dogs
  • Height: 21”-24”
  • Weight: 55-75 lbs.

If you’ve never received the love of a golden, you’re missing out. These friendly dogs are known for their golden to reddish coats and have amazing scenting abilities.

28. Keeshond

best medium size dogs
  • Height: 17”-18”
  • Weight: 35-45 lbs.

These stunning “puffballs” are highly adaptable and affectionate. They’re big on activities like agility, obedience, and rally and are even excellent therapy dogs.  

29. Labrador Retriever

medium to small dog breeds
  • Height: 21”-25”
  • Weight: 55-80 lbs.

Arguably the most popular dog in America, their coats come in yellow, black, or chocolate. A waterdog from Newfoundland, labs have long been duck retrievers and constant companions. 

30. Norwegian Elkhound

medium sozed dogs
  • Height: 19”-21”
  • Weight: 48-55 lbs.

This unique dog looks like a German shepherd met up with an Akita. Their names are a head scratcher since they were originally bred to hunt moose, and they’re not hounds dogs. These great dogs are Norwegian, and the identity crisis lies in the translation of the name.

31. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

cute medium dogs
  • Height: 17”-21”
  • Weight: 35-50 lbs.

Originally bred in Canada, they’re sometimes called the “little river duck dog.” With coats that repel water and webbed feet, they’re phenomenal gundogs and retrieve with the best of them.

32. Poodle

small medium-sized dogs
  • Height: Over 15” (standard)
  • Weight: 40-70 lbs.

Almost always in the top ten of reputable lists of intelligent dogs, poodles were originally bred more than 400 years ago. They’re super strong swimmers, and although they’re the national dog of France, there is no such breed as the “French poodle.”

33. Portuguese Podengo

medium sized fluffy dogs
  • Height: 16”-28”
  • Weight: 8-66 lbs. (small, medium, and large)

These shaggy- (wire-haired) or smooth-haired dogs are fast, smart, and friendly. This sighthound is energetic and agile and can be the perfect watchdog.  

34. Portuguese Water Dog

types of dogs medium
  • Height: 17”-23”
  • Weight: 35-60 lbs.

One of the smartest breeds and highly trainable, these dogs make the perfect service animal. They’re an ancient breed and were bred to work with fishermen. Although Porties are low shedders, they require extensive grooming due to their wavy or curly hair. 

35. Pyrenean Shepherd

dog types medium
  • Height: 15”-19”
  • Weight: 15-30 lbs.

The smallest French herding dog, they can herd flocks/heads of 100+. They originated in the Pyrenean Mountain Range in France. Strenuous exercise is their favorite in order to be obedient, fulfilled dogs. 

36. Samoyed

40 lb dog breeds
  • Height: 19”-24”
  • Weight: 35-65 lbs.

These all-white stunners were bred to herd in extremely cold temperatures and are known for pulling sleds. They’re also fantastic at herding, agility, and hunting. Their middle name should be “high energy,” but they can also be great snuggle buddies that are good with children and other pets.

37. Shetland Sheepdog

cutest medium dog breeds
  • Height: 13”-16”
  • Weight: 15-25 lbs.

They are a dupe for a smallish collie, but they are not one and the same. It is a direct descendant of the Reindeer Spitz dog breed from Russia. – PetMD 

They’re powerful working dogs that revel in cold temperatures.

38. Siberian Husky

medium dog
  • Height: 20”-24”
  • Weight: 35-60 lbs.

With Siberians, the welcome mat is always out for young and older humans and other dogs. They’re affectionate and social animals. Also, as working dogs, they pulled sleds during the Gold Rush era and thrived at sled-dog races.

39. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

medium fluffy dog breeds
  • Height: 17”-19”
  • Weight: 30-40 lbs.

In Ireland, this popular breed was known as the “poor man’s wolfhound.” As a working dog, he’s sharp and a keen hunter of rats and other pests. These medium-sized dogs are great companion animals and, as long as they’re socialized, will get along well with other dogs.

40. Standard Schnauzer

best mid size family dog
  • Height: 17”-20”
  • Weight: 30-50 lbs.

Highly affectionate and intelligent, these medium dogs are just as territorial. He spent time as a watchdog in Germany, so protecting people or other animals has become innate. Schnauzers are also hunters and ratters, as well as therapy and medium-sized herding breed. 

41. Vizsla

best medium sized dogs for kids
  • Height: 21”-24”
  • Weight: 44-60 lbs.

This Hungarian gundog is… one of the top 10 fastest dog breeds and can run up to 40mph. – Purina, New Zealand

They’re top hunters and retrievers and need at least an hour of off-lead running time each day (on top of walks).

42. Welsh Springer Spaniel

good medium sized family dogs
  • Height: 17”-19”
  • Weight: 35-55 lbs.

This sporting dog is most probably the ancestor of most of today’s hunting dogs. In 1979, the UK Post Office featured the Welsh springer on a postage stamp representing one of four breeds of Great Britain. 

43. Whippet

beautiful dogs
  • Height: 18”-22”
  • Weight: 25-40 lbs.

In the mid-19th century in England, this hound breed was developed to chase rabbits for sport. These athletic dogs are incredibly fast.  Whippets are a mix of terriers and a couple of different greyhound types. See the resemblance? 


What Is the Best Medium Dog?

The best medium-sized dog is the one you rescue from a kennel/shelter/rescue. (Shelters have purebreds, too, and so do breed-specific rescues.) When you adopt, it opens up a spot for a homeless dog to come in. 

What Breed of Dog Weighs 40 Pounds?

According to the American Kennel Club, there are dozens of dog breeds that weigh around 40 pounds, like Kerry Blue Terriers, Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen, and Australian cattle dogs.

What Is the Best Medium-Sized Dog for Seniors?

There are a couple I think of right away:

  1. Golden retrievers – They’re intelligent, obedient, loving, and easy to train. They’re not that vocal, so no barking into the night (as long as they’ve been properly exercised). I’d choose an adult or a senior rather than a puppy since there shouldn’t be as much consistent training to do, to put it mildly.

    These dogs love a good game of tug-of-war, run around the yard, and have a nice long walk. But they don’t need to exercise like a border collie. They adore being with their guardian(s) and will just chill with them whenever possible. Do you know what else they adore? Grandchildren.

Goldens do require a commitment of having them regularly groomed, but any dog is an investment.  

  1. Basset hound – Does that surprise you? The next dog I adopt will be one. These are picture-perfect mid-sized dogs. They’re happy and kind to everyone: Adults, seniors, kids, cats, other dogs… If a Basset doesn’t like you, something is wrong with you.

Excessive howling isn’t the norm if they’re getting enough love and exercise each day. Also, there will be some potential medical issues, as there are with almost every dog.

RUNNER-UP: Standard schnauzer

Many other wonderful dogs would be perfect for seniors, but from this list, these stand out.   

Final Thoughts

If you’re not looking for a medium-sized dog by now, I haven’t done my job. Medium dog breeds are larger than a toy or small breed, so you can roll around with them but not so big as to make things topsy-turvy. (There are a lot of great things to be said about small and large dogs, just not in this article.) 

Medium-sized dogs are strong-minded and intelligent, fun and funny. All of them have personality-plus and wouldn’t know what to do without you. 

Now go. You have an appointment with a dog. 

Jen Flatt Osborn
Born with a pen in her hand and a deadline (and probably a tail), Jen considers writing a vocation, an art, and a release. She’s a freelance copy/content writer who specializes in the pet industry. Previously, she was the founder/director of an animal sanctuary for 12 years, taught classes to middle school students about dog behavior, and has lived a life full of devotion to animals and their welfare. As a vegetarian, Jen advocates for the humane treatment of every living creature. She currently lives with one delightful canine who encourages her to put her head out the car window more often.

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