Medium-Sized Dog Breeds: Choosing A Canine Companion

Key takeaway

Medium-sized dogs are the perfect size for playing and snuggling up on the couch. However, there are many different breeds of medium-sized dogs, so it’s important to find one that you can easily care for. Some dogs are higher energy than others, so consider your lifestyle to find the perfect dog for you.

Medium-size dog breeds are a great option for many families. They're not too small or too large, offering you a perfectly sized dog for almost any home environment. Of course, every dog is different, but some breeds tend to have certain characteristics and behaviors. Overall, medium dogs make great apartment dogs for most people, but you must be willing to take them on walks if you don't have a fenced-in yard. 

Some people prefer medium dog breeds because you can play with them without worrying about them getting hurt due to their size. They also fit in almost any bed if you're the type of person that loves to sleep with your pets. Many medium-sized dogs are great companions, but temperament varies by breed and an individual dog's upbringing. Considering a medium-sized dog for your home? Keep reading to learn about the various medium-sized dog breeds. 

How Big Are Medium-Sized Dogs?

Medium-sized dogs are typically between 20 to 60 pounds

Medium-sized dogs typically weigh between 20 and 60 pounds.1 However, the exact size of your dog depends on their breed. Many breeds of dogs are considered medium-sized, including sporting, non-sporting, working breeds, terriers, and hounds.1 The medium-sized dog range is so broad that many separate it into three distinct categories:

  • Medium-small: Medium-small dogs are those on the lower end of the weight range, typically weighing 20-40 pounds, and they include beagles, corgis, and french bulldogs.
  • Average: Average medium-sized dogs typically weigh 40 pounds or more. This category includes the bulldog, Airedale Terriers, Australian Cattle Dogs, Basset Hounds, and German Pinschers. 
  • Medium-large: Medium-large dogs are between 40 and 60 pounds but are on the taller end of the spectrum, like Greyhounds. 

Medium-Sized Dogs That Are Good In Apartments

When looking for a medium-sized dog that can be happy and healthy in an apartment, you should look for dogs with calm and friendly temperaments. Depending on your lifestyle, you may also want a dog with low exercise needs unless you're willing to walk them multiple times a day. In addition, you may choose to find a dog that doesn't bark too often to avoid conflicts with the neighbors. Here are a few medium dog breeds ideal for apartment life: 

Chow Chow

  • Height: 17-20 inches
  • Weight: 45-70 pounds
  • Life span: 8-12 years

Chow Chows are on the larger side of the medium dog breed range. However, they make great apartment dogs because they housebreak easily and have a calm demeanor. They're affectionate dogs that are protective and fairly trainable. However, they don't have incredibly high energy levels, so they don't require as much exercise as other breeds. Instead, they'll be happy with a daily walk and indoor play with toys.2

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

  • Height: 10-12 inches
  • Weight: up to 30 pounds
  • Life span:12-13 years

One of the most popular breeds, the Corgi, is known for their affectionate demeanor and openness to strangers. Corgis are naturally protective but eager to please and easily trainable. While they're not exactly couch potatoes, they make great apartment dogs because of their size and love of hanging out with their humans.3 

Close-up of a French Bulldog looking up at the camera

French Bulldog

  • Height: 11-13 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds or less
  • Life span: 10-12 years

French Bulldogs, also known as Frenchies, are non-sporting medium-sized dogs that are affectionate, great with children, and good with other dogs.4 These dogs are easily trained and don't have high energy levels. In addition, they only bark to alert, making them a great option if you have neighbors.4

American Eskimo Dog

  • Height: 15-19 inches 
  • Weight: 25-35 pounds
  • Life span: 13-15 years

There are three versions of the American Eskimo Dog: a toy, miniature, and standard size. While all are great dogs, only the standard size qualifies as a medium-sized dog. However, no matter which size you have, they're a breed known to be incredibly loving, affectionate, and great with young children. However, they're not the best with other dogs, so socialization is key if you plan to have more than one pet in your life.5

Medium-Sized Dogs That Are Good With Children

If you have children, you should always look for breeds that are good with young children. However, any dog can be good with children as long as they're trained and socialized properly. Unfortunately, children may play too rough with small dogs, while large dogs don't know their own strength. Therefore, a medium-sized dog is typically best for households with children because they won't get easily hurt, and they won't accidentally cause injury or damage. 

Medium-sized dogs that are good with children

When looking for dogs that are good with children, consider breeds that enjoy being around people and those that are gentle and playful but not too loud. Medium-sized dogs that are good with children include: 

Beagle

  • Height: 13-15 inches
  • Weight: 20-30 pounds
  • Life span: 10-15 years

Beagles are another popular dog breed because they're independent and do well with young children and other dogs. Beagles are hunting dogs, so even though they're known to be gentle with children, they still require physical and mental stimulation. These dogs are active and do well in homes with backyards, where they can play, dig, and run around.6

Keeshond

  • Height: 17-18 inches
  • Weight: 35-45 pounds
  • Life span: 12-15 years

Keeshonds are ideal dogs for families because they're affectionate, great with young children, and good with other dogs. This medium-sized dog breed is adaptable and can do well in environments with tons of space or even in small homes without yards. They still require regular exercise, but they're just as happy snuggling their pet parents on the couch after a long day.7

Cocker Spaniel

  • Height: 13.5-15.5 inches
  • Weight: 20-30 pounds
  • Life span: 10-14 years

Cocker Spaniels have big eyes and adorable floppy ears. They also make great family dogs because they're affectionate and great with children and other dogs. These dogs are easy to train but have a fairly high energy level, so you must be willing to give them mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior.8 

Samoyed

  • Height: 19-23.5 inches
  • Weight: 35-65 pounds
  • Life span: 12-14 years

The Samoyed is known for their fluffy white fur and perky ears. These dogs are affectionate and great with young children, but depending on their upbringing, they may not be great with other dogs. In addition, these dogs are friendly with strangers but have a high energy level and want to play throughout adulthood.9

Medium-Sized Dogs That Are High-Energy

High-energy dogs are ideal companions for those who have an active lifestyle. However, they're not the best first dogs for pet parents because they require tons of exercise and mental stimulation. However, having a high-energy dog comes with benefits; they can help keep you active and healthy because they'll want to engage in playing, walking, or running every day. Here are a few high energy medium-sized dog breeds: 

Border Collie

  • Height: 18-22 inches
  • Weight: 30-55 pounds
  • Life span: 12-15 years

Border collies are affectionate and do well with children and other dogs, but they're full of energy, so they require daily activity, including walks. Luckily, they're highly trainable, so even though border collies have a lot of energy, they're still obedient. Since border collies love to work, they're happiest when they have a job. However, you can keep their energy at bay to prevent destructive behavior by giving them over an hour of vigorous exercise daily.10

Australian Shepherd

  • Height: 20-23 inches
  • Weight: 40-65 pounds
  • Life span: 12-15 years

Australian Shepherds are herding dogs that are affectionate and independent. They're great with children, but since they were bred to work, they have high energy levels. Don't let their energy deter you; they're highly trainable and love to please their pet parents.11

Australian Shepherd high-fiving a human 

Vizsla

  • Height: 21-24 inches
  • Weight: 44-60 pounds
  • Life span: 12-14 years

Vizslas are intelligent, highly active dogs. They enjoy spending time with their pet parents and may develop separation anxiety when left alone. In addition, they're good with young children and other dogs but have high energy levels and require physical and mental stimulation. Since they're hunting dogs, you should plan a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise every day.12

Brittany

  • Height: 17.5-20.5 inches
  • Weight: 30-40 pounds
  • Life span: 12-14 years

The Brittany is an agile hunting dog that's strong and fast. Because they were bred for hunting and sports, they're highly trainable and a good fit for active individuals who enjoy the great outdoors. Brittany dogs require a lot of exercise, including walking, hiking, and running.13

Medium-Sized Dogs That Are Hypoallergenic

Medium-sized dogs that are hypoallergenic 

No dog is truly hypoallergenic because it's not their fur you're allergic to; most people are allergic to saliva or dander. However, dogs that shed more spread their dander, which may cause worsening allergy symptoms.14 Here are dogs that don't shed too much: 

Standard Poodle

  • Height: over 15 inches
  • Weight: 40-70 pounds
  • Life span: 10-18 years

The standard poodle is an affectionate dog with adults and young children. Poodles are one of the most intelligent breeds, and they're eager to please and train easily. While this breed isn't as energetic as some others on this list, they're not couch potatoes; Poodles require mental and physical stimulation daily.15

Portuguese Water Dog

  • Height: 17-23 inches
  • Weight: 35-60 pounds
  • Life span: 11-13 years

Portuguese Water Dogs are fishermen's dogs bred to work. While they're affectionate with family and children, they are high energy because they're a working breed, so they require vigorous daily exercise. Since they're easily trained, you can also participate in obedience training, agility, and watersports.16

Puli

  • Height: 16-17 inches
  • Weight: 25-35 pounds
  • Life span: 10-15 years

The Puli is most known for its corded double coat. However, since they are herding dogs, they love spending time outside and require daily exercise and mental stimulation. These dogs enjoy sports, obedience training, agility, and going to the dog park with their pet parents.17

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

  • Height: 17-19 inches
  • Weight: 30-40 pounds
  • Life span: 12-14 years

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are Irish farm dogs with wavy medium-length fur. They have a low-shedding coat that requires regular grooming. While these dogs are working dogs, they don't have energy levels as high as other dogs on this list, but they still need plenty of daily exercise. Additionally, because they're farm dogs, they have a strong prey drive and urge to chase, so they should have a fenced-in yard or walk on a leash.18

Caring For Medium-Sized Dogs

Properly caring for a medium-sized dog depends on their breed and current health. Every breed is different, but common health issues for these dogs include joint, eye, skin, and heart issues. Before adopting a medium-sized dog, always learn about their risk factors for certain health issues since every breed is different.1

Along with issues to look out for, you should care for your dog's health by taking care of all of their needs, including: 

  • Nutritional needs: Dog nutrition is key to their health and wellness. Medium-sized dogs are done growing around one year of age, but you'll still need to care for their nutritional needs by ensuring they eat a balanced diet. 
  • Medical needs: All dogs need annual vet visits and preventative care to get vaccines and tested for common health conditions, like heartworm. 
  • Mental stimulation: Mental stimulation is important for all dogs, especially those with high energy levels because it prevents boredom and anxiety. 
  • Physical exercise: Physical exercise also prevents boredom and anxiety while supporting total body health in dogs. 

Medium-Sized Dog Breeds: FAQs

What is the calmest medium-sized dog?

Calm medium-sized dogs include French Bulldogs, Bulldogs, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, and more. However, while breed can dictate a certain temperament in dogs, their personalities are defined by their upbringing. Therefore, any dog can be highly excitable, anxious, or calm, depending on their training and socialization. 

What is the most low-maintenance medium-sized dog?

Low-maintenance dogs are typically those you don't have to groom regularly, including the Boston Terrier, French Bulldog, and Daschund. In addition, you should consider a dog's trainability; those that can be easily trained are low maintenance because they'll quickly learn which behaviors are acceptable. 

What is the easiest medium-sized dog to train?

Many medium-sized dogs are easy to train, but it depends on how much work you're willing to put into it. All of the dogs on our list, including the high-energy dogs, are easy to train. However, if you don't take the time to train your dog daily, it will take longer to train them. In general, working dogs are usually the easiest breeds to train because they were bred to perform a job. 

Standard Poodle sitting on the grass with a frisbee in their mouth

Final Notes

When looking for the best medium-sized dog for your household, there are many things to consider, including your lifestyle. For example, if you're not active, you likely won't want a dog that wants to play all day. However, many medium-sized dogs make great companions if you enjoy going for hikes or runs in the morning. Luckily, there's a medium-sized dog out there for everyone. 

Dutch's online vet care can help you care for your medium-sized dog. Our licensed vets can diagnose and treat various illnesses and behavioral issues to ensure your dog lives a happy, healthy life. Try Dutch today. 

References

  1. “How to Keep Medium-Sized Dogs Healthy at Every Life Stage.” PetMD, https://www.petmd.com/dog/general-health/how-keep-medium-sized-dogs-healthy-every-life-stage.

  2. Pessah, Steve. “Chow Chow Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/chow-chow/.

  3. “Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/pembroke-welsh-corgi/.

  4. Greenberg, Aurora. “French Bulldog Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/french-bulldog/.

  5. “American Eskimo Dog Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/american-eskimo-dog/.

  6. Kriss, Randa. “Beagle Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/beagle/.

  7. Paulenoff, Simon. “Keeshond Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/keeshond/.

  8. Kriss, Randa. “Cocker Spaniel Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/cocker-spaniel/.

  9. “Samoyed Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/samoyed/.

  10. Kriss, Randa. “Border Collie Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/border-collie/.

  11. Latimer, Matt. “Australian Shepherd Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/australian-shepherd/.

  12. Kriss, Randa. “Vizsla Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/vizsla/.

  13. “Brittany Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/brittany/.

  14. “Best Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds for People with Allergies.” American Kennel Club, 12 Nov. 2021, https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/hypoallergenic-dog-breeds/.

  15. Greenberg, Aurora. “Poodle Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/poodle-standard/.