20 Medium-Sized Dogs

Emily Sanders
By Emily Sanders. Reviewed by Barri J. Morrison, DVM on Jan. 23, 2024
tricolor rough collie standing in an autumn forest

Not too big, not too small, medium-sized dogs are just right for many families looking for a furry companion. Though their heights can vary a lot (just compare the squat Basset Hound to the lanky Airedale Terrier), medium-sized dogs are defined by their weight. These pups typically weigh 30–60 pounds.

Remember that size is only one element to consider when choosing a dog. You must also consider their activity level, personality and temperament, potential health issues, and grooming needs.

Here are some of the best medium-sized dog breeds that might be a perfect fit for your family.

1. Airedale Terrier

airedale terrier standing outside
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The Airedale Terrier is nicknamed the King of Terriers because, at 40–60 pounds, they’re the largest terrier dog breed. They are a curious and intelligent dog that was originally bred to hunt and serve as a guardian. Because of this, Airedales need lots of exercise and thrive in a home with a fenced-in yard.

2. American Staffordshire Terrier

brown and white amstaff dog standing on a hiking trail
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Though perhaps best known for their muscular build, the American Staffordshire Terrier can make a good medium-sized family dog because of their loyalty to their pet parents and patience around children. Like any dog, AmStaffs (as they’re often called) need positive reinforcement training and socialization during puppyhood to thrive as adults.

3. Australian Cattle Dog

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The Australian Cattle Dog is an intelligent and hardworking dog originally bred to herd cattle. Because of their history, they must be taught that children and other pets, like cats, are not appropriate to herd. Keeping your Cattle Dog’s body and mind well-exercised is a must for this energetic pup; they won’t do well without an active family.

4. Australian Shepherd

blue merle australian shepherd standing on a hiking trail
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Another herding breed, Australian Shepherds enjoy activities like running agility courses and competing in herding trials. Like the Cattle Dog, Aussies need an active family that will exercise their dog every day to prevent boredom.

5. Basset Hound

two basset hounds trotting through grass
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Despite standing only 15 inches at most, Basset Hounds are sturdy dogs that weigh 40–65 pounds. They’re best known for their tracking skills, loud and frequent bark, and droopy face. Basset Hounds are one of the lazier medium-sized dog breeds, but they still need regular exercise to keep them healthy and prevent obesity.

6. Boykin Spaniel

brown boykin spaniel running through grass with a tennis ball in his mouth
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The Boykin Spaniel is a hunting dog that does best with an active family that loves spending time outdoors. They need at least an hour of exercise every day, but the more activity they get, the better. If you’re not a hunter, your Boykin will love to go on hikes, and they’re adept swimmers thanks to their webbed paws.

7. Brittany

white and orange brittany dog sitting in grass
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Another breed with hunting origins, the Brittany is a good medium-sized dog for athletic households. They have a sweet and friendly personality that makes them ideal partners for playing, running, and hiking, and their beautiful orange-and-white coat is a bonus.

8. Bull Terrier

woman crouching down next to a white and tan bull terrier
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Take one look at this dog and you’ll instantly know it’s a Bull Terrier; the highly recognizable breed has a unique egg-shaped head and triangular eyes. Regular exercise is important for this breed, but consistent attention (and affection!) from their pet parents is even more vital. Bull Terriers can develop compulsive behaviors like tail-chasing if their social needs are not met.

9. Chow Chow

red fluffy chow chow standing in grass
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The Chow Chow is one of the few dog breeds with a blue tongue. This breed is ancient, with records of their existence dating back to China’s Han Dynasty, about 200 BCE to 220 CE. Though loving toward their family, Chow Chows can be aloof around new people, so early and consistent socialization is important.

10. Collie

tricolor rough collie standing and looking at the camera outside
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Collies are one of the best medium-sized family dog breeds. They are smart, friendly, get along with other animals, and have a reputation for being great companions for children. If you have a long-haired rough Collie (instead of the shorter-haired smooth Collie), they’ll need multiple brushing sessions throughout the week.

11. Dalmatian

dalmatain standing in a marsh at sunset
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Like the Bull Terrier, the Dalmatian is easy to spot. If you’re considering adding one of these black-and-white dogs to your family, know that Dalmatians shed a lot. You’ll need to brush your Dal every week with a heavy-duty deshedding glove, but even then there will probably still be hair all over your home.

12. English Bulldog

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The laid-back and low-to-the-ground English Bulldog has adorable wrinkles all over their body—but those wrinkles come with a necessary cleaning routine to keep them healthy. Their skin folds should be cleaned with a veterinary-approved wipe every day to prevent skin infections.

13. English Setter

white and black speckled english setter standing outside
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Elegant and energetic English Setters love to be outdoors. These friendly dogs need to be kept active, and they enjoy activities like dock diving, flyball, or just playing fetch or tug-of-war in the backyard with their family.

14. English Springer Spaniel

brown and white english springer spaniel running through a field
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With a soft, wavy coat and gentle, floppy ears, English Springer Spaniels are an adorable medium-sized dog. But don’t be fooled by their beauty—this dog was bred to hunt birds. Because of their intelligence (they’re one of the smartest dog breeds) and eagerness to please their humans, English Springer Spaniels can be a joy to train and can learn lots of tricks.

15. German Wirehaired Pointer

scruffy german wirehaired pointer running toward the camera
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Scruffy German Wirehaired Pointers, or GWPs for short, are sweet dogs that were bred to hunt all different kinds of game. They’re still commonly used as hunting dogs today and maintain a strong prey drive. Because of this, GWPs might not be a good fit for families with smaller animals, including cats. 

16. Norwegian Elkhound

close-up of a norwegian elkhound dog
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The Norwegian Elkhound has lived alongside humans since the time of the Vikings. Today, these fluffy dogs make great companions. Elkies do possess an independent streak, so pet parents should be prepared to train these dogs with patience—and lots of treats

17. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

red nova scotia duck tolling retriever lying on a lake dock
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As their name suggests, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers were bred in Canada to hunt ducks. They have a silky, waterproof red coat that needs to be brushed once or twice a week to prevent matting. Aside from this grooming regimen, pet parents need to give their Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever lots of exercise, preferably outside.

18. Vizsla

vizsla standing in a field at sunrise
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The Vizsla  is an ancient Hungarian hunting breed that does best with lots of room to stretch their long legs. Vizslas need at least an hour of exercise every day and love to spend their time running, preferably with their pet parent by their side. These pups also have a reputation for being Velcro dogs. 

19. Whippet

gray and white whippet standing in grass
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Whippets are a sleek and speedy breed, capable of reaching speeds of 35 miles per hour when they burst into a sprint. But know that these medium-sized dogs are thin with a short coat, so they don’t handle cold well. A suitable doggie coat can help keep them warm. 

20. Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

wirehaired pointing griffon walking through still water
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The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is covered in a rough coat that protects them from the elements when they’re hunting birds. Griffons are affectionate and eager to please, making them great family companions that are easy to train. As hunting dogs, Griffons need plenty of exercise and enjoy having a job to do. 

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Emily Sanders


Emily Sanders

Freelance Writer

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