13 Amazing Medium-Sized Dog Breeds

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11 min read
11 min read

Updated - Jan 19th, 2024

Key points
  • Medium-sized dog breeds are versatile, with pups ranging from the easy-going Basset Hound to the family-favorite Labrador Retriever to the stubborn Australian Cattle Dog.
  • Medium breeds dogs will usually have different health needs compared to large dog breeds or small dog breeds.
  • Each breed will require unique, consistent care — regardless of size, caring for a dog is a commitment every pet parent should take seriously.

Not too small and not too large, medium dog breeds are the perfect middle ground for prospective pet parents. While big or small pups can be excellent choices for many dog parents, others are simply better suited to medium-sized dogs. Versatile both in looks and personality, the options are endless if you want to welcome a medium-sized dog into your home,

This article breaks down which dogs fall into the medium category and outlines the perks of picking a mid-size canine companion. We’ll go over the best dog breeds that will meet your size and temperament needs and give you a head-to-tail rundown of each breed

What counts as a medium-sized dog breed?

As some of the most popular breeds, medium dogs come in many shapes and sizes — which makes sense because of their wide weight range. Small dogs typically weigh under 25 pounds, while large dogs weigh over 60 pounds, which means medium dog breeds fill a broad 35-pound gap.

Ranging from 25 to 60 pounds, mid-size dogs fall into six of the seven AKC breed groupings. This means that medium dog breeds are vastly different from one another, with breeds like the burly bulldog and the lanky poodle both falling within the medium-sized category. 

Table showing the weight range of different size dog breeds

Why choose a medium-sized dog? 

Many pet parents are drawn to medium dog breeds because of their versatility. Whether you’re a first-time pet parent or a seasoned dog owner, chances are you can find a canine companion somewhere on the long list of mid-sized breeds.

With huge diversity in appearance and temperament, from the intelligent Border Collie to the family-friendly Labrador Retriever to the hard-working Australian Cattle Dog, it’s no wonder mid-size breeds are incredibly popular. They are a great option for families who live a fairly active lifestyle but perhaps can’t commit to the robust exercise needs of a large or giant breed.

The best medium-sized dog breeds for your family

Because mid-size dog breeds are so varied, it can be difficult to rank every breed within the medium category. Plus, crowning the “best” dog is subjective to each pet parent — after all, each owner is looking for something different in their best friend.

That said, many of the most popular dogs are medium-sized breeds, with owners flocking to these all-star dogs year after year. So, keep reading to learn more about some of the best medium dog breeds and their unique characteristics.

Photograph of a basset hound on green grass

Basset Hound

  • Height: up to 15 inches
  • Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
  • Group: Hound

Easy-going and patient, Basset Hounds make excellent family dogs — great with both children and other pets. With cute wrinkles, low-hanging ears, and a charming personality, these mid-size pups stand out on all fronts. Just be ready for bouts of stubbornness from this French breed, which you can tame with proper training. 

As far as fur maintenance goes, the Basset Hound is relatively low-stress, with short, smooth coats and relatively low shedding. Though no professional maintenance is necessary, regular grooming — like weekly brushings and ear cleanings — is a must to keep your pup happy and healthy.

Photograph of an Australian Shepherd in the forest

Australian Shepherd

  • Height: 18 to 23 inches
  • Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
  • Group: Herding

Did you know the Australian Shepherd isn’t actually Australian? Aussies originated in the Basque country and made their way over to America as working dogs on farms and ranches. Known as a beloved family companion, the Australian Shepherd is a highly sought-after breed. However, because of their boundless energy, they can be difficult for first-time dog parents to manage. 

That said, with proper training and ample exercise, Australian Shepherds make incredible companions. Alongside their high energy levels, these pups are intelligent and task-oriented, which means their daily exercise regime should include mental stimulation on top of physical activity. This breed is certainly not a couch potato!

Australian Shepherds have a double-layered, dense coat — so be ready to untangle any knots that appear. As far as regular grooming goes, prepare for more frequent brush-downs during shedding season; use a wide-toothed comb to help remove dead hair and detangle. During the off-season, weekly brushing alongside tangle management will keep their coat in tip-top shape.

Photograph of a Border Collie in the woods

Border Collie

  • Height: 18 to 22 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 55 pounds
  • Group: Herding

Border Collies are deeply intelligent, energetic pups who make great companions. As fantastic herding dogs, they have high social, physical, and mental needs. This means having a Border Collie is a bigger commitment than more low-key pups. With lots of energy, this athletic breed is often better suited for active people with ample time to dedicate to exercise. 

A Border Collies coat comes in two types: rough and smooth. Rough-coated Border Collies have a medium-length coat with feathering. Smooth-coated Border Collies, on the other hand, have a short, coarse coat. Regardless of fur type, Border Collies require frequent brushing to maintain their dense, double-layered coat.

Photograph of a Cocker Spaniel on a gray couch

Cocker Spaniel

  • Height: 13 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 20 to 30 pounds
  • Group: Sporting

Gentle and joyful, Cocker Spaniels are another mid-size breed known as excellent family pets. Companion animals at heart, Cocker Spaniels are very affectionate towards everyone — children, other pets, and even strangers. 

On top of their bubbly personality, Cocker Spaniels are quick learners, so they have great trainability potential. They are always eager to please their owners during training and playtime. Though these popular pups are happy to lounge around the house, Cocker Spaniels enjoy regular exercise — whether it be a game of fetch or regular agility training.

The coat care for these long-haired spaniels is extensive, requiring near-daily brushings to keep their silky double coats knot-free. Simply brush away loose hair with a wide-toothed comb, tackling any knots gently, from ends to roots. 

Photograph of a Beagle in green long-bladed grass


  • Height: 13-15 inches
  • Weight: 20 to 30 pounds
  • Group: Hound

Beagles are a beloved breed known to be happy, very affectionate, and playful. They make great family dogs as they are kind and friendly with children and other pets in the home. These hounds are hunting dogs, so they have a lot of energy and a superior snout. Beagles will need lots of exercise and time to sniff out their surroundings.

A Beagle’s coat is smooth and sheds an average amount. Pet parents can maintain their Beagle’s coat with weekly brushing using a rubber mitt or a hound glove.

Photograph of an Airedale Terrier laying on green grass

Airedale Terrier

  • Height: 23 to 24 inches
  • Weight: 50 to 70 pounds
  • Group: Terrier

If you’re an experienced dog owner looking for your next challenge, the Airedale Terrier may be the pup for you. Originating from England, these brave, clever, sometimes stubborn dogs can be a handful, requiring a firm yet gentle owner to take charge. 

On top of their giant personality, the Airedale Terrier’s energetic nature makes for a needy pup, both in physical exercise and mental stimulation. Without a proper outlet, these antsy pups often turn toward destructive behaviors. They love to chew, and they love to dig, so be prepared to offer plenty of fun, engaging activities. 

Airedale Terriers have bristly hair and shed minimally, making them relatively low-maintenance in the grooming department. Simply groom as needed and keep a regular brushing routine to manage any tangles.

Photograph of an Australian Cattle Dog among purple wildflowers

Australian Cattle Dog (Heeler)

  • Height: 17 to 20 inches
  • Weight: 35 to 50 pounds
  • Group: Herding

For those in the market for a loyal companion, look no further than the Australian Cattle Dog (or Heeler). Though this breed forms strong bonds, it takes commitment to train and work cattle dogs. Heelers are a hard-working, high-energy breed — which is why they often find homes on livestock farms.

Despite their double coat, Australian Cattle Dogs require minimal grooming to keep their fur in good condition. However, these pups blow their coats during the year — so be ready to brush through layers of molting fur or take them in for a professional de-shed.

Photograph of a Portuguese Water Dog in the woods

Portuguese Water Dog

  • Height: 17 to 23 inches
  • Weight: 35 to 60 pounds
  • Group: Working

If you’re looking for a dog who knows how to work hard and play hard, look no further than the Portuguese Water Dog. As their name suggests, this pup loves to swim, which is a perfect way to spend some of their nearly endless energy. They also love energetic playtime with their humans. 

Portuguese Water Dogs have a curly coat that requires regular brushing to keep from matting. On the plus side, these fluffy friends shed minimally and are a better option for people with pet allergies.

Photograph of an English Bulldog running toward the camera

English Bulldog

  • Height: 14 to 15 inches
  • Weight: 40 to 50 pounds
  • Group: Non-sporting

Landing in the top five most popular dog breeds, English Bulldogs are a fan favorite for a reason. With their wrinkly face and one-of-a-kind personalities, these burly pups are an excellent choice for anyone looking for a medium-sized breed. 

With proper training and socialization, English Bulldogs are some of the most family-friendly, low-key breeds. Just beware of their stubborn streak — they tend to put up a fight against anything they’re uninterested in. 

As far as coat grooming goes, English Bulldogs don’t require much more than a weekly brush-down. However, Bulldog parents will need to wipe out their deep facial grooves and wrinkles to keep dirt and bacteria from building up.

Photograph of a Labrador Retriever chewing on a stick

Labrador Retriever

  • Height: 21 to 24 inches tall
  • Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
  • Group: Sporting

Super affectionate, highly active, and overly outgoing, Labrador Retrievers are wonderful companions and family pets. If you welcome home a Lab, get ready for plenty of cuddles! They love a range of activities, from problem-solving puzzles to simple games of fetch. With a rich history as sporting dogs and hunting dogs, Labs need ample and regular exercise to tire them out.

Labs are some of the most versatile dogs because of their ability to adapt and catch onto training. Additionally, these pups are great with other dogs and children, happy to prance around with seemingly endless energy. 

Because of their short coats, Labs are considered low maintenance in the grooming department. However, they tend to be heavy shedders with a double coat  — but brushing every week can minimize falling hair.

Photograph of a Bull Terrier standing in some wildflowers

Bull Terrier

  • Height: 21 to 22 inches
  • Weight: 50 to 70 pounds
  • Group: Terrier

Mischievous and charming, the Bull Terrier is a unique breed with a distinct face to match. With a pointed nose and ears paired with tiny eyes, this mid-size pup is one of a kind. 

Known as a vocal and energetic breed, the Bull Terrier will demand your attention, so training and plenty of exercise are critical to ensure a well-behaved pup. Ultimately, owning a Bull Terrier is a big commitment — so be ready to take on their big and beautiful personality. 

With a smooth, short coat, grooming a Bull Terrier is simple and low-involvement — just grab a soft bristle brush now and again to help clear dirt and keep their fur shiny.

Photograph of a English Setter sitting in green grass

English Setter

  • Height: 23 to 27 inches
  • Weight: 45 to 80 pounds
  • Group: Sporting

Known for their silky, wavy fur, English Setters are stunning dogs, making friendly companions — if not slightly nervous. That said, pet owners can work through anxiety with proper training and socialization from a young age. 

Good with children and other dogs, these pups are happy and playful — so get ready for their big bursts of energy. English Setters love a rigorous activity, whether it be a long run or a hike. 

Their coat is double-layered and extremely soft, so take a soft bristle brush to their hair at least once a week to maintain the texture.

Photograph of a poodle swimming in a lake

Standard Poodle

  • Height: Over 15 inches
  • Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
  • Group: Non-sporting

If you’re looking for a show-stopping pup with a stunning personality, a Poodle may be your perfect pup. Not only are these fluffy pups naturals when it comes to training, but they also make excellent companions. Plus, poodles are low-shedding which makes them great hypoallergenic dogs. 

Due to their alert nature, Poodles can take on a watchdog mentality and love to alert you at any sign of movement. So, make sure you maintain consistent training to keep unwanted behaviors at bay.  

As for shedding, Poodles are some of the best pups for those hoping to keep loose hair to a minimum. However, the grooming requirements for Poodles are high, requiring consistent brushing to keep their curly coats from matting. Because of their high-maintenance fur, many Poodle parents cut their pups short on the body, or only keep the head, chest, feet, and tail fluffy.

Find the perfect mid-sized pup for you

Medium-sized dog breeds are some of the most versatile dogs, which is why these pups continue to steal the hearts of dog lovers. There’s a medium dog breed out there for everyone, and we recommend doing your research to find the perfect fit for you. If you’re looking for more in-depth information on the do breeds listed above, check out the Pumpkin Dog Breed Guide.

Pumpkin Team

Pumpkin Team

Passionate Pet Experts & Parents
We are a team of writers, designers & product developers who all double as passionate (ok, obsessive) nerds of the pet world.
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