32 Perfect Medium-Sized Dogs for Every Lifestyle

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Key Points

  • Medium-sized dog breeds range between 35-65 pounds and stand less than 27” tall.

  • Each medium-sized breed varies in temperament, grooming needs, and energy level, but they all have the possibility to become someone's best medium-sized friend.

  • The best medium-sized dog breed for you depends on your lifestyle and preferences, so research is key to making the best decision to ensure the dog is a good fit for your home.

Some people love big dogs while others adore small pups. Some people want the best of two worlds and prefer a medium-sized pooch. While they’re a good size to cuddle, they also provide protection and security when needed. However, deciding on the best medium-sized dog for you and your family is no small task, as each breed has their unique personality and set of needs.

To help you narrow down your options, this article discusses factors you need to consider when choosing the best medium-sized dog breeds for you and introduces a list of 32 medium dog breeds for every lifestyle.

What Are Medium-Sized Dog Breeds?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), medium-sized dog breeds range between 35-65 pounds. Chewy's senior veterinarian, Dr. Kay Nelson, adds that they have to be "smaller than 27 inches tall." At the time of this writing in early 2023, AKC includes 46 breeds within the category. This size range means there is a huge variety within this group of pups.

There is also great diversity in appearance, temperament, and energy level. Some breeds may be more prone to barking and chewing than others, while others are calmer and more relaxed. For example, huskies are furball monsters that shed wherever they bounce and have energy that lets them run for miles, the bulldog is notorious for its chill attitude and sedentary lifestyle. 

Factors To Consider Before Starting Your Adoption Search

Before you get carried away with searching for medium-sized puppies, take a step back and consider how a dog from this group fits into your lifestyle. Think about whether you have the time and energy to meet their needs.

Coat Types and Shedding 

No matter which breed you choose, they all shed! But how much they shed depends on their coat type. Double-hair coat dogs, like border collies and German shepherds, tend to shed more often than breeds with single coats, such as bulldogs and Canaans.

If you or your family members suffer from allergies, your best option is to choose a hypoallergenic breed such as Irish water spaniels, American water spaniels, Portuguese water dogs, Standard schnauzers, wirehaired pointing griffons, Irish terriers, or Airedale terriers.

Activity Level and Exercise Needs 

Medium-sized dogs vary in their activity levels and exercise needs. Some breeds, such as Australian shepherds and beagles, require lots of physical activity, while others like bulldogs and Chow Chows are content with short walks and occasional playtime.

Temperament Versus Owner's Lifestyle

When choosing the best dog for your home, temperament is key. Many potential owners make the mistake of focusing on looks rather than personality traits that could clash with their lifestyle. An energetic, morning-loving pup might be the perfect fit if you're an early riser who loves long walks. If you prefer lounging at home, a more relaxed dog may be better.

Household Factors To Consider

One of the problems with medium-sized breeds is that they require more space than small dog breeds. Because they have higher energy levels, they need plenty of play space, such as a fenced backyard or a designated "playroom." Small living spaces may not be suitable for medium-sized dogs – especially if you live in an apartment. When they run around and bark, your neighbors may become annoyed with the noise level.

Dietary Needs and Food Allergies

Another factor that needs consideration is food consumption and dietary needs. All dogs need regular meals, but some breeds eat more than others due to their size and activity levels. Over time, this adds up to a hefty pup-grocery bill.

Some breeds tend to suffer from food allergies. If this is the case, you may need to buy special diet kibbles free from certain ingredients. In severe cases, some dogs may need homemade diets, which are costly and time-consuming.

Calm Medium Dog Breeds for Seniors

Dogs provide companionship and unconditional love to seniors. Breeds in the medium-sized categories are a great option for seniors due to their manageable size and weight.

Consider the following dog options for seniors: 

1. Basset Hound

Known as the laziest couch potatoes of all breeds, Bassets love their naps and appreciate the occasional walk. Their short legs and quiet nature make them the perfect low-maintenance pup for seniors.

Basset Hound dog

2. Bulldog

Bulldogs are basically couch potatoes, making them a great choice for seniors. They have calm personalities and love curling up on your lap for hours of cuddling and snuggling. Best of all, they don't bark too much.

3. Chinese Shar Pei

These pooches are protective and loving, making them a great fit for seniors. They're also quite intelligent and easy to train.

4. Cocker Spaniel (American and English)

Cocker spaniels earn their nickname as “velcro dogs” because they love spending every waking moment with their owners. They’re loyal and affectionate and keep seniors active with daily, short walks.

5. Field Spaniel

Field spaniels are gentle and loving; they make great walking companions for seniors. They're extremely easy to train, making them a great option as companions and working dogs for seniors.

6. Keeshond

These adorable fluffy pooches have outgoing personalities and love being around people. They're also great watchdogs since they bark when strangers approach but are not aggressive. For seniors who want a dog that alerts them of strangers, a Keeshond is an excellent option.

7. Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry blue terriers are the calmest breed within the terrier category. These dogs love people and are very affectionate, making them the perfect companion for seniors.

8. Redbone Coonhound

Although these hounds love the outdoors, they become the mellowest dogs in the world when indoors. The Redbone Coonhound is great for seniors who enjoy outdoor activities as much as spending some cuddle time on the couch.

Best Medium-Sized Dog Breeds for Families

Although most dogs have the possibility to be great family pets, some breeds require intense training to extinguish their drives to herd small children and animals. Generally speaking, affectionate, playful, and patient breeds are more suitable for families with children.

9. Bearded Collie

With the appearance of the giant orange dog on Sesame Street, the bearded collie loves spending time with children and other animals. Whether playing games or cuddling on the floor, this breed is patient and gentle, making it a great fit for families with young children.

Bearded Collie medium-sized dog

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10. Brittany Spaniel

This high-energy breed is ready for action when it comes to outdoor activities such as running, hiking, and going for a swim. Best of all, Brittanies are even-tempered and gentle around children, making them a great fit for active families.

11. Finnish Spitz

The foxy-looking Finnish Spitz has a similar appearance to the Shiba Inu. However, they’re much more patient and attentive to small children, making them an excellent choice for families looking for an adorable yet calm pup.

12. Irish Terrier

These scruffy-looking terriers are the gentlest of the terrier breeds. They adore children and easily build strong bonds with them. As a hypoallergenic breed, Irish terriers are perfect for families with allergies.

13. Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Originally developed for hunting and retrieving ducks, these medium-sized dogs are active and playful. Best of all, they're great family companions who adore children and play games.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dog

14. Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen

These happy, rabbit-hunting dogs are full of energy and love playing outdoors. Although stubborn at times, they’re highly sociable and love spending time with people of all ages.

15. Polish Lowland Sheepdog

Although these pooches always seem to have their eyes covered with their long fur, they’re excellent with children. As one of the even-tempered breeds, they play well with younger children and act as their protectors.

16. Samoyed

Samoyeds have always been babysitters of the family. They keep children warm while cuddling and protect them in the outdoors. These white teddy bears are incredibly friendly and love to be around people of all ages.

Best Medium-Sized Dog Breeds for Active Individuals

Being outdoors alone can be boring. If you're an active person looking for a companion, these medium-sized dogs are the perfect fit.

17. Airedale Terrier

These teddy bear-like pups are incredibly energetic and great companions for running, hiking, or swimming. The airedale terrier is a great choice for individuals looking for a hypoallergenic dog.

Airedale terrier dog

18. Australian Cattle Dog

This breed has the ability to run long-distance on rough terrain. If you’re looking for a dog to join you on long hikes or runs, the Australian cattle dog is perfect. These loyal pooches keep pace with you through thick and thin.

19. Australian Shepherd

These herding dogs are incredibly intelligent and love to play. They’re easygoing and love to accompany you on any adventure. As a highly-trainable breed, they learn complex commands and tricks in no time.

20. Border Collie

As one of the most intelligent dog breeds, border collies seek guidance from their owners. Whether herding other animals, zooming through agility runs, or exploring new places, these active pups are always up for an adventure.

21. Dalmatian

Unlike cartoon depictions of Dalmatians, these pups require a lot of outdoor time. They thrive on outdoor activities, as they’re born natural athletes. Best of all, these loyal dogs grow up to be your perfect running or biking partners. 

22. Harrier

These friendly and outgoing pooches love running off-leash and always follow you wherever you go. They are highly adaptable to their living environment, making them a great choice for active people who travel often.

23. Ibizan Hound

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance, active pup, look no further. Ibizan hounds love running and playing off-leash in open fields or forests. They stick close to you no matter what happens.

Ibizan Hound medium dog

24. Irish Water Spaniel

For water-sport lovers, the Irish water spaniel is a great choice. These playful pups are very smart and learn quickly. They’re also incredibly loyal and excited to join you on outdoor adventures.

25. Saluki

Although they appear aloof and independent, these sighthound dogs are incredibly loyal and loving. Whether you’re running, playing fetch, or simply lounging at home watching television, the Saluki always stays by your feet.

Best Medium-Sized Watchdog Breeds

When it comes to watchdogs, size doesn't always matter. Some medium-sized dogs are better at the task than large and giant breeds.

26. American Staffordshire Terrier

These loyal pooches love their families and are willing to protect them. Best of all, they’re trustworthy, loving guardians who know how to stay quiet when necessary.

27. American Water Spaniel

Although they’re shy around strangers, American water spaniels are great watchdogs. They take well to commands and protect their owners no matter if they're at home or outdoors.

28. Bull Terrier

The Target mascot dog is extremely loyal to its owner. They’re always alert and ready to protect their families in case of danger.

29. Canaan Dog

This ancient breed is an excellent watchdog. They follow commands quickly and bark at threats.

30. Chow Chow

Don't let these fluffballs fool you. They’re fiercely loyal to their family members. They’re also territorial and alert the household of strangers and anything out of the ordinary.

Chow Chow medium dog

31. Norwegian Elkhound

These stocky dogs are natural guardians as they accompany their owners in hunting elk and bears. They bark loudly at strangers and alert their owners of any potential threats. If you love outdoor adventures, these Norwegian Elkhounds also make perfect companions.

32. Plott Hound

These pooches are mellow until they need to protect their family members. They are gentle with children and take the initiative to protect them from danger.

Your Perfect Medium-Sized Buddy

Whether you’re looking for a calm companion, an outdoor buddy, or a watchdog, there is a perfect medium-sized dog out there for you. Although you may fall in love with the appearance of a certain breed, research the breed's temperament and personality to ensure it fits your lifestyle before adopting one into your home. A dog is a family member for life. Instead of regretting your choice later, take your time to make the best decision for both you and your pup.