Medium size dogs

40 Best Medium-Sized Dog Breeds That Are a Perfect Fit for Your Family

Aussies are uncannily smart and independent, with strong herding instincts that means they’ll want to stick close to you. Loyal and devoted to their owners, these dogs are wary of strangers.

40 Popular Medium-Sized Dog Breeds Just Waiting to Be Your Friend

These pups will be the perfect addition to your family.

Australian shephers standing seen from the side in sand dunes on a sunny day

Some people like to go big or go home by adopting large dog breeds, while some prefer pint-sized pups and go for a small dog breed — but if you ask us and Goldilocks, the perfect pet is right in the middle. These medium-sized dog breeds are as cuddly as their smaller counterparts and often just as playful as larger dogs, in a more manageable package. Generally, dogs in this category weigh in at about 30–70 pounds, although some can certainly grow bigger or stay smaller than that. While they may have size in common, there’s lots to choose from within the category. These breeds totally vary in activity level, trainability, coat type and temperament. Looking for low-shedding dog that won’t set off your allergies? Check out the standard poodle. Need a running buddy that can go and go for miles? A German Shorthaired Pointer or Dalmatian might be just your speed. Or do you need a mold-mannered soul that’ll play nice with the kids? Labrador Retrievers live up to their number-one reputation as the perfect family dogs.

This list includes members from almost all of the breed groups (including sporting, non-sporting, working, hounds and terriers) minus the tiny toy breeds. We’ve included some of the most popular options (we see you, Golden Retrievers) but also some deep cuts you may not know, like Boykin Spaniels and Pyrenean Shepherds. Before you bring home any dog, do your homework on the cost and commitments associated with owning a pet. Always adopt animals from reputable sources, like respected animal shelters or breeders.

Australian Shepherd

beautiful australian shepherd walking

Ksuksa // Getty Images

Aussies are uncannily smart and independent, with strong herding instincts that means they’ll want to stick close to you. Loyal and devoted to their owners, these dogs are wary of strangers.

Weight: 40–70 pounds

Basset Hound

basset hound puppy outdoors

sanjagrujic // Getty Images

Good-natured and easygoing, a basset hound has a great sense of humor and a couch-potato sensibility. They’re stubborn and can be on the lazy side, sometimes making them challenging to train.

Weight: 40–65 pounds

German Shorthaired Pointer

GSPs can run, run, run — and then for a nice change, run some more. If you’ve got an active family, this might be the dog for you. High marks in smarts, companionship and hunting ability make GSPs one of the most popular dogs in the country.

Weight: 45–70 pounds

Siberian Husky

Huskies are clever, happy and eager to please. They’re friendly by nature but also very hard-headed. This high-energy dog prefers to spend lots of time outdoors, especially if you live in a cooler climate.

Weight: 35–60 pounds


Both Timmy and Lassie can attest to the devoted nature of Collies. These active yet affectionate herders can follow commands quickly and accurately, but be forewarned: They do tend to be pretty vocal.

Weight: 50–75 pounds

Labrador Retriever

It’s no wonder that Labradors remain the most popular breed in the U.S.; these pooches are intelligent, friendly and loyal. They’re so eager to please that Labs quickly adapt to jobs as service, guide and rescue dogs so if you need a working breed, look no further.

Weight: 55–80 pounds


While we often think of poodles for their showstopping appearance, these pooches are more than meets the eye. They’re known for their superior intelligence, so start thinking up fun tricks to teach them.

Weight: 40–75 pounds

Airedale Terrier

Given their legendary loyalty, Airedale Terriers are extremely trustworthy with children. They’re eager to please and quick learners, but they can struggle to get along with other dogs so pick an Airedale if you have a one-dog household.

Weight: 50–70 pounds


Boxers are fun-loving canines that also make great watch dogs, protecting your home from strangers. To keep up with their exuberant nature, they need plenty of exercise each day.

Weight: 50–80 pounds

Australian Cattle Dog

Also called Blue Heelers, Australian Cattle Dogs are tireless herders who need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. You’ll be rewarded with an alert and curious companion.

Weight: 35–50 pounds

American Eskimo Dog

Surprisingly, “Eskies” don’t have any ties to the Eskimos — they actually gained popularity in the U.S. as circus dogs, performing tricks and walking across tightropes. As a family dog, Eskies are playful, perky and smart — not to mention quick learners.

Weight: 25–35 pounds

Bearded Collie

Bearded Collies are boisterous and bouncy, with a more athletic build than similarly shaggy English Sheepdogs. They love the outdoors (in any climate!) and get along well with children.

Weight: 45–55 pounds

Shetland Sheepdog

Shelties are very playful and energetic dogs, even though they’re considerably smaller than similar-looking coolies. As herders, these dogs can run quickly and gracefully, but they’re still small enough to scoop them up for a cuddle at the end of the day.

Weight: 15–25 pounds

Cocker Spaniel

These sporting dogs are known to be very happy, smart and gentle. While they can be quite active, they behave well with other animals and kids.

Weight: 20–30 pounds

Border Collie

Border collies are incredibly smart and athletic workers — one even starred in the movie Babe — but they have a tendency to herd objects and people, including children.

Weight: 30–55 pounds


As field dogs, Brittanys have boundless energy and make for excellent running, hiking and hunting partners. They’re quick to learn and love a challenge, but can be somewhat reserved if not properly socialized.

Weight: 30–40 pounds

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers put their ample smarts to good use as guide and service dogs, but underneath that trademark flaxen coat is a heart of gold. They’re eager to please and fun-loving family members — making them super popular amongst pet owners.

Weight: 55–75 pounds


Beneath that frowning mug lies a real softie. They’re loyal, steadfast, courageous and determined. Bulldogs are also willing to please — once they figure out what it is that you want. They snore up a storm and prefer milder climates.

Weight: 40–50 pounds

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

An Irish breed, these fuzzy terriers are known for their deep devotion and enthusiastic displays of affection. Owners have even nicknamed their characteristically enthusiastic welcome the “Wheaten greetin’.”

Weight: 30–40 pounds

Standard Schnauzer

Smart and spirited, it’s no wonder that Schnauzers are bred in three different sizes (miniature, standard and giant) so there’s one for every household style. The sturdy canines are naturally protective and intelligent.

Weight: 30–50 pounds

Headshot of Caroline Picard

Caroline is a writer and editor with almost a decade of experience. From 2015 to 2019, she held various editorial positions at Good Housekeeping, including as health editor, covering nutrition, fitness, wellness, and other lifestyle news. She’s a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism and dreams of the day Northwestern will go back to the Rose Bowl.

Headshot of Lizz Schumer

Lizz (she/her) is a senior editor at Good Housekeeping, where she runs the GH Book Club, edits essays and long-form features and writes about pets, books and lifestyle topics. A journalist for almost two decades, she is the author of Biography of a Body and Buffalo Steel. She also teaches journalism as an adjunct professor at New York University’s School of Professional Studies and creative nonfiction at the Muse Writing Center, and coaches with the New York Writing Room.

40 Best Medium-Sized Dog Breeds That Are a Perfect Fit for Your Family

medium dog breeds

Choosing a new dog is a very important decision. After all, you’re welcoming a new family member into your home, which is a pretty big deal! So how are you supposed to find the perfect pup for you and your loved ones? If you need a little canine inspiration, look no further than our list of the best medium-sized dog breeds.

These medium dogs are well suited for any living situation, including apartments or houses, with kids and families. Ree Drummond tends to love both medium and large dog breeds (she has basset hounds and yellow Labs), so there’s no arguing that some of these slightly smaller breeds would also make excellent pets. Some of the most loyal dog breeds happen to fall in this category. The iconic Lady, from Lady and the Tramp, was an English cocker spaniel and Lassie was a collie! So whether you’re looking for a fluffy cuddle buddy like a chow chow, an athletic outdoorsman like a bearded collie or a tried-and-true hunter like a bluetick coonhound, you’ll find it in this batch of furry friends. There are even a few that would make great ranch dogs! And if you decide you want to go a little smaller, check out these adorable small dog breeds. Ready to find your next animal obsession? Scroll down to see a variety of breeds that are truly something to bark about.

American Water Spaniel

medium sized dog breeds american water spaniel

CaptureLight // Getty Images

This outdoorsy pup hails from the lake country of the upper Midwest and true to its name, loves to swim (as well as hunt). This spaniel is known for its webbed toes and wavy or curly waterproof brown coat.

Weight: 25 to 45 pounds

Bohemian Shepherd

medium sized dog breeds bohemian shepherd

CaptureLight // Getty Images

This all-star dog is skilled in many areas, including but not limited to dog dancing, search and rescue, and pastoral work. But we had you at dog dancing, didn’t we? 😜

Weight: 37 to 60 pounds