20 Popular Medium-Size Dog Breeds

Person playing with dog outdoors
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Some people adore small dogs they can easily carry around. And others love majestic giant dog breeds. If your tastes lie somewhere in the middle, there are many dog breeds available. Medium-size dogs usually possess some traits of both small and large dogs, and their maintenance also generally falls somewhere in the middle. For example, you'll typically spend less to feed a medium-size dog than a large breed but more than a small breed. And their moderate size generally makes them easier to handle than a huge dog, but they are less portable than a small dog.

Here are 20 of the best medium-size dog breeds from which to choose.

Tip

There are some health advantages to having medium-size dogs. They generally are not as fragile as some small dogs. And they often have longer lifespans and fewer orthopedic issues than large dogs.

Breed Characteristics

The way people define medium-size dogs can vary. Some organizations break down dog sizes into detailed groups, including extra-small, small, small-medium, medium, medium-large, large, extra-large, and giant. But, in general, small dog breeds tend to go up to about 20 pounds, and large dog breeds begin around 60 pounds. So anything in the middle would be a medium-size dog. Because of this wide weight range—20 to 60 pounds—medium-size dogs make up a large portion of the breeds in existence.

  • 01 of 20

    American Staffordshire Terrier

    American Staffordshire terrier playing with a stick
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    American Staffordshire terriers are on the larger side for medium-size dogs, with female Am Staffs typically being slightly smaller than the males. They often appear even larger than they actually are due to their muscular bodies and broad heads. These dogs tend to be highly affectionate and energetic, and they make wonderful companions for active households.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier

    Height: 18 to 19 inches (male); 17 to 18 inches (female)

    Weight: 55 to 70 pounds (male); 40 to 55 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Short, glossy coat that comes in many colors

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

  • 02 of 20

    Australian Cattle Dog

    Side view of a cattle dog smiling

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    The Australian cattle dog is an active and intelligent dog breed that is right in the middle of the medium-size category. This compact and athletic dog is driven to work. The breed is generally curious, alert, and loyal, and it needs something to challenge its mind every day.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding

    Height: 18 to 20 inches (male); 17 to 19 inches (female)

    Weight: 35 to 50 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth double coat that comes in red or blue-gray

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

  • 03 of 20

    Australian Shepherd

    An Australian shepherd on a sofa

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris 

    The Australian shepherd is a very intelligent, high-energy, medium-size dog breed. This herding breed also is quite agile and athletic and therefore well-suited to dog sports, such as flying disc and agility. Plus, Aussies tend to be loyal and friendly dogs that make great companions. But they do need an outlet for their high mental and physical energy.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding

    Height: 20 to 23 inches (male); 18 to 21 inches (female)

    Weight: 50 to 65 pounds (male); 40 to 55 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Medium to long coat in various colors and patterns; sometimes naturally bobbed tail

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 04 of 20

    Basset Hound

    basset hound on a beach

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    The basset hound is an easygoing dog with a distinct appearance. While these dogs are built low to the ground with short legs, they still weigh solidly in the medium-size range. Basset owners must keep their dogs' ears and coats clean, as the breed is prone to ear infections and skin issues. Otherwise, these are great dogs that fit in well with quiet to moderately active households.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound

    Height: 40 to 65 pounds

    Weight: Up to 15 inches

    Coat and Color: Very long, velvety ears; hard, smooth, short coat that comes in various colors

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

    Continue to 5 of 20 below.
  • 05 of 20

    Beagle

    Beagle lying on the lawn
    Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images

    The happy-go-lucky beagle is a favorite among those who want a dog that is moderately active and very friendly and sweet. Beagles fall on the small side of the medium range. This means they are compact enough to fit in smaller spaces yet still durable dogs that can handle energetic play or a long hike.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound

    Height: Two varieties: up to 13 inches; 13 to 15 inches

    Weight: Two varieties: under 20 pounds; 20 to 30 pounds

    Coat and Color: Close, hard, medium-length coat; colors include tricolor (tan, black, and white), red and white, lemon and white, and more

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

  • 06 of 20

    Bearded Collie

    bearded collie lying outside
    Erik Räven / Getty Images

    The bearded collie is a clever and outgoing dog breed. Hovering at around 50 pounds, the dog is actually smaller than it appears to be. Its fluffy coat gives it a large presence, but its frame underneath is lean and agile. Owners of this breed will need to keep up with coat care, especially regular brushing to remove tangles and prevent mats.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding

    Height: 21 to 22 inches (male); 20 to 21 inches (female)

    Weight: 45 to 55 pounds

    Coat and Color: Shaggy double coat; coat colors include black, blue, brown, and fawn with white markings

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 07 of 20

    Border Collie

    border collie carrying a stick

    Grace Walsh / Getty Images

    The border collie is one of the smartest dog breeds as well as a high-energy pup. This medium-size dog packs a lot of athleticism into a compact body, and it loves to work. Mental and physical challenges are a must to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. These dogs can be very affectionate companions in active households.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding

    Height: 19 to 22 inches (male); 18 to 21 inches (female)

    Weight: 30 to 55 pounds

    Coat and Color: Smooth or rough coat; colors include black and white, blue merle, sable, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 08 of 20

    Boykin Spaniel

    Boykin spaniel headshot
    Danita Delimont / Getty Images

    The Boykin spaniel is a friendly, alert dog that makes an excellent bird dog and a relatively easygoing house pet. Typically weighing less than 40 pounds, this dog is a great size for flushing out game or simply cuddling on the couch. The Boykin also tends to love water and is a skilled swimmer. With regular exercise, this breed can be a relaxed companion for all types of households.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting

    Height: 15.5 to 18 inches (male); 14 to 16.5 inches (female)

    Weight: 30 to 40 pounds (male); 25 to 35 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Long, feathery ears; flat to slightly wavy coat; solid brown in color

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 15 years

    Continue to 9 of 20 below.
  • 09 of 20

    Brittany

    Brittany standing on fallen leaves

    David Leswick / Getty Images

    The Brittany is another medium-size dog that excels at hunting. This high-energy breed thrives on physical activity, whether is it hunting or a dog sport such as agility. Keep your Brittany active and engaged, and you will find that the breed is an upbeat, affectionate companion. However, this breed can get bored without enough activity and should live in an active home.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting

    Height: 17.5 to 20.5 inches

    Weight: 30 to 40 pounds

    Coat and Color: Flat or wavy dense coat; colors include liver and white, orange and white, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 10 of 20

    Bulldog

    Bulldog headshot
    Martin Rogers / Getty Images

    The bulldog is a stout dog known for its short muzzle and tendency to snore. While bulldogs are low to the ground, they still weigh in the middle of the medium-size dog range due to their muscle. Young bulldogs can be energetic, but they usually slow down into adulthood. They're typically friendly and calm companions, though they often face skin, breathing, and orthopedic problems, among other issues.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting

    Height: 14 to 15 inches

    Weight: 50 pounds (male); 40 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Smooth, fine coat; comes in several different colors

    Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

  • 11 of 20

    Bull Terrier

    Bull terrier standing on grass

    John Taylor / Getty Images

    The bull terrier is a charming and playful goofball of a dog. These dogs are short and stout, but their large-boned, muscular bodies firmly put them in the medium-size dog category. They often have bursts of energy and clownishness that make them entertaining to be around. But plenty of exercise and training are necessary to keep this breed from becoming restless and hyperactive.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier

    Height: 21 to 22 inches

    Weight: 50 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short coat; colors include white, brindle, black and tan, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

  • 12 of 20

    Cocker Spaniel

    cocker spaniel lying in green grass
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    The cocker spaniel is on the smaller side of the medium range, which makes it a good fit if you don't have a lot of space. These dogs are typically happy and playful companions who need moderate exercise. If the cocker's coat is kept long, daily brushing is essential. Also, pay close attention to the ears, as they are prone to infection.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting

    Height: 14.5 to 15.5 inches (male); 13.5 to 14.5 inches (female)

    Weight: 25 to 30 pounds (male); 20 to 25 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Medium-length coat with feathering on the ears, chest, stomach, and legs in various colors

    Life Expectancy: 10 to 14 years

    Continue to 13 of 20 below.
  • 13 of 20

    Dalmatian

    Dalmatian headshot
    Drew Angerer / Getty Images

    Known for its distinctive spots, the Dalmatian is on the larger end of the medium dog range. This breed is generally quite active and athletic, though some Dalmatians might have a stubborn streak or nervous tendencies. And many are aloof with strangers. Consistent training, socialization, and exercise are key to keep this dog happy and healthy.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Non-Sporting

    Height: 19 to 24 inches

    Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

    Coat and Color: Spotted, short, dense coat; colors include black and white or liver and white

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 14 of 20

    English Springer Spaniel

    English springer spaniel looking through some greenery
    James D. Morgan / Getty Images

    The English springer spaniel is a medium-size bird dog that is athletic and determined while hunting. At home, it is a friendly companion that aims to please. Springers are playful dogs and truly enjoy spending time with the whole family. But this breed does best in fairly active homes.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Sporting

    Height: 20 inches (male); 19 inches (female)

    Weight: 50 pounds (male); 40 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Long coat with feathering on the chest, ears, stomach, and legs; colors include black and white, liver and white, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 15 of 20

    Kerry Blue Terrier

    A Kerry blue terrier with a gray curly coat
    Tracy Morgan / Getty Images

    The Kerry blue terrier is fairly large for the terrier category, but it still falls into the medium-size dog category overall. The breed is perhaps best known for its coat that comes in varying shades of blue to gray. It is a smart and energetic dog that loves people. But it doesn't do well in low-activity households or being left alone for long periods.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier

    Height: 18 to 19.5 inches (male); 17.5 to 19 inches (female)

    Weight: 33 to 40 pounds (male); females slightly less

    Coat and Color: Soft, dense, wavy coat; colors include blue, silver, and more

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years

  • 16 of 20

    Miniature American Shepherd

    Mini American shepherd looking up

    Stephanie Zell / Getty Images

    The miniature American shepherd is essentially a smaller version of the Australian shepherd. And just like its cousins, the breed is also a surprisingly effective herder. These dogs are intelligent and energetic. They're great for someone who wants a smart, active, affectionate dog like the Aussie but in a smaller package.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding

    Height: 14 to 18 inches (male); 13 to 17 inches (female)

    Weight: 20 to 40 pounds

    Coat and Color: Somewhat wavy, medium-length coat in various colors

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

    Continue to 17 of 20 below.
  • 17 of 20

    Pembroke Welsh Corgi

    Pembroke Welsh corgi on a chair

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris 

    The Pembroke Welsh corgi is a long-bodied dog with short legs and distinctive upright ears. While it's low to the ground, the breed is quite athletic and powerful for its size, making it an excellent herding dog. Corgis tend to be very friendly and affectionate, and they also often act as bright and alert watchdogs.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Herding

    Height: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: Up to 30 pounds (male); up to 28 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Medium-length coat in red, fawn, black and tan, and sable with white markings 

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 13 years

  • 18 of 20

    Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

    Soft coated wheaten terrier standing on pine branches
    @Hans Surfer / Getty Images

    The soft coated wheaten terrier is known for its plush coat and joyful demeanor. This medium-size breed sheds very little but needs frequent care to prevent tangles and mats. Consistent training and exercise also are essential to keep the stubborn terrier streak under control. Overall, they are smart, friendly, and loyal dogs that can adapt well to all kinds of households.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Terrier

    Height: 18 to 19 inches (male); 17 to 18 inches (female)

    Weight: 35 to 40 pounds (male); 30 to 35 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Soft, silky, light tan single coat with a slight wave

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

  • 19 of 20

    Standard Schnauzer

    Schnauzer on fallen leaves
    Rodney Shoemaker / Getty Images

    The standard schnauzer is both a medium-size dog and the medium-size version of the schnauzer between the miniature and giant schnauzers. This bold and spirited dog has lots of energy, is an alert watchdog, and can be stubborn without consistent training. But it makes an excellent companion for those who lead active lifestyles.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Working

    Height: 18.5 to 19.5 inches (male); 17.5 to 18.5 inches (female)

    Weight: 35 to 50 pounds (male); 30 to 45 pounds (female)

    Coat and Color: Long eyebrows and beard; dense, wiry coat; colors include black and salt and pepper

    Life Expectancy: 13 to 16 years

  • 20 of 20

    Whippet

    whippet outside

    Nicole Hammond / Getty Images

    Whippets look a lot like greyhounds but in a smaller package. And like greyhounds, whippets are incredibly fast and athletic dogs. These friendly and affectionate canines can make great companions as long as you don't mind them chasing after anything that moves and easily being able to outrun you. The breed requires minimal grooming but lots of exercise.

    Breed Overview

    Group: Hound

    Height: 19 to 22 inches (male); 18 to 21 inches (female)

    Weight: 25 to 40 pounds

    Coat and Color: Short, smooth coat that comes in various colors

    Life Expectancy: 12 to 15 years