- Best medium-sized short haired dogs
- Beagle – everyone’s buddy
- Bulldog – don’t judge a book by its cover
- Whippet – sensitive and snuggly
- Bavarian Mountain Hound – long-bodied and athletic
- Brittany – a good listener
- Bull Terrier – a powerhouse of a dog
- Basenji – full of energy
- Best fluffy and long-haired medium-sized dogs
- Keeshond – as fluffy as it gets
- Bergamasco – the friendliest long-haired companion
- Best medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs
- Puli – the most unusual coat
- Standard Schnauzer – always in high spirits
- Best medium-sized family dogs
- Collie - protective
- Cocker Spaniel - happy and cheerful
- Basset Hound - a relaxed pooch
- Irish Terrier – cheeky and charming
- Best chatty medium-sized dogs
- Lagotto Romagnolo – the all-rounder
- Swedish Vallhund – independently minded
- Medium-sized dog breeds on the bigger end of the scale
- Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen – a happy and hefty medium-sized dog
- Kerry Blue Terrier – compact and muscular
- Norwegian Buhund – brave and bold
If you are thinking of getting a medium-sized breed, but aren’t sure which one will suit you and your family- you’ve come to the right place. Somewhere between the tiny pups and the gentle giants of the canine world sit the most beloved medium-sized dogs. Discover them here.
Small dogs are cute but they can be quite feisty at times. Large dogs are protective but can be a handful and may just drive you crazy with their love for fetching games. Sometimes the best of both worlds is somewhere in the middle. These are the popular medium-sized dog breeds. Not too big, and not too small - they're just right!
The breeds on this list are all a similar size, but their personalities couldn't be more different. Here are some of the most lovable and friendly medium dog breeds.
Best medium-sized short haired dogs
Beagle – everyone’s buddy
If you want a medium-sized short haired dog who’s a friend to everyone in the family, a Beagle’s the perfect choice for you. Happy and outgoing, these cute dogs love their people, but they are prone to becoming destructive if they’re not entertained, so always be sure to provide adequate exercise and entertainment.
An important thing to note about the Beagle is that they’re scent hounds and have super powered noses, which can land them into a spot of trouble if you haven’t taught a reliable recall! Their impressive snouts have also seen them employed at airports across the USA sniffing out contraband, as their friendlier appearance makes them less intimidating than breeds such as German Shepherds!
This medium-sized short haired dog breed has a wrinkly face and stocky build, and their appearance coupled with their history of a bull baiter have led many to believe that they’re aggressive, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Any bulldog owner will tell you that they’re happy go lucky and crave fuss from their people, loving nothing more than to lounge on the sofa with them.
That being said, if you are thinking of getting a bulldog, it’s important to really do your research as this breed is more likely to suffer from skin conditions due to their many skin folds, and the Bulldog is also classed as brachycephalic because to their flat-face, making them prone to breathing problems.
Whippet – sensitive and snuggly
Height: 44–51cm at the shoulder
This neat and trim member of the Hound group is a comedic mixture of sensitive and snuggle, and bouncing, zooming high-speed fun! The Whippet’s short coat is easy to keep clean, they shed very little (and many short-coated dogs shed enormous amounts), they’re economic to feed, and take up little room in the house.
Happy whippets live with people who recognise their need for warmth and comfort, in the form of soft bedding, lavish sofa provision and cosy jumpers and coats. They can walk for miles and are capable of good levels of training if you’ll put in the work – although recall will probably always be a challenge as they are very much sighthounds at heart. When content, they’re also capable of long hours of gentle snoozing and relaxing.
Bavarian Mountain Hound – long-bodied and athletic
Height: 44-52cm to the shoulder
A relative newcomer, this is a more unusual selection only recently added to the recognised breeds in the UK. The Bavarian Mountain Hound is a smooth coated, long and low scent hound. Who, while medium in height, they’re at the upper end of the weight range, being a muscular and active dog. Their original job is to follow cold scent through woodland terrain, and they do this very well!
The coat makes them easy to keep clean and tidy, and although hounds are not always the easiest to train, their desire to follow scent means they will work hard for food and are reasonably easily motivated. As with most hounds, recall is something to be trained but not relied on! Great for those who love long walks and have some experience with the more independent breeds.
Brittany – a good listener
Height: 47-51cm at the shoulder
A very pretty member of the Gundog group, the Brittany is an interesting alternative to the more common spaniels. Previously known as the Brittany Spaniel but now simply the Brittany, this slightly tall hunt-point-retrieve breed is racy and light in build, with attractive feathering that is not excessive, and neat folded ears which are much easier to keep clean than the heavily coated dropped ears of the more typical Spaniels.
Because this is a multi-purpose breed, the Brittany is a little more inclined to listen, and less inclined to whizz about following their nose, which makes them easy to train and fun to compete with, or just enjoy on long and interesting walks. Well exercised and entertained, they will also relax by the fire or snuggle up on the sofa with you. The coat does require some brushing but no special trimming or clipping is needed, and although they shed, that fine hair is quite easy to vacuum up!
Bull Terrier – a powerhouse of a dog
Weight: 20 - 30kg
Height: 50 - 60cm
Originating Birmingham, Bull Terriers are super sweet but need a lot of patience, composure and a good sense of humour. They can feel like a bit of a whirlwind when they enter your home as they have a lot of energy and give a lot of affection. Because they have so much energy, they require a good amount of training and two hours of exercise a day. Along with this, they’re also prone to gaining fat, so need exercise to keep them trim. In terms of grooming, they also have a beautifully harsh and glossy coat which only needs brushing once a week.
As a medium-sized dog breed, they don’t need a huge amount of space but they do need the space to be safe. As we mentioned, they can feel like a whirlwind and therefore need spaces that are free from breakable items.
Basenji – full of energy
Although the Basenji will need extra training and owners with previous dog experience, they make for great family dogs. They’re also unlikely to be safe with small furry animals and even cats should be introduced to this dog with care. Basenjis can be Reserved with human strangers and sometimes unfriendly towards other dogs, so they do have a very specific personality.
This dog enjoys long walks and one to two hours of exercise a day, including interactive games. They are also chatty – but not in the way you think. They won’t bark but will instead yodel or chortle when excited.
The Basenji also has some cat-like habits – they won’t need much grooming as they do most of it themselves. They can be wiped down once a week to remove hairs but their grooming needs are pretty minimal.
Best fluffy and long-haired medium-sized dogs
Perhaps one of the fluffiest medium-sized dog breeds, the Keeshond is a fantastic companion who adores spending time with family. Originally bred to be a companion and guardian for the barges and boats on Holland’s many canals and rivers, the Keeshond retains a lot of their guarding instincts and can also be prone to alert barking.
If left to their own devices for a long time, this breed may start barking for recreational purposes, so they’re not suited to families who spend a lot of time away from home and don’t want to take their four-legged friend everywhere with them!
Bergamasco – the friendliest long-haired companion
Naturally inclined to guard and herd, the Bergamasco needs early socialisation and on-going training to live as a pet dog due to their working dog desire. They are, however, super friendly with cats, children, and other dogs with additional training. They’d also benefit greatly from a big garden.
Their long-hair needs some maintenance, and this does depend on their age and the time of year. At an early age, they need help with the locks to form. When they reach 3 years old, this medium-sized dog’s hair is greasy and matte and needs less attention. By 5 years old, their hair will touch the floor!
Best medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs
Puli – the most unusual coat
One of the more unusual medium-sized dogs in appearance, the Puli is covered in naturally occurring cords. Due to their strange coat, they also don’t shed and their coat requires virtually no maintenance which makes them particularly well-suited to allergy sufferers. Historically, the Puli’s corded coat served to protect them when herding large flocks of sheep in the harsh conditions of the Hungarian plains and today, it’s made them a stand out in the show ring!
Standard Schnauzer – always in high spirits
Height: 45–48cm at the shoulder
Low dander, low shedding and low slobber, the Standard Schnauzer is one of the best medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs for people that suffer with allergies. They make brilliant companions as not only are they fearless and high-spirited, but they’re extremely intelligent too and love to be taught tricks. Plus, they come in two other size variants: miniature and giant, so you can choose the perfect sized Schnauzer to fit into your home and lifestyle.
Best medium-sized family dogs
Collie - protective
Height: up to 53cm at the shoulder
Ever since they were made famous the world over by the TV show Lassie, Collies have become stuff of legend. Today they are one of the most popular medium dog breeds and for good reason.
Collies can be extremely devoted to their human family, although, but being such intelligent dogs they can be a bit suspicious of strangers so it always best to keep an eye on them. You'll rarely hear them bark, but when they do it's more likely because they want to play! So, get them out for a walk or offer them an exhausting session of dog play - nothing makes them happier.
One thing to keep in mind is that you'll need a brush at the ready because a Collie's luscious coat is prone to getting tangled.
Cocker Spaniel - happy and cheerful
Weight: 13 – 14.5kg
Height: 38 – 41cm
Sitting on the smaller side of the medium-sized dog breeds group, the handsome and cheerful Cocker Spaniel will charm you instantly. They'll learn all the tricks you can show them, get along with everyone in the house and wag their tail every time they see you. What more could you wish for?
If you're looking for the cons of having a Cocker Spaniel in the family, their coat will need regular brushing is and maybe a visit to a professional dog groomer is needed every now and then. Make sure you also check their ears on a weekly basis as they can be susceptible to ear infections.
Basset Hound - a relaxed pooch
Laid back, gentle and ready to become fast friends with every member of the family, including children, the Basset Hound comes with all the joys of having a dog. Their long ears and mournful eyes make them instantly recognisable, but they're also well-known for their copious drooling so keep this in mind if you're squeamish about the sofa and the carpets.
The Basset Hound is a loyal companion, but expect to see their stubborn side as well from time to time, especially if they happen to sniff an interesting scent. They'll decide for themselves if it needs to be investigated further so it's best to keep them on a leash when going on walks.
Irish Terrier – cheeky and charming
Height: 46–48cm at the shoulder
The Irish Terrier is a jaunty and devil-may-care sort of dog, rakish and cheeky but charming and extremely good looking. If you like a dog with a bit of spice and fire, in a neat, somewhat long legged and lean frame, with a non-shedding coat, keep reading.
You’ll need to be on the ball with dog socialising and training the Irish Terrier well, but if you understand positive reinforcement training methods and are capable of sensible management, they can make a fun and active companion, and they are thoroughly devoted to their human!
Grooming is a matter of hand-stripping twice a year to maintain a tight, weather proof coat, and a stiff brush through and a wipe down several days a week.
Best chatty medium-sized dogs
Lagotto Romagnolo – the all-rounder
Height: 43 – 46cm at the shoulder
The Lagotto Romagnolo is unusual breed and while they might look a bit poodle-y at first glance, they are a member of the Gundog group. They were developed as a multi-purpose dog - duck retrievers in the shooting season and excellent truffle hunters in the truffle season. These two rather different skills means they’re great all-rounders, able to learn whatever you want to teach!
The coat is dense and curly with a woolly, waterproof texture. Traditionally this breed is clipped or scissored back several times a year, with the aim being to leave coat longer on the head and legs and shorter everywhere else to afford protection whilst working.
For the companion dog, you can have them clipped however you like, but ensure groomers know they should not be routinely brushed out to look fluffy like a poodle - they should retain their defined curls!
The Lagotto is a fun companion, affectionate and keen to help with whatever you’re doing, capable of excellent levels of training if you want to compete, or happy and easy to live with if you want to do the basics. Above all, they need lots of exercise with an opportunity to have a doggy swim to use their noses and they’ll be happy.
Swedish Vallhund – independently minded
Weight: 11.5- 16kg
Height: 31 – 35cm at the shoulder
The Swedish Vallhund while less common, is rising in popularity in the Pastoral group as an alternative choice to the usual collies and other sheepdogs. Effectively they are the Swedish equivalent to the Corgi with similar short legs and comparatively longer body - however they’re smaller and lighter. The coat is medium in length, similar to that of other spitz types, so is easy to brush through but of course will shed!
As with all the pastoral breeds of spitz type, they are quite independently minded, but with that, they’re also intelligent and fun. If you’re good at positive reinforcement-based training, and build a good relationship with yours, they’ll reward you endlessly with their affection and their fun antics.
Medium-sized dog breeds on the bigger end of the scale
Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen – a happy and hefty medium-sized dog
Height: 40 – 43cm at the shoulder
This affable and somewhat scruffy member of the Hound group falls into the ‘medium by height, large by weight’ range of medium dogs. The Grand Basset Griffon Vendeen is at the less extreme end of the ‘long and low’ breeds, which is good as they tend to be pretty solid, hefty dogs!
As with all the scent hounds, they’re driven by their nose which means they’re easily rewarded and trained with food, but inclined to disappear after scent with genuinely no clue you’re not right behind them.
If you can manage this aspect, on the plus side they’re a lot of dog in a reasonably sized package, they are affectionate and cuddly, friendly to everyone without being rude or thuggish, and grooming is a matter of brushing through twice a week and wiping beards down after meals.
To live with they’re incredibly easy going and while walks should be long, in whatever the weather, they are easily entertained by scent games and chew toys and are thrilled at the idea of bedtime (as long as that’s in or beside your bed!). You can’t be sad or lonely with a Grand around, with their adoring looks and a tail that thumps away as soon as you think about them, they’re not called the ‘happy breed’ for nothing!
Kerry Blue Terrier – compact and muscular
Suitable for experienced owners, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a fierce and intelligent breed who requires a good amount of extra training. Their build is compact, muscular which contrasts to their super soft and curly coat. Although born completely black, their colour fades to a blue-grey as they grow and mature.
This dog likes its space so they’re not great for small children, need a quieter home and would benefit from living in a rural area. At minimum, they need a good-sized garden to run around and let off steam in but can fit into any size home.
Norwegian Buhund – brave and bold
Weight: 14 – 18kg
Height: 41 – 47cm
Despite being a medium breed, the Norwegian Buhund is a leggy but lighter than other spitz types. They also have a beautifully foxy face, paired with a thick double coat which needs grooming every day when in season and twice a week every other time.
This medium size dog is athletic who can take part in sports and other activities. With the right training (i.e., with positive reinforcement and kindness) the Norwegian Buhund can be super engaging – but this does take a lot of work and dedication.
They won’t need a huge indoor space but will benefit from a large garden with secure fencing.
If you think you've found your perfect dog in our medium dog breeds list above, congratulations! If you're still undecided, check out our picks for the smartest dog breeds and discover some of the calm dog breeds that love nothing more than to sit curled up next to you all day long.
We hope this guide on medium sized dogs was helpful! If you’re still a little unsure on what dog suits you best, why not use our dog breed selector to find the perfect dog for you!