12 Best Medium-Sized Dogs Breeds

Prettiest / Cutest Dogs - English Springer Spaniel
Martin Christopher Parker/Shutterstock.com

Written by Katelynn Sobus

Updated: November 18, 2023

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If you don’t want too big of a dog but aren’t looking for a tiny Chihuahua, you might seek out a medium-sized breed. Medium-sized dogs are easier to handle on a leash than large dogs but aren’t lap dogs like many small breeds. They tend to be working dogs, whether bred for hunting, herding, or guarding.

This is our list of the 12 best medium-sized dog breeds.

Let’s discuss 12 of the best medium dog breeds that weigh under 70 pounds.

1. German Pinscher

Beautiful tan-and-black German Pinscher sitting on a river bank background

German pinschers are high-energy, so they need plenty of exercise daily.

German pinschers are 17-20 inches tall and weigh 25-45 pounds. Their coats come in several colors, but the most well-known is black with red or tan markings.

These dogs are affectionate toward their families but are protective and may be wary of strangers. Socializing them well at a young age is essential so they grow to be confident adult dogs.

German pinschers are high-energy, so they need plenty of exercise daily. They also need plenty of mental stimulation, and training is an excellent outlet for this. Keep things fun and engaging, use high-value rewards, and train in short bursts with playtime and other fun in between. Never use aversive training methods.

These dogs can be stubborn, and they can also get distracted easily. They were bred to guard and are very alert to their surroundings.

2. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terrier standing in the grass

American Staffordshire terriers need moderate exercise and can be somewhat challenging to train.

American Staffordshire terriers, also known as Staffies, are 17-19 inches tall and weigh 40-70 pounds. These dogs are highly affectionate with their families, sometimes to the point of clinginess. They are also very protective.

Staffies need moderate exercise and can be somewhat challenging to train. Many Staffies are dog aggressive, so you must be able to control them on a leash and work on proper socialization, which doesn’t mean bringing them to crowded dog parks, but instead getting them comfortable walking around other dogs on a leash without reactivity.

3. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian cattle dog in field at sunset

A long, daily run for Australian cattle dogs is a must for these pups, as is a job.

Australian cattle dogs are 17-20 inches tall and weigh 35-50 pounds. These pretty dogs are high-drive, which means they need a ton of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. Dogs who don’t receive the attention and activity they need may become destructive, overly vocal, or act out in other ways.

A long, daily run is a must for these pups, as is a job. This can mean herding animals on a farm, but it could also mean training, games that stimulate their brain, or dog sports.

Australian cattle dogs need dedicated owners with plenty of time and energy to spend on their dogs!

4. Basset Hound

Basset Hound sitting on a table

Basset hounds have low energy levels but still need daily activity to stay fit and healthy.

Basset hounds can grow up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 40-65 pounds. They’re known for their long ears, strong noses, loyalty, and sometimes their stubbornness.

These pups drool a ton and can be very vocal, but the latter is true of most hounds. Basset hounds have low energy levels but still need daily activity to stay fit and healthy.

It’s best to adopt a basset hound from a shelter or rescue rather than a breeder because their short legs come from a genetic mutation that also causes an increased risk of spinal issues.

5. Collie

Rough Collie in the snow

Collies are playful, energetic, adaptable, and easy to train.

Collies are 24-26 inches tall and weigh 50-75 pounds. They’re affectionate and tend to be good with children, but please remember never to leave a child and dog together unattended.

These dogs are playful, energetic, adaptable, and easy to train. They also tend to be incredibly vocal and may develop problem barking behaviors, particularly if stressed or bored.

To avoid this, ensure they have plenty of time to run and play in addition to their daily walks!

6. Bulldog

food for English bulldogs

A fun fact about bulldogs is they love to chew!

Bulldogs stand 14-15 inches at the shoulder and weigh 40-50 pounds. These pups are known for their cute wrinkles, friendly dispositions, and calm demeanors. They have moderate energy levels and are typically a breeze to train.

A fun fact about bulldogs is they love to chew! According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), bulldogs enjoy their chew toys even into old age and love playing tug of war.

If you’d like to adopt a bulldog, please adopt from a shelter or rescue. These dogs are bred very unethically, with their short snouts causing breathing difficulties, dental problems, and various other medical issues.

7. English Foxhound

close up of an English foxhound


English foxhound

sheds moderately but has easy-to-groom coats.

At 24 inches tall and 60-75 pounds, English foxhounds are the biggest dogs on our list! These dogs look similar to beagles but are much larger with slimmer bodies.

English foxhounds tend to see everyone as friends, including children, strangers, and other dogs. Of course, personality varies between dogs. It’s always important to introduce your dog to new pets and people slowly and to never leave them unsupervised with children.

These pups shed moderately but have easy-to-groom coats. They’re high-energy and need plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and out of trouble. Training is a great outlet and should be pretty easy for these hounds!

8. English Springer Spaniel

English spring spaniel outside

English springer spaniels are playful and high-energy.

English springer spaniels are 19-20 inches tall and weigh 40-50 pounds. These dogs have long, wavy hair that requires more grooming than most of the previous pups on our list.

Springer spaniels are incredibly affectionate toward their families and tend to be good with other dogs, though new pets should constantly be introduced slowly and with supervision.

They’re also playful and high-energy, needing plenty of exercise daily. Luckily, these Spaniels are easy to train as they focus on pleasing their people!

9. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds require dedicated owners and aren’t typically best for first-time guardians.

Australian shepherds are 18-33 inches tall and weigh 40-65 pounds. These working dogs require dedicated owners and aren’t typically best for first-time guardians.

Although they’re eager to please, they’re also incredibly high energy and do best if given a job to do–whether natural, like herding sheep, or imagined, like agility training!

Don’t expect these pups to tire themselves out–they’ll need hands-on activity like long walks, jogs, or hikes daily.

10. Poodle

Standard Poodle puppy laying on hardwood floors

Standard poodles are very active and intelligent.

Standard poodles are over 15 inches tall and weigh 40-70 pounds. They’re affectionate with their families and tend to be great with children–though no dog and child should ever be left together unsupervised.

Poodles also tend to be friendly toward strangers, but they do have protective instincts. They’re playful, high-energy, and need a lot of mental stimulation to stay happy and avoid getting into mischief out of boredom.

Poodles have long, curly coats that grow continuously. They don’t shed more than the hair on your head, but they must be combed daily to the skin and bathed and trimmed regularly. If you can’t afford to bring your dog to the groomer every 4-6 weeks, a poodle likely isn’t the right pet for you.

11. Spanish Water Dog

A Spanish Water Dog Sits on a Beach

Spanish water dogs have high prey drives.

According to the AKC breed standard, Spanish water dogs have a precise height of 15.75-19.75 inches. They weigh 31-49 pounds. These dogs have unique, corded coats that require a lot of maintenance and an experienced groomer. 

They’re affectionate, playful, and eager to please. Spanish water dogs need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

Because Spanish water dogs have high prey drives, they shouldn’t be allowed off-leash in unenclosed areas. Recall should be practiced, but it may prove unreliable when their hunting instincts kick in.

12. Whippet

Whippet standing outside in field

The whippet is a popular racing breed.

Whippets are 18-22 inches tall and weigh just 25-40 pounds. They belong to the sighthound group of dogs, meaning they were bred to hunt using their sense of sight.

Whippets love to sprint and need an enclosed space to get out this energy, as they’re too fast at their top speeds for humans to keep up! They shouldn’t be allowed off-leash in unenclosed areas, as their prey drive makes reliable recall difficult to impossible to train.

Like most sighthounds, whippets need plenty of exercise, but when they’re home, they’ll be content to lounge on the couch or a plush dog bed. Sighthounds are often compared to cats due to their aloof natures, but these dogs aren’t impossible to train. They need a good motivator, patience, and plenty of praise. Don’t use aversive methods when training any dog, especially not with this sensitive breed.

Bonus: Three More Great Medium Dog Breeds

We put together a great selection of medium-sized dogs for your consideration – but can’t resist adding three more cuties to the list! All three feature soft, wavy coats and happy dispositions – and one is hypoallergenic!

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are one of the world’s best-loved breeds.

Sweet, affectionate, and merry – the Cocker Spaniel is a lovely dog with big, expressive eyes and a long silky coat. Although they were bred to hunt they have gained popularity as loving companion dogs. Their pretty faces and lush ears certainly tug at the heartstrings! Standing as tall as 15 inches and weighing up to 30 pounds – cockers are just the perfect size for indoor living. They are eager playmates for children and tend to get along well with other pets. Their beautiful coats may require extra grooming but they are so adorable you will be pleased to do it!

Brittany Spaniel

Brittany Spaniel puppy



Spaniel would be a good fit for an active family.

Energetic and athletic – the Brittany Spaniel is a popular gundog among hunters and a fun companion dog for people on the go. These highly trainable dogs will enjoy agility training, flyball, and dock jumping – anything an outdoorsy family could dream of. Brittanys have long, sturdy legs and grow up to 20 inches tall and weigh between 30-40 pounds. This is a breed that requires plenty of exercise to thrive.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Wheaten Terrier lying on grass

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have hypoallergenic coats.

This good-natured Irish farm dog is known for its happy, friendly personality and devotion to its family. With only a streak of terrier stubbornness, the Wheaten is an outgoing breed that would be great for a one-pet family. They are great with children but not with other pets – they want to be your only one! Wheatens grow to 19 inches tall and weigh up to 40 pounds – a perfect medium size. Their silky, wavy coats and long goatees are striking in appearance and low shedding.

Summary of 12 Best Medium Dog Breeds

If you are looking for a medium-sized dog – here are 12 great choices:

RankDog Breed
1German Pinscher
2American Staffordshire Terrier
3Australian Cattle Dog
4Basset Hound
7English Foxhound
8English Springer Spaniel
9Australian Shepherd
11Spanish Water Dog

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About the Author

Katelynn Sobus is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pets including dogs, cats, and exotics. She has been writing about pet care for over five years. Katelynn currently lives in Michigan with her seven senior rescue cats.

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