Medium-Size Dog Breed Directory: A Pet Parent Guide

Medium-Size Dog Breed Directory: A Pet Parent Guide

A Thorough List of Medium-Sized Dogs

Introducing the medium-size dog breed directory. Medium dog breeds tend to vary a lot in terms of size and physical features as according to the American Kennel Club, this group includes as many as 195 different breeds.

There is no way of creating a generic description of a medium-sized dog as even a Cocker Spaniel largely differs from a Shetland Sheepdog, an Airedale Terrier, or an Australian Cattle Dog both in terms of temperament and in terms of appearance.

Medium-size dog breed directory: a pet parent guide
Check out our medium dog breed directory to find out what features these dogs do share, what makes them different, if there are any individual groups that exist within this category, and what health problems they are prone to developing.

What Is Considered A Medium-Size Breed of Dogs?

Medium dog breeds can be split into several groups strictly depending on their size. In the sections below, we’ll describe the most important characteristics of all of these groups.

Medium-small dog breeds

Medium-Small Dog Breeds

Any dogs in this group can be considered somewhere between small and medium. Most are excellent family dogs, have a good-natured personality, and are intelligent, affectionate, and playful. Like any other pet, small to medium-sized dog breeds are more or less energetic. Even the less athletic breeds showcased in this list have a typical activity level for a dog, so they have to be taken out for walks for at least one to two hours per day.

In terms of dimensions, small to medium-sized dog breeds typically weigh no more than 20 to 40 pounds and can stand tall at 15 to 18 inches at the shoulder.

Examples of small to medium dogs include:

While you might tend to think that all of these dogs share the same features in terms of energy, intelligence, and maintenance, the truth is that they can be extremely different from one another. For example, any terrier is usually alert and wants to go hunting for the next entertainment opportunity.

Some can be loyal and extremely devoted to their families and others, such as the Kerry Blue Terrier or the Puli are considered hypoallergenic, so they make great pets for people with respiratory problems and allergies.

Average medium-sized dog breeds

Average Medium-Sized Dog Breeds

This group of medium dog breeds consists of slightly larger dogs as they stand tall at 18 to 22 inches and can weigh between 40 and 60 pounds. Although they might differ in terms of appearance and energy levels, on average they are active, smart, and loyal dogs that make great pets for families who have enough space available.

Average medium-sized dog breeds have higher exercise needs. Some can be used for herding and hunting while others can be used as traction animals in the North Pole, such as the Husky. Examples of medium dog breeds include:

Pet owners should know that with bigger dog breeds comes more responsibility. Compared to their smaller to medium counterparts, average medium dog breeds are more predisposed to developing musculoskeletal health issues. For this reason, we advise that you take your pet to the vet for check-ups at least twice a year.

This group also includes some hypoallergenic dog breeds such as the Portuguese Water Dog and the Standard Schnauzer.

Average medium-sized dog breeds

Medium-large dog breeds

Medium-large dogs are perfect for farms and people who love to spend time outdoors engaging in a lot of exercises. From the Akita Inu and Giant Schnauzer to the Dalmatian and Golden Retriever, these dogs are intelligent, active, playful, and loyal, and many of them make great pets for families.

However, since they’re bigger, they need much more exercise than their smaller counterparts. Some medium-sized dog breeds in this group are also predisposed to genetically transmitted health problems, such as hip dysplasia (as is the case of the Golden Retriever).

In general, larger medium dog breeds can weigh in between 40 and 60 pounds and stand tall at anything between 22 inches and 27 inches. Examples of larger medium dog breeds include:

Out of all of these dogs, the only hypoallergenic breed is the Standard Poodle, but it is also one of the most challenging ones to manage in terms of grooming needs. The Flat-Coated Retriever, which can be found in the same dog group, needs lots of exercises and will suffer when kept confined for long periods of time. Choose your pet wisely depending on your living circumstances and the amount of time you can devote to your dog.

History of medium dog breeds

History of Medium Dog Breeds

Medium dogs were used in ancient times for several tasks. These dogs were kept for the protection of families, but they could also provide their worth for tasks such as herding cattle or sheep. Some of them are bred for herding and hunting even today, although most medium-sized dog breeds these days are kept as companion pets rather than to serve a specific purpose.

Unlike their smaller counterparts, a medium-sized dog will be better fitted to withstand a harsh environment. Having been used by humans for thousands of years, these dog breeds need exposure to the outdoors in order to feel healthy and happy.

If you wish to adopt a breed that has been around for literally thousands of years, a good option would be the Canaan dog. Hailing from Israel, this breed is said to date back to 2,000 BC. Unlike some other medium dogs that can get as heavy as 60 pounds, the Canaan dog is active, athletic, and independent, and also genetically designed to handle extreme temperatures. It’s one of the few medium-sized breeds that don’t have any genetic health issues, which is probably why it has managed to survive for more than 4,000 years.

Shetland sheepdog
A younger dog breed, by comparison, is the Beagle, as some of the earliest records suggest that it already existed in England in the 15th century. If you didn’t know, the Beagle started being a family pet rather recently up to the 19th and 20th century, it was originally utilized to hunt small game such as hares and rabbits.

The Beagle is a rather smart and affectionate companion, but also tends to be quite independent and stubborn, which is why almost all puppies need consistent training throughout their life. Owners should know that this breed is extremely energetic, alert, and playful and its intelligence allows it to learn almost anything quickly.

Another example of a medium-sized dog breed that has been around for several centuries is the Bulldog. Bulldogs were originally bred to fight other dogs and entertain the masses and some of the earliest records suggest that they were created in 13th century England.

Despite its dark past, this dog’s personality has made it one of the most popular ones across the world as it is moderately energetic, calm, affectionate, and most importantly, it can adapt to a variety of spaces. One of the biggest challenges that Bulldog puppy adopters have to face is controlling their pooch’s diet — as this breed is predisposed to obesity and quite stubborn when it comes to snacks.

In short, the history of medium breeds varies a lot from one type of pet to the next. For example, the French Bulldog is an excellent companion dog and despite its occasional reserved nature, it loves kids and interacting with other dogs. Historically, this type of dog was bred to be a friend of the family, but that isn’t the case for other breeds.

The Australian Cattle Dog and the Shetland Sheepdog were originally bred for performing specific works, which is why they recently became family pets.

Akita inu

Ancient Medium Dog Breeds Still In Existence Today

Akita Inu

This medium-sized dog breed is believed to have existed for more than 10,000 years BC. Akita Inu originates in the mountains of Japan and was domesticated to hunt games such as elk and wild boar. The breed is widely known for its courage and loyalty and was the dog of samurais for many years.



The Saluki is an active and energetic medium-sized dog that’s said to have existed in Sumeria some 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. Like any other hounds, these animals do not do well in apartments and they need a lot of physical stimulation.

Chow chow

Chow Chow

Although its origins remain unknown, one thing is clear — the Chow Chow has existed for a long time. This pet is sweet and affectionate and has been bred for approximately 2,000 to 3,000 years. It is one of the most easily adaptable dogs on this list.

Siberian husky

Siberian Husky

This lovely medium-sized breed is said to have existed in some parts of northeast Asia as early as 3,000 years ago. Although a working dog by nature, the Siberian Husky tends to be an excellent friend of kids. However, it can only be happy and healthy in cold climates.



Some of the earliest records of the Samoyed dog breed place it back to 1,000 BC. Apparently, its personality and looks haven’t changed a lot in the past millennia as it remained just as friendly and loyal. This is another dog that loves kids.



The Basenji is a quite unique breed that’s been around for more than 5,000 years. Although according to some sources, it was first reproduced in Ancient Egypt, others claim that its origins can be traced to Ancient Africa. With its short coat, lovely temperament, and anything but reserved personality, the Basenji has become very popular in the past decades.

Canaan dog

Canaan Dog

This Israel-bred dog is said to have been bred some 4,000 years ago. Since the Canaan dog breed does well in training and they are also easily adaptable (and don’t shed a lot, either), they’ve become quite popular in the past several decades.



Although the Shar-Pei is considered an ancient breed, the truth is that it is among the youngest on this list. It hails from China and is said to have been developed sometime around 200 BC. If you need a guarder for your family, a Shar-Pei is definitely the right way to go as it will do its best to protect you.

What Injuries Are Medium-Sized Dogs More Prone To?

On average, medium and large breed dogs have a much higher likelihood of suffering from the following injuries:

Wounds and lacerations

Some of the pooches we’ve showcased in our selection are dominant and can initiate fights with other dogs, especially if they haven’t completed their training. For this reason, they can sustain wounds that might or might not need stitches.

Foreign body ingestion

Unlike their smaller counterparts, medium-sized breeds tend to not pay attention to what they eat. They can chew on a lot of things in their living environments, from toys to corn cobs and even paper. Unfortunately, all of these foreign bodies can lead to intestinal blockages or other health issues.

Broken bones

Medium-sized dogs aren’t as frail as small breeds, but they can suffer from bone fractures due to running and getting into trouble.

On top of everything, some owners might be less inclined to pay attention to what they’re doing at all times, and when they’re outdoors, they might not keep them on a leash. This increases the chance of these animals getting into accidents, including those involving cars.

Medium-size dog breed directory: a pet parent guide

Breeding Medium-Sized Dog Breeds

As you might have noticed, there is a lot of variety within this group, which is why when breeding these dogs, you have to make sure that you take note of their appearance and pounds. Do not breed a 60-pound male with a 40-pound female, especially if the latter has never been pregnant before.

Like humans, animals can suffer from infertility, eclampsia, or inflammation of the uterus. Dogs can also get sexually transmitted diseases such as Canine Brucellosis, Canine Herpesvirus, or Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumors.

All of these are quite dangerous, so if you want to breed your dog with another, you have to make sure you ask the pooch’s owner for detailed health records and even talk to their vet beforehand.

These days, there are many tests that can reveal the fertility of both male and female dogs. Ideally, you should avoid breeding pets whose parents have a history of illness, whether it might be genetically transmitted or not.

Keeshond -in an apartment

Pick the Perfect Medium-Size Dog for Your Living Situation

In An Apartment

If you live in a condo or apartment and you want a great pooch for your family, pick one from the list below:


Medium-size dog breed directory: a pet parent guide

With Children

Some of the best canine friends for a family with kids are those that are protective, friendly, and playful. No matter the coat they have and how many pounds they weigh, these pooches are likely to protect your young ones and love them as much as possible.

With elderly - dachshund

With Elderly

These dogs are calmer and a bit more patient, so they tend to get along very well with seniors:

List of medium-size dog breeds

List of Medium-Size Dog Breeds

Learning more about what your dog needs and what they are most likely to get excited about, as well as what health issues they might be prone to the most, is extremely important when it comes to being a responsible pet parent.

Here is an extensive list of medium-sized dog breeds (according to the AKC) you can choose from, but make sure you search as much about your favorite one as possible before deciding to adopt or buy a puppy.