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If the pomeranian is too small, and the mastiff is too big, don’t worry. The perfect dog is waiting for you in the medium-size dog breed category.
“Medium size dogs are great because they can fulfill the needs of many potential dog owners, including companionship, running/jogging, therapy dog work and more,” says Charlotte Reed, a pet care and lifestyle expert and host of The Pet Buzz, a nationally syndicated pet talk radio show.
There’s no standard definition for what qualifies as a medium-sized dog but Vetcarenews defines it as a dog that’s between 24 and 59 pounds and its shoulder height is 16 to 22 inches.
“Medium dogs are often great for an active lifestyle, with enough energy (for most breeds) to keep up on hikes and adventures,” says Nicole Ellis, certified professional dog trainer and pet lifestyle expert with Rover.
If you’re more of a homebody, there are a few loafers that fall into the mid-size category, including the bulldog and whippet.
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Here are 20 of the top medium dog breeds. Keep reading to find your perfect match.
1. English Setter
The English setter, a medium-sized sporting dog with a sweet disposition, is known for its belton-patterned coat in colors like liver, lemon, and orange. These elegant yet sturdy dogs have been dubbed the “gentleman of the dog world.”
English setters are playful and get along well with other dogs and people. Their history spans 400 years when they were bred for hunting on English country estates. Their long coats require regular brushing and they also need regular exercise. Owners will need to use positive reinforcement training to avoid offending this good-natured and devoted companion. When cared for properly, English setters make fun and easy family members.
2. American Foxhound
American foxhounds, known for their good-natured demeanor, are sleek hunters with a short, easy-to-care-for coat. They are different from their English relatives in leg length and a slightly arched loin.
Prospective owners should be aware the American foxhound needs plenty of exercise, and proper training for both its strong prey drive and independent nature. Regular grooming, including a weekly brushing, helps maintain its coat. Originally bred for long hunts, the American foxhound requires at least an hour or two of daily exercise but can adapt well to various living situations with proper care and attention.
Originally from Scotland, collies gained fame in the 20th century thanks to pop culture references in beloved books and television shows like “Lassie.”
The breed comes in either the iconic full-coated “rough” coat, or the sleek “smooth” coat. Collies are medium-sized to large, agile herders with elegant wedge-shaped heads, almond eyes and gentle expressions.
These dogs make excellent family pets and are good with children. Owners will need to regularly groom their dogs, with careful attention to shedding and matting. With their intelligence, collies are easy to train.
4. Poodle (Standard)
The standard poodle is an aristocrat in the world of dogs. Contrary to stereotypes, poodles are eager, athletic and excel in various activities. Probably most famous for their medley of decorative haircuts, poodles require regular brushing to prevent matting. In fact, their non-shedding coat makes them a suitable hypoallergenic dog breed for allergy sufferers.
Even though they are the national dog of France, the poodles originated as duck hunters in Germany. Along with duck hunting, Poodles have been popular circus performers, truffle hunters and family companions.
5. Bluetick Coonhound
A sleek and lovable breed, the bluetick coonhound is the ideal blend of sweet temperament at home and relentless pursuit when on the hunt. Recognized for their mottled black-and-blue coat, these well-muscled dogs are known for their distinct baying and bawling. They are affectionate and devoted, and require plenty of exercise and playtime, especially in a securely fenced yard. They do need regular grooming, including weekly brushing and occasional baths.
With a history dating back to French staghounds given to George Washington, the bluetick coonhound remains a favorite among coon hunters and retains its place in Southern culture. It has served as the University of Tennessee’s mascot since 1953.
A Hungarian treasure with a sleek golden-rust coat and lean, athletic body, there’s no mistaking the vizsla. These loving companions tend to form tight bonds with their owners and thrive on human connection. Vizslas are athletes that excel in various sports and activities. Grooming this breed is straightforward, with occasional brushing and baths.
Given their background as active hunting dogs, vizslas need both physical and mental exercise. With a rich history dating back centuries, vizslas are beloved among American dog enthusiasts for their versatility and eagerness to excel in various endeavors.
7. American Staffordshire Terrier
The American Staffordshire terrier, affectionately referred to as AmStaff, is known for its intelligence, confidence and friendly nature. With a stocky, muscular build, they have broad heads, well-defined jaws and round, dark eyes. Their stiff, glossy coats require a weekly brush and occasional baths.
AmStaffs are both agile and graceful, and are a people-oriented breed. They thrive on being part of the family, play sessions and participating in canine sports. Originating from blood sports in Britain, today’s AmStaff is a mellow, beloved companion with a rich history in American culture.
There is no mistaking the lovable “sourmug” face of a bulldog. This brave breed is known for its thick-set, muscular bruiser build. The bulldog’s distinct face includes a furrowed brow, pushed-in nose and unique rolling gait. Bulldogs may appear laid-back but also enjoy brisk walks and need moderate exercise to stay fit. Regular grooming, especially cleaning wrinkles and ears, is important.
Originally bred for bull baiting in 13th-century England, bulldogs transformed into beloved companions over time. Bulldogs are now a national symbol of England and popular mascots for sports teams and the U.S. Marine Corps.
9. English Springer Spaniel
The English springer spaniel is an energetic and intelligent bird dog, loved by sport hunters for its dual role as a well-mannered pet and a reliable hunting companion. These tough yet lovable dogs have a muscular build, double coat, long, lush ears and kind eyes. Springers are highly trainable people-pleasers and are great with kids. To keep healthy and happy, this breed needs regular grooming and exercise, such as long walks and play sessions.
Originating from Britain’s land spaniels, the breed’s history traces back to working on upland game birds, earning a reputation as eager and reliable gundogs. English springers gained fame in North America in the 1920s, and their trainability, durability and nose have made them valuable in K-9 detection work.
10. Bull Terrier
Known for its playful nature and unwavering devotion, the bull terrier is instantly recognizable for its distinctive long, egg-shaped head and triangular eyes. Its coat comes in white or any other color with brindle striping. This breed requires a weekly brushing and regular ear and nail care to stay healthy. Bull terriers thrive on early socialization, firm but loving training, plenty of exercise and quality time with their loved ones.
Developed from bulldogs and terriers for sport, the bull terrier’s history traces back to 13th-century bull-baiting. By the mid-1800s, bull terriers became fashionable companions, refined for looks and temperament. Originating in England, they quickly became American favorites with many famous bullies like Bullseye (the Target mascot) and General George Patton’s Willy.
11. Airedale Terrier
Dubbed “The King of Terriers” for its size, strength and spirit, the Airedale terrier is the largest terrier breed. This breed exudes a regal presence, but is known for being docile and patient with kids. Airedale terriers have a short, wiry coat that comes with tan and black markings. Their alert and intelligent expression, coupled with a sporty beard and mustache, make them a unique terrier variant. Airedales require minimal grooming and daily play sessions to burn off their high energy levels.
12. Australian Shepherd
A lean and rugged ranch dog, the Australian shepherd is well known in the rodeo world. Originated from Europe’s finest herders, the Aussie’s journey included a stint in Australia with Basque shepherds before thriving in California, becoming an iconic part of cowboy culture.
This herding dog is known for its piercing gaze and varied coat patterns, including the distinctive merle. Aussies are spry stock movers with an innate herding impulse that extends to birds, dogs and kids.
Their intelligence and high energy means they do well with owners who are looking for a high energy training partner, either at work or at sport. They require regular grooming, exercise and a job to keep them happy and healthy.
13. Chow Chow
Originating back to China’s Han Dynasty, chows have been noble companions, guards and hunters. The chow chow is known for its muscular build and distinctive features, including a lion’s-mane ruff and a blue-black tongue.
Chows are clean, easy to house train and loyal. Their double coats require regular grooming, including brushing and monthly baths. Chows only need moderate exercise and enjoy daily walks and playtime with their people.
With probably the most famous coats in the animal kingdom, the dalmatian has a graceful frame but a powerful build that makes it well-suited for endurance. Originally bred to guard horses and coaches, dalmatians have a protective instinct and make loyal house dogs.
Grooming this breed requires an occasional bath and weekly brushing. Dalmatians thrive on regular exercise and enjoy activities like chasing a ball, jogging, or hiking.
15. Basset Hound
The sweet and lovable basset hound wins hearts with its distinctive appearance and gentle demeanor. This short and squat hound is strong and possesses surprising stamina. Recognized for its domed head, long ears and mournful eyes, the basset hound excels in scenting.
Despite a stubborn streak, these dogs are loyal and entertaining at home. They require regular grooming including brushing and nail trimming to maintain their health and appearance. While the basset hound isn’t overly active, it needs daily walks and play. Known for their independence, training requires patience and consistency.
Basset hounds were originally bred in France and Belgium to create a short scenting hound for hunting.
Originally from the Jindo Island off South Korea, the Jindo is a loyal and intelligent dog prized for its role as an independent hunter, vigilant guardian and devoted companion. With erect ears and a distinctive tail, the Jindo showcases agility, strength, alertness and dignity.
Known for its cleanliness, this breed has a strong hunting instinct, and is known for displaying bravery and faithfulness to its master. While they may be reserved around other animals, especially males, Jindos are one-person dogs that form deep attachments to their owners. They thrive in an active household and need physical and mental stimulation, as well as having a job to do.
Jindos were designated a cultural asset in Korea in 1962, and are called Korea Natural Treasure #53.
17. Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian cattle dog, also known as a blue or red heeler, is a small yet stocky herding dog from Australia. Related to the dingo, these intelligent dogs are born with a white coat that transforms into blue-gray or red, often featuring distinctive speckling.
Known for their huge work drive, agility and loyalty, they excel at herding livestock and make excellent running partners. Regular brushing is all that’s needed for their smooth, double-layer coat that sheds twice a year. Highly active, Australian cattle dogs need mental and physical challenges.
A beloved gundog on both sides of the Atlantic, the Brittany is known for its agility and versatility. Smaller than setters but leggier than spaniels, they have a beautiful coat in vivid orange and liver patterns that requires minimal grooming. Brittanys are energetic and eager, and do well in activities from hunting to dog sports like agility and flyball.
Originating in the Brittany region of France, these dogs were developed by medieval peasants for their all-purpose skills. They were brought to America in 1931, where they are now favored for their energy and bird-tracking skills.
19. German Pinscher
One of Germany’s oldest breeds and a prototype for other pinscher breeds, the German pinscher is a sleek and intelligent dog with a rich history. Standing about knee-high to an adult, these impressive dogs have a shiny coat in red, black, or blue with red accents.
Despite their elegant appearance, German pinschers are no-frills and require minimal grooming. Weekly brushing and occasional baths is all they need to keep them looking good. They do very well in canine sports and make wonderful companions.
The whippet is a lightning-quick, sleek dog with a sweet face. The whippet mirrors the elegance of a greyhound but in a smaller package. Despite their intense pursuit instincts, whippets are friendly, dignified and gentle companions. Their short, smooth coat make them low-maintenance and suitable for apartments. Known for their speed, whippets have a rich history in dog racing and lure coursing.
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