Top 10 Best Medium-Size Dog Breeds 2022

Medium-size dogs are the best of both worlds. They usually possess some traits of both small and large dogs, and their maintenance also generally falls somewhere in the middle. If you've been looking for a dog that is bound to be a great companion, we rounded up some of the best and most popular mid-sized dog breeds to choose from.

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

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-sized dog. Because of this wide weight range—20 to 60 pounds—medium-size dogs make up a large portion of the breeds in existence.

American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire terrier is a medium-to-large, muscular dog breed with a square head and short, stiff fur that was developed in the United States. Also called the Am Staff, this breed is known for its courage and power, but it also generally has an affectionate and loyal disposition. And, contrary to its tough appearance and ancestor, it is a gentle dog breed.


Breed Overview

GROUP: Terrier

HEIGHT: 17 to 18 inches (female), 18 to 19 inches (male)

WEIGHT: 40 to 55 pounds (female), 55 to 70 pounds (male)

COAT: Short, stiff fur

COAT COLOR: Variety of colors, including black, brown, blue, fawn, red, and liver; brindle and/or white markings also possible

LIFE SPAN: 12 to 16 years

TEMPERAMENT: Courageous, affectionate, protective

HYPOALLERGENIC: No

ORIGIN: United States

History of the American Staffordshire Terrier

The American Staffordshire terrier's roots can be traced back to the 18th and 19th century in England. The bulldogs and terriers of the time were commonly used in inhumane blood sports. And they were bred for desirable traits, including their muscular build, energy, stamina, confidence, and agility.

A mix of these dogs went into creating the British Staffordshire bull terrier. While this breed still was used in blood sports, it also was kept as a companion and used on farms and for other work. Eventually, those dogs arrived in the United States in the mid-1800s.

U.S. breeders created a larger Staffordshire terrier that ultimately became a distinct breed from the Staffordshire bull terrier, bearing the name American Staffordshire terrier. They also bred it to have a calmer and friendlier temperament than its ancestors. Since their arrival on the scene, Am Staffs have had a prominent place in American culture, including in film and TV and in the armed forces. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1936.

American Staffordshire Terrier Care

In general, the American Staffordshire terrier can become a loving and loyal companion for many types of households. With proper training and socialization, it can even coexist well with children and other household pets. And its exercise and grooming requirements typically aren't excessive.

Exercise

Am Staffs have a moderate energy level. They should get between 1 and 2 hours of exercise per day that includes walks, jogs, fetch, and other active play. Puzzle toys also can help to challenge them mentally, and dog sports will provide both mental and physical stimulation. However, be cautious not to overdo activity in hot weather, as this breed can be sensitive to heat.

Grooming

The short, stiff coat of the Am Staff is easy to maintain. Use a soft-bristle brush on it weekly to remove any loose fur and debris and to distribute oils. You can expect heavier shedding in the spring and fall as the weather changes, which will likely necessitate brushing two to three times per week to help capture all the loose fur.

Blue Heeler (Australian Cattle Dog)

The blue heeler is a sturdy, medium-sized herding dog developed in Australia. Its dense double-coat consists of a thick undercoat and a short, weather-resistant overcoat. The blue heeler is known as hard-working, intelligent, and loyal to its owner. Historically, these dogs were bred to work on farms as herders, and they still thrive when they have a job to do. Their fierce loyalty makes them even better workers. Even if you don’t work on a farm, you can put them to work they love, such as figuring out puzzles and retrieving toys.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Herding

HEIGHT: 17 to 20 inches

WEIGHT: 35 to 50 pounds

COAT: Dense double coat

COLOR: Blue-gray with speckles

LIFE SPAN: 12 to 16 years

TEMPERAMENT: Loyal, active, intelligent

HYPOALLERGENIC: No

ORIGIN: Australia

Characteristics of the Blue Heeler

Beyond having an unwavering work ethic, blue heelers become intensely devoted to their owners and dislike being separated from them, which is why they are known as "shadow dogs." This is an extremely active dog that will happily become your next running or hiking buddy.

Affection LevelHigh
FriendlinessHigh
Kid-FriendlyMedium
Pet-FriendlyMedium
Exercise NeedsHigh
PlayfulnessHigh
Energy LevelHigh
TrainabilityHigh
IntelligenceHigh
Tendency to BarkMedium
Amount of SheddingMedium

History of the Blue Heeler

The blue heeler was bred to herd cattle by Australian settlers during the 19th century. The breed is largely credited for using its expertise to help ranchers efficiently expand the Australian beef industry.

After many breedings and cross-breedings, ranchers developed a solid and strong canine who could handle Australia’s harsh climate. Dogs brought to Australia from England were bred with the native Australian dingo to create the ancestors of the blue heeler, or Australian cattle dog, that you know today.

In May 1980 the Australian cattle dog was accepted for registration by the American Kennel Club. The breed became eligible for show in the Working Group in September of that year and was transferred to the Herding Group in 1983.

Blue Heeler Care

If a blue heeler does not get an outlet for its energy, it may become bored and destructive by chewing on shoes or furniture. This breed loves living in homes with a fenced yard or a safe property to run in. In addition, blue heelers don’t like to be left alone for long periods, especially in small spaces, so bring your pal along when going for a walk, hike, or swim.

Exercise

Exercise is a critical part of a blue heeler’s life. Because of their hardworking heritage, the breed craves at least 30 minutes of regular physical exercise a day. A walk plus multiple games of fetch will tire out your blue heeler. This breed also needs at least 30 minutes a day of mental stimulation, so have a variety of puzzle, chew, and tug toys to help your dog stay satisfied.

Australian Shepherd (Aussie)



The Australian shepherd is a medium-size herding dog that originated in the United States with medium-length fur and an agile, athletic build. The breed's ancestors came to the U.S. from Europe by way of Australia, hence its name. This shepherd-type dog is extremely intelligent, loyal, and hard-working. It makes an excellent companion dog for high-energy owners. It also is adept at herding, as well as dog sports, search-and-rescue, and work as a service dog.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Herding

HEIGHT: 18 to 21 inches (female), 20 to 23 inches (male)

WEIGHT: 40 to 55 pounds (female), 50 to 65 pounds (male)

COAT: Medium double coat

COAT COLOR: Blue merle, red merle, black, or red; all colors may have white markings and/or tan (copper) points

LIFE SPAN: 12 to 15 years

TEMPERAMENT: Intelligent, active, energetic

HYPOALLERGENIC: No

ORIGIN: United States

Characteristics of the Australian Shepherd

Australian shepherds tend to have an exuberant temperament. They possess a high energy level and intelligence to match, so they need lots of mental stimulation and physical activity. The good news is most Aussies have very trainable personalities and are eager to please.

Affection LevelMedium
FriendlinessMedium
Kid-FriendlyHigh
Pet-FriendlyMedium
Exercise NeedsHigh
PlayfulnessHigh
Energy LevelHigh
TrainabilityHigh
IntelligenceHigh
Tendency to BarkMedium
Amount of SheddingMedium

History of the Australian Shepherd

The Australian shepherd breed was developed in the United States. But it descends from European herding dogs that lived around the Pyrenees Mountains. In the 1800s, some of the indigenous Basque people took their dogs from this region and traveled to Australia, hoping to find more cattle land. 

The Basque herding dogs then were crossed with border collies and other dogs in Australia. And eventually they made their way to California. Ranchers in the U.S. assumed these Basque dogs were native to Australia and dubbed them Australian shepherds. The breed continued to be refined in the U.S. into what we know as the Aussie today. It became especially popular in Western U.S. culture as a ranch dog and in rodeos.

Australian Shepherd Care

The Aussie can make a wonderful companion for the right family. It tends to adapt well to different kinds of active households, as long as they can provide proper exercise and training. Aussies also need regular grooming.

Exercise

It is absolutely essential for your Aussie to get frequent exercise, even more than most dogs. This intelligent and high-energy dog breed can become bored, frustrated, and hyperactive if it doesn't get enough mental and physical stimulation. Aussies should get at least one to two hours per day of fairly strenuous activity, such as running, playing fetch, or training in dog sports, such as agility. Puzzle toys also can help to keep them mentally stimulated.

Be sure to walk an Australian shepherd on a leash, as the breed has a natural instinct to chase (i.e., herd) moving objects, including passersby, bicycles, other animals, and even cars. Aussies also will need a secure solid fence when they are out in the yard rather than an electronic fence, which won't always dissuade their urge to chase and herd.

Basset Hound

The Basset Hound is a medium-sized French hound breed known for its floppy ears, short legs, long nose, wrinkly skin, and short coat. One of the most popular hound dogs, Bassets are second only to Bloodhounds when it comes to their powerful sense of smell and tracking ability. This breed is easily identifiable thanks to its velvety ears, but it also stands out for its signature bay and charming, unique character.


Though they're known for being stubborn, Basset Hounds are also extremely devoted and loyal. They're typically mild-mannered and calm at home, which makes them excellent family dogs for the right owners. Training is notoriously challenging, but there's a reason this breed has such a devoted following. Filled with personality and spirited antics, the Basset Hound is as lovable at home as it is determined when following a scent.

GROUP: Hound

HEIGHT: Up to 15 inches

WEIGHT: 40 to 65 pounds

COAT: Short, smooth fur

COAT COLOR: Combinations of black, brown, tan, white, lemon, mahogany, and red

LIFE SPAN: 12 to 13 years

TEMPERAMENT: Loving, stubborn, playful, sweet-tempered, friendly

HYPOALLERGENIC: No

ORIGIN: France

Characteristics of the Basset Hound

Along with their incredible sense of smell, Basset Hounds are also known to be exceptionally devoted to their families, affectionate, and playful. This breed has a patient temperament with children, other dogs, and even cats as long as it's properly socialized.

Basset Hounds were bred to work in packs, so this breed will be especially happy in the company of other canines. It also means they can be very playful and social, though their personalities will often be mild and low-key at home. Known for their love of snoozing on the couch, your Basset will be happy to come lounge inside after playing outdoors for any length of time. Although they're highly intelligent, Bassets tend to use this trait to their own advantage rather than obeying their owners' requests. With a little love and a lot of patience, however, they can become well-mannered dogs for a dedicated family.

Affection LevelHigh
FriendlinessMedium
Kid-FriendlyHigh
Pet-FriendlyMedium
Exercise NeedsMedium
PlayfulnessMedium
Energy LevelMedium
TrainabilityLow
IntelligenceHigh
Tendency to BarkHigh
Amount of SheddingMedium

History of the Basset Hound

Originally bred in France and Belgium, it's believed that Basset Hounds originated when friars of the Abbey of St. Hubert crossed strains of older French dog breeds to create a low-built scenthound. In fact, the word "bas” translates in French to “low” and even sometimes "dwarf." The plan was to breed a dog that could navigate rough terrain while being followed by a human hunting partner on foot as they tracked rabbits and deer. Because of their tracking accuracy, Bassets became a popular choice for French aristocrats that practiced hunting as a pastime.

The Basset Hound was first recognized in 1885 by the American Kennel Club (AKC), and it was only the organization's 10th established breed at the time. It's believed that George Washington was a Basset Hound owner. These dogs were presented as gifts by Lafayette, a French aristocrat and military officer who commanded American troops in several battles, after the conclusion of the American Revolutionary War. In 1935, the Basset Hound Club of America was organized in the United States.

Basset Hound Care

While Bassets need less exercise than many other hunting dogs, they require significant time and patience from their owners when it comes to training. These strong-willed and stubborn dogs are likely to ignore lessons in favor of play, treats, and other fun distractions. However, with consistency and positive rewards, your Basset can learn desirable behaviors at home. In the grooming department, this short-coated breed only needs routine care.

Exercise

They may not be the most athletic (or fastest) dogs, but that doesn't mean your Basset Hound won't require regular exercise. These hounds thrive with a routine that includes about 30 minutes to an hour of moderate daily exercise. Bassets are known for their endurance, and options like long walks are a great way to keep this breed active. They're also very playful, so running around in the backyard with toys and family members will likely become a favorite activity. Not only will exercise help keep your Basset healthy, but it can also help prevent weight gain, which these food-motivated dogs are especially prone to.

Beagle


The beagle is one of the most recognizable medium-sized dog breeds, known for its large, expressive eyes; long, floppy ears; and an upright, white-tipped tail. It has a short tricolored coat typically dominated by white and varied shades of brown. Beagles are scent hounds, hunting and tracking their prey by ground-scenting, and their keen sense of smell ranks with bloodhounds and basset hounds.

Breed Overview

GROUP: Hound

HEIGHT: 15 inches or less in height at the shoulder, with two varieties: those under 13 inches and those from 13 to 15 inches

WEIGHT: 20 to 25 pounds

COAT: Short

COAT COLOR: Tricolor combinations can include tan, black, white, reddish brown, and pale lemon

LIFE SPAN: 10 to 15 years

TEMPERAMENT: Active, companionable, keen, attentive, fearless

HYPOALLERGENIC: No

ORIGIN: England


Characteristics of the Beagle

Beagles are energetic, carefree, and optimistic dogs, and they are considered one of the most popular breeds for active households. They can be wonderful companions and great family dogs when properly trained and socialized. Having been bred to be in packs, they also get along well with other dogs, and most do well with cats, especially if raised together.

Affection LevelHigh
FriendlinessHigh
Kid-FriendlyHigh
Pet-FriendlyMedium
Exercise NeedsHigh
PlayfulnessHigh
Energy LevelHigh
TrainabilityMedium
IntelligenceHigh
Tendency to BarkHigh
Amount of SheddingMedium

History of the Beagle

The breed was originally bred in 16th-century England as rabbit-hunting hounds. Beagles can be traced back to 16th-century England, where wealthy Englishmen often owned packs of hounds. The smaller hounds were the beagles, which were used in hunting rabbits and other small prey. They were also used as gun dogs, flushing game for hunters.

Over time, the breed was developed in England and, later, in North America. Beagles became more refined and widely recognized in North America by the late 19th century, eventually becoming one of the most popular breeds. Though still used in packs for hunting today, beagles are more commonly seen as companion and family dogs. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885.

Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoons is a beagle, reflecting the breed's popularity at the time Charles Schulz began to draw the comic strip in 1950. President Lyndon B. Johnson owned several beagles while in the White House. Today, beagles are used by the United States Department of Agriculture for detecting contraband food items in luggage.

Beagle Care

These fearless hounds are well-suited to both hunting and companionship, but they need adequate daily exercise, regular grooming, and proper training. They require human companionship or the companionship of other pets throughout the day. Because beagles get along with other dogs, freestyle running in a properly enclosed dog park can be fun exercise for both of you. Beagles instinctively will bay and bark when they detect an interesting scent, but they may also become problem barkers due to boredom or separation anxiety, and training may help.

Exercise

Though they may sometimes act lazy on the surface, beagles have loads of energy and need regular exercise to use it up, even more so than other dogs. Otherwise, the dog may release that mischievous nature inside. Walk your dog once or twice daily and give it plenty of chances to run and play to result in at least a full hour of exercise a day.

Common Health Problems

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur within any breed. In general, beagles are usually healthy dogs. However, they can still develop health conditions. The following are some conditions to watch for: