Popular Medium Sized Dog Breeds

Picture of a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Medium-sized dog breeds are popular with many families and for good reason. Though they all fall within a size and weight range that is considered to be moderate, there is still lots of diversity in personality, coat type, and even coat color for families to choose from. Since many of today’s potential dog owners live in condominiums or apartments that place restrictions on pets, the medium-sized dog is the perfect answer for people who would like to make a dog a part of their home but need a pooch that is moderate in size and activity requirements in order to keep the landlord happy. There are lots of medium-sized dog breeds from which to make your selection.

Here is our list of the top 10 most popular dog breeds:

Australian Shepherd

Picture of an Australian Shepherd outside

The Australian Shepherd is a medium-sized dog breed who traces his roots to the Pyrenees Mountain region found between France and Spain. Originally a companion of the Basque people, the Australian Shepherd is a descendant of their Pyrenean Shepherd, a dog breed well-renowned for his excellent herding capabilities.

In the 1800’s, many people from the region immigrated to Australia and began a search for ideal ground to raise cattle on. The Basque people saw great opportunity on this continent for herding their sheep and began the trek to Australia.

The breed was refined by combining the Pyrenean Shepherd with some other popular herding breeds common to Australia including Border Collies and Rough, Smooth, and Bearded Collies. Once the Basques had accomplished their purpose both on the land and with their breeding goals, they moved on to California in pursuit of greater opportunity.

The people of California were greatly enamored with the breeding dog brought with the Basque people, assuming they were of Australian heritage and gave them the name we now use today for this breed: the Australian Shepherd.

The Australian Shepherd not only excels at his job, but he is also a loyal and intelligent companion that thrives in the company of his people. This is a breed that is quite active and enjoys a great level of exuberance. He is not well-suited to the sedentary lifestyle.

The Australian Shepherd stands from 18”-23” at the shoulder and weighs in at between 40 and 65 lbs.

Basset Hound

Picture of a Basset Hound

Another medium-sized breed with European origins is the Basset Hound who hails from France and Belgium. The term basset is French and is loosely translated to mean “low,” an apt title for this distinctive looking hound.

The friars at the Abbey of St Hubert are credited with the creation of this breed which came about from the selective of breeding of several ancient French breeds to produce a dog that was low to the ground and in possession of excellent scent detection capabilities. The breed’s low lying belly was a strong asset to him in the careful treading over diverse and rough terrain while accompanied on foot by his hunting partner in search of rabbit and deer. The Basset Hound excelled at his job and became a highly sought after pet and hunting companion for many members of the French aristocracy.

At their tallest, a Basset Hound should measure no higher than 14” at the shoulder and weighs between 50-65 lbs.  However, this is a breed of substance as evidenced by his large paws, heavy bone, and strong legs. Basset Hounds have a remarkably high amount of stamina, making them well-suited to their job as a hunting dog. However, this is one breed that is not known for his speed.

The Basset Hound has a high distinctive bay which is useful on hunting expeditions. A dog that is not particularly affectionate, the Basset Hound is loyal to those that he loves.


Picture of a Samoyed

The Samoyed’s medium-sized build spans from 19”-23” in height. A dog of great substance, the Samoyed moves with a regal elegance that draws the eye. The breed is known for his stunning all-white fluffy coat which provides him with great protection against the cold. A beautiful breed, Samoyeds are attractive to look at but are also powerful working dogs capable of applying themselves tirelessly to their tasks.

One of the hallmarks of the breed is a trait referred to as the Sammy smile. This smile that is always seen on the face of the Samoyed serves to prevent drooling which could lead to the formation of icicles on the face of the dog. The breed is incredibly social and thrives when in the company of people, particularly his family.

The Samoyed was originally a sled dog who was employed in the hunting of reindeer. He was bred to survive working conditions in some of the coldest environments in the world. Over time, the Samoyed’s role moved away from  hunting reindeer to herding them instead.

The breed was later introduced to England in the 18th century where he gained popularity amongst royalty such as Queen Alexandria.

Like the Basset Hound, the Samoyed typically weighs between 50 and 65 lbs.


Picture of a whippet

The graceful Whippet greatly resembles the larger Greyhound but measures only between 18”-22” at the shoulder, making him significantly smaller in size. In keeping with the traditional appearance of other sighthounds, the Whippet also has a distinctive shape which resembles an inverted S, a hallmark for the breed.

The Whippet is a dog of athletic nature but is equally at ease as a loving family companion leisurely reclining by his family’s side on the couch. One of the biggest selling features of this medium-sized breed is the fact that he rarely barks.

Whippets are capable of incredible speeds and are often used in dog racing events. The breed traces its heritage to England where coal miners sought a smaller version of the Greyhound for use in dog racing and rabbit hunting. The larger Greyhound was far more costly to maintain and also had higher requirements for housing and space for exercise, something the coal miners could not provide.

In the 20th century, the Whippet travelled across the ocean to the shores of America where he was an instant sensation. American owners began Whippet racing events where they could test their dog’s racing prowess against others of his breed. Today, the Whippet’s racing ability is largely confined to lure coursing events.

The Whippet is a slender creature, weighing only between 25-40 lbs.


Picture of a Beagle

The Beagle is a medium sized dog that is available in two different size variations: those who are 13” and shorter and those whose height measures between 13” to 15”. Beyond the height differences, both variants of the Beagle look the same, and are considered to be solid little dogs of excellent construction.

Beagles may be lemon, red, white, or tri-colored. A hound known for the beauty of his happy face and large puppy dog eyes, the Beagle’s head is crowned with long hound ears.

This breed is happy by nature and is extremely loving, preferring the company of other dogs or people to time spent alone. The Beagle is considered one of the best dogs for family living and remains an extremely popular choice today.

The Beagle’s name is believed to have been derived from the Gaelic word “beag” which translates to “little.” However, other aficionados of the breed claim the Beagle’s handle is taken from the sound he makes when out on a hunt: be gueule.

The Beagle is an ancient breed, believe to have arrived as a rabbit hunting dog in England as early as 55 BC.  His weight remains consistent at 20 lbs or less for the 13” and under variety and between 20-30 lbs for the 13”-15” Beagle.

Bearded Collie

Picture of a Bearded Collie

One of several different types of Collies, the Bearded Collie is a medium-sized breed with a distinctive double coat. This dog stands 20” to 22” at the shoulder and can weigh up to 50 lbs.

The Bearded Collie bears some resemblance to the Old English Sheepdog though the Collie is leaner of size and smaller in stature. This type of dog is pure heart and has a wonderful temperament that makes him well-suited to families with children. A comical character, the Bearded Collie enjoys an active lifestyle and needs regular exercise to remain content.

This dog breed was first known by two different names: the Highland Collie and the Mountain Collie due to its original role centuries ago as a herding dog in the Scottish Highlands. Their main job was to herd livestock and drive the cattle to market.

The Bearded Collie’s origins are not completely known. Several legends exist. One claims the Beardie to be an old breed which was in existence prior to 1 BC when the Romans first invaded Britain. Another purports the breed is a descendant from Central Europe and is the result of crossbreeding between Polish Lowland Sheepdogs and Komondorok in the 1500’s.

In the 1700’s, the Bearded Collie began to feature prominently in artwork. Many of the paintings from the era depict the breed alongside Scottish aristocracy, showing an elevation in position from simply a working dog to a pampered pet.

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Picture of a Corgi

The Pembroke Welsh Corgi, one of two types of Corgis, stands 10” to 12” in height and weighs a maximum of 30 lbs. The breed should be of sturdy construction and have a big personality to match his powerful body. Pembroke Welsh Corgis are quite low to the ground with a hallmark of the breed being its deep chest. Corgis can be red, fawn, sable, black and tan, and with or without white markings throughout the coat.

A hardy working dog, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi is highly intelligent and deeply in tune with his people. A dog bred to herd cattle, the Corgi is an independent thinker with a brave heart. The breed also excels as a watchdog and possesses an impress and intimidating bark.

The Corgi came to Wales from northern Belgium in 1107 when King Henry I of Britain extended an invitation to Belgian craftsmen to come assist with a revitalization of their trades in the region.

Queen Elizabeth the II has always had a dedicated fondness for this breed.

Airedale Terrier

Picture of an Airedale Terrier

Though the largest within his group, the Airedale Terrier is still considered a medium-sized breed at only 23” in height. The Airedale Terrier should have a harsh coat which requires regular handstripping to maintain its correct wiry texture.

The Airedale stands on long legs built of well-defined muscles. The breed has a noble air and carries itself like royalty. In personality, the Airedale is spirited and alert. He also possesses the typical terrier traits of fearlessness and stubbornness in spades.

The Airedale traces his roots to the Aire Valley just outside the Scottish border in the country of England in the 1800’s. The breed was developed by mill and factory workers in the hopes of creating a dog that would hunt rats and ducks with fearless abandon. To achieve this goal, these original breeders combined several different dog types including the Otterhound, the Irish Terrier, the Bedlington Terrier, and even the now extinct Black and Tan Terrier. It is also believed that several non-terrier breeds feature in ancient pedigrees such as herding dogs, setters, and even some retrievers.

The proud and fearless Airedale held a prominent role during World War I, assisting the British Armed Forces in a number of different positions including as messengers, guard dogs, and sentries. One of the most versatile of all of the terrier breeds, the Airedale excels at many different pursuits.


Picture of a Boxer Dog

The Boxer stands a maximum of 25” at the shoulder and with his sleek muscular frame is an impressive sight to behold. Their coat is typically quite short and can be brindle or fawn with white markings.

The breed is characterized by its elegant movement that is reminiscent of a graceful athlete. By nature, the Boxer is a joyful dog that loves to play. They are natural protectors of the people they love and are patient and gentle with children.

It is believed that Boxer descended from Assyrian war dogs in 2500 BC. However, the modern Boxer’s lineage is directly correlated to dogs of similar type seen in German in the late 1800’s and through to the 20th century. Originally a much larger breed of dog, selective breeding has changed this beloved pooch into the more refined, medium-sized animal we know and love today.

The larger precursor to the Boxer was known as a Bullenbeisser. This type of dog was a hunter of large game such as bear, boar, and bison. As times changed and the economy experienced a downtown, German aristocrats could no longer afford lavish hunting expeditions, and the need for large game hunting dogs diminished.

To continue the breed in a more moderate form, the Bullenbeisser was bred to smaller mastiffs. The name Boxer was an homage to the elegance of the athlete at the center of the sport of boxing since the breed is known for sparring.


Picture of a Keeshond

Measuring 18” in height, the Keeshond is a member of the spitz family of breeds and stands proudly amongst such similar in type dogs as Pomeranians and Samoyeds. The Keeshond is square in profile and is stocky in build. A characteristic of the breed is what is known as “spectacles,” a set of markings around the eyes which give the illusion of glasses.

The Keeshond was employed on barges to keep guard and act as a companion to sailors on Dutch ships travelling into the Low Countries. The dog is considered a hardy working animal without pretense. He was adopted as the mascot of the Dutch Patriots Party.

Thinking of adding a medium-sized dog to your home? Maybe one of our top 10 most popular medium breeds is the pooch for you. Contact a reputable breeder today to learn more about your breed of choice.



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