10 Popular Medium Dog Breeds

There are adorable small dog breeds and many great large dog breeds, but what about those that fall in-between? Big enough for warm cuddles yet small enough to share the couch, medium-sized dogs can be excellent companions for those who want the best of both worlds. Check out our list of 10 popular medium dog breeds and what to know before welcoming one home.

#1: Border Collie

one border collie on grass
How smart could a dog really be? According to National Public Radio, a Border Collie named Chaser could recognize over 1,000 words! In addition to being considered the smartest dog breed, Border Collies possess an innate herding ability that also makes them one of the most hardworking breeds. With tons of energy to burn, this friendly pup would be happy playing games all day with their pet parent!

Border Collies have dense layers of fur that protect their skin against different weather conditions. Weekly grooming with a pin brush will help keep this coat shiny and clean.


#2: English Bulldog

one english bulldog on grass

If you're looking for a pup that loves to lounge around (and snore loudly from the couch), then the English Bulldog is the perfect companion for you! While larger than a Frenchie or a Pug, the English Bulldog remains quite short and stout with its wide stance. And although their wrinkly face can sometimes give off a grouchy demeanor, the Bulldog is really the ideal family-friendly pup.

This medium sized dog breed is quite easy to groom. With a short coat that sheds lightly, you will mainly need to focus on those adorable wrinkles that have to be kept clean and dry to prevent infection.


#3: Basset Hound

one basset hound walking

This pooch may appear to be all ears, but the Basset Hound's nose is the real star! Their sense of smell is second best of all dog breeds after the Bloodhound. In fact, this hound has over 220 million smell receptors that were widely used to help hunters track small animals. Today, the Basset Hound thrives on short walks outside or indoor activities, like "find the treat," that occupy their powerful snout.

While this furry friend has a low-maintenance coat, their droopy ears and baggy skin do need extra attention to keep dirt out of the folds.


#4: Australian Shepherd

one australian shepherd on grass

Friendly, athletic, and big striking eyes?! It's no wonder the Australian Shepherd is one of the most popular medium dog breeds. This playful pup is a great companion for active people who need a running or hiking buddy. Australian Shepherds have loads of energy, so make sure you have play toys ready to keep this furry friend physically and mentally stimulated.

Australian Shepherds' beautifully patterned coat can grow long and become matted, so frequent brushing is necessary to keep them looking and feeling their very best.

#5: Wire Fox Terrier

one wire fox terrier

The Wire Fox Terrier once ruled the 18th century fox hunting scene in England with their quick instincts and high alertness. Today, you're more likely to see this dog using those traits at national dog shows than out on the hunt! In fact, the Wire Fox Terrier has won the "Best in Show" title at Westminster more times than any other breed. While Wire Fox Terriers are a bit lighter than other medium breeds, their height keeps them eye to eye with many of the dogs on this list!

Named after their distinguished hair, this terrier has a unique wire coat type that requires its own special care. Although grooming can be time consuming, the Wire Fox Terrier makes an excellent breed for dog allergy sufferers.

RELATED: 10 Giant Dog Breeds Over 100 Pounds


#6: Shetland Sheepdog

one shetland sheepdog on grass

Hailing from the Shetland Islands of Scotland, the Shetland Sheepdog (also known as a "Sheltie") is far more than a "miniature Collie"! Shelties were originally bred as hard-working herding dogs, which is why the breed continues to have a gentle and obedient temperament today. While this pooch may not have the biggest frame, their loud bark is certainly larger than life!

Shelties have a long mane, with a dense double coat made to withstand harsh Scottish weather. They will likely need regular grooming with a bristle brush or pin comb to prevent matting.

#7: Basenji

one basenji on grass

The "barkless dog" may be a deceiving nickname for the Basenji! Although they don't have the typical bark dogs have, this pup makes a sound that resembles more of a yodel. Despite being on the smaller end of most medium sized dog breeds, they do require lots of exercise. A bored Basenji can become destructive, so be sure to plan several play sessions throughout the day.

Basenjis are unique in that they have little to no body odor. In fact, they are considered one of the most easy-maintenance dog breeds because they often self-groom their short coats like a cat would.

#8: Shiba Inu

one shiba inu dog

Perhaps one of the most recognizable breeds when it comes to pop culture, the Shiba Inu's roots are not as global as you would think! This beautiful pup is an ancient breed from Japan, where they are still most popular and even considered a national treasure. Despite their big friendly smiles, the Shiba Inu was historically used as a hunting dog and remains quite territorial.

The Shiba Inu is a heavy-shedding breed, so frequent brushing is important to get rid of excess fur. Many pet parents with a Shiba also like to safely blow-dry their pup's fur to maintain the fluffy look!

#9: American Eskimo

one american eskimo dog

Despite what their name suggests, the American Eskimo is neither from America nor a true snow dog! This spunky breed comes from Germany, where they became well-known performers in the circus; have you ever seen a dog tightrope walking?! While their show days may be over, the American Eskimo is still a fun pup to teach all different types of tricks.

While grooming an American Eskimo, you will want to use a whitening shampoo along with frequent brushing to keep their fluffy coat bright and clean.

#10: Cocker Spaniel

one cocker spaniel dog on grass

Heartfelt eyes and the sweetest soul make the Cocker Spaniel a great companion! This furry friend is large enough to enjoy more rigorous sports, like swimming or hiking, but also small enough for easy travel. With the winning combination of smart and playful, the Cocker Spaniel loves to get their exercise in a variety of ways, including interactive games and agility training.

In addition to regular grooming, those famous Cocker Spaniel ears do need special attention when it comes to brushing.

Not Too Big, Not Too Small

While dogs of all sizes are equally lovable, medium dog breeds can seem just right!

Interested in learning about smaller-sized pups? Check out our list of tiny dog breeds under 10 pounds!


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