12 Best Medium-Sized Dog Breeds

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If you don't want a very large dog, but you're not looking for a small Chihuahua, you might be looking for a medium-sized breed. Medium-sized dogs are easier to keep on a leash than large dogs, but are not breed dogs like many small dogs. They tend to be working dogs, whether bred for hunting, herding, or guarding.

Let's discuss the 12 best medium-sized dog breeds under 70 pounds.

1. German Pinscher

Beautiful tan and black german pinscher sitting on river bank background
German Pinschers are full of energy, so they need a lot of daily exercise.


German Pinschers are 17-20 inches tall and weigh 25-45 pounds. Their coats come in a variety of colors, but are most famously black with red or tan markings.

These dogs are affectionate with their families, but also very protective and can be wary of strangers. It is essential that they are well socialized while they are young so they can develop into confident adult dogs.

German Pinschers are full of energy, so they need a lot of daily exercise. They also need a lot of mental stimulation, and training is a great way out. Keep things fun and engaging, use high-value rewards, and have short workouts between playtime and other fun. Never use offensive training methods.

These dogs can be stubborn and easily distracted. They are bred to guard and are very alert to their surroundings.

2. American Staffordshire Terrier

American staffordshire terrier standing on the grass
American Staffordshire Terriers require moderate exercise and can be a bit challenging to train.

© Sbolotova/Shutterstock.com

American Staffordshire Terriers, also known as Staffies, are 17-19 inches tall and weigh 40-70 lbs. These dogs are very affectionate with their families, sometimes to the point of being clingy. They are also very protective.

Employees need moderate exercise, and it can be challenging to train. Many employees are aggressive with dogs so you have to be able to control them on a leash and socialize them properly, that doesn't mean taking them to a crowded dog park but letting them be comfortably on a leash without reacting The leash goes around other dogs.

3. Australian Cattle Dog

Australian Cattle Dog in the field at sunset
Long daily runs for the Australian Cattle Dog are a must for these puppies, as is work.

© iStock.com/Madelein_Wolf

The Australian Cattle Dog stands 17-20 inches tall and weighs 35-50 pounds. These beautiful dogs are high drive, which means they need lots of exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy. Dogs who don't get the attention and activity they need may become destructive, hyper-vocal, or otherwise act out.

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Daily long runs are a must for these pups, as is work. That could mean herding animals on a farm, but it could also mean training, brain-stimulating games, or dog sports.

Australian Cattle Dogs need dedicated owners who have plenty of time and attention to devote to their dogs!

4. Basset Hound

Basset Hound sitting on the table
Basset Hounds have low energy levels but still require daily activity to stay healthy.

© Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

Basset Hounds can reach 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 40-65 pounds. They are known for their long ears, strong nose, loyalty and sometimes stubbornness.

These pups drool a lot and are very vocal, but most hounds are the latter. Basset Hounds have low energy levels but still require daily activity to stay healthy.

It's best to adopt a Basset Hound from a shelter or rescue rather than a breeder, as their short legs come from a genetic mutation that can also lead to an increased risk of spinal problems.

5. Collie

Rough Collie in the snow
Sheepdogs are playful, energetic, adaptable and easy to train.

© iStock.com/Eugenegg

Collies stand 24-26 inches tall and weigh 50-75 lbs. They are affectionate and great with children, but remember to never leave children and dogs unattended.

These dogs are playful, energetic, adaptable and easy to train. They also tend to be incredibly vocal and may exhibit problematic barking behavior, especially when stressed or bored.

To avoid this, make sure they get plenty of time to run and play in addition to their daily walks!

6. Bulldog

english bulldog food
A fun fact about pit bulls is that they love to chew!

© ltummy/Shutterstock.com

Bulldogs are 14-15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 40-50 pounds. These pups are known for their adorable wrinkles, friendly dispositions, and calm demeanor. They have moderate energy levels and are usually easy to train.

A fun fact about pit bulls is that they love to chew! According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), pit bulls love chew toys even in old age and enjoy playing tug of war.

If you're thinking of adopting a pit bull, do so from a shelter or rescue. These dogs were bred very unethically and their short noses caused breathing difficulties, dental problems, and various other medical problems.

7. English Foxhound

Closeup of an English Foxhound
The English Foxhound has a moderate coat that is easy to manage.

© Mary Swift/Shutterstock.com

At 24 inches tall and weighing 60-75 pounds, the English Foxhound is the largest dog on our list! These dogs look similar to Beagles but are larger and have a leaner body.

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The English Foxhound tends to see all people as friends, including children, strangers, and other dogs. Of course, personalities vary between dogs. It is always important to introduce your dog to new pets and people slowly, and never leave them unsupervised with children.

These pups are moderately shed, but the coat is easy to groom. They have a lot of energy and need a lot of mental stimulation to stay happy and stay out of trouble. Training is a great way out and should be easy for these retrievers!

8. English Springer Spaniel

english spring retriever outside
English Springer Spaniels are playful and energetic.


English Springer Spaniels are 19-20 inches tall and weigh 40-50 pounds. These dogs have long, wavy hair and require more grooming than most of the pups on our list.

Springer Spaniels are very affectionate with their families and tend to get along well with other dogs, although new pets should be introduced slowly and under supervision constantly.

They are also playful, energetic and need a lot of daily exercise. Luckily, these spaniels are easy to train because they focus on pleasing their humans!

9. Australian Shepherd

australian shepherd
Australian Shepherds need dedicated owners and are usually not suitable for first-time guardians.

© iStock.com/Bigandt_Photography

Australian Shepherds are 18-33 inches tall and weigh 40-65 pounds. These working dogs require dedicated owners and are usually not suitable for first-time caregivers.

Despite their eagerness to please, they're also highly energetic and do best when given a job to do — whether it's natural, like sheep herding, or imaginary, like agility training!

Don't expect these pups to tire out — they need daily hands-on activities like long walks, jogs, or hikes.

10. Poodle

Standard poodle puppy laying on hardwood floor
Standard Poodles are very active and intelligent.

© iStock.com/Laura Fay

Standard Poodles are over 15 inches tall and weigh 40-70 pounds. They are affectionate with their families and great with children — though no dog and child should ever be left together unsupervised.

Poodles also tend to be friendly with strangers, but they do have protective instincts. Playful and energetic, they need plenty of mental stimulation to stay happy and avoid mischief out of boredom.

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Poodles have long, curly hair that keeps growing. They don't shed more than the hair on your head, but they must be groomed to the skin daily and bathed and trimmed regularly. If you can't afford to take your dog to a groomer every 4-6 weeks, then a poodle may not be for you.

11. Spanish Water Dog

A spanish water dog sits on the beach
Spanish Water Dogs have a strong appetite for predation.

© otsphoto/Shutterstock.com

According to the AKC breed standard, the exact height of the Spanish Water Dog is 15.75-19.75 inches. They weigh 31-49 lbs. These dogs have distinctive Jomon coats that require a lot of maintenance and an experienced groomer.

They are affectionate, playful, and eager to please. Spanish Water Dogs need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation.

Because Spanish Water Dogs have a strong appetite for predation, they should not be left unleashed in unenclosed areas. Recall should be practiced, but it may prove unreliable when their hunting instincts kick in.

12. Whippet

Whippet standing outside the field
The whippet is a popular racing breed.

© iStock.com/Ashva

Whippets stand 18-22 inches tall and weigh only 25-40 lbs. They belong to the sighthound group, which means they were bred to hunt using sight.

Whippets love to sprint and need an enclosed space to release this energy as their top speed is too fast for humans to keep up! They should not be allowed untethered in unenclosed areas, as their prey drive makes reliable recall difficult or impossible to train.

Like most sighthounds, Whippets need a lot of exercise, but when they're at home, they'll be content lounging on the couch or plush dog bed. Sighthounds are often compared to cats due to their aloof nature, but these dogs are not untrainable. They need good motivation, patience, and lots of praise. Do not use aversion methods when training any dog, especially not this sensitive breed.


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about the author

I'm an animal writer for four years with a focus on educational pet content. I wish our furry, feathered and scaly friends the best care! In my free time, I'm usually outside gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.

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