Best Medium-Sized Dog Breeds: Top 5 Pups According To Canine Experts

A dog is one of the most loyal companions you can have. They bring plenty of love, fun, and activity to any individual or family life, making them the most popular pet in the United States. Of course, dog ownership also comes with plenty of responsibility, which is why it’s important to do your research to find the breed that will best fit your lifestyle. Not sure where to start? Some of the best middle-sized dog breeds make great companions and, are not too big or small. Just like Goldilocks said, they are “just right.”

If one of your motivations for getting a dog is to get your feet moving more frequently, you’re on the right track. A new study finds the average dog owner logs more than 1,000 miles and plays 2,080 games of fetch while walking them each year. The study found that the average dog owner takes their pet out ten times a week, with each trip lasting about 34 minutes. The average length of these walks is just under two miles, although most owners say they walk the same route almost every time.

Those extra steps can make a major difference for your dog’s health, but also for your own. It turns out taking more steps per day can help you live longer. Moreover, researchers say it doesn’t matter if you take them all at once or in short spurts, just getting those steps in can lower the risk of premature death. The study, involving more than 16,000 women over the age of 60, also suggests that 4,500 steps per day is enough to help extend the human lifespan. In comparison to taking no steps at all, researchers find each additional 1,000 steps contributes to a 28 percent decrease in death among study participants.

If you want to reap the activity benefits of dog ownership, a medium-sized breed is a great place to start. Not too big or too small, many of these breeds are the perfect mix of active and affectionate. But with so many dogs falling in this medium size category, it can be difficult to know which breed is the right fit for you and your family. That’s why StudyFinds did the research for you to find the best medium-sized dog for any lifestyle. This list includes the top recommendations from dog experts, but as always, be sure to let us know if you have a favorite that we missed in the comments!

The List: Best Medium-Sized Dog Breeds, According to Pooch Experts

1. Cocker Spaniel

If you’re looking for a dog to join you on your daily walks and runs, the Cocker Spaniel is sure to be up to the challenge. But if you have kids and pets at home, this friendly pup will also mesh well with the rest of the family. “These sporting dogs are known to be very happy, smart and gentle,” says Good Housekeeping. “While they can be quite active, they behave well with other animals and kids.”

black and brown long coated dog on green grass during daytime
Cocker Spaniel (Photo by Inge Marije de Boer on Unsplash)

“Sweet and extremely child-friendly, cocker spaniels make great companion pets and family dogs,” adds PureWow. “They can be gentle with babies, athletic with older kids and patient with seniors. As one of America’s most popular breeds, they maintain a humble obedience and aim to please.”

Whether you live in a small apartment or a big house, the Cocker Spaniel can make do with whatever room you have to offer them. “The cocker spaniel is on the smaller side of the medium range, which makes it a good fit if you don’t have a lot of space,” notes The Spruce Pets. “These dogs are typically happy and playful companions who need moderate exercise.”

2. Australian Shepherd

The Australian Shepherd is a strikingly beautiful and intelligent breed that requires a lot of activity. Owners that are prepared to dedicate time and energy to this pup’s needs will be rewarded with lots of love and loyalty. “If your family is high-energy and needs a dog to match, go with an Australian Shepherd. These adorable, intelligent and athletic dogs are always game for, well, games,” says PureWow. “They’re herding animals and enjoy running and playing with their humans. Get ready to bond with your Australian Shepherd through activities and long walks.”

white black and brown long coated dog on green grass during daytime
Australian Shepherd (Photo by Melissa Keizer on Unsplash)

“The Australian shepherd is a very intelligent, high-energy, medium-size dog breed. This herding breed also is quite agile and athletic and therefore well-suited to dog sports, such as flying disc and agility,” lists The Spruce Pets. “Plus, Aussies tend to be loyal and friendly dogs that make great companions.”

Be prepared to keep your Aussie busy with plenty of mentally and physically stimulating activities.”If you’re looking for a farm dog, this is it. A herding breed that cowboys love, the Australian Shepherd will herd anything, including other pets, wild animals, and kids,” explains Woman’s Day. “Smart as a whip and full of energy, this breed needs a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay happy.”

3. Bulldog

This distinct looking breed is known for loyalty and leisure. They are love snuggles and require fairly little exercise to stay happy and healthy, making them ideal for city dwellers and those with busy schedules. “For people looking for a chill dog who’s always down for a cuddle, you couldn’t ask for a better choice than the bulldog,” claims Woman’s Day. “Most likely bred to fight bulls in the 13th century, the bulldog enjoys a much better quality of life these days.”

short-coated brown and white dog
Bulldog (Photo by Matt ODell on Unsplash)

“Bulldogs are thick teddy bears, ready and willing to follow their families anywhere, be it a city apartment or countryside manor,” adds PureWow. “Always up for friendly games and lazy naps, these charming dogs need enough exercise to stay healthy but don’t require intense excursions beyond the dog park.”

Moderately sized and generally agreeable with everyone, a bulldog makes for a fantastic first (or second, or fifth) pet. “Bulldogs stand 14-15 inches at the shoulder and weigh 40-50 pounds. These pups are known for their cute wrinkles, friendly dispositions, and calm demeanors,” says AZ Animals. “They have moderate energy levels and are typically a breeze to train.”

4. Basset Hound

Everyone knows and loves the big floppy ears of the basset hound. But on top of their most recognizable feature, these pups are also loyal and sweet family pets that can catch a scent from a mile away. “If you want a dog that is easygoing, good-natured, and a bit on the lazy side, the Basset Hound may be for you,” says Hepper. “This lazy dog tends to be a bit of a couch potato, but it has a great personality. This makes the Basset Hound a favorite among households everywhere.”

brown and white short coated dog on green grass field during daytime
Basset Hound (Photo by Will Thomas on Unsplash)

“Basset hounds can grow up to 15 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 40-65 pounds,” adds AZ Animals. “They’re known for their long ears, strong noses, loyalty, and sometimes their stubbornness. Basset hounds have low energy levels but still need daily activity to stay fit and healthy.”

These dogs may not be fast, but they sure are sweet! “Barely more than a foot tall at shoulder height, the basset hound isn’t going to win any speed contests. But their large, floppy ears, and droopy eyes are beyond lovable, and their ability to follow scents is second only to the Bloodhound,” notes Woman’s Day. “Loyal, easy to be around, and a little bit stubborn, they tend to be more independent than other dogs and less prone to following their humans around.”

5. English Springer Spaniel

Floppy ears, playful energy, and highly relational, the English Springer Spaniel is a great dog for any owner who wants a best friend. This pup is loyal and friendly to all, and make for a great walking or running partner. “Springer spaniels are incredibly affectionate toward their families and tend to be good with other dogs. They’re also playful and high-energy, needing plenty of exercise daily,” explains AZ Animals. “Luckily, these Spaniels are easy to train as they focus on pleasing their people! English springer spaniels are 19-20 inches tall and weigh 40-50 pounds.”

a black and white dog standing in a field of tall grass
English Springer Spaniel (Photo by Rafaëlla Waasdorp on Unsplash)

“With long, droopy ears and big eyes, these dogs will have you and your family wrapped around their fingers—er, paws,” adds PureWow. “That’s not to say they’re mischievous! These pups genuinely want to spend time with you and will (politely) let you know. They’re smart and love to please, so obedience training is a cinch.”

From playtime to nap time, the English springer spaniel will be eager to stick by your side. As The Pioneer Woman puts it, “this energetic bird dog makes a trusty hunting buddy as well as a cuddly companion when it’s off duty. These trainable people-pleasers are ready and willing to learn lots of entertaining tricks, too!”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.


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