Best Medium Sized Dogs: The Most Popular and Loved 5 Breeds in The World

Happy dogs
John Walton
Written by John Walton

The variety of medium sized dogs is so wide, that is it hard to establish which ones are the best.

According to extensive research and numerous tops put together by specialists, the following medium dog breeds are the best:

  • Australian Shepherd Dog,
  • Airedale Terrier,
  • Poodle,
  • Siberian Husky,
  • Brittany,
  • Belgian Malinois,
  • Chow Chow,
  • Weimaraner,
  • American Pit Bull Terrier,
  • Golden Retriever.

However, the ultimate best medium sized dogs are the Labrador Retriever, English Bulldog, Border Collie, Boxer and Basset Hound. These 5 dog breeds appear in every chart that intends to highlight their qualities and explain why they are recommended besides already being extremely popular among dog owners.

The dogs from this category are known to be stimulating for any owner and less pretentious than others. In addition, they are less prone to allergies and diseases than other canine specimens. They don’t need a lot of space and they can easily accommodate in a small apartment.

As for their interaction skills, they are great with kids and have higher energy levels to play with them than small or big dogs have. These lovely pets can live in an apartment, but they need to exercise as well. All the best features a dog can have seem to be present in medium sized dogs more than in other sizes of dogs.

Labrador Retriever for special human interaction

Breed history: This dog was raised during the nineteenth century, in a Canadian province called Labrador. It was used to do chores, such as pulling fishing nets out of the water. It was brought in England by cod fishermen who used it to recover pieces of fish that fell out of their fishing nets. The exceptional specimen known in our days was obtained through various crosses of Saint John and English Pointer. Labrador Retriever is a very popular dog because it is devoted to its owner and it seems to develop a really special relationship with people in general.

Physical description:  It is a medium sized dog, developed in length more than in height. It is solid and muscular. Its head is proportional, with a round and wide skull. Its nose is black or brown, depending on the color of its fur. Its eyes are also medium sized, round and brown. A Labrador Retriever’s ears are shaped like a triangle. As for its tail, it is of medium length, thick at the base and thin at the top, covered with short hair. The conformation of its tail helps it swim very well.

Its fur coat is double, with a first layer of soft, thick, short hair and an outer layer with short, straight and waterproof hair. Its fur’s color can be black, yellow or brown. This dog breed may or may not have a white spot on its chest. Its height is usually between 21 and 24 inch and its weight between 55 and 79 pounds.

Labrador Retriever

Personality features: Labrador Retriever is an intelligent and responsive dog that likes to work. It is friendly, sensitive and enthusiastic. It gets attached to its owner and it is also obedient and devoted. As for its relationship with kids, it is affectionate and patient. Its friendly nature goes a long way. It can even be friendly with complete strangers. This dog breed usually gets along very well with other dog breeds and other animals from a household.

Care requirements: Because its fur is not short, it must be brushed regularly, especially during the desquamation period. It should not be kept in humid places.

Living conditions: A dog from this breed has a high level of activity. It likes to move, to work and is therefore recommended for people who have an active life style. It is a type of dog with an aptitude for field sports. It is ideal for taking long walks, running without a leash, playing and swimming too. It can adapt to different living conditions outdoors or in an apartment. What it needs is a daily exercise routine, training and socializing with both humans and other dogs.

Training types: It is an intelligent dog that learns easily and likes to work for its owner. The recommended training types should be as varied as possible. This is because it can learn a lot in various areas such as rescue operations, searching and helping the blind. It is also known to be very successful in dressage competitions. This dog matures slowly on both physical and mental levels.

Breed utility: Except for being an exceptional companion dog, Labrador Retriever is also used for hunting in some areas. When it is not entertaining its owner, it participates in important drug discovery missions, searching missions and attends blind persons too.

You can discover more about this wonderful breed in our article on the Labrador Retriever.

English Bulldog for its gentle nature

Breed history: English Bulldog is a popular and loved dog breed in England. Its distant origins are not known in depth. One of the assumptions regarding its lineage says that it might originate from Molossus of Epirus that is the common ancestor of Bulldogs. Researchers found an entry from year 1209 that describes a fight between a Bulldog and a bull. These types of battles were legal in England and considered entertaining until year 1835.

In time, this dog breed kept its strength and courageous nature, but its aggressive behavior and unwanted habits were eliminated. It is known in our days for its gentle temperament and its distinctive appearance as well.

Physical description: This type of dog has a solid and heavy body. It is stocky and its legs are short, but very powerful. It has a massive head, shaped almost like a square, with a short skull, flat forehead and wrinkled, prominent eyebrows. Its snout is short, broad and compressed. Its lower jaw is more protruding than its upper jaw. Its eyes are round and medium sized.

As for its ears, they are wide apart. This dog’s neck is short, thick, and its chest is broad and deep. Its fur is short, fine, smooth and shiny, as well as nicely attached to its body. Colors range from beige, brown-red, striped (with or without a black face) or white and spotted. Its height is usually between 11 and 15 inch and its weight between 40 and 50 pounds.

Personality features: In our days, the English Bulldog is a lively, spontaneous, courageous, balanced, intelligent, gentle and sensitive dog. It is also faithful and obedient to its owner. When it comes to children, it is tolerant and caring too. It usually gets along quite well with other animals, but it can sometimes be quarrelsome with other dogs. Cases like that are rare.

English Bulldog puppies

Care requirements: This dog type has a fur that doesn’t require too much care. A simple brushing session is enough in order to remove dead skin cells and hairs during the desquamation period. Regular cleaning between its face wrinkles is highly recommended in order to avoid infections. It has a penchant for snoring, excessive salivation and chronic flatulence. In addition, it should not be kept outdoors when the sunlight is too strong because it is prone to heatstroke.

Living conditions: The English Bulldog can live very well in an apartment. It is not an active dog breed, so it is easy to please with short walks on a daily basis. However, it requires training and socialization in order to be disciplined and not get bored.

Training types: Training this dog type is easy. All one needs is to be consistent, balanced and to combine kindness with firmness. Any owner can provide training for this breed because they are fast learners. However, basic dressage notions are required.

Breed utility: It is a good guard dog and an excellent companion for people who are not very active or who cannot walk their dog for a long time or on long distances.

Border Collie for its many talents

Breed history: Border Collie is an ancient dog breed raised in Britain during the Roman Empire. Its name comes from the region where it was guarding flocks of sheep, namely Border. It was back then, as it is now, a very useful dog breed.

Physical description: Border Collie is a rather long than tall dog. Its body is slim and muscular. It has a flat and strong head; a long snout that becomes pointy in the nose area. Its ears are medium length and can be lifted by it in case it needs to hear something better.

The eyes of this dog breed can be brown, blue or partially blue. Its medium length tail is often used to express feelings. Its fur’s outer layer is long and soft. As for its fur’s color, it’s a combination of black and white. However, there’s never more white than black. Its height is usually between 17 and 22 inch and its weight between 40 and 48 pounds.

Border Collie

Personality features: Border Collie is considered one of the most talented, intelligent and creative herding dogs. It has a lot of energy for working and it is a fast learner as well. It doesn’t excel when it comes to relationships with other dogs or other animals. In addition, it might be a little impulsive sometimes. When it doesn’t have enough activity, this type of dog might boss around kids, just like it used to do with sheep a long time ago. It is reserved with strangers, but very affectionate with family members and people that it knows well.

Care requirements: Since its fur is quite long, it needs brushing at least once a week in order to look neat. There is a hereditary condition that might occur during its lifetime, called retinal atrophy. The symptoms usually occur between 3 and 5 years. So, taking it to a regular checkup is not only recommended, but mandatory.

Living conditions: Border Collie is a very active dog that needs plenty of movement and organized activities. The ideal owner for such a dog is also active and has enough time to play with it. When this canine specimen gets bored, it can produce damages throughout the house or it can become restless because it needs attention.

Training types: Since it is a dog that loves to please its owner, it is also a dog that learns fast. So, the dressage is easy enough and it can reach competitive levels. It could grow to be the best at flyball and sheep driven competitions as well.

Breed utility: Excellent guard dog of flocks, but also a contender for the title of racing sports. It goes without saying that it is an excellent companion too.

If you’re wondering if this breed would be suitable for your lifestyle, you should check out more info on the Border Collie.

Boxer for a joyful and pleasant companionship

Breed history: This dog breed is originated in the Middle Ages and it was obtained by repeated crosses between Bullenbeissern (or the German Bulldog), Mastiff and English Bulldog. It was officially recognized as a separate breed in 1896, when the club for raising Boxers was also established.

Physical description: It is a medium to large sized dog. Its appearance is solid and athletic. It has a very muscular body. Its head is big, with a well-developed snout, a prominent jaw, a slightly flattened nose and a large upper lip. Its eyes are big and dark brown. As for its ears, they are medium sized and can be left naturally or cut in order to stay up.

A long and strong neck is one of its remarkable features too. Its fur is short, straight and shiny. The colors range from yellow to brown or different colored strips. It has a black mask and white spots on its chest, lower legs and head, but not on more than one third of its body. Its height is usually between 20 and 24 inch and its weight between 88 and 105 pounds.

Personality features: The Boxer is an intelligent and curious dog, willing to learn new things all the time. It is alert, lively, exuberant and quite active. Joyful, cheerful and friendly especially with children, this dog breed is loyal and attached to its owner. However, it is suspicious when it comes to strangers and it can become violent in certain situations considered threatening. It doesn’t bark unless it wants to signal something potentially dangerous. If it is well educated, it interacts well with other dogs and other animals too.

Care requirements: Its fur does not require special care. Occasional brushing is enough. The brushing sessions must be often only during the desquamation period. Unfortunately, this breed is prone to various forms of cancer, especially skin cancer. Therefore, it should not be kept under direct sunlight when it is really hot outdoors.

Boxer dogs

Living conditions: Since Boxers are very active they need to spend time outdoors daily. They can be easily accommodated in an apartment, as long as their owner takes them out for a run or a walk every day. They need training, socialization and exercise.

Training types: The agility competitions are made for Boxers and so is any type of training. It is a smart dog that can be trained in a short amount of time without too much persistence. They learn fast and they do it with pleasure.

Breed utility: Devoted and trustworthy, a Boxer is an excellent guarding of the house. Blind persons can use it as their guide and for a pleasant companionship as well.

Basset Hound for a Shakespearian experience

Breed history: The Basset Hound breed descends from an old French breed of Basset Artois. It was primarily raised by the nobility for hunting purposes, but it has gained popularity among the masses after the French Revolution. Once brought to England, this dog breed received some features present in Bloodhounds by repeated crossings.

When Shakespeare was alive, he described this dog in one of his writings, namely in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. In addition, George Washington wrote in a letter that he got one Basset Hound from General La Fayette as a gift. Later on, more and more people had one as a pet.

Physical description: It is a dog with short legs, strong bones, long body and a broad and deep chest. Its neck is thick and strong too. As for its head, it is big with flat temples and a long snout with a big black nose. Its eyes are slightly buried in its orbits. Its lower eyelids are hanging a little over its eyes, making it look sad.

The image is completed by large, long ears that fold inwards. Its tail is long, thick and slightly curved at the top. Its hair is thick, smooth, short and soft. It can be colored in brown, black and white. Its height is usually between 13 and 14 inch and its weight between 50 and 66 pounds.

Basset Hound

Personality features: The Basset Hound is a sociable dog. It is calm, playful, intelligent and curious. Its character is independent and it has a strong sense of smell. Devoted and a real friend for kids, this dog breed is even friendly with strangers and it barks only when it senses danger coming. It also gets along well with other dogs and other animals.

Care requirements: The loose hair must be removed with a rubber brush. Nails should be kept short and ears should remain clean. Because its skin folds, they must be kept clean in order to keep infections away. It tends to eat a lot and become obese, so keeping an eye on its diet is recommended. It should be fed properly and it shouldn’t be physically exhausted by taking walks that are too long for them. Its activity level is low, so short walks would suffice.

Living conditions: The Basset Hound can accommodate in an apartment, but it also likes to be outdoors. A short daily walk is what all dogs from this breed need in order to consume their energy and don’t do damage in an apartment.

Training types: The person who trains a dog from this breed must be patient and firm. The dressage sessions should be consistent because such dog has an independent attitude. Teaching it to respond when it is called is something that must be done when it is young.

Breed utility: It can be used for hunting animals such as rabbits, foxes and wild boars. It is also a cheerful companion dog.

This floppy-eared breed definitely has some perks, but the breed is not suitable for everyone. Before you decide to bring one home, check out more details on the Bassett Hound.

Similarities and conclusions

As seen, all these 5 dog breeds of medium size have things in common and things that differentiate them from one another. The main similarity, and probably the most important one, is that although each breed is great at doing multiple things, there are only a few exceptions that are actually trained for those purposes. These 5 dog breeds are excellent companions for people in the first place and serve for other purposes in the second place.

Indeed, there are some dog owners who train their canine friends for competitions or who take them hunting. However, this was not an important criterion when specialists tried to determine which medium sized dog breeds are the best. Characteristics such as accommodation in apartments, loyalty, friendship, joyfulness, cheerfulness, minimum care and minimum requirements, were the aspects with the largest degree of importance.

These 5 dog breeds can be divided in 2 categories when it comes to their level of activity and energy. Some are a great fit for those people who are active and like sports and want to practice them together with their canine friends, while others are ideal for people who don’t have enough time or the physical condition to take their dogs out for a long time every day. The main idea is that for every dog there is a perfect owner and the other way around.

As for the care aspects, the most convenient situation is when a pet needs minimum care and it is less prone to getting sick, at least during the first years of their lives. Last but not least, all these dog breeds are friendly, loyal and want to please their owners. The chemistry between man and these types of dogs is incredible and it should be treasured.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.