If you are looking for a family-friendly medium-sized dog, we have a list of possibilities for you. According to the American Kennel Club, medium-sized dogs weigh between 35 and 65 pounds.
Every family and every breed has its own personality, and it’s important that you make an informed decision based on your needs, budget, and time. We have provided a Top Ten list of medium-sized dogs.
Top Ten List of Medium-Sized Dogs Good for Families
1. Labrador Retriever
For many years in a row, the Labrador Retriever, with its baby face and playfulness, has been the #1 dog of choice for families in America. The Labrador is easy to train, loyal, and gets along with most other dogs.
The high-spirited Labrador Retriever loves to play and learn and needs plenty of outdoor exercises. They tend to have a goofy sense of humor and like to make their humans laugh.
In addition, they are affectionate and love to lie at your feet or even sit on your lap, still acting like a puppy long after entering adult life. Because their breed is a “retriever,” be careful with smaller pets, like rabbits or mice.
Labradors come in a few different colors, including black, yellow, and brown. And though they can weigh up to 75 pounds, counting them as a larger medium-sized dog, they will make a great addition to your family.
This breed is gentle and brave, with a muscled, low-slung frame. His wrinkles, underbite, and broad shoulders often stereotype him as a symbol of toughness and tenacity.
However, Bulldogs are kind, loyal companions that can live in a small apartment or on a large country farm. The Bulldog has a short, shiny coat that can be expressed in many colors and patterns.
The breed can grow up to 50 pounds, but will still insist on climbing up into your lap like a smaller dog. And, although Bulldogs are laid back, they are not lazy.
They enjoy walks with their family in temperate weather. When it’s hot and humid outside, make the walks briefer because their snout can cause labored breathing. Although this is a not a breed you will run sprints with, you can enjoy some laid back fun at home with the family.
In general, bulldogs are an easy-going breed, with a tendency to be stubborn. They can also be super energetic and playful, and respond well to training. Bulldogs are a good family dog.
3. Border Collie
This lovable breed is extremely intelligent and easy to train. They weigh between 30 and 55 pounds and are very energetic. Border Collies are a herding dog, so they enjoy being part of the family, including older children.
Border Collies are not the type of dog that enjoys staying home alone for several hours at a time. Because they are such an active and determined breed, they will thrive in a home with an active family.
Training your Border Collie to perform tricks will stimulate his mind and body, and help you bond. Because this breed has a very high energy level, having a large fenced in yard (they tend to be escape artists) will benefit him and the entire family.
They love to play with their family! But, don’t sell this breed short on loving: they are affectionate and enjoy getting cozy at night with loved ones.
These are some of the happiest, quickest breeds. They love to run and swim and will do best with active families. Brittanys are athletic dogs and will maintain their sunny disposition if you keep them busy and active.
Brittanys are eager to please, so they are easy to train. Moreover, they are devoted and loving to their families. The Brittany is known for being cheerful, so many people turn them into show dogs, working dogs, and therapy animals.
It’s hard not to fall head over heels with this breed. They weigh between 30 and 40 pounds and do best when given plenty of outside time and fast running.
5. English Springer
Like Brittany, this breed also has a cheerful disposition and loves to be active. They are very intelligent and genuinely like people, so they are easy to train. Your entire family can enjoy playing tug of war and fetch with this energetic breed.
The English Springer Spaniel was bred to hunt and retrieve birds, and small prey. Because they are natural-born people-pleasers, they’ve often been the favorite breed of avid hunters and families alike.
This breed is great with kids and makes a loving, loyal companion. English Springers weigh between 40 and 50 pounds and enjoy engaging with every member of the family. They love running in open spaces and are very fast.
A large backyard or country land would be ideal because they need plenty of daily exercises to stay happy.
6. Siberian Husky
This friendly and people-oriented breed is a well-loved family dog. With their strong body and sweet personality, the Siberian husky has been bred to be a working dog, so they need plenty of exercises and daily activity to stay happy and healthy.
The Siberian husky weighs between 35 and 60 pounds. Experts recommend not letting this breed off leash when you’re outside of an enclosed area.
They were bred to run and may just keep on running. If you live in town, be sure to provide an escape-free backyard.
Siberian Huskies are a trusting breed, even with people they don’t know. They are friendly and alert. And their strong instincts make them gentle and willing to play with children. Some Siberian Huskies “talk!”
7. American Cocker Spaniel
This is an even-tempered, friendly breed who can charm even the most stubborn anti-dog person. Cocker spaniels get along well with children and will fit in with an active family. They are very social and friendly.
Cocker Spaniels are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train. They are on the smaller side of medium-sized, weighing between 20 and 35 pounds at most. Because of this breed’s long, silky coat, you might take turns with other family members brushing her, or make frequent trips to the groomer.
Training your Cocker Spaniel gives her much needed mental stimulation, however, they are easily distracted so you may keep the training sessions short. Bottom line: these dogs truly enjoy interacting with people, making them quite lovable.
8. Golden Retriever
This beautiful dog can be many shades of golden yellow all the way to red-orange. They are a Scottish gundog and are one of America’s most popular breeds. Goldens are working dogs, so they need exercise and a job to be happy.
Goldens make great guide dogs for the blind, therapy dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs. As you might imagine, they are easy to train. Goldens are known for their strong muscular frame and that beautiful coat.
They are adorable as puppies. As they come of age, Goldens develop a face that shows their intelligence with observant eyes and a regal muzzle. Although the Golden likes to work, he also likes to play, which is why they make good family dogs.
They are even-tempered and friendly. Their good looks will catch the attention of everyone while you’re out for a walk. Because Goldens are a pack breed, they are loyal and bond closely with their family.
9. Basset Hound
These low slung dogs are among the most chill and loyal breeds and make a perennial favorite of families. Basset Hounds are small but mighty dogs, with dense bones, strong legs, and big paws.
Despite their low to the ground stature, Basset Hounds are strong and determined. Never underestimate this sweet looking dog with the droopy eyes and droopy ears.
They are surprisingly resilient, built more for long-distance runs instead of sprints. Since the Basset Hound is a hound, they have an above-average ability to scent.
As long as you’re in your house, the Basset is agreeable. Once you get them outside for a walk, however, if the Basset picks up a scent, you will see their stubborn side emerge. They become a fiesty barking hunter.
Basset Hounds are sweet and friendly and make a great pet. They are not super energetic and enjoy lazing around the home with their family.
Because of their stubborn personalities, they may be more of a challenge to train than other breeds. They make up for that with their loving disposition and desire to be around their owners.
This breed has been called the most intelligent breed according to Animal Planet Dogs 101. They are instinctual and loyal, and because they are so bright, very easy to train.
Perhaps, because a medium-sized poodle doesn’t shed, you get a fringe benefit of not having to vacuum. Poodles are eager to please, muscled, and versatile.
For example, the so-called Standard Poodle, has size and strength, making him a formidable athlete. They can weigh up to 70 pounds.
Many people have no idea that poodles were once bred to retrieve waterfowl. Still, they are gentle and loving. And because of their high intelligence, training is a must to keep them mentally stimulated. They love nothing better than going on adventures with their family.
We suggest conducting some additional research on your own to determine which medium-sized dog might best suit your lifestyle, family, and home. For more information, consider this varying point of view through a YouTube video.
Are You Willing to Love a Medium-Sized Mutt?
If you’re not set on spending a thousand dollars on a purebred dog, there are plenty of mixed breed dogs that need a good home.
National Mutt Day, AKA National Mixed Breed Day, has become a celebrated day, twice a year in fact: July 31 and December 2. These two dates are special days in which to adopt a mutt or mixed breed pup, or simply to celebrate the mixed-breed dog.
And just for fun, we want to let you know that Benji, the famous dog of 70s TV movies was a mixed breed. Moreover, the dog that starred in Disney’s Old Yeller was a matador, Labrador Retriever, and Mastiff mix.
Pro Tips: We recommend following a few steps before making a commitment to taking in a puppy:
– Visit the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) to have a better chance of finding known genetic health issues specific to a dog breed (whether pure or mixed).
– If you choose to purchase a puppy from a breeder, ask for written proof that the parent dogs are cleared of all known genetic health issues for the breed.
– Visit your veterinarian and ask him or her to examine your puppy for known breed-specific health issues or other concerns.
– Order your own genetic tests (or ask the breeder or rescue shelter to do this on your behalf) before committing to care for a new puppy or rescue dog.
– Get a written guarantee of initial health from your new puppy’s breeder (usually this covers a six to 12-month period and also requires you have your puppy examined by your own vet).
– If you purchase a dog from a breeder or a shelter, be sure they provide a return guarantee if the puppy or dog is not a match for your family.
When you start training your medium-sized puppy, check out the wealth of resources on Amazon.
Check out more training resources, for example, using positive reinforcement to achieve the best results.
And of course, no dog information would be complete without a nod to the “dog whisperer,” Cesar Millan whose controversial methods has millions of followers.