Small to Medium Dog Breeds Dog Breeds that Straddle the Sizes

Small to Medium Dog Breeds

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You may be looking for a dog that's not so small you may step on them, but not so big they can leap the fence in a single bound. Take a look at these great small to medium dog breeds.

Not all dogs conform to being small or medium—many are somewhere in between! Far from a toy or giant, these dogs are around the 15-30 pound weight range; some would say the “perfect” size.

Small to medium dogs are very popular family dogs and city dogs because they have less energy than the toy group, are big enough for kids to play with, but don't take up much space or need huge areas for exercise. Many of these dogs have been bred to be great companion dogs—friendly, affectionate, and patient—so they are great for newer pet parents who are looking for a friend to greet them at home. Small to medium sized dogs tend to do well with kids, being very playful, but gentle, animals.

While not large athletic or working dogs, these breeds still need their exercise and plenty of attention. These dogs tend to be very social so they shouldn't be left home alone all day. They love to make their pet parents happy, so make sure you have time to train them, play with them, and reward them for being so good!

Below are several very different breeds who all fall between the small and medium size categories. They have very different needs and temperaments, so try to find the breed that suits you best. Learning about their background and instincts can indicate how they will act in your home.

Cocker-SpanielCocker Spaniel

These wavy haired dogs have always been popular because of their sweet temperament and great cuddling size. They make good family dogs and get along well with children, but can be difficult to housebreak. Make sure you keep their waxy coat brushed and watch their floppy ears for infections.




Beagles are happy little hounds who love a good chase! Used for so long as hunting dogs, Beagles have a strong search instinct which makes them tend to wander off following a scent, and a loud baying bark (which sounds more like a howl) often heard when they find what they were searching for. These dogs can usually be socialized to live with other pets and are gentle and affectionate with children.



This ancient African hunting dog has a very distinct look with their high ears, curled tail, and athletic physique. Baseji have the ability to make a larger variety of noises and yodels than other dogs but are generally quiet dogs with a lot of energy and speed. These dogs are easily trained and bond well with their owners but can be nervous around strangers. Since they love to chew, be sure to give Basenji chew toys so they don't get bored and gnaw on your shoes or furniture!



German Pinschers are excellent watchdogs who would do anything for their family. This leads them to bark whenever they want to tell you something important (“Someone's at the door!”) and can also lead to problems with biting in protection situations. These dogs are better for a pet parent with experience training a dog, because it's important for German Pinchers to know who's the boss. They must be carefully trained to back down from confrontations with other dogs and to not bark too often.




These dogs (pictured above) may look short and compact, with their stubby legs, but they are powerful herding and watchdogs. A very friendly breed, these dogs are highly intelligent and require training with strong leadership so that they know who is the “pack leader.” The Corgi's beautiful coat is easy to care for, only requiring routine brushing. 



This dog was bred for fox hunting, and the combination of speed, agility, and courage make Border Terriers great hunters. They love to dig and need a lot of exercise to work off their energy, but are relatively easy to train. The Border Terrier's water-proof coat requires special grooming and hand stripping twice a year to avoid mats and keep the fur clean.




Loyal and brave, miniature Bull Terriers are not the fighters they were once bred to be—now they only like to play. These dogs can be a little difficult to train, requiring firm leadership, even from children. They may be too energetic for small children, especially because they like to join in when they see wrestling and roughhousing. They can be low maintenance, requiring minimal grooming, but should not be left alone for eight hours every day.

More on Dog Breeds

Dogs That Don't Shed
AKC Recognized Breeds
The Best Dogs for Children

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Medium Breed Small Breed Basenji Beagle Border Terrier Cocker Spaniel German Pinscher Miniature Bull Terrier Pembroke Welsh Corgi
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