Medium Family Dogs: The Perfect Companions for Your Family

Medium Family Dogs.

Medium Family Dogs: The Perfect Blend of Size, Love, and Fun for Your Family!

When it comes to finding the perfect furry companion for your family — size matters. Medium family dogs strike a balance between being large enough to play and protect your family while being more manageable in terms of space and exercise needs.

Perhaps you live in an apartment or smaller home, so you don’t have the space for a large dog. Or, you have very young kids who can often be too boisterous for the smaller pups out there. Whatever the reason, we've picked ten of our favorite medium dogs to join your family.

What Do We Classify as Medium Sized Family Dogs?

Generally, dogs that fall into the medium sized family dogs category weigh in between 20 to 60 pounds and stand less than 26 inches tall at the shoulder. That said, there are exceptions to this. For example, male dogs tend to weigh more or stand taller than females, so some may tip the realms of this midsize rule.

The good news is there are tons of medium-sized breeds to choose from. While they may have size in common, there are a lot of other factors to consider — including their activity levels, their coat type, how easy they are to train, and their general temperament.

Let’s take a look!

best medium sized family dogs.

Our 10 Favorite Medium Sized Dog Breeds for Families

1. Portuguese Water Dog

medium family dog portuguese water dog.

Standing 23 inches tall at the most and weighing less than 60 pounds, the Portuguese Water Dog is big on personality with a delightful blend of playfulness and loyalty, making them exceptional companions for families of all sizes. 

Porties are the perfect sidekick for kids of all ages, joining in on their days out, especially if there’s water involved. They’re natural-born swimmers and love a day by the lake or at the beach. On land too, these dogs are incredibly smart! With their eagerness to please, they'll master tricks and commands with ease, impressing everyone at family gatherings.

Two of the most famous examples of the breed are the Obama’s pets, with the “First Dogs” reportedly chosen for their hypoallergenic coats. Their dense, waterproof coat sheds very little but does require regular and extensive brushing to keep it looking its best.

So, if you're ready to dive into a lifetime of laughter, adventure, and endless cuddles, the Portuguese Water Dog has to be one of the best family dogs in medium around.

2. Siberian Husky

medium family dog siberian husky.

If you’ve always wanted a dog that looks like a wolf, look no further than the uber-friendly Siberian Husky. Like other sled-pulling canines, this breed is a pack dog, meaning they thrive in the company of other four or two-legged family members.

Weighing in at no more than 60 pounds and standing up to 23.5 inches tall, the Husky is significantly smaller than the Alaskan Malamute. While graceful, this breed is a working dog with stacks of energy, which dictates the demand for plenty of exercise and time with the family. They’re eager to please, so training is relatively easy.

Sociable by nature, outgoing, and patient — they’re keen to play with kids and can be instinctively gentle with younger tots. Siberian Huskies enjoy spending lots of time outside, especially in cooler climates but don’t like being left alone, they need company.

For families with little time to spare for grooming, Siberian Huskies are remarkably self-cleaning with very little doggy odor. Your Husky will only need a few baths a year. But, they have a double coat that sheds — a lot (especially during shedding season) — during this time, you’ll be very busy brushing out all that dead hair.

3. Poodle (Standard)

medium family dog standard poodle.

Poodles come in a choice of sizes, toy, miniature, and standard, with the latter being the best choice for families with children. 

The Standard is the largest — over 15 inches in height and between 40 to 70 pounds — and sturdiest of all Poodles. Hence, will be able to withstand more roughhousing when they inevitably play with the kids. 

An extremely smart dog and athletic too, Poodles are game for any kind of exercise — but they love the water. Bred as hunting dogs originally, the Poodle’s impulse is to retrieve, so throwing a frisbee, ball, or stick for them will exercise both their body and mind. And, as they’re a people-pleasing breed, they can be trained with great success.

 Best of all, the Poodle is about as hypoallergenic as a dog breed can get. Grooming can be demanding if you decide not to adopt the standard shorter trimmed Poodle cut. But, their curly coat is relatively non-shedding — making them good medium sized family dogs for those with allergies.

4. Collie

medium family dog collie.

Everybody must have seen Lassie and how great she was with the kids. Collies are notoriously child-friendly and constantly shower the whole family with affection. Their playful and adventurous nature makes them the ideal medium family dogs for children.

At 22 to 26 inches tall and weighing between 50 to 75 pounds, male Collies are borderline large dogs, but their elegant nature often makes you unaware of their size. They’re devoted and athletic dogs who learn quickly through a combination of a high level of intelligence and an eagerness to please. 

Incredibly loyal, there’s nothing the Collie enjoys more than running around with their companions and joining in their adventures — cue Lassie again! But if they become bored, they can be very vocal and excessive barkers — try to involve your Collie in as many activities as you can.

If you’re worried about the grooming demands of that impressive fluffy coat, the smooth-coated kind doesn’t matt-up as much. Rough Collies are prone to tangles and matting, hence need extra attention to manage this. Although, both types are double-coated, so will need more care during shedding seasons.

5. Dalmatian

medium family dog dalmatian.

Another star of the silver screen that makes for one of the best medium sized dog breeds for families is that spotty pooch — the Dalmatian. Often described as bright and loyal, the Dal thrives on human company.

Underneath that distinctive livery of eye-catching black spots lies an athletic pooch. Standing between 19 to 23 inches at the shoulder, with powerful hindquarters, they make for a great running companion.

A protective instinct means the Dalmatian can be aloof with strangers. However, with their chosen humans, they’re incredibly loyal and affectionate house dogs. 

Dalmatians love to be with their family and involved in all activities indoors or outdoors. The Dal needs regular exercise to stay fit and happy, whether it’s chasing a ball across the yard or taking a long hike with their owner through the woods.

While that beautiful coat won’t take up too much of your time. The occasional bath and weekly brushing with a grooming mitt or rubber comb should be more than manageable for a busy family. However, Dalmatians are above-average shedding dogs.

6. Vizsla

medium family dog vizsla.

Vizslas are renowned for their unwavering devotion and love towards their humans. They form strong bonds, and are always eager to be by their side, showering them with affection and cuddles.

As a sporting breed, Vizslas have high energy levels and require regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They enjoy participating in various activities with their family, such as jogging, hiking, or playing fetch. And they’re gentle and patient with children, making them suitable companions for families with young kids.

Vizslas are intelligent dogs that are quick to learn and eager to please. With a sleek body suited to their origin as a nimble hunter’s companion, they stand between 21 to 24 inches tall and weigh in at between 44 to 60 pounds. With their short, smooth single coat, they don’t require too much complicated grooming, but can shed occasionally.

An affectionate nature, compatibility with children, high energy levels, trainability, and social disposition make the Vizsla one of the best midsize family dogs for active families — as long as you don’t mind a canine cling-on!

7. Basset Hound

medium family dog basset hound.

The Basset Hound is one of the family friendly dog breeds medium in weight — 40 to 65 pounds — but with short little legs — only standing up to 15 inches in height. With their droopy ears, soulful eyes, and unique physique, they possess a charm that’s hard to resist. 

Calm and patient, this combination makes the Basset an ideal choice for families with children. They’re generally tolerant and can handle the playful antics of kids with ease. They also get along well with other pets, including dogs and cats, so they’re more adaptable to living in a multi-pet household.

The Basset has a laid-back and easygoing personality, making them well-suited for families looking for a low-energy dog. They’re content with leisurely walks and lounging around with their family.

Bear in mind that Basset Hounds can have a stubborn streak and may require patient training. And, although this hound has a short, smooth coat, the Basset’s hair can shed profusely. Plus, they drool quite a bit, so ensure you can put up with the slobber.

8. Whippet

medium family dog whippet.

Although lightning fast, like their fellow sighthound cousins, the Whippet also likes to relax and stretch out after exercise. They thrive on human companionship and are happy curled up at home after a vigorous run.

The Whippet, measuring between 18 and 22 inches in height, looks like a mini Greyhound. With a long snout, and graceful head, their slender appearance means they weigh a mere 25 to 40 pounds, yet their skinny legs are sturdy.

Whippets are typically good with youngsters, playful yet tolerant of a child’s excitability, and always great for a game of chase the ball. With their moderate energy level, a daily walk or short bursts of playtime can be enough exercise to keep them happy.

Although Whippets will benefit from a secure yard to run in, they can adapt to a cozy apartment too, providing they get their regular bouts of brief exercise. Additionally, for city-dwelling families, the Whippet rarely barks. And, despite their elegant looks, with just a short, smooth coat needing little more than a quick brush-down and the occasional bath, the Whippet is a low-maintenance mid size family dog.

9. Bulldog

medium family dog bulldog.

Another of the family friendly dog breeds medium in weight but short in stature is the loveable Bulldog. At only 14 to 15 inches tall, the Bulldog is a stocky little fella, weighing about 50 pounds. Although they have a playful side, that bulk can easily topple a toddler — albeit unintentionally — so they should be watched closely with tiny tots.

Yet, kids love the Bulldog, with their goofy childlike personality, they’re always up for friendly games with the entire family — when they aren’t enjoying a lazy nap. And, while they require enough exercise to prevent the pounds from piling on, lengthy excursions beyond the local dog park are rarely needed.

It’s hard to mistake the Bulldog for another breed — the wrinkles, droopy jowls, flat face, and small ears — give them an expressive look like no other. The short snout can, however, cause labored breathing in hot and humid weather, or if too vigorously exercised.

With proper care, training, and plenty of love, Bulldogs can bring immense joy, loyalty, and companionship to families looking for a medium-sized dog with a big heart.

10. Samoyed

medium family dog samoyed.

Sammies are seriously social creatures, they’re sled dogs, like the Husky, yet they form super-tight bonds with their special humans. This breed craves to be in the thick of family action — at all times. 

Smaller than an average Husky at just 19 to 23.5 inches tall and weighing 35 to 65 pounds, Samoyeds are one of the best medium dog breeds for families who enjoy the great outdoors. They love to engage in games and participate in family adventures.

Despite their fluffy appearance and shedding levels, this breed is hypoallergenic — Samoyeds don’t release much dander. Even their perpetual smile, which they’re famed for, is functional. The upturned corners of the mouth stop them from drooling. Hence, the Sammie is ideal for those with dog allergies. 

However, you’ll need to be prepared for the seasonal coat ‘blowouts,’ grooming will be intense. Training also requires a firm but fair approach, they can be mischievous. And, avoid walking off-leash — their urge to run is strong. But once you see that smile upon your return from work, you’ll know it’s worth it.

best midsize family dog.


A short and stocky pooch like the Bulldog, an allergy-friendly Samoyed, or a slender pup like the Whippet. These family-friendly breeds may be similar in size, yet they all differ in temperament, energy levels, and grooming requirements. 

Whether you opt for the Portie, Dalmatian, or any of the other medium family dogs we’ve looked at, a new family pet will bring joy, love, and endless cherished memories to your family for years to come. Happy dog hunting!

Best Family Dog Breeds — Medium Size FAQs

Do Medium Family Dogs Require a Lot of Exercise?

The exercise needs of medium family dogs can vary depending on the breed and individual dog. It's important to research the specific breed and consider your family's activity level and lifestyle to find a dog with exercise requirements that align with your family's capabilities.

Which Are the Best Medium Sized Family Dogs?

Any of our top 10 would make a fabulous family dog. It all depends on your lifestyle/personal wish list. However, general characteristics to look for include — a friendly, sociable and patient nature, and a reputation for being good with kids.

Can Medium-Sized Dogs Adapt to Apartment Living?

Yes. Many mid-sized dogs are suitable for apartment life. The key is to ensure they have sufficient exercise and mental stimulation. Regular walks and access to outdoor space for exercise are important for the dog's well-being.

Are Medium Family Dogs Good With Other Pets?

While it can vary from dog to dog, many medium-sized breeds are known to be sociable and can get along well with other pets when properly introduced and socialized.

Are There Any Hypoallergenic Medium-Sized Dog Breeds?

Yes, there are several medium-sized dog breeds that don’t shed, such as:

  • Portuguese Water Dog. 

  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. 

  • Poodle.

  • Samoyed.

  • Kerry Blue Terrier.

  • Basenji.

  • Xolo.