From Calm to Crazy: A Guide to The Best Medium Sized Dogs for ESAs

By: Kathryn Anderson Updated: September 15, 2021

best medium sized dogs illustration of various types of dogs

Medium sized dogs are the perfect solution for those eager doggy parents who want neither too big or too small in their choice of fur baby. It does not take any special powers to own a medium-sized dog. Whatever your choice, be ready to dish out plenty of love and affection.

And did we mention: they make for some of the best emotional support animals due to all the squishy, cushy cuddles!

What the Best Medium Sized Dog Breeds Have in Common 

The most common feature of all medium sized dog breeds is their weight (duh right?). Medium breeds weigh in at between forty and sixty pounds.

The best of the medium breed dogs are comparatively intelligent, fit and healthy. They make great companions and are braver than most.

Can’t Handle a Great Dane but Don’t Want a Chihuahua? Medium Size Dogs are the Answer! 

Medium dogs fit the bill between the large and the teeny-tiny breeds. Small breeds or teacup pups are not everyone’s cup of tea after all. The lifestyles of many people simply do not cater to owning, caring for and accommodating large breeds.

Mixed breeds are the answer for many prospective pup parents, whether first time owners, to fit in households with existing pets, or to join grieving families of departed fur babies.

medium dog breeds irish setter at a dog show

From Calm to Crazy: There’s a Breed of Dogs for Everyone! 

Of the medium dog breeds, you can get the friendly, aloof, mischievous, well-intentioned, energetic or sedate and everything and anything in between.

Knowing what you need in a dog and which breed, or character of pooch best fits your particular lifestyle, will ensure that you enjoy a doggy lifetime of joy with your chosen Fido (or Fida?).


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AKC Breeds / AKC Dog Breeds: A Dog Breeds List of Medium Dogs!

The American Kennel Club’s list of happy medium breeds include doggies of every character, type, and class. However, they all have size in common:

  • Airedale Terrier: All 23 inches, 60 pounds of this pooch is courageous, friendly, and clever. This member of the Terrier group will be with you for a good 11 to14 years.
  • Appenzeller Sennenhund: This Foundation Stock Service dog makes for a great watch, guard, or farm dog. Living to 15 years, this lively, agile, and versatile pooch weighs 48 to 70 pounds. They grow to a height of between 19 and 22 inches.
  • Australian-stump-tail-cattle-dog: The comical, alert, and trainable member of the Foundation Stock Service group stands at 18 to 20 inches. It weighs between 32 and 45 pounds and has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
  • Basset Hound: Big on ears and short on legs, these endearing doggies of the Hound group are all heart and as stubborn as they come. Standing up to 15 inches and weighing around 40 to 65 pounds, these charmers, are the epitomes of patience. These low key fur babies live between 12 and 13 years.
  • Bulldog: As a Non-Sporting Group breed, they epitomize calm, courage and friendliness. Ranking 4 out of 193 in popularity, we can understand why. They have a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years, stand between 14 and 15 inches and weigh 50 pounds (male) or 40 pounds (female).
  • Shikoku: An alert, energetic, enthusiastic member of the Foundation Stock Service group stands at 17 to 22 inches. It weighs 35 to 55 pounds and has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
  • American Foxhound: Who did not fall in love with the friendly little hunter-in-training in Disney’s “The Fox and the Hound”? In real life, these members of the Hound group are just as sweet tempered and easy going, and rather more independent than Disney’s Copper. They reach a height of 25 inches and weigh between sixty and seventy pounds. They live to around thirteen companionable years.

cute american foxhound puppies lying together

List of Medium Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed! 

If you’re set on a medium dog breed, but you don’t relish the idea of hair everywhere, these are the specimens for you:

  • Shih Tzu: The Shih Tzu is a playful “Lion Dog”. It boasts a long, luxurious coat and would thank you for daily brushing.
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier: The Wheaten Terrier does not need frequent trimming. Brush daily though to keep their coats tangle and debris free.
  • American Hairless Terrier: American Hairless Terrier: What’s in a name, they say. This terrier’s name speaks volumes. This is a pooch that does not shed its non-existent hair.
  • Portuguese Water Dog: Portuguese Water Dogs have a deceptively dense and abundant coat for a so-to-say hypoallergenic pup. They do well with regular grooming, nonetheless.
  • Xoloitzcuintli: Xoloitzcuintli: A Mexican pup with the unpronounceable name needs only very minimal grooming. Call it by its nickname, Xolo, pronounced “Show-Low.”


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Most Active Medium Dog Breeds! 

The following dog breeds have some serious spring in their steps and need plenty of mental stimulation and physical exercise!

  • Siberian Husky: The Siberian Husky is a thick-coated, compact sled dog with a friendly, dignified and fastidious nature. Bred to work in packs, they have superb endurance which helps them to pull light loads at moderate speed over frozen expanses.
  • English Springer Spaniel: English Springer Spaniels are loved by sport-hunters as versatile, energetic hunting dogs. They are also well-mannered pets when at home.
  • Standard Poodle: The Standard Poodle is very smart. And very active! The aristocratic pup with the curly, hypoallergenic coat is a great companion!
  • Working Kelpie: The Working Kelpie is energy on four legs! With almost inexhaustible energy, they are very intelligent, extremely alert and eager. They are excellent herders! They show their aptitude working livestock in both the yard and open country.

happy medium size puppy kelpie bowing

Sing it Up Pup! The Loudest Mid-Size Dogs! 

Vocalizing is an important way of communication in doggies. Some just have more to say than others. They may use any one of many ways to voice their opinion, pleasure, displeasure, boredom, excitement or just to say hi.

  • Malamute: These uniquely put together dogs resemble wolves in lifestyle and looks. Malamutes tend to fit the bill as far as wolf-like howling goes, too. They also yip, yodel, chirp, snort, grumble, bark and sing.
  • Bloodhound: The Bloodhound bay is loud and distinct, even amongst a pack of hunting dogs on the chase, where it stands out as deeper and particularly resonant.
  • The Mutt: Never discount the mixed breed for chattiness and singing prowess. Even medium-sized mutts know how to use their voices to charm, warn, talk or get with the pack when the situation calls for it.

rescue dog giving a paw

Different Breeds of Dogs That Are Great with Children! 

The following medium-sized pooches simply love kids:

  • Staffordshire Terriers absolutely love their human siblings. They are protective, loving, gentle and patient. A well socialized Staffy is a “Nanny” dog par excellence!
  • Bearded Collies are smart. They’re also bouncy and lovable, making them even more perfect for children.
  • Rough Collies are walking (and barking) miracles. These beautiful dogs seem to exist purely to bring joy and comfort to families.
  • Jindo dogs are loyal to a fault. Once these doggos bond with their family, the bond lasts for life!

happy white jindo dog wagging its tail


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Not Too Big, Not Too Small: A Medium Sized ESA Dog is Just Right! 

Whether for apartment life, outdoors or as a companion in a family environment, these medium sized dogs make perfect emotional support animals (ESAs):

  • Vizlas are the perfect companions, whether in the city or the great outdoors.
  • Mixed breeds and rescue dogs make perfect emotional support animals. It is well worth a visit to your local shelter to find a dog to rescue who will rescue you right back.

adorable mixed breed medium puppy with pink dog collar

Common Questions on Medium Sized Dogs

What are the size and weight parameters for medium sized dogs? 

What are the best medium sized dogs for children? 

Can you recommend low-shedding medium sized dogs? 

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