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The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: November 22, 2017
The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds

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If you want to adopt a dog, it's important to know more about each breed so you can find the perfect partner that suits your lifestyle. Small to medium breeds (those weighing between 20 to 40 pounds) are perfect for people with children, people living in cities and don't have large spaces. Or at least that is what people think. Each dog has its own needs and character, which is why at AnimalWised we've created this list of the best small to medium dog breeds to explain the reasons why they are the best choice for you!

You may also be interested in: Best Small Dogs For Small Children


  1. Poodle
  2. American Water Spaniel
  3. Basset Hound
  4. Beagle
  5. German pinsher
  6. Corgi
  7. Boston Terrier
  8. Basenji


The breed that ranks first of this list of best small to medium sized dog breeds is the Poodle. This beautiful dog breed comes in several sizes, although an average sized medium poodle will be 25 to 45 centimeters at the withers and weigh around 18 to 22 pounds. Why does it rank top of the list? The poodle is ideal for a great number of people, from children to old people, as they are highly sociable and fairly easy to train, which is why they are also used as therapy dogs. They adapt well to living in flats and indoors, although you will need to take them for two walks a day and should not be left alone for too long due to separation anxiety. They also adapt well to country life, they are not very aggressive and are easily trained if you do it properly since puppy hood. Need any other reasons?

The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds - Poodle

American Water Spaniel

The American Water Spaniel is one of the best type of Spaniel dogs around the world. This is a rare breed but is still on our list due to the fact that they are highly skilled and versatile, meaning they also adapt well to any situation. They love spending time with their family and are highly loving but, beware, they always have a favorite person. They usually weigh around 30-35 lbs on average and have a beautifully dense coat that protects them against all weather conditions and is pretty water resistant. American Water Spaniels are eager to please and love swimming and running around.

Picture: SweetIceCreamPhotography

Basset Hound

If you don't have much time to take your dog for longer walks, the basset hound is one of the best small to medium sized dogs for you, as they are considered one of the laziest breeds. Although you will need to embrace yourselves to train them, they are a great addition to a family with children, as they are affectionate and highly friendly. Their calmness means they can't spend too long playing with kids, but they still enjoy playtime, in the right measure.

The Basset Hound is very homey and need lots of care, so make sure you provide them with a loving environment to keep them happy. Remember they are one of the best dogs for young children.

The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds - Basset Hound


Another dog breed that is great to have in the presence of kids is the Beagle. They will usually weigh from 22 to 40 lbs on average and have a height of around 14 to 18 in. These are not the best pet to have in the city as their hunting instinct is still pretty present in their character, which is why they enjoy running and going for long walks, a total of 3 times a day. They are active and impulsive dogs, which is why it is not recommended for a beagle to share a home with animals of other species unless you have the time to undergo a long socialization process.

The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds - Beagle

German pinsher

Crossing the equator of our list of best small to medium dog breeds we find the German Pinscher, which weighs around 25 to 45 pounds and is around 1 ft 7 in tall on average. This beautiful dog is pretty adaptable to hot weather due to its short fur, but can also tolerate colder climates. Their short coat also means they are very easy to groom.

They are one of the most affectionate dog breeds with their family, although they are not highly friendly towards other dogs unless they have been properly socialized during the time they were puppies. German Pinshers will also need lots of playtime as they have great energy levels, so make sure you have the time they need to run around.

The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds - German pinsher


Both the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi are considered canine royalty. This is due to the fact that they are Queen Elisabeth II's favorites. It's no wonder her highness has such a thing for corgis as they are very loyal pets that are moderately active and can adapt well to life in a flat. They are also great surveillance dogs that love indoor living, even though their high sociability means that they tend not to like being alone for long periods of time. They will love running around when on walks and playing skill games.

The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds - Corgi

Boston Terrier

Out of all the types of terrier breeds, the Boston Terrier is probably one of the best options for small to medium sized dogs. This is due to the fact that they are very easily trained, especially when using positive reinforcement methods like the clicker. They are very friendly with their family and can be great for children, although they are not especially recommended if you have very small children. They get along very well with other dogs in your home and do not need excessive exercise. However, ball play during their walks will help your Boston Terrier.

They usually weigh around 20 lbs on average and are around 15.7 in tall, although there are also smaller Boston Terriers.

The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds - Boston Terrier


Last but not least on this list of best small to medium dog breeds in the Basenji, a great dogs for those who suffer from mild allergies as they are hypoallergenic due to their short fur and scarce shedding. Nicknamed the "barkless dog" , this does not mean that they are quiet. The fact is that they do bark but make a squeaky noise similar to a scream. These dogs are best suited for people who have an outdoor area such as a garden, as they don't like small and enclosed places. They love jumping and running and are easily trainable. They are not suitable for small children, although they are highly sociable and need an experienced dog owner that can give they all the proper training they need in order to behave themselves. If given the amount of care and training the Basenji requires, it will be highly affectionate towards its family and towards other strangers too.

The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds - Basenji

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The Best Small to Medium Dog Breeds