If you're thinking about bringing home a midsized dog, let us suggest this appropriate name: Goldilocks. "They aren't too big, and they aren't too small; they're just right," says Nicole Ellis, resident dog trainer and celebrity dog expert at Rover.
Ellis knows, of course, that any dog you choose will be just right for you, especially if you take the necessary steps to weigh all of your options. Ellis says that some things to consider include how often you travel, whether you have kids, your apartment's rules for pets, your budget for dog food and health issues, and how active you like to be.
In most of these cases, midsize dogs are the best bet. Large dogs are harder to fly with, and some small dogs are tricky around children. Furthermore, large dogs eat more food and shed more, while smaller dogs can wiggle their way into dangerous spaces. As for exercise? "Medium-size dogs have more endurance than smaller dogs, so if you want a workout buddy, you may want to start with the medium dogs instead of the small ones," she continues.
While this comparison game can stretch on much further than the above outline, we'll keep our tips on a tight leash. We asked Ellis to recommend the 12 best midsized dogs for most homes so that you can get a general idea of how these potential family members can fit into your routine.
"Medium-sized pups are a great middle ground between huge and small dogs, and by getting a mixed breed you can have the best of multiple breeds, too," she says. "Be sure to do more research on the breed you're interested in to see that it's a fit for you and your household."
For the best medium-sized dog for your home, consider:
"A medium-sized poodle doesn't shed and is extremely intelligent, making them fun and easy to train," she says. "They also love joining in on adventures and are a great family dog."
"Popular from Lassie movies, these dogs make excellent family dogs," Ellis says. "They're very smart, and have enough energy to keep everyone satisfied—from hiking to fetching."
"Labs are considered a medium-size dog, and they're the most popular dog breed in the U.S., according to the American Kennel Club," she says. "Labs are goofy but adaptable, all-around great dogs. They are smart and hard working but love to play and make everyone laugh."
"Wheaten terriers are one of my favorite breeds," Ellis says. "These independent dogs are usually quite quiet pups, but they also love to keep a watch over the house. They are affectionate and charming pets—not to mention, unique and adorable."
"These pups are very energetic and friendly," Ellis notes. "They love to give their all and succeed in whatever they try, from agility to scent work to therapy work."
"Bearded collies do require brushing and grooming, but they make up for it with all the fun you'll have," Ellis adds. "These pups are athletic and happy to join in on any family adventures, or stay home relaxing with the kids."
"You won't be running a marathon with a bulldog, but if you're looking for a dog to relax with and bring some character to your house, then a bulldog is a great fit," she says. "They are loyal, determined, courageous, and funny!"
English Springer Spaniels
"These dogs make great family dogs and often love children," she says. "They are very intelligent, too, which makes training fun and easy for everyone. Lastly, these spaniels are playful but big enough to be able to get down with a good game of chase or tug."
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
"I have a lot of friends who have these dogs and they love them," she continues. "They are smaller than most retrievers and have a crazy 'roller' yell, but they are loyal, har- working, and lovely family dogs that love to swim and play."
Portuguese Water Dogs
"Often mistaken for poodles, these curly, fluffy pups are a great addition to any family," she says. "They like to be included in any activity, and they're hypoallergenic."
"Cocker spaniel are known to be loving and sweet dogs," Ellis says. "While they are an active breed, they don't mind settling down and relaxing with kids, family members, or other animals."
"This dog isn't for everyone, but it's perfect for the active person who wants a companion," she says. "They have a high stamina, so they love hiking and running, which is what they were originally bred to do. They make a great partner to hit the trails with."
For more midsize dogs, consider:
These low-maintenance furry friends are great with kids, though they can be tough to train.
They may be compact, but they’re all muscle; they’re curious, good-natured and wicked smart too.
Spirited, lean, and super active… and who wouldn't adore those striking eyes?
These graceful, barkless dogs are charming to the point of mischievous and require diligent owners.
Friendly and loving, this easygoing breed makes a comforting companion, yet needs plenty of exercise.
Smart and eager, this loyal dog wants a lot to do to stay happy.
These make happy and curious pups; they’re both playful and peppy.
One of the most talented and hardworking dogs, they’re known for their intelligence and are often tapped as search and rescue dogs.
These handsome dogs are playful, yet take watchdogging seriously.
Sporty and agile, they’ve got energy inside the home and out.
Their affinity for kids and naturally spirited nature means they can match older children’s energy.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The epitome of a people person, they will gladly join you on your hike or lay around for a Netflix binge.
Doxies as they're known have no shortage of spunk. They’re brave, vivacious, and curious.
These spotted friends are smart and outgoing, albeit can be a bit nervous. Just remember to reward good behavior and provide lots of socialization.
Lavish attention on this playful and smart dog breed; they’re known to entertain everyone around.
Fluffy, amiable, and outgoing describe this Dutch breed best.
Graceful and swift, this breed is easy to train and laps up affection.
Exuberant and smart, confident and up for anything.
They tend to get a bad rap, but this smart dog breed, when properly trained is gentle and protective.
Bold and fearless and unwaveringly reliable.
Best for owners who want to be the center of attention and reciprocate affections.
This ancient Japanese breed feels confident at home in both urban and rural environments.
A more challenging breed, they can be more reserved around strangers, yet are generally low-key and loyal.
These sled dogs love family life, are personable, trusting, and need lots of exercise.
These long-haired friends are sensitive and affectionate, yet clever.
Originally tapped for long days in the field, these dogs are loyal and energetic, meaning they make great jogging or biking buddies.
Germany’s “Gray Ghost,” these dogs are obedient, like lots of exercise and quality time with their humans.
These gentle dogs are quick on their feet when they have something to chase. In between bursts of energy, they are the epitome of chill.