What Is the Best Medium-Sized Dog for a Family?

The best dog breed for someone depends on the individual person.

But when it comes to the whole family, things like house size, budget, temperament, and breed size are important factors to consider. 

In general, you can’t go wrong with a dog that is not too big nor too small!

A gentle demeanor, friendly attitude, and trainable nature are also great characteristics of a family-friendly dog.

Here, we will talk about one of the most asked questions when getting a new dog.

What is the best medium-sized dog for a family? 

We share with you the importance of size when it comes to family dogs and the best breeds to consider!

This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We thank you for your support.
medium-sized dog breeds for family

Why Size Matters for Family Dogs

Dog size matters and shouldn’t be taken lightly for the comfort of your new dog, you as the dog parent, and the rest of the family.

Before deciding on the size of your new dog, consider these factors.


The size of the dog you decide to add to your family will greatly depend on your children.

A dog that’s too big can accidentally hurt young children by knocking them over or even stepping on them.

Meanwhile, small breeds can be unintentionally hurt by your kids.

Many small-sized dogs are not recommended for families, especially if there are children, because of their temperaments.

For instance, Chihuahuas are not always tolerant of children.

House Size

The larger the dog, the more space you’re going to need to keep them comfortable.

You don’t want to be cramped with a large dog in an area you can barely move in, like an apartment

Even if giant breeds don’t need a lot of space because they aren’t inactive, they still need enough room to avoid destroying your furniture or bumping into walls.


Generally speaking, the larger the dog, the more expensive your dog food budget, grooming supplies, and other essentials will be.

It may not be a deal-breaker, but the cost can be a factor for pet parents on tighter budgets.

Veterinary bills can also usually be more expensive with larger dogs because they need higher doses of medications for treatments.

Other Things to Consider when Getting a Family Dog

Once you’ve decided to get a dog that is not too big nor too small, you need to narrow your choices even more to those that are family-friendly.

Here are some factors you should take into account.

Where to Find Your New Dog

You can buy from a breeder or rescue, it’s all up to you.

Adopting an animal from a shelter is a great thing to do because it is cheaper and a good idea if you’re not yet set on a specific breed. 

It also helps prevent the problem with puppy mills.

A common concern is that a shelter dog could have been mistreated and might be aggressive. They may need more training and care.

Don’t worry, though, since shelter workers won’t give you a dog who is known not to like children.

If you’re planning to buy from a breeder, the American Kennel Club is a good place to start your search.

Arrange a visit so your family can meet the breeder, the dog’s parents, and the puppies, if there’s a litter at the moment. 

Pick a Mild-Mannered Dog

Choose a sweet-tempered dog breed that is also protective, forgiving, calm, and friendly. Some aloof dogs that don’t mix as well with kids are Dalmatians.

Go for breeds like Pugs, Boxers, Bulldogs, Poodles, or Border Collies.

Don’t Buy a Shaggy Dog if You’re Allergic

Many vets believe there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog since they all produce dander, but some produce less and are better for any allergy sufferers in your family.  

Think about getting a non-shedding dog if you’re worried about loose hairs or kids’ allergies.

Dogs that are regularly professionally groomed shed less in the home. 

This video shows a list of dog breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.

The Best Medium-Sized Dogs for a Family

Now it’s time to meet a few breeds that are just the right size and could make the perfect companion for your whole family. Here’s a quick breakdown.



These sweet-tempered fellows always seem to top the list of best dog breeds for families, and it’s no wonder. 

Beagles love company and they thrive in a pack, whether it’s made up of humans or fellow dogs!

This breed also has strong instincts to follow their noses, and they need a lot of exercises. They can also be stubborn and single-minded if they catch a particularly interesting scent.

Basset Hound

Good-natured and easygoing, a Basset Hound has a great sense of humor and a couch-potato sensibility. 

They’re stubborn and not too intelligent, sometimes making them difficult to train. But they’re also loving and sweet to the whole pack!

Australian Shepherd

Aussies are uncannily smart and independent medium-sized dogs, relying on their strong herding instincts. 

Loyal and devoted to their owners, these dogs are often wary of strangers. 


Poodles are known for being intelligent. They are adept at learning tricks and have a dignified and obedient demeanor. 

They are also great for allergy sufferers!

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever breed

Golden retrievers have golden hearts! Aside from being super smart and obedient, they are also quick to please and are fun-loving family members. 

That’s why they make great guides and service dogs!

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are the most popular breed in the US. They are known for being clever, friendly, obedient, and very loyal! 

They’re so eager to please that Labs quickly adapt to jobs as service, guide, and rescue dogs.

Dogs are Family!

Whatever the breed or size, dogs should always be considered as family. However, when picking a new family dog, size is always an important consideration. 

Large dogs can unintentionally hurt kids, while small dogs can be moody or irritable. Dog size matters also because your house may be too small to accommodate large breeds.

A family dog should also be sweet and gentle! If there’s anyone in your family who has dog allergies, consider breeds that shed less.

Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Basset Hounds, and Beagles are just some of the best medium-sized dog breeds for a family pet! 

Head to your local animal shelter or to a breeder to get a new dog and welcome them warmly into your family!

Still on the fence about getting a dog? Try fostering, first! Check out the pros and cons of fostering a dog.