12 Medium-Energy Dog Breeds Sorted by Size

12 Medium-Energy Dog Breeds Sorted by Size

When looking to adopt a dog, a goal of many dog owners is to match up their intended lifestyle with the future dog breed they’d like to get.Regardless of where you look — shelters, private rescues, or breeders —you can find dogs with mixes of the breeds you are interested in. It’s essential to match up with a dog that will fit in with your lifestyle so that you can ensure you are giving them enough to be happy.

While all dogs (including mixed breeds) are plain adorable, not all of them will be an excellent match for you, and that’s okay!

Suppose you’re a medium-energy person who likes the occasional long hike but prefers sticking to a routine of twice-daily walks and backyard play. In that case, you might want to consider a medium-energy dog rather than one with high or low energy levels.

When you don’t match up your energy, you are more likely to become overwhelmed and anxious that you aren’t doing enough. To avoid these thoughts of guilt, be open with the rescue or your breeder about what you are looking for in your future best fur friend.

An Ode to Medium-Energy Dogs

Many of us humans would describe ourselves as the best of both worlds: easily motivated go-getters who enjoy sinking into the couch and getting comfy late at night.

Having a dog that can keep up with you during your “on” days but also lay low when you are looking for rest is what it feels like to have a true best friend. Medium-energy dogs really enjoy physical activity and are happy to go on multiple walks a day (or just one with some solid playtime and stimulation).

A Note on Age and Size

However, keep in mind that a dog’s age impacts the amount of exercise they need. For example, senior dogs will have lower energy levels and can be more prone to injury. Similarly, puppies should also take it easy to ensure proper bone and growth development.

Many of the dogs listed below tend to match the energy of their humans. If you are feeling lazy, so will they! If you want to burn some steam and go for a mile-long hike, you bet your pooch is right beside you.

Depending on the size of the dog, there might be different exercise requirements that your pup needs. Smaller dogs might need less physical activity than medium-sized dogs, but larger dogs will sleep and recuperate for longer periods after intense play than any other sized dogs.

Keep reading to learn more about different sized medium-energy dogs.

Smaller Breeds With Medium-Energy Levels

Smaller breeds are great for those who live in smaller spaces like apartments or with multiple roommates. If you are someone who is interested in a smaller breed that still wants to socialize and go outside every day, there are a few breeds that might be a perfect fit for you.

1. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is a small breed that is known to be extremely adaptable. They will pick up on your lifestyle and learn how to become a part of it. They love to exercise, but only if you want to. Otherwise, they are more than happy to snuggle up with you on the couch.

Similar to a cocker spaniel, these dogs will likely need at least an hour of play a day, but that can be incorporated through throwing a ball and playing fetch, chasing after toys in the house, or going on leisurely walks in the neighborhood. These dogs stand approximately 13 inches tall and can weigh up to 18 pounds.

2. Pug

Pugs are a breed that is not necessarily known for their incredible athletic ability and drive. Pugs stand 11 inches tall and can weigh up to 18 pounds at full size.

These pint-sized cuties will burn their energy by following your every move and not leaving your side. They will go on walks, of course, but if you want to chase a toy indoors and then snuggle, they are completely down for it.

They do come with adorable faces, but respiratory issues can arise, so you don’t want to overwork them. Instead, make sure that they get plenty of rest so that they don’t have to worry about getting enough air.

If you adore this small dog, you might also like French bulldogs, Boston terriers, or similar brachycephalic breeds.

3. Dachshund

Another adorable and tiny breed that still has bounds of energy is the dachshund. While these dogs are definitely energetic for their size, their tiny legs and long bodies make it so that they tire a bit quicker than their canine peers.

So yes, they will jump around, chase after balls, go on daily walks, and ask you to play throughout the day, but soon enough, they look to lie down and relax.

Standard dachshunds stand up to nine inches tall and weigh up to 32 pounds. Miniature dachshunds stand up to six inches tall and can weigh up to 11 pounds.

4. Cardigan Welsh Corgis

Last on the small breeds list is the Cardigan Welsh corgi. Corgis are famous for their lovable little bodies, short legs, and large ears. These dogs love to have a nice burst of energy and speed but will tire out faster than the other dogs. (They tend to be slightly calmer than the Pembroke Welsh corgi.)

They are playful and energetic but will be ecstatic to curl up on the couch after a long day. Keep in mind that corgis are herding dogs — and might be inclined to show this off, especially with livestock (or smaller children).

These dogs stand 12 inches tall and can weigh up to 30 pounds. These dogs need enough exercise to keep their weight healthy to preserve spine health.

Note: When it comes to bringing home a herding dog, not all breeds are so chill. Herders like the border collie or Australian shepherd need a ton of mental stimulation to thrive.

Medium-Sized Breeds With Medium-Energy Levels

If you’re able to have a larger dog in your home but still want the same medium-energy levels we’ve discussed above, some of the following are some of the best dog breeds for a more mellow lifestyle.

1. Golden Retriever

Everyone adores the golden retriever, and for good reasons. This lovable, personable, and relatively low-energy dog breed will love you like no other.

These dogs love to get out and play and could ignore you for hours if they enjoy their activity, but they are very friendly and need love too. Basically, if you’re looking for a guard dog, the golden would not be a prime candidate.

After strenuous activity, goldens will need a few days to recuperate, so take advantage of their exhaustion and snuggle up for a nap. These dogs can stand up to 24 inches tall and can weigh up to 75 pounds.

Love a golden? Consider the labrador retriever too.

2. Brittany Spaniel

Brittany spaniels were bred to be hunting dogs who would retrieve birds that were shot from the sky. They have medium to high energy but can be well-exercised with walks, fetch, doggy playdates, and games requiring mental stimulation. These dogs love to explore and will smell the perimeter of your backyard for hours if you let them.

They get up to 20 inches tall and can weigh up to 40 pounds.

Love spaniels? Consider the springer spaniel.

3. English Bulldog

This breed is in the brachycephalic category, a group of dogs with shortened snouts. This unique trait gives them their distinct and iconic appearance, and they’re one of the most instantly recognizable breeds.

English bulldogs are known to be lazy dogs, but they do love a good romp and a bit of daily exercise.

While they prefer to be cuddled up under the blankets with their humans, maybe sharing a snack or two, this breed of dog does have bursts of energy they need to get out. They will go on long walks (until they refuse to move) and love playtime with their dog friends in the neighborhood.

These dogs are extremely good with families and could be a great addition to your medium-energy household. English bulldogs stand up to 16 inches tall and can weigh almost 55 pounds.

4. Shetland Sheepdog

These medium-sized dogs love running around and playing with their family. They will keep up with you for however long you go, but can’t wait to get back inside to sleep. These sheepdogs aren’t always into other dogs and may get a tad nervous, but socialization at a young age can prevent this from happening.

The Shetland sheepdog can get up to 16 inches tall and weigh up to 30 pounds. They are on the smaller side of the medium breeds, but their long and graceful bodies give them extra volume.


12 Medium-Energy Dog Breeds Sorted by Size

Large Breeds With Medium-Energy Levels

Large breeds are often thought to be more maintenance, especially when it comes to exercising, but this isn’t always the case. The following dogs are major couch potatoes. Don’t let their large size fool you into thinking they will be your marathon running partner (well – maybe the greyhound).

1. Great Dane

Great Danes may seem intimidating because of their massive size, but they are truly gentle giants. They are not overly active dogs and would much rather leave a large imprint in your couch than run around in the backyard for hours. (They are prone to issues with their joints and bones, so harsh activity is not recommended.)

Your Great Dane will do a few laps around the neighborhood before needing a long nap, so don’t be surprised that they sleep more than you do. They can stand up to 35 inches tall and can weigh up to 200 pounds. These guys actually do well in apartments because they need somewhat minimal workouts.

2. Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is an extremely lovable goofball who might not fully understand their size. They love to cuddle and get pets from their humans but don’t need that much exercise. They can overheat in the summer if they get too much exercise, so be mindful of when you are taking them on more intense walks.

This breed can get up to 35 inches tall and can weigh up to 180 pounds at full size. They’re considered excellent family dogs.

3. Greyhound

People may think that the greyhound is going to be a wildly high-energy dog that they can’t keep up with, but that’s simply not the case. They will get bursts of energy and show you just how fast they can run, but these skinny little dogs often prefer to be couch potatoes.

These thin, large dogs get a lot of exercise from their occasional runs, but they’re chill family pets overall. They’re some of the most popular dogs for families with lots of land.

Greyhounds can get up to 30 inches tall and weigh up to 90 pounds. They are all lean muscle but can sometimes be intimidating because of their sharp appearance. Trust us — they are not. Greyhounds are big babies who look to their people for confidence, adoration, and to dress them in cute pajamas in the winter — these sleek babies get cold easily.

PS: If you think you’ve spotted a tiny greyhound, think again! You might have a whippet or an Italian greyhound.

4. Newfoundlands

Newfoundlands, or Newfies, are lovingly referred to as “nanny dogs” because of their calm and easy demeanor. This working dog will protect your children and keep a watchful eye on them. They are able to use their large bodies to keep them from hitting their head on sharp corners, crawling away from their designated playpen, and so much more.

This popular breed doesn’t enjoy intense workouts but will go for a long walk every day. Most of the energy is spent on keeping watch over the house, and they would much prefer to be snoozing away all day.

They can stand up to 28 inches tall and can weigh up to 180 pounds. No matter how big this low-maintenance fellow gets, they are always lap dogs in their mind — be prepared!

Have Questions? Get a Fast Response

When you are trying to decide what dog breed might be right for you, consider reaching out to our Certified Pet Lifestyle Coaches (CPLC)TM to discuss what your lifestyle is like. Our coaches can point you in the right direction to be matched with the perfect medium-energy dog and then can help come up with behavioral and training plans for them. Schedule a virtual session with a CPLC™ today!

Getting a dog may seem like a lot of work for a new pet parent, which isn’t to say that it’s not, but it’s so rewarding. When you find the dog that fits in with your family, everything seems to just fall into place, and it will be obvious that you have made the right decision. Get started with AskVet to ask any questions that you might have about becoming a new dog (or cat or lizard or fish) parent.


Impact of Dog’s Age and Breed on Dog Owner’s Physical Activity: A German Longitudinal Study | MDPI

Variation In Activity Levels Amongst Dogs Of Different Breeds: Results Of A Large Online Survey Of Dog Owners From The UK | NCBI

Energy Requirements of Adult Dogs: A Meta-Analysis | PLOS ONE

Brachycephalic Breeds Fact Sheet | Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

How to Tell the Difference: Italian Greyhound vs. Whippet | American Kennel Club (AKC)

Greyhounds and the cold | GAP

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