Medium-energy dog breeds make great pets for moderately active people. They’re also relatively low maintenance, making them a great choice for first time dog owners and busy families.
If you’re keen to find out what it takes to care for a medium-energy dog, read on!
What are medium energy dogs?
First-off, what is a medium-energy dog and how do they differ from high and low energy breeds?
Unlike high-energy dog breeds that can require up to 3+ hours of physical and mental stimulation each and every day, and low-energy breeds that require very little in comparison, medium-energy dog breeds fall somewhere in between and require a mix of regular, moderate physical and mental exercise each day to maintain optimum health.
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You can check out 10 popular medium-energy dog breeds below:
10 Popular medium-energy dog breeds
Small in stature but big on personality, Dachshunds are a smart and social breed that require daily moderate exercise to maintain peak physical fitness, muscle tone and back strength.
While these small pups are known to have a lot of stamina and energy, because of their size, they are low maintenance and easy to exercise even in small living quarters.
2. Yorkshire Terrier
The AKC describes the Yorkshire Terrier as “affectionate”, “sprightly” and “tomboyish”, rating its energy level smack in the middle between couch potato and needing a lot of activity.
Although small, this breed is smart (and sometimes feisty!) and benefits tremendously from daily walks at a steady pace as well as the occasional game of fetch or other small bursts of energy.
3. Miniature Schnauzer
Bright, friendly and trainable, Miniature Schnauzers make great family pets. Like other breeds on this list, Miniature Schnauzers require regular, moderate daily exercise to maintain peak physical and mental fitness.
Vet Street describes the breed as “athletic and energetic, and needs more daily exercise than just going around the block”.
4. Boston Terrier
Compact and lively, Boston Terriers are outgoing and eager-to-please. While their need for exercise can vary from individual to individual, most Bostons love to play and frolic, making canine sports like agility and obedience great energy-expending outlets for them.
This evidence points out Boston Terriers as a great medium-energy dogs for first time owners with a semi-busy lifestyle.
5. Cocker Spaniel
A breed close to this author’s heart, Cocker Spaniels are happy-go-lucky and eager-to-please. A member of the sporting dog group, Cockers were originally bred as gun dogs to work alongside their bird-hunting masters. These days, Cockers love nothing more than a good game of fetch and following their people just about everywhere!
Related read: 104 Dog Names Ideas For Cocker Spaniels & Cockapoos
6. West Highland White Terrier
One of the most popular small terrier breeds, the West Highland White Terrier (or Westie for short) is sturdy and smart. Westies love to “romp and play” and benefit greatly from regular moderate exercise.
They were bread to chase down small vermin and foxes, and they have a high tendency to dig, so they will require training and redirection for their heaps of energy.
7. English Springer Spaniel
Like Cockers, English Springer Spaniels were originally bred to accompany their bird-hunting masters out in the field.
Daily exercise and enrichment activities like obedience, tracking and agility exercises are perfect for keeping this breed in tip-top condition. Otherwise, they are quite a low maintenance breed.
8. Keeshond (Keeshonden plural)
The Keeshond is a mid-sized spitz breed dog of Dutch origin. Known for their full, fluffy voluminous coats that require a little upkeep. Keeshonden are another popular medium-energy dog breed that requires regular moderate exercise.
Like many others on this list, Keeshonden absolutely love being with their humans, making a great family pet.
9. Shiba Inu
One of Japan’s most popular companion dogs, the Shiba Inu is an energetic breed (but not too much!) that absolutely loves to go on walks and explore.
While they are not known for being overly destructive when left alone, daily moderate exercise for this breed is essential, making them perfect for owners with an active and adventurous lifestyle.
Sprinters by nature, Whippets resemble “mini” Greyhounds and love the thrill of the chase (albeit, short-lived)!
For this reason, regular moderate exercise involving several vigorous play sessions or walks a week is recommended, making them a breed more suited to committed owners with a lot of extra free time.
Key care requirements for medium-energy dog breeds
A. Provide opportunities for regular, moderate physical exercise
As you’ve probably picked up on by now, medium-energy dog breeds require regular moderate physical exercise.
What actually constitutes regular moderate physical exercise will vary slightly depending on the individual dog’s breed, age and general health but should usually include a combination of one or more of the below activities each week;
- Daily walks of a moderate length and intensity
- Regular play sessions with friendly, similarly sized dogs
- A good game of fetch, frisbee, or chase in the yard every day or 2
- Regular organised canine sports such as obedience, agility, tracking or lure-coursing (depending on the breed)
B. Provide regular opportunities for mentally stimulating canine enrichment activities
Providing regular opportunities for mentally stimulating games and problem-solving activities is also super important for a medium-energy dog breeds’ mental health and well-being as it encourages and promotes natural behaviours (like scent tracking and problem solving) in a safe, controlled, and appropriate setting.
Not only do these types of games help to relax dogs, they also assist with learning and development and provide a valuable outlet for burning excess energy.
Some common examples of canine enrichment activities include activity mats and hide and seek games (among many others!).
C. Feed a nutritionally balanced, age and breed appropriate diet
Finally, whilst it is important that all dogs be fed an age-appropriate, nutritionally balanced diet, in line with veterinary recommendations and feeding guides.
It’s also important to note that many medium-energy dog breeds, (and low-energy breeds for that matter) are prone to obesity and weight-gain if not given sufficient opportunities for exercise and physical activity.
With that said, pet parents should always observe the recommended feeding guides found on dog food packaging as well as follow any feeding recommendations given by their vet. And remember, treats should be given in moderation only!
Regardless of energy level, it’s always important to consider your own activity level and lifestyle before deciding on a breed that is right for you.
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About the author
This was a guest post written by Christie of Hey, Djangles. Christie is a self-confessed crazy dog lady, humble spaniel servant and founder of Hey, Djangles., a lifestyle website for dog-lovers. Christie has a background in Marketing and Companion Animal Services and loves nothing more than spending time with her two crazy Cockers, Ollie and Django.
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10 Popular Medium-Energy Dog Breeds and How to Care for Them
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3 thoughts on “10 Popular Medium-Energy Dog Breeds and How to Care for Them”
Great list! And awesome insights into these different breeds. With lockdown going on, I’ve been thinking of rescuing a dog, but seeing as when things go back to normal, I will still be away from 9-5, I needed a medium energy dog that will be ok with two walks a day (before and after work).
well i dont know so good about dog breeds but am sure there is some lazy dogs lol they can sleep all day hahaha
Known for its distinctive spots, the Dalmatian is on the larger end of the medium dog range. This breed is generally quite active and athletic, though some Dalmatians might have a stubborn streak or nervous tendencies. And many are aloof with strangers. Consistent training, socialization, and exercise are key to keep this dog happy and healthy.