The Earth is in what has been called "The Goldilocks Zone." It's not so close to the sun that it would burn up and it's not so far away that it would freeze. It's in the perfect zone that allows life to flourish. But what about a Goldilocks dog?
It's an important question and one that gets overlooked more often than it should. People can make a mistake and find they have too little or way more dog than they bargained for. If you are deciding if one of the medium size dog breeds is "just right" for you here are some things to consider.
• What is a medium sized dog and;
• Why would you want to get a medium sized dog breed?
Is one of the medium size dog breeds the "just right" size for you?
Most people who are looking for a medium size dog know roughly what they are looking for. A Chihuahua is too small and a Great Dane too big. But that leaves a lot of range in between.
Generally, medium size dogs fall between 35 and 65 pounds and 12 to 24 inches in height to the withers (shoulder). That puts Australian Shepherds at the higher end and Mini Aussies (a separate breed) at the lower end of the "medium" dog size scale.
Australian Shepherd breed standard for males is 20 to 23 inches, for females 18 to 21 inches. Miniature Australian Shepherds are 14 to 18 inches for males, and 14 to under 18 inches for females.
Other medium size dog breeds would include... Australian Cattle Dog, Border Collie, Brittany, Bulldog, Cocker Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Shetland Sheepdog, Spanish Water Dog, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Vizsla, and Whippet. Of course, there are many others. But you can see there is a wide range of types and temperaments to choose from.
Will a medium size dog breed suit your lifestyle? Will you be able to afford the extra expense compared to a smaller breed? Are you asking a medium size dog to do something that you really need a big dog for?
For example, if you are looking for a guard dog a medium size dog doesn't really have the mass needed to be effective at taking an intruder down. Medium sized dog breeds like Australian Shepherds will make fantastic watch dogs. After all, that is a part of what they were bred to do. Just be aware of distinctions like that and know what it is you really want out of a dog.
Speaking of what you want out of a dog, what about your lifestyle? Do you want a great dog to exercise with on long walks, jogs, or hiking? While little dogs might put in a heroic effort, chances are a medium sized dog with a longer stride and greater endurance might be the best dog breed for you.
What about participating in dog sports like agility or flyball? There is no right or wrong answer here. Small, medium and large dog breeds can all compete.
In addition to lifestyle, cost is another factor you might want to consider. It stands to reason that medium sized dogs will cost you more than small dogs and less than large dogs to keep. The smaller the dog, the less food it will eat; perhaps the smaller the chew toys and treats you can get away with too. Over the course of a lifetime that can add up to a significant difference.
I was shocked when I read about this but it does happen. Small dog breeds remain vulnerable to attacks by birds. Primarily its raptors like hawks and owls that will make off with a small dog. Don't forget about coyotes, foxes and other predators too.
While some medium size dogs on the smaller end could still be at greater risk, this risk lessens the larger the dog gets. Of course, all dogs while still puppies are vulnerable to attack and should not be left unattended unless protected in an enclosure that covers both ground and aerial assaults.
Some may still object that medium sized dogs are too big to cuddle up on your lap but too small to really protect you if you needed it. But that has never stopped my Aussie from hopping up on the couch or bed; we just have to adjust our position until he's comfortable and ready for his tummy rub. He's also fiercely loyal and would give any intruder second thoughts and he would certainly raise a ruckus. Medium size dogs offer the best of both worlds!
So, as you can see there are many things to consider when deciding on what size dog to get. There is no "best dog breed." There is only the dog breed that best suits you. Some things are pretty much guaranteed to affect you, like the cost. Others will be more subjective depending on what you would like to be able to do with your dog, while others are relatively rare like screaming eagle power dive attacks—but they should all be taken into consideration as you decided if medium size dog breeds are for you.
If you are considering getting an Australian Shepherd you might be interested in reading the aptly named article, "Is The Australian Shepherd The Right Breed For You?"
So, be like Goldilocks and find the breed that is "just right" for you!