When choosing the best breed for you, there are many factors to consider, and sometimes, you just want a dog that’s a certain size! Dogs that are 30 pounds float somewhere between being small and medium dogs and can vary in height, coat type, temperament, and more.
To see every dog that made our list, you can use the table of contents below to quickly find what you’re looking for and check out the weight ranges for each breed.
Let’s get started!
Understanding Not A Bully’s Breed Rating
We know you want a pup that’s 30 pounds but to make things easier, we’ve crafted a comprehensive ranking system, evaluating breeds across four key categories: Family Friendliness, Ease of Care, Trainability, and Health.
Each breed is given a rating out of five in these categories, represented by emojis for a visually engaging and easy-to-understand format. Our ratings are the culmination of extensive experience, years of education, and a deep understanding of canine behavior and health.
By providing these insights, we aim to help you find a furry friend that not only suits your lifestyle but also ensures a happy, healthy, and harmonious relationship for years to come. Here’s how each category is rated:
This category assesses a breed’s aptitude for integrating into a family setting. It considers factors like the breed’s behavior towards children, its temperament around other pets, and its overall demeanor within a household. A high score here indicates a breed that is generally sociable, patient, and amiable, making them ideal for family life.
Ease of Care
In this category, we evaluate the practical aspects of caring for a breed, including grooming, exercise requirements, and general maintenance. Breeds scoring high in this category typically have shorter coats, requiring minimal grooming, and moderate exercise needs, making them easier to care for on a day-to-day basis.
This measures a breed’s responsiveness to training, encompassing obedience and the ability to learn new tasks or commands. Our ratings are informed by decades of hands-on experience and supported by research on canine intelligence. High scores are given to breeds that demonstrate quick learning abilities and responsiveness to training cues.
The focus here is on the breed’s general health, factoring in life expectancy and predisposition to certain hereditary health issues. Breeds with fewer genetic health problems and longer average lifespans receive higher scores (more stethoscopes). This category is crucial for prospective owners who are concerned about long-term health commitments and potential veterinary care.
Now let’s get started!
1. Whippets: 25-40 pounds
The Whippet, affectionately known as the ‘Poor Man’s Racehorse’, bears a close resemblance to the larger greyhound, but stands no more than 22 inches tall at the shoulder.
Originally bred as a more accessible racing hound in Victorian England, Whippets can run up to 35 miles per hour! This lightning-quick and agile breed is also amiable, dignified, and gentle – making them a great choice for families.
Whippets are sighthounds – Canines with a deep chest, a trim waist, and long legs that allow them to easily curve and take tight turns while running.
Most recognizable by their lean head supported by a long, arched neck atop slim but sturdy legs – these dogs can carry on running all day but are no strangers to a long couch nap.
Not to mention, Whippet owners say they rarely bark! These pooches are low-maintenance when it comes to grooming, with a very thin coat and minimal shedding. They fit in nicely with almost any family, even apartment dwellers.
2. Beagles: 20-30 pounds
Beagles are an exceptional breed of dog, well-renowned for their roles as talented hunting dogs, as well as joyful and loyal companions.
Bred to be a more accessible “foot hound” for hunters, the Beagle’s popularity skyrocketed among hunters and families alike.
In fact, they’re one of the most popular hound breeds among American pet owners!
These beautiful hounds are characterized by their big brown or hazel eyes and long, low-set ears atop a broad head. Though the beagle has a thick, double coat, their coat does not mat or tangle easily, though it does shed year-round. They will need weekly brushing to keep this shedding down, sometimes more for the thicker-coated dogs.
In personality, Beagles are cheerful and funny with a happy-go-lucky attitude; they make wonderful family pets due to their loving nature and strong ability to connect with people.
But it isn’t all fun and games; these crafty canines were bred to hunt, so they can be prone to stubborn streaks and a strong urge to follow their powerful noses. Beagles are a perfect family dog that is on the smaller side, but with a big dog attitude!
3. German Pinschers: 25-45 pounds
The German Pinscher is an ancient breed thought to be the originator of other pinscher breeds, like the Miniature Pinscher and the popular Doberman Pinscher. The breed is admired for its athleticism and intelligence and was originally bred to hunt rats.
The German Pinscher is the perfect in-between size for these beautiful dogs. This handsome companion stands at 17-20 inches at the shoulder, or about knee-high to the average adult. A strong, vibrant gait reflects its confident nature.
With a muscled frame and gleaming coat in a range of colors such as red, black, or blue with red accents, the German Pinscher is not just graceful, but undeniably eye-catching.
German Pinschers are perfect dogs for active individuals and families, but need lots of mental stimulation to keep them entertained and fulfilled!
4. Staffordshire Bull Terriers: 24-38 pounds
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is an intriguing breed, described as both brave, tenacious, and playful.
Though these dogs seem to fall into the “big dog” category, often because of the mix-up with other bully breeds, their breed standard actually calls for dogs to weigh no more than 38 pounds and stands 14-16 inches at the shoulder.
Bred for fighting like most bulldogs, this muscular canine still has many of its former gladiator traits; such as courage and tenacity. But despite its (formerly) fierce reputation, a good breeding program has transformed it into a sweet-natured and family-oriented pet.
They weigh between 24-38 pounds, with a short and broad head that holds an undeniably adorable smile. Many owners have commented on the special bond these dogs have with kids, making them excellent playmates.
It is however important to note that their fighting instinct can still linger if not socialized correctly, so it’s essential that Staffie pups are started in the presence of other dogs, children, and pets from an early age to ensure they learn good manners.
5. Dachshunds: 16-32 pounds
The Dachshund is known for its long, low silhouette with unmistakable, and frankly adorable, little legs. Paired with their curious, friendly, and spunky personalities, it’s easy to see the reason for their popularity.
Dachshunds come in two sizes: miniature and standard, and the size that fits our list is the standard size. They range from 16 to 32 pounds and at just 8-9 inches at the shoulder, they are the shortest breed on our list.
Their coat can come in one of three types: smooth, wirehaired, or longhaired. There are many color variations and patterns included in the standard; reds. blacks, browns, brindles, and dapple Dachshunds are all allowed in the AKC conformation ring.
Despite their short legs, they more than make up for it with their bold, vivacious personality. Not only are they smart and vigilant but they have the tendency to have a big dog bark.
Although they aren’t great athletes built for distance running, leaping, or strenuous swimming, they still possess unwavering courage and protectiveness making them great watchdogs and family companions.
They were originally bred to be independent hunters of dangerous prey so it is not uncommon for them to be brave to the point of rashness although sometimes a bit stubborn, though their compact size makes them easily controlled and trained!
6. Lagotto Romagnolo: 24-35 pounds
The Lagotto Romagnolo dog breed is an Italian treasure, and one of the oldest known water retrievers. They have recently become popularized as Italy’s ‘truffle dog’, because of their excellent noses that root out truffles, a pricey delicacy.
With a full-bodied silky coat of soft, waterproof curls, a lavish beard, eyebrows, and whiskers that feel more like human hair than fur, these dogs have good looks but will need daily brushing to prevent tangles.
They weigh no more than 35 pounds and are only 16-19 inches at the shoulder, making them small but mighty and durable workers.
Though the AKC only just recognized this breed in 2015, they still fall in the top 80 breeds in 2021, coming in at #79.
They are adored for their affectionate personality and keen eye, and though they are known as famous truffle hunters, Lagotti Romagnoli make amazing pets for active families and people.
7. Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen: 25-40 pounds
The Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen, or PBGV, is a lively and cheerful breed of French hunting hound that originated in the Vendée region of France. These medium-sized dogs have low-slung bodies and shaggy coats that range in color from white to shades of tan, brown, and black.
Bred to form packs and assist hunters in chasing rabbits, these dogs are renowned for their happy demeanor and enduring attitudes. PBGVs are highly social creatures that love being part of family life and enjoy spending quality time with their humans, other dogs, as well as children.
A literal translation of their breed name accurately characterizes them:
- Petit means small.
- Basset indicates slowness and low stature.
- Griffon reflects their shaggy fur.
- Vendéen is derived from the region they call home.
These curious canines with strong but short legs might bring a smile to your face as they flaunt their proud heads and wagging saber tails while also vocalizing what’s on their minds with their loud, houndy bark. Though not popular in the US, Petits Bassets Griffons Vendéens were recognized by the AKC in 1990.
8. Pumi: 22-29 pounds
The Pumi Dog is a lively and energetic breed of canine originating from Hungary. It is a compact, deep-chested herder that weighs anywhere from 22-29 pounds and comes in between 15 and 18 inches at the shoulder.
It has a unique coat of corkscrew curls, two-thirds erect ears, and a distinctive whimsical expression. Highly intelligent and agile, they are brave and fearless sheepherders capable of moving flocks on the narrow roads connecting pastures in western Hungary, their native land.
Pumis have an endless capacity for work and play. Being a herding breed, they also need lots of mental stimulation and physical exercise, making them great fits for active or even sports homes, though they are an unusual sight in the US.
9. Pyrenean Shepherd: 15-30 pounds
The Pyrenean Shepherd is a breed with attitude! These active and affectionate pups are determined, enthusiastic, mischievous, and whip-smart, though are not a popular breed in the US.
Descended from ancient sheepdogs of the Pyrenees mountains, Pyr Sheps are still tough and sinewy today—but thankfully smaller in size than their ancestors, weighing in at 15-30 pounds. With their lively gait that exudes vibrancy, these tough herders move with vigor and energy!
They come in two varieties: “rough-faced” with profuse, windswept hair above the muzzle and a generally harsh coat; and “smooth-faced” featuring short facial hair, a finer-textured coat, and a slightly longer pointier muzzle. Their coat can be an array of colors including black, white, gray, fawn, merle, and brindle.
Alert eyes give them a cunning expression that fits their strong work ethic. Pyr Sheps are often used alongside the Great Pyrenees to tend flocks of sheep—and many still perform this job in their native land today!
10. Boykin Spaniel: 25-40 pounds
The Boykin Spaniel is an incredibly lovable and eager dog breed, sure to bring endless amounts of joy to any home.
They weigh about 25-40 pounds and usually have a rich brown fur coat that makes them stand out from the rest. Their curly coat looks high maintenance, but is actually much easier than other spaniel coats, and only requires weekly brushing and occasional baths.
Despite being medium-sized spaniels – larger than Cockers but smaller than Springers – they boast large feathery ears and webbed toes that allow them to swim like seals in the lakes and swamps of their native South Carolina.
Boykins are also known for having gentle souls and being very – very sweet dogs. Admired for their intelligence, trainability, and merry nature, they are a perfect addition to any family.
11. English Cocker Spaniel: 26-34 pounds
Responsive and curious, English Cocker Spaniel can weigh anywhere between 26-34 pounds and stand 15-17 inches at the shoulder. They are spirited adventurers in the outdoors but an extremely mellow breed when indoors – making them an ideal household partner.
True to their bird dog heritage, the English Cocker is compactly built with a distinctive medium-length, silky double coat. This coat will need regular brushing, ranging from daily to weekly, depending on the dog’s activity level and itinerary.
Although agile and athletic, the English Cocker Spaniel has been bred for balance – in temperament, construction, and movement – resulting in a tireless companion which will always be eager to please its owner whether it’s out in the field or its own home.
All things considered, this loyal companion needs no more lavish praise than simply being referred to as a charming one with both brains and charm. It’s not hard to imagine why this breed cracks the top 30 in AKC’s most popular breed list!
12. Cardigan Welsh Corgis: 25-38 pounds
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a cheerful and devoted family dog who makes an excellent companion. Highly intelligent, they possess a keen sense of loyalty and they equally crave both affection as well as a challenge.
Weighing in at between 25-38 pounds, these sturdy, long, and low-set dogs have short legs, a deep chest, and powerful muscles, Despite their short stature, coming in at just 10-12 inches at the shoulder, this build enables them to be quick workers with deceptive speed and grace.
Characterized by their congenial expressions and stubby legs, these athletic little herders excel in brains and brawns too – thriving on the mental stimulation from their humans as well as the physical activity of herding cattle (which they are perfectly suited to do!).
There are two distinct breeds of Corgis, the Cardigan, and the Pembroke. Cardigans are named after a medieval kingdom in the UK, called Cardiganshire, and are one of the oldest known British breeds. They have been distinctly different breeds since the 1800s but were often interbred freely until the 1930s.
The easiest way to tell the difference in the breeds is through their ears and tails. Cardigan Corgis have rounded ears and longer tails than their pointy-eared cousins, the Pembroke, who usually have no tails or small stumps. Both Corgi breeds are great active family dogs!
13. Pembroke Welsh Corgis: Up to 30 pounds
With alert, affectionate, and smart personalities, Pembroke Welsh corgis definitely make a big impact despite their small size. Smaller than their cousins, the Cardigans, they seem to be more popular just barely missing the top ten most popular breeds of the AKC in 2021, coming in at #11.
This breed is known for being strong, athletic, and lively little herders. Making them great companions that are affectionate and companionable without being needy. Pembrokes Welsh Corgis can be classified as one of the world’s most popular herding breeds.
They are the perfect example of a ‘big dog in a small package’. With short but powerful legs, muscular thighs, and a deep chest; this breed is quick and agile when on the move.
The coat of these dogs usually come in colors such as red, sable, fawn, or black and tan—sometimes with white markings—and they also have thick double coats. This coat will need daily to weekly brushing and will shed year-round, but especially during the spring and fall.
The easiest way to tell them apart from their Cardigan cousins is their pointed ears and very short or no tails at all.
A big fan of the Pembroke Welsh corgi is the late Queen Elizabeth II that got her first Corgi in the 30s, and spread a vast love of the breed everywhere with her influence.
14. Standard American Eskimo Dogs: 25-35 pounds
The American Eskimo Dog is renowned for its loyalty, intelligence, and versatility, with a cheerful and loyal personality that makes it a great family companion.
This breed takes its name from the indigenous people known as “Eskimos” – however, they had nothing to do with its founding.
Bred from the German Spitz dogs brought over by German immigrant farmers in the American midwest in the 1800s, the American Eskimo Dog has developed its own characteristics over time – a quick and clever mind, neither shy nor aggressive but alert and friendly – although sometimes conservative when making new friends.
The American Eskimo Dog comes in three sizes: Standard (25-35 pounds), Miniature (under 12 pounds), and Toy (4-6 pounds) – all with an eye-catching dense, sparkling white coat like an Arctic fox’s, with a lion-like ruff around the chest and shoulders and a plumed tail carried over the back; while they share their smiling faces framed by dark eye-rims, black lips, and black nose, each size displays it differently.
Moving around indoors or outdoors with bold gracefulness is this breed’s hallmark; among the most trainable of breeds, they’re also clever, kid-friendly, and eager to please!
15. Miniature American Shepherd: 20-40 pounds
The Miniature American Shepherd is an intelligent, good-natured, devoted breed of dog that weighs between 20 and 40 pounds.
These intelligent workers have an uncanny talent for true herding despite their size; they are bright, self-motivated, and devoted to their work and will also form a strong bond with their owners as endearingly loyal yet lively companions.
This energetic, versatile, rugged breed has an extremely bright eye-catching double coat that comes in black, blue merle, red, and red merle varieties.
In the 1960s small-size Australian Shepherds were selectively bred while working the rodeo circuit in the U.S., resulting in the further reduction of their size over time – making them even more popular with equestrians traveling to horse shows.
If you’re looking for a devoted and energetic pup then look no further than the delightful Miniature American Shepherd!
16. Icelandic Sheepdog: 25-30 pounds
The Icelandic Sheepdog is the only native dog breed in Iceland and an expert herder of small-to-medium size, falling right around 30 pounds. Often used to herd sheep and round up ponies, they are friendly, loyal, and hardworking canines.
Despite their small size, this breed can stand up to rough weather and terrain with a dense coat, foxy face, pointed ears, and a bushy, curling tail. Their facial expression usually conveys cheerful happiness and devotion toward their human counterparts.
So whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or simply a loving companion to share your home with the Icelandic Sheepdog is the perfect choice for any family.
17. Swedish Vallhund: 20-35 pounds
The Swedish Vallhund is steeped in antiquity, and believed to be the Viking Dog of legend! They are known far and wide as smart and sociable herders.
These dogs have a rugged, hardy look that belies their zest for life and cheerful demeanor. With their thick sable coats and sturdy build, they have a decidedly no-frills look.
Don’t be tricked by appearances though – built long and low with powerful, smooth movement, these dogs offer balance at their best!
What makes them special, however, is that their unusual build allows them to nip at the heels of cattle without risk of injury from kicks to the head! If you’re looking for an active companion with loads of personality, the Swedish Vallhund may just be perfect for you.
18. Miniature Xoloitzcuintli: 15-30 pounds
The Miniature Xoloitzcuintli (or Xolo, for short) is an ancient Aztec breed that has been around for thousands of years! It was considered a divine gift by the Aztecs and remains a beloved pet today.
This small dog typically weighs between 13-55 pounds and comes in three sizes – Toy, Miniature, and Standard. For our list, the miniature Xolo is perfect, falling around 15-30 pounds. They are calm, mild-mannered dogs, and are even known to sleep quite a bit.
The uniqueness of the Xolo comes from their distinct coat or lack thereof. They are famous for being hairless dogs, though not everyone realizes that Xolos can also be born with hair!
The hairless type is easily distinguishable with its tough, smooth, close-fitting skin while the coated version is covered in an easy-to-groom short flat coat.
With every Xolo, you can expect to see a thoughtful and intelligent companion with a graceful yet rugged body. This unique breed is not for beginning dog owners and will need special care and attention paid to their skin to make up for the lack of protective fur.
19. Puli: 25-35 pounds
The Puli is a herding dog breed with a fascinating history. Native to Hungary, this loyal and smart pup was brought to Europe about a thousand years ago by the Magyar.
The Puli is powerful enough to move large flocks of sheep on the Hungarian plains despite their smaller size. This dog breed is known for its unique wooly, dense, and weatherproof corded coat that protected them from the region’s brutal winters!
Though their coats require lots of attention, they were made for it – their fur naturally locks up into cords, though it needs a little help getting started. Once properly corded, they only require the regrowth to be corded as needed!
In addition to being home-loving companions, Pulis still possess a strong herding instinct – making them capable of managing all kinds of animals. Remarkably agile and light on their feet, the breed has even earned a reputation as the ‘acrobat of the dog world.’
20. Brittany Spaniel: 30-40 pounds
The Brittany is remarkably versatile and is as adept in the field as it is in the home. Bred for bird hunting, these dogs are tenacious hunters with boundless energy, always eager to retrieve game from land or water. What sets them apart in the hunting world is their compact size, which allows them to be swift and agile, navigating through dense underbrush with ease.
Their coat, while not as unique as other dogs on this list, is designed for protection against rough terrain and weather. It’s dense, wavy, and can come in a beautiful range of orange and white or liver and white patterns that provide camouflage in the fall hunting season.
As home-loving as they are field-ready, Brittany Spaniels are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They form strong bonds with their families and are always ready for an adventure, whether that’s a hunting trip or a hike. Their keen intelligence and eagerness to please also make them stars in various canine sports and activities.
If you’re looking for a great dog that fits both your lifestyle and your family, consider the many different varieties of dogs around 30 pounds.
With so much variety to choose from, there’s bound to be one out there with just the right look, size, and temperament that is perfect for you!
By doing your research and knowing what exactly it is you’re looking for, it will be no time until you have a new four-legged member of your family. Such a wonderful addition is worth every minute spent finding just the right fit, and there are plenty to choose from at around 30 pounds!