Most Popular Dog Breeds in Australia | Top 10 Guide

Australia’s love for dogs is legendary. But what breeds top the list in terms of popularity?

In this extensive guide, we’ll delve into the top 10 dog breeds in Australia, examining what makes them so beloved by Aussies.

Whether you’re an existing dog owner or looking to become one, this guide will provide valuable insights.

Four dogs running together off leash in park.


In a country known for its love of the great outdoors and active lifestyles, dogs fit right in as Australians’ loyal companions.

Understanding the popular breeds in Australia can be beneficial for various reasons, including easier socialization, understanding breed-specific needs, and even healthcare.

Why Knowing the Popular Breeds Matters

Knowing which dog breeds are popular in your area can help you make an informed decision about which dog is right for you.

It can also provide insights into what breeds you are likely to encounter during walks, at dog parks, or in your neighbourhood.

The Dog-Centric Australian Lifestyle

With vast landscapes, beaches, and parks, Australia offers a paradise for any dog breed.

From city dwellers in Sydney to rural folks in the Outback, Australians across the country share a love for canines that is deeply embedded in the culture.


Our list of popular dog breeds is not pulled out of thin air. It is based on careful research, incorporating statistics, surveys, and first-hand accounts from dog owners.

How We Ranked the Breeds

We relied on various data points to rank the breeds, including ownership statistics, online search volume, and breed-specific registrations in Australia.

Data Sources

We analyzed data from reputable sources, including the Australian National Kennel Council and various pet adoption agencies, to compile this list.

Public interest was gauged using search engine trends and social media mentions.

Factors Contributing to Breed Popularity

Several factors contribute to a breed’s popularity, from their appearance and temperament to their compatibility with various lifestyles.

Compatibility with Australian Climate

Some breeds are better suited for the Australian climate than others.

Breeds with shorter coats, for example, might be more comfortable in warmer areas, while those with thicker coats might be better suited for cooler regions.

Dog Temperament and Australian Lifestyle

Aussies are known for their active and outdoor lifestyles, and this plays a big role in the popularity of certain breeds. Dogs that are active, social, and easy to train often rank higher on the list.

Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds

Without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 most popular dog breeds in Australia, each accompanied by its characteristics, pros and cons, and real testimonials from owners.

1. Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever tops our list, known for its friendly and balanced nature. Labradors are also very versatile, intelligent, and suitable for families with children.

A golden coloured Labrador Retriever laying on the grass.


Labradors are medium to large-sized dogs with a balanced and athletic build. They have a dense, water-resistant outer coat and are known for their keen intelligence and good nature.

Pros and Cons

Labradors are well-suited for families and single owners alike. They are easy to train but do require regular exercise to keep them fit and stimulated.

One downside might be their tendency to overeat, so portion control is essential.

Owner Testimonials

“We’ve had our Labrador, Max, for five years, and he’s just the best family dog one could ask for. Friendly, playful, and he gets along with our kids wonderfully.” – Michelle, Melbourne

2. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are known for their courage, intelligence, and love for humans. These qualities make them fantastic family pets, especially if you have children.


Staffordshire Bull Terriers are medium-sized, muscular dogs known for their broad head and short coat. They have a strong, athletic build and are incredibly agile.

Pros and Cons

These dogs are excellent with children and generally get along well with other dogs if socialized properly. However, they require a firm owner to curb any potential aggressive tendencies.

A dark brown and white male Staffie standing with a solid stance on a green field.

Owner Testimonials

“Our Staffie, Roxy, is wonderful with our kids and even gets along well with our cat. She’s an absolute joy to have.” – Mark, Sydney

3. Australian Kelpie

The Australian Kelpie is an Australian sheepdog skilled in herding and droving. They’re highly energetic, intelligent, and require an active lifestyle.


Kelpies are medium-sized dogs with an agile, lightweight build. They have a natural instinct for herding and are often used on farms and ranches.

Pros and Cons

They are well-suited for rural settings and active families. However, they may not be the best choice for apartment living due to their high energy levels.

Owner Testimonials

“Our Kelpie, Rusty, loves to run around the farm all day. He’s incredibly intelligent and has been easy to train.” – Alice, Rural Victoria

4. Border Collie

Known as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, Border Collies excel in obedience and are often used for herding. They’re extremely energetic and love to work.

A border collie lying in a grass path.


Border Collies have a medium build and a coat that can be either rough or smooth. They are highly alert and agile, with a keen instinct for herding.

Pros and Cons

The breed’s intelligence makes training easier, but they do require a lot of mental and physical stimulation. Not recommended for families that can’t provide a lot of exercise.

Owner Testimonials

“Our Border Collie, Pepper, keeps us on our toes. She’s so intelligent and requires lots of puzzles and exercise.” – Ben, Queensland

5. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are known for their bat-like ears and short snout. They have an affectionate nature and make excellent companions for city dwellers.

A typical Frenchie laid out on the couch looking tough with a metal chain around its neck.


They are small, muscular dogs with smooth coats, compact build, and flat faces.

Pros and Cons

French Bulldogs are excellent apartment dogs and are generally low-maintenance. However, they are prone to respiratory issues due to their flat faces.

Owner Testimonials

“Our Frenchie, Olive, is the perfect apartment dog. She’s so well-behaved and is a big hit in our building.” – Tina, Sydney

6. Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are friendly, tolerant dogs that are excellent with kids. They are one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide and are loved for their friendly and balanced nature.


Golden Retrievers have a dense water-repellent outer coat with a thick undercoat. They are well-proportioned and have a friendly expression.

Pros and Cons

They are excellent family pets and are generally easy to train. However, they do shed and require regular grooming.

Owner Testimonials

“Our Golden Retriever, Sandy, is the most friendly dog I’ve ever had. She loves kids and is great with other pets.” – Emily, Adelaide

Tan and white short coat dog laying down in a brown wooden floor.

7. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are large-sized dogs known for their intelligence and versatility as working dogs.


They have a strong and muscular build, a dense coat, and are highly active and alert.

Pros and Cons

German Shepherds are highly intelligent and versatile, suitable for various types of work including police and service work. They do require an experienced owner as they can be strong-willed.

Owner Testimonials

“My German Shepherd, Duke, is a loyal and intelligent companion. He’s protective of our family but also very loving.” – Alan, Perth

German Shepard dog with golden brown and black coat, sitting on green grass with ears pricked up looking at camera.

8. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terriers, often confused with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, are well-known for their strength, protective nature, and love for family.


These dogs are medium to large in size, with a muscular build. They have a short coat and are quite agile.

Pros and Cons

American Staffordshire Terriers are excellent family dogs known for their loyalty. However, they require early socialization to ensure they are well-mannered around other animals.

Owner Testimonials

“Our American Staffordshire Terrier, Charlie, is a loving family dog who is excellent with our kids. Early training was crucial.” – Rachel, Brisbane

9. Beagle

Beagles are known for their keen sense of smell and strong tracking instincts. These friendly and curious dogs are particularly good with children and other pets.

A mixed coloured beagle with white legs, brown body and black on its back and torso, walking along the grass in hunt mode.


Beagles are medium-sized dogs with a sleek, easy-care coat and a sturdy build. They have long ears, large brown or hazel eyes, and a tail that is often carried high.

Pros and Cons

Beagles are very social and get along well with children and other animals. They require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. As such they’re best suited for active families.

However, their strong tracking instincts mean they may run off if they catch an interesting scent.

Owner Testimonials

“Our Beagle, Molly, loves to go on long walks and sniff around. She’s incredibly good with our kids and even our cat. But we’ve learned to always keep her on a leash outdoors, as she loves to follow her nose.” – Lisa, Gold Coast

10. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Known for their expressive eyes and beautiful coats, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a symbol of elegance and comfort. They make excellent lap dogs and are good with children.


These are small dogs with a silky, medium-length coat. They have graceful, expressive faces with large, dark eyes.

A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on a grass field.

Pros and Cons

They’re excellent for families and older individuals alike, craving human companionship. However, they can suffer from separation anxiety if left alone for long periods.

Owner Testimonials

“Our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Lily, is the most affectionate dog we’ve ever had. She loves being around us and has been great for the kids.” – Karen, Canberra

Emerging Trends and Special Mentions

While the breeds listed above have remained popular for years, it’s important to note that trends do change. Here, we highlight some emerging breeds and those losing their touch in popularity.

Newly Popular Breeds

Some of the newly popular breeds include the Shih Tzu and the Pomeranian, likely due to their suitability for apartment living and lower maintenance needs.

Breeds Losing Popularity

Some older favourites like the Dalmatian and the Boxer have seen a slight decline in recent years, potentially due to changing living conditions and lifestyle preferences among Australians.

Adoption vs Buying

Whether to adopt or buy a pet is a significant decision. Each has its merits and drawbacks, and it’s essential to consider all aspects before making your choice.

A dog shelter volunteer plays with an injured dog.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Adopting a dog from a shelter can be a rewarding experience, providing a home to a dog in need.

However, you may have fewer options regarding breed choice. Buying from a breeder allows you to select a specific breed but can be more expensive and requires research to find a reputable source.

What to Consider

Before making a decision, consider your lifestyle, your home, and the time you can commit to caring for a dog. Make sure you factor in costs such as food, grooming, and healthcare.


We hope this comprehensive guide has been both informative and interesting. Owning a dog is a big commitment, but it’s also an immensely rewarding experience.


From the versatile Labrador Retriever to the compact French Bulldog, Australians have diverse tastes in dogs.

However, the unifying factor is a shared love for these four-legged companions, making Australia one of the most dog-friendly nations in the world.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of breed, each dog brings its unique personality and charm into our lives. By understanding the popular breeds in Australia, we hope you’ll find the perfect match for your lifestyle and preferences.

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