Australians love their dogs – plain and simple. Man’s best friend has well and truly cemented himself in the back of our utes and into our hearts. This is supported by latest statistics that reveal there are over 33 million pets in Australia, and more than 3.4 million1 of those are dogs.
With that in mind we decided to take a look at the top 10 dog breeds in Australia and try to understand what it is about their temperament and nature that makes them such good pets.
Also known as the Blue Heeler, the cattle dog is one of the country’s most iconic medium-sized dog breeds – and also one of the most intelligent. Bred originally for herding and driving cattle, the blue heeler has a gentle and warm temperament, is great with children and is a wonderful addition to any family.
Bred originally for 'retrieving' (as a hunting and game dog) the golden retriever is one of the most gentle and family friendly breeds around. Smart, good natured and with a constant eagerness to please, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular larger breeds.
Also known as the Staffy or Amstaff, this medium-sized dog breed is popular because of its short fur and active temperament. The staffy is an intelligent, outgoing and confident dog and makes a loyal and extremely affectionate family pet.
this small breed of dog is a popular choice with families where space is limited. Unlike some bigger dogs, the pug requires less exercise and needs less space to move around. The pug is a keen, and animated pet who is loyal and very affectionate. They are also not yappy or loud dogs.
Originally bred in Germany as a type of water dog, the poodle is a popular small to medium dog breed among Aussie families. Forget the ridiculous pompom look of the ‘sissy’ poodle and think easy to brush, hypo-allergenic and (very) light shedding. Combine this with a friendly, good natured and smart temperament and you have a very popular Australian dog breed.
One of the larger breeds to make this list, the Rottie is actually a constant and gentle companion that has a loving heart and even gentler soul. Rotties have a natural instinct to protect their owners so it is important that training and socialisation happens very early in a rottie’s life. Be firm and fair with your Rottweiler and you will have a companion for life.
One of the most popular small dog breeds (especially in the UK) the King Charles Spaniel was bred specifically to be a companion dog, a role they have very successfully taken on. With big brown eyes and droopy ears, the Cavalier breed is definitely a “cute dog” - popular with families because of its small size and warm temperament.
One of the most intelligent of all dogs, the German Shepherd is a large dog breed popular with police and military because of their high intelligence (making them easy to train), strength, and loyalty. These traits also serve to make this breed a wonderful family pet – the third most popular in fact.
Affectionately known as the "sheep-dog," the Border Collie is one of the most intelligent and highly trainable dog breeds in Australia. This acute awareness makes them great family pets, although they can be sensitive to noises and need a lot of exercise so may not be the best choice for families with small children and inner city living.
And the Winner is...
The Lab is one of Australia’s favourite breeds because it is loyal, loving, patient, and highly affectionate. With a playful and friendly temperament, their high intelligence makes them easily trainable and a popular choice for services such as seeing-eye dogs and rescue work. The Lab is a large breed of dog and are wonderful with children and other animals, making it a clear favourite among Australian families.
Regardless of what breed of dog you decide to choose, always remember that a pet is for life. Show patience and kindness and your new best friend will return it in spades, no matter what colour, size, breed or type they are.