The Most Popular Dog Breeds In Australia

Published March 31, 2021
Brown Puppy Poodle Dog

When it comes to pets, dogs are by far the number one choice for Australians. Pure breeds, mixed breeds, and newer designer breeds dominate the most popular dog breeds in Australia.

Exploring the Most Popular Dog Breeds in Australia

The cavoodle is officially Australia's top dog, according to the top 20 list by Pet Insurance Australia in 2020. The small breed is a mix between the popular cavalier King Charles spaniel and poodle and sports a thick soft coat, cute looks, and loving nature.

  • Other popular breeds in the top 10 include long-time favourites such as the golden retriever, Labrador, German shepherd, and border collie. These breeds also carry the advantage of being the easiest dogs to train.
  • Newer designer breeds such as the labradoodle and spoodle are also crowd pleasers, while Staffordshire bull terrier and French bulldog breeds also feature among Australia's most popular choices.

Best Small Dog Breeds in Australia

Australia's smallest dog breed is the chihuahua. Tiny but charming, this breed is big on personality and energy. It features endearing, naturally upright ears, grows to 23 centimetres tall, and generally weighs under three kilograms.

Small Dogs Australians Love

Small dogs generally live longer and are lower maintenance for pet owners. They take up less space, eat less, and their small size means they maintain their puppy-like cuteness even into adult years.

  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel - A small spaniel with big brown eyes, large floppy ears, silky fur coat and gentle nature
  • Jack Russell terrier - Full of life, fun to train, and needs a backyard to play in
  • French bulldog - A compact house dog that's great for city living and thrives on attention
  • Boston terrier - An intelligent, easily groomed dog that's loveable and sometimes boisterous
  • Shih tzu - A lapdog with a long coat, squashed face, and naturally floppy ears; Shih tzus need serious grooming
  • Poodle - A friendly, playful breed that loves company, poodles need frequent grooming and exercise
  • Pug - A laid-back breed in a compact package, pugs are social and need grooming often
  • Dachshund - Loyal companions and good watchdogs with a long muzzle, droopy ears, a long back and short muscly legs
  • Tenterfield terrier - High energy and loyal as well as intelligent, independent and a great working companion
Man relaxing on sofa with his French Bulldog resting on his lap

Best Large Dog Breeds in Australia

Large dogs are loyal, loving, and generally easier to train. Many large dog breeds live for a decade or more and make great family dogs.

Australia's best large dog breed is the Labrador. This popular dog breed is friendly, intelligent, active and loyal and is a great family dog.

Top 10 Largest Dogs Breeds

The top 10 large dog breeds in Australia include the following:

  • Labrador - Coming in colours black, chocolate and yellow; lives up to 13 years and weighs up to 36 kilograms
  • Golden retriever - A friendly, gentle and intelligent breed recommended for families
  • German shepherd - Courageous, smart and protective, making a great guard dog
  • Labradoodle - Joyful and friendly with lots of energy
  • Golden doodle (groodle) - Perfect for singles and families; the breed is active, loyal, and obedient
  • Bernese mountain dog - An alert and good-natured watchdog
  • Belgian malinois - Has an active nature and is great with children; good for outdoor living
  • Doberman pinscher - Extremely loyal, very energetic, and intelligent; for pet owners who like active, boisterous breeds
  • Alaskan malamute - Inquisitive and resourceful with a strong hunter's instinct; gentle with families
  • Collie - Originally bred for herding; needs regular walks and gets along well with children
Yellow labrador retriever dog sitting in grass with a stick in her mouth

Best Family Dog Breeds in Australia

As one of the most popular dog breeds in Australia, Labradors make the best family dogs. The breed is huggable, fun, and fond of the great outdoors and children. Other popular family dog breeds include the golden retriever, border collie, kelpie, and labradoodle.

Best Small Family Dog

Australia's best small family dog is the French bulldog. It barks little, doesn't need too much exercise, and gets along with other dogs. It enjoys being around family but will also cope if you leave it alone during the day. Other popular family companion dogs include the shih tzu, groodle (or goldendoodle), labradoodle, beagle, and cavalier King Charles spaniel.

Best Family Guard Dog

The best family guard dog is the German shepherd. Unwaveringly loyal to its pet owner, the breed is a fast learner with a vicious bark, making it a scary prospect for would-be intruders. Other good Australian dog breeds for families that will make potential intruders think twice include the Staffordshire bull terrier and rottweiler.

Smartest Dog Breeds in Australia

The smartest dog is the Border Collie. The hardworking breed is not only considered the most intelligent, but it's also eager to please. The smartest dog breeds that were among the most popular breeds in 2020 include Labradors, golden retrievers, border collies, and German shepherds. Cavoodles, which were the most popular dogs in 2020, are bred from poodles, which are also considered among the smartest breeds.

Young man at home giving high five with his dog

Easiest Dogs to Train

German shepherds, used as police dogs, are the easiest dogs to train. They're hardworking and keen learners, as long as training starts when they are a puppy. The breed can look a bit scary, but their loyalty and devotion makes them a wonderful family pet. Labradors and golden retrievers are also popular breeds and very easy to train. Likewise, curly haired poodles and energetic border collies are highly intelligent and among the easiest dogs to train.

Border collie catching plastic disc in mid air

Easiest Dogs to Potty Train

The German shepherd, poodle, Labrador, border collie, and doberman breeds are among the easiest dogs to potty-train.

Dogs Australia Loves

The most popular dog breed in Australia is the cavoodle, a smart and loveable breed that looks like a teddy bear. Australians love not only larger, highly intelligent dog breeds, such as the active Labrador and golden retriever, but also smaller breeds such as the French bulldog, which are popular companions and don't mind being left alone.

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The Most Popular Dog Breeds In Australia