Australia is a great place to visit if you love exotic animals. From kangaroos and dingoes, Australia is bursting at the seams with several animal species we don’t have here in America. One species we share is dogs.
Australia loves its dogs as much as America, and we’re sharing 21 of the most popular dog breeds in Australia in 2022. If you’re traveling to Australia soon, prepare to see these breeds wandering around (on a leash, of course).
The 21 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Australia?
1. Golden Retriever
|Online Searches:||1.7 million|
One of the most popular dog breeds in Australia is the beautiful and intelligent Golden Retriever. This breed is a devoted hunter in the fields and a loving family member at home. Goldens are sweet and equally playful, which makes them great around rowdy children and other dogs.
Because of their serious work ethic, law enforcement and search and rescue put them to use. These dogs even help lead the blind diligently and safely.
You can literally trust a Golden Retriever with your life. It’s no wonder why Australia has over 1.7 million online searches and six clubs dedicated to Golden Retrievers.
2. Border Collie
|Online Searches:||1.5 million|
Another popular dog in Australia is the Border Collie. The Australian National Kennel Club (ANKC) didn’t recognize the breed until 1994, but the Border Collie has made quite the impression in Australia since then.
This breed is highly energetic and requires a heavy amount of playtime and mental stimulation to be happy, ideally something to stimulate the herding instinct. Owners living on a farm (or willing to devote a lot of time to training) will be thrilled with this breed’s work ethic. Thankfully, the Border Collie is eager to please. Their rough, double-layer coat helps herd livestock in any weather, rain or shine, making Border Collies the ideal herding dog.
3. German Shepherd
|Online Searches:||1.4 million|
The third most popular dog breed Down Under is another beloved herding dog, the German Shepherd. The ANKC adopted the German Shepherd in 1994, and it didn’t take love for the German Shepherd to gain popularity.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with dog breeds, you’ll know a German Shepherd when you see their long snouts, black and brown fur, and squirrel-like tail. But their most notable feature is the narrow, dipping hips.
German Shepherds are highly energetic and known as all-purpose workers. They herd livestock, protect those they love, and warn their owners of any nearby mischief. Because of this, German Shepherds are distant from new people. But give them time and show them you care, and they’ll accept you as a friend.
|Online Searches:||1.4 million|
The Rottweiler is a hefty working dog with great strength and endurance. Even in ancient Rome, they marched with armies over mountains, protecting the soldiers and driving the cattle. For this reason, they keep their distance from strangers but are open to friendship when they know you’re a “good guy.”
Regardless of their desire to protect and defend, Rottweilers remain calm. You still have to be careful with Rottweilers—they seem to think they’re lap dogs despite their sturdiness. They also have a puppy playfulness that shines in their owners’ presence.
5. Cavoodle (Cavapoo)
|Online Searches:||1.3 million|
Everywhere you go, people want a Poodle hybrid. The Cavoodle is a cross between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle, and it’s been highly sought after in Australia over the past decade. It’s a small dog with thick, long, soft fur that’s either wavy or straight, depending on genetics.
Cavoodles are cheerful, affectionate dogs and love to play. Even with their bouncy, energetic tendencies, they’re gentle and adapt well to apartment life. These dogs are great for families with small children, so it makes sense why people love them.
|Online Searches:||1.2 million|
The Pomeranian is a small, poofy dog that believes it’s a big dog, and Australia loves them. Pomeranians are lively dogs that look similar to small foxes. They have long, fluffy coats that extend over the chest and shoulders with a double layer underneath. These dogs come in several colors, but we typically see tan or red.
Pomeranians make excellent watchdogs. They’re vigilant and actively respond to any threat nearby. Children, strangers, and other dogs are okay with Pomeranians as long as time is given to establish a relationship.
|Online Searches:||1.1 million|
The Bulldog may be the national dog and symbol of Great Britain, but Australia loves them just as much.
Everyone knows a Bulldog when they see one. The short, robust body with the smushed face wrinkles melts everyone’s heart. Bulldogs pack a lot of weight into their small bodies. They stand about 14–15 inches and carry 40–50 pounds.
Bulldogs are sturdy and courageous but love to play and receive attention. They’ll even crawl in your lap if you give them a chance.
Australia has several different climates, but the best climate for the Bulldog is any part of Australia that isn’t hot and humid. Since Bulldogs have difficulty breathing, it’s best to avoid hot areas.
8. Shiba Inu
Shiba Inus are the eight most popular dog breeds in Australia. Native to Japan, the Shiba Inu has been around since 300 BC. It was initially used as a hunter in the mountains but has since become a beloved house pet. These dogs are active and friendly with proper socialization. Shibas are also independent and are typically reserved around strangers but show off their puppy playfulness around their owners.
Because of their independence, Shiba Inus can be stubborn. They’re also a little hoggish with toys and food and have a high prey instinct. It’s best to keep a Shiba Inu in a one-pet household.
9. Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog breed. But in Australia, it’s number nine. Labrador Retrievers are beloved waterdogs, bred to retrieve ducks (and lost hats) from the water. They have excellent skills maneuvering in the water and remain loyal to their master through thick and thin.
Labs are very social dogs, so interaction, playtime, and early socialization are necessary. Chew toys and anything to stimulate the natural retrieval ability is best. Just keep an eye on your lab—they love to chew.
Greyhounds are famous as the world’s fastest dog and possibly the world’s oldest hunting dog. Greyhounds were one of the first dogs to be brought to America, and they’re also in Australia’s top 10 breeds.
Greyhounds are long and slender and uphold themselves with regality. Their body is perfectly designed for high-speed pursuit. It’s no wonder why famous rulers like the great Pharaohs and Alexander the Great owned Greyhounds.
Even so, they’re also an ideal family dog. Greyhounds are friendly and pleasant around children and other dogs. They’re also gentle, quiet, and keep to themselves inside the house. The biggest challenge with Greyhounds is their prey drive and independence.
When you see this small hound dog walking down the street, you’re in for a treat. Beagles may be small, but they have a snout for the field and a big personality.
The Beagle is an ancient English rabbit hunter, although there’s some debate about where the Beagle originated. Because of their high prey drive, Beagles can be stubborn, but they’re also cheerfully unconcerned- unless there’s a small animal nearby to hunt.
Generally, Beagles enjoy children and other dogs and are easygoing, but they can be wary of strangers at first. Overall, they’re highly adaptable and intelligent and love coming home for evening cuddles and playtime.
12. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso isn’t a familiar breed for a lot of people. Before 1988, the Cane Corso was only seen in Italy and was considered very rare. But this breed isn’t rare in Australia because it’s number 12 in most searched dog breeds.
Cane Corso are known as the ancient Roman guardians. Standing at 28 inches and almost 100 pounds, the Cane Corso is a protective breed, loyal to their owners. These dogs are intelligent and a bit intimidating when you first look at their size, which is why they’ve earned the Latin name of “bodyguard dog.”
13. French Bulldog
French Bulldogs originated in England during the industrial revolution and made their way to France shortly after. French Bulldogs are well-known as the class clown of dog breeds. Their wobbly walk, bat ears, and goofy personality all come together in a breed that entertains everyone. You’ll never be bored with a Frenchie around.
French Bulldogs love showing off for attention, whether for an owner or stranger. Generally, French Bulldogs love children and other pets but may try to compete for attention. You shouldn’t worry too much about competition since Frenchies appreciate alone time.
14. Australian Shepherd
It might surprise people that Australian Shepherds are not native to Australia. They’re actually native to America, but Australia loves them regardless. The Australian Shepherd is a fuzzy herding dog with striking eyes and a multicolored coat. This breed will herd anything from small animals to children—it’s hotwired in their DNA.
Overall, Aussies are intelligent, eager to please, and affectionate with their owners. Aussies are highly active, so dog owners looking for a laid-back dog wouldn’t do well with this breed. But give an Aussie a farm job, and it will be happy the rest of its life.
The Dachshund, aka the wiener dog, is one of the most recognizable breeds ever. Its long, hot-dog-shaped body and short legs have made this breed famous across the canine kingdom. Dachshunds come in several sizes and colors, but overall, they’re a small breed standing no higher than 9 inches tall.
Dachshunds aren’t built for speed, strength, or swimming. Instead, these little dogs use their slender bodies to dig out their prey from burrows. It’s common to see a Dachshund dig underneath blankets while inside.
These tiny dogs make great indoor and outdoor pets. They love everyone and even make great watchdogs.
16. Cocker Spaniel
The Cocker Spaniel is another hunting breed well-known for their big, dark eyes and long curly ears. Spaniels are believed to originate from Spain, helping bird hunters snatch their prey even before the rifle was invented.
Despite their ability to hunt around a gun, Cocker Spaniels have a soft side to them that sometimes comes across as clingy. You have to be careful with reprimanding, as Cockers will take offense easily. Cocker Spaniels love attention and demand companionship. Ultimately, these are very sweet dogs that do very well in family homes.
17. Great Dane
Another recognizable breed, the Great Dane stands tall and proud, around 32 inches, and weighs between 110–175 pounds. Great Danes are often associated with Denmark, but they’re actually a German breed once used for hunting wild boar.
Many people are intimidated by the size of a Great Dane, but these are very sweet and playful dogs. Surprisingly, they do very well in apartment life. Just watch out when relaxing—a Great Dane will jump into your lap for cuddles when given a chance.
18. Bull Terrier
Most known for its egg-shaped head and wide-set eyes, the Bull Terrier is a playful, stubborn, and devoted dog. This breed was once used for gruesome sports like bull baiting and dog fighting. But these sports were banned over time, and the Bull Terrier became the new fashionable breed.
Bull Terriers are loving dogs that are okay with children and are open to strangers. However, they don’t do well around other dogs, probably because of their troubled past. Bull Terriers are mildly vigilant and always look forward to playtime, especially with balls.
19. Chow Chow
Chow Chows were initially used as a hunting breed in ancient China, dating back over 2,000 years. They were recognized as the wild dogs of China in the early 1800s. Still, they weren’t well known in the West until Queen Victoria adopted one of them decades later.
Interestingly, Chow Chows have hygienic habits similar to a cat, always wanting to be clean and have clean surroundings. These dogs are dedicated to their families but remain quiet and withdrawn, so don’t expect your typical dog personality with a Chow Chow.
The Chihuahua may be the national symbol of Mexico, but they can be seen all over the world, including Australia. Chihuahuas are one of the smallest dogs you can find. They weigh no more than 6 pounds and stand no taller than 8 inches. Even so, these dogs are known as small dogs with big personalities.
Chihuahuas don’t care for roughhousing with children and other dogs, mostly because of how small they are. But they thrive in city life with proper love and attention from their owners.
Samoyeds are the worker dogs of the arctic, but surprisingly they’re common in the great Down Under. The Samoyed people are responsible for creating the breed, a working dog capable of withstanding freezing temperatures. These semi-nomadic people huddled with their dogs at night which is probably why Samoyed dogs are social and demand attention. Even so, Samoyeds are independent, self-reliant workers.
Samoyeds are used to having a job, so confining this dog to a backyard will only lead to loneliness and destruction. But give it a problem to solve, and the Samoyed is happy as a clam.
As you can see, there are many dog breeds in Australia. Is your favorite on this list? If it isn’t, don’t worry. This list will change every year. But the top five breeds will probably stay there for a while because they offer so much more than other breeds, at least for Australia.
We hope this list gives you some inspiration for your next pet. There are lots of breeds to choose from, so choose carefully.
Featured Image Credit: Rala3030, Shutterstock