Top Dog Breeds in Australia

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Australia is a continent of many different types of terrain, from urban, cosmopolitan cities like Sydney to the famous Outback wilderness. While the majority of dogs are kept as pets in Australia, some are working dogs used for herding cattle and sheep, or hunting birds and animals. A surprisingly large number of pups call Australia home - 3.4 million of them - and their breeds suggest that Aussies enjoy cohabiting with intelligent, somewhat challenging doggos. Most of them like to work in some capacity, whether it be guarding the sheep or fetching a ball! Here are the top choices of Australian's for pups!

Australian Cattle Dog

This iconic Australian breed is a mix of a collie with the native dingo. Nicknamed Blue Heelers because of their coloring and habit of nipping cattle's heels to move them around, these pups need exercise and something to do. No lazy lap dogs, they're happiest in the great outdoors running and exploring with their humans, and Australia has plenty of outdoors!

Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffies, as they are called, are known for their heavily muscled, sturdy physiques, and their ready "smile." The breed's tough, macho appearance hides a creme puff personality, especially when these pups are well-trained and loved. Around children and most other dogs, they're docile and protective. Best suited to the streets of Sydney than the Outback, they make great family dogs. 


Surprise! Poodles aren't limited to posh, luxurious, pampered lives. They fit quite well in the rough-and-tumble farm districts and apartment homes as well. Almost shed-free, and known to be hypoallergenic, they adapt well to children and other dogs. In Australia, they're popular for cross-breeding for these traits as well as their intelligence. And these dogs do hunt!

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Jack Russell Terrier

Not only are Jack Russells up for just about anything, they're strong, smart and adventurous! Bred for hunting, they make great companion dogs and have been known to stave off loneliness in solitary shepherds and cattlemen. They get along nicely with horses, and are fearless around equines 5 times their size. And they're great at sniffing out and repelling snakes, mice and other pests.

Labrador Retriever

It would be hard to find a place in the world where the lab is not only welcome, but commonplace! Australia is no exception, and these sturdy, loyal and placid pups are everywhere. They thrive in the country's outdoor lifestyle, and will hunt, cavort, swim and retrieve to your heart's content! 


Beagles embody the independent, nose-to-the-ground Australian. Always interested in the next adventure, Beagles make great hunters, but are also affectionate lap dogs who love children. Gentle, mischievous and adorable, they're consistent favorites as family dogs. Fearless when it comes to exploring, no terrain intimidates them, and they're as comfortable at the seaside as on the couch!

German Shepherd

Stately and sometimes aloof, German Shepherds fit pawrfectly into the rough-and-tumble lifestyle of Australia's countryside, and make furtastic family pets as well. Smart and loyal, they bond with their humans forever, and can be fearsome to anyone they see as a threat, human or animal. They're fleet, graceful and sure-footed, ideal for walkabouts in the bush or strolls in a city park.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Originally from Britain, these little dogs have become common in Australia, favored for their beautiful faces and coats, and their love of human contact and cuddling. Because of their skill at flushing out small game, they're often taken along on hunting and birding expeditions, both popular pastimes for Aussies. Did we mention how cute they are?

Border Collie

Known for sheep herding, these pups excel at anything requiring stamina, speed and agility, and are highly valued on Australian farms. They also make furtastic search and rescue dogs in urban environments, as well as in the outback and along the sea. Fearless around larger animals, they're pawtastic watch dogs, too!


Fearsome and loyal, Rottweilers are one of the oldest working breeds, and are widely used as guard dogs, cattle herders and police dogs. In some areas of Australia, they are employed as protectors of their humans, making a solitary walk in a Sydney park safe, or safeguarding the house of someone who is out all day. They're great family dogs, too!