There’s a clear standout among Australia’s most popular dog breeds, while a local canine is the least popular. Here’s why.
There’s a clear standout among Australia’s most popular dog breeds, known for its easy going temperament, loveable nature, ability to train, suitability for families and insatiable appetite.
Whether you’re looking for a pet yourself, have a keen interest in animals or want to see just how popular your dog is?
This list of the top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds in Australia for 2020, courtesy of data from the Australian Kennel Club and expert commentary from one of the country’s best know dog lovers and trainers Lara Shannon, will tell you all you want to know.
It’s also interesting to note how the popularity of dogs has changed from 2019 and which are the least popular dog breeds in Australia.
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AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR DOG BREEDS
10. Miniature Schnauzer (445 litters birthed in 2020)
Known for: Intelligence. Obedience. Energy.
Expert opinion (From certified dog trainer and behaviourist Lara Shannon): These gorgeous little characters with their magnificent ‘moustache’ are highly intelligent and make for excellent family companions. With their working dog background, they are very trainable, agile and athletic and require plenty of exercise and brain games. Agility, tracking and herding are great outlets for this.
9. Jack Russell Terrier (579 litters)
Known for: Affectionate. Exuberant companion. Determined.
Expert opinion: Lively, independent and bred for ‘ratting’ these little guys love to hunt and need a job to do. With high energy levels, they must be kept physically and mentally active. With their high prey drive they are not for families with pocket pets or cats and can be very assertive and vocal, so you may need to watch them with small children.
8. American Staffordshire Terrier (529 litters)
Known for: Bold. Intelligent. Loyal family pet.
Expert opinion: These guys often get a bad rap in the media, but they are actually a playful, gentle and tolerant breed that is good with children and other pets, but not always other dogs. That’s why early socialisation and obedience training is so important.
7. Cocker Spaniel (551 litters)
Known for: Being excellent pets. Friendliness. Happy demeanour.
Expert opinion: English Cockers are intelligent and curious. They are a hunting dog, so you must train them and work on their obedience. They are soft and sensitive souls though so training must be positive and rewards based. As they love being around their humans so much, they can also be prone to separation anxiety so get onto early independence training.
6. Border Collie (876 litters)
Known for: Intelligence. Faithful, obedient companion. Tireless energy with an independent spirit.
Expert opinion: This smart, highly energetic and trainable breed was bred for working, so they need a job to do above anything else! They are great family dogs but can have a protective streak so need early socialisation to help prevent shyness or reactivity to strangers. They can be sensitive to sound so may develop phobias to loud noises, like fireworks and thunderstorms, so you’ll need to work on that early too.
5. German Shepherd Dog (891 litters)
Known for: Trusted and faithful family dog. Easy to train. Guard dog.
Expert opinion: Highly intelligent and eager to learn, this breed must be kept mentally and physically stimulated. They need firm and consistent handling and obedience training and thrive on being around their family. They can be prone to separation anxiety and may become neurotic if left alone in the backyard for lengthy periods.
4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier (976 litters)
Known for: People-friendly. Excited. Energetic.
Expert opinion: Loving and playful they are great with kids, but as a terrier they do like to dig, chase cats and must be socialised early with other pets and dogs if you want them to get along. The staffy requires a lot of daily exercise, human attention and firm but fair obedience training.
3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (1048 litters)
Known for: Great with kids. Easy to train. Puppy dog eyes.
Expert opinion: The Cavie is intelligent and responds best to gentle, positive training. They require a daily walk and family play sessions to keep them active and stimulated. They generally get along with everyone, including cats and other small pets. They thrive on human companionship and don’t like being left alone all day.
2. Golden Retriever (1175 litters)
Known for: Kind. Friendly. Confident. The perfect family dog.
Expert opinion: The gorgeous Golden Retriever, with its outgoing and fun -loving personality is easy to train. Bred as a working retriever dog, they love active sports, especially retrieving, to keep them entertained and fit. They need a lot of daily exercise so suit a family with an active lifestyle. They also need to be around people, so are not a good dog to leave alone for long periods.
1. Labrador Retriever (2137)
Known for: Great even temperament. Easy to train. Lovable nature.
Expert opinion: The Labrador is highly intelligent, willing to learn and eager to please. They must have brisk walks or jogs each day and plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep problem behaviours at bay. Scenting or retrieving games are great and they need confident and consistent handling to help keep their boisterous personality manageable.
AUSTRALIA’S MOST POPULAR DOG BREEDS IN 2019
1. Labrador Retriever (1970 litters birthed)
2. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (1070 litters)
3. Golden Retriever (1059 litters)
4. Staffordshire Bull Terrier (740 litters)
5. American Staffordshire Terrier (505 litters)
6. Jack Russell Terrier (499 litters)
7. Border Collie (833 litters)
8. German Shepherd Dog (749 litters)
9. Schnauzer (Miniature) (586 litters)
10. French Bulldog (553 litters)
AUSTRALIA’S LEAST POPULAR DOG BREEDS IN 2020
Australian Dingo (0 litters birthed)
Bloodhound (0 litters)
Cesky Terrier (0 litters)
Dachshund Kaninchen – excluding Smooth – (0 litters)
Glen of Imaal Terrier (0 litters)
Hamiltonstovare (0 litters)
Ibizan Hound (0 litters)
Otterhound (0 litters)
Portuguese Podengo – excluding Small – (0 litters)
Sloughi (0 litters)
*Data according to Australian National Kennel Council National Animal Registration Analysis.
Lara Shannon, is a certified Dog Trainer & Behaviourist, Host and Executive Producer of Channel 10’s Pooches At Play, Author of Eat, Play, Love (your dog) and World of Dogs – being released in October 2021 and Editor of Poochesatplay.com
Please note as Labradoodles and Groodles etc are not recognised as official dog breeds by the Australia National Kennel Council, they do not appear on this list.
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