Top 5 Dog Breeds in Australia

After deciding you want a dog, you could get overwhelmed by choice. Looking at the most popular breeds in Australia could be a good start.

Many Australians are dog lovers. In fact, at the end of 2012, more than 3.5 million dogs were kept as pets by Australians, and over 63 per cent of households had a dog as a pet. You might want to join the ranks and get a puppy of your own, but do you know what kind you want?

Check out the most popular breeds in the country - they respond well to good training and attention so you're sure to have a spirited, loyal companion.

1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The most popular breed is known for doing everything to the max. They're enthusiastic about everything and anything, whether that's learning, playing or loving. When you have one as a puppy, this energy could have them chewing everything in sight. Get your new friend plenty of tough toys and get started on their training as soon as possible.

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are smart dogs and respond well to being both social and disciplined. While they're bold, quick and constantly moving, they're also affectionate and will come when you call. They'll especially listen to a leader who's firm and confident. 

Although even with a strong leader, they'll push the boundaries - they do love a challenge. You might find them fearlessly and curiously trying to jump the fence or dig up your garden. 

Their friendly and gentle nature, and the fact that they have so much energy, makes them a good family dog. 

2. Labrador Retriever

Whether black, golden or brown, this dog will be both loyal and loving. Labs are popular with families for these qualities. With their affectionate, patient and reliable nature, they'll be friends with your kids in no time.

Often used as service dogs, they not only have a great disposition, but high intelligence so they're easy to train. Make sure to give them lots of exercise and guidance so their playfulness doesn't get them into mischief.

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are often used as police dogs because they're brave and keenly alert. This is another breed of dog that has a happy disposition and will pick things up quickly.

These dogs might bark when they're separated from their 'pack' or family because of their faithful demeanour. They'll protect you with their life.

To learn obedience and have a good temperament, they need to be socialised and trained from a young age. They will mimic the attitude of their leader, so you have to be strong and confident with them. They'll also respond well to lots of activity.

4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This smaller breed is a tamer choice, but is still eager, affectionate and happy. For their size, they're very outgoing and active. They'll pick up training but and are naturally well behaved - they just want to be around you.

You do need to make sure they know what they are and aren't allowed to do. Because of their hunting background, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels might want to chase anything that moves - you need to put them in their place when they misbehave so they know who's boss.

5. Golden Retriever 

These dogs are charming, they are gentle, patient and are very intelligent. If you're social, your dog will be social too. Golden Retrievers are friendly with people and other animals and are known for being good with kids.

As the owner of such an active dog, you need to release some of your furry friend's energy with daily exercise, walks or games. Otherwise they might become highly strung and start destroying your favourite shoes.

This energetic and loving dog will be devoted to you if you treat them right. They're eager to please, so you'll be able to teach them obedience rules and tricks. Don't be too lenient - these dogs will appreciate if you're firm, as well as loving.

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Posted by Julie2508Report
I had two Staffies. They were 15 when they died. I still mourn for them 4 years later. Staffies are tremendous with children BUT they must be watched around other animals. I have had other breeds but these two were special and we will never forget them. I have come across owners of pit bulls calling their dogs Staffie, and while I admit not every Staffie is to be trusted, I personally have not met a vicious one in the 19 years I have known the breed. As with most dogs look to the owner of troubled dogs.
Posted by SUE LEWINDONReport
I have had a Labrador X in the past and she was a terrific dog with my kids. Would also recommend Blue/Red Heeler X she is really gentle with our family but is getting old now so she isn't quite as active as she used to be but is very quiet compared to neighbours dogs who do nothing but yap all day long.
Posted by Melinda346Report
Ive had a bull mastif, he was a gentle giant. I had a bull terrier, she was a gentle dog also. Now I have a staffy&she is so gentle&loving with my children. Dogs only do as they r treated.
Posted by Melinda346Report
Its not the dog breed. Its the way they r brought up. Not fair.
Posted by Ian389Report
Those mongrel dogs, bull terriers, should be outlawed.
Posted by Shannon427Report
To be honest i think bull breeds are great dogs Ian389 as have known many in my life and own 2 well 1 is a cross, but still if brought up right socialised sadly its idiots out there that give them a bad name. I have never been bittern or threatened by 1 yet doing a gardening job i have been bittern by 2 Jack Russell's cross and also 3 Shih Tzu as the dogs were brought by family members to give to elderly people with ***r health so they had company yet the family never would visit. So as the clients health was ***r the dogs were not socialised and escaped out of the door and bit me and i do not blame the dog, yet the family for not visiting there elderly mother grandmother as when the family did visit the dogs could not even see them as would get possessive of the owner and bite anyone near. so before you judge a breed think there is a reason and why things happen and like human all have there own personality and might just not like other dogs or people and the media do not help by not reporting other dog attacks and incidents.