Popular pups: Australia’s top 10 dog breeds of 2021

It may be a cliche to say that dogs are our best friends, but for many dog owners, it’s true all the same. Dogs make for wonderful companions – they make us laugh, and whether they’re snoozing and snoring at your feet or chasing a stick around the yard, they make a house feel more like a home.
Top 10 Dog Breeds Australia
The feisty Frenchie is one of Australia’s most popular dog breeds. Source: Kwiatek7/Shutterstock.com.

It’s not surprising, then, that the last year has seen Aussies adopting dogs at record levels, with many of us seeking companionship during the lockdowns. The demand for purebred pups has boomed, while the RSPCA has seen a big increase in the number of applications for adoptions, with 26,000 received in the period to September 2020.

Pet Insurance Australia Spokesperson Nadia Crighton told Canstar that a year after the first round of lockdowns, they were curious to see what breeds of canine companion people were purchasing and adopting in the greatest numbers.

What are the most popular dogs in Australia in 2021?

Pet Insurance Australia put together a list of the most popular dogs for which customers took out insurance policies in 2021, and based on figures from their database, the top 10 breeds among Aussie dog lovers are:

  1. Cavoodle
  2. French bulldog
  3. Golden retriever
  4. Labrador
  5. Border collie
  6. Miniature dachshund
  7. German shepherd
  8. Maltese cross
  9. Staffordshire bull terrier
  10. Golden doodle (Groodle)

What makes these pups so special?

“It’s no surprise that the cavoodle has come out on top,” said Crighton, telling Canstar that this is by far the most common type of dog that’s insured in Australia.

“This wonderful breed is well known for their lovely nature, intelligence, and ability to love everyone in the household – including other pets,” she said.

The ever-popular Frenchie took out the number two spot, and Crighton told Canstar that these sturdy, snuffling and highly social little dogs are also great companions.

“French bulldogs are a popular choice for many Australian families,” she said. “They are bright and affectionate and certainly have all the charm, plus they also make good watchdogs. They simply adore those who love them.”

“[The Top 10 list] just goes to show that Australians love a variety of purebred and mixed breed dogs,” Crighton said. “It’s lovely to see so many family favourites standing the test of time, like the golden retriever and the loveable labrador.”

How much do Australia’s favourite dogs cost?

There is no definitive answer to the question of how much a particular breed of dog will cost, as prices depend on individual breeders. Given the soaring demand in Australia recently, though, many do not come cheap, and it may often be the case that registered breeders will have waiting lists for puppies.

In terms of average prices, if you were to buy from a registered breeder, a cavoodle may cost you anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000. According to Hello Cavoodle!, these dogs may cost a little less in Victoria, as there are a number of breeders there.

French bulldogs, while adorable, are also very costly, with prices from registered breeders typically starting at $5,000 and up. Some rare and sought-after variations such as lilac and blue-coloured Frechies can sell for upwards of $14,000.

Searching sites like Pups4Sale as well as registered breeders’ websites, we found that golden retrievers can cost between $3,500 and $5,000, and miniature dachshunds sell for about $5,500. A purebred Maltese cross pup can cost $3,500 to $4,500 or more.

For a border collie, you might pay somewhere in the range of $1,800 to $2,500, while some breeders list labrador puppies for sale for as high as $3,500 or more. German shepherd pups can sell for anywhere between about $1,300 to $3,000.

Staffordshire bull terrier pups can cost in the $1,800 to $2,000 range, while groodles can cost upwards of $4,000.

What should you do before buying a puppy?

If you’re considering buying a puppy, the RSPCA has put together a Smart Puppy and Dogs Buyer’s Guide that has some information to consider. If you are thinking about buying from a breeder, it is important to find out as much information as you can about them, and pay them a visit if at all possible.

In general, it is important to ensure that breeders provide a high standard of care and good living conditions for their animals, that they are open to questions about the breed you’re buying as well as the individual dog’s family history and any possible health conditions it may have, and that they are not operating a puppy farm.

If you choose the rescue route, you can also adopt a puppy or full-grown dog from the RSPCA. Prices for these dogs will vary depending on availability, so it is best to make enquiries with your local branch.

Cover image source: Kwiatek7/Shutterstock.com

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This content was reviewed by Sub Editor Jacqueline Belesky and Finance and Lifestyle Editor Shay Waraker as part of our fact-checking process.