Australian Dog Breeds We Love All Over, Not Just Down Under

These ten Aussie breeds, from energetic dynamos to snuggle champs, have the energy to match yours any day!

Published February 23, 2024

You can bet that Australia's one-of-a-kind terrain has led to the creation of some fascinating dog breeds. Each one comes with a unique skill set tailored to their original purpose, allowing them to thrive in their specific surroundings. From mastering the endless outback to maneuvering through bustling city streets, these breeds have been crafted to be super adaptable.

1. Australian Cattle Dog

The beautiful Australian cattle dog is the most hard-working, dedicated herding dog breed. They have spirited personalities, a medium-sized build, and are known for their intelligence. But along with their smarts comes a stubborn streak, so be sure you’re prepared to stay consistent and disciplined during training. These pups will gladly go anywhere you want them to, prepared to hike, jog, or even just wander around at the dog park. 

Quick Tip

Indoor dog parks are awesome for this breed (and can be super helpful in releasing some pent-up energy).

2. Australian Kelpie

The Australian kelpie is extremely intelligent and known to be a bit more independent than other Australian dog breeds. They’re loyal, loving, and friendly with their human families, but they aren’t big fans of strangers unless they’re super socialized as puppies. 

Although they’re known to bond more closely with one family member than the others, they are great with children and other family members in the home. And, while they aren’t guard dogs, you can rest assured that they will alert you if someone is too close to their territory. 

Need to Know

Just like any other herding breed, this dog breed needs to be taught not to try to ‘herd’ the kiddos and other pets.

3. Australian Terrier

Commonly known as the Aussie, the Australian terrier has a fiery spirit and tireless energy. They get very attached to their human families but prefer to be the only dog in the house. They don’t like to share family members with other dogs or cats (or anyone at all, really). 

Their hypoallergenic nature is a bonus to many dog lovers, not only because they don’t affect allergies as badly but also because they don’t shed much, so there likely won’t be piles of fur around the house to pick up. 

Need to Know

Like other terrier breeds, this pup doesn’t do well with small pets like hamsters since they were bred to hunt vermin. 

4. Silky Terrier

The silky terrier, also known as the Sydney silky or the Australian silky terrier, is a cross between the Australian terrier and the Yorkshire terrier. They make excellent companions for any family, but they are known to be a bit yippy. On the plus side, they will alert you if someone comes near your house, but you may not pay attention since they enjoy listening to their own bark every now and then.

They tend to be sturdier than the Yorkshire terrier, which makes them a good option for families concerned about adopting a small dog that’s more on the fragile side. And they have affectionate personalities and will gladly keep you company while you do just about anything. 

Quick Tip

Check out our article about dog sounds to hear the difference between barking for fun and barking to convey info. 

5. Tenterfield Terrier

The small tenterfield terrier (weighing as little as 8 pounds) is known to be good for all ages, ranging from young children to seniors. Like many terriers, they have a bold personality and are pretty confident in themselves. They seem to be on the fearless side and are very focused when they have a job to do. 

They absolutely love their families and will gladly soak up any attention you offer. That refers to their human families. As for other pets, they tend to chase smaller animals and cats due to their strong prey drive, unless they have been taught not to do so since they were puppies. 

Need to Know

Like most terriers, they can become destructive when they’re bored, so puzzles and chew toys are a must to help keep them entertained while you’re gone.

6. Australian Staghound

The Australian staghound is a medium- to large-sized breed ranging from 55 to 90 pounds. They’re known for their protective nature combined with their loving and intelligent personalities. They have high energy levels, which means they will need a bit more exercise than the average dog to stay happy and healthy. 

Need to Know

This Australian breed can be added to the list of hypoallergenic dog breeds.

7. Australian Koolie

The Australian koolie is a working dog known for their speed and stamina for herding sheep and driving cattle. They are sweet-natured and affectionate, along with being extremely devoted to their human families. They can be excellent companions for active pet parents.

8. Bull Arab

The bull arab is a large, tough dog that can be found hunting wild boars and other feral animals. They’re confident, loyal, and even-tempered, making them excellent companions despite their rough and tough jobs. In addition to being loving companions, they make excellent guard dogs who will protect their families.

Since this breed does have the drive and confidence to hunt large animals, as you can imagine, their personalities will be heavily influenced by what they’re taught from a young age. Socialization is important with every dog breed, but this dog breed requires an experienced pet parent who understands how to socialize the breed the best and communicate effectively in dog language.

Need to Know

This breed tends to become overly excited and could be too rambunctious for young children.

9. Labradoodle

Who can honestly resist a labradoodle? They’re a cross between Labrador retrievers and the poodle, and oh-so-cute. Their hypoallergenic coat means less shedding and fewer allergies, which can be a real lifesaver. They have the intelligence of the poodle with the affectionate nature of the lab, resulting in a super-loving family dog.

10. Miniature Fox Terrier

The miniature fox terrier — called the mini foxie in Australia — was originally bred to hunt small vermin, but it has now become a family favorite. They do pretty well in any environment, whether you’re a retired individual or a family looking for an active dog that will keep up with you. 

The Mini Foxie Club of America has strict breed standards. The club makes its seriousness very apparent and explicitly states that “any breeder not on our breeder's list is NOT a reputable breeder of Mini Foxies.” The reason the club is so strict is because, for decades, they have been trying to weed out a health condition called primary lens luxation. 

Need to Know

Primary lens luxation, PLL, is a super painful eye disorder where the eye lens moves from its normal location. 

Picking a Dog From the Land Down Under

Even though a breed may be completely irresistible to you because they're oh-so-adorable, don't base your decision to bring them home on looks alone. Make sure they're the right fit for you and the fam. You don't want to end up with a breed that's uber adorable but whose energy needs far exceed your own, or a breed that is pretty chill when you're always on the go. Think about what you're looking for and go from there.

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Australian Dog Breeds We Love All Over, Not Just Down Under