What is Australia's most popular dog breed?

What is Australia's most popular dog breed?

Did you know that Labradors are Australia’s most popular breed of dog? They are owned than any other breed in the country! 

It’s not just Australia though – Labs are also the most popular choice/commonly owned dog in Canada, the United Kingdom, America (and several other countries too).

Labrador Stats:

  • Other names: Labrador Retrievers, Labs (nickname)
  • Size: Classified as large dogs
  • Weight: Approximately 25-36kg
  • Height: Approximately 55-62cm
  • Lifespan: Average 10-12 years
  • Coat: dense double coat. Most common colourings golden, brown or black

Labrador History 

Labradors originate from the Newfoundland province in Canada (specifically from the region known as “Labrador”, which they are named after).

In fact, their original home plays a big part in why Labs are such great fishing dogs; fishermen trained them to swim through waters and retrieve their fishing nets. 

The heritage of the modern Labrador Retriever is the result of the original Labrador above being bred with British hunting dogs after they were imported to Britain during the early 19th century.

Once in Britain, they were bred as gundogs thanks to their excellent ability in finding and retrieving game.


Temperament & Traits

Labradors are widely known as a dog breed that has a beautiful, friendly nature and patient well-mannered temperament. They are also highly intelligent, focused, trainable and obedient, which is why they are the top pick for service dogs in Australia.

Here are some of their other key traits:

  • Enthusiastic and eager to please
  • Energetic
  • Adaptable 
  • Affectionate
  • Protective
  • Great with children 
  • Compatible around most other breeds/animals 
  • Loyal and trusting
  • Social
  • Gentle 
  • Love to complete tasks

Some of the most Interesting Labrador Facts:

  1. Labradors still possess the instinct to “retrieve” from their early day as helpers for fishermen. They have a super soft bite/mouth and natural motivation to hold and retrieve items in service or play
  2. Labs have webbed toes which makes them great swimmers, and a water-resistant undercoat which protects them in cold, wet weather!
  3. This breed is highly skilled and Labradors are often trained to have a range of service roles in the community; including as guide-dogs, medical assistance dogs, water lifesaving, search and rescue, police dogs and more
  4. A Labrador named Endal from England is one of the most famous service dogs in history. He was able to put help his human handler who used a wheelchair in the recovery position, cover them with a blanket, activate an emergency phone for help and even enter a pin at the ATM. What an incredible dog!

Health Concerns:

Labradors are a relatively healthy dog breed with few major health concerns. 

One of the key issues is that Labradors are one of the top 5 dog breeds that are the most likely to become overweight.

Part of this is because they love treats and food, but scientists have also conducted research indicating around 20% of all Labradors carry a mutant gene which limits their ability to know when they are full (and in turn eating more food than needed).

It’s important to have an appropriate diet for the recommended breed weight range and to be vigilant and consistent with exercise to prevent obesity in Labs.

If you need help in this area for your lab - we have weight management air dried food and home made recipes for dogs here

Why Labradors Make Great Pets:

Labradors are fantastic companion dogs and make a wonderful choice for a family, given their high suitability around children (and also other pets).

They love the company of people and other pets, and their sweet nature and gentle disposition make them a joy to be around. They are highly loveable and affectionate and loyal in return. 

Being highly responsive to training (especially whilst young), you won’t need to worry about destroyed furniture or your Lab barking at other dogs in the dog park. 


  • As a large dog they are not ideally suited to small spaces/apartment living
  • Given their intelligence, Labs need a lot of mental stimulation (in addition to physical)
  • They like to be busy and are task oriented. You can help them stay mentally stimulated through interactive and enriched play where they learn commands and perform tasks 

As you can see from the above, there’s a lot of reasons why Labrador’s are so popular, and they are well-suited for almost every person and lifestyle!

To learn about Healthy Active Pet products and programs go here


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