Australia's top 10 family dog breeds

1. Labrador Retriever

What better canine to start off this list than human’s ultimate best friend, the Labrador Retriever. The great outdoors is the perfect environment for Labs, who love nothing more than a big bounce around in wide open spaces. If you live near the beach even better, as this is a dog who swims with the skills of a dolphin.

Labs have lots of energy so are great for older toddlers. However, they are also happy to sit quietly and relax – but be careful as too much chill-out time can cause them to pile on the pounds; you’ll need to monitor their diet. They are also a lot of fun to take for walks.

2. Poodle

Known as very smart and gentle, poodles are great pets for children with allergies, as they shed minimal hair. Their good nature and patience makes them a great playmate for children, and since they are seldom annoyed or bored you won’t have to be worried about the young ones climbing all over them. What is better than a stand-in nanny, pet and friend who doesn’t leave a fur ball mess behind?

3. Saint Bernard

If you’ve seen the 90s family flick about the adorable but troublesome Beethoven, you can’t help but smile when you think of a St. Bernard. While being huge (sometimes getting up to 120 kg) they can be an amazing member to any family if properly trained when puppies. You will however, need a very large house. Originating from the Italian/Swiss Alps, they’re known for being gentle, friendly, and fun for all ages.

4. Beagle

Beagles love family life and are in their element running around with the kids. With a placid temperament, they’re usually pretty easy-going, but dangle a tempting scent in front of that super-sensitive nose and they’re off. It’s not so much about you walking your Beagle as it is about your Beagle walking you.

5. Golden Retriever

With an enviable golden coat that’s soft to the touch, this is a dog you’ll want to hug, and who won’t mind at all being hugged in return. As one of the most popular dogs in Australia, the Golden Retriever is the dog young children will run with along the beach and in the park. He’s friendly and obedient and loves swimming too.

6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The loveable Staffy gets along with children like a house on fire and will jump to protect them if need be. This is a sturdy dog well known for keeping a smile on their expressive face. Although they were bred as fighting dogs, with proper training yours will be as loyal and obedient as any other dog, and they love nothing more than being inside curled up with the family.

7. Jack Russell Terrier

If you ever have a problem with pests in the house, forget getting a cat. The Jack Russell is your own personal mouse and rat catcher as they love to hunt and chase. Known for being quite hyperactive, this isn’t a dog for everyone, but they’ll make sure even the laziest family member gets up and plays outside. Make sure they’re well-trained around kids, as they can get a little snappy.

8. Border Collie

Another hard-working breed here. The black and white beauty that is the beloved Border Collie can run up to 80 km a day and still have enough energy to chase you and a bone around the kitchen. This is a dog that needs some serious mental stimulation, so if you tire of tossing a frisbee you might want some Shakespeare at hand to read to them by the fire. Either way, your Collie will be a great family companion.

9. Pug

From as early as the 16th century, Pugs have been popular in Europe, and now these loveable, little, and perhaps a little strange looking, dogs have won their way into the hearts of dog lovers everywhere. Originally from China, these strong-willed wrinkly little fur balls sometimes come with health problems, but fit in great with families, especially those with small children. They’re also great to curl up and take a nap with.

10. Shelter dogs

There’s nothing like giving a dog a bone, or a home. Giving any dog a second chance at a happy life is one of the greatest things an Australian family can do, as is heading to the shelter and choosing your new family member yourself. Finding a dog this way means you get a loving life companion who might be past chewing up your furniture, but will grow to love you unconditionally.

Real Pet Insurance can help you with your pet insurance needs so that you’re covered in the event of any pet emergency.