Top 10 Medium-sized Dogs In Australia


We’re blessed with a lot of space in this country. Australia has some of the best parks and backyard spaces in the world and we celebrate this by showing our love for all kinds of medium-sized dogs. The medium-sized dog is Australia’s favourite companion animal; energetic, fun-loving, gentle and loyal.

Whether it’s a Labrador, an English Bulldog or a Cocker Spaniel, they’ve all found a great home with a loving family somewhere in this vast country. We’ve all grown up with a medium-sized dog, either as a part of our own family or the one simply known as the ‘dog next door’.

Here are the most popular large dog breeds in Australia at this time, listed from 10 to 1, along with a brief description. Is your best friend on the list?


10. American Staffy

The American Staffy, American Staffordshire Terrier or Amstaff is a very muscular and energetic medium-sized breed of domesticated dog with a short silky coat and a highly loyal and courageous temperament.

Confident, outgoing, solid and very strong for its size, the American Staffy is a popular pet for the family who likes to include their pets in their daily activities. The breed is highly energetic and enjoys regular exercise.

Although to some, American Staffys have an intimidating appearance, selective breeding has developed their temperament to be friendly and patient with children. A loyal and persistent breed, the American Staffy will courageously protect its owner if threatened and ward off any danger.

The average American Staffy will measure between 43 to 56cm and should weigh between 25 and 30kgs. A healthy and well-exercised American Staffy will live for between 10 and 15 years of age.


9. Border Collie

The Border Collie is one of the world’s smartest and most popular dog breeds. Originally developed as a herding dog because of its intelligence and obedience, the Border Collie is a medium-sized dog known for its friendly nature.

Bred as working dogs, they thrive on praise. The Border Collie is a highly energetic dog with great stamina, and consequently it needs ample exercise. This makes them a favourite of farmers who need a trusted, helpful and loyal farmhand.

Border Collies have thick, double coats which vary from smooth to rough and they come in a variety of colours with black and white being the most popular. The dog should be brushed or combed regularly to keep a gleaming, healthy coat, and it should only be bathed when necessary. Border

Collies are average shedders.

Healthy males usually weigh between 14 and 20 kg and stand around 48 – 56 cm tall. Females are usually 12-19 kg and stand at 46 – 53 cm tall.

The average lifespan of a Border Collie is about 12 years, but dogs living longer than 16 years is not that rare. In fact, the fourth longest-living dog was a Border Collie.


8. Bull Terrier

The Bull Terrier is a stout and muscular dog, stubborn and independent in nature and very loyal to its owner. They belong to the terrier family and were bred in the mid-1800s to hunt vermin and other small game in a variety of hunting activities and blood sports.

Although the Bull Terrier’s original role was quite violent, like many breeds today the dog has been developed over time to be a companion animal—now showing great affection and a fondness of children. The Bull Terrier is still a strong and independent animal, however, and is best handled by an experienced owner.

The Bull Terrier, regardless of its history, is not a dangerous dog. In fact, Bull Terriers enjoy a great deal of popularity all over the world and have found many good homes across Australia. The Stafford type is the smallest of the Bull Terriers and considered to be the most even-tempered and friendly of the family.

Bull Terriers enjoy being inside the house and don’t need much attention to remain content and happy. They are prone to skin allergies, however, and if your Bull Terrier is living outdoors, it’s best to give them a wash at least once a week.

Bull Terriers usually measure between 51 to61 cm and should way somewhere between 20 to 26kgs. They generally live to between 10 and 14 years of age.


7. Cocker Spaniel

The English Cocker Spaniel has a long, silky coat which is usually straight or slightly wavy, and its legs, chest and belly are covered in longer hair called “feathering”. The Cocker Spaniel does require a lot of grooming and is an average shedder.

Its coat is either a solid colour (usually black, light cream, red or brown) or multi-coloured (one of the previously mentioned colours mixed with white). The American Cocker Spaniel tends to be smaller with a shorter back, shorter muzzle and a domed head.

The average weight of the Cocker Spaniel is between 7 and 14 kg, with males standing at 38 cm tall and females at 36 cm.

Like most dogs, Cocker Spaniels love exercise and will take as much as you can give them. Usually a daily walk and a couple of hours of playtime are sufficient.


6. English Bulldog

The modern English Bulldog is worlds apart from the fighting dog it was originally. The English Bulldog we all know today has been selectively bred over a few hundred years to serve as a companion animal. Although to some the Bulldog can appear intimidating, the breed has developed a great reputation for gentle play with children and tolerance for other household pets.

The English Bulldog has fast become a popular family pet and their gentle but protective nature means that they are very personable and loyal family members. The breed requires a great deal of human contact and will show high levels of affection to their owners. If provoked or threatened by a stranger, the English Bulldog will bravely stand its ground and protect loved ones with determination.

The average English Bulldog will grow to between 31 and 40 tall and should weigh in the vicinity of 24 to 25kgs. A healthy and happy English Bulldog will live to between the age of 7to 12 years.


5. Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is one of the world’s favourite dog breeds. Originally bred as gun dogs, the Golden Retriever is a smart, trainable and friendly companion. Because of their intelligence, they make great working dogs and can be seen performing a number of different roles including seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs, hunting & detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs.

The breed has a double coat which sheds throughout the year but particularly around the change of the season. It has a thicker, water-repellent top coat and a soft undercoat to keep the dog cool in warmer months and warm in cooler months.

Healthy male Golden Retrievers weigh between 29 and 34 kg on average and stand at about 58 – 61cm tall. Females weigh in at 27 – 32 kg and stand at 55 – 57 cm tall.

The average lifespan of a Golden Retriever is around 11-12 years.


4. Labrador

Bred originally as gun dogs, today’s Labrador is famous for its roles as assistance dogs for visually impaired and autistic people, detection & screening dogs, therapy dogs and law enforcement dogs.

Labradors vary widely, but they are generally quite large and muscular with a short, dense, water-repellent coat, a broad head, brown or hazel eyes, strong jaws, a medium muzzle, and an “otter tail” which is thick at the base and narrower at the tip. There are three main colour varieties in Golden Retrievers: black, yellow, and chocolate, and occasionally all three can be present in the same litter.

Healthy male Labradors should weigh between 29 and 36 kg and stand at about 57 – 62 cm tall. Females should weigh about 25 – 32 kg and stand at 55 – 60 cm tall.

Labradors are energetic dogs and therefore need to be taken on a long, brisk walk or jog at least once a day. They tend to gain weight quite easily, so exercise and a proper diet are especially important for the Labrador.

Life expectancy in Labradors is around 10-13 years.


3. Poodle

The Poodle is a small and lively domesticated dog, known for its thick, tightly curled coat and enthusiastic nature. The Poodle’s original work was as a water retriever hunting dog, officially adopted by the French but believed to have originated in Germany.

Regardless of its beautiful and delicate appearance, the Poodle’s hunting background is reflected in its eager and energetic nature. They are very intelligent animals, loyal and full of energy. Poodles have a reputation for getting into mischief if they’re not stimulated with games and exercise and the breed can develop ongoing behavioural problems if not given enough human attention.

The Standard Poodle generally measure between 45 and 60cm and a healthy example should weigh between 20 to 32kgs. The average Toy Poodle will live for between 12 to 15 years.


2. Shiba Inu

The ShibaInu is the smallest breed of dog native to Japan. Small, compact and muscular, the ShibaInu is an energetic and independent little dog. Having once come close to extinction during the Second World War, the ShibaInu is now a popular pet in both Asia and the West, known for its cleanliness and loyalty.

Consistent training and handling is essential with this confident and bold breed. If the owner isn’t identified as a strong and dominant pack leader, then behavioural issues can manifest. The ShibaInus must have clear boundaries set early on and clear owner-pet communication is essential from the outset.

Colours include black and tan, sesame and red, with a cream-coloured or grey undercoat. ShibaInus generally grow to 36-41 cm, 8-11kgs and live to between 12 and 15 years.


1. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier shares its lineage with the Pit Bull and are breeds that are renowned for both their aggressive and highly loyal characteristics.

The Staffordshire or ‘Staffy’ is one of Australia’s most popular breeds and when trained properly have proven to be a good and very personable companion pet. They are energetic, enthusiastic medium-sized dogs and require a good deal of exercise and human attention.

Unfortunately illegal dog fighting still occurs in Australia as well as other parts of the world and Pit Bulls as well as Staffordshire Bull Terriers are chosen for their strength, tenacity and loyal spirit. Staffordshire Bull Terriers that have been raised in a good environment and have been trained well have largely been very suitable family pets.

The average Staffordshire Bull Terrier will measure between 35 to 40cm and a healthy dog should weigh between 13 and 17kgs. They live to between 10 and 15 years of age.



If you’re interested in looking at some other medium-sized dog breeds, visit our complete list of medium-sized dog breeds available in Australia.

*Please note, any pet insurance advice provided is general only. Refer to the applicable Product Disclosure Statement for details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover.
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