There are over 360 breeds all over the world currently recognized by the International Canine Foundation. However, only a handful of people know much about the majority of these dog breeds, with most going under the radar. Some people might not even be familiar with breeds originating from Australia. If you’re curious, here’s the lowdown on some unique and often underrated breeds from the land down under:
1. Australian Cobberdog
Typically mistaken for its look-alike, the Labradoodle, Australian Cobberdogs are popular for their fluffy, hypoallergenic coats. They are gentle and patient, making them perfect as therapy and assistance dogs.
In fact, their name actually means “dog-friend,” which is apt because of their kind personalities. Compared to Labradoodles, however, Australian Cobberdogs are recognized as a pure breed, with their own pedigree and stable DNA.
A natural herder, the Australian Kelpie was bred to work all day independently herding livestock such as cattle, sheep and fowl. Their strong reflexes and herding instincts are still observed today, even with Kelpies who are bred as house pets.
With this background, it would not be too much of a surprise that they are high-energy dogs who expect high levels of exercise every day. Keeping them cooped up every day wouldn’t be ideal, and may only work if your Kelpie has undergone extensive training since he was a puppy. If you think you’re up to the challenge, there are numerous ethical breeders that have kelpie puppies for sale.
3. Australian Terrier
Initially bred as hunters for rodents and snakes, Australian Terriers are alert and high-energy dogs, with a knack for showing off and proving that they’re the best. With their short legs and beautiful coat, they are a favorite in dog shows and dog competitions where they like performing obedience tasks and tricks. They are excellent watchdogs and family dogs, but they do require lots of exercise to let them expend their energy.
One of the cutest mixed breed dogs there is, cavoodles take the best of both worlds from its parent breeds: the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the poodle. With their distinct curly hair and large expressive eyes, there’s no wonder why the cavoodle is one of the top breeds being sold in Australia.
But aside from their cuteness, cavoodles are also highly intelligent and loyal to their pet parents. Their compact build also makes them highly adaptable to any type of lifestyle or living condition, whether they’ll live in a house with a yard or an apartment.
Labradoodles are the adorable mix between the Labrador Retriever and the poodle. With their fluffy eyebrows and small eyes, it’s pretty hard not to fall in love with this breed. They are smart, highly sociable, affectionate and gentle, making them perfect for family setups or if you’re looking for a pet who’s going to grow alongside your children.
As dogs, they were not bred to be aggressive, which would explain why these dogs don’t have that hostile streak that may be present in other breeds. However, they are not inherently lap dogs but they typically have high energy levels, which they would need to expend throughout the day before you can expect them to cuddle up. Take them on long walks to help them release some of that pent-up energy.
6. Australian Cattle Dog
Also referred to as the Queensland Heeler, the Australian Cattle Dog is the closest relative to Australia’s wild dog: the Dingo. As the name suggests, this breed is excellent in herding cattle and other animals because of its agility and speed. Its muscular body is also a testament to all the potential it possesses. Incredibly intelligent and alert, Australian Cattle Dog is excellent watchdogs and service dogs – and sometimes they can even outsmart the people around them.
7. Silky Terrier
Staying true to its name, the silky terrier has one of the shiniest, glossiest coats there is in dog breeds around the world. They are small and compact, but they do pack tough and feisty personalities, with a knack for letting you know what’s in their mind. But while they do like being independent and confident, they are extremely loving and loyal to their owners.
8. Australian Staghound
Bred for hunting and being watchdogs, Australian Staghounds are energetic, fast and known for their excellent vision. They are patient and loyal, but may not be ideal for younger children since they may get aggravated when younger children pull their leg or their tail. Much like with any other pets, ensure that you supervise every time your kids are around your Australian Staghound.
9. Australian Miniature Fox Terrier
Miniature Fox Terriers were initially bred for hunting game like fowl. They come in different colored fur, from black and tan to tri-colored coats. However, while they are a relatively small breed, they do have high energy levels, which need to be expended through regular walks and exercise.
They are affectionate and loyal, but if you’re planning on adopting one, make sure that you don’t have small pets such as hamsters and guinea pigs. Mini Foxies have incredibly high hunting reflexes, which may end in tragedy for your other smaller pets.
Bred as herder dogs, the Australian Koolies are known for their stamina and endurance. They are loyal, highly sociable and are good companions to children because of their patience. This is also one of the reasons why Koolies are perfect as service animals or search and rescue dogs.
However, their history as herders may still appear even if they’ve been raised at home, so they might try to herd you off by lightly nipping your ankles and gently bumping you towards the direction they want you to go.
Widen Your Horizon When It Comes to Dog Breeds
With hundreds of dog breeds around the world, not including the mixed breeds, it’s easy to focus on the more popular ones. But if you’re looking for unique, loyal dogs, there’s a significant number that usually falls under the radar, especially for people who are only looking locally. Don’t limit yourselves to the breeds familiar to local breeders, but try to become familiar with other local breeds that you might be missing.