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The top 10 DOG BREEDS in Australia 2020-2022. And their major illnesses and remedies

Billie Cavoodle

There is NO comprehensive top 10 dog breed list available in Australia. If there was, it would probably draw together all council registrations across Australia and cover the 5 million dogs.  So, instead of relying on one survey source, we look at as many reliable ones as we can, and find a much closer to true meaning of what is the most current “popular” dog breeds.

The reason we are looking at this is that many popular breeds, are susceptible to a multitude of dog illnesses and while dog insurance can help, it’s very useful to know what the most popular dog breeds are likely to have AND what supplements you might use to prevent illnesses in the first place, if possible.

How they rank the popular dog breeds in Australia in 2022  

Recently we read news of a top 10 dog breed list that was spread across all social media news channels only to find out that it was a survey by a dog food company. Yes, it used 13,000 responses, but with nearly 5 million dogs in Australia – the results may not reflect the TOTAL current dog breed popularity.

Another popular measure was a list compiled by several insurance companies, but again, that is only to do with their clients, and owners who felt inclined or were wealthy enough to purchase insurance.  Though you will see that the similarities between two different dog insurance companies over different years is in fact quite similar.

Then we looked at lists compiled by the Australian kennel club. Their data is based on how many litters of specific REGISTERED breeds were on their records – but again this is ONLY registered breeders, and only pure breed dogs.  Many of the oodles for instance are not recognised as a breed yet. Hence why the number 1 dog breed on every other list wasn’t shown in the AKC top ten !

Ideally, the most popular dog breed in Australia, should be based on everyone of those 5 million dogs. There should be a national database, based on all council registrations at least. But alas, no. That said, we looked at these four recent sources of Top ten poplar dog lists, and collated a longer list based on that information …

Ten most popular dogs in Australia, 2022 – 2020

Scratch Survey 2022 (13,000 dogs) HCF insurance 2022 Pet Insurance Australia (2021) Australian Kennel Club  2020
Cavoodle Cavoodle Cavoodle Labrador
Labrador Maltese Cross French bulldog Golden Retriever
Greyhound Labrador Golden retriever Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Border Collie Labradoodle Labrador English Bull Terrier
Golden Retriever English Bull Terrier Border collie German Shepherd
Groodle Golden Retriever Miniature dachshund Border Collie
Labradoodle Spoodle German shepherd Cocker Spaniel
German Shepherd Border Collie Maltese cross American Staffordshire Terrier
English Bull Terrier Cavalier King Charlies Spaniel English Bull Terrier Jack Russell Terrier
French Bulldog Groodle Groodle Miniature Schnauzer

TOP 18 dog breeds in Australia 2022 & their illnesses

Based on the four sources of survey data between 2020 and 2022 we averaged out the responses to find the Top 18 dog breeds in Australia.

You will notice that the first three information sources use all breeds of dogs (Kennel club recognised or otherwise) with the top ten often repeated on each of the first three lists.  The AKC list by comparison only has registered breeds (recognised internationally) and so there are many breeds on their list such as the jack Russell that are not on the first three top ten lists.  This combination of four lists means that the top 10 dog popularity becomes and extended top 18 dog breeds (registered and not), and perhaps better reflects a lot of the breeds out there.

Hence why the Cavoodle that makes the top of the list on the first three survey lists is dislodged by the lab retriever (the number 1 dog on the AKC list)

The columns to the right of the dog breed (table below), show the typical dog illnesses that each of these breeds can have and are separated into functional areas such as joint, eye, and heart disease etc.  This kind of information not only shows comparatively how healthy some of the most popular breeds are, but how important preventative health care is for dogs – if you have ever had quotes from a vet to fix these issues once they occur, I am sure you will understand that.

 DOG BREED Joint Eye heart disease Brain Skin OTHER
Labrador retriever elbow and hip dysplasia progressive retinal atrophy hereditary myopathy (muscle weakness)  exercise induced collapse (EIC) young adults
Cavoodle  Hip  Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation Mitral Valve Insufficiency Cerebellar Abiotrophy Atopic Skin Disease Syringomyelia ( fluid-filled cyst forms within the spinal cord
Golden retriever elbow and hip dysplasia juvenile cataracts, pigmentary uveitis, and progressive retinal atrophy subvalvular aortic stenosis Ear infarction
Border Collie hip dysplasia collie eye anomaly neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and trapped neutrophil syndrome progressive renal atrophy,

deafness, epilepsy

English bull terrier elbow and hip dysplasia, patellar luxation hereditary juvenile cataracts, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV), and posterior polar subcapsular cataracts (PPSC) Severe skin allergies, screened at breeder by L2HGA DNA Test


German shepherd degenerative myelopathy and elbow and hip dysplasia retinal atrophy bloat, a sudden and life-threatening swelling of the abdomen
Maltese Cross

USE pure Maltese health info

luxating patella PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) encephalitis (aka as GME) bile-acid tested to rule out congenital liver issues such as liver shunt and microvascular dysplasia (MVD).
 BREED Joint Eye heart disease Brain Skin OTHER
Labradoodle hip and elbow dysplasia Allergies / Skin irritation


Ear infections,

von Willebrand’s disease

Gastrointestinal issues


French bulldog Patella Evaluation

Hip Evaluation


cherry eye, juvenile cataracts, or entropion Cardiac Exam


skin allergies and autoimmune skin disorders Can not swim,  breathing problems,.

Anesthesia (during ops have a higher risk of organ system failure)

Cavalier King Charlies Spaniel patella luxation, hip dysplasia retinal problems and cataracts mitral valve heart disease syringomyelia middle ear infections
Greyhound Ophthalmologist Evaluation


Cardiac Exam


Greyhound neuropathy: NDRG1 DNA Test bloat and gastric torsion
Groodle Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Epilepsy and Von Willebrand’s disease.
Miniature dachshund Patella Evaluation


Opthamologist Evaluation


Cardiac Exam


Back disc damage ear infections
Spoodle Patella Luxation Cataracts Epilepsy Skin allergies, Ear infections
Cocker Spaniel Patella Evaluation

hip dysplasia

retinal atrophy

PRA Optigen DNA Test

Ear infections. KIDNEY DISEASE – familial nephropathy, (cocker spaniel specific)
American Staffordshire bullterrier hip dysplasia Ophthalmologist Evaluation cardiac disease cerebellar ataxia, causes a progressive decline in muscle coordination (NCL DNA Test) skin and coat allergies Ear infections Thyroid Evaluation


Jack Russell Terrier Patella Evaluation




Ophthalmologist Evaluation Deafness

Brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) testing  evaluate hearing

Miniature Schnauzer Cataracts Ophthalmologist Evaluation Cardiac Exam hyperlipidemia, pancreatitis, liver shunts, and urinary stones

What the dog popularity lists &associated illnesses mean for dog nutrition (best treats).

LABRADOR Retriever very popular dog in Australia We extracted the illnesses profile from the AKC website mostly, as they cover the vast majority of pure breeds in the world.

Curiously almost every health profile of a dog starts with a proforma about how the breed is “generally healthy”. It seems in their best interests to talk dog health up – so it should be surprising how many of the breeds require “patella luxation, hip dysplasia” tests at the breeders, if the issues were actually so rare.

The AKC is often very slow to include mixed breed dogs into its records – with only ONE OODLE – the labradoodle being included so far.

We find this conservative nature mostly protects the finances of breeders of established breeds.  Even though maybe half of the AKC breeds are less than 300 years old, with many only 100 years old.

For instance the AKC recently recognised the Hungarian mudi  that while descended from a “ long lines of Hungarian sheepdogs” was only given a breed name in the 1930’s. And with that, it’s possible that breed standards weren’t incredibly strict before then.

The American Kennel Club recognised the Australian Terrier in 1960.  Yet the breed originally began development in the 1820’s. Even more notable is that it is a mix of at least these breeds: Cairn Terrier, Shorthaired Skye Terrier,   Dandie Dinmont Terrier; Yorkshire Terriers, Irish Terriers.

Yet people baulk at the audacity of the creation of the spoodle in the 1960’s in the US (around the same time as the labradoodle),  Noting that its ancestors are two quite old breeds (poodle English kennel club 1874 and cocker spaniel 14th century spain).  It’s now been near 60 years since this “new breed” from TWO very old breeds was created – yet has failed to be recognised globally as a breed yet!

The first use of the labradoodle term was in 1955 – but a breeder in 1989 has tried to take credit for it.  The fact that the oodle breeds are often two very old breeds placed together and help mitigate many of the individual health issues of one of the founder breeds seems to escape recognition.

As the cavoodle is the number one popular breed in many of the Australian dog breed lists, you might think that these ‘designer’ dogs might get more recognition. I currently walk one, Billie the cavoodle (pictured in this article) in my dog pack. But due to the lack of AKC desire, we need to go to other sources to find standard definitions of potential health issues on any ‘oodle’ dog.

If it is so common for the most popular breeds (with large breeder numbers) to still have major joint issues at dog births, you can imagine how vital it is for all dogs to have joint preventative and joint maintenance nutrition.

We have written numerous articles on how shark cartilage and Green lipped mussels provide the glucosamine and chondroitin that provide a great deal of pain relief, and rebuilding of dog cartilage.  This kind of list really backs up how ALL dogs, of any age can benefit from these incredible treats.

DOG NUTRITION THAT helps prevent dog illnesses

OMEGA 3 (from animal sources)

Omega 3 in kangaroo and many fish dog treats are also vital for dog health.  It has a major anti-inflammatory property, that not only assists for dogs’ skin and coat (and skin allergies) – but also while assists in the mobility of    joints.  Brain, eyes and many other dog parts also benefit from ANIMAL based Omega 3.

For instance, many oodles suffer from skin allergies inherited from the poodle genes. Omega 3 capsules (and Omega 3 rich animal-based dog treats) are bio available and enhance the skin barrier and soothe or eradicate the allergy rashes.  Dog ear infections can be a result of not enough Omega 3 (from animal sources NOT flax).

Animal PROTEIN for dogs

Food and dog food is split into three main categories: Protein, Carbs and Fats.

Protein and Carbs have a similar amount of energy KJ per gram. But ONLY protein has amino acids, vital building blocks of the body. Of the 22 amino acids, 10 are essential amino acids that the body cant make from other foods or chemicals.

MEAT is very bio available for dogs, because they are carnivores. Meat also is VERY HIGH in protein (around 60% in dry food) compared to 10% for wheat.  That is why dog food manufacturers are forced to have at least 30% meat in most formulations (to achieve the minimum 18% protein level required by aafco to be called whole and complete dog food).

Protein (quality meat protein) is required for many body functions – but can only be used for building and maintaining systems, once the bodies energy needs have been met. Because grains and veg typically are NOT bio available, the dogs body struggles to process (break down) protein into the key amino acids efficiently, to use for keeping a dogs body healthy.

THAT is why we recommend Meat jerkies as the number one health supplement for dogs.

GOOD FATS for dogs

Fats are very important for many body functions, but you need to use the right ones with your dog.  GOOD DOG OILS

As fats supply 2.5 times the energy of Protein or carbs, using too much of an unnecessary fat limit your option of using more protein, or even the right types of fats like Omega 3 and Omega 6 rich fats.


We can easily see that the top 10 or top 18 dog breeds, have an array of very diverse health issues that can be inherent in the breeds regardless of how ‘careful’ the breeders are.

Many of these health issues don’t occur until a dog is in middle age, and since not all breeders or authorities keep track of people who have purchased their dogs, we rely on sites like the AKC to crystallize the potential health issues – which they seem to downplay.

As dogs age, cancers and many other life-threatening illnesses can surface, things we would all like to prevent.

While things like anti-oxidants are great for humans and dogs alike, we are aware that these are typically given in micro nutrient levels in dog food – not often large enough in size to make any real difference.

It is the macro nutrients of bio available animal protein (from diverse sources that have different amino acid profiles) – and the addition of joint support dog treat nutrition, in macro amounts, that can keep a dog as healthy and happy from puppyhood to old age that is important in preparing them for random life events like ACL tears, and cancers.

They healthier they are in general, the more likely they are to have health reserves to recover from operations to bring them back to full health.

Add as many micro nutrients as you like to your dog’s diet, as long as its not at the expense of the macro nutrients that do all the major health and dog body functions.

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