1. Staffordshire bull terrier

    Size: 38-42cm Strengths: Originally bull-baiting, dog-fighting, guarding; now agility, obedience, showing companion Originally from: Britain

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    2. Labrador retriever

    Size: Males 56-57cm, females 55-56cm Strengths: Hunting/shooting, retrieving on land or water, assistance dogs, police, agility, showing, companion Originally from: Canada/Britain

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    Labrador retrievers were once used to pull in fishing nets, tow small boats and carry ropes between boats.

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    3. German shepherd

    Size: Males 63cm, females 58cm Strengths: Livestock guardian, sheep-herding, watchdog, police military, guide dog, tracker, agility, showing, companion Originally from: Germany

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    4. Cavalier King Charles spaniel

    Size: Males/females 5-8kg Strengths: Flushing small game, showing, companion Originally from: Britain

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    The Cavalier King Charles spaniel is most associated with English King Charles II (1630-85) who was always accompanied by several of them.

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    5. Golden retriever

    Size: Males 56-61cm, females 51-56cm Strengths: Hunting/shooting, retrieving, assistance, agility, obedience, showing, companion Originally from: Britain

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    Golden retrievers were originally bred as working gun dogs.

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    6. Border collie

    Size: Males 53cm, females slightly less Strengths: Sheep herding, trials, obedience, search and rescue, agility, showing, companion Originally from: England/Scotland

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    7. American Staffordshire terrier

    Size: Males 46-48cm, females 43-45cm Strengths: Originally bull-baiting, dog-fighting, guarding; now agility, obedience, showing companion Originally from: United States

    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    The American Staffordshire terrier has an unfortunate history of use in illegal dog fights. The breed is a relative of the pit bull terrier – the word ‘pit’ is a reference to the dog pits where the fights would take place. This stocky dog was bred for strength and courage.

    Photo Credit: Shutterstock

    8. Poodle

    Size: Males/females standard, 38cm; males/females miniature, 28-38cm; males/females toy, 28cm. Strengths: Originally water retrieving, tricks, circus performer; now agility, showing, service dogs, companion Originally from: Germany

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    9. Pug

    Size: Males/females 6-8kg Strengths: Showing, companion Originally from: China

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    The pug is an ancient dog breed, thought to date back to at least 400BC.

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    10. Rottweiler

    Size: Males 60-69cm, females 56-6cm Strengths: Watchdog, livestock guardian, cattle drover, drafting, police dog, agility, showing, companion Originally from: Germany

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

    Australian cattle dog: one of the top 10 most intelligent breeds

    Size: Males 46-51cm, females 43-48cm Strengths: Cattle herding, agility, showing, companion Originally from: Australia

    Photo Credit: Astrid Harrisson

GALLERY: Australia’s most popular dog breeds

By AG STAFF | December 13, 2012

From retrievers to border collies, here are the nation’s most popular breeds.