Australia's Top Trending Dogs 2020

We wanted to find out the true extent of national dog ownership and which dogs, breeds and names capture Australian hearts. Read our findings from our bespoke study below.

We love our dogs. They always find a way to bring a smile to our day, or much needed comfort when we’re down. Hill’s Pet Nutrition Australia wanted to find out the true extent of national interest in dog ownership and which dog breeds capture Australian hearts. We performed a bespoke study into Australian search behaviour, utilising Google search volumes to reveal the current top trending dog breeds of 2020.

*Analysing Google search interest of more than 480 breeds, the study uncovered the top dog breeds in search demand across Australia, along with each state and main city. It also took a look into dog names to see what’s trending for our beloved companions right now. Read on to find out the most ‘pupular’ dogs of the year!

Recent rise in adoption interest across Australia

What do we want? Pets!

Australians have shown a surge of interest in bringing four-legged companions into their lives, and search interest around adoption rates have climbed in the past few months with over *6.2 million searches in the first half of the year (January – June). This is a staggering 111% rise in interest compared with the same time last year.

With so much search demand for pups great and small, more Australians are interested in bringing home a dog than ever before. Many of us are working from home more and now have more time to spend with our pets.

In April this year alone, there were more than 1.5 million searches around getting or adopting a dog. This month showed a peak of interest and our data revealed there were more than triple the number of the April before - a huge 208% increase in search YoY.

In fact, national search interest has nearly doubled between January and June 2020 with an 80% increase.

Many also see this time as the chance to give a rescue pooch a loving home. Initiatives like the RSPCA Clear the Shelters help excited families find a pup in need to bring home. Interest in adopting or rescuing a dog has surged, at an all-time peak, with searches in April - June 2020 more than double those of the same time period last year with a 169% increase.

Our data shows that search interest in bringing home a dog started to climb around January this year, with a peak in April and continues to remain at an all-time high.

Australia's Top Trending Dog Breeds Revealed

There’s no doubt about it – Australians are on the hunt for dogs! But which breeds are they looking for?

Top 10 Trending Dog Breeds

We analysed Google searches of more than 480 dog breeds, including traditional, pedigree, and cross-breeds, to reveal Australia’s top trending dog breeds– and there’s a few surprises! Does your four-legged friend feature below?

#1 Cavoodle

 

Cavoodle is top trending dog breed in Australia

 

The Cavoodle racked up the most searches and is officially Australia’s most in demand dog. This lovely and affectionate dog captured the #1 spot by a generous margin – with almost 39% more searches than the nearest competitor. Totalling over 842K searches since January 2020, this breed saw a huge 169% increase in search interest YoY.

 

A mix of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle, the Cavoodle was first bred in Australia in the 1990s and has been growing in popularity ever since.

 

#2 Golden Retriever

 

Golden Retriever is 2nd trending dog breed in Australia

 

While the Cavoodle may have nabbed the top spot, the gentle Golden Retriever saw the greatest rise in search interest, with almost triple as many searches as the same time last year (180% increase and 605K searches). A perennial favourite loved throughout the world, the Golden Retriever’s sweet and social nature make them perfect pets for a family facing lockdown taking #2.

 

#3 French Bulldog

 

French Bulldog is 3rd trending dog breed in Australia

 

Australia’s #3 most ‘pupular’ pooch is the hardy French Bulldog, this compact and muscular breed saw a 85% YoY increase, bringing in a total of 552K searches across the board.

 

#4 (Tied) Australian Shephard

 

Australian Shepherd is 4th trending Dog Breed in Australia

 

Tied in the #4 spot are two of Australia’s most iconic herding breeds – the Australian Shepherd totalled 506K searches equating to a 107% rise through YoY comparison for this first half of 2020. Despite their name, Australian Shepherds, also known as “Aussies” originated in ranches in the United States. However, they have been energetic and indispensable working dogs here for over 70 years.

 

#4 (Tied) Border Collie

 

Border Collie photo

 

The Border Collie also totalled 506K searches with a 107% rise through YoY comparison. The Border Collie is known for intelligence, perceptiveness, and stubbornness, making them ideal for working and training.

 

#6 German Shepherd

 

German Shepherd is the 6th trending dog breed in Australia

 

Taking 6th place in our list of Australia’s top trending dogs is the German Shepherd. This large and loveable breed is intelligent and easily trained. An active breed by nature they make good herding or guard dogs and are a loyal family pet - with 486K searches and a 119% YoY increase.

 

#7 Pomeranian

 

Pomeranian is the 7th trending dog breed in Australia

 

This small and active toy dog of Nordic descent secured 7th place in our top 10 list with a 91% YoY increase and 467K searches.

 

#8 Rottweiler

 

Rottweiler is the 8th trending Dog Breed in Australia

 

The 8th trending dog nationally is the large, confident and powerful Rottweiler. This breed is famous for their guard instinct and brings in 456K searches with a 121% increase in interest YoY.

 

#9 Pug

 

Pug is the 9th trending dog breed in Australia

 

Nabbing the #9 spot is the second toy breed classification to feature in the top 10 trending dogs in Australia this year, the Pug. The breed motto is "multum in parvo," meaning a lot in a little, with plenty of dog in a small package – bringing in 428K searches and 86% increase YoY.

 

#10 Labradoodle

 

Labradoodle is the 10th trending dog breed in Australia

 

The final dog taking 10th place with 395K searches and a large 126% YoY increase, is the sociable and affectionate Labradoodle - a mix of the Labrador Retriever (#2 in our study) and a Miniature or Standard Poodle.

 

Out of the top 10 dog breeds in our study, eight can be classified as pure breeds, capturing more interest than their mixed breed counterparts. As far as mixed breeds go however, Australians love their oodles, with the Cavoodle and the Labradoodle the only crosses to make it into the top 10 most searched for breeds.

After the top 10, the following loveable breeds made it in to the top 25 list of Australians’ current trending favourites.

Top 25 Trending Dog Breeds in Australia

Ranking Breed Type Pure or
Mixed
Jan-Jun
2019
Searches
Jan-Jun
2020
Searches
YoY%
Increase
1 Cavoodle Miscellaneous Class Mixed 312,500 841,500 169%
2 Golden Retriever Sporting Group Purebred 216,400 605,000 180%
3 French Bulldog Non-Sporting Group Purebred 299,000 552,000 85%
4 Australian Shepherd Herding Group Purebred 244,600 505,500 107%
4 Border Collie Herding Group Purebred 244,600 505,500 107%
6 German Shepherd Miscellaneous Class Purebred 222,400 486,000 119%
7 Pomeranian Toy Group Purebred 244,600 466,500 91%
8 Rottweiler Working Group Purebred 206,000 455,500 121%
9 Pug Toy Group Purebred 229,800 428,000 86%
10 Labradoodle Miscellaneous Class Mixed 174,600 394,500 126%
11 Doberdane Miscellaneous Class Mixed 129,900 339,100 161%
11 Doberman Miscellaneous Class Unknown 129,900 339,100 161%
13 Beagle Hound Group Purebred 200,000 339,000 70%
14 Bulldog Non-Sporting Group Purebred 252,200 331,600 31%
14 Bullpug Miscellaneous Class Mixed 252,200 331,600 31%
16 Greyhound Hound Group Purebred 288,000 321,000 11%
17 Cocker Spaniel Sporting Group Purebred 134,000 298,100 122%
18 Bull Terrier Terrier Group Purebred 163,700 292,000 78%
19 Dachshund Hound Group Purebred 168,600 292,000 73%
20 Samoyed Working Group Purebred 129,900 284,600 119%
21 Chihuahua Toy Group Purebred 158,800 284,600 79%
22 Chow Chow Non-Sporting Group Purebred 163,700 284,600 74%
23 Great Dane Working Group Purebred 143,000 277,200 94%
24 Chusky Miscellaneous Class Mixed 138,100 266,200 93%
25 Shiba Inu Non-Sporting Group Purebred 138,900 262,600 89%
Top 25 trending dog breeds Australia

Top Trending Dog Breeds by State, Territory and City

Read on below to find out which ‘pupular’ breeds take the top spots across our states, territories and main cities. Some of the findings may surprise you - does your four-legged friend feature in our top 10 trending dog breeds list?

While the Cavoodle may have the lion’s share of searches, not all Australians agree on who is top dog. Search interest for different dog breeds varies by state, with local favourites in some places making it as far as the top spot. Only the French Bulldog and the Cavoodle found love in every state, appearing in the top #5 trending breeds across the board.

‘Bulldogs’ in NSW

Those searching in NSW showed unmatched attachment to Bulldogs. The French Bulldog totalled 181K searches with a 102% increase, and the Bulldog tallied 156K searches with a 19% increase, making it a consistent favourite and highly searched for all year round. They waddled their way in at spots #3 and #5 respectively for NSW’s top trending dog breeds.

Despite their tough, intimidating appearance and thick-set body, modern Bulldogs and are often gentle and affectionate. Their laid-back nature makes them perfect for the more crowded suburbs of Sydney. Much like the beloved Pug, many Bulldogs and French Bulldogs enjoy clowning around and are a little goofy.

Herding Dogs in SA, WA and TAS

Our study found that herding dogs in general have the highest trending search terms in states such as SA, WA and TAS, yet the Border Collie and Australian Shepherd have bounded their way into hearts in almost every state.

Greyhounds in NT

Perhaps the greatest surprise in the state by state breakdown is the Greyhound, which took out the #1 spot in NT, with 6K searches. This breed is a consistent favourite and is most searched for in this state. The Greyhound also came in 8th position in QLD, (88K searches) but did not make the overall top ten trending breeds or feature in any other city or state list. Greyhounds can make wonderful family friendly companions and are easy to clean and care for. Most states have Greyhound adoption programs, which aim to rescue and rehome retired racing Greyhounds. In QLD, the successful Greyhound Adoption Program has helped families adopt more than 200 Greyhounds since July 2018, while the Greyhound Rehoming Association in NT fostered more than 40 in 2018.

No two states had the same breeds in their top 10 trending dog breeds and narrowly pawing their way into the top positions in 10 th place is Australian Shepherd (NT), Bernese Mountain Dog (SA), Rottweiler (TAS), Doberdane (VIC and WA), Beagle (NSW) and Pug (QLD).

Top ten dog breed search terms by area are as follows.

Top Trending Dog Breeds by Australian State and Territory

Dog Breed NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC WA
Cavoodle 1 2 1 1 3 1 1
Golden Retriever 2 6 3 2 1 2 2
French Bulldog 3 5 2 4 4 3 4
Pomeranian 4 - 7 6 5 8 8
Bulldog 5 - - - 9 - -
German Shepherd 6 4 6 7 8 5 7
Australian Shepherd 7 10 4 3 2 4 3
Border Collie 7 9 5 5 6 6 6
Rottweiler 8 3 9 9 10 7 5
Pug 9 7 10 8 7 9 9
Beagle 10 - - - - - -
Bernese Mountain Dog - - - 10 - - -
Bull Arab - 8 - - - - -
Doberdane - - - - - 10 10
Greyhound - 1 8 - - - -
Top Trending Dog breeds by Australian State & Territory

When it comes to picking the prime pooch, how do our main cities stack up? Australia’s big cities had more similarities than our state by state comparison – but the study also revealed a few unusual differences.

Australia’s top trending dog the Cavoodle, takes overall first place as well as the top spot in all 5 major Australian cities – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

There were similar dogs featured across all main cities yet there are a few different preferences.

Sydney searches for smaller dogs

Sydneysiders continue to prefer smaller and more laid-back breeds of dog bringing in a high number of searches for this city. The study found that non-sporting & toy breeds such as the French Bulldog (#3), Pomeranian (#4) and Bulldog (#5) featured in the top 10 for this city.

‘The Aussie’ is #3 in Adelaide and Perth

Whilst the energetic Australian Shepherd features within the top 10 trending breeds for all main cities within our study, it is both Perth and Adelaide that search for ‘The Aussie’ the most.

Rottweilers ranks higher in Melbourne and Perth

The Rottweiler trotted its way into the top 10 in every major city – but was much more searched for in Melbourne (#4) and Perth (#5) than other locations. Rottweilers are one of the oldest herding breeds, and their history may date back as far as the Roman Empire. Originally working dogs, this unusual breed can be a demanding choice of pet, and needs socialisation, exercise, and stimulating mental challenges to thrive.

Two new dogs feature in the main cities top 10 trending breeds– the tall, graceful Samoyed (#10 in Adelaide), and the playful Cocker Spaniel (#10 in Brisbane).

Top Trending Dog Breeds by Australian City

Dog Breed Adelaide Brisbane Melbourne Perth Sydney
Cavoodle 1 1 1 1 1
Golden Retriever 2 3 2 2 2
Australian Shepherd 3 4 6 3 10
French Bulldog 4 2 3 4 3
Border Collie 5 5 5 6 7
Pomeranian 6 6 8 7 4
German Shepherd 7 7 7 8 6
Pug 8 9 9 9 9
Rottweiler 9 8 4 5 8
Samoyed 10 - - - -
Doberdane - - 10 10 -
Bulldog - - - - 5
Cocker Spaniel - 10 - - -
Top Trending Dog breeds by Australian City

Trending Dog Names

What’s in a name?

Finding the right name for your new four-legged friend can be a tough task. If you’re looking for inspiration, Hill’s Pet Nutrition Australia has done the digging on the top trending pup names of 2020 and the results are in.

We **analysed search volumes of 245 well known, popular dog names in order to reveal Australia’s current trending favourites through an index ranking score, based on growth in search popularity and YoY change.

When naming our dogs, Australians draw inspiration from the things we love as well as what’s happening in the world around us – from celebrities, to popular culture, to animals and, of course, the colour of our companion’s fur!

#1 Kobe is the current top trending dog name

Kobe dominated as the most searched pup name of 2020; an ode to basketball player Kobe Bryant who passed away in January. As a name for dogs, it drew 613,600 searches, more than 14 times the number from the same time last year, with a huge 1340% increase. Kobe topped our rankings with an index score of 14.40, double that of current 2nd highest ranked dog name, Dixie.

Top ten trending dog names:

  • #1 Kobe
  • #2 Dixie
  • #3 Walter
  • #4 Boomer
  • #5 Bear
  • #6 Hunter
  • #7 Odie
  • #8 Elsa
  • #9 Gigi
  • #10 Shelby


Traditional dog names also rank highly

Australian's also love the classics, with traditional dog names like Walter (#3), Hunter (#6) and Honey (#15) making a strong showing within the current top 25 trending dog names.

TV and Film are often inspiration for dog names

Elsa, (#8) a tribute to everyone’s favourite ice queen from Disney’s Frozen and Shelby (#10) the now iconic ‘Peaky Blinder’, both came in the current top 10 trending dog names, showing the impact current popular TV and film can have on our pets’ monikers. Star Wars fans will also be delighted to see (Princess) Leia making an appearance in position 12th.

Fictional dog characters also made it into the top spots. Nostalgic favourite Shiloh came in at #19 and everyone’s favourite beagles, Odie (#7) from the Garfield comic strip and Charlie Brown’s Snoopy, (#23) also win a place in our hearts.

Popular human names feature in our trending list

More than anything else, our dogs are our friends and important parts of our lives. Reflecting this, it’s no surprise that ordinary human names dominated the top 25 trending dog names, with Kobe (#1), Walter (#3), Hunter (#6), Elsa (#8), Daisy (#15), Roscoe (#17) and Tyson (#20) all popular baby names in their own right. Does your four-legged friend feature?

Australia’s Top 25 Trending Dog Names
The higher the index score, the stronger the YoY % change and therefore, the increase in interest of dog name.

Ranking Name Theme/Reference Jan-Jun
2019
Searches
Jan-Jun
2020
Searches
YoY%
Increase
Index
Score
1 Kobe Sport 42,600 613,600 1,340% 14.4
2 Dixie Popular Culture 5,640 41,500 636% 7.36
3 Walter Baby Name 11,800 61,000 417% 5.17
4 Boomer TV/Film 27,300 101,500 272% 3.72
5 Bear Animal 102,800 373,800 264% 3.64
6 Hunter Baby Name 70,400 233,800 232% 3.32
7 Odie TV/Film 3,500 10,680 205% 3.05
8 Elsa TV/Film 68,700 207,400 202% 3.02
9 Gigi Popular Culture 17,400 50,800 192% 2.92
10 Shelby TV/Film 15,100 39,500 162% 2.62
11 Chico Popular Culture 8,100 20,700 156% 2.56
12 Leia TV/Film 4,380 10,900 149% 2.49
13 Rudy Baby Name 5,880 12,700 116% 2.16
14 Hazel Baby Name 19,500 41,100 111% 2.11
15 Daisy Baby Name 68,200 142,400 109% 2.09
15 Honey Food 354,500 740,000 109% 2.09
17 Roscoe Baby Name 3,800 7,800 105% 2.05
18 Goose Animal 62,000 125,800 103% 2.03
19 Shiloh TV/Film 16,900 33,900 101% 2.01
20 Bandit Historic 17,600 33,800 92% 1.92
20 Tyson Baby Name 9,500 18,200 92% 1.92
22 Brutus Historic 10,800 20,600 91% 1.91
23 Snoopy TV/Film 32,600 62,000 90% 1.90
24 Pixie TV/Film 29,400 55,600 89% 1.89
25 Brownie Food 22,600 42,500 88% 1.88
Top 25 Trending Dog Names in Australia

Here to help with your dog

We all love our dogs, and try our best to make their daily lives happy and healthy. But if you’re a new pet parent, it can be hard to know how to look after your beloved friend the right way. Fortunately, Hill's Pet Nutrition is here to help. We’ve put together top tips and advice from our pet experts on topics from care, to training to nutritional needs. No matter which breed or pup you adore, we’re there at every stage of your dog’s development to help them live their best life.

Dog Care

New Dog Parent

Dog Training

Nutrition & Feeding

Methodology

*Data was sourced from Google Keyword Planner to perform own bespoke research based on over 156 million Google search volumes, to identify changes in search behaviour around dog ownership due to current climate. Hill’s Pet Nutrition Australia’s study identified search volumes around dog adoption & rescue, getting a new dog, dog breeds and dog names to highlight Australia’s current trending dog breeds and names. The data was analysed nationally, by state/territory and by main city. All breeds were ranked in two phases, by search volume and by percentage increases. **A search ‘popularity’ index score based on growth in search and YoY change was applied, in order to reveal a list of current top trending dog names. The study collated searches from January 2019 – June 2020 to provide a YoY comparison. June was the latest month of data available and all data is correct and representative at time of analysis. The data relates only to search term volume, which may not correlate to actual preference of the nation. We can, however, draw the conclusion that the rise in search terms may be indicative of popularity or favouritism.

Source and references:

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