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What are the Top10 Dog Breeds in New Zealand for 2021?

08 Sep 2021
by James Brandon

What are the Top10 Dog Breeds in New Zealand for 2021?

Top10Dog breeds in New Zealand

Every New Zealand dog has a different personality, varying temperament & unique characteristics the require different elements of owner pet care. We Kiwis are known to have a soft spot for all animals and there is no denying that dogs are four-legged friends that are loved & adored in New Zealand with over with 34% of New Zealand households owning at least one dog. It also helps that New Zealand has an outdoor culture with plenty of space (doggo paradise).


1. Labrador Retriever

Ranked as the top registered dog in New Zealand with a whopping 41,000 in total, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the country. With its friendly and outgoing character, this breed makes a perfect addition to the family. Compared to other dogs, Labrador Retrievers enjoy taking a dip in the water. In the 1800s, Labrador Retrievers were bred and trained to retrieve shot ducks and birds, hence its name, “Labrador Retriever”.

Labs are gentle and affectionate companions, even for children. However, do not forget that this dog breed is also a high-energy dog that requires plenty of exercises. If you are about to adopt a Labrador Retriever, make sure to take some toys with you especially if you’re bringing home puppies. A regular game of fetch can help you avoid any chewed up shoes and pillows. A luxury dog bed is handy too for when your lab crashes at the end of a play-session.

NZ Labrador Retriever

Buying a bed? Labrador retrievers love to sleep .... We recommend a large dog bed in either cappuccino or original for your wonderful lab.


2. Huntaway

Second on the list is the Huntaway which was originally developed and bred in New Zealand making this dog breed a true Kiwi. Huntaways are a mix of a variety of dog breeds, particularly Border Collies and Dobermans. New Zealand has the highest population of sheep and other cattle made it necessary to have herding dogs. This became the role of Huntaways as its stamina, obedience and intelligence made it perfect for the job. Given the right training and command, this dog breed is a dream to work with. Although, given the breeding background, you would know that Huntaways are not meant for an indoor lifestyle. They are best kept outside within a safe space for them to run and explore. If kept indoors, this intelligent dog can become agitated & destructive.

Huntaways come in a combination of colours such as tan and black though the appearance may also vary. Being a hardy tough dog - this dog rarely has any health issues and does not require heavy grooming. If anything, regularly check your Huntaway’s floppy ears as there may be trapped dirt or parasites trapped under it. If you have the space and you need the extra help, a Huntaway will be your perfect match.

When choosing a bed for your huntaway, be sure that is can stand the outdoor. An indoor/outdoor bed that is easy to clean is the perfect choice.


3. Border Collie

Originating in Scotland as a hunting and herding dog, Border Collies became an easy favourite of New Zealanders - made internationally famous as a Kiwi favorite by the "Footrot Flats" cartoon. Not only is this breed very intelligent, but they also happen to be great with kids. However, do not expect that this gentle and loving creature is great for large sessions indoors. If you are looking for a furry friend to keep you company in a small apartment or flat, it may not be the best to choose a Border Collie. This dog breed needs space and exercise to make sure it does not use its energy to nip and destroy things around your lovely home - a big backyard is recommended. As a rule of thumb, set aside at least 90 minutes to play and walk with your Border Collie..

There is no denying that a Border Collie’s coat is almost close to perfect aesthetically. Make sure to give it a brush at least twice weekly to get rid of the unwanted loose hair. You don’t want that brushing off your carpets and your lovely lounge sets. With proper training, care and exercise, a Border Collie become such an easy dog to love at home.

When buying a beautiful dog bed for our NZ border Collie - we recommend you cant go past our Original Indoor/Outdoor Pet Bed.

New Zealand Border Collie



4. New Zealand Heading Dog


A descendant of Border Collies, the New Zealand Heading dog ranks fourth (4th) among the most popular dog breeds in NZ. The main purpose of breeding this dog breed in New Zealand is to help out in herding which makes it an important resource in the ubiquitous farming industry of the country. This is one of the dogs that are bred not for their looks or prestigious dog shows, but workability & function. The New Zealand Heading dog (also known as the New Zealand Collie) is very low maintenance to the extent that it only needs to be bathed a few times per year! Though, weekly brushing is encouraged to keep it clean and healthy.

For a dog bed for this outdoor breed- you guessed it .. needs to be easily cleaned & waterproof (able to take mud and live outdoors). Though these are working dogs they still deserve a bit of luxury at the ned of a hard day.


5. Jack Russel Terrier

Coming in fifth (5th) on the list is the Jack Russel Terrier. This small yet very clever dog was bred to hunt foxes. If you are not up to the task of keeping up with this ball of energy, you may want to choose a different dog breed. However, if you enjoy playing constantly throughout the day and you intend to dedicate the time to train them as pups, Jack Russels might just be perfect for you. They are a happy & playful medium sized breed great for families.

If you think that large dog breeds are the only ones who need plenty of exercise, think again. Do not underestimate these pocket-rocket Jack Russels, like any high-energy dog, if they are not stimulated for regular activities, you are looking at torn up pillows and a naughty mess of a home. Jack Russel Terriers are perfect for families or single people who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, trekking and your regular jog around the block. Given the proper training and home, this breed is a treat to have.

We recommend a medium size dog bed that is tough and potentially chew resistant for the New Zealand Jack Russell.

New Zealand Jack Russell



6. Staffordshire Bull Terrier


What was intentionally bred as "brawlers" turn out to be the perfect nanny dogs for babies and young kids! Go figure. Even with their tough & muscular appearance, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are super gentle, loving and playful with their family. Staffies need regular high-energy activities to stay perfectly healthy. A couple of ball tosses combined with a lot of running will do the trick in making sure that you do not encounter any behaviour issues with this four-legged bully.

Prone to obesity, it is advised that together with the exercise, you also give your Bull Terrier the right quality and quantity of food from pup to adult. Being tough and muscular does not mean they are capable of digesting bones and raw meat.

Remember that like any intelligent dog, they still require proper and constant training for proper management at home.

Staffys can either sleep on medium or large sized dog beds. If you have two they often will cuddle and share a large. It's oh so cute!

Staffy in NZ



7. Miniature Schnauzer


Mini Schnauzers ar the smallest of all the schnauzers. Standing at 12-14 inches tall, this breed makes a perfect sized dog for small house or apartment living. However, do not mistake Mini Schnauzers as low-energy lap dogs. On the contrary, they were bred and trained as farm dogs with their quick learning abilities. To look tip-top, Mini Schnauzers require frequent brushing to make sure that their long shaggy coat is matt-free and that you do not have any stuck debris or dirt in there. Depending on your surroundings, Mini Schnauzers need bathing/grooming at least once a month to maintain a healthy coat.

Mini Schnauzers absolutely adore medium sized ambient lounge dog beds the world over.

Miniature Schnauzer in New Zealand



8. German Shepherd


The German Shepherd is commonly associated with being police dogs. Because of their large and muscular appearance, this breed has been known for being an all-around authorative worker. German Shepherds are very athletic and energetic - and also loving & loyal companions. They require a lot of exercise and space to run around to use that energy. Not being able to give that attention to this particular dog breed will cause that pent up energy to cause frustration for the dog and trouble for you.

The German Shepherd has a beautiful medium-length lush coat that is very low maintenance. One only has to be brushed every few days to get rid of loose hair. If your German Shepherd’s nails are not worn out naturally, you would need to trim them occasionally to make sure it does not cause your loyal companion any discomfort and pain.

German shepherds love the feel of the faux fur on the ambient lounge large dog bed. It genuinely feels like another layer of their own coat.

German Shepherd Outdoors in New Zealand



9. American Pitbull Terrier


Often mistaken as a naturally aggressive guard dog, American Pit Bulls are dubbed as nanny dogs. Extremely affectionate with kids and families, this dog breed makes an excellent addition to your family and your home. However (just like your kids in an ice cream shop), expect frequent drooling here and there from this breed. As a word of advice, having waterproof bed, sheets and sofas will save you a lot of cleaning time.

American Pitbull Terriers are very alert and agile. This means that you have to give at least an hour of exercise for these active dogs to use up that energy. As tough as they seem, they are best kept indoors and with members of the family as they tend to get lonely and depressed when left alone. Also, take note that this breed can easily catch a chill outdoors and they cannot tolerate the cold.

A large calming dog bed is recommended for the Pit Bull, that is also waterproof and chew resistant. The perfect choice would be the cappuccino dog bed by ambient lounge.

American Pit Bull Terrier in New Zealand

Get a Large Cappuccino Dog Bed for $209


10. Chihuahua


The Chihuahua is one of the smallest dog breeds out there. Very tiny yet packing a lot of personality, Chihuahuas tend to act as “big dogs” (maybe they see a lion when they look in the mirror??). Originally from Mexico, this dog breed become popular as adorable "purse" dogs because of their pint size. You may even find a Chihuahua to be the perfect companion if you have a relatively smaller space - like an Auckland apartment.

There are two variants of Chihuahuas; smooth-coat and long-coat. Depending on the activities and environment, this little pooch may need to have a bath every week to a month to keep it looking dapper and sharp. You would need to give the long-haired Chihuahua frequent brushing at least every few days to keep it tangle-free.

If you love Chihuahua you will have your heart melted when you see them sleeping. We recommend a heavenly small dog beds in the corner of your bedroom ... they like to be near you. Just to see their cute face will be ample reward.

Chihuahua in NZ


Final Thoughts:

There’s a dog out there for every Kiwi and we know how much dogs are loved here in New Zealand. Some are bred to love to helping you out with dirty work outside and some are best as companions inside the house. It’s a matter of choosing the best dog breed that suits your personality, space & lifestyle. Though before bringing home your next pup, keep in mind that having a dog is a responsibility. Your home is their home. Keep it woof-proof with blankets and beds that are meant for your pooch with the soft luxury they deserve!

Ambient Lounge® provides soft luxury for your New Zealand home. Our luxury pet loungers are comfy, cozy, chew resistant, flexible, indoor/outdoor and lightweight transportable lightweight . If you’re creating your home relaxation space for pets and would like to discuss your concept with Ambient Lounge® please live chat us or give us a call . Our dog-loving interior design team will be delighted to discuss & make it happen.Buying a bed? Labrador retrievers love to sleep