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2023 Guide: Top 10 Popular Dog Breeds in Malaysia

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Table of content

There are hundreds of dog breeds, each offering just as much uniqueness and happiness as the other. But what are the most popular dog breeds in Malaysia? 

We looked at the popularity of dog breeds amongst Malaysians and curated a list to discuss. Fellow dog lovers, let's find out if your pet doggie is amongst the popular dog breeds in Malaysia. We included the origin of the breed, weight, lifespan and the typical cost of getting one in Malaysia.

Let's get into it.

1. Mixed/crossbreed

Mixed or crossbreed refers to a dog born from parents of two different breeds. They're the most popular breeds in Malaysia, and the majority of shelters or adoption centres in Malaysia have mixed breed dogs. 

They're suitable for owners of any kind and especially for owners who don't have any specific goals or needs in mind. Mixed breed dogs can come in all shapes and sizes, and their characteristics depend on their lineage. 

Adopting mixed breed dogs is advantageous as they're likely to be pre-trained in the shelter. Moreover, you can know their characters from the shelter owner beforehand, making it easier to understand what to expect.

Weight: Small breeds (~9 kg), medium breeds (10 – 60 kg) and large breeds (29 – 54 kg)

Lifespan: Average of 14 years 

2. Poodle

Poodles are water dogs, meaning they are natural swimmers. In the past, waterfowlers trained poodles to swim and recover lost arrows and bolts. Poodles are also excellent jumpers, and they would love playing frisbee or other outdoor games.

Their playful and fun character makes them a perfect family dog. On the other hand, their appreciable intelligence and energetic nature make them helpful service dogs. 

Origin: France and Germany  

Weight: Males (20 – 30 kg) and females (20 – 27 kg)

Lifespan: 12 to 15 years 

Cost: RM 1800 – RM 2800

3. Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers are friendly, outgoing, and loyal to their owners.

They are naturally athletic and love to go outdoors for a walk, game of fetch, or even hiking. Furthermore, golden retrievers are easy-to-train, so you won’t have any hitch in teaching them tricks like “fetch” or “stay”. Another notable characteristic of golden retrievers is that they have a huge appetite. So make sure you have a food bowl and dog food on standby at all times! 

Origin: United Kingdom, Scotland and England

Weight: Males (30 – 34 kg) and female (25 – 32 kg) 

Lifespan: 10 to 12 years 

Cost: RM 2800 – RM 3800

4. Pomeranian

Pomeranians are the smallest member of the Spitz family of dogs, a group of northern dogs including Chow Chow, Siberian Husky, and more. But do not underestimate them with their size because they give out loud barks and have a lot of energy. 

They are also named after the province of Pomerania, located in Germany. Besides, Pomeranians come in various coat colours, with white with coloured markings being the rarest. This dog breed is highly independent, intelligent, obedient, and exceptionally resilient.

Origin: Germany and Poland  

Weight: Males (2.8 – 5.2 kg) and females (2.1 – 3.3 kg)

Lifespan: 12 – 16 years

Cost: RM 2700 – RM 3700

5. Pembroke Welsh corgi

Initially, Pembroke Welsh corgis were bred as a watchdog to herd livestock animals such as cattle, sheep, and horses. However, the easy-to-train and intelligent characteristic of this dog has made it popular in many homes worldwide. 

They’re highly adaptable to their environment, so you wouldn’t have to worry too much about if your home is suitable for this dog. Though they have short legs, Pembroke Welsh corgis can move really fast—and that too in an adorable fashion!

Origin: Pembrokeshire in Welsh 

Weight: Males (10–14 kg) and female (10–13 kg)

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years

Cost: RM 4800 – RM 5800

6. French bulldog

This dog breed can be identified by its large bat-like ears and heavy wrinkle rolls above the nose.

They look just like bulldogs but smaller. French bulldogs can quickly get along and make friends with other animals or humans. They do not bark as much, so they’re more of a companion dog than a watchdog. In terms of grooming, it’s essential to keep the facial folds of French bulldogs dry and trim their nails regularly too.  

Origin: France, England  

Weight: Males (8 – 10 kg) and females (9 – 12 kg)

Lifespan: 10 – 14 years

Cost: RM 3800 – RM 5000

7. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are energetic, high-spirited, and love the outdoors. That being the case, it's the best companion for anyone living the outdoor life.

You can bring along a Shibas for a hiking or biking session, and you'll see it grinning from mouth to mouth throughout the journey. 

They're highly alert, too, so you'll often find them barking at anything suspicious. Note that Shibas have a strong prey instinct and may not be suitable as a second pet or in households with young children.  

Origin: Japan 

Weight: Males (8 – 11 kg) and females (6.8 – 9 kg)

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years 

Cost: RM 4800 – RM 9000

8. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu means “lion dog” and it used to be only owned by the royal families in China.

Thankfully, Shih Tzus are more accessible to people outside the royals today. Famous personnel such as Bill Gates, Beyonce and Miley Cyrus are also said to own a Shih Tzu. This dog breed is laid-back in nature, so you will often find them watching TV or taking a nap with you. 

Origin: China, Tibet and Asia

Weight: Males (5.4 – 8 kg) and females (5.2 – 8 kg)

Lifespan: 10 – 16 years

Cost: RM 1500 – RM 2500

9. Miniature schnauzer

Miniature schnauzers are healthy and low-maintenance companions or family dogs. They're generally well-behaved, fun, and loving.

Hence, miniature schnauzers are an excellent choice for a second pet. Their people-pleasing character allows them to quickly learn and accustom themselves to the environment. Owning miniature schnauzers also comes with regular exercise because they usually are lively and highly active.

Origin: Germany 

Weight: Males (5.4 – 9.1 kg) and females (5.4 – 8.2 kg)

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years

Cost: RM 2800 – RM 3000

10. Pug

Pugs are impossible to hate because they have such an innocent puppy face. They do well in small apartment living conditions. However, they dislike being left alone for long hours and are pretty dependent on the owners in that sense.

They're a very affectionate breed and will always adore you (and of course, you'll be expected to reciprocate the same feelings!)

Origin: China  

Weight: 6.35 – 8.16 kg (for both males and females) 

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years

Cost: RM 2500 – RM 3000

What is the best dog breed for a first-time dog owner?

First-time dog owners have many things to consider before embarking on their journey of pet parenting. Selecting a dog breed that can complement your lifestyle is an essential factor in the level of difficulty in owning a pet.

So, let’s discuss some of the three best dogs you can opt for as a first-timer in Malaysia. 

Firstly, golden retrievers are arguably the easiest dog breeds for beginners. They’re affectionate and gentle by nature and can get along well with children and other pets. Golden retrievers also have an appetite for learning, making training easier. 

Secondly, Shih Tzus are a great option too. They’re small-sized dogs but quite energetic nevertheless. Therefore, they’re friendly house dogs and suitable for owners with kids or a laid-back lifestyle. However, Shih Tzus have a thick coat and require more grooming work. 

Last but not least, pugs are friendly and happy-go-lucky dogs that will undoubtedly bring a lot of joy to your home. They’re playing and incredibly adorable! Unfortunately, many owners have reported their pugs facing frequent health issues such as eye ulcers, scratches, nerve degeneration, and allergies. That being so, you must take your financial status and time availability before getting a pug.  

Every dog is unique, meaning each has its own pros and cons. Take some time to research and identify which breed is most suitable for you. If you have any doubts, try talking to other dog owners to get their two cents before deciding. 

What dog breeds are banned in Malaysia?

The Department Of Veterinary Services Malaysia permits the importation of dog breeds. However, their pet import regulations ban a few dangerous dog breeds, not allowing them to travel or get imported into Malaysia. 

The list of banned dog breeds in Malaysia include (not a complete list here): 

  • Akita
  • American Bulldog
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • Neapolitan Mastiff
  • Pit Bull Terrier (American Pit Bull Terrier or American Staffordshire Bull Terrier)


And that's the end of our list! We hope you enjoyed reading this article and found your favourite dog on the list.

If you're planning to get a dog soon, we encourage you to consider getting pet insurance too. We can never predict rough days, but we can prepare ourselves to face them.