Entries for the inaugural The Dog Down Under competition are now open, with a total prize pool of over $28,000 up for grabs.

The Dog Down Under campaign is hosted by Lara Shannon, leading Australian dog expert, Author and Creator of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play and 7TWO’s Animal SOS Australia, and aims to find Australia’s Oldest, Heroic, Sportiest, Hardest Working and Most Talented dogs.

“I am so excited to hear about the amazing tales of courage, dedication, athletic skills and tireless work of our canine companions and to share their heart-warming stories with the nation.”

Shannon will travel the country to meet with the finalists and winners from each of the five categories and share their stories in a five-part TV series to air on Channel 10 in September 2024.

“We urge Australians to nominate their dogs, or dogs they know, into one or more of the five award categories, helping us find dogs who deserve recognition for their sporting achievements, skills or talents, those who are actively impacting and preserving human lives, as well as Australia’s oldest living dog.”


  • Most Talented – From talking with buttons to excelling at a trick’s routine, playing an instrument, to ‘singing’ their favourite song and more, could your pooch take out the title of Australia’s most talented dog? 
  • Everyday Heroes – From wrangling snakes to saving koalas from fire, detecting disease and seizures, to raising the alarm of trouble, there are many tales of heroic dogs that have saved lives, even at the cost of their own, and we want to hear their story. 
  • Hardest Working – From hardworking herders to faithful flock guardians, police dogs and four-legged heroes going to war, to canines helping people in need. This category is for those dogs with jobs that go above and beyond the call of duty.  
  • Sporting Legends – From obedience trials to agility and flyball, dock jumping and disc dogs, sheepdog trials, sled dog racing and much more, this category is for the canine sports stars that are ready to impress with their athletic prowess and sporting attitude to life.  
  • Oldest Dog – Have you got Australia’s oldest dog? Could they even take over the World’s Oldest Dog title? One finalist will be nominated for each size category -Miniature/Toy/Small, Medium, Large and Giant Breed – with the oldest dog across all categories earning the crown. 

Ten finalists, including one overall winner, will be chosen for each category except Oldest Dog.

“Our dogs make us feel good by reducing both our mental and physical stress, promoting relaxation and even boosting our memories. Not to mention their innate sixth sense and scent detection skills to pick up when we are sick or in need of help.

“That’s why I felt it was so important to create not only a competition, but also start a movement that helps to share all of the wonderful ways dogs benefit our lives,” said Shannon.

Entries are now open and will close on 20 May 2024, with finalists announced 4 June, winners revealed on 9 June, and The Dog Down Under TV series airing on Channel 10 from 7 September 2024.

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