10 Most Popular Dogs In Singapore

most popular dogs in Singapore

Singaporeans love dogs – you can see these loyal companions everywhere, from public parks to private apartments across the island. Singapore is a haven for dog lovers, with thousands of pampered canines living in homes across the island. While mixes and mutts abound, certain pure breeds are particularly beloved by Singaporean pet owners.

The 10 most popular types of dogs in Singapore are very different; some are tiny, like the Yorkshire Terrier, and some are big, like the Golden Retriever. Nowadays, mongrels (the “Singapore Special”) are also getting popular, which is fantastic! Although, in this article, we will look more at which specific breeds have been or are popular.

The nation’s climate, urban environment, and local lifestyle preferences have made certain dog breeds popular all over Singapore. In this article, we will look at Singapore’s 10 most popular dog breeds, including their origins, physical attributes, and personalities that make them so beloved. If you are getting a new dog in Singapore, chances are it will likely be one of the most popular breeds! Do remember, though, where possible, adopt, don’t shop! If you can spare a pet a life in a shelter, it’s the best.

Top 10 Popular Dog Breeds in Singapore

Singaporeans adore their furry companions, and certain dog breeds have stolen the hearts of many. These dogs are very different. Some are small dogs for apartments. But big active dogs are also popular because Singapore has many parks. Here are the top 10 popular dog breeds in Singapore:

1. Shih Tzu

Shih tzu

The Shih Tzu originates from Tibet but was developed in China as a companion dog prized by royalty. Their long, silky coat resembling a lion was admired in traditional Chinese culture. Today, the Shih Tzu is one of Singapore’s most popular small dog breeds. Their popularity grows partly from their small size, making them well-suited for living in small apartments and standard housing in Singapore’s urban areas. Additionally, Shih Tzu is known for being affectionate and lively companions that get along well with children and other pets. Their cute appearance, with large dark eyes and a furry face, also appeals to many people.

Personality: Shih Tzus are typically outgoing with their family members. They can be wary around strangers, making them alert watchdogs. But they are also friendly dogs when properly socialized. Their lively and affectionate personality continues, making them one of Singapore’s most popular dog breeds.

Grooming: Shih Tzus require regular grooming to keep their long, silky fur from matting. Their coats continue growing and need daily brushing and combing. Many owners opt to keep their Shih Tzu’s hair trimmed short for easier care in Singapore’s heat and humidity.

Activity level: Shih Tzus only requires moderate exercise each day, making them adaptable to apartment and house living. They enjoy walks and play times.

2. Poodle


The Poodle is one of the favourite dogs in Singapore due to the breed’s intelligence, versatility, and suitability for apartment and city living. Their medium body size and low shedding mean they don’t need as much space or grooming. Poodles also have hypoallergenic coats, which work well for Singapore’s humidity and appeal to dog owners with allergies. Poodles are brilliant, athletic dogs that impress many potential owners in Singapore with their effortless ability to learn tricks and commands.

Personality: Poodles tend to be friendly and outgoing when appropriately socialized. They are eager to please and become very attached to their owners. The combination of intelligence, energy, easy-care coats, and affectionate behavior contribute to the popularity of poodles among dog owners in Singapore.

Grooming: Poodles need their curly fur trimmed every few weeks. Most owners keep their hair short to make caring for and dealing with Singapore’s hot weather easier.

Activity level: Poodles love being active and exercising from long walks or playing games and sports. Their high energy makes them fun for active Singapore families.

3. Pomeranian


The Pomeranian is a popular dog breed in Singapore for several reasons. Known for their charming and lively personalities, they are often called small-sized dogs with big hearts. Their small body, fluffy fur, and perky face are very cute to many people. And even though they are so small, Pomeranians have lively, friendly personalities that fit well with Singaporean families and city living. They are smart dogs that can learn tricks when properly trained and socialized. In Singapore, where space may be limited, the Pomeranian’s smaller size and cheerful behaviour make it a popular choice for those looking for a great companion and manageable pet.

Personality: Pomeranians are very outgoing, often wanting to interact with their beloved owners. They can be harsh with strangers, so socialization is important.

Grooming: Because of their thick double-layer coat, Pomeranians need frequent brushing to reduce shedding and prevent clumps or knots in their fur. Most owners do not cut the signature Pomeranian coat but brush it thoroughly every week.

Activity level: Pomeranians have a medium energy level for tiny dogs; they like to play and take short walks. A shorter daily walk is enough exercise for them. We do recommend every dog of any breed goes outside at least 3 times a day.

4. Maltese


With their small, toy-sized bodies covered in silky white coats, Maltese have become favoured companion dogs in Singapore, particularly among people living in apartments and the elderly. Weighing under 7 pounds fully grown, Maltese are tiny in size but lively in spirit – perfect for homes with limited space. Additionally, their elegant yet cute look, charming personality, and reputation for not shedding much make them well-suited to indoor living in Singapore’s tropical climate.

Personality: Maltese form very close bonds and thrive on being with their owners. Their small size, minimal shedding, and lively yet gentle companionship make them trendy pet dogs among Singaporeans.

Grooming: The Maltese’s long single coat needs thorough daily brushing and combing to prevent mats and tangles. Their white coat needs protection from dirt, so most Maltese are kept inside or closely watched when outdoors.

Activity Level: Maltese are playful, energetic indoor companions despite their tiny bodies. They enjoy walks and play times.

5. Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Originally bred in Scotland to be helper dogs for hunters, Golden Retrievers quickly became popular as family companion dogs because of their friendly nature, smarts, and ability to do different things. They are the happiest-looking dogs. Today, the Golden Retriever remains one of Singapore’s most common dog breeds because they suit families well. Their medium-large size, playful personalities, and ease of training let Goldens thrive in apartments and houses. Given their size and bounciness, they might not be the best first pet! As they do need training.

Personality:  Golden Retrievers are famously friendly, gentle, and eager to please – making them excellent family pets in Singapore. Their affectionate yet obedient nature and ability to adapt to Singaporean home life continue to make them a popular choice of dog for many local families today.

Grooming: Golden Retrievers have thick, lush fur that needs regular brushing, especially when they shed their winter undercoat yearly.

Activity Level: Golden Retrievers need lots of daily exercise like walks and games – their high energy makes them great for jogging or swimming buddies.

6. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever, originally from Newfoundland in Canada, was used by fishermen to retrieve fishing nets and catch fish that had escaped from the nets. Today, the Labrador makes an excellent family companion and service dog thanks to its happy, friendly personality and high intelligence. This has made Labradors one of the most popular dog breeds in Singapore and worldwide.

Personality: Labrador Retrievers are famously gentle, loyal, and eager to please, although they can be noisy and hyperactive when young. Their energetic, upbeat personality means they love activities with their owners.

Grooming: Labradors have short, dense coats that shed moderately year-round. Their coats require weekly brushing to remove loose hair.

Activity Level: Labradors are high-energy dogs that need lots of daily exercise, such as long walks, runs, or active games.

7. Chihuahua


Originating from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, Chihuahuas are one of the most popular dogs in Singapore and the smallest dog breed in the world. Their tiny size combined with their big personalities has made them popular lap dogs and companions worldwide, including in urban Singapore. Despite their tiny stature, they often act like they’re much larger, showing a lot of courage. Singaporeans love having Chihuahuas as they are highly adaptable to living in small apartments in the city.

Personality: Chihuahuas are very devoted and loyal to their owners and tend to attach to one person. They may be cautious of children or strangers.

Grooming: Chihuahuas have smooth, short-haired coats that require occasional grooming and brushing. Shedding is minimal, but their light coats provide little protection outdoors.

Activity Level: Although small, Chihuahuas are bold, lively, and energetic. They enjoy walks and play times.

8. Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russel Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier is a popular dog breed in Singapore that originated in England in the 19th century. Reverend John Russell, who was passionate about fox hunting, is credited with developing the breed. Their energetic, feisty personality and compact size made them excellent hunters. Today, these characteristics make them popular dogs in Singapore, where their athleticism and small size suit city living well. Their high energy, loyalty, and suitability for apartment life make Jack Russell Terriers a well-liked breed among Singaporeans.

Personality: Jack Russells are lively, comical, and devoted to their families. However, without proper training, they may not tolerate small children or other dogs.

Grooming: Jack Russell Terriers have smooth, short fur that requires weekly brushing and occasional bathing. Their coats shed moderately but are easy to groom.

Activity Level: Jack Russell needs lots of activity and exercise daily, including long walks and active games. Without enough activity, they can become bored and restless.

9. Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer is a popular dog breed in Singapore, originally from Germany in the 19th century. It was developed by crossing the Standard Schnauzer with smaller breeds like the Affenpinscher and Miniature Poodle. Today, the Mini Schnauzer is a good companion due to its friendly personality. Its compact size makes it well-suited to Singapore. Its popularity is growing in Singapore for its versatility as both a companion and a watchdog.

Personality: Mini Schnauzers are very energetic dogs and devoted to their families. However, early socialization is needed. Usually good with children, they do need to be trained when young.

Grooming: Mini Schnauzers have wiry coats that require regular haircuts every 1-2 months. Their coat sheds very little but grows fast.

Activity Level: Mini Schnauzers have high exercise needs, including long daily walks, jogs, or games.

10. Mongrel (Mixed Breed)


Unlike purebred pedigrees, Mongrels do not have just one ancestral lineage. Instead, they are a combination of various breeds that have intermixed over time and across regions. Many mongrels in Singapore are found as strays or are adopted from shelters, showcasing the community’s appreciation for these dogs. Due to the broad mix of breeds that can go into a mongrel, their physical looks can be very distinctive. No two mongrels look exactly alike.

Personality:  With their genetic diversity from a mixed breed, mongrels can vary significantly in personality. Most mongrels that are properly socialized tend to be of charming temperament. They usually are social, playful, and affectionate dogs with mild, balanced natures.

Grooming: In terms of grooming, the care for mongrels depends on their coat types, which can vary widely. Some may have short, low-maintenance coats, while others require regular brushing.

Activity Level: A small mongrel suited for a condo may need a daily walk and indoor play. But a larger canine with a Retriever or Husky in its heritage may require long, outdoor exercise to be a healthy and happy pet.

Special Mentions

Certain dog breeds stand out for their unique characteristics and popularity. Among them, Bichon Frises and Corgis also hold a special place as popular dog breeds in Singapore.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is also one of the popular dog breeds in Singapore. It is believed that the breed originated in the Mediterranean region and that Spanish seamen introduced the early breed to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. From there, the dogs found early success in Spain, where they became popular among the nobility and entered the royal courts of Italy, France, and Spain in the 13th century. Today, the Bichon Frisé is known for its fluffy white coat and playful personality. They are a popular breed for families and are often used as therapy dogs due to their friendly and affectionate nature. Despite their small size, they are energetic and require regular exercise and playtime to stay healthy and happy. If you’re considering adding a Bichon Frisé to your family, be prepared to provide lots of love and attention to this charming and loyal companion.

Personality: Bichon Frises are friendly, affectionate, and loyal lap dogs, ideal for small apartments.

Grooming: The Bichon Frise has a unique coat that’s soft, curly, and hypoallergenic, making it great for allergy sufferers. However, their hair grows constantly, so they need grooming every 6-8 weeks to avoid matting. Regular brushing is key to prevent tangles and keep their coat healthy.

Activity Level: Bichon Frises need moderate activity to stay happy and healthy. They enjoy daily walks and playing with you to keep their minds and bodies active.



Corgis are adorable little dogs known for their short legs, long bodies, and expressive faces. They originated in Wales, where they were originally bred for herding cattle. Despite their small size, they have great personalities and are known for their intelligence and affectionate nature. Corgis come in two main breeds: the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi. They’ve become quite popular in Singapore in recent years!

Personality: Corgis are known for their friendly, affectionate, and playful nature. They thrive on companionship and are great for families with an active lifestyle due to their high energy levels.

Grooming: Corgis have a double coat that requires regular brushing to manage shedding. Proper grooming helps maintain their coat’s health and appearance.

Activity Level: While they don’t require excessive amounts of exercise, Corgis do need regular activity to keep them happy and healthy. Their moderate activity level means they enjoy playtime and walks but also appreciate downtime with their onwers.

Popular Dogs in Singapore: How to Pick the Perfect One

Choosing the right dog breed for your home and lifestyle is key to a happy life together. First, consider your lifestyle—whether you live in a small apartment or a spacious house, work long hours, or have an active outdoor routine. Different dog breeds have varying energy levels, sizes, and grooming needs. For instance, if you live in a smaller apartment, you might pick smaller breeds like the Shih Tzu and Pomeranian, which are well-suited for indoor living. If you have a more active lifestyle and access to outdoor spaces, medium to larger breeds like the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, or Mongrel could be great companions for activities like walks or runs in the park.

If you’re looking for a friendly and sociable companion, breeds like the Beagle, Cocker Spaniel, or the Singapore Special (aka mongrels) are known for their generosity. On the other hand, if you prefer a more independent or protective dog, breeds like the Shiba Inu or the Shetland Sheepdog might be suitable. There is genuinely a Singapore-friendly dog out there for every living situation! Please do consider the weather and environment! And also, if you might relocate later, don’t pick a breed with airline breed restrictions. So, in general, we don’t recommend snub-nosed breeds for these reasons.

Learn about the Banned Dogs In Singapore


Hence, we have discussed the 10 most popular dog breeds in Singapore that have shared homes and hearts with families. Understanding everything from personality to grooming needs and more, you can make the perfect choices when welcoming a dog into your home. As a pet relocation company, we understand from the compact living spaces to the tropical climate, each factor plays a crucial role in choosing the perfect dog breed for your family.

For pet owners looking to relocate their pet to Singapore, we have the expertise to manage transport smoothly, kenneling, and documentation requirements. We’re passionate about your beloved pets and committed to setting them up for success in their new surroundings. Contact us today to discover how we can assist in relocating your beloved pet to Singapore, ensuring a smooth journey for your furry friend. Additionally, learn more about welcoming one of Singapore’s favored dog breeds into your family!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular dog breeds in Singapore?

The most popular breeds are small dogs like Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, and Maltese, as well as some larger breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.

Why are small dogs so popular in Singapore?

Small dogs are well-suited for living in Singapore's urban environment. Many homes and apartments have limited space, so compact, portable little dogs are easier to manage.

What is the average lifespan of these popular breeds?

The average lifespan varies among breeds. Generally, smaller breeds like Maltese and Shih Tzus can live around 12-15 years, while larger breeds like Golden Retrievers and Labradors have an average lifespan of 10-12 years.

Which breeds are known for being easy to train?

Breeds like Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are generally known for their intelligence and eagerness to please, making them relatively easier to train.

Which dog breeds require a lot of grooming and maintenance?

Singapore's hot and humid climate may necessitate more grooming and maintenance for certain breeds. Breeds with long, dense coats like the Shih Tzu, Pomeranian, and Maltese may require regular grooming to prevent matting and keep them comfortable in the heat.

What dog breeds do you recommend for Singaporean households?

We recommend that rather than purchasing from a breeder or pet store, you consider adopting a dog in need from your local animal shelter in order to provide them with a new, loving home. When choosing a dog breed for your Singaporean home, consider factors such as size, temperament, and energy level. Breeds like the Shih Tzu, Poodle, and Singapore Special (local mixed-breed dogs) are popular choices for their adaptability to apartment living, manageable grooming needs, and friendly dispositions.

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Dr Matthew Murdoch

Veterinary Surgeon, Director

Dr Matthew is a UK-trained practicing Veterinarian and a globally recognized expert in pet travel who is committed to providing safe and smooth journeys for your beloved pets. His compassion and care for animals are second to none.