Australian Slang Related to Dogs

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If you’re a dog lover, and also happen to be in Australia, you might have noticed that there are some peculiar phrases or words being thrown around when referring to these beloved pets. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the Australian slang that pertains to dogs.

Bogan Dog

The word “bogan” in Australian slang is a derogatory term that describes someone who is uncouth, unsophisticated or poorly educated. Therefore, a “bogan dog” is a canine breed that’s usually favored by such people. It’s a reference to dogs that are often kept by rough-around-the-edges owners who may not have the resources or knowledge to train or care for them properly. Some examples of bogan dogs include Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers and American bulldogs.


Dingos are wild dogs that are native to Australia. Although they have a very distinctive appearance, dingos are still considered as one of the Australian slang terms for dogs. Some people may use this word to describe a stray dog or one that seems to be behaving like a wild dog. While dingos are wild and can be dangerous, not all dogs labeled as dingos have those characteristics.

Red Heeler

The red heeler, also known as the Australian cattle dog, is a working dog breed that’s popular in rural areas of Australia. They were bred for cattle herding and have an innate ability to work tirelessly all day long. This breed is often referred to as the “red heeler” due to its red fur coat. While not exactly slang, this term is uniquely Australian and may be confusing to foreigners who are unfamiliar with the breed.


The term “fleabag” is commonly used to describe any dog that is unkempt or unclean. This can refer to dogs with a flea infestation or ones that haven’t been bathed or groomed properly. In Australian slang, it’s more of a humorous term rather than a serious one, and many people may use it to refer to their own pets.

Chook Dog

The term “chook” in Australian slang is a reference to chickens. Therefore, a “chook dog” is one that is kept primarily to guard chickens or other livestock. This breed is typically trained to keep predators such as foxes, snakes, and dingos away from their owners’ flocks.


While not necessarily a slang term for dogs, “crikey” is a quintessentially Australian phrase that has gained popularity thanks to Steve Irwin’s catchphrase. The phrase can be used in various contexts, but when it comes to dogs, you might use it to express surprise or admiration towards a particularly brave or adventurous dog.


In Australian slang, “wag” can refer to the act of wagging a dog’s tail, as well as a slang term for a dog’s rear end. While not as common as some of the other slang terms, you may hear “wag” being used as an affectionate or playful way of referring to your pet.

Dob In

This is another Australian phrase that isn’t specific to dogs, but is commonly used in reference to them. “Dob in” is a term used to describe reporting someone for wrongdoing, and it can be used when someone sees a dog owner mistreating or neglecting their pet. If you’re concerned about a dog’s welfare, you might “dob in” the owner to the authorities.


While not directly related to dogs, “bonzer” is another quintessential Australian slang term that can be used in various contexts. In terms of dogs, it could be used to describe a particularly amazing or well-behaved pet. This term has been around for over a century and has become an integral part of Australian slang.


“Boomer” is a term used to describe a male kangaroo, but it can also be used as slang for a large, muscular dog. This term is used to describe breeds such as mastiffs or Great Danes, as they have similar body structures to kangaroos.

In Conclusion

Australian slang is full of unique phrases and words that pertain to various aspects of daily life, including our furry friends. Whether you’re trying to figure out what a “bogan dog” is, or why someone would call their dog a “fleabag”, this article has hopefully given you a better understanding of the slang terms that Aussies use to talk about dogs.


Q: Is it common for Australians to use slang terms for dogs?

A: Yes, slang terms for dogs are quite common in Australia, as they are in many other countries.

Q: Are all “dingo” dogs wild?

A: No, not all dogs labeled as “dingos” are wild. Some breeds may have similar characteristics or appearances but have been domesticated.

Q: Why do some Australians call their pets “bonzer”?

A: “Bonzer” is a slang term that is used to describe something as amazing or excellent. Therefore, when someone calls their pet “bonzer”, it’s a way of expressing affection or admiration.

Q: What is a “bogan dog”?

A: A “bogan dog” is a canine breed that’s usually favored by people who are unsophisticated or poorly educated. Examples of these breeds include Staffordshire bull terriers, American pit bull terriers and American bulldogs.

Q: Is the term “wag” used commonly in Australia?

A: Yes, “wag” is a term that’s commonly used in Australia to describe the act of a dog wagging its tail or its rear end.