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2022 Australian Dog of the Year Revealed

Dogs recognised for inspiring and making an impact in the lives of people, environment and other animals.

From Guide Dogs and Therapy Dogs to Blood Donor Dogs, Police Dogs and Conservation Detector Dogs, and every noble pooch in between, the Australian Dog of the Year Awards have confirmed just how incredible and inspiring our doggos are!

Puppy Tales announces the 2022 Australian Dog of the Year and People’s Choice Award, including a Bonus Prize – dogs recognised for inspiring and making an incredible impact in the lives of people, the environment or other animals.

“Reading the entries of nobble dogs has been moving, funny and always endearing,” said Kerry Martin, international award-winning pet photographer and founder of Puppy Tales, a website aimed at helping pet owners make the most of life with their fur family.

“We’re reminded once again of just how incredible our doggos are, and seen how ordinary Paw-stralians from across our nation have helped their people through difficult times and made a difference to others and the communities that they live in.

“We’ve found ourselves smiling, laughing and even reaching for the tissues as we’ve read through the beautiful stories of our Aussie fur family and the people they’ve helped. Once again, it’s been highlighted that for many of us, our puppers are our best friends, closest companions and furry superheroes!”

You can read all the finalists’ full entries here
Puppy Tales will donate $1,000 to the winner's chosen registered charity and $100 to the People's Choice recipient. The Bonus Prize recipient receives a Pet Circle gift card and their Curious Box.

Australian Dog of the Year

Harry, blind story dog
Chosen charity: Story Dogs

Before Covid, Harry was a Story Dog at a local primary school, where he listened to reluctant readers and helped build up their confidence. Harry, being blind, couldn’t tell what the story was about from looking at the pictures, so his owner Barbara Allen would ask the children to read carefully so Harry could understand the story. Harry also helped students understand that having a disability or a difference did not mean they weren’t special, couldn’t have fun or make friends.
“Harry is our Paralympian, bringing home gold every day!” said Barbara.
People’s Choice Award

Poppi the Guide Dog
Chosen Charity: Guide Dogs NSW/ACT

Nine years ago, Liz Wheeler lost her sight, her job and the ability to do ordinary things like crossing roads, cooking food or getting to the shops. She lost all hope and then Poppi changed everything.

“Poppi is not only an amazing guide dog but a brilliant counsellor who has brought comfort and healing to many,” said Liz, Poppi’s owner.

Pet Circle Bonus Prize

Rocky, Conservation Dog
Southern Queensland Landscapes
Toowoomba QLD

Every year, Rocky single-handedly saves the lives of 30,000 plus endangered green loggerhead and flat back turtle hatchlings and further helps protect the 10,000 endangered Mary River turtles. He has also helped restore the population of critically endangered bilbies from feral cats at Currawinya National Park, making him an international hero.

“Rocky’s job is tough and dangerous, and he shows courage everyday he ventures out to protect the environment,” Rocky’s buddy and handler, Tom Garrett.

Special Mentions

Kerry found all the finalists and many other nominations to be amazing dogs but would like to give a special mention to finalists Kelli the Kelpie cross, Tildy the Corgi and Trixiebelle the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. (Their stories here)

Kerry said, “Kelli maintained bedside vigil and gave comfort and support to Lynda and her mum in their times of need. I couldn't help but smile imagining her pulling to visit with those in the nursing home. We used to visit my pop in a nursing home with our dog Summer (and with my parent’s dog Rosie). Residents’ faces lit up and they come from their rooms to pat and tell the stories of dogs in their lives. Nothing connects quicker than a dog.

“Tildy’s nomination had me reaching for the tissues. What a beautiful, heartbreaking story. Tildy was such a big part of young Peta's life right until the end, then gave ongoing support to her mum Kate. I adore that in Peta's name they are fundraising together to fight cancer and encourage people to support their fundraiser or buy the book

“Trixiebelle is one of our most pup-ular dogs in the People's Choice voting, as another dog who has made a difference in schools and aged care, as well as through fundraising.”

About Kerry Martin & Puppy Tales

Kerry Martin is a Melbourne-based and international award-winning family and pet photographer who considers pets (like children) very much part of the family. It’s for this very reason that she specialises in portraiture photography that includes the entire family!

Kerry is also Editor of Puppy Tales, a website devoted to the promotion of wonderful relationships between dogs and people. This means exploring the further integration of dogs into our society and highlighting the benefits and enjoyment they can bring to all members of our community.

Kerry has received many photography awards over the past decade, including Master of Photography and Australian Pet/Animal Photographer of the Year.

To discover more, visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 26th January 2022

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