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The Dog Down Under Competition 2024: rewarding legendary dogs!

Pawsome Pursuit for Australia’s Canine Sporting Legends, Everyday Heroes, Most Talented, Oldest And Hardest Working Dogs

Register interest now, entries opening on 22 April 2024!

Have you got a dog who stands out from the pack with their unique talents, sporting prowess, community service and hard work? Or could your senior pooch take the reins from Bluey the Australian Cattle Dog to hold the official Guinness World Records ‘Oldest Dog’ title?

Registrations of Interest are now open for the inaugural The Dog Down Under competition 2024 with a total prize pool of more than $28,000 up for grabs!

The Dog Down Under campaign is hosted by Lara Shannon, leading Australian dog expert and creator and host of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play and 7TWO’s Animal SOS Australia.

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 Ch 10 in September 2024.
“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 Australia on our social media and later this year on TV,” she says.
“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, special skills or talents, those who are actively impacting and preserving human lives, as well as Australia’s oldest living dog.”

It’s widely acknowledged and supported by research, including recent findings from Konkuk University (South Korea)*, that dogs have a profound positive impact on our well-being.

“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!” says Shannon. 

“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.”

The Dog Down Under - Competition Categories:

  • 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 - 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 & 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. One finalist will be nominated for each of the Oldest Dog size categories: Miniature/Toy/Small, Medium, Large & Giant Breed - with the oldest dog across all categories earning the Overall Winner’s title.

Important Dates

Dog lovers can register their interest now, with entries officially opening 22 April 2024 and closing 20 May 2024.

Finalists for each category will be announced from 4 June and Winners announced from 9 June 2004.

The Dog Down Under TV Series will be aired on Channel 10 from 7 September 2024.

To enter your dog (you can enter more than one dog) visit

Follow The Dog Down Under on Facebook and Instagram @thedogdownunderoz


The Dog Down Under Sponsors helping to recognise and reward Australia’s legendary dogs include Major Partner Petstock and Category Sponsors Antinol (Sporting Legends), Big Dog Pet Foods (Oldest Dog), Credelio Plus (Everyday Heroes), Buddy & Belle (Hardest Working) and Vitapet (Most Talented).

About Lara Shannon

Lara Shannon is one Australia’s leading animal welfare advocates and canine experts, reaching millions of Australians each year through her education work, books and TV shows to help improve the lives of companion animals.

A certified dog trainer and pet food nutrition specialist, Lara has been a regular on Australian TV and radio stations for the past three decades promoting important animal conservation, dog behaviour and other pet care issues and has been the spokesperson for high-profile animal welfare and conservation organisations including WWF, Planet Ark and Keep Australia Beautiful, before producing her debut documentary Ecochick Adventures: The Trans Borneo Challenge. (Channel 9, 2015).

Lara is currently the Executive Producer and Host of Network Ten’s Pooches at Play and The Dog Down Under, Animal SOS Australia on the 7 Network, and featured in Channel 9’s The Pet Rescuers (S1).

Author of World of Dogs and Eat, Play, Love (Your Dog), Lara’s mission is to help reduce the needless euthanasia of adoptable shelter animals to zero. Her cheeky rescue dogs ‘Dynamite Darcy’ and Vindi are never far from her side.

Photography (all): Mike Tarr Photography

MEDIA RELEASE, 2nd April 2024

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