Our playful pals

Dogs: a story of our best friend

Opening hours:

Following direction from the Federal Government and the South Australian Government, the state’s major cultural institutions – South Australian Museum, State Library of South Australia and Art Gallery of South Australia – will temporarily close to the public from 5.00pm 25 March 2020. This action is in the interests of public safety in response to COVID-19.

Dogs have been a much-loved part of our lives since we began to domesticate them more than 10,000 years ago, but how much do we actually know about our four-legged friends?

Visitors will be able to: 

  • Explore the history of dogs from a scientific/cultural perspective. How did they evolve from wolves to our playful pals?

  • Learn about dogs from popular culture, like Snoopy and Lassie! 

  • Look at a wide array of dog skeletons - the bones have been arranged in accurate order to represent the dog by our taxidermist 

  • Check out digital interactives explaining the incredible variation in skull shape among dogs and tools for selecting the best dog to match your lifestyle

  • Watch short films specifically created for the Museum highlighting the special bonds shared by owners and their dogs

  • Enjoy exclusive illustrations of a diverse range of different breeds

  • Wonder at historical and contemporary representations of dogs.

The exhibition is designed for all ages so there is plenty for kids to enjoy. Kids can:

  • Play in the dog kennel

  • Crawl through the doggy door

  • Find fun facts in the text panels

  • Take a selfie in the farm scene

  • Explore the activity trail.

Please note that, due to COVID-19 we have had to make some amendments to the exhibition. We can no longer offer the plush puppy parade in the North Foyer, plush toys to play with within the exhibition space or 3D printed dog skulls to touch and examine. We apologise for the inconvenience.

In the meantime, we need your help!

Strike a pose! We're looking for the dog with the greatest grin. Upload a photo of your smiling pooch with #SamsBestFriend and your photo could be displayed in our Dogs: a story of our best friend exhibition.

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Dashund with christmas tree


Christmas dog


Opening hours:

10am to 5pm daily.

Ticket prices: Museum Members receive unlimited FREE VIP entry

Adult $15, Concession $12, Children aged 3-15 $5, Children under 3 FREE, Family (2 adults and up to 3 children) $35 *must be accompanied by paying adult



Please note: Humans only! Service dogs that have been individually trained to work or perform tasks for a guest with a disability are welcome, in accordance with the South Australian State Legislation.

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