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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Australian Terrier

Australian Terrier

Origin: Australia

AKC Group: Terrier

Height: 10 inches (Male)

Weight: 12 - 18 pounds (Male)

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Although essentially a working terrier, the "Aussie" as he is affectionately known, soon endeared himself to all those with whom he came in contact as a very desirable companion dog in his own right.

Equally suited to town or country living, the Australian Terrier is noted for his loyalty, intelligence and even disposition. He is neither highly strung nor a persistent barker, but with his inbuilt spirit, courage and air of self assurance, happily assumes the role of protector for home and household.

Sturdy, with a harsh easy-to-care for coat, and a history of longevity, the Australian Terrier finds much favor as both an indoor and outdoor companion.

Affectionate and well-mannered, this spunky little dog tends to develop its own amusing and endearing characteristics to delight the family.

Male height: 
10 inches
Male weight: 
12 - 18 pounds
Double coat with harsh, straight, dense outercoat and short, soft undercoat.
Solid red, solid sandy and various shades of blue and tan, all with a light-colored topknot.

The Australian Terrier was developed in Australia in the 19th century using various British terrier breeds. In fact, the likely descent of the Australian Terrier was from terriers of Scotland and northern England brought to Australia with settlers. The Scottish Terrier created the hard coat and short leg, and the Skye Terrier contributed coat abundance and body length. Later crossbreeding added the Dandie Dinmont Terrier's topknot and the Yorkshire Terrier's blue fading color and small size. The resulting breed served many purposes for its family, from being an exceptional ratter and vermin hunter to functioning as a keen watchdog and devoted companion - jobs it still tends to with pride in households around the world.

Although plucky, intelligent and always up for an adventure, the Australian Terrier is still very much the dog his first Australian families developed to be an all-purpose addition to the homestead. This relatively small canine can stand up to just about anything. He also has a strong desire to please, which, coupled with his intelligence, makes him a quick study in obedience and other matters of training. In fact, he tends to learn things so quickly that he is soon ready to move on to other challenges. Friendly and gentle with his family, he can seem aloof to strangers.
At home: 
The Australian Terrier is a versatile dog who can live just about anywhere. His size makes him a great apartment dog, but be aware that this is not a dog you can leave alone all day - he needs to be with you and will be surprisingly in tune with your moods. If he's not given enough exercise and attention, problem behaviors will crop up. He can be barky. A yard to sniff around and dig in is ideal, and it must be fenced - he will take off after small animals, which he views as prey.
The active Australian Terrier will want to go everywhere and do everything with his owner, which is one way of getting exercise. He's small enough that he is easily brought along. This shouldn't preclude regular walks and outings during which he can explore and dig.
The Australian Terrier needs a balanced, high-quality diet to stay healthy. Feeding twice a day is recommended.
This multitalented breed is a quick study that thrives with training. His trainer must be creative, though, to keep things interesting for him. He must be socialized from puppyhood to achieve a comfort level with other dogs and help him with his natural reticence with strangers.
The Australian Terrier loves children and views them as playmates, but he can be a bit bossy and may not be ideal for homes with very small children. As with most terriers, he needs socialization to get along in a multipet home.
The average life span of the Australian Terrier is 12 to 15 years. Breed health concerns may include allergies; diabetes; itchy skin; Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; patellar luxation; and thyroid problems.
Fun fact: 

The Australian Terrier was first shown as the "Australian Rough-Coated Terrier" in 1868.

Grooming blurb: 
Some terriers' coats require extra attention, but the Australian Terrier is relatively fuss-free with regard to grooming. Regular combing with a metal comb and trimming will keep him looking good.
Copyright by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.